With more snow apparently heading our way, it's good to have this colourful reminder that Spring has actually Sprung! These brave little blooms survived the last cold snap so I hope they come through the next one!
I am keeping a weather eye (no pun intended, but hope you noticed my little link there? Eh?) on my meal planning, and am already noticing I'm neither shopping nor spending so much. Quality is not being sacrificed and we are eating well. Here's me about to get cracking on last Sunday's Chicken Pot Roast.
Ooooops, missed out the garlic! Now that would NEVER do! This is the veggies after sautéing.
And finally with chicken in situ, about to go into a nice slow oven. I do hanker after a gas hob but you can't beat my Rayburn for oven cooking, especially long slow cooking.
This lasted us three days in various guises. I didn't re-use the bones for stock but I do at times, and will be thinking ahead in future. A one pot meal, how economical and time saving is that? Also it meant that as Jim was out coaching all day I didn't have to worry about what time he was getting in. No spoilt dinners in our house!
I've also been bread-making regularly too and really, once you have got into your stride it doesn't take an age. Well, it does, but you work round the various stages. Obviously not a thing to embark on at the last minute when you have run out! I also love putting different bits and bobs in my mix; sometimes it will be very basic, other times I want to experiment. Here I've used spelt again, olive oil to soften, honey to sweeten, and a good handful of the seed mix for extra nutrient content. Tastes yummy!
Yes, I did add yeast and salt, not pictured here, and no, I don't usually use my precious - and pricey - Manuka honey in bread, but had run out of the bog standard variety.
And this is the result. And very nice too, if I say so myself! Oh! I must show you my kitchen freezer whiteboard in situ..........
Scrawly writing I'm afraid, done in a hurry. And still some sorting out between what goes in the garage freezer and what goes in this one. But it is all coming together, and makes it so much easier to meal plan. Even Jim is getting in on the act, and has bought me a large whiteboard to go on the kitchen wall by the door for the garage freezer contents (as he said, having it in the garage defeats the object, I need it where I can see it here.) and also for jotting down things we've run out of, a rough shopping list.
It has been an interesting and salutary investigation of myriad frugal foods and organising blogs and youtube videos; I have been humbled by the hardship and adversity and sheer guts of some people who have dragged themselves out of debt by very careful frugal living, amazed at some of the wonderful meals created with a handful of cheap ingredients, embarrassed by how much I have in the way of resources compared with many, encouraged by the great ideas I've found to help me organise myself and my home, and frankly astonished and perturbed by some of the sites I visited describing extreme survival 'prepping'. These are the Doomsday Preppers who stock-pile for 20 or so years - food, water, and worryingly, guns and ammunition. I'm not talking about a couple of side-by-side shot-guns either!
But heigh-ho, that is their lives and philosophy, not mine. I'll make do with my freezers and a slim larder cupboard! One of the more daft ideas I came across - this in a blog about saving money and the planet : crock-pot liners! Yep, it's true. Now you don't even have to wash up! Heaven only knows what cooking your food for 8 hours or so wrapped in clingfilm or similar does to you, but I wouldn't want to be using it near any food which gets heated! And how ecological is that, eh?
Anyway, ending on a high note ....Amanda from Mangle Prints inboxed me about her upcoming Lino Print Workshops so I am first on the list!! Whoo-hoo! More anon.
So, to continue the conversation, what's your best organising tip, and is there a favourite frugal recipe you and your family enjoy? Look forward to hearing from you.