Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Feeling Satisfied

I've just had supper

I'd felt a little peckish

And this beauty called to me

Bara Birth

Made earlier this evening

And still ever so slightly warm


Unplanned until

This morning when

I'd just poured a cup of tea

But hadn't yet added milk

A friend invited me for elevensies

So I saved the tea

And soaked dried fruits in it


This evening

We've enjoyed

Breast of lamb

With roast potatoes

The friends that invited me out

Have their own lambs back

For the freezer

But they don't like using the breast

Que me

Yes please

Especially whilst surviving

On £1 per person per day


My learners are going down like flies

With all manner of nasties

So tomorrow will be a home day

I can live with this!

Unfortunately a list of jobs

Longer than my arm awaits

That old inconvenience called VAT for one

So wish me luck!

Blessings J. x


Tuesday, 20 February 2018

40 Years Ago

Quite unbelievably yesterday marked

The 40th Anniversary

Of a great blizzard in our region

We were literally

Snowed in for weeks

20-30 foot high drifts

The snow was still lying in patches

Come May!

Whether we are in for

A beast from the East

I don't know

It seems to me

If they forecast snow

We don't get any

But often

When they say it will miss us

We get quite literally

Dumped upon!

As long as

The potato sack is full

I'll make a meal of something

I will factor into the budget

A couple bags of flour

Just in case

Butter has gone up in price so much

In the last twelve months

I shall keep an eye out for

Marked down cream

To make my own


I can feel my body changing

Along with the seasons

Soon I will want to be outside


But for now

I'm enjoying my evening

By the fire


A little knitting

And a mug of tea

Blessings J. x


Saturday, 17 February 2018

Alright So Far!

It is now Saturday

Day 6 of our £1 each for food per day

I have allowed the allowances for visitors

And the meals made for the lady I help

I have £4.10 in the kitty

To roll over to next week

Obviously whilst we're in the early eating from pantry and freezer stage

Things will be much easier

I know I slipped up badly

By my disastrous visit to the bakery

Both daughters have visited this week

And eldest and her hubby

Will be eating here for most of the day tomorrow

This week I have baked

2 x batches of rock cakes (2 cakes given away)

1 x coffee and walnut sponge (half given away)

1 x flan leek mushroom bacon and cheese

1 x flan onion mushroom bacon and cheese

2 x lots cheese straws with leftover pastry

On Monday night we ate cold leftover chicken with chips and beans

Tuesday chicken curry and chips (hurty hand incident)

Wednesday bacon broccoli leek and mushrooms in a cheese sauce

Topped with sliced potato and onion boiled in milk and butter

Then topped with more cheese (half given away)

Thursday steak with pepper sauce sautéed potatoes peas onion and mushrooms

Friday leftover stew from freezer with dumplings

Tonight lamb kebabs and salad (sadly no mushrooms left)

Tomorrow roast brisket veg and trimmings

Followed by apple pie and custard

Today I am ready to make scotch eggs

Sausage rolls

Individual flans (large muffin tin size)

Chocolate sponge

Ginger oat squares

The sun is currently shining

Washing is on the line

Heidi is enjoying a chewy treat

And I've just realised how hungry I am!

Blessings J. x

Thursday, 15 February 2018

The Trouble With Crisps

Who can resist

The crunch of a good crisp

Hubby definitely can't

But for what they are

In terms of food value


So I shall have a go

At making my own

I've been checking out

One or two recipes

Also for corn chips

Oven baked sound rather lovely

Though possibly not today

Last evening I managed to

Burn my hand again

This time

Significantly worse

I really need a pan different to my saucepans

So my brain doesn't tell me to grab it

Once it's out from the oven

In fact I've just deviated from here

So important was my mission

And three of these beauties

Are on their way


A 16cm, 18cm, and 20cm one

An expense

But one I can handle

Our hands are very important

Thank you Chefs Essentials

And I appear to have had a bargain

Just by shopping through eBay

Over £10 cheaper per pan

Than on their direct website

Hard to believe but true


Well the above was yesterday

All I have left of the hurty hand

Are three blisters

And some redness


I was up possibly even before the lark this morning

And currently have my toes

Perched just inside the warming oven


I am dearly wishing for a dry day

To get some towels flapping on the line

Would be a welcome sight

For now it is still dark

Just the iPad background

And the smoke alarm

Are emitting light in my kitchen

Heidi has come in

From her morning frolic

Around the garden

She was ushered in

When something in the garden

Caused her to start her

Quiet but low barks

A muffled wuf

She obviously knows when she's supposed to keep the noise down!

Hubby is still in bed

I was out at 5:45

Due to a much needed toilet stop

So if I'd gone back to bed

Which would have been tempting

I would just have lain waiting

For the 6:15 alarm

I have to be with my lady by eight

Then back home

Hang out first load of washing

Put in some more

Lay in the fire

Make a sponge

Organise what we're having for tea

Sweep floor

Back to lady

Fetch dog

Meet eldest for a walk

Buy some milk

Made lady and her hubby tea last night

No no no

You cannot survive on a warmed sausage roll

Then do it all again tomorrow

So she relented

And I doubled up our tea last night

Cheese sauce and layered potato and onion

Both take milk

Plus two flans this week

Still plenty of leeway in the food budget

Though I can add the allowance for meals I've done for others

I may put these funds in a holding bay

To be used only when the pennies

Really start to be pinched

And with our pantry stocks

That isn't now

So after coming back with dog

And milk

Hope I remember the milk

A quick prep for tea

Before going back to lady

It makes a refreshing change

From learners

That will be tomorrow's task


The clock has relentlessly ticked away

Whilst I've been on here

I'll soon be getting dressed

And getting on with the day

Blessings J. x


Monday, 12 February 2018


Today I succumbed to a small temptation

I called into town between learners

And visited the bakery

An arranged last minute visit to eldest for lunch

I decided to take pudding

And ended up buying 2 Danish pastries

And a florentine

1 Danish pastry for us to share

And 1 for hubby's packing tomorrow

The florentine I shared with hubby for tea

The Danish pastries being custard and sultana

Not my finest choice

I just hope hubby enjoys his tomorrow


This little lot cost the princely sum

Of three hundred and twenty five hard earned pennies

The cost of the Danish that I shared with daughter came out of my fun budget

But I still knocked two hundred and fifteen pence

Off the weekly food budget

For not much really

Considering that the Lidl shop cost six hundred and fifty two pence

For milk, bread, grapes, lemonade, pitta bread and peas

Let this be a hard lesson learned

But I was cold

And hungry

And and and

And now I'm annoyed

But it will pass

Yesterday (Sunday) lunchtime

We had pancakes

And for our evening meal roast chicken

I made a bacon leek and cheese flan

For hubby's packing

And tonight we had cold chicken

The leftover roast potatoes and baked beans

I've now picked the chicken clean

And have enough for curry tomorrow

It had previously cost us four pounds

I really hope that we will need to purchase nothing more this week

Leaving me with a carry over

Of five pounds and thirty three pence

In order to take advantage of bulk buying

Such as 3 chicken for twelve pounds

And a whole sack of potatoes

I need to save a few pennies here and there

Never before have I felt this level of determination though

Which can surely only be a good thing

Blessings J. x

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Bringing It Down

When Bessie the electric Aga

Came into our lives in December

I had no real idea

Of how much extra electricity

She would cost us

The first month was quite manageable

But the cost crept up significantly

Between the end of December and the end of January

So I applied the brakes

I don't think it's necessarily the Aga

More the fact that I was still using the tumble dryer

When you're out to work all day

It just isn't convenient to leave washing out

To chance

When the weather is well...being Winterish

The brakes came in the form of over the Aga airers

And a front drying rail

Being electric Bessie doesn't give off as much heat

As if she were oil or solid fuel

As her hot plates run independently

However washing still dries

But whilst the woodburner is still being lit

I'm going to hang up the top airer from the beams

In front of that heat source too

So if I need to remove the airers

They aren't as heavy

I also have taken to sitting the kettle

On top of the woodburner when it's lit

And using the floor of the roasting oven

As a hot plate

And so the estimated electric bill

Is coming down

A little each day

We're with Powershop

And have an App that you enter your readings into

Daily if you like

I'm enjoying being in control of our power use

I also charge my phone or iPad

In the car whenever I'm on a journey

Every little helps as they say

I thoroughly enjoyed my bacon drippings

On bread the other morning


Last evening we eventually got to eat the stew

That had originally been planned for earlier in the week

I used the last of the pre Christmas swede

I always put the meat chunks in seasoned flour

And brown off in batches

But this time in the oven

All ready to have a lid on and be left to cook away

I thickened with a little Bisto powder before adding dumplings

And putting back in the oven

The rugby was on when it became ready

Hence no finished photo

However even with hubby having seconds

There are still two portions sitting in our freezer

Waiting for another late home from work evening

Of course Heidi had the roasted peelings

As part of her tea

Potato and a whole parsnip were added after I took the above picture

Yes she gobbled down the whole lot


And so today

No snow as yet

Although that is predicted to change

Through the course of the day

The wind is raw

And whistling alarmingly

Around our cottage

I'm glad we brought in a plentiful supply of logs

Yesterday afternoon

Hubby is helping a friend with his old lorry this morning

He plans to be home for lunch

I plan to cook pancakes

And tonight a roasted chicken

There should be plenty of leftovers

As I don't plan on feeding any extras!

Apart from the usual pottering

I'm not setting out to break any housekeeping records today

Earache and a general feeling of lethargy has paid me a visit

I'm not fighting it with much of anything

Sometimes you just have to take what comes along

A little knitting

Keeping the cottage warm

And us fed

That's enough for a cold Winter's day

Such as is today

Blessings J. x



Saturday, 10 February 2018

Potato Replaces Fat

We're butter lovers

I no longer buy lard

Or any other spread

It has to be butter

Obviously we need to fill up

Just as people did during wartime rationing

Although we're not following the rationing system

Merely sticking to £1 per person

Per day


Wartime recipes could well become my ally

Potatoes are relatively cheap

I pay £7 for a 25kg sack

And butter prices have risen dramatically

Over the past year or so


I have found a recipe

For steamed puddings

Where grated potato

Replaces half of the fat

Think I'll be giving this a whirl


And I'm feeling rather rich

£14 x 52 = £728


Over on A Challenging Year

Sue has £362.89

For her and her hubby's nourishment

For a whole year

So glad our vegetable plot

Is being much enlarged this year

Planting fruit trees is on my radar

And youngest and her caveman

Have a good quantity of apple trees

You can do so much with an apple

When times were really tight

And we had an orchard

Apple used to feature at each meal

Apple sauce goes with any meat really

And mint sauce too

Really stretching the meat which is the dearest element


I have succumbed to a cold

Little blighter!

However what a wonderful excuse

To light the fire earlier

And watch some of the

Winter Olympics coverage

With knitting upon my lap

And a wartime recipe book

Never too far away


Blessings J. x