Back on the ration – Sept 17

Well another summer is over and we are back on the ration. On Sunday we listened to the original radio recording of the announcement of war, quite apt at the moment given the concerns over  North Korea.

I decided today to cook a recipe from the 1940s experiment blog. Carolyn posts lots of original recipes and as she has over 170 it’s a great go to when I don’t know what to make.

As my original woods ware Iris plates arrived ( significantly smaller that modern ones !) I decided to christen them with their first war time meal for many years.

This was delicious – war time cauliflower cheese with bacon ( using 3 rashers and 50g cheese for 4 people) jacket potato and steamed veg. Big hit with the kids who are normally not that keen on cauliflower. Full tummys and empty plates for not that many calories. Definitely one to make again ! 

The most amazing flapjack 

( not for dieters !)

My son has battled cancer and its effects on his Heath for more than 10 years. Eating is a chore and he is losing weight rapidly. I was looking around for something easy to make before I go shopping that might tempt him.

Having found dark brown sugar, butter and oats I thought flapjack might work – boy was I right ! Everyone has dived in ! One of the best tips I ever had from vegan friends was to keep the oats raw. It tastes great and is super easy. 
250g butter

500g dark brown sugar

Porridge oats

Anything else you’d like to add ( seeds, nuts. Etc) 
In a large saucepan melt the butter with the sugar until the sugar is no longer grainy. Add as many oats as you’d like and stir well until coated. Put into a silicone cake tin/ ordinary tin. Put in fridge until set. I added a few chocolate buttons I found in my baking cupboard. 

It’s divine – a kind of treacle toffee taste. Definitely one to make again. I’ll upload a picture tomorrow ( if there is any left !!) 

Sorry for not being around ! 

Well life hasn’t gone exactly to plan over the last few months. I got bitten on the leg in Italy whilst on holiday and developed Lyme disease. I knew very little about it before but boy has it been a learning curve ! Unfortunately it’s affected my heart and I’m still very tired. I’ve been in bed on and off for what feels like months !!! 

I’m getting there – slowly getting more energy and more cooking in. I’ve joined some great new frugal pages and am hoping to start my frugal food budget back with a vegence this next week ! 

Super quick gnocci

Mad times in the run up to Christmas here. Trying to off set the costs of Christmas and the regular food shop is like spinning plates. A change of circumstances in the new year may result in further belt tightening.

Tonight’s dinner came about as the result of trying to use left overs. I had 2 large pieces of cooked crown prince squash left but no idea what to do! My daughter had originally wanted pasta and I had made a tomato sauce ( 1 tin of tomatoes, olive oil, salt and a tsp of sugar). She then went to her friends leaving me staring at the sauce. Didn’t fancy pasta , wanted gnocchi and saw the pumpkin – hey presto! 

I mashed the pumpkin minus it’s skin with a fork. Mixed in gluten free flour a tablespoon at a time until you have a stiff dough. Roll into sausage shapes and cut 1cm pieces. Cook in boiling salted water until they float to the surface and serve with the tomato sauce and cheese. Serves 2 adults  


Cheap and cheerful

money being tight and health being a priority I  am making more vegetarian/vegan food at the minute. Tonight was a delicious lentil ‘shepherds’ pie with carrots. Simple, tasty and comforting on a cold night . 

Recipe :

Various vegetables ( carrot, leek, onion, sweet potato) chopped and sweated in oil.

1 tin of daucy green cooked lentils ( these are one of my go to ingredients. I like Daucy but only buy them on offer. Any would suffice.)

Onion gravy – bistro best as it is gluten free.

Mashed potato.

Add the cooked vegetable and the lentils and warm through. Pour over gravy and put into an oven dish. Top with mash and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Serve with vegetables and more gravy. Yum. 

Twenty Pound Weeks ahead 

This time away is giving me space to think. To think that we need to take stock of life and reduce our impact, our spending and our waistlines ( the last is a definite one for me as I will be 40 in two months).

So, for the next month I am going to allocate £20 a week to buy food for my husband and I. The children’s health right now is not strong enough for me to change their diets- however depending on the next month this might change. I will be buying our food from Aldi as this is our cheapest supermarket, except for dried pulses which I get in morrisons. It will most likely be a predominantly vegan/vegetarian diet and we have to have 3 meals a day with a high calorie snack for my husband who cycles into work. 

This doubles the amount I allocated for our live below the line challenge but I think it is going to be a struggle. 
I will post a menu plan and costing when I have worked it out ( which might take me the rest of the week!) we shall see! oH is good with this ( although this might change) 


Holiday – Ration Book Mum style

We are away this week for half term. A cheap week away in beautiful Northern Ireland at the little cottage we rent most years. Wet, windy and cold but family time with no internet and long walks with the dogs on the beach. I’ve needed this break a lot, 2 out of 3 children have additional needs. Money is tight and I knew it was be much more expensive for food ( 3 meals s day plus snacks as  the big two need to eat in excess of 3000 calories a day because of health reasons). I went to Aldi and did my usual weeks shop plus done extras and loaded the car.

Today we had bacon , eggs and beans ( 5 eggs , 5 slices of bacon -none for me, 1 tin of basics beans,)

lunch was tuna mayo sandwiches with sweetcorn and half an avocado each.

dinner below is gammon cooked in cola, potatoes ready to be roasted and a crumble made of a couple of the apples I brought, along with blackberries picked from the headgerows. There will be carrots, brocalli and cauliflower (frozen). I’ll work out the daily costing and edit it in but i think it will be below £10 which would be £2 a head for 5 people. I don’t think that’s so bad !

edit – coatings work out at £9.20 which works out at £1.84 per day each. Today was a relatively expensive day for us as it involves s joint of meat as well as a dessert. imageimage

Left overs chuck it in a pan and see dinner

Well tonight’s dinner just evolved. I had 3 tablespoons left from last nights Aubergine curry ( Aubergine, onion, tomatoes) and wanted to feed the two of us. In still not 100% so it had to be easy. Add to the curry 1 tin of chickpeas including the aquafaba , half a harlequin squash , a grated carrot, mustard seeds , turmeric , salt an. I them added 80g rice and a big squirt of tomato ketchup ! Cooked slowly with the lid on until the squash and rice were cooked. Delicious comforting and definitely one to make again !image