Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Canned Laughter

Have to concede that my food stores are more than average, although being able to take a TV walk into Nigella's larder noticed she has a lot more stock that I have. Delia's huge and second freezer that is kept in an outside 'room', also holds more frozen food than our Boris. So allowing for the fact that cooking has been my 'work' for over 25 years, maybe you will understand the reason why I like to have as many ingredients as possible to hand. With me, cooking is not just getting the next meal on the table. It is being able to make the meal even more special, and although lots of my 'dry goods' are not always necessary, these can make a great difference to the flavour and texture of both savouries and sweet dishes.
When it comes to cost-cutting, these basic 'dry goods' are also a means of getting a good and nutritious but still inexpensive meal on the table. luckily I have the time to experiment, to 'invent' new dishes (but as said before, nothing is new, only a variation on a theme). The one thing I really hate to do now is have to go out (or send B) to buy food for supper.

Maybe I am just an oddball, and am the only one who can see the sense (if you can call it that) of keeping so much food in store. Whether or not I cook more than most, it really isn't that necessary to have so many of the 'non-essentials', and it would be quite possible to keep putting meals on the table with a much smaller amount of stored food. The early challenge (begun at the end of 2006) continuing for 10 weeks, listed the foods bought and used, and these were not as many as I have in store today (although did have chicken livers and minced beef which are the two items I am missing most now).

Having so many 'extras' (chocolate, cake flavourings etc) are more a way of making things that taste that much more 'special'. Having to live on a restricted budget (as the Challenge mentioned in the above paragraph), it is even more important to make meals taste good. A dash of cream here, a block of chocolate stirred in there, not to mention jars of home-made lemon curd, and tubs of Turkish Delight (or rum and raisin) flavoured soft-scoop ice-cream. Such delights probably not normally made (or bought) that often, but always looked forward to, and so an extra special treat in times of thrift.

These next weeks leading up to spring will be my time of thrift where very little money will be spent (probably only on replacing milk, bread and eggs). The aim being to spend nothing as long as possible. But during that time, treats will certainly be made, almost on a daily basis. My Beloved says that when I am wearing my thrift hat, all the meals and other home-mades he eats are always the best. There must be a moral in that somewhere.