Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Even More to Read

The good(e) news is that it is taking less time than I thought to clear away the debris in earlier postings. Just as long as I do as much as I can in one session. Yesterday spent the WHOLE DAY working on this - mainly because I am short of time today. Started the moment I published yesterday's blog and continued until 7.30pm when I had reached the end of 2008! So more than half-way through now. (Ended up so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open, so went to bed at 8.00 and had a really good night's sleep - for once).

Sadly, quite a lot of 'useful' info had to go, just to leave room for 'useful' recipes to stay. But this gives me a chance to write them up again later. Believe it or not had to delete 18 complete postings to allow the 'best of November' to return. However, many were mostly all 'chat' about the Goode life with no recipes and no info., and others were when the comp. went wrong and small messages were sent via Steve to this respect. It's not all 'usefulness' that has been lost.

The really good thing was that many recipes using pulses and grains are now back on site. Readers have been interested in using these, so they now more recipes to make use of them.
Also discovered quite a few soft drinks/cordial recipes that Les was hoping for: these too are back and will be found in 2008 via Archives on 14th June (lemon barley water), 21st June (mainly Fruit vinegars but can also be drunk as a 'refresher') and 7th July ('Shirley's Lemonade').

Because there will now be more of an interest in past recipes (at least hope there will be), will now turn my attention to trying to return all of the concise index that was published (think in 2009) before I tackle individual postings. Of course many of the recipes listed will now have been deleted, but can always retrieve them from my data base if anyone cannot find something they are interested in. All you have to do is ask (giving name of recipe and date of publication).
All the deleted recipes are those that are more expensive to make, and the more unusual where we may not normally keep some of the ingredients (anchovies etc). Recipes kept are mainly all very inexpensive and also easy to cook. Some seasonal recipes have been left in that are useful for those who wish to 'make ahead for Christmas' and also recipes that can be made to give as gifts in those Hampers. Plus plenty of simple and seasonal preserves and pickles.

Am very sad that a lot of my 'daily life' has had to be binned as myself found these 'memoirs' quite interesting to read back. But I still have the full postings in a document file, so if I really feel nostalgic can return to have a read at my leisure.
Daily 'ramblings' will still appear on this blog, but only for a short time (say a month) before being removed so that earlier recipes can reappear. However, if I shorten my 'chat' and give less recipes each day, who knows how much can be allowed to remain? So, KC'sCourt, you can still be able to read my'daily diary/biography'', just as long as you keep up to speed with the site.

Certainly discovered that I'm the sort of person who writes 1,000 words when 2 would have done, so perhaps there will be less of the verbals in future once I have learned to rein in my key-board tapping fingers. Quite honestly think I've put people have been put off by all the guff and stuff I write, when all they are looking for are cost-cutting recipes. Apolgies if not too late.

Once the index has been put back (and fingers crossed all can be for it was extremely lengthy), am hoping you Alison (and other readers will find it more than useful).
Was very interested to hear about your Approved Foods order, so will take another look at the site. Think as long as the goods they sell cannot be bought from supermarkets at a low (offer) price, so the delivery charge doesn't cut into the savings we might seem to be making, then it is a very good site to order from. The mention of chocolate reminded me that after b.b. time, chocolate tends to get a 'bloom' on its surface. This is not mould. Just something that happens with age (same as we oldies get grey hair!). a bit off putting when seeing it, but the chocolate should still be fit to eat, although perhaps better used in cooking. Suppose it can be reheated and remoulded into home-made chocs which should then turn out all shiny again.

Bread recipes have reappeared Woozy, and do know that somewhere there is one for a brown bread that doesn't need kneading. Not yet sure where it is, but will try and find it today, if still missing will (hopefully) publish it later, so watch this space.

During the deleting came across several of my 'challenges', such as 'how much can be bought for £5!'. These had to go too, but as with many similar ones, these only worked at that time, as since then prices have risen. Now the £5 would either buy less, or buy different things. But it's a useful challenge for all of us to do at any time. Just to find out what's out there.
The easiest way to do this is to wander up and down the supermarket aisles, not looking at the products, but at the prices shown at the front of the shelves. This way discovered the cheap (at that time) 4p cans of curry sauce, and the 10p packs of chicken flavoured noodles (these I think still at this price). There are very cheap stock cubes on sale also (but not REALLY worth buying). Cheap bread can also be found - and this IS very useful for making Bread and Butter Puddings, to make Summer Puddings etc. Or to turn into crumbs for various recies. Bread, crumbed or otherwise freezes well. Dried crumbs/croutons store well in airtight containers.

Your mention of saving up for a yogurt maker and slow cooker Sarah, gave me food for thought. There have been quite a few recipes given recently on this site that can be 'slowly-cooked', and a lot of mention over the years about making yogurt.
But even before the advent of such advanced technology, cooking food slowly, and yogurt making has been done for centuries by 'old methods' - perhaps worth taking a look at.
Firstly, we don't REALLY need a machine to make yogurt. All we need is some constant heat to keep it warm while it 'yogs'. Nomads make yogurt by putting their 'new' and warm milk into sacks made from (probably) animal stomachs or something) hang it in the sun or from a saddle (next to a warm animal) and the milk just 'yogs'. We civilised folk find yogurt easier to make in the winter when the central heating is on, but an airing cupboard might suffice (but nowadays most of us don't have these now). More details on how to make given below.
A 'brought-back' posting (and I think kept because it IS useful) was one on making a 'hay-box'. This is a container that works almost as well as a slow-cooker in that once a casserole has been brought to simmering point, the pot can be put into the hay-box, covered and it will continue cooking for many hours due to the insulation. No other fuel needed. It should also keep yogurt warm enough to 'work'.
Another way of keeping yogurt at the right temperature is to make it, then pour it into a thermos (preferably wide-necked for ease of removal), that has been pre-heated with boiling water. The warm yogurt goes into the very warm flask and then stays warm for hours. Yogurt needs 8 hours to 'yog' properly. All you need to start is one tub of bought 'natural' yogurt, a pint of warm milk (slightly above blood heat) mix the two together, then cover and put it somewhere to keep it warm until set.. From then on use some of your made yogurt to make the next batch.

Although the above are now the 'old ways' of doing something, they still work today but perhaps used more by those who like to live the full self-sufficiency life (like Tom and Barbara in The Good Life), but when money really is tight, no reason why we shouldn't give something like this a try until we can afford to take a more 'today' route. There used to be a website called 'Freecycle' (it may have a new name now) where local people give away unwanted items that still work - maybe there might be a yogurt maker or slow-cooker going free in your area. Certainly there may be some sold at reduced prices in some of the larger electrical stores - and worth making a lower offer - as it seems today they will do anything to make a sale. To my shame have often said/lied to my Beloved (when a store sticks at the going price) "let's go back to you-know-where, as they have one almost the same but much cheaper", and this sometimes works.

Once most of the postings have been returned, feel it is time to take into consideration exactly what YOU would like to read on this site. Do you wish me to keep 'rambling on' (knowing these will later be deleted), put up any old recipe that just comes to my mind, or only those you request? Do you wish me to keep giving myself challenges, or do you prefer readers to set these for me to undertake? What is it exactly you look for when you come to this site for the first time? Following your advice am hoping most readers will continue logging on. It has saddened me to realise that so many 'regulars' (Moira, Mo, Valerie, LibrarySpy, SweeterRita, Marjorie, to name but a few of many...) now seemed to have moved to pastures new. This has to be because this site hasn't come up to expectations. But then we all look for or need different things, so not really surprising.
It's just that this site should not be 'just about the Goode life', but much more about what YOU want to read, and unless you let me know, will still fill the pages with mainly my jaundiced look at life as it is today, forever going on about the past and 'how good it was then', with the occasional recipe to keep everyone happy.
So readers - it's up to you to help me improve this site.

With Norma the Hair coming this morning, and myself having to make a proper meal for B tonight (the poor man had to make do with take-away fish and chips yesterday as I was still at the comp.) any spare time today will be spent on trying to retrieve all of the past index. The remaining postings of 2009/10 and the first part of 2011 will have to wait for the moment.

As many readers as possible, olease, please, PLEASE send me comments giving your thoughts/requests on the above 'hopefully to be improved' site, so that plans can commence. Doesn't matter if you haven't written in before, or will never write in again, even if you wish to remain 'anonymous', just as long as you are a reader of this blog your views will count.

With that thought have now to leave you until tomorrow, with the hope that LOTS of comments come flooding in. See you then.