Saturday, September 24, 2011


It appears that yesterday's blog didn't get published. Not sure what happened, but when completed it wouldn't publish, had to sign in again, then went to draft (where it still was) then published from there - which it appeared to do, then - after reading Woozy's comment - discovered today it HADN'T published and neither was it still in draft - so I can't now post it.

Will try today's posting as done so far, and - if it does publish - will then continue (so if reading within the next few seconds - come back to read the rest).
Yes, it did! So far, so good. Will now give my missing replies that didn't get published yesterday.

A welcome to Lisa A who is a new 'commenteer', and possibly lives in America/Canada? Regarding the use of tomato soup (other than for making baked beans), it is also good as a substitute for passata (sieved tomatoes) when making a sauce for a pasta dish, or adding to bolognese sauce etc. Blended half and half with well flavoured home-made chicken stock, tomato soup this then makes an excellent 'Chicato Soup' which is almost home-made.

Sounds as though you have now built up a good stock of stores Scarlet which could last you several months. Do let us know how you get on working your way through them. It can be a bit alarming when the shelves begin to empty, but as long as there is some food in store, you should be able to keep going for quite a while. It really boils down to whether you wish to eat to the level you already have been doing, or prepared to make some changes. Often I find that HAVING to use only what I've got brings my little grey cells back into action and the meals tend to improve, not get worse.

We too used up our food store Alison, when we moved, so had to live on take-aways or 'eat out' for several weeks (due mainly to our buyers putting back the date of signing the final papers) and the same when we arrived in Morecambe as it was at least a week before we went to the supermarket. All that was brought with us was rice, some home-made preserves, and think a couple of cans of MaMade!

Have not yet received that comment of your that seems to have gone missing minimiser deb. In the light of my missing posting, perhaps blogger is playing up again.

Gave a very detailed list yesterday of the foods served to our guests Susan G. today is a slightly shorter version. The day of arrival Tuesday, supper was had Butter Chicken Curry, plus a smaller and hotter vegetable curry (made at the last minute as we had an extra and unexpected guest). Also made onion bhajis and raita to go with, plus all the usual side dishes: bananas, hardboiled eggs, coconut, mango chutney, lime pickle, and poppadums. Added to these were some veggie pakoras (brought by the extra guest).
Wednesday the meal was Turkey roast, roast and mashed spuds, with stuffing, sausages, Yorkshire Pudding (by request), four veggies, and gravy.
Thursday we all ate out at a local Chinese restaurant. Friday's meal began with a starter of fish cakes (a trial batch for 'testing'), followed by Cold Meat Platter (h.c.ham and turkey, Spam, corned beef, sausages) with different salads, plus home-made quiche and pork pie, jacket potatoes and chips (to order).

Cannot remember the order of puddings, but do remember serving flambeed bananas, apple and blackberry crumble, and ice-cream.
Family left on Saturday morning.

Great idea to limit yourself to £5 when buying Xmas gifts Susan, in a way this makes it a great deal more fun as then we get the pleasure of hunting for them. Charity shops and car-boots are very good places to get the best value for the money, especially if the gift is for someone who 'collects' things. Remember a very good friend of mine collected letter openers and I found a really lovely one for sale for 10p at a car boot. She was over the moon when she got it. It is not the cost that counts, it is the time we put into seeking or making a gift that really shows how much we care.

Woozy, if you go to Archives and look up September 2007, then scroll down to 14th, you will find a posting listing quite a number of substitutes for eggs when cooking. Hope this will help to answer your query.

Day before yesterday tried to make a batch of Hokey-Pokey (similar to Cinder Toffee) and probably because I used demerara sugar instead of the white caster sugar, it didn't work. Now I am left with a block of firm 'toffee' that is stick and starting to get a bit 'runny' at the edges. Am hoping it can be melted down with a bit of water and then used for something else.

Supper the other night was a mixture of 'oddments' from the freezer: mini-burgers, chicken pakoras and something that I thought were small chicken Kievs. Planned to serve these with a good salad, tomatoes and oven chips. The Kievs turned out to be battered fish (oops), so ended up calling the dish 'surf 'n turf', and so got away with it. Have to say, having had a taste of everything myself - it did work.

The meat delivery came yesterday, and fortunately managed to find enough room in both Boris and Maurice to accomodate most of it. Thawed out the beef rib trim and shin beef so that they could be cooked together in the slow-cooker (which they are doing at the moment). Having the meat already cooked (this will then be frozen) will shorten the time when it comes to making future casseroles etc. Also will give me plenty of well flavoured stock to freeze to make gravy, add to other dishes etc.

As I bought two packs of the "Braising meat and Mince offer", I worked out the cost of the meat per serving that I would get from the full amount (including the free meat balls), and it worked out to well under £1 per head, and this being cautious with the two briskets. Cooked, and sliced cold - brisket will give quite a few more portions than if eaten carved 'hot' as a 'roast beef dinner' (costed as 'hot). Considering this is QUALITY meat of the best order, am extremely pleased with this particular offer.

Believe you have a polytunnel Urbanfarmgirl, and the following caught my eye yesterday which might be of interest: "polytunnels are an ideal situation to keep hardy crops, such as corn salad, winter lettuce, and spinach, productive all winter. A variety of summer herbs will also remain productive through the winter, parsley and celery do well and can be picked repeatedly, so don't pull them up. Mint, chives and marjoram will also grow through the winter with some protection."

"Still time to plant in October (with some protection - polytunnel, greenhouse or cloches) crops such as lettuce, spinach, corn salad, rocket, and spring onions such as 'White Lisbon' (winter hardy). They will grow slowly, but quicken with the first warm days of early spring.
Oriental brassicas grow well in polytunnels, with varieties such as 'Mizuna' and 'Mibuna' able to be sown all year round. Many have dual purpose - pick young as a salad leaf, or grow on to cook. 'Komatsuma' is a good example and a has a lovely sweet flavour when eaten raw."

For readers who grow their own tomatoes and have discovered a variety that has great flavour, then here is the way to save your own seed to 'grow your own' next year.
"Choose really ripe fruits. Remove seeds and rinse them in a sieve under cold running water, rubbing them against the sieve to remove the gel. Spread the seeds out on kitchen paper and leave to dry. Then pack away seeds AND (dry) paper towel until spring, then you can 'sow' the paper towel with the seeds attached.
Find out more details in our Seed Saving Guidelines on ."

No reason why we couldn't save seeds from ripe bought tomatoes if lucky enough to find a variety that has a flavour. Certainly we can save seeds from bought butternut squash, melon, marrow, capsicums and bell peppers, as have myself proved they will grow when planted the following year. As have dried beans and peas bought from supermarkets to soak, cook, and eat. In years past have grown apple trees from pips (although these didn't bear fruit as I believe it needed to be grafted onto another stock), also grown numerous avocado stones into 'house plants', and lemon and orange pips will also grow (as will almost any ripe fruit 'pips' or 'stones' - although not always guaranteed to end up giving fruit).

A bit hesitant to write more today as fear it might disappear again, so will shortly finish with a few thoughts about the store wars about to commence. Tesco will be cutting prices this coming week (if what I read is correct) in an attempt to outdo the other major stores. Presumably the others will follow. This because (allegedly) consumers are cutting down on how much they spend. The stores are not quite sure whether customers are buying less food than they used to, or buying as much as before but instead purchasing only foods that are on offer. Either way all stores' profits are going down. So this could prove interesting to see what happens next, and almost certainly what is done will be advantageous to us.

Beloved has just brought in the latest issue of the trade mag for me, so will wind up this posting for today, then sit down and have a good read so that tomorrow I can reveal more 'trade secrets'. Hope you'll be back to find them out. If so, see you then (and fingers crossed this gets published).