While we've been travelling backwards and forwards and with no real cooking facilities inWales save for the microwave and the Remoska, and of course little time to cook anyway, because frankly who wants to down paintbrushes and start rustling up a three course meal ... not me for sure. I've been spending the day before we travel bulk cooking things that can just about survive a journey and can then cope being kept in just a cool bag for a couple of days.
We have had two main meals of choice which have been homemade soups and curries. The soup is simple and is just made with my brilliant value soup mix and different additions to use up what has been leftover in the fridge at the end of the week. This time it was simply the end rindy bit of a Parmesan cheese, it really does add flavour and if I don't use them straight away I pop them in a tub in the freezer for future use.
If you decant lots of dried foodstuffs into jars it makes sense to put any cooking instructions somewhere you can refer to them if needed in the future. I used to put them on the back or bottom of the jar but lately I've been taping them to the inside of the lid, nice and neat and it doesn't clutter up the outside of the jar. (just a little tip, I seem to have turned into a 'tipaholic')
It's amazing how manky the veggies can be and still taste gorgeous if you add them to a curry.
I added a couple of homegrown carrots to this one too, boy oh boy was it hot!!
As well as being easy to reheat in the microwave most of these things were bought in bulk from Approved Foods so cost literally pennies, so much better than getting in a takeaway and so much quicker too, when our nearest takeaway would take us at least 20 minutes in the car each way.
Of course there are some tasty little treats too that I'm rustling up, this cupcake mix cost me just 25p a pack and when a spoonful of butter has been added and one of our own eggs it must only bring the cost to about 35 - 40p for 6 cupcakes. I made them the 'old school' way like Butterfly Cakes but without splitting the 'wings', just so that there was sponge on top to stop the cream sticking to the box they travelled in.
So although we're eating a bit 'snacky' at the moment and having lots of 'ready meals' the cost is kept right down and I know that when we stop for a meal or a break we are eating something filling and tasty.
And the dilemma ?
This Blog has always been my 'online diary' and as such I write about what's happening in our lives on a day to day basis, the progress we are making, the mistakes we make and the things that we and our animals do. All this is done with the idea that we can look back ourselves either weekly, monthly or way down the line in the future and see that progress was and is being made, and when we are losing hope of things ever being finished we can look back and say 'yes things have moved on, we have accomplished some or most of what we set out to do' there are the words and pictures to prove it.
I never set out to have hundreds of Followers or so many of you from all over the world reading my words each day, don't get me wrong I absolutely LOVE that you do and I love the feedback and the comments you leave me. I love the contact with each and every one of you and sometimes I'm downright amazed that you like being a part of our lives so much that you take the time to do so.
At the moment though I feel like a show off.
I never liked the 'show-offs' at school or in the workplace when I was there, the folks that came in after a weekend away with a list of purchases and costs and then sat and planned what they would buy next time they 'hit the shops'. I always sat and listened but could never bring myself to join in.
And here I am showing all of you (or about to show you) 'befores' and 'afters', showing you things we have bought for our new home, showing you what we have spent our hard earned money on. I know the monetary cost of every single thing we are putting in our home and the figures are imprinted in my head. We worked hard to earn the money and it is being spent on things we need and things that will we hope last us for the rest of our days. But it feels, to me anyway, like 'mass consumerism'. I can't help it, I've conditioned myself to make do and mend, to find alternative uses for things and suddenly there I am in the queue at Dunelm waiting to hand over cash for duvets, covers, rugs and lampshades and .... well you get the picture, the list goes on.
I can trot out the excuses, we've done without while we saved up, we've been in rented accommodation so we have to buy washing machines, fridge freezers etc because they have always come with the house before, I can trot them out to you and I can trot them out to myself, but still I feel like a show off ....
So the dilemma ... do I stop listing and showing and therefore lose a huge chunk of our history from my online diary or do I grit my teeth and carry on, and see if I can bring about a mindset that allows me to truly enjoy my purchases. Because maybe once I could have stood up and said "my name is Sue and I'm a shopaholic and my new jug cost me £14.95", but now I am truly 100% cured.