Thursday 30 April 2015

Live Below the Line - Day 3

I woke up this morning to find an email had landed in my Inbox overnight, I've copied it here for you to read in full, I've also reinstated the link that is on the copy so you can go straight over to the Action Against Hunger 'Nepal Emergency' page and read for yourself.  
It goes to show all the doubters and people that laugh off Live Below the Line as a pointless gimmick, that every penny of the money we raise for Action Against Hunger and all the other charities that benefit from this week of penny pinching and being food obsessive, that our efforts and your donations make a difference .... a HUGE difference.  And that putting money into a charity's coffers help it to respond immediately when help is needed.

Thank you for helping.

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Dear Sue,

Well done on making it half way through your Live Below the Line challenge! Although your energy levels may be low, and the thought of eating another bowl of flavourless rice is not appealing, the funds you’ve raised so far will go a long way towards helping support Action Against Hunger’s life-saving work.

Last weekend a powerful 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, leaving thousands dead and even more injured and in need of urgent care and support. Action Against Hunger, who have been on the ground in Nepal since 2005, have deployed an emergency team who are working around the clock to respond to the crisis. The team has 11 tonnes of vital supplies ready to be transported to areas affected by the earthquake. Click here to find out the latest about our work in the country.

Thanks to your fundraising support through Live Below the Line, Action Against Hunger is able to respond to emergencies, like in Nepal, as well as working to develop community-based solutions to malnutrition and the hunger problem. Spread the word, keep fundraising and help Action Against Hunger to provide vital support to an increasing number of families in need.

Jenny Clarke
Senior Community Fundraising Officer

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I got the idea for last nights tea from a YouTube clip that I watched via the Live Below the Line page last week, when I came to try and find it again I couldn't, so I cobbled it together from memory.

First I whizzed up two of my crusts to make breadcrumbs and left them to go stale in the sunshine on the worktop.

I mashed together half the tin of potatoes with the whole tin of Sardines and the tomato sauce they were in, finely chopped an onion and mixed that in, but it looked a bit bland so I went out and cut a few Chives from the tin herb bath outside the back door.  It was a very wet mixture so I decided to miss out the egg I had planned to use to bind it together.

I didn't even need to dip them in egg to get the breadcrumbs to stick!!

I left them in the fridge all day sat on the breadcrumb plate to firm up a bit, and then when I got them out rolled them around again to pick up a few more of the crumbs.

Last nights tea, and very tasty it was too.  This time I cooked the rice as per the instructions on the pack and rinsed it well with boiling water before putting back in the hot pan to dry off a bit, it was much better. The total cost with banana ice cream for pudding was just 40p. The fishcakes cost me just 12p each and are something I will most definitely make again, although I'll be able to add more herbs and some chilli flakes next time to make them even tastier.

I've realised that the way I'm blogging about this week is a bit confusing, some of yesterdays food mixed with todays food etc, so I have put up a page at the top of the blog 'Live Below the Line 2015' which shows the food and costs as they are for each day.

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This morning is my Day 3, I'm a day behind a lot of folk as I missed out on starting on Monday.  I always find day three tough and it seems Jack Monroe does too.  I woke up this morning with a blog plan in my head only to find that she had mirrored my feelings exactly HERE.

I think that by day three the limited choices get to you.  Opening the cupboard and seeing it so bare brings back memories of opening the cupboards and always finding them like that, no doubt one of the reasons my cupboards are always full now  I brought up my boys living with bare cupboards, with meal plans carefully thought out and just enough to keep us all fed.  We never went hungry, I rarely went to bed with an empty tummy and the boys never.  A large pack of value bourbon biscuits and custard creams tipped in the biscuit tin every week meant that a drink and a couple of biscuits to dunk in it, always seemed a satisfactory treat for supper.  So things weren't that bad, just bad enough for a young Mum to worry about.

The good thing is we all survived those times, and came through them with lessons learnt and respect for what we have now.  Being able to give something back, even if it includes some bad memories for a while is my way of acknowledging that I went through that time for a reason.  For so many people living with empty or near empty cupboards is still a way of life, there's maybe not much we can do to help everyone, but if we can do something we should.

That's why at the end of this week the £20 I have saved by not buying my usual shopping this week will be spent on a trolley full of food for one of our local Foodbanks ... if I can't shop for me I can shop for someone else.

Once again I have to say HUGE THANKS for yesterdays donations.  So thank you to Tracey Whitehead, Jason Wright, Marjorie Stintzi and  'Someone' as they call anonymous donations on the donations page.  Your money really will make a difference. 

 And you see it was worth making sure Jason got those bourbon biscuits he loved so much even when times were tough, he's a loving, giving young man that I am so proud of  .... yes you guessed,  he's my youngest son  :-)

Sue xx


  1. Sue, I definitely appreciate your hard work on this and reaching out through the media for assistance to Nepal. The devastation there is hard to even imagine with the dead and injured.

    1. Thank you Linda. It is tragic isn't it.

  2. Well done sue, you're doing great!

  3. Well done, Sue, that recipe today actually looks good. I can remember in the 60's being very hungry and not many cheap food shops. However, on Friday I used to buy two shillings worth of fresh haddock off the market in Otley and we had fish and chips for tea. Another stall had broken biscuits and I used to buy ten pennies worth of them and they did us through the week. Also a pound of butchers sausage meat with onions, mashed potatoes and mashed turnip used to be another cheap meal. Never to be forgotten those days, todays are better but I still cook from scratch and still watch the pennies. You are really helping the people in Nepal, God love you. Love Andie xxx

    1. Thanks Andie, the fish cakes have been the tastiest thing on the menu up to now. I think it's all going to be downhill from here on in. xx

  4. Well done you.x I just started buying a couple of bits for the food bank and being a huge animal lover the doggie food bank too. It's a sad old world sometimes isn't it? Some people are paying £5 plus a week to be told how to lose weight and some will never even earn £5 a week. Bless you. Xxx

    1. Thanks. xx

      One thing I would never do is pay to be weighed every week, although the moral support of others losing weight along with you must be pretty good, as long as you're not the fattest in the room .... gosh that sounds awful .... I actually made myself burst out laughing with that one. Must be the hunger talking ;-)


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