Its always quite on the blogging front on a Tuesday night - do not know why I have noticed this for a good couple of years or it may be down to the blogs that I follow.
Things have been very busy at work and I have been shattered when I have got in. OH has been suffering a touch of the blues and nearly went to pieces when the car refused to work last night. He was in the depths of depression and he was not very good when I got home tonight (I had to walk as the car is still with the garage). He was due to come and collect me from work last night but he took Missy for a walk and the car refused to start. (That was last night and I had to walk home last night and tonight).
We cannot afford to be without a car and yet cannot really afford another one either a bit of a catch 22 situation. He got his garage to come and collect the car and it would appear that the car has a few issues £500 worth to be precise! So a little bit of budgeting will have to go on for the next couple of months. One of the first places to cut back is the food budget - as I said before Christmas I have most stuff in it will be a case of living off what we have apart from the fresh veggies and a little meat. Fortunately the freezers are stocked, as is the Jam Pantry, the Main Pantry which keeps all my dried goods and I have a sack of spuds and a net of onions so we are pretty well set up. I will just need a tray of eggs once a fortnight. The freezers need running down now anyway in readiness for the new seasons produce. So really it is an opportune place to start and then during the Spring and Summer months I can stock up on the meat and fruit side again when there are bargains to be had. I shall pay a visit to the Butchers though and get a little meat things like stewing steak, mince, sausage meat, beef skirt, and then when we get back I can set too and make a batch of Cornish pasties, sausage rolls, steak pies, some lasagnas and also cottage pie and minced meat and carrot pie. I have chicken in the freezer so I shall be using that up as well. I also intend to get a gammon joint/ham hock and make some quiches and freeze them and some pies.
There are a couple of advantages to keeping the pantry the way I do. First I only usually ever re-stock items when there is a good honest sale bargain on and then I stock up always looking for long sell by dates. This helps save a lot of money but also makes sure that I have everything that we use readily to hand. In the past it has also kept us alive without having to spend very much.
I will get the Canner on the go soon for making soups etc. This will be a good way of using up some of the veggies and paying it forward. I have just bought a book on canning meat as well so I shall do further research with that. I also intend to shop around a bit for some cheap joints of meat to hopefully turn into my own Charcuterie. The Salt Beef is coming first though. I shall still have a budget but not as much as I would normally have. I still need to be able to put some money up to put up for seasonal buying i.e. strawberries, plums, raspberries, cherries etc. so that I can bottle my fruit and make my jams and also freeze some of the produce. I shall also do a little home cheese making and my yogurts etc. so that we can still have some treats.
Fish is one of the things I will not compromise on. Fresh fish is good for you and I may well pop into Waitrose on Friday evening to see what fish they have and maybe do home made fish and chips. After all Friday night always used to be fish and chip night with my Nan.
We have had steak, (I bought it the other week reduced and froze it)sweet potato chips, peppercorn sauce and fried onions and fried oyster mushrooms. The first pick off my Oyster mushroom plants. They taste lovely. Very pleased with them. So we have eaten well this evening. For tomorrow night's tea we have fresh Fettucini, meatballs and tomato sauce for tea. Something simple and filling.
I think I am going to have to start the marmalade on Friday night I had hoped to do things before then but am a little too tired. (the recipe I use I have to leave it overnight anyway) and Saturday is as good a day as any for getting stuck in. I also have the curds to make and I got some more cumquats to make a cumquat marmalade. I have also bought some passion fruit as I have a new recipe for passionfruit curd that I also want to try. I also have a fancy to do some cumquat vodka. With cumquats it is the flesh that is sour and the peel is sweeter. So as usual a few things are starting to make their way into this year's pantry so hopefully lots of goodies will be in situ shortly. Even though it is a quieter time of the year (supposedly). I still find loads of stuff to do. However I do need a head start on getting things done this year as I have a lot that I would like to do and potentially accomplish on the food front as well as on the crafting and sewing front. I am also hoping to get into the garden a little at the weekend if the weather is reasonable as I need to do some tidying.
I also need to get cracking with the dehydrator.
So a lot to do as usual. I think I am going to have to sort out the fireside cupboard and store some of my preserves in there out of the way. Right had better get a wriggle on.
Time for bed said Zebedee!
Catch you soon.