Saturday 18 May 2013

Cooking for the week

Yesterday and today I have been cooking for the next few days and some meals for the freezer.. Bulk cooking will always be cost effective, firstly because of the efficient use of fuel and secondly because ingredients work out cheaper when bought in larger amounts. Yes, I know that is an obvious statement, but sometimes we may have to remind ourselves of this. How often have we cooked just enough for one meal because we haven't got ourselves organised or are  "in a rush"- as if it took any longer !! I'm inspired to write on this subject because EGD has just called with her partner and has been discussing how they are planning to shop and cook when they move into their first home together in July (at present they are living at YD's ) YGD's partner is a careful young chap who works hard and looks after his money, saving for anything he buys and researching what is the most cost effective item to buy. They plan to shop at the weekend and cook the week's meals on Sunday, putting extra portions away in the freezer. He tried a Homity pie I had just made and really liked it. I said that perhaps they could make one for a meal and some smaller ones to take for his packed lunch. They were taken with this as a concept and are going to add this and some other suggestions to the recipes they are collecting.

The family will be here for tea tomorrow. That means about eight of us and perhaps a couple of take-aways (if the grandchildren are working, they don't like to miss out)
I plan to serve Lasagne, Foccacia, Coleslaw, steamed veg, vegetable slice (from the freezer) with Rice pudding (made in the other slow cooker) with Nelson's Eye ( a spoonful of jam!) for afters. YGD will make hot biscuits to go with the pud - she will like doing that.
I have made far more savoury mince than needed tomorrow and have frozen the rest for a chilli.

 How I make Frugal Industrial Quantities of Lasagne Mince. - Place  mince browned in oil in the slow cooker with minced red pepper, onion, celery, garlic and carrot. Add some minced soya  to make it go even further and add further protein. Don't forget to "clean out" the mincer with a couple crusts and add this - my mother always did! Then pour a large tin of chopped tomatoes (Farm Foods sell two extra large tins for £1) and a couple of pints of stock made with red Oxos over this and cook for several hours. I season the mix after an hour or two with salt and pepper and basil, but prior to this I take out a good pint of the mix and add paprika and beans for a Chilli later in the week. You could also add minced squash, swede, mushrooms etc to the vegetables if you want - it's a good way to get veggies into those who aren't too fond - just don't tell them !
This will be layered with cheese sauce and lasagna sheets (Aldi Essentials) and cooked for 40 mins at 180o

I have made 1.5kg bread dough. Halving this I have made  a large focaccia to go with the Lasagne and a large cheese bread to go with soup next week.
I made 3 pints of cheese sauce yesterday - some for the lasagne, some for a cheese onion and potato pie next week and froze some for another time (fish mornay ? cauliflower cheese ?)
I also made 1.5 lbs of shortcrust pastry for - Homity Pie, Cheese and Onion Pie and half a pound frozen for another time.
So with the ubiquitous ( here anyway!) fish and eggs and a rather tasty tandoori rabbit I made last month, the week is organised. Voila!
Tomorrow morning I am going to help YGD measure the windows at her new house. YD will make the curtains and I reckon those black-out linings that I bought in the Callington Charity shop for £2  might come in useful !
It's been a very busy day here,cooking and looking after the increasing brood of chicks and rabbits and even more planting. Oh yes and 2 lots of Minutes for the Civic Society, so I have just poured myself a not too small, tell the truth LARGE , whisky with ice.
Angelsey Allsorts asks why we have named our Buff Orpington Cockerel Hugh ? Do you know, I can't remember ! So the messages are flying around Facebook ( it's how we conference in this family) to see if anyone remembers - there is ALWAYS a reason!
 Just switched on the Television - Eurovision !! Oh No! but at least it is at the end, so I get to know the result without watching the show. Nahh ! I reckon I will turn it off and go to bed with my "medicine" and read a book.

Good Night Dear Frugal Friends and thanks for reading


  1. I love reading your wisdom, it keeps me focussed!

  2. Wow, you've been busy. I use the same basic sauce for my lasagna as I do for spaghetti or any other pasta based dish. I may change up the cheeses I add, but that is the only difference. :-)

    I haven't done any bulk cooking in a while, but I am continuing to always cook enough to have for lunches the next day. I'm sad to say I've been feeling a bit uninspired so thanks for reminding me why it is such a great idea.

    1. You've had lots of stuff going on too.
      I think you have to be in a certain state of mind to be frugal/careful whatever you call it, and sometimes it's a big ask when there are other important issues to attend to.
      Look after yourself.
      Nice to hear from you