Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Well I never - or did I?

A rather nice picnic hamper!
Just look what postie brought today!   

It's actually a fabric hamper with an all-round zip.  Inside are four each of knives, forks, spoons, plates, napkins and glasses plus a corkscrew and a serving board.  


I already have a (real) wicker hamper but I think this would be easier when I go out on my trundle truck.

The really exciting thing is, I don't know why it's arrived.  I'm assuming it's a competition prize but I have no recollection of entering a comp for a hamper.  It appears to be linked to a film (Their Finest) which came out last year which means that as a prize it is very late - not that I'm complaining!




Monday, 3 July 2017

Toads and tadpoles

I'm a great fan of traditional British food.  It's good stuff, usually pretty economical.  The ingredients are easily available.  It carries me back to childhood.  And so many dishes have such wonderful names!

Bubble and squeak.  Spotted dick.  Star gazey pie.  Roly poly pudd'n.  And toad in the hole.

As a name Toad in the Hole does not sound very appetising.  Who would want to eat a warty amphibian?  All true Brits know that it is a delicious combination of sausages and batter!

Until very recently I hadn't cooked it for many years but it's had a renaissance here at Frugal Follies.  I've given it a bit of a twist in that I've started to put vegetables in as well as sausages.  Hence it is now toad and tadpoles.

This recipe serves one very greedy person.  

40g plain flour
1 egg
60ml milk

Beat these three together to create a batter then leave it in the fridge for an hour.

Heat the oven to 190C, Gas mark 5.  Put a glug of oil in a small ovenproof dish and heat in the oven.

Put two cooked sausages and a selection of vegetables into the hot oil.  So far I have tried onions, broccoli, carrots, green beans, peppers, and all have been good.  Pour the batter over and return dish to oven.  Cook for about twenty minutes and don't open the oven door for at least fifteen minutes.

Serve with gravy

Sunday, 2 July 2017

How is it going?

In the middle of last month I said that the last nineteen days of June were going to be much better than the first eleven.  I bemoaned my lack of energy, the bleugh feeling, and I said I wanted life to be a little more purposeful.  So how has it been?

Not bad, is the short answer.

I've been swimming three times.  Swimming isn't easy for me but I have been going with a friend and we have kept up each other's morale.  I don't think I'll ever get back the standard I had (that would be unrealistic as the years go by) but I am now almost enjoying the sessions.

I've put the garden back into order.  I had to admit defeat on doing a lot of it myself.  Bending at the knees and maintaining my balance is very difficult so whatever I did meant bending from the waist.  I can easily bend from the waist but if I stay bent I then feel very dizzy when I stand up!  Anyway, I managed to find some help and although my garden isn't as wonderful as in previous years, it is now a pleasant place to be.  Photos will appear on my other blog over the next few weeks.

I've made a very good start on sorting the conservatory/utility room/back porch.  Until very recently this was a pleasant place to sit but since my kitchen repairs it just hadn't recovered and even getting laundry into the machine was a challenge.  It will soon be a useful room again.

I've organised a family picnic (report here) which I enjoyed.  I seem to do an awful lot of visiting of the sick and housebound and it was good to get out with some of my extended family.

Friday, 23 June 2017

A Very Lucky Girl

Each morning when I get up I settle down for an hour with a cup of coffee and I enter competitions.  Lots of them.  In May I did over 5000 entries.  So the law of averages means that occasionally I win things.

Today I have received this rather nice box of furniture paint which also includes wax, a brush and a project booklet. I'm not into upcycling furniture but I know someone who will make very good use of this prize so that's one Christmas present sorted.  

I also got an email saying that I have won a short UK break.  That will most likely be taken by me but as I enter so many competitions I can't remember the terms and conditions of this particular one so I'll keep you posted!

I've never had two prizes in one week before so I am feeling very lucky today

Monday, 12 June 2017

The Power of Positive Thinking?

In the spirit of taking myself in hand, I decided to go for a swim today.  Swimming is not easy for me.  A bilateral mastectomy, extensive surgery on my legs and years of "comfort" eating have all taken their toll on my body but years ago swimming was always my favourite sporty activity.  I was never very good at it so the pleasure never came from delighting in my prowess and nothing has changed, except that I'm much, much worse now.  

Maybe that it is an advantage.  I was never any good at it so I don't need to waste time bemoaning the fact that I'm still rubbish at it.  How's that for a bit of positive thinking?!

Sunday, 11 June 2017

19 days

The last month I have been so lethargic!  I came home from a holiday and sort of flopped and didn't get my act together.  Not good.

Today on my way home from church my mood just lifted.

First I saw Pete who has been helping with my garden and I asked him to a few hours work for me.  That felt like the lifting of a huge burden.  

When I got home I decided it was a good day for a bacon buttie.  A real treat and a real mood lifter.

Then I looked back at previous Junes and back in 2014 I had exactly the same mood lift on 12th June.  I started a project file called "I have nineteen days to make a difference; 19 days in which to move my life a bit nearer to how I want it to be".  so, as from tomorrow, June is going to be a purposeful month.

There, I've committed myself!

Today is Sunday and I just want to cook a nice lunch, do a bit of sewing and a lot of thinking.  

Friday, 19 May 2017

Reeling

In an idle moment today I decided to google "Food budget for one UK" and one of the first sites to come up was Edinburgh University giving advice to new students coming from overseas.   I'm still reeling!  They suggest that a student needs a food budget of £145 to £260 per month.  It may be that life would be more costly for an overseas student with a diet which would be unusual in this country than for those of us for whom the supermarkets design their product ranges, but this seems very high to me.

They may have limited cooking facilities and even more limited cooking skills and almost certainly would have higher energy requirements than an older woman like me.  They would probably not have access to a garden, allotment or even much of a window box.  There are probably factors which I haven't even thought about.

So how much you reckon a single student would need to budget?