It's going very well. No one has noticed that anything is different about the food I have been cooking this week. There hasn't been anything different. I am seriously considering carrying on the challenge next week and possibly even the week after that.
I have made very little impact in my dry stores, there are still plenty of lentils and other pulses and lots of pasta and rice. The dairy produce is being used up fairly fast though and I will have used up the frozen chicken, the ham hock and fish by the end of the week. The bread flour is all gone. I have made six large loaves this week four of which are in the freezer and one waiting to be cut in the bread bin. That should be plenty to see us through until Monday. The coleslaw I made on Monday is still going strong. I have been putting it in Charlie's cheese sandwiches and eating it myself at lunchtime. There is 4 lb bag of apples still unopened which is quite an achievement round here.
Breakfasts and lunches
I made Scotch pancakes this morning, but other mornings have been toast or granola.
Sandwiches on Monday and Tuesday had chicken mixed with mayonnaise and mango chutney (sort-of-coronation-chicken) in them, yesterday there were pitta pizzas. Today and tomorrow it's cheese with or without chutney or pickles. I have a sandwich most days but today because George was home for lunch I baked a couple of potatoes which we had with cheese and coleslaw.
The picture above shows our evening meal yesterday. It is chickpea and squash curry with rice and cucumber and mint raita. I used all of the small butternut squash pictured in Monday's post. It had hardly any seeds in it and had a nice potato-like texture. My curries are very inauthentic but they are quick and easy to make and always seem to go down well. They can also be pulled together with store cupboard ingredients.
Simple Vegetable Curry for 4-6 people
In a roomy pan with a lid fry a chopped onion or a handful-sized portion of vegetable hash in a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil (or butter, or ghee). Once it has softened add a crushed clove of garlic and 2-3 teaspoons of curry powder.*Cook over a gentle heat for a few minutes -add a little water if it looks like it is starting to stick.
Next add a couple of handfuls of chopped squash/carrots/sweet potato/potato. Stir to coat with the spices and onions.
Add a couple of handfuls of cooked chickpeas/other cooked beans/lentils (no need to cook lentils first).
Now add either 1 400g can of chopped tomatoes or a 500ml carton of passata. I like passata best.
You can also add a can of coconut milk at this point, or as I did yesterday a chunk from a block of creamed coconut plus some water. Bring it all to the bubble, add more water if it looks too thick and likely to stick (particularly if you are using red lentils). Then turn it down to a simmer and cover. Leave for 30 -40 minutes, stirring now and again, until the veg are all soft.
Taste and season. It will probably need salt. I some times stir in some mango chutney at this point.
Lastly add a handful of frozen peas and let them cook through, this only takes a minute or two. Peas aren't essential but I like them for colour and vitamins.
You can use other vegetables; spinach, mushrooms, okra for example. I choose ones I know everyone will eat. And you can of course replace the pulses with leftover meat.
*I used madras curry powder yesterday but I really like Patak's curry pastes and would have used one of those if I had had it. I will at some point find a recipe and make my own curry blend as I am sure I have most of the necessary spices.
Katie and Tom have to be at school to 'help' with an open evening. I believe Tom is playing the drums. I have no idea what Katie is doing. Tom has to be there for 5.45, Katie for 6.30. Needless to say they will both be there at 5.45. Better things to do than drive around Worcester all evening. All this means they need to be fed early, so beans on toast for them it is. George has to eat at around 6 because he has to go out. This means I need to be cooking at precisely the time I am driving Katie and Tom to school. George will be getting himself beans on toast too. Charlie and I will have omelettes. Yes I know I should have made a tart or casserole which we could have all eaten at different times but I haven't.