a busy domestic blog of knitting, sewing and all kinds of needlecrafts, cooking my garden produce and preserving it

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Free Lunch Challenge - week 3

 Week 3 and I'm finding that it's far easier to make 'free' lunch if I have soup! Just raid the freezer and throw some things together.
 Monday; soup with tomatoes, sweetcorn and courgettes from the freezer. I'm definitely getting more inventive with using up what I've got!
 Tuesday; lamb stew without the lamb! A mix of potatoes, turnip, carrot and swede from storage in post-Sunday roast lamb stock.
 Wednesday; Spicy carrot and parsnip soup. I'd hoped I had enough parsnip left for plain (or curried) parsnip soup but once it was peeled and chopped it was nothing like sufficient, so I hunted down a recipe involving carrot as well and flavoured with coriander and cumin (not home grown)
 Thusday; good old salad - bits of rocket, spinach and chives, plus a couple of spring onions all fresh from the garden. The last bit of my last cabbage, so now waiting for the over-winter Savoy-types to grow. Blue radish, beetroot and dried apple as usual to bulk it up.
Friday; desperately trying to find something to put in a sandwich with ham - after yesterday's salad there weren't many leaves in the garden. Found some spinach and added some allotment kale (!), sliced blue radish and the tiniest tomato imaginable from a plant that's just surviving winter in the back-porch.

 Well, this week started well but went downhill at weekend. I managed to find some scraps of rocket in the garden to add to sandwiches but honestly they didn't really make a difference. I can't imagine next week will go well either as it's half term - no weird soup allowed.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Week 2 of the Free Lunch Challenge

 Monday; salad waiting for ham - spinach, red kale and radishes from the allotment, pickled home grown red cabbage, beetroot stored from autumn and homemade pumpkin chutney though I'm not sure if it was one of our pumpkins

 Tuesday; quick and easy leek and potato soup - stored potatoes, fresh leeks from allotment and garden

Wednesday; back to salad - fresh red cabbage, spinach and grated blue winter radish from allotment, carrot from another allotmenteer, beetroot again, homegrown, homepickle onion and a definitely homegrown green tomato chutney
 Thursday - lazy soup; broad beans from freezer and more gifted carrots in gammon stock, spiced up with one of our unpredictable chillies.
Friday; a soup that tasted better than it looks. My home-grown homedried cannellini beans soaked, cooked and mashed in chicken stock from the freezer.

Saturday was this week's 'day off' - bacon fry up with no room for veg at all.

Sunday; back to salad. It gets harder to find interesting bits and pieces to put together for this - fresh rocket, cabbage and radish. Red onion and beetroot stored from summer and some dried apple pieces.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Cable cardigan

 This latest project is really going very well. I've started with the easy bit - plain stocking stitch back- and completed it in a couple of weeks.

Now on to the fronts which will be slower because of the cables. First though, as I'm not working from a pattern I have to sort which cables to use and where to put them.
This will be the main pattern up the centre of each front with smaller cables either side.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Can there be such a thing as a Free Lunch?

I'm getting round to planning what I'll be growing in the veg patch and at the allotment this coming year, and it struck me that I still seem to have a freezer full of last year's allotment harvest. Time, I decided, to use it up - after all the whole point of growing veg is to eat it! So, building on my 'lunch from the lottie' idea, I'm trying to see how many times I can put together a 'free' lunch using fruit and veg that have either been grown by us, given by friends or through Freegle, or foraged. Obviously any meat, bread, cheese etc will have to be shop-bought so there'll probably be a lot of vegetarian meals. Here's how Week 1 went...
First up, Monday; a minestrone of sorts with tomatoes, broad beans and cabbage from the freezer and carrots gifted by someone from the allotments with a bit of dried chilli and a sprinkle of last year's dried oregano

Tuesday; leek and potato soup with, you guessed, leeks (fresh from the allotment) and potatoes (last year's from store). I also used some veg stock and freshly ground pepper, but if I was been really strict it could probably survived without them.

 Wednesday; ham salad. Obviously NOT home grown ham but I had cabbage, beetroot and blue winter radishes in store, fresh rocket in the garden, dried apples from a bag of windfalls picked up through Freegle and chutney made with a cucumber glut last summer.

Thursday; sandwiches - tricky as I can't grow grain for flour for bread, and I don't have a cow to milk for cheese, but the onion and beetroot were homegrown and the cucumber chutney mainly was.

Friday; chilli of sorts with beans dried not last year but the one before, tomatoes and courgettes from the freezer, and onions and dried chilli from store. No peppers as I didn't grow enough to freeze any, but it was still ok.

Saturday; sandwiches again. I've soon discovered that it's easier to cook a free lunch, than have 'free' sandwiches. Still, I picked some rocket, added some already cooked beetroot and a red onion from the store to go with tuna.

Sunday - another quick sandwich day so I just grabbed the first things to hand in the fridge - nothing 'free' at all. For dinner, though, there were potatoes from store and runner beans and cauliflower from the freezer, so maybe things evened out on the day.

Now to start planning for next week.....