Friday, 9 August 2013


Another cool night and fresh morning.  I like the way the weather is at the moment.  I love that I can snuggle under my quilt and I love that I can throw open all the windows first thing to freshen everywhere up.  It's a delight.  What I am noticing, however, is how much darker the early mornings are getting again.  When I woke before five it was still dark.  I suppose we are coming up to two months past the longest day so it is inevitable and I do love the dark mornings too.

A pleasant day again yesterday saw me first doing some food shopping and then off to a picnic with Beth and Alex at the allotment where she now has garden firniture to go with her little shed.  We had a grand time.  It was quite warm but the table and chairs are in the shade and it was just perfect.

Then I went home to write the cost on each item I had bought before putting it all away.  I find this a very useful thing to do.  It helps me keep closer tabs on my spending but also it shown me clearly how prices are going up.  For example, a fortnight ago Basics mayo was 38p but yesterday it was 40p.  In fact value/basic ranges are creeping up in price which could make life very difficult for those who are really on the edge.  On her blog, A Girl Called Jack, Jack Monroe described how one day she went shopping and found that the value jam she bought had taken a great hike from 29p to 35p, a huge increase in percentage terms.
And one has to be so careful.  Yesterday I saw basic iceberg lettuces at 90p.  They were poor, light specimins with no 'solid' feeling at all.  On the shelf above were the main range icebergs.  Good, solid, heavy, substantial balls of crunchiness.  And the price?  Just £1.00.  Where was the value in the basic version there.  I reckon that the £1 lettuce probably contained nearly twice the weight of leaf as the basic and, if the scales had been working I would have checked that.  But they weren't.

Lesson: Basic isn't always good value but it's hard on the person for whom finding another 10p is a real challenge.  Another version of the 'poverty premium', I guess.

I didn't get either because just along the shelf were some living lettuces.  My previous ones had finally bolted and turned bitter so are now contributing to the welfare of my garden in the compost bin.  So I bought a couple of pots and potted them on as soon as I got home.  Better value than the others and much nicer tasting too.

In my hunt for ways to use up the current courgette glut somewhat, I had a go at a recipe I found on the Internet for cheesy courgette biscuits.  The first attempt was interesting, as I have described over in Teacher's Recipes, so it's very much a work in progress right now.

Today is a biggie.  Today Beth, Alex and I go to see the local Food Bank and to see what, if anything, we can do to support it (apart from contributions, I mean).  It's exciting but, somehow, quite scary as well.  I'll let you know!

And then, in the afternoon, I think I will have a go with my new gadget and see what sort of pasta I can produce!  You may, or may not, hear more, depending!  We will see.


Diane Epps said...

The pasta will be wonderful and I'm sure you will enjoy making it. It is great fun.

Joy said...

How encouraging! Thanks for that. Hopefully . . .