Sunday 8 February 2015


It's mild (in comparison) this morning.  No frost for the first time in a week or so.  The extra cover is now off the bed and the heating is down again.  Yesterday was mostly murky, mild and mizzly and I gather today might be more of the same.  Ah, well.

I am a silly.  If you remember, regular readers, I said yesterday that I would have to make some garam masala as I'd run out and the order hadn't arrived.  I was going through my spices to get the ones I need when I found a small jar of roasted garam masala.  I then remembered buying it, being attracted by the name.  Anything with 'roasted' on it gets my attention - I'm as bad as those families on 'Eat well for less' or whatever it is called.  Anyway, it was unopened so it was fine, as will be the new order garam masala that should come this week.  I'm going to have to make lots of curries to use it all up!  Oh, dear, what a shame!

The keema was good.  I'm a bit timid with spices so I felt I was adding loads but it worked really well.  Being me, I changed a few things - added some crushed ginger and used some frozen mixed vegetables, partly because I have no frozen peas (it's on the shopping list now) and the mixed veg really does need using up and isn't good enough for just boiling and serving.
I also added some rice to make it truly an all-in-one.  It made four portions, all for the freezer.  Oh, well, I took stuff OUT of the freezer to make it so it's swings and roundabouts really.

I had a bit of a goof with the bread.  I started off the yeast, then tipped in what I had left in the wholemeal bag without setting the scales first.  So I added the white by eye, started the kneading, thought it seemed a bit solid so added some water, then it ended up rather too soft so I had to zizz some more flour into it.  As a result, I had enough dough not only for my usual two 1lb loaves but also for three rolls.  Useful as well as delicious!  I think I might up the flour to 600g and the water pro rata to get a few rolls as well as the two loaves.  Useful for school soup lunches.

I cheated with the con carne as I had a tin of mixed beans in chili sauce that had been in the cupboard for rather a long time.  It made life easier though.  Again, I cooked some rice in with the mix, rice that really does need to be used up.  So now I am down to one opened packet, not two!

The savoury mince - well, what can one say?  It's a bog standard thing and always scrummy.  Useful for pasta, jacket potatoes, pies, crumbles, etc.  The main problem was that I had run out of tomato puree (it's on the list too, as is vegetable oil) but that can be added before reheating.  The sauce is quite tomatoey anyway because I used home grown/made passata from the freezer (three containers' worth).  I didn't add rice as it will be for 'bottoms' or with pasta or whatever, so I did the other frugal thing and added two handfuls of lentils and one handful of oats.  Apart from making it all go further, the lentils add flavour and the oats create a lovely thick sauce without need to use flour, thickening granules, etc.

I decided to use the last pack to make some mini burgers that could also be rolled into meatballs after thawing, if wanted.  I think you call them 'sliders' or is that when they are cooked and in little buns?  I don't know.  Anyway, that's what I made.  I used mince (obviously), finely chopped onions, breadcrumbs, Dijon mustard, an egg and seasonings.  Very simple

I used lots of things from the freezer so that was good.  The flip side is that yesterdays efforts resulted in four portions of keema, five of chilli, nine (yes, nine - the portions were smaller because it's not a one pot thing) portions of  savoury mince and twelve sliders.  I don't mind though - things needed using up and I will get through what I have made in the next few months although I think my target of defrosting by Easter might have to be delayed a bit.
By the way, I use those plastic takeaway containers for my 'portions'.  You can buy them, you know, online, so I have plenty.  They might seem a bit expensive but can be used several times and it's a lot cheaper than all those takeaways!!!

Today is more cooking but just for dinner.  Lamb leg steaks for me and Alex and a beany crumble for Beth, both with mushy peas and roasty things.  Should be tasty!  Breakfast is porridge and tea will be cheese on toast, I think.  All very scrummy!

Well, there's crumble topping and beany bottom to make (butter beans and veg out of the freezer, yay), not to mention my porridge.
Better get going then.


  1. Have a lovely cooking day Joy.....

  2. :-)
    It amuses me how often you and I are writing, posting and commenting at more or less the same time!
    J x