The last few days have been a flurry of baking and cooking as I continue my challenge to live off the contents of my kitchen cupboards – this week’s task in a month-long make do and mend challenge. Thanks very much for all the recipes you’ve suggested. It’s been good to get some inspiration.
On Tuesday I went out during the day and took a homemade cheese sandwich with me. By the time I got back I was too tired to rustle up anything inventive, so I opted for pasta with stir-fried courgette (yes, courgette again…), mushroom (we have zillions of them in the fridge after buying too many a week or so ago), onion, garlic, pine nuts and dotted with some leftover dolcelatte cheese and parmesan. Completely thrown together but very tasty nevertheless.
For lunch on Wednesday I experimented with Christine’s suggestion of draining off the tinned sardines I’d found languishing in the back of the cupboard (thankfully the sell-by date was 2010 so nothing to threaten the health…), dousing them with flour, paprika and salt and pepper and then frying them off. I hadn’t eaten sardines in years – can’t even remember why we bought this packet – but they were delicious. We toasted some bread, put on some slices of brandy wine beefsteak tomato from the garden and then served the sardines on top. With a salad of home grown cucumber and sliced boiled beetroot from the garden it was a real find. We’ll definitely be eating that again for lunch. Delicious. I found these other sardine recipes too.
Then, I know it’s greedy, but I couldn’t help myself but make some blueberry muffins. Getting the packet out of the cupboard of dried ones, it dawned on me that we have two blueberry plants in pots in the back garden. Unfortunately our cheeky chickens Lexi & Molly have demolished most of the fruits and I only managed to salvage five pathetic berries, but I threw them in anyway. Don’t ask me if they tasted better than the dried ones in the muffins, I have no idea! Dinner last night was a vegetarian chilli, as suggested by Gabrielle. This recipe I used was great and there is plenty leftover for lunch today. I’m also toying with the idea, following Bill’s mention of lasagne, of a seafood lasagne using up some of the frozen prawns in the freezer. I found a recipe in my ancient and battered Dairy Book of Home Cookery.
We continue, however, to live under courgette tyranny. DJ called me downstairs yesterday with a solemn look on his face, urging me to go outside and harvest some more of my courgettes, “before it’s too late”. I found another three waiting for me – one of which is a monster – three already on the kitchen counter harvested by DJ and another seven in the fridge. Time for Emily’s tomato and courgette pickle I think. DJ’s aunt has been making soup and freezing it too, which could be an option for us, although my neighbour took pity on me yesterday and took two off our hands. Perhaps it’s time to order that famous courgette book, Emily mentioned and I’ve been toying with getting for a while. I see on Amazon that it’s the 78th most popular book in the food and drink section. It might be a mystery to publishers but gardeners will know why! I love the cover especially.
Otherwise, milk supplies are getting dangerously low – which might prove a problem for the lasagne although we do have some dried skimmed milk in the cupboard – and we’ve run out of shop bought onions, so it’s a good thing that we have our own ready to eat in the vegetable plot.
Other frugalists out there in cybersphere are joining in the kitchen cupboard challenge too via Twitter, so feel free to do the same and report back! Jen Jensen in the US of A made this for dinner this week from her pantry.
Do you think it’s better to use up food items in your cupboards on a regular basis or keep some for emergencies? Leave a message and let me know your thoughts.
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