Regular readers (i.e. Hannah) will have noticed that it’s been a while since my last blog. Sorry.
Anyway…I have been watching Jamie Oliver’s new show where he cooks on a budget and uses up leftovers. Nothing new for many of us but thriftiness is very trendy right now. I was struck by his storecupboard and how things have changed since I was a girl in the 1970s. My mum’s cupboard consisted of Oxo cubes, Colman’s mustard, a tub of curry powder which lasted years, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and a jar of mint sauce. Marmite of course but Mum preferred Bovril. Olive oil was in little bottles from the chemist and used for earache. Angel delight was a favourite treat.
My own storecupboard is pretty well stocked with a wide variety of stuff I use all the time- tamarind paste, palm sugar, smoked paprika and nutmeg ( always whole nutmeg freshly grated but that’s another story). Then there’s the other stuff. One-off purchases that sit there accusingly. Dried limes. I once made a fabulous Iranian stew using dried limes. Gormeh zabsi I think. Pomegranate molasses (unopened). Nigella seeds. It’s not like I don’t have access to a million recipes to use these items. Maybe Jamie will inspire me? Another book to add to the shelf *hint*
Having purchased and drooled over every book previously published by the lovely Mr O and eaten in his restaurant a few times, I’ m sure he doesn’t need to watch the pennies but he seems to genuinely care about what we eat and what gets wasted. I too am trying to stick to a menu planner, make something different every week, and use up leftovers etc. In the spirit of thrift this evening after watching the show, I found myself making custard at 9pm to avoid throwing out the remains of some stewed rhubarb which originally grew in the garden and therefore cost me NOTHING. It was delicious. Not sure if I have grasped the concept though!!
Menu planning means I have to stick to the shopping list- I actually heard myself say to Martin in Asda “you get the mango and I’ll go and find the sundried tomatoes”. Whatever would mum think? Angel delight anyone?