|end of the month stocks|
Confession - I am a bit of a lazy cook. Probably because I'm not a massive fan of the process, but it's part of my job so it's good to be not too bad at it. In the spirit of spending and wasting less I've had a proper look in the pantry - something I have got out of the habit of doing before writing a menu plan. I got into the very bad habit of assuming I knew ever single thing in there, but of course I don't. The menu plan has been jiggled ever so slightly in order to use thing we already have in rather than continue to push them to the back to make room for new things. Not that I keep a ton of stuff in, probably enough to keep us alive for a few weeks if all else failed but certainly not the jars, boxes and shelves of stuff some folk manage to store at any one time.
|the gloomy narrow end for books, bags of lentils and nice coffee pots|
I love having a proper pantry, in fact is was one of the many things that attracted me to this place when we were looking around. It has to work quite hard, ideally I wouldn't keep any bunny stuff in there, or henry hoover or the mop, or the dustpan and brush or all of my cook books, but I do so that's that.
I thought that instead of buying curry paste I'd stop being lazy and make a very very basic curry powder with cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli and add some Bombay Masala - it's very sweet smelling and great for lentil or veg curries. Turns out I have a small amount of ready made curry powder and a jar of paste. The paste had kind of been abandoned because we bought two jars (different types of curry) and the first one had no flavour at all so I assumed the socond one wouldn't either. And yet I didn't chuck it! I justify buying curry paste because a jar lasts us such a long time, but it won't harm me in future to do it the way that takes about 10 seconds longer should this second jar of paste fail.
The chilli will be a smoky one as I have some whole, dried chipotles in the pantry. There are still some good old red chillies in the freezer, we bought or were given, I can't remember, a lot in the autumn so I chopped and froze them. Still going strong and really convenient.
It turns out I don't have any Ras-el-Hanout or harissa so the tagine-type-thing will be cayenne, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, black pepper and the scrapings from a jar of tomato and herb paste I bought on Tuesday. My cooking would never pass as authentic!
I may or may not make the spice mix for the enchiladas, it depends whether I can get a cheap kit from somewhere or if I just buy the wraps on their own. It's a mix of the various herbs and spices used for the other recipes made a bit more exciting with a squeeze of lime juice, again from the freezer.
|the life saving pouches!|
Whether it will save any money this month I can't yet say as I have to buy a few packets of dried herbs, but it will be cheaper in the long run as the individual packets last for ages. Having a poke through the pantry has already saved me a bit as I swore to myself I'd used up the ground coriander but sure enough, there's about a quarter of a jar left. A very stern lesson in not taking things for granted for me today!