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A Nice Tight Belt

The roofer came back to us with his quote for the new roof, it was a painful experience. By the time we have the work done, whether it be by him or someone else, we will have the cash which is a very good thing. We've had to cancel our trip to Manchester next week for the Manchester Modernist film showing, but we can't justify the expense, we've seen the Keith Ingham film already so not the end of the world. 

There is a bit (lot) of expense pulling in to take care of in the meantime. I have taken another look at the pantry and freezer and have rewritten the menu plan for the rest of the month.

Here it is - 

20. l/o chilli w. sweet potato fries, this was a small lunch-size serving of chilli but as we ate late it did the job. 
21. chestnut orzotto, to use up a small amount of freekeh and to make headway with the big bag of pearl barley, leftover for lunch on Friday, using some leeks from the garden *yum*
22. curry already in the freezer 
23. shepherdess pie, to use up a few bits of fresh veg and some sprouty potatoes
24. shepherdess pie lunch at the weekend will be the rest of the frozen disappointing soup with a drizzle of chilli dipping sauce - hopefully this will finish off the bottle. 

25. chestnut and puy lentil stew with garlic bread, already in the freezer
26. lentil bol, should use up the spaghetti
27. berbere with maftoul, berbere is in the freezer, the maftoul should be used up after this 
28. dhal with roti, dhal from the freezer with ancient chutneys
29. lasagne, to make headway with the never ending box of lasagne sheets, roast veg from the freezer
30. curry with cous cous and naan, from the freezer
31. pilaf with sweetcorn patties and ancient chutneys

By that time I imagine we will be desperate for some fresh food! I'll be doing a week by week plan for the next few months, we'll have a budget of £90, not including pet food so I'll just have to base meals around super six and other offers. 

I nipped into the charity shop this morning as one  of the other vols has moved house and now has a garden, she mentioned needing a soil sieve and wanting a wild flower area. We had two sieves so I gave her one and some of the seeds we bought for 10p from Wilko last year. We were running low on biscuits too so I bought a pack from Home Bargains for 49p and left them there too, they'll be needed to keep morale up, it was freezing in there today!


  1. Oh no, that's horrid about the roof and a shame you had to cancel the Manchester trip!!! Poor you having to work in a cold enviroment- I just had a practice at church- we were there for 2 hours and it was GLACIAL in there!!!
    Do you have a recipe for the Lentil bolo? I'd like to try that!! I too have a never ending box of lasagne pasta in the cupboard!!!

    1. Needs must, and there will always be other talks.

      It's one extreme to the other in the shop, particularly in the work room. It's like a sweat box in the summer and on days like yesterday it's ridiculously cold.

      There isn't really a recipe for the bol it's just an onion plus whatever other veg I have lying around, tomatoes, sage, paprika, teeny bit of cayenne, marmite or soy sauce, red and green lentils and sugar. Cook it all up until it looks gloopy and delicious!

  2. We have been pricing out stoves as we have a couple of burners on this old one that just are not working properly. Yikes have those ever gone up in price since we bought ours 20 years ago. Hopefully we budgeted enough for that and the new washer I will be needing soon.

    Prices for everything just keep going up and up so I can just imagine what your new roof will cost.

    Your menu sounds lovely and exciting. I am afraid mine is more comfort food for the winter.

    God bless.

    1. I can imagine you're having a bit of sticker shock with the stove. On the phone the roofer said "People think a new rooof will cost £15k but it's not that much". So then we had a ballpark figure and we were more or less right.

      The menu is quite comfort foody, much of it is nicely slow cooked so it's always something to look forward to.

  3. You are so organised with your menu plan. I just don't do it. It's difficult enough with me not a meat eater and husband being a meat eater, although he will eat veggie mince at a push, and pizzas without that sausage stuff that sometimes goes on the top. I make my own pizzas though, with a scone dough from Delia Smith. Husband just wouldn't eat Dahl etc unless it was part of a curry nor couscous either.

    1. Menu planning certainly doesn't work for everyone, but I would fine myself at 5 o'clock wanting to cook something that takes 4 hours and having no other ideas if I didn't plan ahead!


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