Our life now is very different to how it was back in those dim and distant days of the noughties. We were very frugal then and it was really only when the old house went on the market at the end of 2009 and we kept the house "viewing ready" that convenience started to creep in. That continued when we arrived here and it's a habit that we're still in years later!
So we're having a push, starting with the things we buy that we could make for not that much faff but it will save money and be not too bad to eat instead. Thankfully this hasn't meant going out to buy lots of ingredients, it fits in perfectly with our use it up efforts this year.
This morning I made some harissa paste, it's something I use a lot and although it's not all that expensive I had most of the ingredients to make it myself. Some of the seeds are coming up to the best before date, and I know they'll still be fine for a long while but it's nice to start to empty the packets. I was also desperate to use up the basil olive oil, to me it doesn't taste like basil at all so using it up in something with a strong flavour seemed like a good idea.
I toasted and ground the seeds, blitzed the red pepper, oil and other spices (I had no fresh or dried chillies, only ground, so I used that), cooked it for 10 minutes and then left it until I could put it into a jar. It is hot thanks to the Kashmiri chilli.
The main reason to make the paste was to make some falafel. I added a tablespoon to two tins of chickpeas, some allspice and fresh coriander then blitzed it and formed it into patties. I don't think my food processor is powerful enough for the job really, it's only a small thing, but it's better than nothing. I froze most of the falafel but had to try a couple
I'd say they are more aromatic than spicy, but that's fine as we usually have some chilli sauce or something with them anyway, and of course they don't have that delicious deep fried flavour as I just did them in a teeny bit of oil. But they are pretty nice and will be great to have in when we need something for lunch. There will be more using it up at the weekend.