Saturday, 7 January 2012

Back to Baking

Today was a very productive day.  Spent the last couple of days post christmas de-cluttering, all drawers and wardrobes have been tipped out and sorted, managing to fill 8 carrier bags full of bric-a-brac, unwanted gifts and books which we dropped off at the Cancer Research charity shop this morning.  It is incrediably uplifting to give, I always feel a bit guilty for deriving pleasure from doing good, not quite the altruist I would like to be.  The chap sorting the donations was soo grateful, I also completed a gift aid form so they could also receive 25% on whatever they sold, double brownie points :)  My creaking cupboards and my step much lighter.

Popped to Sainsburys - I know its not the most frugal of supermarkets but I live in a little seaside town that does not have either a Aldi or Lidl and as I err towards the basic range, to drive a 20 mile round trip to said frugal supermarkets would prove neither frugal nor environmentally sound. 

So today was a day of baking, I made Lorraine Pascales 21st Century cheese and ham bread (cook book was a xmas gift from my sister) and I also made pizza's for me and the better half - these two huge pizza's (left overs for tomorrow) came in under 90p each
350g self raising flour (I use the basic range 66p for 1kg)
2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoon of fast reacting yeast
1 teaspoon of caster sugar
2 tablespoon of olive oil
240ml of warm water
Just put it all in a bowl and mix, tip out on a floured board and knead away for about 5 mins, pop it back in the bowl, put over a tea towel and leave for at least an hour, the dough will double in size at least. 
Tomato Sauce
2 cans of chopped tomatoes (basic range 33p each)
Olive oil
mixed herbs
half teaspoon of sugar
All of the above are all storecupboard ingredients for me which I'm never without.  I heat some olive oil and put in garlic and herbs to infuse the oil (dont burn the garlic) then tip in the chopped tomatoes and sugar and simmer for about 20 mins.  This creates the most delish and rich tomato sauce. 
Just let your imagination or the left overs in your fridge lead the way.  Tonight I used up, half a red onion, a tin of tuna and some left over salami using some supermarket own cheddar cheese (instead of mozzarella). 
Sprinkle the cheese over the tomato and then arrange your topping, cook on a high heat for 12 minutes and e voila the best pizza this side of Napoli

Every Journey ....

As some wise bod once wittered, every journey starts with a single step and this today is my single step.  I don't pretend to come with any real knowledge or expertise, I refrain from being an expert in anything, always erring on the defintion proffered by my old college tutor - x is the unknown factor and a spurt is a drip under a tap.  However I have been dabbling with frugality for some time, not an easy thing as "he who should be obeyed " is a devout consumerist with (regrettably) champagne tastes but beer money.   I want however to become more serious with that dabbling to try and consume less, save more and live a more free life.  Paying debts off (including mortgage) as quickly as possible provides the one thing most of us wish for and that is financial freedom. 

Whilst financial freedom would be fabulous, keeping the old noggin above water in this day and age of rising costs and salaries which have been and will continue to be frozen, equating in real terms to a pay cut each year for the past 3 years is a more realistic goal.

So here it is day one of my journey, the better half already believes me to be quite frugal, however on reviewing some of my favourite bloggers I am very much a novice, a mere apprentice with so much to learn.  So I hope you want to join me on this journey and forgive my daily witterings .....