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  • FIRST POST
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 28th Dec 14, 5:28 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Living richly; simply and debt-freely
    • #1
    • 28th Dec 14, 5:28 PM
    Living richly; simply and debt-freely 28th Dec 14 at 5:28 PM
    Good Afternoon

    I've decided to start a new diary, just prior to the New Year. My old diary has been instrumental in helping me through a slight sticky patch 18 months ago, and has really helped me to start to lead the life that I want to live with my DP at Greying Towers. If you want to read the background, here's the link; Living on next to nought is that the key?

    2014 has already seen us declutter whole drawers and rooms of *stuff* (and we don't own much!) and make a start on the redevelopment of Greying Towers And we've remembered to have fun along the way, so have kept up with our preferred method of entertainment, which is cycling, walking, picnicking and visiting Natty Trust places

    2015 and beyond is going to see us hurtling towards retirement - well, if the goalposts didn't constantly shift, we'd be hurtling, but let's just say, that as you get older, the years pass by much more quickly, so we're getting older, quicker We don't necessarily want to be living where we are now, as we get older. We don't need a smaller property, Greying Towers is quite wee, but it's relatively high maintenance, not terribly energy efficient and doesn't fill us with joy to live here.

    Therefore, we have been trying to plan for our futures. I've certainly always been of a frugal, thrifty, self-sufficientish vein. DP is a late starter, but has fully converted, and now often nags encourages me to do better! Therefore, we're used to living within our means. And certainly my previous diary has helped to galvanise our determination to live within our means, and yet lead a *rich* life, full of fun, memorable moments and lots of laughter. Of course, a *rich* life is open to individual interpretation, but I've found that the simpler my life becomes, the *richer* it is. And to this end, I'm determined to live a rich life, of simplicity - enabling us to live within our means and avoid debt. We would like to move house, and I currently have no idea what impact the changes in mortgage rules may or may not have on us. But I do know that we would be wise to have as much money saved as we can, and to avoid any poor credit ratings. So, the important part of our lives now is to remain living a *rich* life - doing all the things that we do now; simplifying our lives only focusing on what is needed or important and remaining, firmly, out of debt.

    As in my previous diary, there are only 2 adults to consider the impact of any crazy schemes we may have to employ - if our teeth fall out or we keel over with malnutrition, then that is our own look out!

    Keeping an eye on budgets is key to simple living, and the one I keep the beadiest eye on, is always the food budget. We are a vegetarian household with a budget for £100 per month for food. Toiletries, alcohol, haircuts etc etc is from a separate budget of £80 total.

    I'm very interested in food, eating and cooking. I talk about it a lot. I even take pics of me tea I hope to continue that strange habit in this diary

    We have a *significant* event in 2015, that we would like to mark. We are currently trying to work out if we could afford to do it, alongside all the work that needs to be done on the house. I haven't got high hopes that we can do it all - but if I've learnt one thing, it is that if you don't have a plan at all, then you definitely fail before you start. In 2013 and 2014 we have definitely achieved much more when we've had a plan, than without - even if we've had to change course, or in fact, had a different outcome to that intended

    So, fancy joining me for the ride?

    Greying




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    Last edited by MSE Jessica; 25-10-2016 at 3:17 PM.
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
Page 86
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 6th Oct 16, 10:26 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Morning

    Aw, sounds like you might have found a few tribeswomen there Greying so pleased you've had a lovely day xx
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    Do you know Cheery, I think you are right. Funny how sometimes you join a 'special interest' group and although folk have one thing in common, you fail to find common ground on other issues. And then at other times, you get put together with a bunch of strangers, to attend some classes and you find that they are lovely, kind, funny, generous, supportive etc etc. Topped up my 'feelgood' batteries, no doubt

    Today is dull and grey weatherwise But it isn't raining, so that is a plus!

    Lots of sorting to continue on with. Baby Greying is currently NAPPING!!!!!!!!!!!! (a daytime rarity!) So I'm going to leap off here in a mo and whizz round like a whirling dervish and do 'stuff'!

    Menu planner says 'buddha bowl'. Not thought about it too much yet, but have sufficient bits I think to concoct summat

    Ta for popping in and reading. Mucho, mucho appreciated.

    I'm outta here!

    See y'all later.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 6th Oct 16, 11:48 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Your Buddha Bowl concept got a mention on my blog earlier in the week. I'm a convert, except mine usually contain meat, I'm afraid. Shame on me, I know...

    Definitely a good plan to "Do Stuff" while small people are napping - I hope the situation lasted long enough for you to feel you had "achieved!"

    Your food, as ever, looks delish. I'm going to note that 'shroom strog for future use - looks awesome. I do like a 'Shroom, or many.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 6th Oct 16, 5:02 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim

    Definitely a good plan to "Do Stuff" while small people are napping - I hope the situation lasted long enough for you to feel you had "achieved!"
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    I got 10 minutes!!! 10 minutes! Still, I used every one of 'em But it entailed doing 'normal' tidying. Still got to make inroads into the 'bigger' stuff Ah well, Rome wasn't constructed in 24hrs

    It doesn't matter what goes into your buddha bowl And I'm certainly not going to judge If anyone is the Queen of using everything up, planned purchasing and not overbuying in the first place, well then that, my dear, would be you Buddha bowl away to your heart's content

    Glad the stroganoff recipe was of use. It's one of those dishes that is relatively simple, and yet delivers on taste and satisfaction. It can be made quite cheaply too

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 6th Oct 16, 8:16 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Yes, and most importantly of all, it contains enough mushrooms to keep even ME happy!

    Ten minutes... Oh dear - well done for making them work for you though!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 6th Oct 16, 8:17 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Evening

    Well, today has been lovely. The weather played ball eventually. I've achieved quite a bit. Dropped on a new 'recipe' by default and make apple & forest fruits crumble. Can life get any better?

    When I was making the crumble - in which i used some of the apples we had bought at the natty trusty property the other week, I was propelled right back to my childhood. Where I used to live, there were gardens attached to a training facility. They were 'sort of' show gardens, and in the veg/fruit section, nowt ever got picked and eaten. So we scrumped Usually too early and wondered why our 'tummies ached'..... But I think that there must have been at least one tree of 'Charles Ross' apples, because that was the taste that took me right back to being about 8 years old...........

    Tea tonight was as 'planned' (tongue firmly lodged in Greying's cheek there ) and was buddha bowl. I was, however, determined that for once it was to be a 'use up' version, rather than one for which one ingredient or another were especially purchased! Serendipity-doo-dah gave a helping shove, by making my eyes fall upon a recipe on the Smitten Kitten web-site whilst I was looking something else up.

    Deb had posted a recipe for a miso, sweet potato broccoli bowl. This caught my attention, as I knew that i had a piece of butternut squash that needed using up, plus I have broccoli in the freezer. And I have a pouch of miso in the fridge, and love, love, love, citrussy miso dressings! So, I boiled up some brown basmati rice. Then I steamed the cubed butternut squash, and the broccoli separately. I made up the miso dressing as per Deb's recipe, but left out the vinegar and put the zest and juice of a lemon in, instead. I then re-heated the remaining kala chana from the other night (I guess 100g or so) and put the BNS, broccoli and peas in a bowl and tossed them lightly in the dressing. To serve, I drizzled over the remaining dressing (mine was quite thin) and then sprinkled over some sesame seeds, nigella seeds, sumac and chipotle flakes. Frankly, it was autumn on a plate I liked the kala chana in this dish - they complemented the nuttyness of the rice (still not buying 'em again though!). Definitely would make this dish again if I had the same set of ingredients. Picture here;



    Today I am grateful for these 3 things;

    good food

    good company

    good karma


    Ta for popping by. Appreciated.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • joeyjimbles
    • By joeyjimbles 6th Oct 16, 8:35 PM
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    joeyjimbles
    That looks like a really delicious bowl of food - I am currently willing pasta to boil quicker! The end of a sad red pepper, red onion, (bit of chorizo), a tiny number of mushrooms and some chili flakes - oh and some greek yogurt - I am hungreeee.
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 6th Oct 16, 8:38 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Ooh, that does indeed look tasty! I confess I don't think I've tried miso although now I'm saying that a vague memory is coming back of someone feeding me some... so maybe I have... oh dear!

    I cooked tonight if you can call grilling sausages, steaming green beans, and heating up yesterday's baked potato in the microwave 'cooking'
    Saved for house move: £8420
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 7th Oct 16, 8:42 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Morning

    joeyjimbles - how come that when you need to eat now pasta takes forever to cook, and yet if you need it al dente, and turn your back for a second, it becomes wallpaper paste??? I hope you dined well eventually

    Cheery - the miso paste, which can be anyone of a number of colours - don't ask me why, perhaps its ageing or something? is generally mild/sweet. It seems to differ to the stuff that is sold as soup/broth base. I love its savouriness - and the dressings that Deb/Heidi Swanson/Laura Wright et al, have come up with are just amazing I have miso paste in my fridge, but i don't have the miso soup powder to hand. DOn't make brothy types of soups/stews I guess.

    We've a full on day today. Need to put a brush through my hair 'n everything, for it

    Dinner this evening will be pizza - not too sure of the topping, possibly black olive - and I'll use up the last of the, YS'd from yonks ago, marfona potatoes that I got from m&$. They don't taste of alot, but they aren't good for much else, so I'll use them up.

    Right, my hairbrush is a calling.......................

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 7th Oct 16, 9:04 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Well I shall investigate miso paste Greying, thank you! We do sometimes at a brothy soup so it may be the very thing
    Saved for house move: £8420
    • brizzledfw
    • By brizzledfw 8th Oct 16, 8:07 AM
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    brizzledfw
    Just checking in GP....Buddha bowls and use ups looking as yum as ever..motherhood hasn't dented your energetic creativity one bit
    MFiT-T4 Member No. 96 - 2022 is my MF goal
    New debt: £10,000 0% ;
    Declutter 50 items before 31.12.16 xx/50 ** LSDs Target 10 for December xx/10 **AFDs xx/17
    **NSDs Target 6 for December xx/6
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 8th Oct 16, 9:40 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Morning

    Hello brizzle - maybe not dented my energetic creativity, but the energy levels have taken a bashing, and my wrinkles laughter lines now have wrinkles laughter lines! Lovely to see you We've not been able to make our pilgrimage to the south west this year How I miss you so Ah well, there will be other years, hopefully

    Well, the weekend (again) already. Wowsers.

    DH has been up since silly o'clock and has already got chore completion under his belt Gotta love that man

    We've a mix of chores and hopefully fun/an outing planned for the weekend, so I expect it to whizz. Tonight will definitely be curry night - can't have rtandon confuzzled 2 weeks on the trot! Plus it'll make me concentrate on using up what I have.

    We had pizza last night. Just a cheese and tomato one in the end. I did use up all bar 3 of the marfona potatoes (there were sufficient wedges, we didn't need more). They neither crisped up nor tasted of very much, so not really a bargain, despite being YS'd. Still, as any grower will tell you, the weather/growing conditions affects plants from year to year, so it's just the luck of the drawer i guess. I didn't take a picture, as Baby Greying had a minor meltdown at bedtime (very minor really) and tea was delayed a little bit - so when we could eat, we didn't hang around!

    We watched the last (recorded) episode of Joanna Lumley's Japan series. We've really enjoyed it. She went to some 'different' places, although I'm sure she met the same Karate instructor on Okinawa as Jaymee did, but still. Some of the Bamboo forests that she walked through and some of the temples were just wonderful to see - and as I doubt I will see them in real life, it was good to have at least learnt a little about them.

    I need to get the meal plan for next week sorted. I'm now motivated to try to gather a few bits each week for the food bank, so must make sure that the budget is tight for me, to allow slack for additional purchases. I'm not too sure if I'll take them each week, or just set them by and then take them in a fell swoop. Although I like to donate milk (UHT S/S) as it is one of their most in demand items. Cartons quickly get heavy to carry, so I'll have to manage that one.

    Right, housework chores to attend to. Best get to it.

    Ta for popping by, reading and joining in. Know that you are apprectiated. Greatly.

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 8th Oct 16, 10:26 AM
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    beanielou
    Have a lovely weekend Grayling and friends
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 8th Oct 16, 12:09 PM
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    rtandon27
    Pizza...

    Wedges...

    Curry...

    Phew - all is right with the world once more!



    (OH has asked that I pass on that this week as we are on staycation, we will be doing an eat from the freezer & storecupboard challenge - better yet it was his idea - he's rather proud of himself ladies so applause all round please )
    Mine/Hers: May 2011£10835.33May 2016£4709.46Oct 2016£0
    Not Mine/His: June 2016£8175.38Oct 2016£0
    Grand Total£0
    PSST - WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 8th Oct 16, 2:17 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Pizza...

    Wedges...

    Curry...

    Phew - all is right with the world once more!

    Originally posted by rtandon27
    *snort*




    (OH has asked that I pass on that this week as we are on staycation, we will be doing an eat from the freezer & storecupboard challenge - better yet it was his idea - he's rather proud of himself ladies so applause all round please )
    Originally posted by rtandon27



    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • joeyjimbles
    • By joeyjimbles 8th Oct 16, 7:46 PM
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    joeyjimbles
    Thanks for understanding Greying, I knew you would - its the same with cooking potatoes when everything else is just reheating and everyone is prowling. Sometimes they just sulk and will not cook.
    On this occasion, it was pappardelle and there are apparently 5 nanoseconds between cooked and slime. I got it reduced in Aldee and I don't think I'll bother again, not a patch on the bronze wotsit version earlier in the year. Fortunately I was so hungry, I snatched it out before anyone could even hint at al dente and a quick slosh in the pan with the 'sauce' and it was tender and pretty tasty. Though I suspect almost anything would have been. Must make an effort to make my home-made ready meals again.
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 8th Oct 16, 9:36 PM
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    rtandon27
    Greying - have you given MrL seasoned wedges a go? OH somehow slipped some in our last shop & I found them in the freezer today. As they were only 65p, they didn't draw attention to themselves when I looked at the bill! My oh my were they tasty & crisped up nicely in the oven!
    Mine/Hers: May 2011£10835.33May 2016£4709.46Oct 2016£0
    Not Mine/His: June 2016£8175.38Oct 2016£0
    Grand Total£0
    PSST - WE ARE DEBT FREE!!!
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 8th Oct 16, 9:59 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Ooh, they sound tasty I am usually plagued with soggy wedges, but I suspect that's because I can't bring myself to use that much oil

    I have been cooking though Greying You are my inspiration I got Jack Monroe's book out of the library and made falafels for tea (which were tasty enough but I made a right mess ) and now I'm making crackerbreads and baba ganoush for lunch tomorrow Again, both seem to have made an unholy mess in the kitchen

    Ah well

    Hope you're having a jolly weekend x
    Saved for house move: £8420
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 9th Oct 16, 9:19 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Morning

    We're up for a slow start here at the towers

    Greying - have you given MrL seasoned wedges a go?
    Originally posted by rtandon27
    No hun, I haven't. I'll keep an eye out for them. DH usually goes to mrL as it saves fuel and multi-journeying. But I do like to have a 'look' when I go in there, so I'll see if they have them. Thanks for the recommendation.


    I have been cooking though Greying You are my inspiration I got Jack Monroe's book out of the library and made falafels for tea (which were tasty enough but I made a right mess ) and now I'm making crackerbreads and baba ganoush for lunch tomorrow
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    YAY! Is that her original cookbook, or the second one? I'm assuming that her 3rd, which is self-published, isn't out yet? (mcculloch would be able to tell us), Not too sure how they get into the library system either?

    So I made curry last night. And purely by coincidence, I made 2 curries that were relatively mild, but had flavour. It was nice to have simplicity in food - without blandness - if you know what i mean. It was purely fluke, as i was using up what I had, so I made Sabut Masoor dhal (masoor dhal are red lentils that haven't had their 'brown' jackets removed, so 'brown lentils') from The Three Sisters Indian cookbook. I can't find a link to the exact recipe on the web, but a similar one is HERE. I teamed it up with saag aloo (spinach and potato) curry from the Hairy Bikers Curry book. And if the gal who's blog I've linked to, isn't a MSE'r, well then she ought to be Saag Aloo served with basmati rice and a small (I know it looks big - it's the angle) dollop of yoghurt and some nigella seeds. Picture here;




    The saag aloo used up the last of the frozen spinach (2 for £1) from fArm f00ds and the last of the YS'd M&$ potatoes. I have plenty of brown lentils in the store cupboard, and everything else was in the store cupboard/spice rack/fridge. So it achieved my aim of using up and not buying more

    Hopefully we'll get to take a butty for a wander somewhere today I've not thought what's for tea - I think the planner says 'bake'. I'll concoct something

    Right, i hear tears, so I'd best go and rescue DH from Baby Greying

    Ta for popping in, reading and joining in. I greatly appreciated it. Thank you

    Greying X
    Last edited by Greying Pilgrim; 09-10-2016 at 9:24 AM.
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 9th Oct 16, 4:53 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Hi Greying the book I've got is the original "girl called jack" one. I was rooting about on the website yesterday and I believe the self published one will be out this month to people who signed up for the kickstarter, and published after christmas and in the shops for the rest of us in the new year I believe when people signed up for the kickstarter they could donate copies to libraries too amd plenty of them have

    Your curry looks proper tasty I don't know what I was thinking with my baba ganoush as I really am NOT fan of tinned tomatoes, especially cold but it was passable and Mr Cheery seems to be demolishing the rest of it anyway
    Saved for house move: £8420
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 9th Oct 16, 9:16 PM
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    • 33,511 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    Good Evening

    Cheery you are one up on me - I've never even attempted to make baba ganoush! Oh bravo to people donating new copies of books to libraries - now you mention it, I'm pretty sure mcculloch donated either a 'Jack' or a 'Jamie' to either her local library or foodbank - bravo to the community spirited

    We have had a lovely day But DH is wondering whether he may have picked up a speeding ticket No doubt about it, the limit was 30mph, and he was doing above - not massively, but..... The thing is, that the 'community' sign wasn't up the way that we entered into the village, but it was up on the speed sign when we came back (the other way) - by which time the detector van had gone. Was it only measuring speeding motorists from one way? Still, our car was in the wrong, so time will tell.

    We did some bits and bobs around the house. Little jobs, that get neglected, but in turn take time, so we're still feeling like we are playing 'catch up'. Still, we are now a household 3/4 lit by LED bulbs and today's task was to replace the pendulum thingy in the other bedroom, as the one that was attached to the ceiling had exposed wires

    We took a sanger and a flask of coffee to the local natty trusty place. The car park was absolutely heaving, but luckily, it is such that folks go for very specific reasons, which means that masses all spread out. We like to go into the garden, and less folk are apt to go there, so it remains quite peaceful. It was lovely in the sunshine, just the right temperature

    On the way back we called in at mrAl. I picked up some parsnips from the S6, and also a couple of pumpkins, an 'acorn' one and a 'Crown Prince'. They were 89p each - significantly cheaper than elsewhere, not massive, but ok for the price. They are for eating, not for carving They had a number of varieties - including the potimarron/onion squash if anyone is interested A young lady who was shopping with her mother (Mum had popped off to get something else) allowed me to go in the queue at the checkouts, in front of her. OK, so they had a trolley to unload, and I only had a few items, but never the less, it was a lovely thing for her to have done. Bravo for our young people

    We then popped across to mrL, so i am now a wumman in possession of potato wedges - go me! The bag is 750g - and as rtandon said, 65p. I look forward to trying them

    The idea for tea came to me as i was looking through the freezer. I had the remainder of a bag of broad beans (fArm f00ds), and I knew i had some dried cranberries in the storecupboard, so 'Broad Bean Kuku' kinda chose itself! I also had a small pot of cooked rice in the freezer, which I was grateful for, when it finally came time to prep the dish, as I had forgotten it was needed and wouldn't have had time to cook up a fresh batch, without us subsequently eating at 11pm!

    I use Yotam's recipe, but the method isn't on the internet, so basically, if you are interested in making this dish yourself, find the ingredient list HERE and instructions on how to make Kuku (albeit a different 'flavour') HERE. I didn't have saffron and I don't have access to barberries. I improvise with turmeric and cranberries (soaked to plump them up). Picture here;



    I served it with carrots and (frozen) broccoli and the very last of the wilja potatoes (gifted by the gardening parental), and a dollop of coleslaw. It has made enough portions for anothe meal and used up things that I already had in stock. Nothing 'new' was purchased for this meal. The only minor niggle was that DH cracked the pyrex (ceramic) dish when washing up, so I'm one baking dish down It didn't cost the earth - got it from tkmaxx i think, but it was a good size. Ah well, can't be helped.

    Today I am grateful for these 3 things;

    all the nice people I know and those that I encountered today

    being serenaded by a robin in a garden

    texts, emails and 'chat'app
    s

    Thanks for popping by, reading and commenting. There are days when I just feel I must be the most blessed individual on this planet. Thank you for contributing to that feeling.

    Greying X
    Last edited by Greying Pilgrim; 09-10-2016 at 9:21 PM.
    'Ich habe genug'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
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