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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
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    caronc
    Cooking for one (Mark Two)
    • #1
    • 17th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
    Cooking for one (Mark Two) 17th Jul 17 at 6:31 PM
    In view of the issue of longer threads being auto-deleted I thought wise to start a shiny new thread as we had got to over 5.5K posts.
    The original "Cooking for one" thread can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5585796

    13th Jan 17 at 7:32 PM
    Hi, newbie poster though long time lurker trying to adjust to being an empty-nester and due to some substantial changes income-wise in the next couple of months trying to cut my costs and adjust my shopping to mainly solo dining. I abhor waste so good that way and do cook from scratch/batch cook the vast majority of the time. I do "sort of" meal plan but it can be a bit hit or miss depending on my health is on any given day. I'm reliant on on-line shopping so can't take advanage of aldi/Lidl etc. What (if any) changes did you make when changing to a single-person household?



    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
Page 168
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Dec 17, 8:31 AM
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    PasturesNew
    There's a curry in the SC. It doesn't have a name as naming food is pretentious

    In went the steak - I counted the chunks so I know roughly how many chunks are a portion, there's about 27-28 or so ... a cheap ready meal gives you 5-7 chunks, so I figure there's 9 chunks in a home-made piggy portion. So this will make three curries.

    In went an onion - and I relieved the freezer of two chopped/frozen peppers that'd been lurking in a takeaway box (one yellow, one red/orange). A random spooning of hot curry paste (patak's/gifted) and I relieved the freezer of a portion of tomato sauce (when I open a tin I decant all the liquid into a freezer bag so as to not waste it). Quick splash of Worcestershire sauce for no reason whatsoever.... and the lid's on.
    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 8th Dec 17, 9:01 AM
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    Need2bthrifty
    Great minds think alike I also had a Baked Potato yesterday, first I've had for a long time but it was mainly something to have along with cheese, the l/o coleslaw & pasta salad lurking in the fridge.

    The Plan was for Moussaka tonight, I cooked the mince base yesterday and was going to Lid! to get some aubergines this morning, but woke up to quite a few inches of snow and still falling so I will swap it for Macaroni Cheese in the hopes I can get shopping tomorrow.

    I really cba clearing the drive to get the car out, as it is the streets in this area rarely get gritted and last time it was quite treacherous getting to the main bus routes which were clear. Thankfully the hairdresser is three streets away so I'll don my sheepskins and trundle through the snow.

    Hope everyone else is keeping safe and warm.


    To be honest, at this stage I'm still pondering what to do with it ... bought it thinking stew.... changed my mind to curry .... and been back/forth many times in the last few hours I might even change my mind while holding the curry paste jar! I'm indecisive to the extreme. OCD Indecisiveness...
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    There's a curry in the SC. It doesn't have a name as naming food is pretentious
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I was going to suggest divide the beef in two and do a curry with one half today and a stew tomorrow with the other half - but too late
    Oct GC = £49.92/£60.00
    Nov GC = £55.48/£60.00
    Dec GC = £32.39/£70.00
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Dec 17, 9:35 AM
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    PasturesNew
    I was going to suggest divide the beef in two and do a curry with one half today and a stew tomorrow with the other half - but too late
    Originally posted by Need2bthrifty
    Half becomes a faff, it's neither one portion nor two ... and it's twice the effort
    • caronc
    • By caronc 8th Dec 17, 9:42 AM
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    caronc
    Good morning everyone,
    There is a little snow lying here, not much but it has hit frozen ground so lying. There is quite a bit round about. It's sunny at the moment so I'm psyching myself up to try and go to the bin without slipping. I have the heating on low and think it will be staying on today as due to hover around freezing all day then drop below this evening.
    Re Pannetone, I've most likely not had a decent one hence the so-so ness about them.
    Repair man due back out again pm to replace the seal in my oven (again), was only done in August thankfully the repair was guaranteed for 12 months so no charge.
    I was supposed to not be CFO this weekend but elder son's plans got put on hold due to the impromptu trip to Belgium and younger son is now not coming until tomorrow. He'll be basically just sleeping here as off for a day out with mates then back to Newcastle on Sunday. Still from the 17th I'll have offspring home until 2nd January so can't complain.
    I've no idea about food yet, might make stovies or mince & mash. Then again might have pasta. Oh decisions....... Had planned to have the remaining HM sausage roll for lunch but best leave it as s@ds law would be it would be cooking when the repair man arrived.
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Dec 17, 10:12 AM
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    PasturesNew
    I bought two quiches yesterday, planning on cutting/freezing them - but I ate 2/3rds of one yesterday
    So I'll eat the final 1/3rd of that in a bit for lunch and just cut/freeze the other one.

    I was taken by surprise at how nice they were, compared to the previous ones. Price has gone up though - you used to be able to buy "cheap basic quiches" for 99p-£1.05 at most supermarkets - but they've all repackaged/gentrified and the price's shot up. These are now £1.35 at L1dl ... so I'd not bothered.

    These had the 30% reduced sticker on, so priced at 95p. They were surprisingly moist and creamy!

    I like a nice bit of quiche at Xmas time... so it's nice knowing I've got something in the freezer for then, without having the research/stress which shops sell them, which do I like the sound of, "how much??" and coming away with none after all that effort

    It's just me at Xmas, just me every day. Not going anywhere, no gatherings, no invites, no parties. Me and a pile of food ... except it won't be a pile as I can't eat much more than usual can I ... realistically.
    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 8th Dec 17, 10:39 AM
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    Need2bthrifty
    Half becomes a faff, it's neither one portion nor two ... and it's twice the effort
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Wow , you do like "piggy" portions don't you
    Oct GC = £49.92/£60.00
    Nov GC = £55.48/£60.00
    Dec GC = £32.39/£70.00
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Dec 17, 10:56 AM
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    PasturesNew
    Wow , you do like "piggy" portions don't you
    Originally posted by Need2bthrifty
    Maybe it's language/understanding.

    What I meant was "Half a pack is too big for one portion, but not quite big enough for two satisfying portions" - I didn't mean "half isn't EVEN enough for one"

    "How big is a portion" is always tricky for one.... a ready meal portion spooned out looks too small .... then you're juggling round with lumps of meat and trying to sub-divide it "by eye" so it looks like a meal you can eat without thinking it was a starter

    If you have a pack of beef cubes - how much is a portion?

    These packs are 400 grams. I plan to divide it into three generous dinners..... so 133 grams of meat per portion, although I don't know how much weight beef gains/loses in cooking.

    Ready meals are never seen as "a generous portion" - and in fact I weighed a ready meal curry the other day, as I served it. The rice weighed 160 grams, the meat/sauce weighed 175 grams.

    So I figure the whole 400g pack would be 3 generous portions ... rather than four skimpy and unsatisfying ones.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 08-12-2017 at 11:06 AM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Dec 17, 11:03 AM
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    PasturesNew
    ...all those ... mismatched jars .... of random spices.
    What are they?
    What's there?
    Such a mess.

    All my jars are bought at random times from random shops so they're all different sizes/shapes. And I "tried to organise them" by buying a spice rack, only to discover that few fit in that, so there are some randomly shoved into the rack, some on top of it, some in front of it, some beside it.

    So I just made a big list - there are 28 jars, pouches and small tubs in the list!

    I figure that if I know what I've got I can work out what to do with it - and I can work, over the coming year, on using some of those in more cooking.... they're such a mess I rarely touch them.



    If I do see a recipe .... you know I've never got the ones they list either.

    The world has too many spices these days.

    Just "hot stuff" I can now see I have a paprika hot, a chilli powder, 2 jars of paprika, a pouch of chilli flakes, cayenne.

    I have two cumin - not sure why as I only use it twice a year at most

    I need to get rid of the spice rack that doesn't work ... and cull the stack down to the minimum. Or keep the spice rack for the minimum and ONLY buy jars that fit it

    EDIT: I just compared my spices list with the recipe for a nut roast I want to make - and there'd be 3 more items to buy, although I can cut that to two as I've got a shortcut planned that makes one pretty redundant. So, two new items to buy that I've never bought before .... to make one piece of food, for one day. I have to find and buy a whole new jar, for the sake of ¼ teaspoon (ground ginger).
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 08-12-2017 at 11:33 AM.
    • meg72
    • By meg72 8th Dec 17, 11:04 AM
    • 4,966 Posts
    • 45,436 Thanks
    meg72
    Had planned a trip to charity shop today, got a bag of books to return and wanted to restock before the snow came. Too late , woke to find its already here and I`m snowed in. Its inches deep already and I cant get out the front gate. CBA to be clearing it as don't feel that good. my cold has paid a return visit and brought its rellies with it .

    Thankfull larder and freezers well stocked so don't need to food shop. Lol probably for weeks so can stay cosy. Was thinking when I moved here, old peoples bungalow, some years ago, I used to get kids knocking to see if I wanted any odd jobs doing, it dosent happen these days sadly.

    Beef defrosting ,veg prepared for stew and dumpling mix all ready. Should last me the weekend
    Slimming World at target
    GC Nov 16.50.
    GC Dec 24.89
    GC Jan 2.50
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Dec 17, 11:08 AM
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    PasturesNew
    .....I`m snowed in...
    Originally posted by meg72
    I've probably never said that in my life.
    I can remember, about 40 years ago, when there was snow on the roads etc that then froze/refroze and would hang around in piles for weeks until it melted.... but I've never been "snowed in".

    One of the benefits of living in the south ... blue, cloudless skies here, sun's out. Nippy of course! But not snowy, not icy.
    • mcculloch29
    • By mcculloch29 8th Dec 17, 12:28 PM
    • 4,600 Posts
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    mcculloch29
    I’ve had enough snow to have been snowed in, except this was Germany, forty years ago, and they don’t have a problem with snow. I can remember seeing someone ski past our hillside house, just before the snow plough got to our road.
    The same winter we saw someone skating up a farm track that was literally a sheet of ice.
    When it’s light snow and ice, my trike keeps me mobile. He’s great on packed snow and ice. I have mountain bike tyres for a bit of extra grip.
    Looking forward to making Jack Monroe’s Spinach and Lentil Daal later. It sounds vile and tastes absolutely gorgeous.
    Erma Bombeck, American writer: "If I had my life to live over again... I would have burned the pink candle, sculptured like a rose, that melted in storage." Don't keep things 'for best' - that day never comes. Use them and enjoy them now.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 8th Dec 17, 12:50 PM
    • 2,769 Posts
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    caronc
    Good afternoon everyone,
    Repair man has been and part has been ordered, he's back next Friday to fit it.
    Snow has disappeared but it still baltic and icy outside so I'm staying firmly put indoors.
    Breakfast didn't happen so I'm now scoffing lentil soup from the freezer and toast with sliced cheese. I've still not decided about tonight- now thinking turkey keema curry from the freezer as don't think I cba making anything
    August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £141/£200, Nov £116/£120, Dec £46/£60
    • Farway
    • By Farway 8th Dec 17, 2:38 PM
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    Farway
    All well here, like PN weather, cold but dry & sunny, almost tropical

    Nil breakfast, round Li's, bit of stocking up, the beef pack on offer of course, got that, plus the celery offer. It looks decent celery as well, not the green scrawny stuff one sometime finds

    And the luxury mini mince pies, £1.79 for 12, but come highly recommended by most I talk to, and I think they may be right, there was just an empty Pie hole on Tuesday, and only 2 packs left this morning, now just one left. That will be one of my treats

    Lunch I fancied something a bit warming, cheese on toast, with HM chutney

    After lunch is was beef stew prep time.
    All the 400g of beef, four not yet gone wrinkly LO carrots, one giant onion, some soon to be past it LO mushrooms, LO limp celery, perked up by standing in water, a couple of OK salad spuds, and a sachet of Beef & Ale paste I found at the back of cupboard. BBE 2014

    All in a too big pot simmering on the hob, just needs the dumplings adding later

    I reckon 3 good meals out of that. I may open a pack of ready cooked beetroot to go with it, just for a splash of colour

    Reading through other posts, I think I will have to try & find some type of turkey, small crown / breast or maybe a big drumstick. I saw them last year and I'm not fussy about which bit I eat, except it's bum
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Dec 17, 2:45 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I think I will have to try & find some type of turkey, small crown / breast or maybe a big drumstick. I saw them last year and I'm not fussy about which bit I eat, except it's bum
    Originally posted by Farway
    I dislike anything that has bones/skin on or near it
    For me it's a breast (without bones) or a crown.
    So then it's just down to size.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Dec 17, 2:51 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Well, that didn't go to plan.

    Curry is nearly ready .... but, I simply don't fancy it now really I'd added a can of pineapple into it half way through because it was lurking in the cupboard, so I might as well.

    EDIT: Cooking rice now.... I'll eat it. I'll most likely enjoy it and be glad I ate it in the end.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 08-12-2017 at 3:10 PM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th Dec 17, 3:39 PM
    • 14,214 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Weather report for this area - freezing cold and windy here. Thankfully no snow or rain. It's so blimmin' cold that there's something I'd like to go to later today - but NO chance....it took me hours to thaw out after going out this morning.

    Right now - looking out the window and thinking "Thank goodness I don't have to go out again today if I choose not to".

    Christmas cards starting to roll in and I think I should have an annual contest to see how many (if any...) coming in from elsewhere in the country manage to spell my address correctly. I've changed my house name to an English one since last year and figured that should help a bit. Errr....nope....every single card I've had by post to date has got at least one mistake in the address (record so far is 3 mistakes). Well - I guess the Post Office knows this is how things will be here by now - and fingers crossed I actually manage to get all the Christmas cards I'm expecting/hoping for. Maybe I should give a prize to the first person that manages to get it right - shouldnt cost much - as I bet no-one would ever win it..... I've long since lost count of just how many times I've painstakingly spelt it out to my mother - and she still gets it wrong every single time....Thankfully Amazon gets it right (considering just how much of my shopping I'm doing that way these days).

    Lunch today was a "bitsa". A sorta rice pudding of a couple of different cooked grains cooked up in milk with maple syrup/sultanas/flavourings and some toast after. Dinner is going to be the last of a bitsa sorta stew I made yesterday - probably with baked potatoes. Followed by some fruit.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 08-12-2017 at 3:47 PM.
    #MeToo

    Ain't neva gonna learn to be a good "woman"
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Dec 17, 3:43 PM
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    PasturesNew

    Christmas cards starting to roll in
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I don't expect any. I keep old ones from years gone past and put a few of those out

    You know you get those begging letters from the charity that include Xmas Cards in them .... I've put one of those up today
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th Dec 17, 3:58 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Pastures - your challenge for 6 (or whatever) should you care to accept it = PM me your real life address - and then I'll send you one.

    I'll understand, of course, if you don't want to.....

    EDIT; Just been counting the mistakes on ones to date - and ...got it wrong...the record is four mistakes in my address. By now I've learnt the only bit I can rely on being accurate is the name of the town.
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 08-12-2017 at 4:02 PM.
    #MeToo

    Ain't neva gonna learn to be a good "woman"
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Dec 17, 4:01 PM
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    • 356,113 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Pastures - your challenge for 6 (or whatever) should you care to accept it = PM me your real life address - and then I'll send you one.

    I'll understand, of course, if you don't want to.....
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    LOL. Thanks, let's now just pretend you did.

    I'd feel bad and guilty if you, or anybody, did that for the poor orphan having xmas alone without cards and presents

    I'll live thanks.

    I'd hate to feel "obliged" to reciprocate etc. This way I can be rude to you in 2018 if I feel like it
    • Farway
    • By Farway 8th Dec 17, 4:29 PM
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    Farway
    The stew is bubbling well, getting ready for dumpling launch, I usually add some dried mixed herbs in, just to give taste that is not cooked flour

    Christmas cards, two this morning at my volunteer job. I never reciprocate, not Scrooge, just CBA, bit like card & tip for the dustman, I don't do that either.

    The cards I get by post, one always puts wrong address, despite having been told umpteen times, luckily the post sorters are on the ball
    Now reminded me to get writing mine, just family, so not a huge task or cost
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