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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
    • 2,822Posts
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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?



    GC - Jan £39/£120
Page 218
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 6th Jan 18, 9:33 AM
    • 1,229 Posts
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    Hollyharvey

    Think that's a useful reminder to all of us on here just-in-case to review whether we're well stocked-up (well - as well as our kitchens will allow for) with food - as we all know the problems singles encounter with doing the shopping if we're ill (ie because there is only us to do it).

    ...I've always found to date that, whatever I feel like, I can manage porridge to eat personally
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention
    I totally agree about being well stocked up. I'm feeling quite rough this morning and having suddenly ended up in hospital at Christmas I am really glad that I've got well stocked cupboards and freezers because I have only been up to going out for a couple of days this week, and certainly don't feel well enough to go out today, and probably not for a few days .

    I had porridge this morning. Like you I can always manage porridge to eat and it takes so little time to make, I wouldn't be surprised if I don't end up having some more for lunch with a yoghurt. It is so easy to eat with a sore throat .
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 6th Jan 18, 9:46 AM
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    PasturesNew
    The whole "what if I'm ill" thing is impossible for many CFOs. I don't do online shopping, all my food is collected by hand and paid for in cash. I don't buy enough to have ever made online ordering make any sense.

    I've always got my "meals in a tin" stocked up - although many rely on having bread in.... there's instant noodles and always a couple of cans of rice pudding and tinned fruit. That and instant custard is enough as a starting point. Then the freezer's always got chips and fish fingers in too, which is easy.

    I've always got cheese in too, so a fat stick of cheese is a meal if needs must.

    If I'd eaten all that then I'd head for instant mash and stuffing mix... and I can always knock up some dumplings in gravy.

    If I was still ill .... I'd be at the stage of recovery where I could put together an online order I expect as the above would cover about a week... maybe more depending on what else is in the "meals in a tin" pile at the time. Half a tin of meatballs, with instant mash, instant noodles, or rice is a meal.... a tin of chunky soup's fine, although without bread it'd be tough ... and I'd always hope that there were some crumpets in the freezer.

    I'd like to think that I'd have a pack of vacuum-packed part baked baguettes in the house. Once opened I clip it closed again for the 2nd one, which is still fine 3-4 days later (from experience).

    Right now I'd be OK as I've still also got two tubes of pringles, a big bag of tortilla chips, 2 bags of crisps and half a box of chocolate biscuits

    So far though .... I've never been ill. I've never had flu, or even 1-2 days in bed. I have sluggish grotty days when I've slept badly ... but not "ill".

    I slept badly last night, I've actually been up since 3.30am. Yesterday I had the final mince pie at about 10pm.

    Today, nothing. Feeling a bit bleurgh. Probably all that Xmas food catching up
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 06-01-2018 at 9:49 AM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 6th Jan 18, 10:20 AM
    • 14,601 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Maybe too late now on the pillows-due-for-replacement from head sweats.

    But I've found before now (in rather different circumstances - ie at menopause time) that small hand towels come in handy for placing on pillows. Weeny towels can be washed more readily than pillows imo.

    These days I always have two pillowslips on pillows at a time anyway. One pillowslip that's left on as a pillow cover and "the" pillowslip I'm "really" using iyswim on top of that. I tried buying those specially made pillow covers one time and found them a bit "pathetic" to say the least and I've got loads of pillowslips anyway - so find that works rather better.
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • MrAPJI
    • By MrAPJI 6th Jan 18, 10:49 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    MrAPJI
    Morning to all.

    We had a very sharp frost last night and this morning we have the sun - what a treat after all those dark and gloomy days.

    Hope everyone who is feeling poorly, has woken feeling a little better. I must say that since joining this thread I'm feeling a lot more energetic than I did. All those take-aways were making me feel extremely slugish - ok as 'a treat' - but long term not a good idea. Now, I'm being encouraged to look at what I'm actually consuming and although I will never be any competition for Jamie O - I'm at least trying to cope.
    Mary has given me an easy recipe for the slow cooker which was lurking in the cupboard. Earlier I went out and bought all the ingredients - so fingers crossed it works out. Should be enough for 2 days - I hope

    Many thanks to you all for your kind thoughts in respect of sorting J's effects. To be honest I found the process extremely difficult - but it's done. Wort, you did what was the right thing for you, and that's what your husband would have wished

    Money, I know exactly what you mean about MM . I didn't deliberately tune in to watch the programme, but my attention was held and I remained glued until the end.

    I had porridge this morning and will have sardines on toast for lunch. Will also eat fruit as the day proceeds. This eve it will be the slow cooker meal. So that's me sorted.

    Yesterday I received a telephone call from our local vicar. He asked how I was and whether he could call in to see me. So, I'm expecting a visit around about 3 and will have the best china and biscuits ready
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 6th Jan 18, 11:05 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 385 Thanks
    Irenadler
    Hello all

    Sending sympathy out to those with the flu, had a bad bout myself once some years back and it is energy sapping. Plenty of rest, and don't push yourself to get back to normal too quickly, I recommend ice-cream if you have it (or freeze up any yogurt or similar), banana's, soup, anything quick and easy.

    Don't cut yourself off from family/friends/neighbours, as they could venture out and fetch groceries, etc. and check on you, i.e. that you're alive and riding it out.

    Nice to read happy news - congrats Buckslady (if you are in any way able to read this) : )

    Food wise:

    I am mostly still eating porridge for breakfast...

    Snack: almonds, apple, tangerine (which was the last, drying up one from Xmas)

    Lunch: jacket spud, coleslaw (needs using up), salad, yet more LO stuffing. Chestnut stuffing made with real chestnuts - it's really nice, but, has a slightly anti-social side-effect, ahem, of making me a bit 'windy'.

    Tea: force myself to use up the veg n gravy still left over from NYD meal.

    No more 'naughties' in the place, like ice-cream, etc. So that's mostly all the Xmas/NY stuff gone.

    Used to over-buy for the festive season, especially for OH, and we'd end up eating it for weeks after Xmas, as guests were already too full from meals to want anything else...... No more, kinda sad, but my waistline will thank me! : )
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 6th Jan 18, 11:05 AM
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    • 358,866 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    .... slow cooker ...
    Originally posted by MrAPJI
    What I do is always have 2-3 jars of sauce in the cupboard - and then I can just buy a random pack of meat on a whim knowing that I can chuck the two together into the sc without doing anything else.... turn it on and wander back 6 hours later and it's turned the meat into ready meals without any "ingredients" or pre-cooking.

    Just open that raw pack, lift the lid, chuck it in ..... open that jar/pouch and chuck it in. I really don't care what the label says as I'm sure "it's all the same stuff" whether they call it cooking sauce or slow cooker sauce .... it's all come from the same machine I bet!

    I got some beef cubes before Xmas and froze them. One day in the next week or so I'll dig that out and defrost it .... then I'll toss that (raw) into the sc ... along with an assortment of random root vegetables I've got kicking about (spuds and carrots, maybe an onion) .... and I know that'll make beef stew.

    Now.... that's food. After that you can "get a bit fancy" with salt, pepper, other random things in the cupboard you fancy tossing in, spot of Worcestershire, leftover beer ....

    But the essentials are: you don't have to do much to get fed at the end.

    Don't go down the slippery slope of assuming that you always need 10 ingredients and lots of prep work. That's a game of tin soldiers I refuse to get into
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 6th Jan 18, 11:09 AM
    • 61,297 Posts
    • 358,866 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Don't cut yourself off from family/friends/neighbours, as they could venture out and fetch groceries, etc. and check on you, i.e. that you're alive and riding it out.
    Originally posted by Irenadler
    Family = 2 people 200 miles away in different directions. One of whom is "always working" and one who is "always on holiday".

    Friends = 1 person I could call in an absolute emergency, but being a lifelong CFO we don't have emergencies of we can ignore/avoid... "don't like to be a bother". I always say: A friend in need ... is a pest

    Neighbours = don't know them. Never see them. They've all got lives of their own and aren't interested in "getting to know the neighbours".

    I go weeks without seeing/speaking to another person. Some days I speak out loud, just to check I still can
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 6th Jan 18, 11:20 AM
    • 1,486 Posts
    • 9,533 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    I had 3 slices of toast for breakfast and a cup of Rooibos tea. I'm about to make some fresh squeezed orange juice.

    I have a bowl of yummy HM lentil soup in the fridge for lunch.


    …if this is the aussie flu then do everything you can to avoid getting it. I would not wish this on anyone. Mind you I am extremely careful and still got hit so maybe that is not so easy.

    Take care all
    Originally posted by poppystar
    I was ill for 8 weeks last winter, I've never been ill for that length of time before. I caught whatever it was 2 weeks after having the flu jab. I felt terrible. Not sure if it was that Aussie flu or just normal flu. I had to take antibiotics in the end and that got rid of it.
    2018: Simplify your life
    Books Read 3/60
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 6th Jan 18, 11:27 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 385 Thanks
    Irenadler
    Hey, PasturesNew,

    I am getting to find out what you mean - sometimes TV is on just for some noise. I talk to the dog, but, replies are not forth-coming. I do have family, some 'oop North', and lots locally, but we've never been really close, only see them on family 'do's'. I have the same thought - that I don't want to worry/bother anyone, and want to be independent, not pitied.

    I do talk to, and know, neighbours when we are out and about walking (me & dog), just so they know I am still breathing. They do notice if I am not out walking the dog, as in 'I haven't seen you for a while, how are you' kind of way, but, I think they wouldn't come knocking unless I was stinking up the place (decomposing!)....

    Kind of liberating in one way, doing your own thing, your own routines, not having to account to anyone else.

    Er, sometimes (ok a lot) do talk to myself. Read an article that says it's the first sign of madness, well, I have to start somewhere! : )
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 6th Jan 18, 11:30 AM
    • 61,297 Posts
    • 358,866 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    ...
    Originally posted by Irenadler
    The big question is: when do you dial 999?

    If you're doubled up in pain ... it could be wind!
    You hope it'll go in a minute.

    But, you have to make a choice .... call and waste their time ... or die because you didn't and you then passed out.... and even if you DO manage to phone them, you've still got to get up, find the keys, open the door, unlock the gate etc......

    *sighs*

    If there are two people deciding whether to call an ambulance, it's a lot easier to make the decision .... and deal with them arriving.
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 6th Jan 18, 11:31 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 385 Thanks
    Irenadler
    I had 3 slices of toast for breakfast and a cup of Rooibos tea. I'm about to make some fresh squeezed orange juice.

    I have a bowl of yummy HM lentil soup in the fridge for lunch.



    I was ill for 8 weeks last winter, I've never been ill for that length of time before. I caught whatever it was 2 weeks after having the flu jab. I felt terrible. Not sure if it was that Aussie flu or just normal flu. I had to take antibiotics in the end and that got rid of it.
    Originally posted by Wednesday2000
    Hello Wednesday2000

    Went to click on the thanks button, but, it wasn't there. Spooky.

    On the plus side, I am starting to get the hang of the 'quote' thing.

    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 6th Jan 18, 11:40 AM
    • 14,601 Posts
    • 40,035 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention

    Er, sometimes (ok a lot) do talk to myself. Read an article that says it's the first sign of madness, well, I have to start somewhere! : )
    Originally posted by Irenadler
    Think of it positively - you're keeping company with Erin Brockovich in that (for those that dont know - everyone thought she was "just a Secretary" until she took on a big company polluting the environment and she won). This sort of thing is what she does for a career these days - not just a "dumb blonde with big boobs" then. I've got her book/seen the film.

    Apji - you are coming over clearly from the other side of the screen as feeling visibly brighter these days. It's very obvious imo.
    New Year's Resolution already made -

    Don't get mad....get firm ...
    • wort
    • By wort 6th Jan 18, 11:47 AM
    • 514 Posts
    • 7,842 Thanks
    wort
    I've just spent the morning prepping mushrooms peppers and onions for the freezer. I mostly use them in most things I cook so if they're chopped and ready I'll be more likely to use them more often.
    I also cooked a big pan of potatoes, I've frozen them open and will transfer when they solid , I kept a few back for roasts tomorrow. I had a quick tidy of my inside freezer, and have a mushroom and chicken crispbread that's been in there for longer than I can remember, so I'll cook that with the tempura chicken gougons for tea today. I've also identified a small piece of cooked steak that I'll have this week.
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • Irenadler
    • By Irenadler 6th Jan 18, 11:53 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 385 Thanks
    Irenadler
    The big question is: when do you dial 999?

    If you're doubled up in pain ... it could be wind!
    You hope it'll go in a minute.

    But, you have to make a choice .... call and waste their time ... or die because you didn't and you then passed out.... and even if you DO manage to phone them, you've still got to get up, find the keys, open the door, unlock the gate etc......

    *sighs*

    If there are two people deciding whether to call an ambulance, it's a lot easier to make the decision .... and deal with them arriving.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Hey PasturesNew,

    Don't let it drag you down, or worry about it. I used to....

    My own personal feeling is that you have to go on instinct. You know your own body better than you think you do. For instance, having broken a foot in the past, I know the difference between that kind of pain (swells up and hurts so much can't stand the weight of a sheet on it) and the need for medical aid, or the twisted ankle - a bit swollen and can walk through the pain, hobble on and get on with it...

    I am planning to get an emergency type alarm in the future (which you can have as a bracelet or pendant) and links to the emergency services if and when I feel my health is at risk/getting older/going senile. This is because I helped an older relative who had multiple health problems. It gave him a huge boost as he was very anxious about the same thing, and didn't have to worry about being found in time, etc. He could even stand at the bottom of his garden and it still worked. Only worked if he was at home though.

    The thing is, I have seen past relatives with different problems, and to be a bit graphic here, they only tended to pop their clogs in 2 ways.

    1. Pop off so fast that nothing could be done for them anyway e.g. heart attack (one wearing an alarm bracelet and didn't even have time to react to it). The best way, for the person themselves, as you don't know much about it. Not so good for the rest of us left behind.

    2. Slow decline, with whatever variety of ailments they had, ending in drawn-out hospitalisation/hospice. But, professional care, and family visiting, so, in most cases, able to say their good-byes to their loved ones.

    What I am rambling on about is, it's more likely if something 'quick' happens, but, do some kind of action for this like alarm, some 'signal' to the friend that you're ok or not. Ask around for what others do. Myself - carry mobile at all times, and make sure the blessed thing is charged up (forgot sometimes). : )

    Takes the angst/worry out of it.

    My only slight concern is that the dog might eat me if I 'pop off' which wouldn't be pleasant for anyone checking up! Sorry, dark humour, at least the dog would be alright....
    "...when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, must be the truth..."
    • wort
    • By wort 6th Jan 18, 12:33 PM
    • 514 Posts
    • 7,842 Thanks
    wort
    Hope those who are not well are soon feeling better. My cold started the weds before Xmas but apart from the first day , of headache and shivers in bed, I've just been coughing and blowing my nose, as many people at work are in/off with bugs I'm hoping that's all I'll get. Dgsons is sat working his way through a box of tissues as we speak!!
    Just had chicken cheese and onion with garlic mayo, dry fried , just going to get a kiwi with some greengage and ginger yogurt.
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • karcher
    • By karcher 6th Jan 18, 12:51 PM
    • 1,725 Posts
    • 15,151 Thanks
    karcher
    Soda Bread advice.

    It turned out ok for a first effort but the base seemed rather too well done and fell off as I cut slices. Any ideas what I can do to avoid this please?

    Also it seemed very heavy...the recipe said to leave the dough quite wet and sticky, but do you think it was maybe too wet and sticky?

    TIA
    • Farway
    • By Farway 6th Jan 18, 3:16 PM
    • 5,842 Posts
    • 8,419 Thanks
    Farway
    Afternoon folks

    Hope all the poorly folk are improving. I still have this recurring cold / cough, which started after my flu jab in October, and the itchy eyes but that went after lots of sluicing with cold water & wet pads

    Confession time. Yesterday's call of cheese topped crumpets overpowered me last night, and I scoffed the whole pack of 6 during the evening, in lieu of dinner

    Up fairly early, in time to have a nice pot of loose leaf tea, plus bowl of porridge with sliced banana, Greek yoghurt & honey

    Of into town, wanted milk "just in case" and I wanted to get some of W/rose chunky fish fingers, not cheap, but I had seen them being made on Gregg Wallace prog even though he grates on me, and liked the ethos behind them, employing humans and not machines.

    They are on offer at the moment, plus I have added them to my pick "your own offers" list. All to no avail, just a large fish finger sized hole in the freezer

    Back home, put more milk on to make HM yoghurt. Yesterdays' moved into fridge. I made another 6 pots and now in the warmer brewing

    Lunch of bacon, lettuce & tom sarnie

    Dinner, planned to be roasted veg, consisting of spuds, carrots, cauli, parsnips & shallots. I think I will chuck in a couple of the beefburgers which have stuck forever in the freezer. I just want to get shot of them and if I don't eat them they will be binned. I need a dog, even if just to eat me should I keel over

    Soda Bread advice.
    It turned out ok for a first effort but the base seemed rather too well done and fell off as I cut slices. Any ideas what I can do to avoid this please?

    Also it seemed very heavy...the recipe said to leave the dough quite wet and sticky, but do you think it was maybe too wet and sticky?
    TIA
    Originally posted by karcher
    I think it may have been too wet, should be just sticky
    It does turn out heavier than yeast type of bread, and I think you left it in too long, about 20 minutes does it, and tapping if for hollowness is the way to tell if done, as does it turning into charcoal
    Last edited by Farway; 06-01-2018 at 3:18 PM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 6th Jan 18, 3:25 PM
    • 61,297 Posts
    • 358,866 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    My lunch was 2 hot sausage rolls.
    For dessert ... I had another 2.

    • caronc
    • By caronc 6th Jan 18, 3:49 PM
    • 2,822 Posts
    • 19,320 Thanks
    caronc
    Good afternoon everyone,
    The sun has been shining today though it's been decidedly chilly (3C at 1pm) and is now dropping rapidly so a heavy frost tonight I think. I made the most of the better weather and managed a short walk and then set up my new bird feeders in the garden before having a much needed snooze.
    I don't unduly worry about keeling over/taking unwell on my own, I am prone to falling but thankfully I'm agile enough to get back up and using a walking frame has reduced the number of times I go over considerably. I could have an "alert" system but have opted not to at the moment, I feel secure enough having my mobile on me all the time.
    Doesn't everyone talk to thereselves? I used to be able to pretend I was talking to the pooch but I have nattered to myself for as long as I can remember - I reckon it keeps me sane.
    Food so far has been a repeat of yesterday- no breakfast and cheese salad for lunch. Tonight I'm having a steak with peppercorn sauce. Last night I baked two spuds so I had one for tonight. I'll either just nuke it or slice and griddle. I'll use up the remaining green beans and some mushrooms to go with it.
    My grocery shop arrives tomorrow - I could have left it another couple of days but I'm runnning out of tea bags which would never do! My last grocery spend was on 29/12 so I'll have managed 9 days between shops which is a good start to the year
    GC - Jan £39/£120
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 6th Jan 18, 4:32 PM
    • 1,229 Posts
    • 11,300 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    I had porridge for lunch as well as breakfast today. It was nice and easy. Then I had a yoghurt this afternoon.

    I was going to have a ready meal this evening, but when I was rummaging through the freezer I found a portion of chicken goulash so I'm going to have that.

    Cooking anything else isn't an option. On the plus side, I have caught up on my sleep dozing on the sofa all day , and I'm using ready meals from the freezer so not all bad .
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