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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 17th Jul 17, 6:31 PM
    • 2,372Posts
    • 15,740Thanks
    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?



    June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £107/£200
Page 91
    • meg72
    • By meg72 10th Oct 17, 9:00 AM
    • 4,920 Posts
    • 45,191 Thanks
    meg72
    [QUOTE=moneyistooshorttomention;73240014]Sounds like you've "been there/done that" to what I'm anticipating are the plans my brother has obviously always had for my life. My sympathies.

    I'm rather anticipating an ambush at some point if I "pop back" again. I've told my mother for a long while to spend whatever money she needs to - be it on a cleaner/gardener/taxis/whatever will help. I think my brother probably doesnt want her spending a penny of her money if he can help it and will be trying very hard to trap me into "popping back" and being available and that money gets saved - at the expense of my life. I've witnessed him doing some downright attempted money grabs before now - so I had some idea what he was like. I'm hoping I'm not still a bit naive about him - as it only struck me in the last few days that he was behind my mother asking me several times over the years where I was leaving my house to - ie she (trans. he in actual fact) wanted it left to my brothers children. I dealt with that - and made a Will out fast and have left it to a Good Cause I favour.

    So - right now - I'm trying to get him to also tell mother it's quite okay to spend her own money on whatever she wants and if there's nowt left there's nowt left and urge her to make life easier for herself. I have a suspicion he won't want to do that......

    I'm anticipating an incoming attempt at guilt-tripping me any minute now...

    I've had to stand up for myself to some extremely determined people in my life before now - so I have had practice at it and had some very good advice before now in those situations and the compliment of being told I was "two steps ahead" of who I was up against one time.

    Basically I'm thinking it feels like the 19th century is calling - and it wants its ideas imposed on a person in the 21st century....[/QUOTE

    As another one who got trapped into an absolute nightmare situation and like PN paid the cost, in terms of my own health, collapsed with complete physical and mental exhaustion, I am praying that you stay as positive and strong as you are now. Its not going to be easy for you either way.
    Slimming World at target
    GC Nov 16.50.
    GC Dec 24.89
    GC Jan 2.50
    • poppystar
    • By poppystar 10th Oct 17, 9:33 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 617 Thanks
    poppystar
    Hi (and ditto PN on don'y quote will delete)

    Perhaps we need another thread?!

    I'm in the middle of similar at the mo. Effectively cut out of family when got ill. Not helped by other family member ingratiating themselves with parents, and who also ensured another inheritance was redirected to them - while I was getting charitable help just to survive. In fair never asked parents for money 'cos was always told there was none, only found out later this had happened. Now no more money likely to be had and job not going to be as easy as just saying 'aren't I wonderful' and pocketing money said family member washing hands of surviving parent. Cue everyone asking what i am going to do … or rather telling my what I ought to do. Not posting here as hardly eating or just grabbing what I can while feeling like I am just having to defend myself to people who didn't give a damn when I was fighting to keep roof over head.

    Phew - better for that rant! all so bloody hard alone.

    Best of wishes to money, PN and all those dealing with or have dealt with the same!
    Last edited by poppystar; 10-10-2017 at 9:36 AM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Oct 17, 10:11 AM
    • 13,641 Posts
    • 37,088 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    I certainly had a friend from a rather posher background than mine some time back (titles and a drawl in the voice type background) who was quite open with me about the way she manoeuvred into getting any money going ever and had a man supporting her and she hadnt worked for decades. That friendship was over the day she didnt seem to regard it as any big deal that I'd just literally probably saved her life (at some risk to my own) and she then went off into telling me about how she'd managed to pay a tradesperson less than NMW for doing a job for her by flirting with him. At that point - that was that and I didnt want to know her any more.

    ...and hoping Caron's back is feeling a bit better this morning?
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 10-10-2017 at 10:18 AM.
    #MeToo
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 10:56 AM
    • 60,256 Posts
    • 352,009 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Breakfast: A "dipping pot" filled with chocolate fingers.

    Proper food, eh

    I've still 7 large bakers, but I've also a yearning for another cheese omelette. Who knows... the world of 2-ingredient food is my oyster
    • Wednesday2000
    • By Wednesday2000 10th Oct 17, 11:15 AM
    • 1,133 Posts
    • 5,901 Thanks
    Wednesday2000
    Some awful stories. I'm sorry you had to deal with all of that.xxxx
    "It doesn't cost any more to dream big."
    • Hollyharvey
    • By Hollyharvey 10th Oct 17, 11:54 AM
    • 1,005 Posts
    • 8,116 Thanks
    Hollyharvey
    My steak that I was so looking forward to last night wasn't steak . It turned out to be four sausages, so I had two of those with salad and a few oven chips. I did enjoy it though so all ok .

    I cooked all four sausages and I am going to have a sausage sandwich for lunch today, so that will be a nice change.

    The packet that I grabbed from the freezer this morning with my eyes closed (I thought it would be more fun this way , looks like it is a stew/casserole of either beef or lamb, but as I got it so wrong yesterday it could be something entirely differend. Whatever it is I will serve with some steamed veg and mashed potato.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 10th Oct 17, 2:46 PM
    • 5,571 Posts
    • 7,004 Thanks
    Farway
    Some awful stories. I'm sorry you had to deal with all of that.xxxx
    Originally posted by Wednesday2000
    Ditto, very hard to know what one would do in similar circumstances, easy to say but not easy to do I would think. Counting my lucky stars it never happened to me, possibly because there was no money to be had in the first place?

    Spot of luck on the Lild mooch this morning, two packs of YS Chilli con carne, one in the freezer and one for ?? Plus impulse buy of YS smoked salmon, with still a few days left on date. That sort of takes me through to weekend

    Lunch was the last P/b baguette filled with cheese & salad bits

    Dinner just not sure, the Chilli is calling but I have use it or lose it 1/2 pork pie left and think that will do the job, could put some chips with it to ensure I get carbs and fat daily allowance

    The idea of PNs two ingredient food appeals, I have eggs & mushrooms lurking, could be omelette one day, once i have the smoked salmon out of the way

    I just fancied something sweet yesterday, and thought of making a tea loaf, but no SR flour in the house. The seed is sown now and SR flour is on my shopping list. Didn't get it from Lidl this morning because years ago I had flour from there with something grit like in it and have avoided their flour ever since

    I will probably get the mixed fruit soaking in tea overnight ready to bake tomorrow, if I remember and say awake thet long
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 10th Oct 17, 4:02 PM
    • 13,641 Posts
    • 37,088 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    Latest food experiment - have tried cooking quinoa in my slow-cooker. Now that did work out - 0.5 cup quinoa and 1 cup water and teeniest little bit of olive oil. Left on high for a lot shorter time than Google said. Google said 3 hours. I left it 1 hour. Possibly because it's only a small slow cooker and I was only doing a small amount?

    The rice I cooked in the slow cooker the other day didnt work out - it all went clidgy and I landed up using it up by making a sort of rice pudding with it. But I shall have another go at some point - and with a much shorter cooking time than Google says and see how that comes out.

    Lunch today was toast spread with Violife "cream cheese" equivalent I bought the other day to try out. It's a vegan cream cheese substitute and it's not bad - not quite the same as cream cheese. But - reasonable. So toast spread with this Violife stuff and some avocado on top and it was quite nice.
    #MeToo
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 4:41 PM
    • 60,256 Posts
    • 352,009 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    ... I just fancied .... but no SR flour in the house. The seed is sown now and SR flour is on my shopping list.
    Originally posted by Farway
    I spend my life wishing I had XYZ. There's always something I've not got ... because, when you're CFO you simply can't have everything in the house all of the time like larger households can have.

    Some things I deliberately run out of and have a gap (spuds/eggs).
    Some things I always have in the house (beans/cheese).
    Some things are bought in anticipation of making something specific (digestives/cheesecake), then I just eat the single ingredient and am back to square one.
    Some things I often think of and never get round to buying in because there's simply too much food and too many choices in the world - and as there's always something to be used up you never get to the point of having a clean sheet and thinking about these things and getting them.
    Some things are bought with intent - and loiter, never to be used (e.g. the lasagne sheets bought 3-4 years ago ... I keep intending to make a lasagne with, but haven't so far ...). Not really a fan of pasta/lasagne, so it's never on the "fancy that" list, but I have the sheets... TWO boxes bizarrely!


    Earlier I made/ate a gorgeous fluffy cheese omelette, no chips or beans, just the omelette. GORGEOUS it was.... so lovely I just scoffed it PDQ without even getting it onto a plate
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-10-2017 at 4:45 PM.
    • katkin
    • By katkin 10th Oct 17, 4:56 PM
    • 573 Posts
    • 7,249 Thanks
    katkin
    Just lurking and passing through as technically I'm not a CFO. Though my hubby works shifts so I adapt and do enjoy this thread.

    PasturesNew I've bookmarked your foodblog and congratualte you on an informative, interesting and enjoyable blog. You write well and I adore your stance and sensible no nonsence approach to cooking for one. I've learnt a lot from you and I consider myself a decent enough cook and like to try new recipes, ingredients and have a big freezer to hide my sins!

    However, I still cant believe ive just found out how to do fish fingers in the microwave which i love but no one else will eat and as for your puds and quiches, boy are they quick, tasty and amazingly frugal. Your flour and suet mix in a box is great idea I now do! I could go on but I there is definetely a place for your style of cooking out there that people need to learn and you're doing a fab job letting us all know.

    Well done and thank you xxx
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 4:59 PM
    • 60,256 Posts
    • 352,009 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    Just lurking and passing through as technically I'm not a CFO. Though my hubby works shifts so I adapt and do enjoy this thread.

    PasturesNew I've bookmarked your foodblog and congratualte you on an informative, interesting and enjoyable blog. You write well and I adore your stance and sensible no nonsence approach to cooking for one. I've learnt a lot from you and I consider myself a decent enough cook and like to try new recipes, ingredients and have a big freezer to hide my sins!

    However, I still cant believe ive just found out how to do fish fingers in the microwave which i love but no one else will eat and as for your puds and quiches, boy are they quick, tasty and amazingly frugal. Your flour and suet mix in a box is great idea I now do! I could go on but I there is definetely a place for your style of cooking out there that people need to learn and you're doing a fab job letting us all know.

    Well done and thank you xxx
    Originally posted by katkin
    that made me really LOL... thank you ... and thank you for your kind words.

    It's also available on Facebook ... where you might spot stuff you missed

    I CBA ever these days to cook fish fingers properly. I still continue to tweak methods, but the blog doesn't overload people with the nuances and tweaks or it'd become overwhelming.

    My thinking is that the bottom line is: can I do it/is it safe/edible ...and how?
    If you hunt round .... you'll also see I've done full sized fish in breadcrumbs portions too "as a test" .... they work too (to save you searching). Bigguns!
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-10-2017 at 5:02 PM.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 10th Oct 17, 5:11 PM
    • 2,372 Posts
    • 15,740 Thanks
    caronc
    Good evening everyone,
    My back is still majorly playing up so it's been strong painkillers and mainly snoozing. Thankfully it has eased a wee bit so I'm back on my feet. Dinner will be something quick from the freezer, probably sausage and mash.
    June GC £117/£120, July £185/£170, August £108/£120, Sep GC £121/£120, Oct GC £107/£200
    • katkin
    • By katkin 10th Oct 17, 5:18 PM
    • 573 Posts
    • 7,249 Thanks
    katkin
    that made me really LOL... thank you ... and thank you for your kind words.

    It's also available on Facebook ... where you might spot stuff you missed

    I CBA ever these days to cook fish fingers properly. I still continue to tweak methods, but the blog doesn't overload people with the nuances and tweaks or it'd become overwhelming.

    My thinking is that the bottom line is: can I do it/is it safe/edible ...and how?
    If you hunt round .... you'll also see I've done full sized fish in breadcrumbs portions too "as a test" .... they work too (to save you searching). Bigguns!
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    It was the fish finger toasty that got me salivating first haha, had it yesterday for lunch and even ate it off a napkin as I worked at home. Very mess free, though i had ketchup AND mayo on it!

    I made your marmalade pud at the weekend (upsized) in a rectangular dish, had to turn it once in the micro but it came out perfect and was devoured by 4. That seen the end of the 30p marmalade that had been in the fridge since xmas. The main course was a ridiculous priced whole pork belly with bone in from the butchers that took 4 hours to slow cook and a nervous breakdown trying to source sezchaun (sp) peppercorns locally to make it fancy. Off course the pud got the major compliments...lol

    Wish a blog like yours had been about when my boys went off to uni, and for us frugal minded folk who like a bit of retro cooking its up there with the jack munroes and jocastas of the world in terms of good value, filling, tasty foods. However, your's is right on trend for the real world we live in.

    Ps: the pics are good, no need for candle light or lavender filled vases btw, some of us just like looking at the food. I do hope you keep on with it.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 5:46 PM
    • 60,256 Posts
    • 352,009 Thanks
    PasturesNew

    Ps: the pics are good, no need for candle light or lavender filled vases btw, some of us just like looking at the food. I do hope you keep on with it.
    Originally posted by katkin
    My kitchen is dark, with inadequate lighting - and the evenings are drawing in, making it difficult to get light shots... but I will be continuing.

    Also, sometimes, I'm in a rush so shaking too much to take a non-blurry photo ... or, like earlier today, the food was too good to wait for, so no photo. Blurry or no photo = no post about that then Those were cheesecake ...and cheese omelette.

    In a way, I started it to try to "improve" what I'd been eating - as I'd got in a rut - and I'd eaten so many other great things in years gone by, so decided to try to continually cook "new/old" things and keep an eye out in the shops for something unusual... but it's "tough going" when you openly admit "I don't bother cooking.... I eat toast" as new content is required all the time ... so that "forces" me to make a bit more effort than I'd have done if I'd not started.

    So it's "mission accomplished". It's had nearly 1million views so far, even with the dodgy lighting

    I've still not got round to "my favourite dinner mum used to make", but it's on my list to get round to it... I need to go to 4sda to get some specific sausages I tried/ate/liked the other week though (when I went out for my tea)....
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-10-2017 at 5:54 PM.
    • katkin
    • By katkin 10th Oct 17, 6:06 PM
    • 573 Posts
    • 7,249 Thanks
    katkin
    Glad to hear you will keep adding to it and I'll look forward to your mum's favourites. At heart i'm a traditional Scottish home cook so i enjoy other's family favourite recipes.

    When i started experimenting with microwaved clootie dumpling my old dad refused to try it, but I got him round in the end lol by pretending to have boiled it for hours in a clout. After mum died he was pretty open to trying my "experiments". My mum was a cook and grandmother who lived with us had been in service and housekept / cooked for "big" houses - so I was up against it!

    If the Gaurdian offered you a slot would you take it?

    ps: the pics are good enough to see what you are writting about, if you feel you need more like just move a lamp nearby! Though I like the realness of them, your blog is very professional as is, so I'd not be too bothered by that. Million views may just indicate to you that others like it just the way it is x

    Well I better scoosh out of CFO before I'm caught!
    Last edited by katkin; 10-10-2017 at 6:11 PM. Reason: apologies for spelling etc on non spellchecked tablet
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 6:11 PM
    • 60,256 Posts
    • 352,009 Thanks
    PasturesNew

    If the Gaurdian offered you a slot would you take it?
    Originally posted by katkin
    Money's always good .... but they do expect a photo and I've a fear of having my photo taken I've never looked good in photos. Plus ... I'm sure their readers would expect me to be a shiny, smart looking 30+ London girl
    If I can ghost write it and they use a stock photo of a shiny girl, I'll bank the money ....

    On the subject of photos, that isn't actually just my opinion. Nearly 15 years ago I worked for a top award-winning national (in all the national papers every month) lifestyle photographer - and he always had other top/national newspaper award winning photographers dropping in for a laugh and cup of tea. One day one of the top "portrait photographers" for the Times etc had his camera in his hand and "bet" he could take a good photo of me. He had me standing, sitting.... he was standing, crouching, aiming up, aiming down, changing the light ... and finally he said "You know, you're right - you CAN'T take a good photo can you!".
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 10-10-2017 at 6:16 PM.
    • katkin
    • By katkin 10th Oct 17, 6:16 PM
    • 573 Posts
    • 7,249 Thanks
    katkin
    Money's always good .... but they do expect a photo and I've a fear of having my photo taken I've never looked good in photos. Plus ... I'm sure their readers would expect me to be a shiny, smart looking 30+ London girl
    If I can ghost write it and they use a stock photo of a shiny girl, I'll bank the money ....
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Haha. Yep money is money!

    Shiny, smart looking 30+ hipsters are so last year now. We need to see real women, representative of the millions of the rest of us in the media more. So don't let that put you off if an offer comes in!
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 10th Oct 17, 6:29 PM
    • 60,256 Posts
    • 352,009 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    don't let that put you off if an offer comes in!
    Originally posted by katkin
    If an offer came in I could actually be 10x better to be honest. Once you have a steady/known income you can actually "focus" and spend time "thinking about it a bit more" and being more relevant/useful - rather than relying on what you fancy while shuffling round L1dl with £1 that'll work in the nuke box ... you can even do "fancy stuff" such as ... having 2-3 different plates to present it on AND ... having another go if a particular end result fell off the spatula or "looked a bit shyte" on the plate as you'd put it on the plate in the wrong positions ...

    Sometimes I tip too many beans on the plate, or wish I'd put a few chips on - but having cooked dinner .... I'm now going to eat it, not do it all again just for a 2nd photo!
    • Farway
    • By Farway 10th Oct 17, 6:43 PM
    • 5,571 Posts
    • 7,004 Thanks
    Farway
    My kitchen is dark, with inadequate lighting - and the evenings are drawing in, making it difficult to get light shots... but I will be continuing.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    I have a little battery powered mini LED light on a tripod from Lild, only about 6 inches high, it does give a nice bright light. Thought I'd mention it in case they have camera weeks come round again and you fancy a look at it, would fit in your trolley with the sausage rolls

    "... and finally he said "You know, you're right - you CAN'T take a good photo can you!"." I concur with this, I take photos for a rogues gallery of our volunteers, one lady said she always came out like a corpse. Despite everything, including Photoshop she did look like a nice pink corpse

    Dinner scoffed. It was the last 1/2 pork pie, with bowl of oven chips & ketchup. The chilli is now earmarked for tomorrow

    Could be tea & biscuits later
    • elona
    • By elona 10th Oct 17, 7:26 PM
    • 11,192 Posts
    • 59,298 Thanks
    elona
    Pastures

    If you want to use up lasagne sheets you could cook a couple in boiling water, let them cool and then slice into noodles, tagliatelle shapes and use like that or put a filling like bacon, onions, tomato and cheese on it , roll it up and nuke under a small amount of white or cheese sauce. You could even break it up and add it to soups or another dish to bulk it up.
    "This site is addictive!"
    Wooligan 2 squares for smoky - 3 squares for HTA
    Preemie hats - 2.
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