Weezl's phase 1- recipe testing and frugalisation- come one, come all!

edited 4 April 2010 at 7:33AM in How much have you saved?
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  • weezl74weezl74 Forumite
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    FrankieM wrote: »
    weezl I've got 2 metal, non stick loaf tins. I've found a friend who has a pudding dish and she says it feeds 6. I think I'm just going to borrow hers, but thank you for the offer. I really appreciate it :)


    Hmmmn... so you'd be doing 2 loaves in the tins and 2 bloomer stylee ones.....

    Right :)

    Aless, I wonder if you might write a detailed augmentation to the paul merrettrecipe? Or anyone who's made it before? Mine collapsed so I don't feel comfortable doing the support for frankie while she tries this!

    :hello:Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz:hello:
    :)Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz:)
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it £67/£3.60/£0
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  • FrankieMFrankieM Forumite
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    weezl Do you think getting the loaf tins you suggest is worth it? I was expecting some initial outlay so I don't mind.

    Bearing in mind that I will be doing one and a half times the original recipes.
  • weezl74 wrote: »
    OK time to answer the big question, are we going to start rocking with this on the 1st April (Wednesday coming!) for our volunteers? All fool's day eh? How apt!

    My answer, yes with an 'if' or no with a 'but' :rotfl:

    Poohbear, Allegra, frankie, ariarnia, artybear (howlin, hornetgirl and shanks I know you will be adapting things and following along in your own way so I wasn't sure whether to include you in this question!)
    and anyone else I've missed (cheese rinds!) Please answer the following question:

    If you were going to begin this on wednesday, when would you need your shopping list by? I'm assuming we will shop weekly, and that the first week may be slightly more money than a quarter of the budget to allow for buying some of the bulkier items and seasonings etc... All the items should be available from asda, if you are using other supermarkets it's possible you may need to shop around a bit. Going to another shop looks like it should only take you a max of 10% over budget.

    Lesley, what time if any do you have (without depriving DP, DD, DGD and all your real life activities!) over this weekend? If we are going to begin something on wednesday, I would really value going through things with you to ensure they are water tight, but I fully understand if this is not possible. Please don't experience my keenness as a pressure.:o

    have just popped if for a quick read, but out in the garden today putting in fruit trees and other stuff, then out tonight. Could do some time tom, let me know when and I'll be here
  • shanks77shanks77 Forumite
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    Hi i normally do a months shop at a time but happy to try out week to week and report on that. Yes as you predicted i will be tweaking it slightly but it will be fun to have a change to routine and have some different meals. Both of us have enjoyed trying out some of the recipes for Shirl and its good to know that they are both cheap and nutritious, and i have been making bread and rolls for the first time so even as a fairly experienced cook learning new things all the time which is great. Can you point me in the direction of the Paul Merrett bread recipe i fancy giving it a go and if it doesnt work i can find things to use it up so dont panic about wastage. (I got some cheap bread flour that goes out of date soon so not wasting money if it turns out pants)
    Happy to write up for you if you give me an idea what you are looking for. Probably wont be as articulate as you write things Weezl as i have a tendancy to waffle a bit but will do my best.
  • weezl74 wrote: »
    OK time to answer the big question, are we going to start rocking with this on the 1st April (Wednesday coming!) for our volunteers? All fool's day eh? How apt!

    My answer, yes with an 'if' or no with a 'but' :rotfl:

    Poohbear, Allegra, frankie, ariarnia, artybear (howlin, hornetgirl and shanks I know you will be adapting things and following along in your own way so I wasn't sure whether to include you in this question!)
    and anyone else I've missed (cheese rinds!) Please answer the following question:

    If you were going to begin this on wednesday, when would you need your shopping list by? I'm assuming we will shop weekly, and that the first week may be slightly more money than a quarter of the budget to allow for buying some of the bulkier items and seasonings etc... All the items should be available from asda, if you are using other supermarkets it's possible you may need to shop around a bit. Going to another shop looks like it should only take you a max of 10% over budget.

    Lesley, what time if any do you have (without depriving DP, DD, DGD and all your real life activities!) over this weekend? If we are going to begin something on wednesday, I would really value going through things with you to ensure they are water tight, but I fully understand if this is not possible. Please don't experience my keenness as a pressure.:o

    Weezl, personally I'd want to do my shopping on Sunday as I just do not have time or energy for a big supermarket shop on a week night. I would however shop on Tuesday if I absolutley had to but would leave work early to do so. If it helps I did most of my shopping for the next four weeks yesterday because I had a day off and most of the things for Shirl's list are things I already have in the storecupboard.
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  • edited 27 March 2010 at 12:40PM
    weezl74weezl74 Forumite
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    edited 27 March 2010 at 12:40PM
    Thanks Howlin:A, please feel NO PRESSURE at all to finish work early to go to the supermarket!

    Whatever fits with your normal real life :)Lesley is enjoying the sunshine and her fruit trees today, just as is right and I hope everyone feels it's fine to do just what they have the space for, and no more :)

    OK another message specially for our testers:
    We are currently approximately 90 calories per person per day below the theoretical amount required to keep theoretical Bob, Shirley Jenny and Jason maintained at the right weight for their height if they eat like this for the month. If overweight they would gently lose a little (probably only a pound, it is not a diet) and if underweight would possibly gain around that amount. Again calories are not an exact science and people vary hugely, but we are looking at averages. I hope using this months tester to work out how to add at least the 90 cals and a buffer for wastage back in, but since I will not be able to do that without a bit of a test drive, and for the sake of my conscience, a few guidelines:

    If you know that any member(s) of your family need more calories than Bob and Shirley average, please do add in extras of your choosing to accomodate this :).

    Reasons why you may need more:
    • A member of the family is distinctly above the average height (I think for example that Allegra's DD is very tall)
    • or has a BMI of 30 or above (this would be too drastic a calorie reduction, and I would ask that you add in more food for him/her)
    • is a good deal more than moderately active,
    • has any illness which means their body needs more energy (type 1 diabetes, overactive thyroid,
    • is breastfeeding (sorry that's not an illness but you know what I mean!) or pregnant.

    If anyone would like any advice on ways of doing this please do post, I don't need to know who in your family it is, or any personal details.

    Also, and I really hope this is too obviously our ethos to even mention :rotfl:if at any point running with the planner means people are feeling unwell or tired or that they are losing weight, please do stop/do what you need to do to remedy that. :)

    edit, and can I just ask that to acknowledge you've read this, could the testers either post that that's ok, or just click the 'thanks' under this message so I know you've read it :) thanks. I really don't want anyone to feel unwell for the sake of Bob and Shirl! :D

    :hello:Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz:hello:
    :)Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz:)
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it £67/£3.60/£0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for £40
  • FrankieMFrankieM Forumite
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    weezl I'm personally looking forward to dropping a bit of weight by sticking to your plan.
    I could do with some ideas, though, regarding DS and my DH. :)
  • weezl74weezl74 Forumite
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    FrankieM wrote: »
    weezl I'm personally looking forward to dropping a bit of weight by sticking to your plan.
    I could do with some ideas, though, regarding DS and my DH. :)
    Thanks Frankie :) I'm guessing they need more cals because they are taller than 5'10, or very active or somesuch, righty ho!

    Initial thoughts: In wartime britain, the ministry of food judged that in an average household the need for different portion sizes would be accomodated by the fact that people usually quite naturally serve portions in keeping with the differing needs of the family. In our house, DH has a large plateful, me a smaller plateful, usually giving DH my unwanted carbs, and fergus a teeny portion.

    The Bob and shirl planner definitely has space for that. If you are shorter than your DH Frankie, you probably do this pretty automatically anyway, since your need is less. Did you find it ok when you were, for example serving out the chilli, or did DH and DS still feel hard done by on portion sizes?

    If so, then my best thought would be, why not add in some of the other snacks? 3 of Mr Aless' savoury bites will add an extra 200 calories, which is the extra that DH would need if he is an inch taller than the uk average, even if he doesn't eat a bigger dinner.

    Sorry that was really waffly, am I helping at all?

    :rotfl:

    :hello:Jonathan 'Fergie' Fergus William, born 05/03/09, 7lb 4.4oz:hello:
    :)Benjamin 'Kezzie' Kester Jacob, born 18/03/10, 7lb 5oz:)
    cash neutral gifts 2011, value of purchased gifts/actual paid/amount earnt to cover it £67/£3.60/£0
    january grocery challenge, feed 4 of us for £40
  • FrankieMFrankieM Forumite
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    weezl That's helpful.
    My DS is tall for his age, at 12 and active and having a growth spurt so always seems to be hungry.
    DH is about 6" and is carrying a few extra pounds (umm stones!) so I don't want him to feel like I'm starving him or he'll get stressed about it and I want to keep him sweet ;)
    I probably don't do portion sizes in the way I'm supposed to, which is probably why I'm looking forward to dropping some weight :)
    Are there any other savoury type snacks as my DH is more savoury than sweet?
    I was also wondering what the sandwich allocation for lunches are?

    Lots of questions there, sorry. You're comments have just made me think, which is a good thing.
    I'm happy to wait for the answers till you have the time or feel free to point me in the direction of somewhere this info already is, if that's the case.
  • aless02aless02 Forumite
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    Okay, this is how I make the Paul Merrett bread:

    If you're using the Allinson's yeast, you need to make it up first. Follow the instructions on the tin, making sure your water is approx blood temperature (I just run it warm from the tap). Dissolve the sugar in the water, then sprinkle in your yeast. Whisk with a fork quite well (frothy with bubbles is good). I let mine rise inside the microwave, as it traps humidity & warmth.

    In the meantime, put your flour & salt in a large bowl and mix. Once your yeast is ready (at least 2cm of foam on top, takes roughly 10-15 min), whisk it again then pour on top of the flour mix. Then add your water gradually (so maybe 1/4 pint at a time), remember to reduce to the total amount of water by 1/4 pint if you had to make up the yeast. If you're using PACKET yeast (which is called "instant") you can pour the yeast STRAIGHT FROM THE PACKET (dry) into the flour and use the normal amount of water the recipe calls for.

    Anyway, using a wooden spoon, mix your water in slowly. It goes quite gummy and difficult at this point, but persevere. If you've added all your water but find there's still those stray floury bits at the bottom of the bowl that you just can't get to, turn the lot out onto a floured worktop. Start working the dough to incorporate all the dry/loose bits. As you knead, the dough will gradually become smoother and elastic-y. Knead for 8-10 minutes.

    Pour a few drops of veg oil into the bottom of your mixing bowl and swirl it around to coat. Plop the dough into the mixing bowl. Here's my secret rising trick: microwave a tiny amount of water in the microwave until it boils. Keeping this water in the microwave, then put your bowl inside (covered with a damp tea towel) the microwave. Again, humidity and warmth. If you have a tiny or no microwave where this won't work, briefly switching on your oven for 1 minute can also give a bit of warmth good for bread rising.

    Let rise for 1 hr - mine is just approaching the rim of the mixing bowl at this point. Turn it out of the bowl and punch it down a few times. Then divide into thirds, form into a vague loaf shape and put into the tins. Brush with salted water (this really makes the crust delicious and chewy so I wouldn't skip this step!). Cover the tins with a tea towel for another 15 minutes.

    Then follow the cooking instructions, which I believe (from memory) is 8 minutes on 220C, 2 minutes with the oven door open, then 30 minutes on 190C.

    Hope that helps...! I'm no expert bread-maker by any means :D
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