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  • FIRST POST
    • caronc
    • By caronc 13th Jan 18, 8:48 AM
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    caronc
    Cooking for one (Mark Three)
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 18, 8:48 AM
    Cooking for one (Mark Three) 13th Jan 18 at 8:48 AM
    Welcome to Cooking one (Mark Three), time to get a shiny new thread up and running. The link to "Cooking for one (Mark Two)" can be found here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?p=73708876&posted=1#post73708876

    Cooking For One
    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?
    Last edited by caronc; 13-01-2018 at 8:51 AM.

Page 228
    • Brambling
    • By Brambling 13th Sep 18, 8:18 PM
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    Brambling
    I'm much better at that in restaurants than I ever used to be. I'm good now at stopping when I'm comfortably full, rather than pushing on until I feel ill.

    I try and remember the old phrase "enough is as good as a feast". I've always thought how very true that is!
    Originally posted by flubberyzing
    I'm not a calorie counter either, I try to eat healthy, mainly HM meals but it's a work in process with the weight It took me until 5 or 6 years ago to realise that I didn't have to finish my plate, too many years of my mum filling up the plate and my dad saying you're stay there until you've finished it. But it was a hard habit to break and sometimes I have to make a conscious effort to put down the cutlery, would probably explain all our weight issues as well

    New laptops at work today, unfortunately windows 10 there has already been much muttering as nothing is where it should be and a lot of stuff has to be downloaded again the IT guy also nearly brought our sever down which made us unpopular with the rest of the office at least it meant the boss had enough by 4.30 and we both went home

    Lunch was crustless quiche with salad and dinner was YS pizza I picked up yesterday, I very rarely buy pizza so really cba mood at moment.

    Off to finish the last of my holiday reading, I like the author but this book is over 700 pages long and I'm ready for it to end now
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 13th Sep 18, 9:20 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    That's one thing I was fortunate in re food I guess - I didnt get the "finish it or else" thing at anyrate (whatever else I think about the diet I was brought up on).

    I guess that's the plus side of having been brought up by a figure-conscious/attractive mother.

    The dynamic is more along the lines of me telling her to "eat some more" - as she has always been so determined to keep her figure (and everyone else's if possible) that I've never thought she eats enough. So certainly the mealtime refrain has been very much the other way round as to who tells who to eat more in our family.

    Both my parents expected her to have her figure back within weeks of me being born and she barely lost her figure even during pregnancies.

    That, I think, is being too extreme in the other direction and must have been a high price to pay for the amount of male attention she still got (with wolf whistles etc) even after having had her children.

    There's a happy medium imo between "Must NOT lose my figure for a minute" and "Oh blow it - as nobody else seems to bother much these days".
    Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world.

    It's the only thing that ever has.
    • Brambling
    • By Brambling 13th Sep 18, 10:27 PM
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    Brambling
    I can see where they were coming from now Money just not then We had very little money when we were growing up, my dad grew a lot of the fruit and most of the veg we ate which would then fill the plate, it was hunt the meat sometimes, mum could stretch a joint of meat. They also had my older siblings when there was still rationing and like so many of their generation still had that mentality of nothing could be wasted. Unfortunately I have memories of sitting in front of a plate with cold over cooked white cabbage for an hour, I was as stubborn as my dad and I still can't eat cooked white cabbage

    There were the standard stodgy food fillers eg dumplings to stretch a stew, crumbles etc they didn't have the awareness we have today of what's unhealthy just the need to ensure your children didn't go hungry. We won't go into the discussions we all had with my mum in later years over the evils of frying everything

    I left home at 18 so I suppose it just goes to show how things we are taught as a child can become ingrained until she died she considered it her role to feed her family even when none of us needed it I was recently joking with my niece how she would wear you down to eventually agreeing to 'just a very small piece of puddling' and then give you a big portion in a large bowl to try and trick you
    • flubberyzing
    • By flubberyzing 14th Sep 18, 7:54 AM
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    flubberyzing
    Morning CFO'ers!

    A bit of an overcast start here, but I think it looks as if it might come nicer later on.
    My Mum is also of the school of thought of "just fill them up". She'll say herself that she's not interested in cooking, and just did it to keep us kids and dad alive!

    Plan for today is to take a trip up to the retail park. There's a few bits I need from Boots and the pound shop. And mum wants me to have a go at doing some photo enlargements for her on the machines in Boots.

    Dinner today will probably be curry.
    Because it's fun to have money!

    23.62/70 November Grocery Challenge
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    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 14th Sep 18, 8:02 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Very true one's attitude is often heavily influenced by upbringing in some respects.

    I've not forgotten someone I knew (in my own agegroup) once commented to me how she knew the reason for the fact she would take any food in front of her and then eat it fast was because she came from a large poor family. With that - she said there was never as much food on the table as everyone wanted there to be and so "You learnt to eat what you had fast - so you could try and take a bit more before anyone else got it - so you got enough to eat"

    I guess one of the reasons I'm considered a slow eater is because - whatever else can be said about my mothers cooking - there was enough and I didnt have to worry I'd still be hungry. So I could take my time about eating. So - at least there wasnt a shortage of food available and I wasnt pressurised to "finish it up".

    Plan for today - I'll pop down and see a friend in a moment. She's demanding to know exact details of just how much I've spent during my home visit LOL (after her initial reaction of "OMG" when I texted her).
    Last edited by moneyistooshorttomention; 14-09-2018 at 8:17 AM.
    Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world.

    It's the only thing that ever has.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 14th Sep 18, 10:02 AM
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    caronc
    Good morning everyone,
    I'm sure my Mum despaired at times at keeping a growing family adequately fed with the budget she had, she sure could do a lot with not very much though there was a lot of starchy fillers to bulk things out. I have mainly fond memories of food growing up and was never hungry but used to hanker for a bit more choice and variety. I'm sure my tendency to have over full freezers & cupboards stems from that.
    From this evening I'll be in "Mum-mode" for the next few days making sure everyone if fed & watered.
    HM burgers with wedges, corn cobettes, onion rings and coleslaw tonight, hopefully that will satisfy hungry travellers and I'll make sure some beers are chilled.

    I probably won't be about much until Tuesday so hope everyone has a good weekend.

    • Farway
    • By Farway 14th Sep 18, 2:34 PM
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    Farway
    Dull & cold day, but into L's on route to volunteering, a good day in there today
    One YS free range chicken, just perfect small CFO size, should get at least 4 meals out of it
    Fresh beetroot on offer, 59 a bunch, I love freshly cooked beetroot, went into the trolley
    And, jackpot, the XXL rump steak packs are back in my store. One pack of them, long dated & they are individually vacuum packed so will freeze just fine
    In the end it was over 17 spent in there, but that is at least 10 meals so reasonable IMO

    Then I was given some rhubarb by a client at the volunteering, that's one crumble sorted over the next few days

    Lunch was last of the YS ham slice, with salad in a sandwich

    I've popped the YS chicken in the oven, so dinner is another roast one I think, but with added hot beetroot, and just had a thought, I can bung some beets in and roast them in the same oven

    I won't add a crumble in there at the same time, too risky with my cooking skills

    My Mum is also of the school of thought of "just fill them up". She'll say herself that she's not interested in cooking, and just did it to keep us kids and dad alive!
    Originally posted by flubberyzing
    Our mum's must have read the same book, mine was a hopeless cook, hated it, plus it was rationing which must have made it even harder
    We were told to clear the plate, one reason being people had literally died in convoys to put some of it on there. It became habitual & normal

    Nice smell of chicken seeping through the house now, looking forward to that, not had roast chicken for a ages, my last attempt at chicken you may recall resulted in flies laying eggs on the defrosting leg
    Last edited by Farway; 14-09-2018 at 2:37 PM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 14th Sep 18, 4:36 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I've been glued to the PC house hunting, which is a long-winded and arduous task....

    So today I had two sausage rolls for lunch ... and I've another two in the oven right now for an early tea
    • Brambling
    • By Brambling 14th Sep 18, 8:23 PM
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    Brambling
    Good morning everyone,
    I'm sure my Mum despaired at times at keeping a growing family adequately fed with the budget she had, she sure could do a lot with not very much though there was a lot of starchy fillers to bulk things out. I have mainly fond memories of food growing up and was never hungry but used to hanker for a bit more choice and variety. I'm sure my tendency to have over full freezers & cupboards stems from that.

    I probably won't be about much until Tuesday so hope everyone has a good weekend.:
    Originally posted by caronc
    That just about describes my childhood too Caronc when there was a little bit of extra money there were little treats like a Lardy cake from the bakery or I can remember dad buying mum a cream meringue, unfortunately she could cook poor vegetables to death and there could be 5 on a plate , no al dente veg allowed in our house we were convinced the sprouts went on with the turkey

    3.30am this morning I woke up and in that half asleep moment decided someone was in the house shining a torch there wasn't and the rational part of my brain knew that but I would have loved to have been able to send someone else downstairs to check when I looked out the window there was a van leaving the Close and my neighbours security light was on, so I'm assuming it was the van lights through the curtains that woke me. I ended up with all my upstairs lights on just in case there was someone downstairs! But I wasn't going down there . Silly I know but real palpitations for a bit until I was completely awake and then I couldn't get back to sleep I'm blaming it on indigestion following the pizza and the murders in my book

    Lunch was crustless quiche and salad again with some YS cherries. I decided the quiche needed to go so I grabbed the last of it for dinner on its own, may need to pick at some fruit before bed

    Enjoy your weekend with your son Caronc and your house hunting PN
    Last edited by Brambling; 14-09-2018 at 8:26 PM.
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 15th Sep 18, 7:01 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    Not necessarily silly Brambling - re the lights next door episode. I've had a few incidents in my last house and one of them was being woken up by an almighty bang in the middle of the night - caused by someone trying to "break in" next door.

    You can imagine just how nervous that made me feel and there was no way I was going to open my front door and check out what the noise had been until the next day - at which point I duly rang the police.

    I guess there was a funny side to it - the way the thief attempted to break in was one involving rather a lot of physical strength. So - when the police turned up on my doorstep asking about it a second time and it was clear they'd really come on a "suss the neighbour out - in case they were the one that did this" visit and I could see they were looking me up and down and instantly dismissing that idea (as small as I am it was quite clear, at one glance, I wouldnt have had the physical strength for the method used).

    Mind you - there were a few "incidents" of one description or another in that house and it was all contributing to why I felt I had to sell it (whether I could afford to move or no) and it was unnerving to know that I was there on my own when they happened.
    Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world.

    It's the only thing that ever has.
    • flubberyzing
    • By flubberyzing 15th Sep 18, 9:35 AM
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    flubberyzing
    Morning all,

    Nice and sunny out there today, but a bit of a chill in the shade. I was up shortly after 8 and went down the street to Waitrose for my Saturday treat and the free coffee. Nearly went out without any cash though! Which would have been embarrassing!
    Breakfast has been the coffee... Not good, but only do that on the weekends.
    Lunch... I don't know! I'll see what I want nearer the time.
    Dinner will be pizza in front of a film or Netflix. I've been enjoying 'Anne With An E' on there lately, but nearly at the end of it. It's based on the 'Anne of Green Gables' story. I went to Prince Edward Island, where the story is set, getting on for 20 years ago now. A lovely part of the world.

    Sorry about your early wake up call Brambling! It's one of the downsides of living alone isn't it? I was in a house, before my current flat, and every little noise in the night used to set me off! I actually feel much more secure in my flat than I ever did in a house. Even though it can be noisier, there's that sense of more locked doors between me and the street!
    Although it annoys me a lot when some neighbours in the block leave the external doors propped open for whatever reason. It vastly reduces the security of the whole property! So, unless I can see someone obviously loading or unloading something, I make a point of shutting them.
    Because it's fun to have money!

    23.62/70 November Grocery Challenge
    47.19/70 October GC
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    • Farway
    • By Farway 15th Sep 18, 10:16 AM
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    Farway
    Same here as Brambling, sunny but chilly, ideal breakfast today of porridge, but had it with chopped apple for a change, plus usual yoghurt & honey

    Last night's roast was tasty as I'd hoped, the beetroot I baked in tin foil in the end, got two little 'uns left over for snacking. Plenty of chicken left for more meals

    The rhubarb has been stewed, just needs a crumble topping & it's ready to go, probably with yoghurt but maybe I'll get a tin of custard out if I can find one lurking.
    I do not organise my cupboards, fridge or freezer, stuff goes in wherever it will fit

    Planning ahead, I've set to record Bramwell which starts on Dave this afternoon, I liked it first time round and will be ideal mega watch on a wet winter day

    Lunch, not sure, maybe some thing on toast?

    Dinner, very likely to be LO beef stew, with dumplings, should really be a salad because I've loads of lettuce, but don't fancy it today
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 15th Sep 18, 12:18 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I've been up since 6.30am pottering about doing small and inconsequential "jobs" of tidying/cleaning around the house and even gave the grass a bit of a going over... as I've 2 potential buyers calling in later.

    Nearly there now.

    You really have to go out of your way to get the house "ready" that is different to how you usually live and leave things arranged, piled, waiting, sorting... I can't leave the washing up loitering/in soak until there's enough ... I have to do it all... and not just do it, but dry it and put it away, then put the plate drainer away, then wipe down the whole draining board, then take the bowl I use and pop it in the shed

    Lunch today was the final 2 sausage rolls in the pack.

    I might .... treat myself to an indian takeaway tonight, just because I can - and I've not had them for so long it's nice to be able to buy one, even if it isn't "the best ever", but simply "that's good enough to be bought again". If I do, that'd be the 3rd in 3 weeks
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 15-09-2018 at 12:20 PM.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 15th Sep 18, 3:00 PM
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    Farway
    Hope the potential buyers were impressed PN, and good luck with the takeaways, I know you've spent yonks trying to find one "that's good enough to be bought again"


    I don't buy them, the curry ones are too spicey for me, anf the Chinese ones I always think "blow that I can get one from Marks or W/rose for half that price"


    Lunch finished up as grilled cheese on stale bread toast, with some of the LO Christmas offer piccalilli


    Beef stew now out of fridge, ready to reheat on the hob, with fresh dumplings bunged in
    Crumble, all items ready to whiz and adorn the stewed rhubarb, not located my custard yet, could be yoghurt substitute


    Scrumped some of next doors Concorde pears, they are now dropping off the tree, so may as well drop a bit earlier into my hands Not fully ripe yet but soon will be


    Tried in vain to photograph a spider in it's web, with fly. Nice out of focus shots, be ideal for News showing children in playground
    I'll have another bash later using my phone camera instead of a "real one"
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 15th Sep 18, 4:32 PM
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    PasturesNew
    .... good luck with the takeaways, I know you've spent yonks trying to find one "that's good enough to be bought again"


    I don't buy them, the curry ones are too spicey for me, anf the Chinese ones I always think "blow that I can get one from Marks or W/rose for half that price"
    Originally posted by Farway
    Supermarkets can't do indian or chinese just like the takeaways. It used to be that chinese was cheap, but a sweet/sour chicken balls with one side dish of rice or noodles, is nigh on 9 now!

    Indian used to cost more. An indian for me will now typically cost 7.

    I've found a FAB Chinese for doing S/S chicken - but their rice/noodles aren't up to scratch, that's definitely a case of pre-buying the sides at a supermarket as they're "just as bad" as the proper Chinese one... and I CBA to start trying to order half a Chinese from one shop and the other half from another to select the items they do best

    Indian .... and supermarkets ..... never come close to "the real thing". What I see when I look in the supermarkets, too, is that /Kg it appears to probably be cheaper to actually buy an indian that's made fresh. Supermarket portions are much tinier than takeaway portions.

    Re viewers: You can never tell when somebody comes and sees it as "ideal" ... or even somebody who is just fed up to the back teeth with seeing houses and so just goes "It'll do, I'll have it", which is what I did when I bought this

    I would say: They've been/gone.... two expected, no feedback from the agent yet to let me know if none, one, or two viewed. Doors were open, but that could just be the agent having a nosey around as this agent hadn't seen it before. ... he's seen it in the past, when I bought it, but not this time.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 15-09-2018 at 4:34 PM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 15th Sep 18, 5:17 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I think it's definitely got to be an indian... I'm all "jumpy" from today's events.... so an indian would go down a treat

    Didn't like their naan bread though ... so might pop into a supermarket and pick up a cheap one there... might as well pay 50p for something "so so" as 2.30

    Had an agent call, one of the viewers likes it a lot - but has one to sell (3-4 miles away); hers has had a lot of viewings this weekend though...

    So it might be that old chestnut "first to view will buy". Stranger things have happened at sea and I am at the seaside.

    EDIT: Back. Popped into Lidl for naan bread - and spotted they do a bombay spuds which was marked "new" at 1.29. I like a bombay spud, so I got that and the naan (plain). 1.29 + 49p (for two naans).

    Indian tried to stiff me as they didn't deduct the 10% for collection, but I pointed it out 7.16 instead of 7.95.

    Bombay Spuds: Avoid. Not a good one.
    Plain Naan: Very passable.

    Still got half of everything left for tomorrow.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 15-09-2018 at 7:04 PM.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 16th Sep 18, 10:03 AM
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    Farway
    Bombay Spuds: Avoid. Not a good one.
    Plain Naan: Very passable.

    Still got half of everything left for tomorrow.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Nice to know about the spuds PN, not that I buy much oriental style food any way, or much in the way of prepared spud stuff except chips.
    I was looking and wondering about trying Iceland's offer this week, spud waffles, decided to give them a miss as spud waffles are nothing I crave or long for. I'd eat them if they appeared on my plate of course

    I don't mind that s/m take aways are nothing like the real thing, they suit my taste, unlike the real, authentic Chinese they used to sell in Wanchai on the way back to the ship, gross

    Yesterday's rhubarb crumble was as nice as hoped, and I found the tin of custard to go with it. Plenty of both left for more puds
    The LO stew plus dumplings was ideal, as usual the stew improved after a night in the fridge

    Breakfast of usual porridge, with chopped apple again.

    Dry and sort of sunny, I should cut the grass but that may not happen
    Staying in and filling in my tax return instead of mooching around shops, I only "need" milk but that's not urgent

    Lunch, probably a cheese & salady sandwich. I bought Red Leicester cheese instead of plain old yellow mature cheddar. Not impressed, but it has to be used now I've got it

    Dinner, salad is very likely, needs using before it turns to compost, plus I've LO roast chicken to go with it, an easy CFO meal with some frozen chips
    Last edited by Farway; 16-09-2018 at 10:06 AM.
    • flubberyzing
    • By flubberyzing 16th Sep 18, 11:20 AM
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    flubberyzing
    All this talk of takeaways...!
    I've been wanting a chippy tea all week, but holding out for now. It's my birthday in a fortnight, so I'll treat myself to one during that week without any guilt! I also like a takeaway pizza, but that's no change from 20 really, which is madness! I have maybe one of those a year, if that. A chippy tea is every 2-3 months.
    I like Indian meals, but I'd rather go to a restaurant. There's a lovely one in the next town that does a full-on feast on a Sunday for about 12 a head. Gorgeous!
    I like Chinese also, but Chinese doesn't like me! There's some ingredient in it that upsets my stomach, so I now avoid it!

    I'm good at avoiding takeaways - they barely ever cross my mind tbh. Although I know people who have 2 or 3 a week! Madness!

    Breakfast this morning was a coffee and biccies… Naughty!
    Lunch, I'll see what I fancy.
    Dinner will be tuna pasta.

    A good shop is due tomorrow. The cupboard is getting a bit sparse!
    Because it's fun to have money!

    23.62/70 November Grocery Challenge
    47.19/70 October GC
    44.32/70 September GC
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 16th Sep 18, 12:31 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I like Chinese also, but Chinese doesn't like me! There's some ingredient in it that upsets my stomach, so I now avoid it!

    I'm good at avoiding takeaways - they barely ever cross my mind tbh. Although I know people who have 2 or 3 a week! Madness!
    Originally posted by flubberyzing
    Am guessing it's probably monosodium glatamate that's the problem ingredient in Chinese cooking - so you're probably okay with Chinese food per se. However - NOT okay with food from the usual Chinese restaurant/takeaway.

    I'm very good at avoiding takeaways - not that I had many at all before moving. Here - I've had precisely one since moving here - from a place recommended as the best one for takeaways here. I tried to finish it - as I was hungry - but it was pretty revolting and half of it went in the bin. So there's no temptation whatsoever to have any takeaways here - to see if any of the other places are better than the "best one"
    Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world.

    It's the only thing that ever has.
    • Farway
    • By Farway 16th Sep 18, 2:40 PM
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    Farway
    Lunch ended up with cheese & salady PB baguette instead of a sandwich, my bread is stale and the PB baguettes are BBE 18th, so two birds one brick

    Dinner will be as planned, LO roast chicken salad + some frozen chips, with LO rhubarb crumble & custard later

    Sun's out, nice & warm, not mowing the grass though. But I've completed the tax form which is one job less
    All this talk of takeaways...!
    I've been wanting a chippy tea all week, but holding out for now. It's my birthday in a fortnight, so I'll treat myself to one during that week without any guilt!


    Dinner will be tuna pasta.
    Originally posted by flubberyzing

    I've been thinking about a chippy meal for the last few weeks, I may succumb on Friday.

    That day I've got my annual MOT with the Practice nurse, assuming I get the reasonably all clear, except overweight which I take as a given, I may just cross the road to the very handy chippy opposite the surgery


    And now I fancy tuna pasta, not had that for ages


    Update, my recently sown YS parsley seed has germinated.

    I bought it the other week following Caron's praise & harvesting of fresh parsley
    At least I know the seed is viable.
    Last edited by Farway; 16-09-2018 at 2:58 PM. Reason: Update added
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