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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.
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Page 75
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Mar 18, 7:14 PM
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    caronc
    I definitely think a lot of M&S food is not as good as it once was these days!
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    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Mar 18, 7:37 PM
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    PasturesNew
    I've probably eaten just 2-3 M&S ready meals in my life, over 20 years ago. What I found was that the contents inside the packaging used to very closely resemble the photo on the box .... something you can NEVER say is true of other ready meals.

    They're simply too pricey for me .... I'm more your 80p-1 ready meal buyer. But when you stare at a box and think how much it'd cost to make it, it's often just a shock at the price of the ready meal version for "quite simple" foods. Some meals take a lot of prep, faffing about, with several ingredients .... but something like a mac cheese can be knocked up in a nuker from scratch in under 10 minutes without breaking into a sweat, so I'd begrudge paying more than 80p for a mac cheese (and I haven't actually bought an 80p one for 2-3 years) ....

    There are now chicken dinners in the chilled section of L1dl/4ldi - tiny bit of chicken, tiny roastie, small yorkie, tiny spot of veg ... 2.49. Not value. If you only have 2.50 in your pocket and need a meal, then fine.... but with a bit more money you can buy an entire chicken breast joint (2.49) or 1Kg of chicken breasts (3.33). Bag of cheap yorkies (50p). Pack of instant mash .... bag of fresh carrots (25p) and a 1Kg of peas (1).... so for the price of 2 ready meals you can make your own/similar for the price of two of them and have 4-5 dinners, with leftovers still for more!

    When I buy ready meals it's rarely because they taste better than I can make myself, it's because I'm feeling lazy, or because one element is "too much faffing about". And, of course, it's a simple "cook this in X minutes and have no leftovers, no clearing up to do". No repeat eating of it for the next 3-4 days.

    But, as I say, in the main, I simply don't see the value in them - especially as an increasing number of the bottom end of the price ranges have simply disappeared in recent years. 80p used to buy me a nice selection .... now 1.50 offers a reduced selection of slimey looking small portions of grot.
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 07-03-2018 at 7:41 PM.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Mar 18, 7:46 PM
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    PasturesNew
    To be blunt "you're probably not short of a bob or two"
    .... flying over a day or two before my date of completion to support me. I'm not sure what he thinks will happen lol, but over the years I've learnt 'to do as I'm told' ...
    Originally posted by MrAPJI
    There's a "packing service" that you can buy - and it's relatively cheap (that's ME saying that, so believe it!).

    All you do is: nothing (OK, it's good to maybe box up your treasures/personals and irreplaceables for yourself, just in case) ... but they turn up and take instructions.... and you stand and watch.

    My sibling ordered this service and I saw it.... they plodded on and on and on .... about lunch time my sibling and I went out for a walk to the local town and had a pasty lunch and wander round, then wandered back ....

    It's magic. It just happens. And it's THE way to move if you're not short of a bob or two!

    Do it!
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Mar 18, 7:49 PM
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    caronc
    Tend to agree with you PN, M&S readyfood used to be fairly reliable and noticably better than other SMs but IMHO the quality isn't as good now despite them being more expensive. I used to like their moussaka as a treat on a Friday night after work sometimes, but the last time I had it they had definitely changed something and not for the better. I was also fairly disappointed with their smoked haddock fishcakes, I've had better and much cheaper from elsewhere. As for the "new and improved" southern fried chicken portions had to complain about those.....

    I don't each much by way of ready meals but they have their place at times but I do want something half way edible especially if I'm paying a "premium" price.
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    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Mar 18, 7:53 PM
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    PasturesNew

    Just spotted a post by PN on another thread, boiled fruit cake. maybe after my weekend weigh in I will investigate further
    Originally posted by Farway
    A lovely older lady in Cornwall, who bakes ... a lot. Without fuss, or posh/modern ingredients, recipes from 50-100 years ago mostly. Old ones from her old books, from her friends' old books, from her old friends' mother's handwritten recipes.

    Not a person doing it "to get famous/make money", but simply likes to bake cakes (especially fruit cakes) who bakes a lot of simple old fashioned recipes of all sorts... mostly Cornish, mostly baking, but other stuff too.

    Not a smoothie in sight, no kale, no chia seeds and no avocados

    Something for everybody who just likes a good honest old fashioned bit of food

    https://www.facebook.com/Recipes-from-a-Cornish-Kitchen-207309386110463

    If you despise the very existence of Facebook and wish it'd die ... then she posts stuff on her blog.

    http://www.recipesfromacornishkitchen.blogspot.co.uk/
    Last edited by PasturesNew; 07-03-2018 at 7:57 PM.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Mar 18, 7:58 PM
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    caronc
    Lovely blog thanks PN
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    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 7th Mar 18, 9:19 PM
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    PasturesNew
    Re Cornish Kitchen

    Let's be honest.... am I ever going to gather all those ingredients, mix and blend, then pour stuff into a tin .... and bake for 1-2 hours ... just to get a cake? Then have to eat it all? By myself?

    No. I'll pop into L1dl/4ldi or Poundland with 1 and see what that buys .... but I DO like to look at the photos

    I often plan to bake a cake, my mum's boiled fruit cake, a recipe she was given in the 70s by the ladies at work and it was also the last cake she ever made (she wasn't ever a baker or cook, growing up we'd mostly make buns from packet mixes) .... but planning to do something and getting round to it are mutually exclusive
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Mar 18, 10:53 PM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    I definitely think a lot of M&S food is not as good as it once was these days!
    Originally posted by caronc
    Wouldnt surprise me - as at least some of their clothes leave an awful lot to be desired these days. Thinking now of a pair of slippers recently bought from them that fell apart after literally 10 days of wear. I bought the replacement pair online - from a foreign company via Amazon (Dutch one I seem to recall - ie not one of the "cheapie" countries). I doubt I'll buy anything from M & S ever again (which leaves me wondering where my knickers are supposed to come from in future - with what was my default shop off the menu).
    *******************
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Mar 18, 10:57 PM
    • 15,850 Posts
    • 43,878 Thanks
    moneyistooshorttomention
    A lovely older lady in Cornwall, who bakes ... a lot. Without fuss, or posh/modern ingredients, recipes from 50-100 years ago mostly. Old ones from her old books, from her friends' old books, from her old friends' mother's handwritten recipes.

    Not a person doing it "to get famous/make money", but simply likes to bake cakes (especially fruit cakes) who bakes a lot of simple old fashioned recipes of all sorts... mostly Cornish, mostly baking, but other stuff too.

    Not a smoothie in sight, no kale, no chia seeds and no avocados

    Something for everybody who just likes a good honest old fashioned bit of food

    https://www.facebook.com/Recipes-from-a-Cornish-Kitchen-207309386110463

    If you despise the very existence of Facebook and wish it'd die ... then she posts stuff on her blog.

    http://www.recipesfromacornishkitchen.blogspot.co.uk/
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    LOL at the comments re kale, chia seeds and avocados - of which I have the last two in currently Pastures.

    Don't anybody tell my mother re recipes for Cornish cakes - particularly saffron cakes. She'll be on the case... - my case (ie to get me to make her some).
    *******************
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 8th Mar 18, 8:35 AM
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    PN, I think the brother-in-law wishes to give 'emotional support' to AP . It is going to be so difficult for him to leave the place which holds so many special memories xx
    Originally posted by BucksLady
    Indeed

    I'm pretty cynical - but yep...I'm not agreeing with Pastures on that one.

    Good friends do do support.

    When I moved here to Wales the husband of my best friend drove me over to Wales and then (to my surprise) ended up staying a couple of days to help me "settle in" - complete with taking loads of photos of the house back for my best friend to have a look at (as she was/is too ill to have come over in the car with us).

    So he helped me unpack (errr...whoops...cue for some embarrassment - as he helped me unpack my books - ahemconsidering what some of them are about) and I gave him a whistlestop tour of my new area.

    Basically - he did this because they had decided this, knowing I'm a woman on my own and without a car. Also they knew I wasn't moving by choice - as it really was way beyond time to move to a detached house and the terrace one I had was getting more and more run-down (as I'd always known it was just a starter house to me) and the area I was living in was starting to "go down". The heavy pollution (loads of cars for instance) in the area was starting to affect my health. Cue for moving to a cheaper part of the country.
    I wouldnt have done so if I'd been able to afford the houses I had always had in mind in the nicer outskirts of my city - but, as I couldnt, then I had to move.

    I suspect my friends had a better idea than I did too that it would start off by feeling like rather more than just "moving to a different area in the country". There was an element too of them making sure they didn't lose touch/knew exactly where I live - in case the son of theirs I went out with for some time did get divorced (as they thought he probably eventually would - and they were right). I know it would "make their day" if we got back together again(unlikely!).

    Those same friends had turned up on my doorstep unexpectedly the day I'd moved into my starter house MANY years before then - complete with buckets and scrubbing brushes

    So - yep....good friends are there to support at times like this.
    *******************
    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 8th Mar 18, 9:03 AM
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    pineapple
    I've used a packing service - though I still felt I had to sort out the minutiae of cupboards and drawers which to me is the biggest pain. I needed to pare down my belongings and sort things into keep, throw or give away. Plus pineapple didn't want strange men rifling through her undies so even if stuff was still in drawers, it was all organised and bagged. Also they wrapped every single thing in a ton of brown paper - even pots and pans - and at the other end I was surrounded by a sea of cardboard boxes and paper. They did take back emptied boxes but I couldn't unpack as fast as they brought it in.
    As for cooking for one, until I was on E7 with hiked day time electricity rates, I used to bake a lot - yes even just for little old me. So cakes, biscuits, bread even....A sponge only takes half an hour or less in the oven. To me the flavour is worth it and l love my food (yes that's code for greedy!). I still do meals from scratch. I would rather have an egg sandwich or a beans on toast snack than have a ready meal. Mostly it is quick simple food but yesterday I pushed the boat out and cooked a roast pork joint with crispy crackling and I had that with plain old potatoes and spring greens flavoured with 5 spice powder. I think I might have today's offering with apples 'baked' on the stove. I already ate ALL the crackling. Sigh.....
    Last edited by pineapple; 08-03-2018 at 9:13 AM.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 8th Mar 18, 9:15 AM
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    caronc
    Good morning everyone,
    Good friends are invaluable, I'm fortunate to have a few
    Sunny but very cold and icy here this morning, no snow thankfully.
    I'm still resembling a "scabby hamster" but it's definitely calming down
    Tesco are coming on later with supplies for the birthday meal at the weekend so the fridge will be loaded again.
    Foodwise I've had the usual toast & fruit for breakfast, lunch will be remaining stir fry from yesterday with LO roast veg from last night added. I'm not sure about tonight, possibly corned beef hash or beef stew & dumplings from the freezer.
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    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 8th Mar 18, 9:19 AM
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    pineapple
    I'm still resembling a "scabby hamster" but it's definitely calming down
    Originally posted by caronc
    I think I might adopt that as a user name for the next forum I sign up to if you don't mind. 'Scabby hamster' - it has a nice ring to it!
    • caronc
    • By caronc 8th Mar 18, 9:26 AM
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    caronc
    I think I might adopt that as a user name for the next forum I sign up to if you don't mind. 'Scabby hamster' - it has a nice ring to it!
    Originally posted by pineapple
    You're welcome to it, I'd much rather be a "fluffy hamster"
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    • kittie
    • By kittie 8th Mar 18, 10:13 AM
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    kittie
    cornish kitchen recipes, lovely and just my type, into my recipes folder on the toolbar

    Packing for moving. I have decided to do all the house goods myself, apart from the kitchen. Just about everything is ready to go, all sorted and I will just have to put everything into cardboard boxes, I believe costco sell them so will look when I have the time and inclination. Shed/workshop stuff and garden bits will all be travelling first, before the house stuff and I may well get two people and a van to do that

    I have been to recycling/tip already and am on my second breakfast after having a mini first thing. First was granola, hemp seed, walnuts and milk, second and tbh was very nice, was hot ratatouille with a fried (fatless) egg and half a thin slice of cheddar on top plus a white tea (pale green). Thats three already today and will be adding more, painlessly, through the day. I am not getting any more peppers and tomatoes, I really do think they affect my joints, make me ache. It will be a time trialled test, also including work periods so will be a fair test

    Lunch likely to be a hm carrot/lentil soup and toasted cheese toastie and last meal a lamb chop with brocolli and caulie

    going to be a nice day but the lanes are filthy dirty, didn`t see any cyclists while out so I will probably not cycle, very muddy patches
    • caronc
    • By caronc 8th Mar 18, 10:15 AM
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    caronc

    Well, I've become a dedicated follower of a few who upload 'cooking' videos for those as daft as me lol. Today it will be a vegetable frittata.... Breakfast was weetabix, followed by a bowl of fruit ....
    Originally posted by MrAPJI
    Well, I've become a dedicated follower of a few who upload 'cooking' videos for those as daft as me like me who are keen to learn new skills. (is what you should be saying...)
    These videos are great, like a free 121 tutorial very
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    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 8th Mar 18, 10:16 AM
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    PasturesNew
    PN, I think the brother-in-law wishes to give 'emotional support' to AP . It is going to be so difficult for him to leave the place which holds so many special memories xx
    Originally posted by BucksLady
    Which is why I suggested it as neither has to get their sleeves rolled up and touch all the stuff, decide how/where it'll be packed, stack up boxes..... leaving all the time for "gentle socialising and pleasantries".

    Packing as a spectator sport, is far better than having anything to do with the activity physically.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 8th Mar 18, 10:16 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 24,834 Thanks
    caronc
    cornish kitchen recipes, lovely and just my type, into my recipes folder on the toolbar

    Packing for moving. I have decided to do all the house goods myself, apart from the kitchen. Just about everything is ready to go, all sorted and I will just have to put everything into cardboard boxes, I believe costco sell them so will look when I have the time and inclination. Shed/workshop stuff and garden bits will all be travelling first, before the house stuff and I may well get two people and a van to do that

    I have been to recycling/tip already and am on my second breakfast after having a mini first thing. First was granola, hemp seed, walnuts and milk, second and tbh was very nice, was hot ratatouille with a fried (fatless) egg and half a thin slice of cheddar on top plus a white tea (pale green). Thats three already today and will be adding more, painlessly, through the day. I am not getting any more peppers and tomatoes, I really do think they affect my joints, make me ache. It will be a time trialled test, also including work periods so will be a fair test

    Lunch likely to be a hm carrot/lentil soup and toasted cheese toastie and last meal a lamb chop with brocolli and caulie

    going to be a nice day but the lanes are filthy dirty, didn`t see any cyclists while out so I will probably not cycle, very muddy patches
    Originally posted by kittie
    Are you buying the bungalow you viewed kittie?
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    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 8th Mar 18, 10:28 AM
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    pineapple
    Back on the subject of ready meals, I do sometimes find it useful to browse the ingredients. Put THAT with THAT? Who'd have thunk it? Hmmm might try that at home.....
    • pineapple
    • By pineapple 8th Mar 18, 10:31 AM
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    pineapple

    So, I now have a RAFT of vegetables to get through ..... it's the sheer volume that's daunting. Recipe ideas aren't an issue, we all know how to cook/eat food ... the issue is the sheer volume of an accumulation of veggies I still have two carrots from last week .... and some spuds.
    Originally posted by PasturesNew
    Cook up a soup and freeze it.
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