Thursday, August 11, 2022

Have bought you a crab, Mum!

That picture was taken in June , the last time I managed to get a crab. Today on August 11th Ann and Graham have brought me one from Scarborough from the shop where Gary fillets fish sometimes. That shop is only open  first thing in the morning. 
Our lovely Filey wet fish shop closed down at Easter just as we were all planning our Good Friday meals. No, I'm not complaining.There is always another way . We do not have to eat Crab. We , if go by the media are going to have a job to afford food at all . Yes, I am working out a strategy to save Gas and Electricity, and I'm taking positive steps to change our lifestyle.

Colin's Carer Chris suggested that I should unplug all the chargers around the house until I need them. Ive just counted, there are 6. For the first week I did indeed switch them all off, but my intentions have been thwarted by my butterfly mind. 

Martin Lewis , who I admire from his easy manner on MoneyBox Live is profuse in great ideas for coping with the current Media Circus and scaremongering re Price Caps on fuel and direct debits of hundreds a month. I am reminded that he wants to be an MP too, (I think)and wonder for how long he can remain the impartial voice of reason. I hope he will join the Green Party. (I have just followed grandson no.1 and joined).
I am going to start cooking on the top of my Log burner again, and put a kettle on it, before its illegal to burn the Kiln dried Ash logs we use in winter, and the stove warms all our small cottage. I have the national Collection of candles still from the Millenium Scare.

I'm doing all I can to cut down on my plastic waste. This is not easy as spouse has so many medical items that are made of plastic, I have to use them .
Yesterday , however I disposed of 4 food containers that declared they are not recycled yet, Soft prunes, ground coffee, Truvia and yellow split peas. None of these items could be sold in paper packets. Son in Brighton and daughter in Sussex , where the green awareness is very high, are able to go to scoop shops   taking their own containers. I am pleading for another one to open in Filey. Twenty years ago we had one , which I used as often as I could, but it was ahead of its time and lasted only less that a year. 

Filey is a poor place to shop anyway as it is  demographically client led, catering for the Caravan trade,  the Geriatric ready meals trade , and  Yorkshire's idea of a good diet. ( Thank God for our Greengrocer and butcher). We have 3 friends who eat no vegetables except peas. These are nutritionally ok, being second class proteins, but for us there are only so many Pea, mushroom  and Paneer curries we can eat in a month.
Our chiropodist  Ann has recommended a champion of eating cheaply , Jack Monroe oka  The bootstrap cook. Her Cook Books are great, and her out of the box ideas for recipes helpful for everyone.

I stopped , or tried to stop, buying foods flown in to the uk, except for Avocados , grapes and oranges. I have tried to grow pulses on my allotment and have succeeded with chick peas, mange tout, and sugar snap peas. If we are going to get through winters more economically, I am reminded that dried peas kept people going before potatoes came to the uk. 
My allotment neighbour Brian grows enough peas to see him through the year . I imagine him sitting and shelling them for days, for the freezer. Broad beans too are easy to grow, and so are that other neglected staple Butter beans. WE just need to find better ways of storing and using them . I remember my mother  soaking butter beans to use them . We could do that easily. I make a great soup with yellow split peas, coconut milk , onion and Red Thai paste, easy to freeze when very thick , and just water down to serve. 
Dhal can be made so many ways too, with so many different  spices 
and additions. Its such a cheap staple too, as a 500 gm pack red lentils cost 99p In Aldi, add onions and tumeric and optional hard boiled eggs and feed 6.

Martin Lewis says It's more economical to boil a kettle on stove than use an electric kettle. I have a 3.5 ltr one , its taking us a while to dovetail the timing and the amount of water to put in the kettle, but we've only had it a week. 
The Microwave might have to go next, although spouse remembers all those childhood dinners kept warm on 2 plates over a saucepan  of water. 
I'm not good at Jam  but I've managed this year with a thermometer and before the birds broke through the netting to the blackcurrant bushes. The redcurrant jelly took 2 boilings using the cold plate set test, but the thermometer did the trick . I use the ancient Marguerite Pattern book of recipes which is dropping to bits and yellowing .
Grandson no 2 is always trying to get me to listen to Podcasts. Every one is listening to them these days he says  as he reels off the names of good ones. I must listen to the younger generation now I'm classed as one of the Olds. But I still like to put actual words down on virtual paper  like this blog , and read the constant stream of Library books that daughter no1 brings from her workplace, a great  library in the East Riding 10 miles away. I get plenty of updates about the World on Radio 4, (long may it continue), and the Music world form Jess Gillam on Radio 3.

I'll go now and get the lunch. Spouse has to have main meal at lunchtime now, following strong medical advise. Ive just read in todays Times that they recommend that too now for a Healthy lifestyle. The trouble is that this Old is exhausted by 2pm after preparing food from scratch, washing by hand(until machine is fixed on Tuesday) , watering the plants first thing because of the heat, fielding phone calls, and callers, so that when I sit down to read , I drop off. By 5pm I'm ready to prepare a meal from scratch, so perhaps I'll have to prepare tomorrows meal today, and recycle my time as well as my wrappers.

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