Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Big Problem

Well, okay - a little cheat.  Knowing I would not be spending in October, I used the last few days in September, the remainder of my Amazon vouchers (which I get for participating in surveys and Swagbucks), and a bit of money - to order these:

Good thing is, they should keep me out of mischief for quite a while - and then it's back to what's been keeping me busy this far - all the free books on the Kindle that DD wanted so desperately a couple of years back and spent all her savings on.... Only to find that she doesn't really like reading on it.
Well, I do, so that's OK then ;)  Currently halfway through Mrs Gaskells Wives and Daughters, having previously finished North and South.  Can't believe I never read any of her stuff before !
In other news, Stoptober is going OK - first day was an NSD, and this one should follow in its footsteps.  We had pasta pesto and garlicky courgettes for last night's dinner, and are attacking the cous cous mountain for tonight's dinner, together with some vegetable curry that I defrosted overnight. 
Cous cous mountain ?  Well, you see.... Approved Food had it on special offer, I bought a few packets, DD really, really liked it - so when she finished that first lot, I waited until they had some more in, and ordered loads.  Trouble is, the number of packets I thought I ordered turned out to be a number of cases - each case containing between six and twelve packets of cous cous, depending on flavour.
And then DD went right off them. 
Long story short, we've been eating cous cous at least once a week for, oh, longer than I care to remember - and have just over 30 packets left.  With a bit of luck, it could all be over by Christmas - and then I shall never buy cous cous again.  At least, not until the next absolutely unmissable offer comes round ;)
As Stoptober is not just a chance to save some money, but also to use up some stocks - well, one depends on the other to some extent - we've started by eating up various little odds and sods cluttering up the food storage areas (of which there are many).  So, for instance, today's breakfast was some of Crunchy Nut cereal that DD was really into some weeks ago, but then she went off it (beginning to see a pattern here yet ?) - for OH.  Some kids' cereal that we brought over from Croatia for DD (the fact that we can not re-stock once it's finished is a pretty good insurance against her going off this one, fortunately), and for me, this :

Home made sourdough bread, made with cheap Tesco chapatti flour (gives a lighter sourdough than the stoneground rye, which isn't necessarily a bad thing), spread with cream cheese that is the byproduct of making whey which is necessary for lacto-fermenting your own veg.... It gets a bit complicated, following the vagaries of my kitchen.  So, where were we ?  Ah, yes - home made cream cheese, topped with sea salt and home grown tigerella tomatoes. And a few olives that need eating up. 
Then, lunch - first, DD's lunch - mac'n'veg (like a macaroni based frittata with chopped peppers and grated courgette included in the mix) - made a while ago when I had a courgette and some eggs that needed using up; quartered, wrapped in foil, and frozen - and now I am defrosting one a week for DD's lunch.  Some sliced home-grown cucumber on the side - the very last of them, as it grew too cold and wet and we pulled up the plants last weekend.

Then there's OH's lunch - usually made at the weekend, and stretched out over the week if possible, and this week, as I am making sure I am providing myself with an alternative, it looks like it will stretch - tuna pasta salad.  Pasta shells, home made mayo, tin of tuna, chopped onions, peppers and courgette sautéed together, chuck it all in and mix well. 

And finally, mine - this was a dinner the night before our holiday, and a frugal affair in itself - you can see how I scraped the bottoms of various pasta jars and mixed all the shapes together.  A bit of pesto and some thinly sliced courgette, a scraping of grated cheese.... And as there were leftovers, and we were off the next day, into the freezer they went, to be defrosted last night and eaten for lunch by yours truly today.

The big question now is whether I am going to make it until Friday (we try to shop for groceries Friday evening) without a top-up shop.  Normally I do not - a top up is made Monday or Tuesday on various things that DD has a fancy for snacking on.  And as you might have gathered, DD can be a bit particular about her food.... And yes, there are very good reasons for me pandering to her whims - I might write about them some day, but for now, I leave you with just a couple of phrases:  "autism spectrum disorder" and "eating disorder".  We don't like our lives ruled by either of them, and to that effect we have devised a system that works for us and results in a healthy daughter and less-than-could be stressed and worried parents. 
But this week I want to try and make it without topping up.  Crisps are all but gone;  crumpets are all gone; so are crackers.  Fruit is down to three apples that DD is not all that keen on, and, apart from a few bits of posh holiday chocolate, that's it for snacks.  Apart from popcorn, almonds, cashew nuts, raisins, home baked goods... Which are normally rejected in favour of the junk listed above.  She said she can make it a couple of days with what we have in - whether the resolve holds when the cravings strike though is another thing.  I have a fiver in my purse, and if the "there's nothing to eeeeeaaaat !!!!" rears its ugly head, I intend to hand it over and send her to the shops.  Then it's down to her to decide whether facing Asda and the outside world is a lesser or greater evil than having to eat popcorn and nuts !
Oh, and the big problem ?  Well, how the heck do I decide which book to read first ?
Go on, help me out here - what would you do ?



  1. I'm laughing about the amount of couscous you bought. I imagine you were quite surprised when it was delivered! You're doing well so far. I'm trying to use up my freezer full of food at the moment - I have a horrible feeling it might stop working at some time in the not-too-distant future. Sigh. Hope you keep doing well with this.

    1. At the time, I was delighted - so much cous cous ! so little money ! - that feeling disappeared pretty quickly - the cous cous stayed.

      I would really struggle without my freezer - hope yours lasts you at least as long as the food does !

  2. I am never eating couscous again for similar reasons. Even the hens got bored of it.

    I would read the wartime housewife - it might give you some ideas?

    1. Good thinking, Batman - except I made the tactical mistake of actually opening the Stephen King, and I've struggled to separate from it since. WTH is next though - Pratchett can wait, as it's not a Discworld novel.....

    2. Also just thinking - could you do some nut brittle? Or nut brittle mixed into the popcorn? It might give her some variety and save you form the spend if you have enough sugar.

  3. I, too, have an AF cous cous mountain. Irresistible at those prices. I've begun to mix it in with grated veg and whatever else is to hand to make vegeburgers and adding it to a stew for a bit more bulk and a bit of extra flavour

    1. That's a pretty great idea - I have found a recipe for cous cous fritters with feta a little while ago, and have made them a couple of times since. Think I have them on the menu plan for next week - will have to remember to share the recipe when I cook them next !