Making it fun

It's all about your state of mind, you know.
If you stand in front of your nearly empty cupboards and think, "I'm going to struggle here", then you probably will.
If, instead, you stand there with the attitude of, "Right, let's see what we can create out of this little lot", it becomes more of a challenge than a despair.

If you see flour, you have pancakes, naan bread, pastry beginnings, even homemade pasta possibly.
If you see lentils, you have curry, Dahl, soup, stew.

One thing I maintain is my spice shelf.
With spices you can turn almost anything into a delicious meal.

We go to an indoor market to buy our spices in bulk, as they are cheapest there.
The ones I keep are: cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, cinnamon, harissa, and a herb mix of thyme, parsley, sage and rosemary.

I always have onions, and cook in the cheapest veg oil.

After that, I can create meals from whatever we have as leftovers on a "beam ends" week, or plan recipes using a few simple ingredients.

Tonight's supper was a chick pea curry - served in a deep bowl, so no need for rice.
We added some fine green beans that needed using up, but you can add almost anything to a curry!

Tomorrow I'm using a couple of branches of broccoli with a knob end of Stilton for a yummy thick soup.

I have enough bits and bobs to feed us for almost two weeks without shopping, using up the food that travelled home from France with us, and the tins in my store cupboard.

How do you stretch the last bits and bobs and make it fun?


  1. Snap! I love my spice shelf and I also use a stall in the local market to top up when needed. I love the fragrance of new spice!
    Your meals sound delicious!

    J x

  2. I made a sort of carbonara dish earlier this week, 2 rashers of bacon, 2 mushrooms and half an onion, cooked in a little oil, then I added cornflour and milk to make a white sauce. I served it with pasta and a side salad.

  3. I can quite happily live on pulses, as long as I have my spices and herbs. I hardly ever serve them with rice, too many carbs. If I want to stretch a meal I use quinoa or pearl barley. I never run out of onions and garlic and I like to have Balasmic vinegar to hand.

  4. Fridge bottom clearance soup with some beans or lentils is a frequent make even in summer. Tonight was lettuce, tomatoes, carrot grated, apple chopped and some cottage cheese that needed eaten-it was lovely! Grains, rice and beans etc always make an enjoyable meal for my taste. Glad you had a good holiday in France. Catriona

  5. I see it as a personal challenge to use stuff up. Instead of my usual soups though I make them less liquids and coin it 'hash'!!


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