It seems weird having access to a full size kitchen and cooker, not to mention loads of goodies in the cupboards with which to cook.
With our friend in hospital, we did a little stocktake and went shopping.
Yesterday I made a cauliflower cheese with stripped ham.
It was totally delicious, but our friend was kept in overnight so his portion was put in a dish and has been frozen down for a later date.
Today it was a budget spaghetti bolognese.
To serve 3, my ingredients were:
250g dry spaghetti pasta (25p)
200g lean minced beef (about £1.50)
1 large chopped onion (10p)
1 tin chopped tomatoes (35p)
2 carrots (15p)
2 gloves garlic (pence as a whole bulb is only 25p)
2 beef stock cubes (10p)
50g grated mature cheddar cheese (30p)
Cooking the pasta is a doddle, and takes only 5-10 minutes as per the packet so that was left until I was almost ready to serve.
For my sauce, I chopped the carrot and got it cooking in a little water to soften it up first.
I added the minced beef and when it was almost cooked, drained off the fatty liquid, then added the chopped onion, stock cubes, chopped garlic and tin of tomatoes.
I also added about 20g of grated cheese to the mix and stirred well, bringing it all to the boil, then put a lid on the pan and turned it down to low for about five minutes before switching the heat off completely.
I have discovered that my mix is always better on a second heating which is why I will normally make this do Hubby and I two meals (the other being a chilli by adding a tin of drained red kidney beans and chilli powder, or lasagne making up a cheese sauce for layering between the pasta sheets).
Our friend has a good appetite, so these quantities were ideal for the three of us.
When Hubby got back after collecting our friend from the hospital early this afternoon, I heated up the sauce and cooked the spaghetti.
Once served, I sprinkled the remainder of the grated cheese on top.
The men were hungry but I didn’t have a dessert, so I made my old faithful standby, stodge in the microwave.
This is quick, easy and fat free.
Ingredients today (total cost around 70p) :
4 heaped tablespoons of SR flour.
4 dessert spoons of soft brown sugar
milk to make batterlike consistency (not too thin and runny, but not too thick either, I’d say the next step beyond pancake batter)
I mixed the flour, sugar and eggs in a bowl, gradually adding enough milk until it was a smooth batter.
(Our friend doesn’t have a large bowl for the microwave so I had to improvise and made 3 individual ones in the glass serving bowls I found.)
I put one dessert spoon of golden syrup in each dish, then covered it with the mix.
Each was cooked in the microwave for three minutes/ until the sponge started to shrink away from the sides and it was springy to the touch.
I then turned them out into a bowl.
It looks a bit like an anemic rumbaba doesn’t it with that hole in the middle:
well, you could put extra syrup or fresh fruit in it if you wished.
But Hubby likes his custard, so that’s what we had with ours (15p for the instant stuff, I can’t make it for toffee).
I have varied this recipe by adding chocolate powder or sultanas.
Mum used to make steam puddings like spotted dick or treacle sponge which would take hours in a basin wrapped in muslin over a pan of boiling water. This is almost as good (nothing beats Mum’s cooking) in a fraction of the time and energy costs.
These do NOT keep and should be eaten immediately whilst hot.
(Unless of course you want to build a rock garden, in which case, they make very good bricks after being left for a few hours).