Wednesday 23 July 2014

Peas, potatoes and paint

My blue raised beds are producing edible stuff :-)  We've been having a really hot spell so everything is growing well as long as I remember to water it all.  As a kid I loved picking fresh pea pods from my parents' garden and my dad never minded that none of them made it to the table.  He reckoned that as long as we ate them he didn't care where or when.  I'm afraid not many of these made it to my table!!

These potatoes are the Charlotte variety. Tasty cooked and eaten hot and tasty cold in salads or fried with eggs for brunch.  We emptied the potato bags and got a decent crop of them despite the shaws being broken down for  the last week or two.  I boiled up a big pot for a family BBQ at the weekend and have been using up the leftovers since then.

Leftover piece of steak chopped up and stir fried with some leftover sweetcorn and a handful of frozen stir fry veggies.  (Rice from the bargain sack!!)

Eggs, fried potatoes and beans for brunch.

Rest of leftover steak stir fried with peas, leftover rice and the last egg in the fridge!
3 easy tasty meals using up leftovers (some deliberate and some unplanned) but more importantly they were super quick to make.

As the weather has been kind for outdoor painting I managed to finish the exterior painting.  I'm really pleased how it's turned out.  It just looks fresher and less 'granny brown' :-)  I used about half a tin of paint which works out at £15.  That's my kind of makeover!

Saturday 19 July 2014

Slow progress

Looking at the comments it would seem we all agree housework is bad for your health!! Thankfully I'm on holiday as I really don't know how I'd cope with being at work all day while I'm like this.  I have been able to do stuff but v-e-r-y slowly. 

I did a little bit of free shopping with my M&S vouchers.  I use their credit card (paid off every month) and accumulate vouchers to spend.  I had £12 this quarter so got some store cupboard basics.  Mainly 10 tins of beans as the Teenager loves bean burgers so I'm going to make some to freeze.  I'm also trying to encourage him to eat more beany/vegetable stews once the cooler weather starts.  I also picked up some tofu.  I like a certain brand of marinaded tofu but it's rather expensive so will have a go at doing it myself.  There's a wee bag of walnuts (OH's favourite) and some stock powder too.  All free to me just cos I use their credit card.

It's been a nice sunny week here so I managed some exterior painting. OH did all the sanding down and prepping so I was able to just paint.  This is the cladding under my living room windows.  It was a nasty brown.  So this is the first coat.

And this is the second coat.  It'll need a third but as it's raining today it'll have to wait.  I also had a roofer repair my ridge tiles and he's put black 'plastic' tiles along the edge of the front and back.  You can just see them in this pic.  Hopefully my roof is now watertight.

It feels like I'm slowly starting to make my mark on this house :-)

Thursday 10 July 2014


Well, since my last post I've achieved absolutely nothing on my list of jobs except get an almost perfectly clean bathroom.  Last Saturday I decided to deep clean my bathroom.  I spent nearly 2 hours giving it the shiny treatment including scrubbing the tiles in the shower with a toothbrush and bleach.  I had almost finished cleaning when I leant over the tub to give it a final polish when my back went PING!!!

I know I have a bad back (teenage years as a gymnast) and am very good at pacing myself and being very careful when lifting things.  But every now and then it goes completely and nothing seems to 'fix' it.

*sighs*  I'm not a patient patient.  Housework can seriously damage your health.

PS 99p ski jacket did the job.  Discovered a loose Velcro strap and zip pull missing but all fixable :-)

Thursday 3 July 2014

Day 6

Picked this morning, first sugar snap peas and rasps from my garden :-)  Not much but it's a start and proves that I can grow stuff here.

These are the rasp freebies I got from my mum.  She has loads of raspberries in her garden and started potting up some shoots for me before I moved house. I've planted them against the fence in between the tree stumps so fingers crossed they thrive.  I've definitely lost a few to the birds as evidenced by the stalks still on the canes but once they're established I'll put some netting up.  Until then nature can have her share.

I planted my leek seedlings (bought not grown this year) in my winter raised bed beside the onions and they seem to be ok so far. My tomatoes are growing nicely.

But something is eating my purple sprouting broccoli.  Grrr!!

I picked up a 4.5kg bag of basmati rice in Lidl yesterday.  Use by date is 2016 so should last me a while.  I do use brown rice a lot but fluffy white basmati rice is best for biryanis and other curry dishes.

I am trying to keep my food costs down and now I'm on holiday I can spend time looking through my cupboards and freezers to use up stuff.  I've been making pizza bases to freeze as my bread flour and yeast is slightly out of date.  The Teenager isn't on a gluten free regime so he can use up all my 'old' flours etc.  My last visit to Sainsbury's showed that after 6 months I've accumulated £53.69 in points. Imagine what that total will be by Christmas :-) I do most of my food shopping there as well as buying the odd household and school item so it's built up quicker this year.  I've got my nectar account linked to Argos and Homebase (and a few other companies) so I tend buy any DIY supplies from there too. I'm hoping it reaches £100 by the end of the year.
Tonight the Teenager and I are going for a skiing lesson (his birthday present from OH)  I'm testing my 99p ski jacket and £4.99 salopettes.  I'll report back on their performance :-)