Recipes from my Suffolk Kitchen

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Surprise...........A Useful Cookery Book



Looking through my window sill full of cookery books, I don't think any have been bought new. There is just no way my common sense can justify the cost of huge celebrity cookbooks at £20+ a time and even smaller books frequently cost more than a weeks food for one person.

My cookery books - even the big HFW ones- come from charity shops and car boot sales and a couple secondhand off Amazon but most of the recipes that I use all the time have come from library books and free supermarket magazines. Photocopied and put into my own folder on the left they cost me virtually nothing to add to my collection. I've borrowed several cookery books over the last few months from the library and returned them without even copying out one recipe.

So when I say Surprise............A Useful Cookery Book, of course it's a library book and of course I'm not going to buy it! and I've photocopied 12 recipes to file so far and may do more before the book goes back. That's why I call it a useful book.

This is the book I borrowed and it uses just the food you can buy in the discount supermarkets.



The author says that the way to make the most of Aldi, Lidl and the like is to change your recipes to fit the ingredients and that way you won't have to go elsewhere.

I made Cashew Chicken Stir Fry but as I wasn't going shopping (discount supermarket or otherwise) I used what was already here.

I took out a couple of ounces of cashews from a bag of mixed nuts, defrosted 2 frozen chicken breast fillets, chopped part of a green cabbage (tough stalks removed)instead of spring greens, no garlic, half an onion instead of spring onions, a small teaspoon of ginger powder instead of fresh ginger and half a red pepper and a pinch of chili powder instead of two red chilies.
Then we added cooked noodles and a sachet of spring onion and oyster sauce ( Aldi).
So actually I didn't follow the recipe much at all!
But it was delicious and a little different to our usual stir fries.


Yesterday was day 3 of living room painting, I'm getting round slowly. Two thirds of the ceiling and coving done in brilliant white silk and just under half the walls. It's the only way to do it and still live in it. Professional painters would have heart failure! I've got used to the Lemon Tropics so that's OK.
Col finished fitting the new loo, it uses much less water which was one reason for replacing but it also had a hairline crack and the seat was horribly stained underneath - I'm glad to see it gone.

We had our first runner beans yesterday but there don't seem to be many more coming due to pollen beetle pinching the pollen so the flowers don't set, same with the courgettes and aubergine flowers. Very annoying.

Back Shortly
Sue

19 comments:

  1. That would be an interesting cookery book to get a look at, Sue. I made a pork stir fry for dinner last night with ingredients we had here. I picked two little tubs of snowpeas from the garden a few days ago and so have been using those up. I had the pork in the freezer, half a capsicum and some cauliflower plus some zucchini odds and ends. No need for shopping at all. Meg:)

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  2. I'm all for making recipes fit whatever I happen to have in the fridge (mostly from the allotment). It saves waste & creates different dishes. By the way, the stalks of broccoli, cabbage & cauliflower are very good sliced very thinly & used in stir fries.

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  3. That book looks very interesting - off to seek it out!

    Julie xxx

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  4. Following on from Spade and Dagger. I try and buy cauliflowers with lots of outer leaves they make good greens for another meal.

    Julie xxxxx

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    1. So glad to see that - even on my allotment site I have trouble convincing others that you can actually eat the fresh leaves of cauliflowers, broccoli & beetroots.

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  5. Adaptation is the best way - at least you could say your meals are from your own recipes ( inspired by ........).
    Minced garlic in a jar is a good substitute and a couple of drops of Tabasco Sauce in place of chilli will give a buzz to anything.
    I (and I'm sure lots of others do as well) use stalks and outer leaves as well as scrubbed carrot peelings in veg broth.

    Cathy @ Still Waters



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    1. I love garlic but Col isn't keen which is why it doesn't get used much here

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  6. As I am nigh on housebound, I have little time to get to our charity shop so have to buy my books online. However, by waiting patiently I do get them at drastically reduced prices, and often, even with postage, I pay about the same price as our charity shops charge. Always on the lookout for another!
    I have started keeping unused pieces of veg in the freezer until there is enough to make a 'raid' soup. Also, keeping veg peelings frozen until there are enough to make a vegetable stock.

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  7. I think the best way to use recipe books is to view them as inspiration to make meals with what you have in the house and not to dash out and buy specific ingredients.

    I'd say about half of my cookbooks are from charity shops and car boot sales and the rest purchased new when they were on special offer. But most of our HFW books were purchased at full price when we were at River Cottage ... bloody extravagant fools we are ;-)

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  8. Can I just ask, Sue, when you paint your ceilings do you use a roller or a brush? I find using a roller on the ceiling is very hard work, and I get a lot of splatter, but I'm not sure if a brush gives as good a finish. Eilidh x

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    1. I bought a long handled roller so I didn't have to keep going up and down the ladder. It works a treat. Bit of splatter but the floor and furniture is covered with old sheets. Only have to use the ladder for the coving and edges.

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    2. Some roller heads splatter more than others - I like fine grade foam or very fluffy fake sheepskin ones, rather than very cheap ones which are coarser in texture & tend to splatter more. For rolling the ceiling, I think the knack is to roll ahead rather than directly overhead - it's less tiring that way.

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  9. I used to buy cookbooks all the time, until I realised that I never used the recipes. So I set up a challenge to make at least one thing from each cookbook, I even had a blog called 'one life, a lot of cookbooks' that I planned to use to show when I'd made a recipe and which book I'd used. I only had 4 posts on it, the last being in January 2012. So I didn't get very far! In the end I put most of my unused cookbooks in recycling. Big fat waste of money. So I totally understand what you are saying!

    x

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  10. I got rid of pretty much all my recipe books as I wasn't using them at all.
    The free magazines from the supermarkets are really good and I do use recipes from them...but always with a twist of my own-x-

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  11. I rarely use cookery books, I tend to Google recipes and see if there is one that contains the ingredients I have.

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  12. I've heard good reviews of that book. We were in Gorran Haven in May (one of my favourite places ever!). The author of that book has just moved there - apparently she's from Cornwall originally. We were on the small pier at tea time where the locals headed for some "tombstoning" off the end. I was eavesdropping on a conversation with some mums from the school - I'm certain Amy was one of them from the things she said. There you go Sue - another bit of useless info from me!!!

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  13. It looks like good book. I'm not a fan of recipes that require 101 ingredients. Keep things simple. I got rid of most of my books preferring to stick to old tried and tested favourites or I often get some delicious recipes and ideas from blogs. X

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  14. I have quite a few cookbooks myself. I have a couple from my early years of marriage. One I bought before I got married as still have it. I don't have any more room for cookbooks and I have alot ideas from the past to use as well. Glad you hare getting the painting done. Take care and glad Col is able to help you as well!

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