Sunday, 7 December 2014

Smallholding Menu For The Week.

"What do you want for your tea tonight?"

"I have not had my breakfast yet?"

That's a typical every day conversation in our smalholding dwelling in the countryside next to the sea.  So we decided to make a menu for the following week:

Sunday:  Spaghetti Bolognese.  Number 2 son likes Italian.  We have beef mince (one of our heifers) in the fridge and the other ingredients are in the cupboard.  They call them presses in Ireland.  Do you know what an hot press is?  You probably call it the 'airing' cupboard?  We do.

Monday:  Meat and potato pie and red cabbage cooked in the range.

Tuesday:  All Day Brunch: bacon, sausage, egg, beans (Heinz!) and chips - oven type.

Wednesday:  Bacon hotpot cooked in range.  This consists of layers of potatoes, onions and bacon.

Thursday:  Jacket potatoes with filling of one's choice.  I will have tinned chilli con carne in mine, bought from Aldi.

Friday:  Steak pudding, chips, peas and gravy.

Saturday:  Steak and Chips.

We worked it out that it will only cost 35 Euros to feed us for the week.  Saying that we did have some of the ingredients already.  Do you have a menu?



 


30 comments:

  1. No, just see what takes my fancy when I go shopping, if there's nothing there, a search in the freezers will usually turn up something.

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    1. Do you have a good selection of supermarkets near you, Cumbrian? I like Dunnes but the nearest one is Macroom. We started going to Aldi in Dunmanway which a 42 mile round journey. I think the 2 German supermarket companies are giving all the other supermarkets serious competition. Which supermarket do you like the best Cumbrian?

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    2. Lucky I suppose, Morrisons, Tesco and Asda in Workington, and an Aldi.

      Heron, Pound Land, Home Bargains, Wilinsons ans Poundstretcher in the Workington town centre.

      Co-op at Maryport, Sainsdurys at Cockermouth and Lidl at Whitehaven.

      I generally have a walk in Morisons, Tesco and Asda, some things are pretty much the same price, but it's surprising how much other things can vary.

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    3. You have a great choice of places to shop, Cumbrian. I use to like Netto and Sainsbury's when I lived in England. We see Morrisons adverts on the television. Fifteen Pounds for a litre of spirits - unbelievable!

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  2. Half of our weekly menu is based around Sunday roast, today is our own chicken,
    Monday cold chicken with jacket spud and a veg from the garden.
    Tuesday will be stir fry, with peppers, our own in the freezer, mushrooms, from the mushroom compost that we have stored, onions and garlic, all our own and tomatoes, our own frozen.
    Wed. probably chicken and mushroom pie.
    Thursday and Saturday, interchangeable, pork chops and belly of pork slow cooked with crab apple jelly, veg from the garden, with the belly I will make lyonnaise potatoes.
    Friday. Trout, we are given trout by a friend who is an avid fisherman, his family does not eat fish so we get our years supply as a gift from him.
    Sunday roast is on a rotation, chicken, pork or duck, a couple of times a year we would by a beef joint, four times a year I will have lamb chops, my other half does not like lamb. Shin of beef a couple of times a year.
    Bought in ingredients are few and far between, butter, flour, sugar, stock powder, black bean sauce, oyster sauce and good old Lea and Perrins and bananas.
    We have desert every night, mainly our own fruit which I have either bottled or frozen, served with home made yoghurt, or made into a pie, or a sponge pudding.
    I don't know what the cost of the weekly shopping is as we buy mainly in bulk and most of the meat is home produced, I know the costing of the pork for production but not for the poultry. A guesstmate including animal feed would be around fifty euros a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner plus there's always cake or some sort and lots of jam.

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  3. That's an incredibly cheap weekly shop, Anne. Fifty Euros converts to 39 pounds and forty three pence. You obviously live a very self supporting life style. Plus you eat very well.

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  4. It is very hard work Dave and it has taken us a long time to get to this stage, it would have been impossible to do when we were younger and had the poultry farm as we also did all our own deliveries. We were half way there when we lived in Spain, minus pigs, but we had a friend that did pork, veg growing here is far easier than Spain, no where near as many pests.
    It would be nice to continue this life style for another decade but we are getting on now, that said, Simons mum was still growing all her own veg until she was in her 80's.

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  5. I would like to grow more vegetables too, Anne. I have a long term back injury that often prevents me from doing the physical work. I think most gardeners have back problems and the Irish climate is terrible for arthritis.

    It's expensive running a smallholding these days. Butchering and livestock feed and fertilizers.. Make it very expensive. I think the best thing about growing your own is the quality and freshness and excellent taste of the food we produce.

    Simon's mum reminds me of my grandfather. When he retired from farming he kept a field for himself to grow his vegetables.

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  6. We sympathize with you on back problems, Simon has had three operations on his back , he has four discs which have been fused together plus metal plate in his neck, without these operations he would have been in a wheel chair years ago, he is in constant pain but carries on. He also had a stroke some time ago. I have two collapsed discs in my lower back so makes bending over very painful, I can only work for short periods of time, but we get there in the end, neither of us will use pain killers as they just mask the symptoms they do not cure so you are in danger of doing more damage, better to suffer and stop when your body says.

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  7. Gosh you both sound worse than me. I think when you get pain it makes you have sympathy for other sufferers. The down side to pain is that it can leave you very tired and depressed. I have read and talked to a lot of gardeners and smallholders about back pain. It seems to be an occupational hazard. I have started buying Buplex which I think are anti inflammatory. They are very good and expensive. Paracetamol leave you very tired. Your right that you should listen to your body and stop when you need to. There's an old Irish saying : "You're health is your wealth." It's so true. Thanks Anne.

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  8. Simons condition is something he was born with and only showed up twenty five years ago, mine was caused by incorrect lifting of egg cases, thirty doz eggs weigh quite a bit and struggling to get them out of the back of our delivery van often in a hurry then having to carry them into shops did it for me!

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  9. I cant plan meals, one of my problems. I cant think what I what to eat in 30 minutes time let alone the week ahead. I tend to have basic ingredients in the house and then buy some meat or fish on the way home from work to go with it. If I buy stuff in advance it is likely to get wasted because I change my mind.

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    1. You and P could write down a menu for the week and then you don't have to make your mind up what to eat, Rachel.

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    2. We ear together on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays and we have a fairly set menu which is meat and two veg although I have now learned to do stir fry on a Wednesday! The rest of the time he eats with his mum who is 95 and prepares meals for him. I eat on my own on those nights but still find it difficult to plan ahead. But I never buy ready-made meals

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    3. Stir frys are good aren't they Rachel? His mum sounds an incredible lady. We find you save a lot of money and time shopping if you plan your meals. I look at pub menus and think: "Hmm I wouldn't mind that for my tea."

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  10. I hate choosing what to cook for tea each night. There's not much I can't cook but I can never make a decision. You eat a lot more meat than us!
    We always have pizza on a Friday night (from the supermarket) so its an easy tea and the decision is made for me. Eggs one night as well. Normally an omelette with sliced roasted potatoes covered in garlic and rosemary.
    Might have some faggots one night as well with mash and onion gravy.

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    1. Faggots, you lucky thing, we used to love them, have never seen them here in Ireland, just thinking about them makes me feel hungry. Must see if I can find a recipe to make them.

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    2. They're so good as well. I thiknk it only works out at about 80p for two (which will feed my wife and me plus our two little girls) when I have to have sandwiches the next day we sometimes have an extra one that I slice up for sandwiches- great with pickle!
      I spend a bit of time on the gravy, made with onions and a reduced balsamic vinegar.

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    3. We eat a lot of meat because we keep pigs and cattle, Kev. We could even go and catch fish from the bay if we wanted but we only eat it occasionally when its it's cod and in batter.

      We make a lot of pizza too. Dead easy to make. You can even buy the bases if you don't want to go the trouble of making them. Omelettes are excellent. So much lighter than a full English or Irish breakfast. Thanks Kev.

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    4. I don;t blame you for eating more meat Dave - I would as well in your situation. I grew up eating a lot of lamb for the same reason! i would eat loads of fish though as I love it!

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    5. I don't like fish Kev. Especially when its served with its head and tail. I keep reading and being told that red meat is bad for you. Somebody told me potatoes have cholesterol in them. They won't ban cars though and the pollution from them is said to be killing us all - supposed to be worse than smoking cigarettes!

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  11. Should do a menu, but too many other things happening, which is no excuse! And even when I do plan a day or two in advance, something usually comes along and scrambles my menu plans! But at least most of our food is home grown so is too hand, and I don't have to keep going shopping, unlike my neighbours who food shop every day.

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  12. We are getting ready for winter. Weather forecasters say it's going to be a very cold winter. If we get snow and ice, we could be stuck at home for a week or so. In 2012 we didn't get to town for a week because the county council didn't grit the rural roads. Goodness knows what would happen if we needed an emergency vehicle.

    Wife likes to shop most days for fresh bread.. She also talks to the supermarket workers and they ask her what she is making for tea. You sound very self sufficient Vera.

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  13. no real menu plan here. we have eggs of some description on tuesday and thursday.

    and we have meat on a saturday and sunday. other than that I wing it. you can wing it when you have a fully stocked larder

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  14. You should post some of your egg recipes, Sol. Once went on a day trip to Boulogne. We went in a cafe bar and had the finest omelette and French Fries in the world. The lady owner was dressed like she lived in Paris and wouldn't take any more until we had finished ordering food and drinks.

    Sounds like you are ready for winter with your fully stocked larder, Sol. Thanks!

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    1. hey Dave I have at least 4 months worth of food in the house. We call it insurance, as the Mr is a contractor. the work could disappear anytime. got to be ready for anything.

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    2. You should do a post on your store of food sol, I'd be keen to see that!

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    3. ha ha Kev its why I need can rotators

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  15. As hubby works away I have to plan so that I can tub meals up. He takes four days supply of homemade ready meals, that is lunches, dinners and sometimes desserts. I eat mostly veggies and hot and cold salads when he is away.
    I shop once a week if I really really have to. Loathe shopping!
    Sympathies winging their way to all. I have sciatica and fibromyalgia flare ups. What a crumbly lot we are!!!!!
    Cod fishing season is upon us Dave.

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  16. You have got your stall set out, Irene. I like people who are organised and plan what they are doing and eating. I don't mind shopping in the big towns and cities. But I hate having to walk round every supermarket aisle and how they move everything around to make you look at everything.
    My sympathy goes out to you too. It's gale season here. Suppose there will be Cod sheltering in the bay? Thanks!

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