I don't like to spend too much time in the kitchen, just enough to cook myself a quick and simple meal. I can't be doing with faffing about with loads of post and pans, mixing this, and chopping that, slaving over a hot stove is not my idea of fun. My meals have got to be cost effective, cheap but nutritious, and quick to prepare, because I don't want to be in there longer than I need to. I rarely use the oven because it uses too much gas, and I hate cleaning it. Cleaning the top and grill is bad enough, but my head in the oven, definately a no no.
I don't fry any food, (a) because it's bad for you, and (b) because it creates a greasy pan to wash, and (c) it spits all over the top of the cooker, and (d) greasy wash up water blocks drains, another hidden cost.
Another reason for keeping the use of kitchen utensils to a minimum is that it costs money to wash them, the cost of the water, heating the water, and the washing up liquid. This might seem a pifflingly small amount of money to save on a daily basis, but if you multiply it by 365 it can add up to a quite lot pounds. For instance I can make a bottle of washing up liquid last for almost a year.
So taking all these things into consideration, one of the cheapest ways for me to make a meal is to steam my veg in one of these.
I have just bought a new one for £2, the old one has been in use for about 8 years and was looking pretty grotty. In my mind, this is the best kitchen gadget ever invented. It fits most pan sizes, you can put all your veg in here together, and if you use a big pan there is enough for three people. You put an inch of water in the bottom, bring to the boil, and put on a low heat for six minutes, and it's ready. Tonight I had a massive plate of veg from my garden, potatoes, turnips, courgettes, onion, peas, and runner beans, with a piece of cod grilled in foil. Even the foil had been used before. They don't call me Meanqueen for nothing :-)
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