Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Bestest shopping bags ever ;o)

Hello. We've had better weather today, no rain  :o) The kids are playing a game of musical beds, all change places. Bugsy has gone from the office chair, to Rocky's cushion, and now he is in Rocky's bed. Rocky Boyo is dead miffed now he can't sleep in his favourite place. I've put another cushion down for him. Mayze can be found on the landing upstairs, she comes down when I get my camp bed out and wants to sleep on my legs but there isn't enough room, so she buries herself in the duvet hanging over the side. Heidi decided she likes to lie on the pile of shopping bags I've made which are on the dining table chair. I've had to remove them and give her a basket with a towel to lie in. Poor Heidi has to go back to see Marian, the nice vet lady, tomorrow, she is tired, not eating much and it looks like her anaemia is back :o(
I've been sewing today, made four shopping bags with some lovely fabric I got at the Scrapstore. This makes a total of 18 to sell at the Christmas fair on Saturday. Aren't they pretty. 

I had a pack of fine green beans which needed eating, yellow sticker 20p, so I added an onion and made some soup. 
Some veg gravy granules and garlic powder, zapped with the stick blender, with a smattering of grated mature cheddar cheese stirred in. It was bloomin lovely. Two portions, one for lunch and one mid afternoon.

Our new Post Office opened today which is good news. It is a pop up one, where the counter clerk comes with a box and sets up shop in the vestry at the church. It's three mornings a week, which I suppose is better than no Post Office at all.

I had a phone call today from them at the BBC, have I got any ideas for another short film they could make about food. I've had a good think about it and nothing springs to mind. I thought I would ask you clever people if you can think of a topic. It could be to do with eating out, buying food, preparing food, growing food, any grumbles about what you buy, where you shop, poor customer service, getting value for money, fast food outlets, inedible food, awful junk food, why you won't go back to a food or eating place again, food on the go. Anything about food. I don't think they would run to filming in America, so the UK only. I think most of it has been covered in the programmes already out there, but you never know there might be a topic that no one has thought of.

Right, I'm off out for a fast walk around the village. Rocky has already had his walk, he did well, went a bit further than usual, now he has crashed out. I'll sneak out for half an hour while he isn't looking.

Catch up with you soon. Toodle pip.
PS, someone asked what Toodle pip means. Cheerio, goodbye, see ya, tatty byes = Toodle pip.

25 comments:

  1. What about a show about foraging? It used to be something everyone did - eat what nature gave for free but now hardly anyone does it.

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    1. I like the foraging idea. My Mum and I picked mega amounts of blackberries this autumn - we went every Friday afternoon for a month and it was obvious that no one else was bothering to pick the blackberries but us. And this despite the fact the bushes are adjacent to a very well used playing field. Bonkers. Still, all the more for us. Have also got some rather delicious wild garlic pesto in the freezer that I made from the huge wild garlic plot in our local churchyard. Again, never seen anybody else picking it.

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  2. An idea about food could be something about those little touches that make such a difference when being frugal. Maybe about making fresh chutneys and salsas in tiny quantities or jams instantly using jam sugar.Growing five essential herbs in a pot. All those garnishes that don't have to cost a lot. What do you do to jazz up something boring?

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  3. I wish we could have a pop up Post Office since the village ones closed we have to go to town, we haven't even got a post box since the one up the road was nicked! Thank goodness we still have a postman!

    re the food thing, what about a comparison between what weird ingredients are in packeted ready made food and "straight" home made food

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  4. You have good posts about your food on walking holidays. A program on eating frugal on holiday would be interesting

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  5. Maybe they could do an experiment that has you buying your healthy food as cheap as you can but not using yellow stickers - It's a great way to shop but if everyone did it then it wouldn't be sustainable. Then have a second person who doesn't focus on healthy food but only on price - am sure there will be someone as money savvy as you who doesn't think healthy is as cheap as processed food. You could each have a small budget from the TV company that has to last you for a month. You could both eat only the food you buy and would have to ensure your calorie intake is equal on each side so that it gives a true comparison. Then see who did it for less and how much less at the end of the month. I would watch that, and if you could do it for the same price or less it might help people try and get healthier.

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  6. These are suggestions for when time is short or I really don't feel like cooking.

    I keep food in the freezer specifically for when time is short and the "obvious" answer is to buy take-out or even go out. I can cook a steak, open a can of veggies and throw together a salad in MUCH less time, and for a fraction of the cost, of getting fast food. And I never heard anybody complaining about a steak for dinner! I don't always cook steak, but the idea here is that you can cook a fast meal with expensive ingredients faster and cheaper than you can go out for hamburgers.

    Also, we eat "breakfast for dinner" about once a week, on a day when I am gone most of the day. I don't often cook big breakfasts, and we enjoy it more in the evening, anyway. It's quick, not too expensive, and we think it's a treat. In fact, that's what we're having tonight.

    I find that I would rather cook at any time of day than in the last hour or half-hour before dinner. Often I will cook earlier in the day and reheat the food for dinner. A friend of mine who always worked outside her home, also always cooked dinner. She bought her groceries on Saturday morning, and while she was putting them away, she would prep the food for cooking. She would even do some of the cooking, refrigerate it, and be half-done cooking when she started dinner.

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  7. I think a program on foraging would be a good idea: Fruit, berries, mushrooms ... I am always shocked when I see people buying fruit from abroad while here the apples are rotting on or under the trees.

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  8. what about stretching food to make it go further eg, roast chicken, then carcass made into soup and other left over for a stirfry or pasta dish. that's what I do to feed my family of 4 from one chicken; its started raining here - again. never mind off to quilt group Christmas do with a pot luck lunch

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  9. Lovely cheerful bags Ilona -I would certainly buy one of these if I saw them on a stall. As for ideas forca food programme I would also suggest foraging. The area where I live has a lot of fruit trees -apples, pears, damsons, cherry and I'm constantly amazed how much falls to the ground wasted. I don't live in a particularly wealthy area so this makes it even more sad. People seem happier buying stuff from the supermarket maybe because its more convenient and less effort. Kristel

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  10. Elaine in Philadelphia here: Two suggestions -- one for the Beeb and one for you: For the Beeb: Ways to disguise leftovers, easy sauces/sprinkle mixes to stir in, everything doesn't have to be a pattie, how about meatballs, blah, blah. For you: Your bags are delightful; how about making the handles a bit longer so they could be pushed uponto your shoulder -- or even adding "backpack" handles to the two regular onesw, to shift the load? Love all your stuff. Stay well. eh438@aol.com

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    1. Hi Elaine. I do sometimes make bags with long handles, but they are more for other uses like days out or work. The short handle bags are for shopping, to and from car. They are quick to run up and don't need a lining. I wouldn't want to be carrying around veg, tins, bottles and packets dangling from my shoulder.

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  11. A programme that would be really worthwhile doing would be to help families who are in low paid jobs to manage their finances by showing them how they can still enjoy life while eating fresh food and being frugal. It's a skill that a lot of younger people don't have, through no fault of their own, as it's a skill you learn from your parents. And we can all learn new little wrinkles, so it would appeal to a lot of people.

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    1. This is a wonderful idea. JanF

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    2. Absolutely am enthused about your suggestion...good one! D.

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  12. I wonder if it would be a good idea to talk about food in the future? Our island is losing land that may be suitable for growing food as we are having to build to accomadate our ever growing population at the same time more tummys to fill. Should we be educating people on how to grow more food in their gardens keep chickens who will eat scraps and maybe share more, i.e if you have an elderly neighbour could you invite them in for sunday lunch or even plate them up a meal and take it to them and not be afraid to offer any extra to somebody you know would appreciate it like one parent families and us oldies can offer advice on frugal meals.We import a lot of food, can we use our own seasonal produce to make more exciting dishes and perhaps use some of the ideas given to families during the war, after all people didn't get so fat and enjoyed treats as they were treats!( says she after scoffing her third biscuit!)P.S Love the bags!

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  13. I think Christine has a good idea. Not only have many people - in my neck of the woods anyway - covered gardens with decking and stone slabs (and there are long waiting lists for allotments for those who have no gardens at all) but when we travel into kent, so much land is now given over to horses or set aside. Many of the crops grown seem to be for animal feed.

    Not only that, but as building restrictions have been eased they are putting up thousands of houses on farmland. If farmland is lost - and probably that is all over the country - people really will need to grow as much as they can and go back to eating seasonal vegetables and adapting their menus around that. Even if people eat some animal protein it isn't necessary every day and you Ilona would be so good at educating people about the bean and pulse alternatives - and the advantages of fresh fruit and veg!

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  14. What about stepping outside the box of the label 'food'? Take some ingredients, show how to buy them cheaply, make a frugal meal etc then widen the lens and use the same foodstuffs to dye, clean , heal minor ailments, decorate etc. You could adapt your pseudonym to the Meaningful Queen ( or since it's all the rage at the moment, the Mindful Queen .) Just an idea, hope that it helps :) x

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  15. I am thinking anything about frugal living would be in demand by the public. We are all tightening our belts and you have lots of tips you could share, including how you make some of your meals from your bargain vegetables. There is a lady on Youtube, since passed RIP, in a series called Depression Cooking with Clara. She was loved by many. Her grandson filmed her cooking simple budget meals in her own kitchen while telling stories of her childhood and how the family got by with very little. I think you could do something similar. I would suggest to BBC they watch her series for ideas.

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    1. Oh, I'm devastated to learn that sweet Clara has left us. I was so impressed, I bought her cookbook! She made boiled potatoes and foraged dandelion greens sound like a banquet. Incredibly, I discovered Clara because I had been looking up "WWII Food Rationing in Great Britain."! (I now live in USA.) I was born in 1947, and my mum swore eggs were still in short supply in Grantham (near you, Ilona, if you're looking here) in 1947 and she and dad didn't have a fresh egg for years! In the early 50's she used to send me to the "clinic" for orange juice and cod liver oil capsules for my younger sister and brother.God bless Clara -- and all of you who admire Ilona so very, very much, as do I. Elaine in Philadelphia, eh438@aol.com

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  16. Welll...after they had the benefit of 2 days free labour recently (and no perks) I will admit to the wicked idea (but...yep....I am serious) of suggesting you should spend a few days in other places in the world finding out about the cheapest foods available for those on seriously low budgets. If you're not quite as "wicked" as me - then a journey round Britain investigating regional cheap dishes. Would be useful - and you'd get something out of it this time (ie a bit of free travel).

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  17. Hi.Am sorry to hear Heidi is not feeling well,hope she improves soon.The bags are indeed,very pretty,I hope people are in the buying mood when your Christmas bazaar is on.I"m finding the prices of all the lovely offerings are really high this year and the tables were full-i.e.1/2 quart of pickled beets @$8.00.Not much being sold.I think if they lowered them a bit people would be more inclined to buy.There's lots of great ideas in the comments,Ilona,that would make for very interesting viewing.Bye for now,D.

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  18. really love the bag in the top right corner, pretty fabric, but would prefer shoulder straps, I think. hope you sale them all!
    poor Heidi, hope she mends soon.

    perhaps food bargains for no yellow sticker people, who get there too late, and this is probably very stupid but perhaps people who don't live within a driving distance of a larger market, but only are near a very small market where there is no mark down, because the owner takes home all the perishing produce?

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  19. Last spring I brought home a dozen baby chicks. We built them a nifty coop/house from the scrap pile. They have been giving us eggs non-stop since September. The fresh eggs are amazing! They eat kitchen scraps plus layer food. We eat breakfast for dinner twice a week, and I use eggs in baking. The extras are given to family and the local rescue mission (homeless shelter). If more people kept a few hens in their gardens/yards food costs could be less and less insecticides would be needed. If more people would grow veggies instead of grass their food costs would go down too. All this does take a bit of work which most are unwilling to do.

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  20. How about a 'cook in the cab' film,you're stuck in a lay-by for the night in a truck, your choices are McDonalds or a cold overpriced pastie from the service station. Or in the in cab fridge is some ingredients to make a tasty nourishing meal that can be prepared using a single burner camping stove and the in cab microwave. Hope the beeb like the idea.
    Dave.

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