Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Three loaves and 49 tins of tuna fish

A photo from this mornings walk in the woods, with two black labs. Very pretty, but lethal under foot.

Breakfast was porridge with half a tin of rice pudding added to it, to give it a bit of creaminess. Lunch was a piece of grilled salmon, with the rest of last nights bulgar wheat concotion. I throw nothing away.

How do you like my new arrangements for keeping food cold? Two plastic boxes with lids, on the back lawn half buried in snow, with blocks of ice on the top from the cats outdoor drinking water pots. Inside are three loaves of bread, one salmon portion, a few peas, carton of Clover spread, and elderberry juice ice cubes.

The real fridge is now defrosting. Can you see Garcia's little head at the bottom, looking in. He practically lives here now, I'm thinking of sending an invoice for board and lodgings to his owners up the street.

Right, so what is left. On this shelf, bulgar wheat, split peas, black eyed beans. sultanas, cous cous, brown rice, and seeds.

On this shelf, stock cubes, frog spawn (tapioca), cuppa soup, pickled onions, honey, tin spaghetti, tuna fish, (of which I have 49 tins in total), and two cartons of apple juice.

Elsewhere I have four boxes of bran flakes, two bottles of Robinsons peach barley juice, two bags of porridge oats, half a tin of rice pudding, Nescafe and coffee whitener, green tea, half a bag of sugar, olive oil, and various packet sauces and spices. Oh nearly forgot, loads of apples. And that is the total sum of all my food. So what can I make with it, not a lot. Spaghetti on toast for dinner, followed by rice pudding. Or bran flake sandwiches perhaps, ha ha. Possibly rice and tuna fish.

Now I must go shopping, I am craving fresh vegetables. Not only am I running out of food, the cats also have very little left. They need cat litter, which I am hoping to get from Morrisons. I remember in the snowy season last winter it was in short supply because people were buying it to scatter on their driveways, that was quite annoying because it pushed the price up. Toodle pip. Catch you later.


  1. Cats choose their owners/slaves...Garcia has obviously chosen you!
    Jane x

  2. I hope you get some fresh food soon Ilona. I can't bear tuna, the smell puts me right off. hy

  3. You have inspired me! Have been looking at my shelves and thinking I needed to do something with those odds and ends -- and, now, I have a project for between 3 and 4 in the mornings! But, it's perfect and needs to be done so there's room for this year's harvesting. Kudos to you -- and, more, when you talk about solar cooking!

  4. So true, cats decide where they want to live...

    Well thanks, you've inspired me to clean my fridge today too...

  5. Even if you downsized and lived in a mobile home you wouldn't be any better off and you wouldn't be able to take your beloved cats with you.
    However if you rented and had no money the DHS would pay your rent and council tax, but dont get me started.

  6. I can remember storing a turkey for christmas in a box set in the snow many years ago. Worked a treat.I'm also trying to eat from my store cupboards


  7. I love tuna fish, could eat it every day. Good luck with all your menu planning,

    Gill in Canada

  8. Ilona, what do you do with the black eyed peas?

  9. Hi Ilona, saw this programme is on Channel 4 at 10pm tomorrow and thought of you. I know you watch TV on catchup, but I'm sure it will be on 4OD. It's called Mothertruckers, and is about female lorry drivers in the UK. Enjoy!

  10. Usually it's that cold here in the winter that I store my turkey outside until it needs defrosting for Christmas. Never had anything go off.

    I belong to the school of thought that you need to have a weeks worth of rations put by in case mother nature is a bitch and snows you in.

  11. We have a visiting cat who comes around 9.30 (or sometimes he is on the sofa when I come downstairs), and sometimes he comes in the afternoon.

    As I don't know his owner other than where he lives, I only give him a small amount of dried cat food as he comes and stands next to our cat's bowl when I am feeding him.

  12. Poor Garcia, do you know if his owner has more cats? Some cats are social by nature, and he may like to "drop in" on you because of your cats (not to mention the human company!). But yes, a humorous note suggesting the odd contribution to the neighbour may be in order if Garcia's eating is affecting your budget.

  13. dont feed Garcia and he wont come around. He probably does need it if he has a home - he is just a bit of a pig maybe :D
    Dont move to a mobile home - I am not a snob but its a step down, a flat would be better. Once you pay off your house you probably wont find anywhere cheaper to live.

  14. lizzie I haven't the heart to shut Garcia out, he has been visiting since he was a kitten, nine years ago. I know where he lives and his owners know he comes here because he is all over the place. They do feed him, but they have a dog as well, so maybe Garcia likes to get away from it sometimes.

    Kath, I bought the black eyed peas with the intention of sprouting them. I maybe didn't do it right because after 24 hours of sitting on damp tissue paper they began to smell like they were fermenting. It didn't seem right, so I soaked them and cooked them in a stew. They were still hard, but I ate them anyway. I am wondering whether to grind them up before cooking, because I have come to the conclusion that I can't be bothered with soaking and cooking for a long time. Wondered if this would speed up the process if I added them in powder form to my stews.

    Hi Sharlene and kelly, so it's cleaning and tidying your cupboards and fridges today they. I must say, my fridge looks lovely now, all scrubbed out, filled with lots of green. Just how I like it.

    Hi Sairy. I know what you mean. The council would have to find me a home if I didn't have anywhere to live, or at least pay my rent if I was with a private landlord. I don't want to skint myself by spending money updating my house, it's far more important for me to live now and go out and about. Also if I applied for a council flat I might not have a choice of where I live, so I will stay put in an area I like.

    Linda, thank you for that info about women truckers on the tele. Don't Unplug Your Hub also told me about that, and also one of my neighbours mentioned it yesterday. I will have a look for it. It's bound to be on the catch up soon.

  15. Wash and sort rocks out of the blackeyed peas. Boil for three minutes, let sit covered for an hour. Drain the peas in a colander, rinse again, add more water. Don't salt until the peas are almost done, sort of soft. These are my very favorite peas/beans.

    I like to cook them to a mush and eat from a bowl. They are good with greens and salmon or tuna patties.

    When I was a child, I like them with catsup over them. Sometimes I eat a bowlful smothered in catsup, even now.

    Oh, pouring off the water keep the peas from causing gas in the intestines. You don't have to drain and rinse if you don't mind being gassy.

  16. I know each council has different rules, but when I applied for some help some time ago, I was told that I didn't 'need' to live in a 3 bedroom house, in fact in order to get benefit, I would have to downsize considerably.
    I was told that the minimum 'needs' for a single person are one bedroom, kitchen bathroom or shower room and living room. if that was what I had, then I would qualify, otherwise move and let a family have the larger house.
    It' s not as easy to get benefits as some people think it is.
    Unless you come in on the back of a lorry of course !! then you get the lot
    Also, you don't get 'all' the rent paid if you rent privately, just a percentage.
    Also, any extra pensions are taken into consideration when an application is being considered.
    believe me, been there, done that, not easy ..........

  17. Thanks for the tip about replacing the water when cooking black eye beans practical parsimony, they are my favourite beans but I didn't know about replacing the water. I soak and then boil for about an hour before draining, cooling, portioning up and freezing so that when I'm ready to use them they come straight out of the freezer, defrost for a few hours and then into the stew - that way I only use one lot of electricity rather than cooking each batch as I need them. Will definitely alter my routine to change the water from now on.

  18. 'wash and sort the rocks from the blackeyed peas' -
    ha ha - what a lovely mental picture I've got now ! can't say I get too many rocks in my peas !


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