Friday, 2 November 2012

Bulk cooking and a haircut.

Yesterday was cold and blustery and not much of a day for going out. However, I was beginning to resemble caveman and gave myself a scare when I looked in the mirror.

So I took myself off to the Barbers. Poor woman, there have been roadworks outside her shop for 3 months and she is hugely losing business, there is nowhere to park so she says she has lost lots of her pensioners and is now having to dip into her savings. It really isn't fair, particularly as when I left, the men were all either having a cuppa or picking their nose.

Anyway, one severe haircut later and I am back to my former beauty and feel ready to go out again:

Last night I had a bulk cooking session. I was inspired by Froogs in her post here, just how far she makes her minced beef stretch. I thought, if she can do it, so can I.

I had slightly more beef to play with as I had bought a 645gm pack while it was reduced in ASDA the other day. Can't remember what I paid but I think it was just over £2 I decided to use half to make a bolognaise and half to make a meat and potato pie.

Got them both started on the stove but then once the bolognaise was all browned and bubbling I transfered it to my slow cooker.

I got 6 good sized portions out of this, 5 of which are now in the freezer and one in the fridge to be eaten over the next few days. When my brother was over this weekend he had brought with him a bottle of red wine, so I used what was left in the sauce to make it rich, tastes good.

The second half was used to make a meat and potato pie, from my granny's old recipe, always a favourite with me.

I am seriously not the best pastry maker. This is not too bad for me, but my rolling out leaves a lot to be desired. The final result is that the pastry tore in the oven slightly and it looks a real sight. But who cares, it tasted very good and I am slowly improving at it.

I hadn't judged the pastry quantity very well and had some left over. Rolled it out to see how much and found it would fit this case:

So I decided on a quick quiche as the oven would be on for the pie anyway. Used lots of store cupboard bits and bobs, a tin of tuna and some olives, some cheese, 3 eggs and some milk (didn't have cream) and some onions which I cooked slowly until they were a caramel colour.

This will do a lunch or 3 (depending on my greed)

I love baking something off the cuff with some leftovers like this. I had no intention of making a quiche when I started cooking, but for very little money I have a few lunches sorted.

Bulk cooking is definitely the way to make things stretch. In the past I would probably have used all the mince for one thing and not stretched it out with veg and other things quite so much, but instead I have 9 meals out of one pack of mince and 3 meals out of some leftover pastry. I don't know the cost, because I am rubbish at adding up the cost of all the different bits and pieces, but as I didn't need to go out and buy one single thing for all of this, it was all storecupboard ingredients, I know it was a very cheap set of 12 meals.


  1. Well, I think your pastry looks great - think 'rustic'!

  2. in our house
    means BULK EATING!

  3. You've done a great job with your bulk cooking, my kind of food without the meat. It's amazing what you can rustle up from a few bits and bobs. As John said, I would eat the whole of that quiche in a day ;-))

    Can you make a short video of your singing please. Anything will do, singing in the bath, ha ha. I would love to hear your voice.

  4. Ditto on the singing...p.s nice pies

  5. Did you frighten the Barber woman with your caveman appearance? Haha Not to shabby on the pastry crust and I am sure it was delicious!

    I do some bulk cooking (usually casseroles, quick breads, sauces). Although last week, I found a really good deal on ground round so I seasoned and cooked all 10 lbs. Cooled it, packaged it as 1 pound portions and tossed in the freezer.

    It was great to come home after along day grab a package of the cooked beef, open a jar of my home canned sloppy joe sauce (you may know it as Manwich) and had a piping hot meal in under 15 minutes.

    And yes-we would love a video of you singing!

  6. Fabulous and well done! It takes time and committment to save money with food. My trick for good pastry is COLD. Cold water (or vodka) cold butter or lard, cold flour. It rolls and puffs like a dream.Keep up the hard work

  7. Homemade pie crust is meant to look homemade...far more appealing than precision cut crust.
    Jane x

  8. Lovely cooking. When I make spag bol I do the same as you but I also add 2-3 (medium female sized) handfuls to 2lbs mince. It bulks it out, adds fibre and breaks down to make the sauce creamy in a meaty sort of way. I get 14 portions out of 2lbs beef mince, in fact, we've just had it for lunch (main meal today).
    Oddly enough, I also cut my DH's hair this morning; I've done it with the clippers for 16 years now and every time I say "Thatt'll be X pounds please". Never had a penny!

  9. No videos, but if I can manage to work out how to upload a music file to blogger i will give you a little something tomorrow.

  10. Great hair cut. Not so sure the face fungus suits you, though.
    Your bulk cooking is going to save you loads in the long run. Do a few sessions like that over the next few weeks and your freezer will be stocked up nicely with ready meals for the winter. Wel done with that pie crust! Rustic look and feel is much more apetizing.

  11. It all goes down the same hatch-so don't worry what it looks like :-)

  12. Blogger help should be useful on uploading a sound file. A little difficult but not as bad as a video. I had to open a you tube account for that!