I’m not really much of a one for joining in with challenges, or else I join up and then don’t actually do much to actually join in. SFT did a Stretch it out September challenge and found it so good, she’s going ahead and doing another straightaway. Given the excess amounts of money I’ve had to spend over the last few weeks, trying to focus on spending less is fairly critical for the next few months anyway so why not join in with Stretch it out October.
And of course a huge part of any budget, or at least a huge part of non-fixed expenses, is food. I bought the fixings for the roasted root veg with caper vinaigrette recipe from Plenty a while ago – it’s typical of where my head is at the moment that I have no idea if I had already had the stuff for one, two or three weeks before everything changed but those carrots and parsnips have definitely been there since at least the 8th of September and I suspect possibly longer. Thank goodness for Tupperware and fridges keeping things fresh. I got some of the last of the local tomatoes at the market this weekend as well as some fresh herbs so I was good to go. And then I remembered that I still had one chicken piece left over from the barbeque I was at on Sunday evening. And then I ended up working till nearly eight as well as walking home (at least that’s something good to have done though) so that it was quarter to nine before I was in the door and able to even think about doing anything. And even then I didn’t get farther than deciding that first off, after putting the kettle on to boil, I was going to sit down for a while. I found a packet of spicy rice crackers I bought a couple of months ago so I had something to nibble on but I did get up eventually as the chicken absolutely had to be used up.
I used some of the water in the kettle to put rice on to cook and then I chopped parsnips, onions and garlic, mixed with the oil and herbs and put that lot into the pre-heated oven. Then I chopped some carrots, courgette and sweet potato and put them to one sid to wait until the other veg had had their 20 minute head-start. I had reserved some of the onion and courgette and I fried them gently in a pan before adding the chicken to that. The rice had cooked really quickly so I just put that to one side until everything else was ready. When I was in Ireland my brother gave me a jar of curry paste that he said made the kind of curry you get in a takeaway. It’s lovely to have a homemade curry but sometimes, and especially since I can’t get it here, I crave the spicy, gloopy type you get in a Chinese takeaway at home. So after adding the rest of the veg to the roasting dish, I got out yet another saucepan, added the curry paste and the requisite amount of water and started stirring. It made far more than I thought it would actually but it was yummy.
All of which is to say that although I ate late, I did have a properly cooked meal last night, which is a step in the right direction. Chicken curry with onion and courgette and boiled rice. With a small side dish of roasted veg with caper vinaigrette about half an hour later. Most of the washing up is done, except for the last two pots and the roasting dish and I even managed to get up early enough this morning to heat up some of the roasted veg and some rice and I have that with me for lunch. With a small amount still leftover in the fridge. I might just heat that up this evening and mix in some of the curry sauce, too.
My budget for this month is not huge, I have between 20 and 25 for spending each week. I also still have just over ten euro in my purse so I’m really trying to not spend all of that this week, which will leave me with this week’s budget still available at the weekend. One lunch out could throw all of that off so I’ll need to be on my toes. I may take some soup out of the freezer this evening to heat up for lunch tomorrow morning and then we’ll be good to go. With perhaps a small tomato salad for my snack in the evening before beginning my usual fast. If I manage to save most of this week’s budget, I may treat myself by going to the Dutch material market on Sunday. It’s in Dortmund, which is covered by my monthly ticket on the weekends so no extra cost to get there and I suspect spending a few hours browsing there and perhaps a small amount of money could do a lot to calm my current spend-spend-spend impulses. So that’s my first SIOO target – don’t spend this week’s budget until the weekend!