Sunday, August 02, 2009

Meal plan and various preserving efforts

Second attempt at making tomato ketchup today after having remembered to actually buy cloves this time. Looks good. I used a mixture of tomatoes as I had bought a mixture from the market yesterday to try and see which ones I liked best. Aren't they pretty?

But what about the insides?
Even better! I liked the yellow and the green ones the best - they were very tasty and very sweet. The darker green striped ones were my least favourite.

Forgot to buy onions though and only had about half the amount called for in the recipe so I decided to make up the difference with some courgette. The recipe calls for allspice and cloves to be used but I had a look at some other recipes as well and decided to add a touch of ginger and mace as well. Tastes nice although by the time I got it reduced to a ketchup consistency there wasn't much left. Have two small (I think they were 240ml) jars and another one two-thirds full. They had already been cooling for half an hour when I realised one of the lids wasn't tight. Looks like ketchup is going to be that thing this year that just never seems to go right!

The last batch is now being called relish and is tasty although not particularly ketchupy. I'm going to buy a load of mince next week at the market and have a burger feast.

I also have a kilo of tomatoes on drying as well as 250g bilberries. I've cooked chickpeas and mixed with tomatoes and feta cheese to have for lunch during the week (the rest of the dressing has to wait until tomorrow morning as I forgot to buy lemons). And I put most of the strawberries I had bought into a pot and cooked them down for ten minutes. They'll go in a jar in the fridge and I'll have them during the week with yoghurt. And best of all, I have cleaned and tidied up after myself.

Given my apparent lack of ability to control myself when I'm at the market (I was giving myself this weekend off from any major cooking or preserving efforts but all that went out the window when I got to the market and realised plums and all the different types of tomatoes had arrived while I was on holiday), I have decided to start doing proper meal plans again. It means I'll be able to use up the food I have properly and of course it does save the effort of having to put any thought into meals during the week. I tend to only plan for lunch and dinner as breakfast is the same all the time. I am going to try and plan in deserts for dinnertime as well though.

Saturday 1 August
Lunch: cheese, turkey salami, tomatoes, bread
Dinner: boiled new potatoes, broccoli, chicken (bought marinated in wild garlic, absolutely fabulous!)
Dessert: plum crumble with yoghurt

Sunday 2 August
Lunch: cheese, turkey salami, tomatoes, bread
Dinner: leftover potato salad with broccoli and mozzarella cheese [wasn't feeling hot enough for salad so ended up making an omelette with the potatos and broccoli, a few tomatoes and some cheddar cheese]
Dessert: yoghurt with some of the raspberry jam that never was, strawberries and plums [had a few strawberries but was too full for anything else]

Monday 3 August
Lunch: chickpea salad
Dinner: lettuce, tomatoes, seeds, dressing and bread [still had potatoes left so fried them with an onion and a couple of tomatoes - washing lettuce just seemed like too much effort after the day I had it work]
Dessert: stewed plums [following the plum jam which wasn't fiasco of this evening I don't want to see another one for a while - am finishing a bottle of beer for dessert and having a few squares of chocolate]

Tuesday 4 August
Lunch: chickpea salad
Dinner: pasta with courgette, tomato, onion [more changes, very hot day today so in the 30 degrees it was at 8 o'clock when I got home I didn't feel like cooking at all. So I washed the lettuce (lots of little bugs on it, killed by the cold in the fridge I think - I look on it as confirmation that it really is organic, no pesticides on my lettuce) and had that with some tomatoes, some wine cheese and some farmers' cheese, the rest of the turkey salami, a few toasted sesame seeds, linseeds, sunflower seeds and poppy seeds and a vinaigrette dressing with one slice of bread at the end to mop up the dressing. Delicious and just filling enough.]
Dessert: yoghurt with raspberry and strawberry [I actually had this as an afternoon snack and am now sitting with my last six small squares of chocolate and going to savour eating each one of them]

Wednesday 5 August
Lunch: pasta leftovers [as I didn't have any pasta yesterday it was more chickpea salad for lunch]
Dinner: eat out before choir rehearsal [worked later than planned so only had time to grab a brezel on the way to rehearsal and then had a couple of slices of toast, one with cheese and one with raspberry jam when I got home]

Thursday 6 August
Lunch : pasta leftovers or chickpea salad (assuming I'll have some of one of these still leftover) [the last of the chickpea salad, a smaller portion supplemented by a chocolate croissant from the bakery]
Dinner: pineapple rice [latish home from work and too hot for cooking. Waited until it was a bit later and somewhat cooler and had some more salad, same as Tuesday minus the salami].

Friday 7 August
Lunch: pineapple rice [am at home on a day off so lunch was the last of the salad with a couple of slices of toast, one to mop up the leftover dressing and one smothered in raspberry jam as dessert]
Dinner: bread and cheese

In other news I finally finished the patchwork blanket I was making for a friend's 40th birthday and managed to give it to him for his 41st. Was up early that morning trying to get it finished and it is decidedly more amateurish looking than I was hoping for but I just wanted to get it finished so wasn't being too careful about the end of it. I reckon the next time I visit him I'll have a go at blocking it and maybe that will help! Wish I could say it received a rapturous reception but unfortunately he was still half asleep when I was leaving so I just told him I had left his present there for him and when I phoned the next day to see if he had remembered to look I caught him just as he was heading out the door to work and all I got was a bit of a distracted 'yes, I liked it'. Disappointing but it's so nice to be finished I'm not that bothered. I'll probably visit again sometime in winter so if he's using it, well and good and if not then I'll tell him how much my brother liked it and offer to make him something else instead. I have a few dozen squares left of colours that I decided didn't work with the overall colours I was using so I am going to put them together into a baby blanket for a friend who had a baby a couple of weeks ago. Honestly the double blanket didn't work as well as I hoped and one of the problems was that it was just too heavy. If it is used, I'd say it won't be long until it's completely dragged out of shape (which kind of makes me feel better about not getting to finish it nicely).

I also finally had my appointment for an MRI on Friday to see if there's anything in particular causing my foot numbness. They hadn't told me though, that if I was going to get something to calm me down I would need to take the full day off work so I've rescheduled it for in a couple of weeks and gotten an afternoon appointment. I didn't think I'd be too bad, it's mostly my legs that are clautrophobic and if I had been able to put something between them then I thought I'd be okay. But they didn't let me do that and then bloody hell that hole they were trying to put me into was small! She also started moving me backwards much quicker than I expected so my plan to have my eyes closed before I went in didn't work. I only held out until about half my head was in and nearly had hysterics. I was surprised at my reaction being that extreme and it took me a good long time to calm down. They've promised me that when I go back and get an injection next time, I'll love it and want to come back every day. I'm not too sure that valium (which they mentioned and I assume is what they give you) is all that good and am very nervous about going back but it has to be done. At least the appointment is for a Friday afternoon so I'll have the weekend to get over it.


Anonymous said...

Oh heavens, I've had the hardest time with meal plans!

Moonwaves said...

I've been meaning to get back to doing them for a while and it was your post about them before I went on holidays, combined with spending two weeks with my sister (when you're cooking for a family of five on a budget you are VERY careful to make sure everything gets eaten in turn with no waste) inspired me to give it a go. I won't keep it up forever, but at least for a few weeks to help me get back on track.

Of course the important part is that I come back an update with the changes I've made so that if I'm looking back I can see how accurately (or not) my expectations meet the reality of life!