Runner bean chutney, sucking eggs & Food diary: Day 7


Shoestringing, or at least an interest in personal finance, is on the up. I went to my local library last week and picked up a few books. These days my first port of call is a tiny section on finance. When I first discovered this section about 6 months ago it literally had about 4 books of this genre on offer alongside a larger selection on topics like buying an investment property abroad. What with the long-winded tooth drama and one thing or another, I haven’t been to the library since June so I was surprised to see that this section has more than doubled in this time. I would say there were at least 15 books on planning your finances, going green and generally being thrifty. There’s obviously a lot of demand at the moment for this kind of thing!

I picked up the book above – Sucking Eggs: Things Your Wartime Grannny Could Teach You About Diet, Thrift and Going Green… by Patricia Nicol. I’ve only read 100 pages so far and yet I am completely gripped. I was expecting a basic book of tips based on what people ate during rationing but this is much, much more detailed. If, like me, you find history utterly riveting you”d probably find this interesting whether you were interested in thrift or not. There is a lot of information about campaigns such as ‘Dig for Victory’ and people taking Farm holidays (a bit like our equivalent of going ‘WOOFing’), how people managed on rations and generally got creative when everything from eggs to meat were in short supply. It is brilliant – I’d recommend it to anyone.

Teresa over at A Time for Stitching ( saw my mention of a cheese and runner bean chutney sandwich the other day and asked if I had made the chutney. Actually, I hadn’t made it but my Mum has a gorgeous recipe for it so if you are lucky enough to have a glut of runner beans here it is:



  • 2 lb runner beans
  • 4-5 medium onions
  • 2lb demerera sugar
  • 1.5 pints vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons cornflour
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • You can also add a handful of sultanas if you like (I do like)


  • Peel and slice the beans and onions and cook in salted water for around 10 minutes, then drain (it is better to slightly undercook rather than over cook them).
  • Put the beans and onions back in the pan, add 1 1/4 pints of the vinegar (keep the remaining 1/4 pint to one side) and all of the sugar. Boil for 15 minutes.
  • Mix the cornflour, tumeric and mustard powder with the remaining 1/4 pint of vinegar. Add to the pot and boil for a further 15 minutes.
  • Leave to cool and then pot.

I can’t wait for the day that I have my own garden and can grow lots of veg!


BREAKFAST: Cereal and tea.

PACKED LUNCH: Tuna salad sandwich, 2 apples, a banana and a small tupperware filled with a chopped nectarine and a few strawberries. It was yet another colleagues birthday so I also had cake. Two slices actually.

DINNER: Sausages, cauliflower cheese and carrots.

Categories: Book love, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “Runner bean chutney, sucking eggs & Food diary: Day 7

  1. apieceofwood

    I share your thoughts about the library… the ‘frugal, finance, green, simple section is sadly sadly lacking…

  2. Frugal Trenches

    What a delightful book! I’ll have to try to get this one from my library!

  3. I so want to read that book! I had a bit of a dispute in my library when I asked them to buy the Total Money Makeover because our personal finance section is tiny in the whole Kensington and Chelsea Borough. They now have to buy books via the British Library where it would have cost £52 when it is £10 on Amazon. I asked if I could donate a copy and was refused.

    I am going to look at the catalogue now.

  4. That chutney sounds delicious.
    On the subject of books, I am surprised that the personal finance section has expanded, as I really don’t know what is going on with the Finance Blogs, as I said to you a while back, my readership has dropped by half over the last couple of months. I don’t understand, is everybody better off than I think? I am still blogging though, just because I believe in what I am doing and originally did this as I couldn’t find any other site which kept people updated on offers etc, although there are a few now.

  5. Thanks for the recipe and the mention. I’ll definitely give the chutney a try.

    That book looks interesting too. One of my aims is to get back into going to the library but I don’t want to make a special journey each time, so I’ll have to try to fit it into my weekly routine somehow.

  6. That sounds to be a lovely book, I’ll have to check out my local library for it.

    I passed up some homemade Runner Bean Chutney at a local summer fete recently – wish I’d given it a go now.

  7. Pingback: Art rationing: the culture of less : The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts

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