Monthly Archives: October 2009

Lazy dinner, home-made soup and Mrs Rochester the Second


I made some Pea and Leek soup yesterday. I made enough to last me 3 days at work. Since I already had a bag of frozen peas, some dried mint and a bottle of olive oil, the only ingredients I had to buy were 3 leeks – very good on the budget! Here’s the recipe if you fancy a go:



  • 1 tablespoon oil (I use olve oil for pretty much everything)
  • 3 sliced leeks
  • 175g frozen peas
  • 850ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint (obviously fresh mint is great though)


  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the leeks on a lowish heat, stirring frequently until they are beginning to go translucent and a little golden around the edges (about 5 – 10 minutes).
  • Add the peas, stir, then add the stock and the mint (if you are using fresh mint then wait to add it until you have nearly finished simemring).
  • Pop the saucepan lid on, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Use a hand-held blender or food processor to blend coarsely.

I popped a bit of ham in at the end because, well, why not? However, I didn’t put ham in the main batch because soups containing meat have a shorter shelf life.

This evening I’m making a bit of a lazy dinner. Lazy because, firstly, the sauce (korma) is coming out of a jar. I’ll be adding chicken, cauliflower and green beans. There should be enough that I can freeze two extra portions which will save me an evenings cooking next week sometime (also, one less meal to budget for next week). This will be a lazy dinner, secondly, because I’m going to use cous cous instead of rice. I like rice but I am pooped and cous cous barely needs any attention whatsoever.

Since I’m not cooking for an hour or so I’m going to curl up on the sofa with a good book. Yesterday I realised the time had come for my annual re-reading of Jane Eyre. Must be all the drizzle, fog and dark evenings…

Categories: Book love, Frugal food, Recipes | Tags: , | 2 Comments

A spot of hybernation


I’ve been a bit under the weather hence the lack of posting so I’ve decided I’m going to have a couple of weeks of hybernation. A bit more rest and a bit better attention to what I’m eating. And books. And early nights. It’s the only way forward! It turns out that I’m getting quite a few more days off over Christmas than I anticipated. Husband, alas, isn’t getting that many days off. So I’ve decided I’ll use a few of them to try and get things done around the house and I’m going to pretty much ignore it all until then.

I’m also going to try and get a bit of Christmas shopping done. So that’s my plan for the next few weeks – Christmas shopping, eating well and resting. On that note, I’m off to make a nice big pot of soup to take to work…

Categories: Ramblings | 5 Comments

Universal blah

Is anyone else just generally a bit blah at the moment? Everyone at work this week (me included) has been saying they feel tired/have a headache/have a cold/ feel a bit deflated. Is it the weather? Who knows…

My home projects have become a bit stuck because I’ve got to the point where I need to get people in to do stuff. And the things that need to be done are so boring. I need to go and choose a new front door, get it delivered and then find someone to fit it. And then I need to be here while they are doing it but I’ve got no holiday left to take so I don’t quite see how it is going to happen. Here is a brief idea of just some of the very dull things that need to be done:

  • Living room door: Broken. Need to get a new one and then get someone in to hang it -much like the front door (and no, it can’t be fixed).
  • Wall lights: We have two of these in our Living room and they stopped working about a year ago. I don’t know why. I need to find someone to come over and fix them. Except I don’t know anyone who is willing to do this in the evening or at the weekend.
  • Flooring: Needs to be replaced in the bathroom, loo and second bedroom. Same problem as the above – I need to be here to let someone in to do it. Also need to go and actually choose it. And let someone in to measure up etc.

These are just a small handful of the things on my giant to do list. I’m just not keen on the idea of wasting weekends trailing around industrial estates or wherever choosing flooring and doors and so on. Or trying to find time to get people in to do this stuff. I’ve done most of the things that I can do myself which I think is why I have lost momentum. I’d give up on the whole thing but I know it needs to be done at some point (we want to sell in the next year or so) and I am fed up of having all of these things to do hanging over my head. Maybe I’ll have to wait until the new year when I can book a few days off work so I can be at home to let people in. THUS for the remainder of 2009 I need to concentrate on the few bits left that I can do myself. I’ll report back if I actually manage to get anything done!

On a slightly more proactive note, I ordered a few Christmas presents on my lunchbreak. I seem to have quite a few children to buy for these days. I find The Book People (you can google them) great for book gifts. The selection is always good and the titles are usually quite heavily discounted. I bought two activity books (one was £1.99, the other was £3.99) and another book for a gift which was £3.99. For those under 1, I ordered a couple of tops from Next. I’m glad I did such a lot of Christmas shopping earlier in the year – it makes it all a bit less daunting. However, I still have one or two things to pick up for friends and I haven’t got anything at all for my family so I guess that is what I need to focus on next!

Categories: home improvements | 1 Comment


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I am still sadly finding it impossible to focus. I’ve sorted out my finances and know where I’m at until the next pay day. I’ve also moved some more cash into my emergency fund which is good. Other than that I can’t seem to rouse myself into any kind of action. Which is annoying. Because I’ve got a lot to do…

Categories: Ramblings | 2 Comments

Returning home


So we’re back from our weeks holiday in Cornwall. We’ve had a very lazy time – lots of walks, reading and eating…and that’s about it!

I haven’t tallied up the books yet but I think we came in under budget which is great. I have that slightly dazed thing going on when you get home after being away – what am I supposed to be doing? Where does this go? What day is it again? I need to get my brain back into gear. Maybe I need a little ‘to do’ list…

  • Finances: I can’t remember anything of my plans. I need to go through my receipts and check my online banking so I can get back on track.
  • House: Grrr. Will this one ever end? I have to get my notepad back out again and work out what is going to be my next project.

Hmm. Maybe not so bad after all. I suppose there’s nothing left but to just get on with it!

Categories: Getting organised, Shoestring Fun | 6 Comments

Holiday time!

Yup – I’m off on holiday. Remember back in March (or was it April?) I booked a UK break? Well the time has finally come. I’m really, really looking forward to getting away, having a change of scenery and eating a lot of crumpets in front of an open fire! Some friends are coming down to join us for the weekend and then we’re spending the rest of the week by ourselves in the cottage that we’ve rented. I’ll catch up in a weeks time!

Categories: Shoestring Fun | 5 Comments

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