Well, since I still appear to be sat here at home I thought I might as well get on and put together my list for June!
- Broad Beans
- French beans
- Green beans
- Mange Tout
- New potatoes
- Spring Onions
Another set of reasons to love summer – I’m hungry just writing it!
A few more things are coming in to season now, as well as a few that cropped up on the April list, including:
- broad beans
- new potatoes
Last month I was excited to see rhubarb on the list (I know, excited by rhubarb – must be the hormones), quickly dampened by the fact that, despite looking all month, I couldn’t find any anywhere. I finally tracked some down a couple of days ago and am going to be trying out a new recipe for rhubarb crumble this evening – I’ll let you know if it is any good. This weekend I also tried out a new, very simple recipe for celery soup which is something I’d never made before. I was slightly suspicious (I don’t know why) but it was actually quite nice. It was also very cheap to make as, other than buying a pack of celery, the rest came out of my storecupboard and general kitchen staples. In case anyone fancies a go:
- 300g celery (approx one of the packs you get in supermarkets after the top and bottom have been discarded), chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 400ml chicken or vegetable stock
- Heat oil in saucepan and cook the celery, onion and garlic on a fairly low heat for around five minutes until softened
- Add the stock, bring to a boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes
- Use a hand held blender or food processor and blend until smooth
Next time I might try reducing the amount of stock and replacing it with a bit of milk for a creamier taste/texture. Still, it tasted fine as it was – very fresh and healthy!
Just about every bit of pregnancy related literature recommends stocking up your freezer with homemade ready-meals to save time (and make sure you actually get something to eat!) during the first few weeks with a new baby. I’m a fan of making ready meals for the freezer anyway so this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. We currently have quite a lot of stuff lurking in the freezer that has been there for a while and needs to be used up. Thus I am going to spend the next week or so trying to clear as much space as possible, not to mention freeing up some containers. Our freezer is part of a fridge/freezer combo and has four good sized drawers so there should be plenty of space to get a good store in. Once that is done I can have a bit of fun planning what to make and maybe even trying out some new recipes.
Speaking of which, last year I wrote about trying to pay more attention to eating fresh produce that is actually in season. There must be something about Spring that gets me thinking like this because when I looked up the post (you can read it here) I wrote it in the same week in April last year that I was looking it up this year. Sadly I didn’t consciously stick to it. I am hoping that, despite the many distraction on the horizon, I should be able to look at this maybe once a month to see what is actually in season here in the UK. I’d love to say I would exclusively shop for locally grown produce but that would mean going without some of my favourite, favourite foods like nectarines which I’m afraid I just can’t resist. However, a few steps in the right direction must be better than no effort at all. Last year I put together the following list of things to look out for in April but please feel free to leave a comment if you know of something else that is good this month:
I was excited to see rhubarb on the list (rhubarb crumble!) but haven’t actually managed to track any down yet. It did inspire me to pick up some celery though which, even though I really like it, I don’t often think about adding to my shopping list. I’ll try to do a shopping list once a month for a bit of inspiration.
My challenge for the day has been to try to learn a bit more about eating seasonal food. The theory is that seasonal produce doesn’t have to travel as far thus the food is fresher and, importantly for those of us on a budget, cheaper. You are also much more likely to be able to buy things grown locally if that is your thing. I’ve had some distinctly tough and dry clementines and satsumas recently. Clearly their time is over for now , though I doubt I’ve ever eaten a locally grown clementine! It makes sense that nature provides us with what we need at different times of year – lots of root vegetables etc in the colder months to stoke up the boiler and lots of fresh salads and juicy fruits to keep us hydrated when it is warm. A great idea all round then. So, armed with a couple of books, I’ve tried to make a list of things to be looking out for the next few times I go shopping. I’ve already mentioned The Thrift Book by India Knight which has a fantastic, easy to follow section on exactly this, as well as French Women For All Seasons by Mireille Guiliano.
Apparently I should be looking out for:
April is a funny time in terms of fresh produce, falling right in between traditional winter and summer fayre. It seems that by May a host of other produce will be in season and I’m looking forward to breaking away from the variety of casseroles that have kept us going all winter and trying out some new recipes.
The weekly food shop is done and came in at £22.76 – only £1.76 over budget. I am more than happy with this as I bought extra meat as both mince beef and sausages were on offer. I also bought some soup and a quiche for Husband’s lunches. I would normally make this kind of thing from scratch but I’m trying to plan ahead as I know the next week is going to be really busy and it makes sense to make life a bit easier wherever possible!
Food shopping £22.76 – from food fund
Bet on Grand National £1 – from general spending fund
From the challenge-a-day list:
- Financial management: learning about seasonal food to save a few pennies (and be a bit more eco/healthy!)
- Financial management: Moved £50 into savings account