Saturday, 3 November 2012

How far can you stretch...

Welcome to my new, fellow Norfolk follower, Lynne.

Having watched “Britain's Hidden Hungry”, the other night, I didn't know whether to be sad, mad, indignant or whatever.

I missed the first part of it so don't know why everyone was in such dire straights but gathered some of it was to do with loss of jobs, some huge debit. Other than teaching people to budget and cook from scratch on very little, I don't know what the solution is.

We have in our time, had little to live on but were rich compared to some of them. I was taught basic cookery at school but the rest I taught myself, realising I couldn't go through life not being able to cook. Many books were loaned from the library and I joined a mail cookery club where monthly cards were sent to me (never did complete the collection).

For most of our adult working lives, we have taken pack up to work as it is cheaper. We have nearly always cooked from scratch as it is not only cheaper, we also know what is in it. Yes, we have the odd takeaway as a treat, or have bought a ready meal when in an absolute hurry but now, we mainly cook everything ourselves.

So, for the rest of today and probably tomorrow, I shall be seeing how far I can stretch something. Come back to see how I get on!



17 comments:

  1. There is no doubt about it, cooking from scratch and just a little bit of planning saves tons of money. I was never really taught to cook, but read cookery books, watched tv shows about it and learnt by trial and error. But I think people have to actually want to learn, it isn't that hard after all and anyone can do it. But some choose not to.

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  2. Sad to say Dan, but I think you are right. I have just got halfway through my stretch it challenge. I'm not very good at totting up the cost side of things but I will have a go. Loved your singing by the way.

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  3. I've been watching the Nigel Slater cooking programme and he gives some great ideas for stretching small amounts of food left in the fridge at the end of the week and turning them into fabulous tasty meals. I'm definitely going to have a go. I'm a cooking from scratch kind of girl, rarely buying prepared meals so any ideas for a change are always welcome.
    Patricia x

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    1. Yes, it is very good and he is the inspiration for my next few posts!

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  4. Dan is right. You must be willing to have a go with cookery. Sadly, nowadays many young women and men don`t even have the desire to learn. In our hard times being able to cook enough to get by might become crutial to survive on a meager budget.
    How to make the most of what`s been bought for a week could also be a knowledge that most modern people are now lacking. These skills and thrifty ways could be taught at community centres all over the country if there were willing volunteers to participate in sharing their expertese and knowledge. This could help some truely hard up families get back on track, and to be able to feed their kids. If my community centre would offer such free sessions I`m sure quite alot of folk would come to learn.

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    1. People don't seem to be taught to cook at school. My son didn't take anything or bring anything home. They seemed to spend most of their time discussing the ingredients on packets and tins! The only thing he made was biscuits and they didn't get home.

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  5. My children can cook as that's what they saw at home, I noticed my daughter makes a lot with eggs and spuds and my son can do a lot with minced beef. However, I know some post grads earning a lot who can't open a tin! some people lack practical skills

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    1. I didn't grow up in an environment conducive to learning to cook but did teach my son the basics. He and his girlfriend now both help cook their meals. The bit about the can frightening none the less.

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  6. What a fantastic and interesting blog.....came here through a link from FrugalMummy (thank you FM). Will be reading with interest back through your previous posts.

    In recent weeks I've begun to stretch meat etc to make more meals - not strictly through necessity, but because we want to save money for an important anniversary celebration next year. It makes me think more about what I'm cooking, and definitely makes me more inventive, which I'm enjoying a lot.

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    1. We find we are eating less and less meat or making it stretch further due to the general rising cost of food. Although we are no longer on strict rations, it kind of stays with you.

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  7. My son had to make shepherds pie at school and the ingredients were a tin of mince in gravy and a packet on instant mash!!!!! Thankfully he could already make a proper one by then and told the teacher in no uncertain terms how horrible her recipe was!!! I really think that a whole generation missed 'proper' cooking lessons at school and now can't pass on those skills to their children. Bring back home economics (perhaps we should start a campaign!) xxxx

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  8. Even young school teachers don't have the practical skills or knowledge of basics needed to survive in economically difficult times . Blogs like this are a great help in accessing needed knowledge .
    Brenda in the Boro
    www.cyclinginthesixthdecade.Wordpress.com

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    1. Brenda, that might well be true which is sad and a probable reflection on how teaching is changing through constant government interference. No sooner get on one new style then have to change.We always had double lessons in cookery so it gave us the chance to make proper food. In November, these changed to 3 hour lessons so we could make cakes, puddings etc. Our school even had a flat in the cooking department that we had to spend a week in (during school time) and cook and invite people for 2 days to morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea. It was our final exam.

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    2. I had much the same type of education when it was called domestic science. I think I will always be grateful for bring taught to cook at school because my Mam wasn't great cook.
      I was taught to hand sew in primary school by a pair of teachers who were sisters but also were old school. They dressed in those old fashioned smocks . That was probably one of the best skills I ever learned.
      Brenda in the Boro
      www.cyclinginthesixthdecade.Wordpress.com

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    3. Brenda, I was also taught to sew at school, mainly by hand but we did have hand cranked sewing machines eventually. I made a blouse, a skirt, a dress and a pair of baby doll pyjama's! Wish I could have retained my embroidery skills a little more though.

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  9. We've always taken packed lunches to work too, and on days out, to avoid the cost of buying food at over-inflated prices.It has always been normal to us to pack up a picnic,whereas for others it's normal to buy burgers, drinks etc. I do think some of the reluctance to cook is just sheer laziness - J's niece seems to live on junk food and takeaways, yet is a stay-at-home Mum. Both she and her partner are obese, and I feel sorry for the child, who will, no doubt, end up the same, having heard about some of the things that they feed her.

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    1. Same here especially during our ration times. Now we do treat ourselves on our walks (usually the cheapest) but that is our only treat, even our cakes when made are 'rationed' out to one slice then, one for the next day and the rest frozen to eat one slice a week. Blimey, move over Mrs. Scrooge!

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