baking, cooking, Recipes, saving money]

Just touching base

spring 1

Hello everyone and how are you? What a lovely day it is here again in Scotland! Normally at Easter we have overcast, rainy weather, but it’s been glorious here for the last four days. Not roasting hot, but nice enough to walk around in and to feel the sun’s warmth on your face.

Anyway, on with the blog. Firstly, I have to apologise for neglecting you all recently. It’s been a month since my last blog post. Like everyone else though, I’ve been spending the last four weeks adjusting to this new way of living. I’ve also been working on a couple of books which, if you go over to my author blog, you can find out more about. At first, I found it really hard to get back into writing after the lockdown was announced. It’s been such a scary time. However, I am getting there. Well, not today, today is my fourth day of having a break from writing. Okay, so I’m writing this, but I am having a break from my books. Instead, I’ve been tidying the garden and my body is full of aches and pains for it. Still, it was worth it, the garden does look better.

spring 2

So, how have you all been coping? Have you been managing okay? I’ve found myself cooking things from scratch more, which is great because that’s what I’ve been wanting to do for ages.

Talking of cooking, have you stumbled across any great recipes you’d like to share? I’ve been following a blog called The 1940s Experiment for years now and it’s full of cheap nutritious (mostly British) recipes from the Second World War. Carolyn who runs the site is passionate about sharing great recipes from that era and tries them out herself before posting them. She’s currently pulling together a free Pandemic Pantry Cookbook, so if you have any recipes you’d like to share, pop along and send her them. They don’t have to be wartime and they don’t have to be British. I gave her my family’s go-to Bolognese sauce and our sponge cake recipe.

There’s also my friend Elaine’s Mortgage Free in Three blog which is packed full of brilliant recipes for you to try. She ran this blog a few years ago, then got a really busy job and had to give it up. However, due to the pandemic, she has resurrected the site (Yay! Cos I love it) and it has loads of recipes and info about frugal living.

spring 3

This week, I plan to scour all my old cookbooks to see if I can rustle up something good, nutritious (or not) and cheap. I’ll share it with you once I have them.

Right, I am going to love you and leave you. I really just wanted to say hello, I’m still here and to touch base with you. I will try to be more regular with my posts.

Til next time,

Dawn xxx


baking, cooking, old books, Recipes, Uncategorized

A lovely old book of home management that’s not Mrs Beeton

So, I have this lovely set of old books called The Book of the Home series and it’s full of useful tips. This set was printed in 1905 and feature plates by Arthur Rackham. I got them on Ebay during one of my sessions looking for old cookery books. They aren’t in perfect condition, but are interesting none-the-less. There are eight books in total.

Anyway, I’ve been flicking through the fourth book in the series and it’s quite wonderful. There are recipes for savoury and sweets, information about servants and what they should be doing around the house (as well as what they should be wearing in the morning and then later in the day), household economy and laundry work. There are fantastic illustrations throughout and photographs.

Here’s a weird recipe from the book, it’s called Crème Verte (Green Cream). For it you need three-quarters of a pint of cream, one teaspoonful of spinach greening (whatever that is), castor sugar, vanilla essence, oranges, bananas and half a pint of lightly frozen ice cream.

You quarter the oranges, take off the pith and pips and make a layer of them in a deep compote dish. Peel and slice the bananas and lay them over the oranges. Cover the fruit with the ice cream. Whip the cream with a pinch of salt til firm and rocky. When it is beginning to thicken, colour it with the spinach juices or some green colouring; sweeten to taste and complete the whisking. Pile over the ice cream.

Apart from colouring the cream with spinach juice, this recipe actually seems okay. Not able to be done by the ordinary working-class person in 1905, but I’m sure the middle and upper classes might have had it.

For nowadays, it’s quite a cheap pudding. I may even give it a go although I will use green (or no) colouring for the cream on top. Why does it need to be green anyway?

Dawn x

baking, cooking, not buying, saving money], Uncategorized

Plum Jam, an Amazon ban and Tablet

Plums from my plum tree.

Okay, so I admit it! Hands up! I did use this same picture on my author website blog post, but you know… I am into recycling and this is recycling, sort of. Anyway, this is a small haul of plums from my plum tree that I plan to make plum jam with. Will get the ladders out tomorrow to have a proper good look in the tree for more plums and hopefully I’ll get some. I made plum jam last year with donated plums, so am looking forward to making it again. May even make plum duff or plum pudding. I’ll see.

So how have you been doing this week for frugality? I have managed to cut my personal spending down to nothing except for the purchase of a business book (on search engine optimisation) and taking my editor, Graham, out for lunch at Zizzi’s last week. Well, I owed him one. And we had a good laugh. I haven’t bought anything else so big tick and a gold star for me!

Part of my plan for cutting back is to try and cut down on the amount of plastic we have in this house. That’s mainly things like shampoo and conditioner. I try to buy glass bottles and other non plastics where I can, but it’s almost impossible for a lot of goods. The dog food, for instance, I buy in cans, but they are always wrapped in plastic. Even fruit and veg, which doesn’t need to be wrapped in plastic, is wrapped in plastic. It’s so annoying. Anyway, there’s a new green shop opened near where I live where you can buy things without plastic packaging. I fully intend to shop there this week and see what’s what.

For saving money, spent a good part of last week going through my pantry and working out what was coming to its best before or use by date and what I could store for longer. I’ve wasted a lot of money over the years simply by not using up produce in time and that is going to stop. One of the things I made was tablet which used up two tins of condensed milk which were at their best before dates. I love tablet and the first batch turned out great, the second not as good. However, I am still eating it!! 😉

Okay, so I’m going to finish up here and say goodbye until next time. Will share with you how my plum jam went and how delicious it was on the home-made bread I am planning to make to go with it. Yum.

Dawn x