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to want to 'pass it on'?

(150 Posts)
MrsWembley Thu 24-Jan-13 20:08:21

So, following on from a thread about the price of Gregg's sausage rolls and BOGOFs, which has turned into a barney about how easy/difficult it is to cook/learn to cook on a budget, I, feeling very sad about the world in general and my small corner in particular, have decided, in the spirit of Jamie and someone else whom I can't remember right now (might have been Kevin Spacey), to pass on any cooking skill I might have to anyone living in/working in/passing through the Bristol area.

Seriously, if it's all I can do right now to make life a little better for someone/anyone, then bring it on!

Now, what do you lot have to offer, hmm?

marriedinwhite Tue 29-Jan-13 21:19:21

Hey Fuzzpig - how's it going - how's the house looking. Are you managing OK?

fuzzpig Tue 29-Jan-13 21:30:12

Hey married, keeping on top of things reasonably well - at least DH is, he's getting fitter, I'm in a relapse ATM <sigh> thanks for asking smile thanks

doorbellringer Tue 29-Jan-13 22:50:35

SPsFanjoIsAsComfyAsAOnesie
Betterware do a fridge and freezer defroster £3.99 heard good things about it but never actually used it myself.

Door Thank you. I was just about to drag it into garden and set it on fire but luckily saw your comment grin

doorbellringer Tue 29-Jan-13 23:01:24

SP it's a spray thingy so should help with your sticky drawers grin

sukysue Tue 29-Jan-13 23:03:25

Pointy didn't she do a turk for xmas? Did he mind?

MrsWembley Tue 29-Jan-13 23:13:23

Oh, happy now...

WallaceWindsock Wed 30-Jan-13 10:10:21

Right my issue is sauces. I can bake, I can do meat any which way but sauces never seem to work. I am on a budget so cant afford to buy cream and things so always end up doing tomato based sauces ... except they always seem watery so I end up ruining them by chucking gravy granules in to thicken them which makes for an interesting flavour grin blush

I also dont seem to be able to make gravy so always use granules which is crap at xmas, Easter lunch etc.

And means pies always taste the same - lovely pastry, tender meat, herbs, BISTO gravy ... <despairs>

MrsWembley Wed 30-Jan-13 19:17:03

Now, I'm a lover of tomato sauces and the best way I know to thicken them is to simmer then a while to reduce them. I've only ever added flour to thicken (or cornflour) if it's a stew or such-like.

I would only use gravy granules if it were a particularly flavourless stew, as they tend to be quite overpowering in terms of 'meatiness'.

If you want a creamy sauce without using cream, try creme fraiche, though I don't know how it fits in with your budget. I use the half-fat stuff for diet reasons and it works well.

MrsWembley Wed 30-Jan-13 19:22:34

Oh, and I use Bisto and give it my own 'zing' by using vegetable water and whatever's to hand - meat juices, wine, wine vinegar, port...

Just wanted to say I beat the freezer. I have sorted it out with a patience, a small hammer and a hairdryer.

It put up a good fight!

Now my question is what setting do I need it put it on to stop it over freezing? Its 1-6 dial thing

Maryz Wed 30-Jan-13 19:33:18

I am happy to visit people's houses and test their wine for them [hopeful]

Have I missed the point of the thread?

Adding a pinch of salt whilst you are softening onions will stop them browning/going bitter.

I will be giving catgirl's recipes a go - especially the first one.

marriedinwhite Wed 30-Jan-13 20:14:58

I have never used gravy. A tiny pot of cream is about 40p btw.

To make a sauce you need a wee bit more fat than you think for the flour that goes in. For a brown sauce - use a roasting tin with scrapings of caramelised onions - add vegetable water to the fat and flour mixture and stir continuously - you can add a bit of tomato puree, a bit of lee and perrins or brown sauce, splosh of wine if you have it and if you need to whisk and strain through a sieve - if you have a roast to go with the onions all the better - if not bung some bones in. For a poultry sauce bung in a cpl of chicken wings and go easy on the caramelised onions.

For a white sauce: good slug of butter - rounded tbs of flour, melt, blend stir cook for 2/3 minutes. Pour on milk and add things like cheese, parsley, salt pepper, etc. If it's an onion sauce, soften the onions first. This sauce is your friend.

I do the all-in-one white sauce method - milk, butter and flour (I guess the amounts - probably 2-3 oz each of butter and milk to around a pint of milk, maybe a bit more), and heat, whisking all the time, until it thickens. If it doesn't thicken well enough, sprinkle in a bit more flour and whisk well.

Spartak Wed 30-Jan-13 23:57:24

Op - if you've got a bit of spare time then I'm sure the Julian Trust would love to hear from you, especially if you can cook meals from random stuff. I can't link as I'm on my phone, but they are a homeless charity based in St Pauls, providing a hot meal every evening, generally from donated tins and other bits and pieces.

PearlyWhites Thu 31-Jan-13 16:06:36

Meal plan always ( marking place)

MrsWembley Fri 01-Feb-13 11:59:17

Spartak Thank-you for that info.smile I've had a quick look at the website and I'll give them a call, see if there's anything I can offer.

MrsWembley Fri 01-Feb-13 12:00:30

MaryZ, honestly, do you not think that was implicit in my offer?wink

MrsWembley Fri 01-Feb-13 12:01:28

SP, don't know, but I will check my freezer when I get home.smile

MrsWembley Mon 04-Feb-13 12:20:13

Sorry, SP, forgot to check... however, I have one of those fridge freezer jobbies where you can't set the temperature, it's all automatic. I know it's supposed to be about -15 to -18C, so if you've a fridge thermometer that goes that low you could just keep setting the dial lower and lower until you got to that?

A tip for today - always fry mushrooms in butter. I think it's to do with the heat that you can get butter to without it burning as well as the excellent flavour you get, much better than with oil.

I just set it randomly its been ok grin

I fry everything in butter instead of oil

MrsWembley Mon 04-Feb-13 14:54:05

And I'm pleased to know the hair dryer method still works...

<this does not imply an endorsement of any kind that might cause the individual any kind of harm up to and including death>

Loveliesbleeding Tue 12-Feb-13 09:36:27

For gravy/sauce to go with meat, I first add veg water to meat juices in pan and heat up to get all meaty bits, then add wine, then I often add a tsp or so of something sweet, such as a bit of apple sauce, if I'm having pork, or maybe some horseradish for beef... I look to see what's lurking in nearly finished jars in the fridge. Cranberry sauce is lovely in gravies. Not sure if this method is classic gravy in the end, but it tastes good.

MrsWembley Tue 12-Feb-13 14:12:14

Lovelies, that's a brilliant suggestion. I'm going to put apple sauce in my next gravy for pork!

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