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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?

whois Thu 24-Jan-13 22:24:50

Buy cheap whole tinned toms (essential waitrose have the most tom to sauce ratio) & roughly chop them by stabbing a long sharp knife in the tin

I use kitchen scissors to chop them up in the tin. Alternatively lidl does choped toms or pasata for 35p.

Plan your meals, lunches, breakfasts and snacks for a month
For a MONTH? Where is the fun and spontaneity in that? Suppose of you're on a really tight budget, but still. A MONTH?

*poaching eggs
drop egg into centre of whirlpool*

No no no, you don't need to bother with that faff. Just get it boiling nicely, then turn heat right down so hardly any bubbles and plop the eggs in. Lid on, 2 mins for perfect totally runny yellow poached eggs.

CoolaSchmoola Thu 24-Jan-13 22:34:45

I'd happily teach anyone to cook, bake, meal plan or budget in return for ironing.

I love cooking and baking but I LOATHE ironing.

DeepRedBetty Thu 24-Jan-13 22:35:40

Perfect poached eggs on toast.

Have experimented, the vinegar makes no difference.

yy to freshest eggs possible.

Swirly thing... not much good when you have twins and have to do two.

Bring water to boil. Place bread in toaster BUT DO NOT PUSH THE LEVER DOWN.

Break eggs into boiling water, immediately turn off gas, and NOW press lever down on toaster.

When toast pops, butter it, drain the eggs using a slotted spoon, plonk one egg per slice, tiny bit of salt, tell children to eat it now or it'll get cold.

The length of time the toast takes to brown is exactly right for lovely runny eggs.

The perfect slotted spoon is actually a stock skimmer with tiny holes in it that was in a box of oddments on a bric a brac stall.

AntoinetteCosway Thu 24-Jan-13 22:39:46

Whenever I buy onions and potatoes (which is regularly!) I can't get through them before they go manky. I keep potatoes in a special bag from Lakeland that's supposed to keep them fresh (and doesn't) and onions in the fridge. What am I doing wrong? Onions tend to last about a fortnight before going gross and potatoes seem to start sprouting within a week.

drownangels Thu 24-Jan-13 22:45:21

I had the same problem with onions going off before I could use them up but needed to have themin the house as a food essential.
The solution is frozen onions. A truly genius invention!

MrsWembley Thu 24-Jan-13 22:48:09

Darkside Wha' d'ya want? I've got stir fry, tomato sauce, pepper sauce, various curry type things, salad type things and other stuff that you can use quorn for to replace the meat..,

Do you live in the Bristol area? Seriously, it sounds like it's more the actual cooking skills that people need, not just recipes (as fabulous as they aresmile). There were some on the other thread who were saying they couldn't make soup. Someone said they overcooked pasta and burnt a Bolognese sauce.sad

If you can't make it to my kitchen, here's something I would recommend to everyone; if you don't want brown onions that still taste bitter in the final dish and colour everything the same old dirty brown as them, sweat chopped or sliced onions for a looooong time over a v. low heat with a lid on to keep in the moisture. I'm talking 10-30 minutes. The lid is v. v. v. important here, it stops them from burning and keeps them white and soft. Stir them around every now and again and let the moisture drip off the lid back into the pan when you take it off to do this. It's all about the moisture people!! Season them at the start with salt and pepper and maybe add a herb or two, depending on what you're going to make with them. And, although someone's already said it it's important enough to mention again, add your chopped/crushed garlic towards the end of this. It doesn't need to cook for so long and burns more easily.

Oh, and you chop or crush your garlic according to how strong you like the flavour - crushed is stronger.

MrsWembley Thu 24-Jan-13 22:53:45

Ooh, potatoes...

They have to be kept cold and in the dark to last. The potato bag is (supposed) to keep them in the dark but if you've got them in a warm kitchen you're losing half the battle.


Don't know, use 'em too quicklygrin They go in pretty much everything I do! I guess you could do what's been suggested already, chop 'em up and freeze 'em. You don't even need to make up small bags, just chip off a corner of the frozen block when you want them.

pipsqueak Thu 24-Jan-13 23:00:44

pointyend - love the idea of the same meal for 30 years - as a matter of interest whaqt was it?

FishfingersAreOK Thu 24-Jan-13 23:06:53

Slow roasting is your friend if you want a fear-free Sunday meal.

Lamb shoulder
Heat oven to highest heat
Put lamb in roasting tin.
Cover tin v tightly with foil
Turn oven down to Gas 3/160-170C
Cook for 4 hours - more is fine.
You can take out and rest for an hour whilst roast potatoes doing.

Is lush - falls off the bone

Roast Shoulder of Pork
Pretty much the same:
Heat Oven to highest
Put pork in tin
After 20 mins turn oven down to Gas 3/160-170C
Cook for 4-5 hours

If you buy a bigger joint than you need you then have lovely leftover to make into sandwiches/curry (even if just adding to a cook-in sauce) etc

Oh and the best method for roasting chicken - follow the instructions on the packet!

StickEmWithThePointyEnd Thu 24-Jan-13 23:07:22

grin Nothing impressive... it was fish, chips and mixed veg! Occassionally the chips would be swapped for two potato waffles and sometimes there were onion rings or garlic bread too!

Breakfast was a bowl of cornflakes, a banana and two slices of toast.

Supper was a tin of soup and a mug of horlicks.

Every single day. It would make meal planning a doddle.

Bearcrumble Thu 24-Jan-13 23:10:19

For perfectly risen muffins always add slightly more baking powder than the recipe says, do not over-mix the mixture (stir/fold as little as poss) and always turn the oven up 20 degrees higher than the recipe says for the first 5 mins.

WorraLiberty Thu 24-Jan-13 23:14:00

If the people in Bristol actually want to learn to cook then they'll Google some of the 1000's of free recipes and step by step Youtube videos out there I imagine.

It's a nice idea in theory but what are you going to do? Allow random unchecked strangers into your home to use your kitchen?

Idreamofafullnightssleep Thu 24-Jan-13 23:25:35

Ignore sell by dates on the majority of food. I do on all but don't want to give anyone food poisoning by giving the wrong advice on seafood etc. I go by smell and texture.

Have freezer/cupboard months where everything is used up and the more obscure the combination the better - poor Dh was going to have berlotti beans with fishcakes tonight but found some frozen peas instead!

Bulk up stews/spag bold etc with frozen veg to make it last 2 days and if not much left add a large jacket potato to fill it out.

We bought a second small cheap freezer for the mark downs/yellow stickers and bulk buy them. I have found that apart from last thing on a Sun afternoon weekday afternoons about 430 is a good time for the second markdowns esp in Morrisons.

Only buy what is on offer - don't be brand loyal. If it's not on offer I don't buy and we go without!

I could go on and on as I try and feed the 3 of us on £40 a week.

Happy to teach anyone to cook in return for cleaning I loathe cleaning! Same thing week in and out at least you can vary with cooking.

Also look for cheap cookery classes at evening classes. I found a gourmet one which was a bit more expensive but worked out at £4 a session plus the ingredients but it did feed 4+.

aimingtobeaperfectionist Thu 24-Jan-13 23:27:28

Coola I need help with all of those and I <whispers> love to iron smile
Don't judge me help me instead

MrsWembley Thu 24-Jan-13 23:30:09

Oh Worra, I was actually more worried people would think I was the loon!grin

If I can help one person to gain some basic skills I'll be happier than I am now. I'm not planning on entertaining a cooking class of fifty...

And if it's so easy for these people to google it, or (as so many were saying on the other thread) to watch the hundreds of fucking thousands of cooking shows that are about at the moment, why are so many still bemoaning the fact that they can't make soup? I reckon (coz I know everything, me) that it's too easy to say 'fry an onion, add some mince and a tin of tomatoes, some herbs and hey presto!!' That's why sometimes people get lost and then stop bothering.sad

It seems that, sad to say, some people really don't know that to boil an egg the water needs to remain at boiling point...

flow4 Thu 24-Jan-13 23:37:35

Do you know about StreetBank MrsW? It might be just what you're looking for! grin

spatchcock Thu 24-Jan-13 23:41:39

My contribution: I am not in the UK but I am happy to look over your CV if you're having trouble finding work.

Qualifications: former sub editor and veteran of thousands of job applications and have been responsible for hiring in the past.

spatchcock Thu 24-Jan-13 23:42:28

Unless this was just about cooking? In which case, I will proof read your recipe for you and turn it into readable prose.

MrsWembley Thu 24-Jan-13 23:49:25

flow4 That looks brilliant! I shall check it over properly in the morning.


spatchcock Not just cooking, it's just comments from elsewhere about cooking that got me all sad and thoughtful. Proof-reading is a bloody important skill that can be vital when doing an application, so thank-you. I'm an English teacher, when not being a SAHM, and I still get someone else to check any important documents just in case.wink

WorraLiberty Thu 24-Jan-13 23:57:27

And if it's so easy for these people to google it, or (as so many were saying on the other thread) to watch the hundreds of fucking thousands of cooking shows that are about at the moment, why are so many still bemoaning the fact that they can't make soup?

Because they don't actually want to or they don't feel they need to learn just yet.

If they wanted to chop some veg, stick it in a saucepan of water, add a stock cube, mash the veg...then serve it for lunch they would I'm sure.

Personally I never wanted to learn any of that until about 10yrs ago and by then I had 3 kids. I was also brought up by a SAHM who cooked everything from scratch.

I don't know what made me suddenly decide to start googling these things but I'm glad I did.

flow4 Fri 25-Jan-13 07:34:15

Glad you think so. I think it has lots of potential. smile I live in a fairly isolated area and there aren't many people registered so far, but it looks pretty active in more urban areas.

Ragwort Fri 25-Jan-13 07:47:06

I still don't 'get' how people can plan meals for a month or even a week - unless your life is incredibly routine surely you don't know what you want to eat on a certain night/if your DC has a last minute school activity/if you or DH are working late/if unexpected guests turn up or most likely for me grin - you've got loads of leftovers/you're just not particularly hungry/you just don't feel like a 'proper' meal, or you spot a bargain in the supermaket, or the weather has changed suddenly so you fancy a barbeque or a stew. I can see the logic for having a vague idea but pesonally don't understand how people stick to a rigid menu structure (perhaps thats just me being obtuse). I find I spend much less with my 'ad hoc' planning and going to the shops as I need to. smile

fuzzpig Fri 25-Jan-13 07:53:37

I helped run a cooking course at a sure start centre (sadly lacked funding for subsequent courses), it was quite well attended . FWIW I do think having someone encouraging actually with you is much more effective than standing on your own in your kitchen with a recipe.

However the people who were referred to the course (by an HV) didn't show up, the people who had seen the poster and signed themselves up did attend. I agree that you need people to want to do it, and realise that they need to learn.

AntoinetteCosway Fri 25-Jan-13 08:47:33

Think my kitchen must be too warm for the potaoes-might start keeping them out on the outside windowsill! Frozen onions is genius-thank you smile

CheCazzo Fri 25-Jan-13 08:57:08

theoldtrout01876 - I am so the same as you! Will and do happily cook all day long making almost everything from scratch. Hoover? Barely know where it's kept or how to switch it on!

Happy to help if anyone wants to know anything - meanwhile - let me share Nigella's cake recipe. This is a basic one for cake or cupcakes - you can do almost anything to this without ruining it - add stuff i.e. banana, lemon zest, cocoa - you can make this be anything you want it to be

6oz self raising flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
4oz baking fat
4 oz sugar - although you can reduce this to 3 and nobody will be any the wiser!
2 eggs
5 tbsps milk

Make sure the fat is very very soft - I microwave mine till it's almost liquid. Whack everything in together, mix, put into lined tin, bake in oven approx 170 for 15 mins for cupcakes, 25 for loaf cakes. Use the skewer test - when it comes out clean, cake it done!
Let stand for a while then remove from tin, cool, decorate if you want, serve.

For banana cake I swap white sugar for dark brown and mash the banana before adding to mix - oh, and a little extra baking powder to help with the extra weight.

Please. Make this cake! Never use any other recipe!

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