Tuesday, 30 September 2008

A little bit of frugality!

Well, it's the 30th September and the last day of the September grocery challenge that I've been doing. I set a somewhat hopeful target figure at the beginning of the month and am delighted to have come pretty close, only a couple of pounds over in fact. It's the first time I have taken part and found it such a useful exercise in both self-control at the supermarket and ingenuity with my larder contents.
I normally have a baking session most weeks to fill the cake tins with morsels of happy sustenance for DH when he takes a break from his labours with the spade, but since last week poor Mr Second Wind had tried the cake tin several times only to be sadly disappointed each time and me apologetically offering a digestive biscuit in recompense mumbling 'I just haven't had time what with the all-consuming garden project'.He deserves home-made cake, particularly since he has worked soooooo hard in the garden. So this afternoon I felt a great urge to bake, but what was left in the larder to bake with? Not a great deal it appeared, so I pulled out some very old recipe books that I used to use in my younger days when funds always seemed extremely limited.

I spent a long time just reacquainting myself with the cake -mix -splattered pages, odd scraps of hastily written recipes along with torn out pages from magazines like Family Circle and Woman's Weekly which I used to love and would never part with.
It was a challenge deciding what I could bake, but I started with two sorts of rock buns from this book.

It was written to accompany a TV series of the same name back in the early 70's presented by Dorothy Sleightholme. I remember watching it avidly then, as my cooking skills were in their infancy at that time. I would turn to it if MIL was due to visit!
Rock buns are one of hubby's favourites. She suggests making various additions which suited very well as I could scour the shelves and see what additions might be possible. The first batch had mixed fruit and mixed spice and for a second batch I used wholemeal flour, chopped up dried apricots, sultanas and cinnamon.

I then toyed with the idea of Vinegar Loaf which was, if my memory serves me well , a perfectly acceptable cake though I can hear you saying .......Eeeew. If anyone fancies making it I'll gladly give you the recipe. I'll revisit that one another day.Then a tiny scrap of yellow stained and faded paper fell out from the book entitled Cornish Heavy Cake. Oh , how often had I made this for the childrens' school lunch boxes. They loved it. It uses lard as the fat component and doesn't use eggs ( I only have one left!) and I have a packet of Trex in the fridge which needs using by November. So, ideal, decision made.
Then I spotted a half used pack of porridge oats lurking so my final choice was a tray of flapjack with a handful of sunflower seeds thrown in for good measure. I seem to have bought a bumper sized pack of these, no doubt a special offer at the time. I'm a sucker for a bargain! On with the cooking and fill the oven. In no time I had a selection of farmhouse cakes ready

As if by magic, as the kitchen filled with that wonderful aroma of baking cakes, Mr Second Wind appeared from the rainy garden expecting yet another digestive with his cup of tea..........Oh what a happy man was he!


dancingonabladeofgrass said...

Just a quick note ... take a look at my blog re the giveaway!


ahhh I can smell that delicious baking all the way over here in Wales, my mouth is fairly watering. I too, used that Farmhouse cookery book a good deal,- rock buns, rasberry buns and flapjack are still a great favorite.
Well done on your Frugality, we all need to take a good look at our cupboards - goodness only knows whats lurking at the back of mine!!
x Vicky x

dancingonabladeofgrass said...

Did you get my e-mail asking for your address? If not, please would you send me a message via the SC Forum. Thanks!

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

Sweetie... You have made my day!
I just noticed that I am on your favorites blog list!
I will do the same to yours... as I don`t want to miss your lovely posts!
It seems that you have got used to blogging... and how to do posts... but, if you need any further help please do let me know!
Raisins, appricots and cinnamon... it all sounds and tastes wonderful!
Debbie Moss

Country Bliss said...

I came in just under budget too, it definatelyhelps to keep you on track. I love rock buns and heavy cake, never heard of the vinegar one though I think that I've read somewhere that vinegar is a raising agent!

MelMel said...

So lovely of you to pop in.....i'm going to sit n read your blog now, also watching the time machine...on TCM....I prefer the old one!

Lace hearts said...

Hi! Thanks for your comment - I am thinking I may cut them to windowsill length. The best thing to do would be to paint, but I just can't face the upheavel at the mo, with the landing and hall and bathroom in a state.
I loved the grocery challenge. I didn't update, but I managed to keep to budget - it really made me think hard about what I was spending food money on.
Baking is very satisfying, and I think you should send those rock buns my way!

second wind said...

Vicky, I've not made the raspberry buns so I'll give them a go next week
Debbie, thanks for popping by. I may well need help to improve my blog, no prettiness on it yet!
You've had me thinking hard about your guessing game too.
Yvonne, I think you're right about the vinegar being a raising agent. I shall do it next week too and let you know how it turns out.
Lace, know what you mean about upheaval, why not live with them till the spring when you'll have a new burst of decorating energy! I'll happily send a rock bun or two but I'll need one of Mr Lace's muffins in exchange!
Thank you all xx

Debbies-English-Treasures said...

Oh... I`m sorry that you didn`t get the right answer!
In the end... I decided to give a little extra hand by giveing more clues!
The answer that I was looking for was:
Thanks so much for having a go at my sittly competition!
I wish you a lovely weekend!
Debbie Moss

sharie said...

I recently picked that book up in a charity shop for 30p! My Mum used to watch that programme when I was growing up and I got her that book as a christmas pressie. When I spotted it in the cs I just had to have it!

Haven't had chance to try the recipes out yet... still using another 70's cook book by Woman's weekly!

MaryPoppins said...

Oh Second Wind I have only now worked out who you are :) I am not known for my sharpness LOL
Your cakes look lovely hopefully my little range shall get here soon and I can get my fingers dirty, I love rock buns oh now I am hungry
Thank you so much for your very kind offer on the pillowcase I shall look out for more of the blue vintagy ones for you and Lacey They are acril sheridan
Love Mary X

Tilly said...

I think my hubby would like to come and live at your house. He loves rock buns and flapjacks. I don't bake too often so I'm a bit of a sorry excuse for a wife - lol! But then he knew that and still married me!

Trish said...

your baking looks fab hun, I made chicken pies yesterday and jam tarts with the leftover pastry YUM!!! xxx

claire said...

Yay - you are up and running proper now, photies and everything!! :) You're a blogger now you know!!
Thanks for your comment - I will be doing a tutorial for bags this week - well I say this week - I hope its this week lol!!!

angel said...

Eeeew Vinigar, dont be daft woman thats only for chips...... lol
Your blog is getting better and better, well done you for all your hard work [see i knew you would be good at it.......Dire]*smile*
I cant cook and dont wanna learn is my motto, if i learned i would never get out of the kitchen!
Sorry i have not visited more often but my poot is playing up and keeps dropping out of its broadband thingy.
Love and hugs Honey. Mwah X x X x X x X x X x X x X x X

second wind said...

Sharie, I've got an ancient Woman's Weekly cookbook too!
Debbie, I'm rubbish at guessing games but enjoyed the search through your blog
Mary, glad you recognise me now
Tilly, I don't darn or sew buttons on!
Claire, thanks for your encouragement, I'm not very productive with my posts yet!
Angel, I can tell you want me to send you the vinegar cake recipe. I just knew you'd like it!

dancingonabladeofgrass said...

Just tried to access your lates post without luck...where did it go?