Day 21 – I finally say what is organic… oops!

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February 22, 2009 by missmegany

We went to the Winchester Farmers’ Market today (hooray!) but I did not end up making it to the allotment. Mac cynically told me, “you’ll get used to not going to the allotment” but I’m bound and determined to prove him wrong. I’ll make plans asap to meet up with people next weekend. So there.

The farmers’ market was a great success though. We had just arrived where the stalls begin and Mac had started saying how hungry he was and that he would end up buying a mushroom buttie (buttie = sandwich for those non-Brits out there. They eat chip butties here which is, once translated, a french fry sandwich. Some things I just can’t get used to. The word buttie I’m ok with) Lo and behold, the heavens opened and we were provided with free food–not manna (for all you religious-in-the-know people) but a free spring roll from people advertising their new restaurant. Awesome! We then re-discovered free samples–I tried loads of bits of cheese and several relishes/chutneys/jams on crackers. Woo-hoo. It was enough to tide us over until we got home and made . . . . mushroom butties!

We now have lots of food from local places, some of which we can’t eat until the month is over. Mac got some marmalade (partly because it’s nice and partly because he know I won’t eat it), we bought some relish for friends, 500mL of rape seed oil (a British-made alternative to olive oil! I love it and am going to try to get the guy to bring a 5L container at the next market), some oil-packed chilis for a friend, sourdough bread, three kinds of cheese (one of which I think we can afford to eat now!), a bunch of watercress for scones to eat during the challenge, some cheaper-than-supermarket-organic butter, and probably some other stuff I’ve forgotten about. It was WONDERFUL.

As for eating:

Breakfast: I made pancakes (British kind) and then ate most of them because Mac wasn’t that hungry.
1 egg (22p)
3/4 cup milk (I used 1/2 c milk and 1/4 c water) (15p)
1/2 c flour (7p)
1/8 tsp salt
pinch of sugar

I then had about 2/3 with lemon and sugar and the rest with 1/2 tsp of jam. I used 2tsp of jam (6p) and I’ll guess the lemon and sugar was about 6p?
Mac had three, I had six. Plus I had two cups of tea and he only had one.
Mac: 19p + 3p tea, Megan: 37p + 8p

Lunch: mushroom butties! – a VERY expensive 41p
melted 10g butter (5g)
once hot add 100g mushrooms, sliced (57p)
Keep flipping and stirring rapidly at the start to get both sides coated in butter. Then you can stir intermittently. Keep the heat fairly high and it will only take a few minutes.
4 slices of bread (20p)

That didn’t fill Mac up so he then had another 2 slices of bread and some pate (22p)

I then had 2 cookies, 10p

Riverford: 75p
Dinner: I don’t know what to make! I’m doing this to work out how much money we have, but it’s also stalling…. I have 29p for my portion and 40p for Mac’s and we don’t really need to make leftovers because we still have FOUR portions of the curry in the fridge!

Mac came home and started making soup. It’s a variation (VERY much so) of a recipe in my Soup Bible that Lara bought me AGES ago when I first started doing soup nights in Fitchburg.

It’s supposed to be spicy parsnip, but we’ve cut out the cream, and Mac’s added potatoes to bulk it up because we didn’t have enough parsnips. Hopefully the cost will be low enough that we can have some of the sourdough bread that we bought. Mmmm…… sourdough and soup. I managed to get 20g of bread (the VERY thin crust) and Mac got 69g. That will teach me to have two expensive meals in a day AND two cookies. BUT it was all delicious and we still had three decent sized meals.

I realise that I haven’t been very good at saying what has been organic/free range/fair trade since we started.

Let’s fix that.
Breakfast: flour, milk and jam was organic. Egg was free-range. Sugar is British-beet (silver spoon’s stuff… nothing fancy) Lemon juice is just cheap Sainsburys brand stuff.
Lunch: Mushrooms, were local but I don’t know about organic…. can you have NON organic mushrooms? I don’t know much about how they grow…. bread was from the local bakery, probably not organic ingredients. Butter was Anchor, which happens to be free-range but also comes from New Zealand. Unfortunately, that’s all the corner shop (the one RIGHT round the corner) sell.
Dinner: Parsnips and stock was organic, garlic and bread were local but not organic (the organic bakery stall I like to buy from had sold out of their bread), potatoes and all spices were just cheap.

Mac’s Cheaper-Than-The-Recipe Spiced Parsnip Soup
serves 2 – 25p per serving

1 1/2 T butter (8p)
1 onion, chopped (we didn’t have any)
340 g potatoes (13p)
2 3/4c parsnips (Mac just used the 2 1/2 that we had left. I doubt he measured it) (RIVERFORD)
1/2 tsp ground coriander (1p)
1/4 tsp ground cumin (less than 1p)
1/4 tsp turmeric (less than 1p)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (less than 1p)
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (2 tsp bouillon) (it called for chicken. I don’t get why so many recipes do that) (4p)
1/3 c cream (skipped)
1/2T veg oil (1p)
2 garlic cloves (15p)
2 tsp yellow mustard seeds (6p)
salt and pepper

Chop onions, parsnips and potatoes
Melt butter in large pan, add onions (skipped), parsnips and potatoes (added) and fry slowly for about 3 min (this was more like 10 because how slow our electric stove is)
Stir in spices and cook for 1 more minute
Add stock, season and bring to a boil
Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 45min until the parsnips are tender.
Meanwhile, make the garnish.
Julienne garlic (cut into small thin strips)
Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds first and then add garlic. Cook until garlic is beginning to brown and seeds pop. Remove from heat and set aside.
Cool slightly, puree in blender until smooth (they say “or food processor” but that is NOT a good substitute–you’ll end up with little chunky bits and it’s not nearly as nice)
Return soup to pan.
Add cream (we skipped that) and heat through slowly on low heat.
Serve soup with mustard seed/garlic garnish on top.


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