WITH the cost-of-living crisis, we are all worried about how to cope this winter.
I have been very impressed with the new initiatives of some supermarkets, which are linking up with celebrity chefs to educate people with their value-saving meal planning – keeping the food on our plates seasonal and keeping more pennies in people’s pockets.
The chefs have come up with recipes under £2 per person, which are not only brilliant value but also use fresh ingredients and take a no-waste approach to meal planning.
Cooking for a family is a real challenge when you’re also trying to run your home, hold down a job or manage your own business, and look after your children, but it is the healthier option and would save you money on the weekly shop.
Our local food bank has been given a number of slow cookers to be given out to get people cooking again. This is a great idea. I love mine, and they are very economical to run. As a child, I remember my mother and grandmother using their hotpots, or slow cookers as they are known today. They’re a practical way to cook up a one-pot meal, and make superior soups, stews and all types of casseroles.
My easiest slow cooker recipe is a whole chicken, with carrots, onions, potatoes, mixed herbs, and a stock cube, with salt and pepper to taste. You can also do exactly the same with a piece of pork. Pop it on in the morning, and you have the most wonderful meal ready and waiting when you come home from work. Long, slow cooking helps to tenderise cheaper cuts of meat and brings out the flavour in braised dishes.
You would be amazed what you can cultivate in any little pot. In October, you can still grow spinach, herbs, and lettuce. As a child I would grow cress for my egg sandwiches.
Let’s enjoy getting back to basics and cooking from scratch, back to how our grandparents cooked to save money and fill our tummies.