Wednesday, 3 November 2010

What Happens in Frugaldom When the Internet is Down?

Once again, we had an interuption to the Broadband service here, but I've just been informed that the head office of a local company was also affected - in Manchester! Makes me wonder what, on earth or elsewhere, is going on with things.

So, no Internet = no working online, so what does a frugaleur do then?
That's right, stock up on winter food supplies by lighting the logburner and hiding out in the kitchen for a couple of hours. Roasting a chicken is so much more fun when you just stick it in a roasting tin with some herbs and let it cook slowly atop the stove. Once that lid's in place, there's nothing escaping that succulent bird!

Then there was the clootie dumpling that got boiled for 4 hours atop the stove on Monday. This stores really well in the fridge, or it can be sliced and frozen. Come to think of it, you could probably freeze the entire dumpling, but there's never a whole one left for the freezer in this household. Keeping the log burner fired up enough to cook anything over a prolonged period is hard work! George, afterall, is just a tiny multifuel stove, but he could probably consume a full recycled pallet in a day. At 50p per pallet, it's worth it for a warm house! Dumpling was served with custard in the Frugaldom household today.

Then I needed to bake some choc chip cookies, as the biscuit tin was empty. Managed to bake two trays of them using my favourite recipe. These are everyone's favourite biscuits here, so it's probably just as well the choc chips were on special offer when I stocked up with them. I've used supermarket's own basic brand of ordinary chocolate and it does work, but not quite as well as the proper cooking choc chips.
Still no Internet, cue the opening of a box of garlic dough balls mix - I got 5 boxes for 99p with a recent Approved Food order to try them - and the mixing and making began again. I was amazed at how simple these were to make! Just a case of adding a bit of olive oil and some water and doing exactly as it says on the pack. I split and rolled the dough into 12 balls and baked them in a sponge tray, so no chance of them spreading out and going all ways if things went wrong. That was almost the last of my cookathon for today, as the Internet came back on just as the rolls were baking. Two minutes was all it took to melt some butter and mix in the garlic & herbs. Once poured over the top, these were ready for eating. They're sitting on a plate by the stove keeping warm and will be eaten soon, along with the roast chicken.

Last, but not least, give us our daily bread. I'd already stuck the mix into the breadmaker for today's loaf. I've started making a small crusty loaf every other day, rather than a large loaf that tends to get hacked into door stop wedges and scoffed far too quickly! Once again, the bread mix was a bargain at £1.49 for 3.5KG, so a small loaf works out at just 14.9p If I allow for delivery, a scoop of wheatgerm and the electricity required to bake the loaf, I estimate less than 25p. A far cry from £1+ for similar from the supermarket!

Now You Know what happens in Frugaldom when the Internet goes down. I hate to think what everyone else gets up to when the winter months are upon us. Best be prepared for a rural baby boom next year if BT continues having all these problems, especially when the digital TV signal is every bit as bad, if not, WORSE! Trust me, if your kids are of an age, encourage them to watch DVDs and keep to a rigorous exercise regime. Saves a fortune in the long run. :)

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