Thursday, 13 February 2014

Day 13 of Extremely Frugal February - Chick Peas and Cheap Ice Ceam

Day 13 of 28 - A Touch of Summer!

How can I possibly think of summer when I get up in the morning to a house that's 6 degrees C, I ask myself? You'll soon see.

My roast beef-stretching project has gone on temporary hold by way of freezing what was left of the beef and cabbage to enable me to use up the rest of the potatoes, sprouts and turnip.

After the usual routine of porridge for breakfast, today's lunch was toasted cheese with pickle. (Cheese needs to be finely grated now to make it stretch further and bring it within the realms of frugaldom affordability.) As per last night's late post, I had soaked a pan of chick peas.

Today I boiled up the chick peas and then gave them a blast over the stove in a mixture of sesame oil, salt, pepper, mixed spice and chilli. This gave them an added snack-like appeal, so I set aside a cupful to mix in with tonight's dinner and the rest were left to cool, then bagged and popped into the freezer. These should be OK to use a handful at a time whenever I want or need them to bulk up a stew, casserole, stir dry or soup. I quite like eating them like peanuts!

What about dinner?

Leftover sprouts, potatoes and turnip all went into a big pan along with the small cup of the spicy chick peas. While the oven was heating, I diced and pan fried a breast of chicken with a clove of garlic, then threw in a handful of the frozen peppers. This all got added to the roasting tin, drizzled with oil and put into the oven until the potatoes were just beginning to roast. The plan had been to serve with a tomato-based sauce and rice, but I needed to use up the last of the boiled potatoes.

Now for the good part - a slither of summer amidst the winter storms. The mixed fruit I had defrosted overnight turned out to be a mix of stewed apples, rhubarb, raspberries and blackcurrants, so I set about turning it into something more than just ice cream for my Valentine's Day treat! Here's how it went.

A Little Taste of Summer

The ice cream mix is available right now on the Approved Food website at 6 packs for 99p. It uses only 150ml of milk and it works just fine with powdered, if that's all you have. Coincidentally, there's Marvel on offer and mango pulp, so I was sorely tempted to stock up for summer!

The ice cream mix whisks up like double cream and roughly doubles in volume. You simply tip it into a lidded contained and then stir in your favourite accompaniment.

My chosen accompaniment for this batch of frugal ice cream is a couple of tablespoons of my home-grown summer fruit sweetened with a spoonful of vanilla sugar. 

This is my ice cream mix all ready to go into the freezer. It's in a large plastic tub but you could use two smaller margarine tubs and make it as two different flavours.

Meanwhile, I still had all of this stewed fruit left, so you can guess what I did with it, cant you? When putting the ice cream mix into the freezer, I retrieved my bag of crumble mix...

... and made another big fruit crumble that serves 6, so it will last us 3 days. By the time I had made dinner and baked the crumble, the ice cream was frozen, so guess what we had for dessert tonight? :)
BILLY CAN to the rescue! I am so, so tempted to go and order a stock of that ice cream mix, as I'm down to my last 3 sachets... if I ordered the mango pulp I could easily save a small fortune and have the luxury of ice cream and sorbet here all summer! I'll pop a £20 note into the tin and sleep on it! (Sleep on the notion to spend, not the tin!) There really isn't anything I NEED at the moment, what with so much to be used to keep stock rotating, and I certainly don't want to end up with anything needing binned! Can I warrant a minimum £15 order? £20 note into the tin... Will I, won't I? Will I, won't I? Will I, won't I? Grocery budget already at £151.71 for the year to date, which is way over average because of the freezer order for new year. On the other hand, almost anyone could spent £15 over the period of the summer buying ice lollies and ice cream, whereas that amount could get me a whole load of ingredients and the opportunity to stock up on pasta at 99p for 3kg... I'll let you know tomorrow, whatever I decide.
NYK, Frugaldom.


  1. Oh Lordy NYK, I don't think I could be as restrained as you (though I am getting better!).
    Good luck in making the right decision on that one!

    Your food looks delicious!.,
    Take care.
    Rw. X

  2. Ordered £15 of assorted 'stuff' including 9kg of pasta. Will wait until it gets here before listing it, in case anything goes out of stock. Fingers crossed for the ice cream mix and pasta, though! LOL

  3. Lol! I had a bet with myself that you wouldn't order anything!
    I hope you get what you ordered though!

    Take care this weekend, n stay warm n safe.

    1. Sorry RW, but the thought of a long and lonely summer without ice cream was just too much - I need some luxury home comforts and tasty company. LOL

  4. Dont do dont need to be putting that crap into your body on a regular basis.
    Save the money for some fresh fruit or an icecream out. Sorry to be a killjoy but when you have little money for food you have to make every penny counts towards good nutrition.
    It would be better to buy some cream and make your own dessert.

    1. Hi Lizzie, thank you for your input, but I suspect you are a new reader of the Frugaldom blog? My grocery budget challenge is all about eating a diet that is sufficient to maintain good health and, for me, tinned fruit, nuts and pasta are part of that diet. With no car, no buses and no shops nearby, the offer of some crap ice cream mix is a luxury convenience for me. For the sake of 5 minutes whipping up this stuff and adding in the fruit - the above is all home grown - I am prepared to take my chances. If food money ever had to get tight, I would simply reshuffle my budget and reduce spending elsewhere - like having a TV or Internet. :)

  5. I'm so glad you got it! It will make the summer much happier :-)
    ~ Pru

    1. I think so, too, especially when I can pick and choose the flavours and add all sorts of home grown fruit and minty herbs. :)

  6. You go for it my sweet. Your diet is more nutritious than about 90% of this country.
    I won't bet on it (lol) but you can guarantee it ;)

    1. I don't think our frugal diet is too bad at all, although there are still plenty of improvements I could make if I could muster up a passionate joy of cooking. Maybe that will develop along with old age if I ever get a proper cooker with a real oven. LOL


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