Thursday, 6 March 2014

Day 6 of Making it in March - Secret Books and Turkey Burgers #MIIM

Day 6 of 31 - Reminiscing, Recycling, Crafting and Cooking

15 years ago

NYK newspaper
NYK Magazine
Today was National Book Day, so I thought this would be an excellent day to review my own book interests - writing, editing, blogging, publishing and even recycling an old book that was destined for the bin.
First, a quick look back at our first ever publication named 'Now You Know'. It is 15 years ago this week since issue 1 hit the shelves in March 1999.
I'm dedicating this post to all the writers who have taken part in our writing, publishing and crafting projects over the past 15 years!
To each and every one of you, I am truly grateful - you helped create NYK despite all odds. The financial aspects of every project played a pivotal part and we may not have 'made it big' but do you know what? We survived it all and are still here to tell the stories. So many memories, from our frugal wine tasters/reviewers (The Plonkers) to our grocery challengers, recipe contributors, roving reporters and wannabe investigative journalists who got our little monthly rag into all sorts of pickles! Bring back Millie May, Eddie Elwood, the Woman Zone and every other part of it, I say! Jordan, Armand, Rovin' Ronnie, McDade, Rosemary, Derum...
OK, getting back to recycling, let's not pulp, bin, burn or bury this book, let's try...

Making a Secret Book

Making a secret book
This is quite self explanatory but I have to hold up my hands and say that it is much easier said than done when it comes to making something like this. As a bibliophile, I had a serious problem finding a hardback book that I could bring myself to mutilate! After several attempts, I failed to put the knife into the bedraggled Greek text copy of Homer's 'Odyssey' and, instead, had to opt for one that was rescued from someone else's bin!
Step 1 Cover the book in kitchen film the way you used to cover school books. Include a few of the front pages to allow for any sticky mistakes while gluing. Close the book and paint all around the page edges with a clear-setting glue. I used ordinary PVA glue for this. Sit something heavy on top once you're done and leave to dry.
Making a secret book
Step 2 Open the book carefully to make sure all the pages remain glued together. The cover and first few pages should be glue free, as they were protected by the kitchen film. Draw a box on the top page. I used a small ruler and drew the ruler's width in from the page edge. Next, using an awl or nail or similar, make a hole in each corner of the box you just drew; these will be your cutting markers. I used a crafting blade for this next bit - carefully begin slicing out the pages within the lines you just drew, cutting from one corner hole to the next. This creates the secret compartment within your book. I lined mine with a piece of glossy paper. Next, paint glue around the inside cut edges to bind these together. Close the book, give the outside page edges another coat of glue, sit a heavy object on the closed book and leave for the glue to set. I'll upload a photo of the finished project tomorrow - my glue hasn't fully set yet.

Edited in - photos of the finished 'secret book' using old batteries to show the size of the storage space inside it. Would have used a bar of chocolate or wad of cash if I had any of those things - I like the chocolate idea best! :)

The secret book.


Turkey mince, that is! Remember I mentioned the superb offer I managed to bag from MuscleFood*? 400g Norfolk Turkey mince for £1, maximum 5 per customer? Well this is what I have done with the first pack.
Making fresh turkey burgers
Ingredients: turkey mince, onion, herbs, salt, pepper, bread crumbs, egg, cheap sage & onion stuffing - I mixed all of these together in a baking bowl. If you don't have breadcrumbs, here's how I do mine:
Making bread crumbs
I'm sure I'll be showing my age here, but  does anyone remember making these as children helping mum in the kitchen? We'd simply rub two pieces of dry bread together until it crumbled. It seemed to take forever! Nowadays, it takes seconds to chop some dry bread and give it a whizz with a stick blender. Store all your extra crumbs in a bag in the freezer.
Making turkey burgers
After scrubbing up and getting in there, mixing the meat, I removed 4 handfuls and shaped each in the same way you make fishcakes. These got coated in bread crumbs and then fried in a little oil. Served with oven-baked hash browns and mixed vegetables made for a filling meal.
The remainder of the mix has now had the last of the bag of frozen mixed vegetables added to it and has been refrigerated for cooking tomorrow. I'll slow cook it with some gravy and then treat it like 'Nile' mince.

NYK, Frugaldom

* Friend referral link includes code for 4 free chicken fillets with your first order.


  1. Hi Frugaldom - Still enjoying your Blog - Have tried to post on Daily Chat once but my usual computer skills wiped the lot out -will have another bash - think your secret book is great - must make one - thanks for all your help.

    1. Better luck next time, jac, you'll work it out soon, although I can still lose posts, emails, comments and, indeed, whole documents. LOL

  2. the turkey burgers look good. I am going to pull out some fish cakes out of the freezer today for our supper. Trying to clean out our freezer. It's quite the discovery voyage every time I go in there; I find all sorts!!

    1. I have a small fridge, so things tend to get used quickly from there, unless it's lurking in the salad crisper drawer. Got to check that regularly. The freezer, on the other hand, is the equivalent of my Mary Poppins' carpet bag. :)

  3. This post reminded me that I have a secret book that was my Mums. It has sat on my shelves for years unused. When I got it down and opened it a piece of paper fell out that one of my kids put in almost 30 years ago. It said BOO !!! I had a really good laugh.

    I have a small pack of minced beef and was going to make a curry for my evening meal but now I think I may pull out a bit for a burger first then extend the rest for a curry another day.

    1. If you prefer fewer carbs, omit the breadcrumbs and stuffing. :) The rest of my mince is now simmering in the slow cooker, should have enough to make 2 family-size pies plus some for dinner tonight with potatoes.

  4. Cleaver idea and a good use of a book destined for the in.

    X x


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