|Chicken breast with Asian chili jam, kale, peas and |
green beans, whipped swede with butter.
Friday, 7 March 2014
No Austerity Here
This business of using up what I have has brought a few surprises. I already knew there would be a sense of satisfaction and an odd feeling of wealth, the sense of having everything I need and more.
I still practically throw a party each time I toss an empty bottle, use up an ink pen or scrub the last of a bar of soap into oblivion on my wash cloth. I wonder, with the popularity of shower gel, if soap bars may become one of those antiquated things people shake their heads at. I still have a fair supply, what with having collected hotel soaps on my travels and being gifted a few as well. Though I'm currently using some nice vanilla scented soap in the shower, the ordinary soap may soon be finished because of a new trick I've learned (and then there are a couple of Christmas bottles of yummy smelling shower gel).
Rather than buy the laundry soap Bill put on the shopping list, I tried Rhonda's laundry soap recipe. (See Concentrated Laundry Powder). I went without the borax, not because we put our grey water on the garden, but because I didn't have any and if she says you can go without, why buy it? The upper body training has come in handy for employing the grater, something I've always hated in the past. So far as I can tell the laundry soap works just fine.
Using up the food has required us to be a bit more adventurous. Vivien gave us some of her homemade Asian chili jam a while back. I initially opened it thinking it might go on my breakfast toast, but found that wouldn't taste right. It had a lovely sweet and sour/spicy flavour that made me determined to find a use for it. Brits like chutney (what I might call relish) with cold meat and veg, but I don't often do cold meat and veg. If I have cold meat it is on a sandwich and the only cold veg that comes to mind is potato salad.
Anyhow, it was a chicken night so I cut a breast into strips, browned them in some oil, then topped them with dollops of this chili jam, added water and a lid and steamed them for a while. The kale came from our back garden, the peas and green beans from the freezer. I was (am) fed up with the taste of swede / turnip / rutabaga but it is in season and incredibly inexpensive, so I decided to try something different. I steamed the heck out of it, chopped it up and then blended it with a bit of butter. Bill was very excited about this new experience and I was pleased to note that being pureed brought out more of the sweet rather than the bitter side of the swede (and butter never hurts the flavour of anything).
I was fairly proud of this meal, towards the end of the month. I'm quite looking forward to the next Asian chili jam chicken night.