We had to go out and buy a new vacuum cleaner this morning. Our Frankenstein model finally gave up the ghost. It was made from the body and parts of two separate cleaners held together with parcel tape (the working motor section of one model that had broken tubes combined with the intact tubes of another one with a non-working motor). It had served us well for several months, delaying the need to purchase new, but we finally had to admit defeat when Frankie sputtered to a halt and wouldn't start again. Thank goodness we had enough money to go and buy another one without having to put it on credit. We managed to get a Hoover model suitable for pet hair (much needed with our two cats) at less than half price (normally £129.99 and we paid £59.99) from Argos. I generally buy electrical goods from there if I can as they have such a good returns policy. Thank goodness I can put the manual carpet sweeper away that we keep for emergencies; it doesn't do a very good job and is quite hard work to use.
We managed a walk along the seafront in glorious sunshine after our spending spree. Although it was quite nippy, there was very little wind and the sea was calm after such horrible weather over the past few days. Then we went into Weatherspoons for a coffee. Their lovely filter coffees are just £1.15 for a large mug and until 2pm you can have as many refills as you like.
This afternoon was spent slaving over a hot stove. Though it wasn't so much slaving as there was no pressure and I thoroughly enjoyed doing some baking. You would think that after all the cooking I did yesterday and my plans for a simple meal of cold meats, chips and beans this evening, that I would want to avoid the kitchen as much as possible today. Not so. With the kids mostly ensconced in their bedrooms and no visitors until tea time I made a start on using up some of my stockpile to make meals for the freezer.
DH had requested an Apple and Blackberry Crumble Loaf Cake with custard for dessert tonight.
While I had the oven on for that I decided to use my last catering pack of pastry mix and some of my tins of stewed steak in gravy (both from Approved Foods) and make a couple of pies to freeze.
I made up the whole bag of pastry mix, used some of it to make the pies and froze the remainder in 1.5lb lumps for another day. Each 8in round pie used 2 tins of stewed steak and will serve 4-6 depending on how many of my boys are eating.
I also made 2 cakes so one of those will get frozen. The pies cooked faster than the cakes so once they were out of the oven I used the free shelves to part-cook the oven chips for dinner. I try and make the most of it whenever I have the oven on.
Now tonight’s dinner is over I’ll take stock and see just what leftovers I have. Tomorrow will almost certainly be ham and potato soup using some of the bacon joint we had for Xmas breakfast, some leftover raw potatoes because DH peeled too many for Xmas lunch, and I’ll probably throw in the remaining carrots and peas. The stock will be the jelly from cooking the bacon in the slow cooker and the juices from the chickens. I’ll probably make cheese scones from another AF mix to go with it.
I’m thinking that the leftover chicken will get made into a curry, and the last bits will be combined with sausage meat stuffing to make another pie possibly for Saturday to serve with the remaining cooked veg. Any remaining scraps of bacon will get added to a macaroni cheese or I might make a quiche using up some of the AF soya cream I got at 4 cartons for £1.
I have some parsnips left and loads more potatoes from the sack we bought last week, and there’s also some of the chopped veg packs I got reduced a few weeks back in Morrison’s. There’ll be plenty to make a vegetable stew, and maybe a vegetable curry or chilli.
I really don't think it will be a problem to stretch the leftovers until New Year's Day.
What plans do you have for using up your leftovers?