Friday, 15 January 2016

R.I.P. Auntie Nell

We received a phone call around 9.30 last night from the husband of DH's cousin over in Wales. DH's auntie (his mum's younger sister) had passed away earlier that day following a series of heart attacks. 

In her early 90s, she'd been getting progressively worse with Alzheimers for the past few years and had also suffered with heart disease for a number of years. A couple of weeks ago her 2 daughters who lived close to her were considering a nursing home for her as the home care she was receiving was becoming inadequate as her condition worsened. The end was sudden but was probably better than her going progressively downhill. 

We've just heard the funeral will be on the 26th January and DH will travel down for it. He didn't see much of his aunt, but his cousins were amazingly helpful and supportive while his mum (who also lived in Wales) was ill and passed away at the end of 2014, so he wants to be there. 

Unfortunately, since he's not on a permanent contract at the school yet, he will have to take unpaid leave for a couple of days, and the lost wages plus train fares and hotel accomodation will probably set us back close to £500. In the same week (on the 29th) is DS2's graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral which will mean another day off without pay. It's a good job I save money for emergencies.

On a happier note, it's been a lovely sunny day today. Still really cold with that biting wind, but I managed a bit of a walk and did close to 7000 steps. I haven't made it to 10,000 any day this week yet, but it should be dry over the weekend so I'm hoping DH and I can get out for at least one longer walk together. 

Dinner tonight was curry  -

1 jar Pataks Butter Chicken Sauce (75p from Approved Foods)
1 jar of Pataks Madras sauce (£1 from Asda)
2/3 pack Aldi everyday frozen chicken breasts (£3.33 for 1kg bag, so £2.22 for 2/3)
1/2 of a 750g pack of Aldi fresh stewing beef (£4.79 a pack, so £2.40 for half)
3 sachets of ready-cooked Pilau Rice (2 for £1 in Poundland, so £1.50 for 3 sachets)
1 pack of 2 garlic and coriander naan bread (Aldi 49p)
1 pack of 2 plain naan bread (Aldi 49p) 

I simmered the meat and chicken in the sauces in my 2 slow cookers on low for most of the day, and served with the heated up naan and rice. Just the thing for warming you up on a cold night in January.

The whole meal came to £8.85. That's £2.21 per serving for 4 portions, although there's also a little left over for someone's lunch tomorrow. Not the cheapest meal, but certainly a lot cheaper than a takeaway for 4 people. It would probably have been cheaper making my own sauces with curry spices, and making my own spicy rice, but this way was quick and easy and still didn't break the bank. It would also have been cheaper if I wasn't feeding 2 sons with bottomless stomachs! DH and I would have had just one kind of curry with one sachet of rice and I pack of naan. 

That's all for tonight. Have a good evening. Love, Helen xx


  1. Sorry to hear the sad news Helen X I adore that Pataks butter chicken sauce, it's one of my favourites. Where do sons put all the food???

  2. Thank you, Rachel. Not sure where they put it all. They're both really slim and can eat whatever they like...don't you just hate people like that? LOL!!!

    1. In my dreams, I'm exactly like that!!

  3. Sorry to hear about Aunty Nell, but I think you are right, the blessing comes in her passing fairly swiftly and not going progressively downhill.

    I buy jars of curry sauce for when we fancy a curry, like you I know it is a bit of a cheat, but I think getting the balance of spices right can be quite tricky so I would rather buy a jar than have lots of pots of spices that I never mix quite right and which go stale before I use them all. x

    1. Thank you for the condolences. I didn't know her all that well, but DH had gotten closer to her since his mum died. I do have lots of curry spices but it's so much quicker using a jar.