Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Still waiting...

There is not even a suggestion of a crack in any of the Lavender eggs - yet. Perhaps I am kidding myself but I am going to leave them until tomorrow before I do anything like opening any of them to see what has happened. To say that I am disappointed is an understatement as I was really looking forward to this hatch. Having an unusual colour was going to be exciting, and it was going to be really interesting to breed from them when they were old enough, next year. Older and wiser people may have said that this was too late in the season, but the successful hatch of the Gold Partridge chicks means that that is not always the case. It's a mystery why they haven't hatched, but I am no great detective and it seems that we just have to keep having a go!

The weather has turned distinctly autumnal here now - some crisp, sunny days and some cloudy ones. Today looks like a cloudy one! The YFG has her first school swimming lesson of the year today, and has gone off on her bike looking rather like a snail as she has a huge rucksack on her back with all her usual stuff as well as the swimming kit. I am very proud of her, going to school on her own; she was so shy and timid as a small child that I never thought she would have the confidence to do things like this but I believe that gymnastics has brought her out of herself and done wonders for her confidence. She scared me on Friday night as she literally flew over the vault - she has developed such flight in her handspring vaults that she is in the air longer than I am comfortable with!!

I'm doing OK with the grocery budget - keeping to a menu plan based around what I already have and making a shopping list to just buy what is needed to pad it out means that I am spending less than £40 each week. The "Spend £40 and get £4 off" vouchers from Sainsbury's are doing the trick - I have used three and have three left. There is space in the freezers for the first time in ages as we are using stuff faster than we are putting things in there for a change. I did make two pots of tomato pasta sauce yesterday, but we are having one of them with meatballs and spaghetti for tea tonight so that won't take up room.

It made me think yesterday about making the best use of our food pounds and of the food itself. The FH suggested clearing up the tomatoes and picking all the green tomatoes to make chutney but I thought about it for a minute or three and realised that I would rather make pasta sauce from ripe tomatoes than use the green ones for chutney - why? Well, chutney is a condiment, something you put on the side of the plate and we honestly have enough of that anyway. On the other hand, pasta sauce is a meal when added to a plate of cooked pasta (cheap as chips!) and maybe with a tiny sprinkling of cheese. So making the pasta sauce provides the family with several very cheap but healthy meals, whereas the chutney is a nice addition to the cupboard but not really a necessity. If it comes to the point where the tomatoes are not ripening any more, then I will consider the chutney suggestion.

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