Another dress, getting plastered and spicy lentil soup, just 15p

May 7, 2015 | 2 comments


Another dress, getting plastered and spicy lentil soup, just 15p


Another lovely parcel today. My Mother of the Bride dress arrived from China and looks beautiful. I got it from eBay. I shan’t look quite as slim as the lovely model here in it. They are very reasonable prices, and made to measure too. I have got them to make it calf length. It fitted very well, very pleased with it. I was getting anxious, it isn’t long now!

I’ll either wear it with this hat, which I am getting a florist to make a corsage for, using silk flowers


or, with this one.  Although this second one is earmarked for my own wedding – do I want to wear it twice?  I have a civil partnership conversion to marriage to attend in July. So outing 2 for the MoB dress, and one of the hats. Both hats are charity shop



I am going to a beauty therapist place tomorrow and I’m having false eye lashes fitted and gel nails. The lashes are those ones that stay on for weeks. I shall keep them topped up and in-filled until my wedding, so 3 months. Its pretty expensive, so I wouldn’t want to have them all the time, but it will be a lot of fun for a few months.

DD2 and her intended came up today. SIL2B re-plastered the part of our extension ceiling that had had to be taken down to deal with the leak. So, now, finally, when the plaster has dried out, (in 3 weeks!) we might be able to paint the walls and ceiling.

While they were here, DD2 wanted to make moussaka. We used a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe, and although it was fine, it wasn’t special, and I don’t know that I would want to make it again. DP and I are going to a cookery day on Saturday doing Greek food. As the list of ingredients we have to take includes an aubergine, we may well be making it then too. We have the list of ingredients, but no list of the recipes we will be making, so it’s all a lovely surprise. If we do turn out to make moussaka, perhaps the recipe will be more to my liking.

I had a chicken carcass left over from roast chicken etc, which I had boiled up to make stock and was sitting waiting to be used, on the hob. So once we were on our own again, I stripped off the tiny bits of chicken and made some spicy red lentil soup.

1 onion, 5p
350g red lentils, £1/500g, 70p
the stock made using the chicken skin and bones, made up to 1500 ml with hot water if necessary. I seemed to have more than that today
1 carrot, Asda 1kg/£0.57, 100g, 6p
1 tsp salt and 0.5 tsp pepper
tsp turmeric, Asda TRS 69p/100g, 5g 3p
tblsp garlic and ginger paste. I used some from the massive pot I got from an Indian shop
if you can’t get that, mySupermarket is showing in Asda TRS minced ginger £1.20/300g, (currently on offer for £1) and garlic paste in a jar, same price as the ginger. So 10g of each of those would be 4p & 4p, 8p
Total of £0.92. Made 6 portions, so 15p a portion

Saute the chopped vegetables in a little oil (or ghee or butter) until the onion is transparent. Add the spices and sizzle for a minute. Add everything else and simmer for 20 minutes. Whizz if you want to, I usually do, although this time I haven’t.

If you like a thicker soup, use more lentils. Or less of course for a thinner soup.

The chicken stock and spices give a wonderful deep flavour to this soup and it is one of my real favourites. Super easy to do. Change the spices and you have an infinite variety of flavour combinations.

You could add a tsp of the Tom Yum paste I spoke about yesterday, or cumin, coriander and garam masala. Or try a little Green Thai Curry paste, or sizzle a bit of any of the Patak’s curry pastes in with the onion, you wouldn’t need much, a tsp or 2. If you have some spices in the cupboard, dig them out and experiment, just try a little to start, you can always add more.

Yum, that’s lunch for tomorrow sorted out, plus a portion or 3 for the freezer

Another dress, getting plastered and spicy lentil soup, just 15p


What are Faggots?

Faggots are a traditional British meatball made from offal, especially pork, with herbs and onions for flavouring and breadcrumbs to stretch them out. The offal is minced and is usually a combination of heart, liver and fatty pork belly or bacon, although beef is sometimes used. I’ve used just pork liver in this version.

Faggots are popular in Wales and the Midlands of England. Faggots were popular during the 2nd world war as offal was not on ration, but declined in popularity over the next few decades. Faggots are now making a comeback and can be found in supermarkets under the brand name Mr Brains, although I understand that these can be a little watery compared to home made

Faggots are still a very cheap meal, currently (April 2020) costing 30p for a generous portion. Traditionally served with mash and peas, and of course, gravy, I think mushy peas would be fab with these.

Faggots Recipe

I wanted the taste of sage, but don’t have any in the garden at present. My heavy, wet, clay soil finished it off over the winter and I need to get another plant, or grow some seeds. I had a rummage in the larder and thought I could use some stuffing mix. So I added three heaped tblsps of it to the bowl and squished it all together with my hands. That worked beautifully

If you don’t have a processor, chop the onion finely. You should be able to breadcrumb the bread by chopping it with a large, sharp, knife on a big board. Just keep chopping away, the whole length of the blade, and the bread will get smaller and make breadcrumbs. If you have a liquidiser, you could do it in that. The liver will chop down quite quickly with a sharp knife. I wouldn’t use a liquidiser, it will process it too finely and, erm, liquidise it.

Serve with a big pile of mash, gravy and a vegetable or two. Comfort food at its best.

I shall have 1 portion this evening and freeze the rest, for another day. I might even have another portion tomorrow, I am supposed to be using up what’s in the freezer, not keep putting more stuff in it! Even if you are not a fan of the strong taste of the cheaper pigs liver, you should be alright with these. The breadcrumbs dilute the flavour so that they actually taste quite mild.

You could cook these in a slow cooker too

Faggots & Gravy



  1. Lesley

    Hi Tanya, it was from here eBay shop fifth_avenue_1982
    They made it to measure and altered the length to calf length, no extra charge at all. It is well made and they do it in a huge number of colours

  2. Tanya

    Hey, I love that dress! What ebay shop was it from? Thanks xxx

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