Another long walk followed by excited squeaks

May 4, 2015 | 4 comments


Had a lovely long walk along the seafront today, well over 8000 steps. The 10,000 is eluding me still, but it’s a lot better than it has been lately.

On our way back, I came across one of those gorgeous ethnic shops that sell all those bits and pieces that are so difficult to find in supermarkets. I was in hog heaven and squeaking with excitement as I came across bottles, jars and packets. Needless to say, I wanted to haul the entire shop home, but settled for what you see in the picture.

DP is mad on peanut butter at the moment. The huge, 1kg jar in the picture cost £2.85 the equivalent of 96p for the size of an own brand jar, and contains just 2 ingredients. Peanuts, and salt. No flipping palm oil, hoo-blimmin-ray. I was just about to get to grips with making some too. It’s a shame it’s smooth and not crunchy, other than that, it’s perfect. We’ve both had a little taste, and it is deeply savoury, with a very strong peanut flavour. Just as sweet as the over sweetened versions too, without any sugar added.

The Hoisin sauce is just a useful store cupboard item, and will add flavour to many things.

The Thai green curry paste is something I have been looking to replace for a very long time. DP doesn’t like fish, so no fish sauce allowed. Most green curry pastes contain it, and even tho you can’t really taste it as fish, he won’t eat it. I have this brand in the same type of tub, in my freezer, and I’m down to the last tblsp or two. Finding that on the shelf elicited quite a few very excited squeaks

The orangey tub is Tom Yum paste. I will be making Tom Kha with it, which I think is Tom Yum, with added coconut. I have some fancy mushrooms in jars from Approved Foods, so that’s a good opportunity to make the most of one of them. I have a recipe for Tom Kha saved on my reading list that I was going to use, but this will save me having to buy lemongrass, lime leaves and galangal. At £2.49, the tub says it makes 25 servings, so even with the other ingredients I will be adding, it should still work out economical. I think I’ll make some for our lunch tomorrow. We had an Aldi roasted chicken yesterday, so there’s plenty of that left in the fridge to add a few shreds to the soup, some of those jarred mushrooms, some coconut powder and a bit of chilli, and we should be there. I’ll let you know what it’s like.

The paste is in a sachet inside the tub, so I’ve just snipped open the top of the sachet and squeezed it into the tub. It smells really good, and I licked a finger where a tiny smear had landed. It damn near blew my head off and my lips are still tingling! Maybe no chilli then

I got another jar of tahini for hoummous. It doesn’t need to be added, but it does taste extra lovely when I have some.

Then there is a pack of tamarind seeds. More faff than a tub of paste, but a much nicer flavour. A big pack of mixed spice, vanished from my local shops, ditto cinnamon, some coarse ground pepper and a huge tub of hot curry powder (bagged by DP). And lastly, a jar each of what has become our favourite Pataks curry pastes, Jalfrezi and Balti.

It still feels like cheating to use jarred pastes. It is so ingrained in me that buying things ready made is too expensive, that I expect to be told off when I use any. It feels extravagant and wasteful. Goodness knows who I expect to administer said telling off, and of course, things like the Pataks pastes last for absolutely ages, don’t cost much per tablespoonful and mean that I don’t have to get the individual ingredients, so probably work out cheaper. Doesn’t stop me metaphorically looking over my shoulder tho.

I have a very low tolerance threshold for shopping, half an hour and I start hopping from foot to foot like a bored 5 year old. But put me in a food market, an ethnic store or local food shops with enthusiastic owners, and I could look and linger all day.



  1. Lesley

    Thanks Steve. An Oriental one is an interesting idea, I’ll have a think about that one.

    Each plan takes a lot of effort to do and couldn’t be charged for on an hourly basis, it would be far too much. Anyway, it feels unethical to try to make money from a blog written for people who need to minimise their outlay on groceries.

    I am fortunate in that my income is more than sufficient for my needs. I just do a little work from home, so I am able to spend time doing this without having to worry about it having to produce an income stream. I have a couple of ads just to cover the running expenses.

    I do it because food is my passion.

    And thanks for the thought of the donation. Hope you continue to save lots that you can then use for something else

  2. Steve

    Some tasty looking ingredients there! How about an oriental based Meal Plan? 🙂

    Just to say, your plans are saving me heaps. Only found them 2 weeks go.

    Planning to make a donation at end of month with some of the literally hundreds of pounds I’ll have spared from following the plans!

    Also, as a side business, you should offer custom budget meal plans to people’s preferences that you charge for as a second income. I’d pay!

  3. Lesley

    Good idea, I may well try that, thanks

  4. Veronica Leigh Vatter

    If you add peanuts chopped small, it will be the same as the crunchy pb. I prefer to add as I go along so that they remain super crunchy

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