Easy Pea-sy Soup (I am ill)

An ill day calls for one thing.

Soup.

We have had a big bag of frozen peas in our freezer for a long time, and I don’t really like plain peas. Nor do either the boy or I have a sprain in need of an ice pack.

After trying, for the first time, a delicious pea and mint soup last year when I was still eating from the work canteen at lunch I have been craving it ever since.

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INGREDIENTS

serves 3 greedy mouths (4 normal mouths and 5 small mouths)

About 350g of frozen peas.

1 big potato (or 3 small potatoes)

Frozen or fresh Onion. I used A LOT. About one medium fresh onion is a good starting point.

2 tsp of dried mint (you can use fresh if you like. I know it’s better, but our windowsill is occupied by long scrubbing brushes the boy insists on buying so that his precious hands don’t touch a plate when doing the washing up)

1.5 Litres of vegetable stock

A big splodge of butter/margarine

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METHOD

Chopped the potato(es) and onion (if using fresh) into small pieces.

Melt the butter in the biggest pot you have and once it’s foaming add the potato and onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Add the stock and cook for about 15 minutes.

I added the dried mint at this point but if you are using fresh I would recommend waiting till a bit later.

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Once the potato and onions are soft add the peas and bring back to the boil. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Pour into the blender and pulse.

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Do I really need to tell you what to do next?

You eat it of course.

I do feel a little better.

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Gee Mr Suit Man on the train, maybe don’t grab my ass?

The Universe decided to top a day where I felt so ill I left work early and kept checking my phone for any sort of news about my mum with a little bit of sexual harassment on the train home.

I don’t like any sort of human contact really, unless from people I know really, really well. I get freaked out when work colleagues-who I like!-touch my arm or something in a friendly way. I don’t want to but I do.

So it’s not like anyone likes sexual harassment or having their ass groped, but you can appreciate why it made me want to cry and text my boyfriend to abandon dinner and meet me at the station.

I felt a bit better after a bath and a huge glug of cheapo Baileys, but at the time I wanted to do my old familiar thing of tearing my skin off.

I am a feminist, in the sense that I want equality for women, in the same way I want equality for everyone, including men etc etc , but I really can’t be bothered to go on a tirade about it, just please don’t sexually harass me people.

Today was a No Spend Day, so I am up to 3 now in March, which isn’t great compared to February but I have had other fish to fry this month and it was the boy’s birthday, and I could still get another 10 under my belt. We shall see.

I am watching WWE Raw, the boy made dinner, life is ok.

Chickpea Crust Pizza (Thank You Eat Well For Less)

In the UK there have been three sporadic series of a show called Eat Well For Less on the BBC which I am a little obsessed with.

The premise of the show is you have a family who are brand loyal, or waste a lot of food, or eat really unhealthily, or argue about what to eat and in all cases they spend more than the national average on food for their family size.

Chef Greg Wallace and Green Grocer Chris Bavin are the faces of the show.

The show isn’t on air at the moment, and there are no videos of it to be easily found  but I absolutely love the show and when it was on TV last year I watched the episodes over and over again.

I spend in a whole month close to what the families typically spend in one week, so I don’t really have a problem with the food budget (though it has got a little out of control recently) but I have still found so many good tips from the show.

Predictably they released a cook book which I received for Christmas 2016 and I was happy to see a recipe from the show had made it in, which is the Chickpea Crust Pizza.

As per usual, because this is not my recipe I won’t repeat it, but it is essentially a chickpea pancake batter (set aside for 1 hour) fried on both sides, topped with tomato puree and cheese and veggies (I used a long neglected jar of green olives, frozen sweetcorn and onion and a whole ball of mozzarella, ooops) and placed in the oven till it has reached your desired level of cooking.

Chickpea flour is very cheap and makes a nice change.

I know my food photography is a bit rubbish and it looks like it’s been dropped on the floor but it was yummers.

The boy is at painting class, and all I have bought today was milk, though I did look around the entire store trying to find something shiny to buy.

I am watching The Resurrection of Jake the Snake as a way of trying to understand what my mum is going through.

I spoke to my Mum’s twin today and we talked about my Mum and I think unfortunately I left her a little upset. My Aunt has been through a lot in the last two years. She lost her husband, my beloved Uncle, two years ago and early in life to dementia that cruelly came along quickly and violently. She is the closest child to where my Granddad lives and does so much for him, especially now.

To be blunt, my Aunt does not need any more S*** in her life.

Neither do my brothers or I.

I am angry with my mum. I am devastated about my mum. And I can handle having both those feelings because at least it means I still feel something towards her.

But I can’t do anything. But at least I have Pizza and a Wrestling documentary.

The ‘Throw Anything at Me’ Vegetable Soup

It is the boy’s birthday today. He wanted Parsnip soup. We did not have parsnips, so we went to Tesco’s and bought some.

I decided to combat our vegetable drawer and mountain of potatoes and thus made the ‘Throw anything at me’ soup. For when times are tough but for some reason you have a lot of vegetables.

When my mum left us around the time I was 12 my Dad became a single parent. He only had limited experience in the kitchen and had to step up. There were some ‘unusual’ experiments, and our meals frequently involved up to three types of potato as they were cheap and filling, but I remember clearly that one of the first things he made from scratch was soup.

I would spend my Sunday’s in the second year of Uni roasting veg and then pulsing them into soup. Soup was one of the first things I made.

Once you have learnt to make soup you know you can survive.

Recipe

1 onion, finely sliced (I had a fresh onion, normally it would be frozen onion)

4 stalks of celery. If it is slightly bendy that is fine.

3 small-medium potatoes, cubed

3 carrots, washed, skin on, finely diced.

5-7 parsnips IF SMALL AND WEEDY. The prepacked bag I bought in Tesco’s had little parsnips in, not like the hefty behemoths I get at the fruit and veg stall at work. If you have the hefty beasts then use about 2-3.

1.5 Litres of stock.

Herbs you like. I used dried Thyme, Rosemary and Sage.

A nice big wedge of butter.

A blender, a big pot and a wooden spoon.

Method

Melt the lump of butter/margarine in the pot over a low heat. Once it is all melted add the onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn. Cook for about 5 minutes until your kitchen smells lovely and onion-y (is it just me that likes that smell?)

Add the finely sliced carrots, potatoes and all important parsnips. Give a courtesy  stir to coat in the buttery onion goodness and then add the stock.

Bring to the boil then cook for about 10 minutes. If the pot has a lid put it on. It saves energy by cooking things faster.

At this point I did the washing up and listened to Absolute 80s.

Once I finished the washing up I checked that the root veggies were soft, which they were (thank you Mr Pot Lid) and then I turned off the heat and carefully put it all in the blender (depending on the size of your blender you may have to do this in two stages)

I then pulled out my biggest bowls, poured it in and ate. Yum.

The boy was happy.

As always adjust the veg quantity, stock intensity, thickness and herbs to your own individual liking. The boy added a mound of pepper to his.

Financial Review of Week 10 (I WILL SURVIVE)

Hi everybody.

Sunday. Reflection day.

I made a fatal error today and had a browse in New Look.

So many beautiful things I want and should not (and cannot) buy.

Oh well.

FOOD SHOPPING

2 packs of reduced luxury cookies £1.50

4 Carrots, 1 Onion, 1 parsnip £1

Bread £1.19

Frozen Broccoli, Frozen Onion, Frozen Sweetcorn and Frozen Peppers £4.58

Birthday Cake, Gravy Granules, Mozzarella x 2, Strawberries and Yogurt £12.10

Potatoes, Mango Chutney, Poppadoms, Naan £3.16

Milk, Meat Pies, Southern Fried Chicken Strips and Chicken Tikka Pieces £9.99

Juice, Sweet Potatoes, Cucumber, Bananas, Bread £4.56

Toothbrush for the boy £1

Parsnips and Bread Rolls £1.24

TOTAL = £40.32

WORK EXPENSE

Milk for work x 2 £2.00

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

Bus to station x 2 = £3.20

DEBT

Library Fines £0.60

SOCIAL

2 x tickets to see a great band in May (they are called The Tuts, check them out 🙂 ) £16

SOCIAL/BOYFRIEND’S BIRTHDAY WEEKEND!!!

Cinema Ticket, Popcorn and Drink £7.99

Mexican Meal, Side and 2 Drinks £17

Lunch with boyfriend and his sister £10

GIFTS

CD and Voucher for boyfriend (bonus gifts) £19.99

TOTAL DISCRETIONARY SPENDING =  £76.78

TOTAL COMBINED SPENDING = £117.10

Well, it’s less than last week, I think, which is good as I now have £10 discretionary spending money left and £12.38 in the food budget.

To last 12 more days.

Uh Oh.

This doesn’t include my football training costs and a ticket to a women’s football match as these have been budgeted for but not yet paid for. They are safely in an envelope in my wallet. Hopefully the money in the envelope will fornicate with the lone £10 note and make money babies as I need cash.

My social life is looking pretty thin on the ground for the next 12 days, so that’s one good thing, and in all honesty we shouldn’t be buying any food other than bread, milk and fruit/veggies, so it is possible I will survive.

 

A quick post because today is party day

My boy seems to be feeling a lot better, just in time for his birthday! Huzzah!

We have some big plans today. Art, Food, Logan, we’ve got it all covered.

I have now nearly spent all of the food budget, again! The next 13 days will be tough but I think even if we do go over it won’t be as much as last month.

I am generally in positive spirits but will say this. I am finding it hard to see all the Mother’s Day stuff in shops. I have already got my Mum her present and card, things that were chosen with love.

At this precise moment in time my Mum could be dead for all I know.

I am hurt that she has contacted so many other people in the family and not me.

I am angry that she chose a bad method for dealing with things.

Like many people I took my eye off the ball and assumed that because things had been one way for so long they would continue to be that way.

I feel like a fool.

I do and don’t want to hear from my mum.

Last night I had a nightmare involving my family and it has left me a little shaken.

Oh well, we have birthday cake and festivities to look forward to. And my boy is better. Some things are looking up.

I am also loving that it is warm enough to wear just a cardigan. Last week I was freezing!!!

 

My boy is ill

My boyfriend is ill.

His symptoms could be nothing.

They could be much worse.

It could be something that affects me.

Time will tell.

It is his birthday on Sunday. My mum has always sent him a card. I guess this year he won’t get one.

I can relate everything to wrestling and I want to watch the ‘Jake the Snake’ documentary again to try and understand having an addict parent from the parent’s point of view.

The house needs tidying but I have drunk too much gin (for me, too much gin for a regular person would be about triple what it is for me).

I went to the doctors to have the anti anxiety pills added to my prescription. I think they are working on the whole.

It is hard explaining to the doctors that I can be ok in social situations if I feel safe with the people. It is the unpredictable – ness of people I don’t know that freaks me out.

I saw a counsellor last year and she said it was a result of my parents (I know, I know, that seems to be psychology 101). And yes, with a drunk mum and an angry dad you never knew what they were going to do next.

My brothers and I kept a list of the household items my dad destroyed in fits of rage. Chair, Grill, Metal Kitchenware….

My mother smashed a window trying to get to booze.

I like having every situation thought out. I like having at least a loose plan for every eventuality. I don’t like things to happen without prior notice.

Yet one of the words I would use to describe myself is impulsive.