Hello Dear Reader,
In a week, I shall have a house full of people to feed. I’m about to start cooking the extras to keep people fed for four days. I shall make sausage rolls (these are a bit different and almost a meal in themselves and something of a family tradition), quiche, mince pies, some desserts and of course a roast lunch. I have set myself the budget of £30 for the day and that’ll include all food and drink.
I already have all the meals I need for the two of us for the following week and some! So, I’m hoping to entertain the family in relative style and on a very tight budget. How do I do it? Well, here’s what I won’t be buying this year. Crackers…………what the bleep is the point of them any way! Cheese. Who needs more than a pound of cheddar in the house? I’m not making cake or pudding as, we ate it into January last year and we all prefer a mince pie. Sweets. We never eat sweets or choccies so why eat them in the middle of December?
Also, you need to take care of portion control so you are not eating turkey for a week, even though I will use up all the meat that I will pull off the carcass. In my days in catering, we knew exactly what constituted a plateful for a roast, so why any more on Christmas day. Here’s how I portion the meal
Per person: 1 large carrot, cut in batons, 1 large potato cut into 4, 1 large parsnip again cut into 4, 1 tablespoon of peas, 5 sprouts, 1 tablespoon of stuffing, 6oz turkey (2 good slices) 2 sausages each wrapped with a slice of bacon. When you have that, you can multiply it by how many people you have for lunch. The shopping list looks like this: oven ready 4kg turkey, 1 bag of carrots, 1 bag of spuds, 1 bag of frozen peas, 30 sprouts, 2 packs of sausages, 2 packs of bacon, 1 bag of parsnips, 1 large box of stuffing, 1 tub of gravy granules, 1 pack of butter.
Again, look at what we don’t do: Yorkshire puddings, bread sauce, cranberry sauce (I have sloe and damson jelly which is fantastic with poultry). I make gravy from the frozen giblets, add the fat from the roasted turkey, the boiling water from the veg and thicken with value gravy granules. For dessert, I’m going to make Key Lime pie (here’s the recipe I use but I omit the expensive bits)and Treacle tart, (again, here’s the recipe I use, but I don’t make the custard as I use instant) both really cheap to make, will be hoovered by the household. I will, of course, share the frugal but delicious recipes I have for them.
As we eat our lunch at 1 pm and we won’t leave the table until 2pm, we really won’t need an evening meal. We might have a mince pie with a cuppa, but that’s it! The question is dear reader, can I feed six on the day, for £30! I have stuffing already and gravy mix, some store cupboard ingredients for the dessert, but I will have to buy everything else.
Are you frugal at Christmas? I consider what I’m doing to be splashing out, most of the world’s population will be as hungry on the 25th as they are every other day, so in comparison, we’re having a feast! What will your table look like? Do you understand/do portion control so you cook what you need and don’t waste? Over to you……..