Cheap Tartiflette

Hello Dear Reader,

Tartiflette is a French Alpine dish that’s made from potatoes, onions, lardons, cream, dry white wine and an entire block of Rebluchon cheese. This is the cheaper version. 

My version has a pack of lardons, one medium onion that I peeled and finely sliced. 

I part boiled the potatoes and fried the lardons and bacon together.

Then I made a cheese sauce. I used 100g of mature cheddar. If you have no scales that’s a piece of cheddar the size of box of oxo cubes. 

I then added 2 level tablespoons of corn flour to a jug that would go in the microwave. If you don’t have any tablespoon to measure, then a heaped dessert spoon will suffice.

Combine the flour and cheese and add a mug of milk. It only needs to be a rough measurement and blend it altogether.

Pop the jug in the microwave for two minutes, take it out and stir thoroughly. Stick it back in the microwave for another two minutes. 

In the proper Tartiflette recipe there’s layering and shizzle, mine? Just add the potatoes, onions and lardons to a roasting dish or baking tin and mix them together.

No layering needed. You’re going to eat it not enter in a pageant.

Next, cover in the cheese sauce and bake at 180 for twenty minutes. 

Serve with salad or some cooked veggies. 

Cheap Tartiflette……a go to standard for us. 

Ever tried the real version? Or made the cheap version?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx


How to reduce your supermarket spend 

Hello Dear Reader,

It’s about now that some families have to rein in their spending after Christmas. People often face a new year with financial good intentions and look to reduce their supermarket spending. I don’t profess to be any kind of help, I just share what I do. I aim each week to spend £30 on food, toiletries and cleaning products. My costs average that amount per week across the year. Sometimes, it’s less and sometimes more.

When you’re next in the supermarket, have a go at a little game I play to amuse myself. I watch the person in front of me load their shopping through the till and I guess what meals they’re having. Sometimes, a lot of money will be rung up and I won’t have seen any meals at all. I don’t load much onto the till but I know I have seven days worth of three meals a day, either at home or in front of me. 

I keep my spending to a limit by having a set (see above, it can change) budget. I also have a day a week that’s on toast or in a jacket. I don’t want to cook every day. It might be beans on toast, or eggs on toast, or beans and cheese in a jacket potato. We can all have a really cheap meal once a week. 

We don’t eat out very often, this year we’ve been to a restaurant twice in France and never in the UK so we eat something ‘nice’ now and then. Now and then isn’t every week, but often enough that we don’t feel deprived. We had nice cheese and a bottle of Port over Christmas and we have steak on New Year’s Eve. We didn’t use to do this but feel we can afford to relax the budget every now and then. 

I know what things cost and how much I’m spending on each meal. It’s just a bit of simple mental arithmetic and a pen. I keep my receipt by pinning it on a board in the kitchen and then work out the cost per portion. Here’s an example, we eat 50g of ham each in a salad, and two boiled eggs in a salad. I then know it costs us. It might seem odd to you that I buy sliced cheese, but that’s just enough for our sandwiches for the week and I can’t pick or have extra thick sandwich with extra cheese. Like I said, I don’t profess to be any help, I just share what I do. 

We have a Sunday roast every week, usually pork or beef brisket and we eat Sunday lunch and I plate four meals and we eat the same again on Monday. However, I’m not adverse to eating the same again on Tuesday……as you can tell, we’re not fussy. 

Over the next few days, I’ll share not so much hints but what we do to save money on our supermarket shopping. I know lots of lovely readers will have handy hints and ideas too.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

Glad of the rest

Hello Dear Reader,

After several books, snacking and quite a few naps, I can safely say we feel rested and ready to take on the new year. Our new stove and shed full of logs have kept us warm and comfortable. It also boiled our kettle and dried our clothes. We call our clothes stand our Breton tumble drier. 

We haven’t done much or been far. We walked the dogs a couple of times a day and pootled about the village to the local shops and to the bakers. We did a bit of gardening, tidied up the shed and I scrubbed the ground floor shutters. 

We’ll get back to work on the house in the Easter break. It will be a slow renovation as we’ll just do as much as we can afford and time allows. We love the peace of Huelgoat and the surrounding countryside so fixing up the house will be just part of our visits.

See you back in Cornwall,

Until then,

Love Froogs xxx

Beautiful sunny day

Hello Dear Reader,

The cloudy weather both virtual and metaphorical has lifted and we headed into the forest. I find Christmas utterly depressing and feel like a whole new person once it’s over. Just remember when you’re giving people the ‘lighten up, it’s about creating memories’ twaddle that those of us who hate the whole debarkle are doing all we can go be polite when actually want to tell you  to stop being so insensitive as we’re not doing this on purpose and just need to be left alone and quiet for a while.

My place of healing and well being is always outside and a good walk in Huelgoat forest in the sunshine is just perfect. We live at the top of a hill overlooking the lake and forest. 

The well trodden paths through the forest are a great place to walk even in the depths of winter. I always love waking up to a frost as I know it’s going to be a sunny day.

It’s difficult to understand the size of the rocks, so I, all 5′ 10″ of me, stood next to them.

We go home on Thursday and I hope the sunshine continues. Stay warm wherever you are and I hope you have some bright days to enjoy.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxx

DIY driving us up the wall

Hello Dear Reader,

The rain stopped today and it’s brighter. We talked to our neighbours when they were here in the summer holiday to get his permission to go into their garden and get the ivy off our side wall.

We only have a short ladder so we couldn’t get it all off but we did our best with what we had.

We snipped and pulled, moved to he ladder and snipped and pulled again.

I did my bit and pulled off the lower ivy.

You can see the inverted V shape where the ivy used to be.

It’s not bad considering how much ivy there was previously. I’d forgotten how relaxing physical work can be.

The last bits were really tricky and I hope what we left will die back.

One day, we’ll paint the house cream like all the neighbouring houses but for now, I’ll settle with bare walls. I’ve dug out some of the path around our front gate and we’re off to the brico for some gravel. In between, we come inside for a warm up, a coffee and a dog snuggle. 

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs x

A day trip in the fog 

Hello Dear Reader,

We headed out, or should I say crawled out carefully through patchy fog today. It’s typical of the winter solstice for there to be so little light that we had to go look for some today. We went to Crozon, which is a holiday resort by the sea. It had lots of hotels, restaurants and an expanse of beaches that I’ll enjoy sitting on in the summer. It was just over an hour from Huelgoat. If you look up the area on google maps, you’ll find the peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic. Weather permitting, we’ll be off somewhere tomorrow too.

Enjoy the shortest day, the light is on the way back xxxx

Love Froogs xxxxx


Hectic in France at Christmas?

Hello Dear Reader,

Above and below is the local Super U. We went at eleven this morning and we were greeted by an almost empty shop. No wall to wall panic buying, just families going about their business as usual. 

Lovely wine section; we bought some Breton cider for this evening. Again, we were the only people there. After a quick shop, it was back to Huelgoat to get out for a walk with the fluffies.

A twenty minute walk from home to one of Huelgoat’ famous stones.

Can you see it yet? 

Over the rickety bridge.

Through the leafless winter woodland.


To the mushroom! I can totally recommend a winter getaway to relax and unwind. There will be plenty of walkies, the odd glass of cider and a bit of gardening. 

To answer the question, no, it’s not hectic in France at Christmas x

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Make the most of it.

Hello Dear Reader,

Today, I ate lunch and supper, read a book and sat by the fire.

I think it’s very important, now and then, to do nothing.

It’s cheap enough to do and you can do it anywhere. It doesn’t take any special equipment, clothing or foot wear. You can do it with friends, family or alone.

I can recommend it heartily.

I’ll be doing more of it later.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

Feet up

Hello Dear Reader,

Our first day here has been quiet, relaxing and with occasional dog walking. My prediction is there will be many of them.

We’ve had the fire lit all day and the house is warming up. Dinner is cooking, the red is open and breathing and a night of feet up is ahead of us.

It’s been blissfully quiet and I’m already into my first book; re-reading some AC Doyle….it suits the weather which is moody and foggy.

I took the photo on our last doggy walk with the sun setting over the lake.

Our shutters are closed for the night and we are warm and cozy.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxx