Hello Dear Reader,
If you ever think food isn’t important then think of those who don’t have any. Food is rooted at the centre of our culture and how we cook, and what we eat says a lot about who we are. I had this moment of depth last night, over a glass of wine watching the Twitter feed from the MADs in London. As ever, it was an honour to be a finalist in Best Thrifty and Best Food blog. The wonderful Ricky at Skint Dad won best thrifty blog. Please pop over, take a look and say Froogs sent you xxx The food bloggers are an accomplished lot: A Mummy too, which is a proper grown up foodies blogger. Her recipe index is comprehensive and a great go to site for families with children, not only to feed but to involve in cooking. I love the complexity of the Bento boxes, and the competitive edge too of Eat Amazing. What a lucky lot her children are and what a creative mum she is. Gourmet Mum has a lively approach to getting her family to eat healthily and her recipes are fresh and easy to follow and always beautifully lit and photographed. Finally the lovely Crazy Kitchen, who makes the home cooks among us look like we’re just not trying. Her food is as professional as her slick and professional website. Her recipes are easy to find and even easier to follow. Please drop by to their websites and say hello.
Then there’s Frugal Queen. My photos are poorly lit, I use a £60 camera covered in cheese sauce and without superfast (not round these parts until the end of 2015), I often have washed up, had a shower and got ready for bed before the photos have uploaded. My recipes are simple home cooking and they are certainly nothing fancy. With that in mind, I’m immensely grateful that you read, that you follow, that you chat to me on Facebook, that you tweet and retweet and I’m incredibly humbled by the emails you send me. Every day, over the site receives over 11,000 page views and each month over 37,000 unique visitors log in and read.
I don’t always write about food but is is so important.
It changes lives and cements families. So many of my memories about my family are about the food my mum fed me. We didn’t have much and in some cases, we didn’t have enough but we never went hungry. Food was always plain, never shop bought, always homemade, filled us up and did us good. She was and is an incredibly good cook and then and now that food is not just delicious but nurturing and comforting. We take it for granted, but there are families out there who don’t like to, can’t or won’t cook for each other and generations of people are growing up without the skills to eat well. That’s ok if you have money, someone else can cook it for you, either Mr Marks or Mr Spencer can make your meals for you, even Mr Morrisons can add to your table. That being the case, where’s the heart and where’s the love in the making of that meal?
Here’s my simple recipe for Veggie Lasagne – serves 6.
Pre- heat the oven to 160C.
3 stalks of celery finely diced
2 onions finely diced
2 large courgettes cut into cubes
1 tin of sliced mushroom – or five fresh ones, diced.
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 heaped teaspoon of chopped garlic
1 heaped teaspoon of mixed herbs
salt and pepper
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons of oil
You can add any vegetables to this, what ever is in season so long as it chopped small enough to sit easily between the layers. I made a large lasagne for everyone else and a small gluten free one for me. Don’t worry, I didn’t eat all of it in one meal.
- Fry the ingredients above for 10 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and seasoning.
- Bring to boil and then simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes.
Make the cheese sauce.
3 heaped tablespoons of corn flour
50g of butter
3/4 litre of milk
salt and pepper to season
100g of grated mature cheddar
- In a sauce pan, heat the butter
- Stir in the flour until it forms a ball
- Add the milk and cheese
- Stir over a medium heat, continuously until thickened.
- Remove and leave to stand.
Assemble the lasagne
- In an oven proof baking dish or casserole or pie dish.
- Pour some oil into the bottom
- Place sheets of lasagne to cover. I don’t pre-cook. I make my sauce quite wet so the lasagne can soak this up, softening whilst cooking.
- Next layer of vegetable sauce
- Next a layer of lasagne.
- Now sause
- Then lasagne
- Finish with a liberal pouring of the cheese sauce. You could sprinkle some cheese on top. We ate ours with lettuce, grated cheese and some chopped red pepper.
- Place the casserole dish on a baking tray, in case of spillage and bake for thirty minutes. I usually take it out after 25 and leave on the side for fifteen minutes before serving. Other wise it’s just too hot to eat.
Simple, cheap and a really simple supper. It keeps well in the fridge and makes a great ding cuisine for another day. I write because I really believe that we can all eat well enough, even if we have a tiny budget, not a lot of time, or money and only a few skills. It’s great that there are foodie families out there, eating lovely food but it’s also great that families are creating bowls of soup, hearty stews of simple veggie lasagnes. I also want to save families money so they can save up for or keep their homes or make a small wage work really hard.
Thanks everyone for voting, for Parentdish and Kenwood for sponsoring and for Sally Whittle, without whom, the blog awards wouldn’t exist. Thanks so much.
Over to you Dear Reader, what difference does feeding your family well mean to you?
Love Froogs xxxx