Dusting off the lunchbox

Been relatively quiet on these pages recently, not because we’re not cooking (we are, gotta eat, don’t do a lot of ready meals in this house) but because it’s hard to write about food when you are feeling sluggish and  feel like the back end of a horse – I am suffering from a body image problem, which I’m not going to talk anymore about as reading about dieting is about as boring as actually doing it.

We have been busy harvesting the free food of Warwickshire. Nothing too adventurous just the usual sort of jams and things – not like my brother who has been busy bottling sloe and apple jelly – don’t think that one is destined for toast, probably more of a savoury use like red currant jelly.

I’m hoping that the start of the school year and the need to make lunch on a daily basis for Spider, who is notoriously difficult to make sandwiches for (other than cheese) will spark off my interest in food again. We are also back on the watching our budget and not wasting anything regime…

I have been watching Economy Gastronomy recently, and like a lot of people have been amazed at the generosity of the “budget”, either we are miscalculating what we spend or we are already thriftier than average. I have not until this evening made anything from the book – however the co-op were selling 12 eggs at half price (otherwise I’d never have made a frittata with 8 eggs), we also had potatoes (red not new) and spring onions which needed using, always have chorizo and there was a tablespoon of clotted cream lurking in the fridge (to which I added some hot water and lemon juice as a sour cream substitute). It was OK, nothing special, perhaps it really needs the salsa they recommend with it, but it did use up the leftovers, served with some half price garlic bread AND there is still enough left fo r 2 lunches this week, as frittata is quite nice cold.

will link the recipe when they put it up on the BBC website

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Just Bento’s bento box challenge

Just Bento and Just Hungry are two of my favourite sites. I stumbled across them last year when I started taking a packed lunch to work again…something I should have been doing anyway but rarely remembered except on occasions when my Mum hands me sandwiches when I dropped Spider off.

The spur to being more organised was Spider’s pre-school starting a lunch club. As it was on mondays it was an incentive to think about packed lunches over the weekend for the rest of the week (admittedly perhaps FQ and I did spend slightly too much thinking about it and from time to time wasted hours discussing what to put in our childrens lunch bags). Anyway, it worked, for the space of a term I remebered to take lunch with me everyday.

I should point out that when I don’t take food with me, I don’t buy lunch elsewhere – I just don’t eat. Which is a bad thing for many reasons and can contribute to a weight problem as your body gets used to storing calories when it gets them !

I used the internet to get ideas for lunches as I have a limited interest in sandwiches and quickly discovered Lunch in  Box which reminded me about bento boxes, and searching for that brought up Just Bento. Both these sites are jammed packed with ideas not just for lunches but for speeding up preperation of lunches and greater use of the freezer for staple items (I am as you may realise from early posts totally dedicated to my freezer).

I have treated myself to a genuine Bento Box from the Japan Centre but I haven’t used it much – mainly because there was no lunch club last term and as a result I stopped taking lunch – besides  I  found  a cheap partitioned plastic box from a supermarket much more versatile (and its dishwasher safe !).

Anyway, not only is lunch club back this term but Just Bento is running a bento box challenge, starting on the 11th January – it has 3 stages to it Basic, Going Deeper and Weight Loss (in theory the size of your box can be related to the amount of calories it can hold – but that I guess depends on the type of food you are putting in it).

So this is my new years resolution, make lunch for work daily and to keep me on track I am taking the Just Bento challenge…cooking my way through Delia How to Cook 1 & 2 is a personal challenge and not a resolution and I’m giving myself a year for that one due to financial constraints…