Archie & Sophie Lent 2021: Day 1

A bit of an early start today as I wanted to make it to Asda and back before breakfast so I could have a cuppa before I started working! Luckily they did have stock of Smart Price teabags – phew! 

Today was quite a busy day for us both – with Archie busy with uni all day and Sophie having a combination of online lectures and a Foodbank shift. We started off the day with cornflakes, sugar, some watered down milk and a cup of tea. Not the most nutritious breakfast but tricky to see how you could make it any better without spending more! It did fill us up for the morning though. Normally we’d have either cereal with fruit on it, or toast – but for the sake of variety we tried to limit our intake of bread to lunchtimes only.

I did feel a bit peckish during the morning and definitely in the late afternoon (especially as last week’s birthday cake was looking at me and calling my name!). We bought a pack of biscuits for these occasions, so luckily we had something to snack on in the morning, and (thanks to a bread miscalculation earlier today!) had an extra slice of toast in the afternoon too. Sophie thinks her foodbank shift felt much harder today than it normally does, and I have to admit I found my concentration going and even drifted off to sleep at one point when I was meant to be working despite having a good night’s sleep before! 

Menu today:

Breakfast: Cornflakes with Sugar & Milk, Tea/Water 

Lunch: Tinned Spaghetti on 2 small bits of toast, half an apple, water

Dinner: Sardiney-carrotey-tomatoey pasta (see recipe below), water, buiscones (see recipe below; it made 4 generous portions)

Ingredients: 2 x tins tomatoes, 1 x ‘value’ tin of sardines in tomato sauce, 300g bag of reduced, out of date chopped carrots, 3 stalks of thyme (from a community garden in a nearby park), ⅓ onion, 2 tsp mixed herbs, salt and pepper, small bit of margarine to fry, Strong mug of black tea

Method: Fry onion in margarine for a few minutes. Then add carrot and fry for a few more minutes. After that, add the herbs and some salt and pepper. Chop the sardines with a sharp knife, and add them along with the tomatoes and tea. 

This was really quite nice actually! The sardines and black tea (a tip from Jack Monroe) added a lot of flavour. It would have been nice with some cheese in it or on top but that was a luxury which didn’t fit into the budget. We allowed ourselves a bit of extra pasta above the recommended portion, on account of the fact we have twice as much rice as pasta to use up. We definitely needed it by 7:30! 

Biscuones (made 5):

Ingredients: 50g margarine, 50g sugar, 100g self raising flour, about 2tbsp of milk/water mix

Method: Cream margarine and sugar, add in half the flour, then the milk, then the rest of the flour. Spoon onto tray, bake at 180 for about 15 minutes (check after 10). 

These were… pretty odd but ok! The main thing we struggled with today was that we were still pretty hungry after we ate lunch, so have saved a few of these for tomorrow. The consistency is weird – crispy on the outside like a biscuit, but inside like a cross between a scone and a cake. Eggs didn’t fit into the budget, and we got self-raising flour because we thought it would be more versatile than plain flour, so this was the best we could come up with – but it contained carbs and sugar so it ticks all the boxes! 

END

Pre-covid, Norwich foodbank put together recipe kit bags of ingredents, containing all the items needed and a simple to folow recipe. Several of these were taken (with permisison) from Jack Monroe’s various cookbooks and the author donated several copies which were given out to interested clients. The recipe bags proved popular as it gave people an extra meal or treat alongside the food parcel, there was no worry about ‘I don’t have this item’ because everything was included and there was an element of choice because we had several kits available so people could have the one they fancied. The charity provided kits for corned beef hash, spaghetti bolognaise, fishcakes, soups and cakes and received positive feedback. Pancake kits were given out on Shrove Tuesday this year and the general concept will definitely be repeated!

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