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Pancake Surprise! January 19th

Late last night, I prepared some pancake batter with the intention of making a fruit pancake for breakfast.

Following the pancake preperation, I checking my contact form, I was touched to find some helpful suggestions for meal ideas.

How today's 1.00 was spent:

Pancake Surprise 0.45

Minestrone 0.31

Peanuts, Veg & Rice 0.24

From the mailbag

I missed this email via the contact form from Tracy yesterday, but am delighted to share it today -

Hi Steve

Am impressed with your achievements, you're doing really well.

I don't know if you're up for a little bit of advice but it looks to me that you have got the makings of a giant veg fritta, could save some of this for your packed lunch, cold, and maybe a lentil hotpot which is really rather lovely, layers of lentils, onions, mixed veg and sliced potatoes all topped up with stock or even just water, give them a go I am sure you will enjoy them and they are very substantial and filling to boot,

good luck with the rest of your challenge I'm sure you can do it,

Regards Tracy

Tracy - via contact form

Thanks for the support and the suggestions Tracy - they are much appreciatted.

I had considered preparing a Tortilla when I had my trip out of town - which I suspect is similar in terms of cost and ingredients to the Italian Frittata ( If I've mistaken what you were getting at please let me know ).

The reason my packed lunch ended up containing a cheese sandwith, rather than a slice of tortilla, was down to the number of eggs required for a spanish omlette, as despite the dish being able to last a couple of days, 6 eggs would set me back about 70p, which felt - perhaps wrongly - represented a lot to risk on a dish I hadn't practiced.

I do love a good omlette, and a good quiche, and am very much looking forward to cooking and trying both Spanish and Italian omlettes after this challenge has finished - it's amazing the number of economical dishes I have read about that are just a little out of my current price range.

The hotpot suggestion, is genius - and one that I hadn't thought of. It was only yesterday morning that I was staring at the remaining lentils, and onions, wondering if it was worth trying to make another lentil burger, all the while entertaining the nagging doubt that I should leave the rest of the stuffing as a failed experiment, and do something a little different with the other ingredients.

Whilst I don't have access to an oven for this challenge, I hope to have a go at a microwaved hotpot later in the week - I'm really quite looking forward to what I hope will be a tasty dish.

Breakfast

I fancied a change today, so opted for a pancake to replace the typical breakfast of porridge. I measured out the fruit,and mixed the batter late last night, to make my job in the morning as easy as possible.

I am slightly dissapointed by the portion size and cost of the fruit. It transpires that 80 grams of grapes and berries does not amount to a vast quantity. Perhaps in hindsite, as far as fruit purchases are concerned, Aldis 89p pineapples may have been a better deal in terms of price and volume.

Unfortunately, despite practising, the pancake doe not go according to plan. After smearing the tiniest bit of butter around the pan, I pour in the batter, and am somewhat disturbed when nothing remotely like cooking a pancake occurs.

I suspect I got the proportions wrong, I had added too much liquid. In a desperate act of salvage, I end up splitting the pancake into different bits, attempting to pat each mass of warm batter into some manner of lump, and proceed to cook the lumps until the outside of them resemble the colour of a cooked pancake

After assembling the cooked aggregates of batter outcome onto a plate, and adding the fruit as artistically as I can muster, I tuck in. To my surprise, it does taste like pancake. I decide to name it "pancake surprise". "Pancake surprise" is not a dish I look forward to returning to after this challenge ends.

Ingredients "Pancake Surprise" with Blackforest fruits

ItemCost
1 Egg0.12
35g Oat flour0.04
50 ml Watern/a
100 ml Milk0.04
80g Blackforest fruits0.25
Total0.45

Dinner

Following a delicious bowl of minestrone, my budget maxed out on breakfast, I need to find an economic dinner - unfortunately, microwaved lentil hotpot will have to wait until another day.

A quick piece of mental arithmetric suggests that peanuts, frozen vegetables and rice will bring the day in on budget. I'm not keen on overspending on meals with 12 days left to go.

Ingredients Peanut Veg Rice

ItemCost
50 g Peanuts0.12
100g mixed veg0.09
50g Rice3p
Total0.24

I'm quite surprised by the enjoyable simplicity of some rice, vegetables and a side order of cold peanuts. I'll probably repeat the dish at some point with the remaining small portion of rice.

Conclusion

I know I should try to plan out a meal plan for my last couple of weeks, but my mind is fogged with the idea of buying an Aldi essentials pack of bacon for 1.25, and preparing a bacon butty, peas & bacon pasta, and adding some cooked bacon to the remaining portion of pea soup to try to enhance it.

I'm currently unsure whether I should try to use what little will power I have left after sticking to this challenge for almost 3 weeks to plan my remaining meals, or if I should go with my gut and blow almost all my spare cash on economy pork.

Totals to date

Cash Spent29.46
Value of Food Consumed:17.92
Waste0.09
Cash to spend:1.54
Days Remaining:12