beef, stock, thrifty, marrow, bones, frugal, living, life, cooking, food

Regardless of whether it is freshly made or in cube form, stock is an essential part of many meals, particularly soups, stews, casseroles and broths. Of course, there isn’t always time enough to make one’s own stock, but when one can find a few minutes it is certainly a worthwhile undertaking. It has the power to bring food alive – it’s not difficult to distinguish between freshly made stock and the slightly suspect supermarket hexahedron.

The local butcher will forever be one’s foremost ally in the pursuit of cracking homemade stock. As you might have guessed, a frequent by-product of their line of work is a hefty supply of animal bones. These are virtually worthless in monetary terms – mere superfluities to most meat eaters – but they do make for jolly tasty stock. So, simply pop down to your local butcher and ask for some stock bones (pork, lamb, beef… whatever) and you’ll almost certainly walk away with a clutch of bones, full of delicious marrow ready to add richness to anything it touches. Now, that really is frugal!

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 chocolate, cheesecake, brownies, frugal, frugality, thrifty, frugal living

Having exhausted both desirable avenues of brownie baking, viz. an average brownie and gluten-free brownies, it seemed  a good idea to combine two of my favourite desserts into one delicious amalgam. There are various methods by which one may achieve a cheesecake brownie, but this seems to be the best. For instance, some recipes call for a layer of cheesecake to be spread between two layers of brownie, in the same way as a sandwich is made. However, although this ensures that every bite contains an equal amount of cheesecake mixture, the flavour doesn’t achieve uniformity in any way at all, something which I desire in a cheesecake brownie. The other benefit of following this particular method is that one easily achieves a certain aesthetic pleasantness.

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Cookies are one of those American inventions that even the most staunchly British chap feels utterly compelled to bake from time to time. However, it’s nice to vary things a little; I’ve never baked the same cookie twice. These aren’t in any way similar to my cardamom cookies or my American-style chocolate chunk cookies. Instead, the consistency found within the bites is both soft and fluffy; almost cake like, but not quite. This trait makes these cookies, rather conversely, almost more British than American. It’s rather tricky to decide whether there’s something morally, or indeed culturally wrong with such a thing.

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This recipe is, I’m afraid, the last in the group of those photographed whilst I was away visiting Katherine a couple of weeks ago. While this wouldn’t usually be a problem, as many of you will know, the frugal household is without a properly functioning kitchen. However, the hob and oven are now in, as is the sink. So, it is possible that I’ll be able to cook something and photograph it in the coming days, thus bringing to a close this most turbulent period in my life, in which I’ve experienced withdrawal symptoms aplenty. Seriously, I’ve not been able to actually grip anything for the past two weeks; my palms have been simply too sweaty. The less said about my recurrent heart palpitations, the better.

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Hello, Frugalers! I have returned from a week long hiatus in Aylesbury, a large town home to both Katherine and a world famous breed of duck – there are no prizes for guessing its name. I must admit that the time spent away from work and blogging was rather welcome, though I did miss the latter considerably. Indeed, armed with the knowledge that on my return to Aberystwyth our new kitchen would not yet be installed, my girlfriend and I set about cooking all manner of treats so that I could continue to blog following my break. Fear not, faithful readers, cooking is also a favourite pastime of my wonderful woman – I was not putting the blog ahead of our relationship, I don’t think.

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