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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During the last few months, I believe FrugalFeeding has undergone a reasonably subtle change of direction. If asked for a synonym of the word ‘frugal’, I believe most people would, somewhat wrongly, pluck the word ‘cheap’ from their vocabulary. However, the word frugal is slightly more nuanced than its usual usage might suggest. As the tagline for this blog might suggest, a rather more suitable synonym would be ‘economical’. I believe this recipe encapsulates my slight change in thinking really rather well. Olive tapenade is unlikely to win any awards for being the cheapest, or most necessary, culinary creation. However, this recipe provides an economical solution to one’s desire to indulge in this rather punchy side-dish. If bought at a supermarket, tapenade bears a rather exorbitant price. A price which no man, or indeed woman, in their right mind would be happy to pay. Make tapenade at home, however, and one’s monetary misdemeanour is lessened somewhat. This means that although money has been spent on something which isn’t necessarily necessary, the refusal to buy sub-par and overpriced tapenade has resulted in sound economic policy. Congratulations, you are now on your way to becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer – a position which is perhaps less esteemed than it was in the days of Gladstone.

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