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Friday, October 27, 2006


I've just made a huge pot of the most delicious soup - even if I do say so myself. There's nothing fancy in the ingredients. When I was in Morrisons yesterday, I spotted some disgusting-looking things called gammon shanks, on the butcher's counter. Vile as they looked, with bones and skin still attached, at £1.29 each, I realised they were a bargain, and would make fab stock for soup. So I grabbed one, and simmered it for a few hours in my stockpot last night,

After cooling the stock in the fridge overnight, I skimmed off as much of the fat as possible, and then chucked in a packet of no-soak mushy peas, 3 diced carrots, ¼ of a swede, finely diced, ¼ of a white cabbage, finely shredded, two onions, a leek, some mixed herbs, salt and pepper, as well as a good helping of finely chopped meat from the cooked gammon shank. A couple of hours of gentle simmering later, I had a huge pot of gorgeous soup. I really didn't expect it to be so nice. It's healthy, and nutritious, and after my overspend this week, on household items, it also makes good sense from an economic standpoint.

I know cooking can be time-consuming, especially when people have kids to rear and jobs to go to, but too many people rely on ready meals, take-aways and junk these days. Over the three months or so, I've started cooking more meals from scratch, rather than relying on pizzas and other ready-prepared horrors. Not only have I had more money to spend on other things, but I've also lost about 1½ stone. I didn't realise I'd lost it until last week, when I realised some of my trousers were flapping loose around me. So despite the extra effort involved in cooking everything from scratch, I've been rewarded in an unexpected but very welcome way, and even the occasional bag of chips hasn't stopped me losing weight.

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