Tuesday 22 September 2020

Getting Back to Normal

The first few days after a Challenge like the Ration Challenge can always seem a bit weird, there's no way you can throw yourself straight into just 'getting back to normal'.  There's quite a bit of guilt in the simple fact that we can go back to normal.  We can fill up the fridge with tasty foods, restock the cupboards, eat what, how much and when we choose too.

This year like last I am just slowly coming out of the Challenge and changing things back over the course of this week, although not everything will be changing back, I will never buy another flatbread for instance or a shop made falafel.  Of course the first thing to come back was coffee, then I had a pint of cider with my tea on Sunday night ... it's easy here at the Park to nip round to the club armed with a pint pot and pick up a drink to take back to the Van  😀

I bought two gorgeous big juicy lemons to slice and pop into the freezer.

That's my morning drink sorted out for the next week or so.

Yes still hot water ... but  post Challenge hot water with lemon.  And of course after it's flavoured the hot water, the lemon goes into a glass and is kept in the fridge for the rest of the day to flavour my glasses of tap water.  Those of you who have read for a while know this habit of mine well.

We had to call to Lancaster yesterday so while I was there I took advantage of being near a Marks and Spencer and used my last three lots of vouchers to pay for some food.  I got a nice yellow-stickered Sweet Pepper Katsu Curry for my tea.  Tasty but very spicy, and the best bit was the ease of cooking it and the minimal pots it created.

It's been a little Challenge that I set myself and has been ongoing for a while but very intermittently ... I'll share if anyone's interested.  It's not yellow sticker shopping, it's just a little four part Challenge with the last part leading into my next Challenge for this blog.  Two parts of it are now complete and the next will possibly be done tomorrow.

But I guess if anyone is interested I could share the photos and a bit of waffle, you all know I'm good at waffling.  😆🤣

Sue xx

Monday 21 September 2020

The Ration Challenge - End of Challenge Round Up - Edit ... New Total

The Leftovers.

There's not a lot left is there!! 

I guess I could rustle up one final meal of Fried Rice in a Satay-like Sauce ... but I won't.  Instead these items will be used up over the next few days with other foods out of the cupboard here at the Van.  Peanut butter on toast for breakfast for perhaps two days and in normal eating non-ration challenge terms I guess I have a couple of weeks worth of rice.  

Yet again this year I was shocked at the sheer amount of salt I went through.  At the start of Challenge Week this little salt cellar was full to the top, now only the bottom third is left.  I guess when food is sparse and simple salt equals flavour and you add all the flavour you can to all of your food.

I will needless to say be weaning myself off salt over the next few days.

The ticks on the wall chart show that I completed all I set out to complete  😃

Now, how about a round up of some of my favourite meals ...

Right at the beginning the Paratha, with one of my three cups of coffee of Ration Challenge week.  Me ... drinking just three cups of coffee in a week ... unheard of!!

One of my favourite meals - the Falafels with plain rice.

I'll definitely be making these again for sure, but in future with dried or even fresh herbs added and some pepper too, both things I didn't and couldn't have last week.  They were light as anything and absolutely delicious 💓

An eye-opener for me, I like wraps!!

 Especially when they are fresh turmeric homemade wraps and filled with hummus and broken up bean burger, but in more normal days they will also have some shredded crunchy lettuce and perhaps a squeeze of mayo.

Oh be still my beating heart - the pastry made with oil instead of hard fats is delicious, and when it's wrapped around a Lentil and Beanburger is a real treat.

Lentil Pancakes.

That you can make something that is tasty, filling and nutritious out of a handful of lentils and a cup of water was a revelation and these will no doubt be made over and over again.

And the highlight of the week for tastiness, colour and just sheer joy bringing ... my Tomato Pizza.  This will be eaten over and over I can assure you, but with a side of maybe coleslaw or just some crunchy salad vegetables rather than with even more tomatoes  😁😆

It's been a good week, having done this before meant I had some knowledge of what was ahead of me and having the time to try out a few recipes in the run up to it was brilliant.

But the absolute highlight of the last week for me has been YOU.  Knowing that I had so much support, cheering me on from the side-lines, willing me to do well and being ready in a nice way to hold me to account if I failed or stumbled was humbling, cheering and well, just so supportive.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for that support, be it financial or with your words of encouragement.

My Sponsors for Ration Challenge 2020

Anonymous 26.53

  • Anonymous 53.00 
  • Susan H
  • Anonymous 10.60
  • Anonymous 21.20
  • Hilary E
  • Anonymous 10.60
  • Mona M
  • Anonymous 26.50
  • Jean B-L
  • Tania O
  • Anonymous 53.00
  • Claire P
  • Laura Z
  • Ann M
  • Jenny D
  • Dorothy W
  • Anonymous 5.30
  • Robert C
  • Chrissie W
  • Nethergreen
  • Gillian M
  • Rosie G
  • Me for Anonymous
  • Emily C
  • Rebecca USA
  • Debbie McD
  • Anonymous 5.30
  • Catriona M
  • Sue L.
  • Deborah K
  • Debbie B
  • Found Cash 5.30
  • Faith A
  • Su W
  • Val D
  • Alison C
  • Jason W & Tash B
  • Mary O
  • Christina N
  • Sooze G
  • Anonymous 10.60
  • Carole A
  • Gaby T
  • Helen H
  • Anonymous 10.60
  • Angela G
  • Joan S
  • Marlene S
  • Anonymous 20.00
  • Anonymous 5.30
  • Anonymous 2.12
  • Sarah M
  • Anonymous 13.78
  • Anonymous 40.70
  • Ellen B
  • Chrissie W
  • Anonymous 41.34
  • Anonymous 53.00
  • Me (on behalf)
  • Frances B
  • Simon W
  • Linda W
  • Sally C
  • Gillian M
  • Sheila A
  • Joy C
  • Alan/Anonymous
  • Me

Thank you ... between us we managed to raise the magnificent sum of  £1,6500.00  The team I was part of managed to raise £3,289.20 between us, and the Ration Challengers overall total up to now, as some people are still doing the Challenge over the next few weeks, is £1,434,457.00

What else can I say except a massive THANK YOU.

Sue xx

 in the UK we've raised

Sunday 20 September 2020

The Ration Challenge - Day Seven - Final Day

The same as every day this week my first drink of the day was a cup of hot water.

I think it was the Ration Challenge last year that got me hooked on cups of hot water, although these days usually I have a frozen slice of lemon dropped into them.

Breakfast - Rice and Dahl

Then it was onto breakfast, and using the rice I cooked yesterday morning I again added a portion of Dahl to it.  Very tasty, and very filling, much more so than my more usual Weetabix.

Next I to set to and started my prep for lunch.  Making up a batch of Oil Pastry with the last of my flour I carefully brought it all together and broke it into two balls and then left it to rest in the fridge for an hour wrapped in floured cling film.

When it and I were suitably rested, I carefully rolled it out using the flour in my flour shaker to flour the board.  (I had put 50g of my flour ration into the shaker at the start of the week and it has just lasted until today.)

I placed a dollop of my remaining dahl in the centre of each piece of pastry and topped it with the leftover pieces of Lentil and Bean Burger, then I pulled up the pastry to completely cover the filling, made sure it was firmly sticking to itself and then flipped the whole thing over  ... to give me something that looks a lot like an Eccles Cake.

Dinner - Lentil and Bean Burger Pasty

Still looking a lot like a pair of Eccles Cakes they came out of the oven half an hour later, smelling absolutely gorgeous.

  I ate one for my dinner and it was delicious.  The crumbly light textured pastry enclosing the now piping hot dahl and bean burger with the base lovely and thick where all the layers of pastry had converged and cooked into one.  The other one will be eaten for my tea, as one was more than enough for me.

Afternoon Snack - Lentil Pancake and a cup of Coffee

But somehow, mid afternoon and knowing I would be having a slightly later than usual tea after Alan arrived at the Van, and also knowing that he would be having a chippy tea, I managed to fit in a Lentil Flatbread, although to me they have the texture more of a crispy, but fluffy inside pancake, so I have now renamed them.

And with it the last of my coffee ... my third cup of the week, eked out from the two teaspoons of coffee that I got as a sponsorship reward.

Tea - The other Lentil and Bean Burger Pasty

 To misquote a famous food retailer  'This is not just any food ... this is Ration Challenge Food ðŸ’–'  It was gorgeous, and once Challenge week is over I will be making this again and eating it with a large dollop of mayonnaise.

That's it the Challenge for me is  over, I will be back with one more post giving my final fundraising total and some of my thoughts about the week and the food.  I will also show you what I have left over.

Thank you all so much for your amazing support and sponsorship.  

For one final time - My Fundraising Page is here.

Sue xx

Saturday 19 September 2020

The Ration Challenge - Day Six


I've been careful to ration out my oil this year, but I will be using most, if not all of it up.  I've learnt that oil equals satiation as well as flavour and it's been very true this week.

Breakfast - Rice and Dahl, with a spare bowl of rice cooling before going into the fridge ready for tomorrows breakfast, or a late supper if I need it.

I wasn't hungry at lunchtime after my nice breakfast, but I was cold, so I decided to have my leftover soup in a mug to warm my hands, while I tootled around blogland and answered food related questions on the Ration Challenge Facebook group.

I knew tonight's tea was going to be the highlight of the week as I had my £3 Reward pack of Cherry tomatoes to eat.  As per the rules they all had to be eaten in one sitting!!  They have been glowing red at me all week in the fridge, tempting me and daring me to break the rules ... but I stayed strong.

I sliced the remaining small piece of onion from the fridge, then left some as half rings to top the pizza and chopped the rest up finely to make the pizza sauce.  The cherry tomatoes on the board were quartered and added to the frying pan with the chopped onion and left to sauté slowly while I rolled out the pizza base.  Just 60g grams of flour with some salt and water ... a flatbread by another name, which is what all the 'bready things' have been this week.  It's amazing how many differently named things you can make with such a simple mix.

The pizza base was then topped with the tomatoey sauce, a few slices of another couple of tomatoes, the onion slices, half of one of the Lentil and Bean Burgers leftover from yesterday and finally a few dots of hummus.

Twenty minutes later I had this.

Tea - A Pizza with a side salad of Cherry Tomatoes.

It was a complete success ... phew ...  and very filling, so I don't think I'll be needing that bowl of rice from the fridge.

There is just one more day left of the Challenge.  This week has gone by so quickly and I seem to have spent most of it planning food, making food, and washing up after eating food.

This is what I have left in the stores, enough food for tomorrow ... well there's plenty of rice anyway  😄

In the fridge I have a little pot of hummus, one of dahl, the bowl of rice and the one and a half Lentil and Bean burgers on top.

I'll be fine  💚

Sue xx

Friday 18 September 2020

The Ration Challenge - Day Five


Day  Five - Breakfast - Boiled Rice and Dahl.

The second, larger bowl is the rice cooling down ready for my tea, this shows you nicely the size of the dishes I have been eating out of all week.  Usually I have been using the smaller of the two bowls for my meals and when I need a plate I always ... not just on this Challenge week week ... eat off what most people would call sandwich or side plates.

And this is the weight of dried rice I used for the two meals.  

I was feeling pretty full after breakfast just very thirsty, which I think is mainly caused by having so many salty meals, but I don't think I could eat rice without some salt on it.

After a doggy walk and arranging a family get together I set to on my lunch.

These are the ingredients for ...

Lidija's Bean and Lentil Burgers.

Although the mix was much sloppier than any I've used before I looked okay once dolloped into the pan.

While the burgers cooked away I made the wrap I wanted to put them on.  Another 50g of flour, this time with the addition of a teaspoon of Turmeric.

It looked and felt like I was playing with Playdough 🤣

I thought I had over cooked the burgers, but actually they tasted okay ... phew!!

The Turmeric wrap was a sight to behold.

And then once everything was cooked I assembled my wrap, first a layer of hummus and then two of the burgers broken into pieces.  I left the other two burgers to cool down before popping them into the fridge for another day.

Dinner - Lentil and Bean Burgers with Hummus on a Turmeric Wrap.

This was very tasty and also very filling.  I may even have been converted to wraps as they are not something I have ever really liked before, but maybe because that's the bought ones I have had in the past have been so stodgy and with not enough filling compared to the wrap part.

After an afternoon of blogging and doing lots of bitty bits I set too to make my tea.

I had seen onion rings done beautifully on the Facebook Group page and thought I would give it a go, as I had given my milk away I had to make the batter with just water and flour, and to be honest it didn't really work that way and didn't stick to the onion rings very well.

The centres of all the rings were gently sautéed along with some spices and then I tipped in half of one of my pots of dahl to make a quick curry sauce that I then tipped my last remaining chickpeas into.

Tea - Chickpea Curry with Rice and Onion Rings.

Although this looks okay, and indeed the onion rings were surprisingly tasty and very crispy which was good as I've not really had anything with a crispy texture up to now this week, the taste of the curry let it down, I should have just kept it simple and not tried to jazz up the dahl.

Just two more days to go for me ... but for some this goes on a lot longer!!

Thank you for all your sponsorship and support while I am doing this Challenge, together we are doing something wonderful.

Sue xx

Thursday 17 September 2020

The Ration Challenge - Day Four

It's a good job I have my planner in full view to keep me on the straight and narrow because I feel like I'm starting to lose my marbles.  My typing skills have definitely suffered ... I'm hitting all the right keys just in all the wrong order ... a sure sign that my hand to eye coordination is not at full capacity.

Luckily this mornings breakfast was my Reward 330ml drink, and I chose to have a home made smoothie.  An apple from the fridge and three banana chunks and some spinach from the freezer with a dash of ice cold water.

  I added a little bit more water until I hit the exact 330g/ml allowance.

It was delicious  💚

I had the three leftover flatbreads from yesterday to add to my lunch and I quickly whizzed up some of my Kidney bean onion mix to make a pate.  I did photograph it all laid out neatly at Mum's on one of her pretty plates but I can't get it off my phone and onto the computer.  I will try and add it later.


Anyway it was a nice tasty and quite satisfying little lunch.

As soon as I got home I fed Suky her tea and then started on mine.  

I weighed out my onions, and thought I had the right little pot of chickpeas out of the fridge but when I whizzed up the Falafel mix I realised it looked completely wrong so I looked in the fridge and yep, I had mixed up the tub containing just 23g and the one with the larger portion meant for the falafels.  

So I weighed out 23g from the pot and added the rest into the little processer and whizzed them up before adding them to the rest of the falafel mix.  I was getting so annoyed with myself with all this messing around.

But the finished dish was delicious and I would make these again in an instant ... but in larger proportions once the Challenge is over.

The recipe.

With a surprise donation from my Mum's lovely neighbour Hilary, my total has once more gone up.  Go and see for yourself over on my Fundraising Page.

I am so thankful to all the lovely people who have helped me get to this total, we are now just £58 away from being able to feed 10 refugees for an entire year ... WOW!!


Sue xx