Monday, 19 January 2009

Fuel and frugality.

Hallelujah! The sun is shining at last. I almost thought that we were never going to see it again. It feels like the first day of Spring!

..So I have started to clean the topsides of the boat, which are truly disgusting. They have gone so green and slimy it is like paddling around in a smelly old pond. Yuck! anyway managed the first wave this morning, plenty to do yet. TBH took advantage of the fine weather to take the dinghy upstream to collect 4 cans of diesel. We haven't filled up since we returned from Cuba so it was interesting to see that the price is down to around $3 a gallon, that's excellent news as we need to take on board about 12 cans, that's approx 60 gallons. Should keep us going a while...

The sun has bought out all the new visitors to the marina and coffee time was positively crowded this morning. I see the staff moving boats around and cleaning them off like crazy, must be another new influx of owners due soon. Made me feel less sluttish as some of the boats were definitely a whole lot greener than ours!

During the rain I have been trying out a batch of new recipes. With the doom and gloom of the recession I decided to look at some more frugal ways of feeding us. Back in my past I lived a very self-sufficient lifestyle for a number of years and thought it would be fun to resurrect some of the things I used to cook then. As a single mum with three small children money was always tight and had to go a very long way.

So yesterday I took a piece of pork loin that I bought from the launch that delivers from Casa Guatemala. It cost 22Q that's about $2.60. I plastered it with seasoning and olive oil and popped it in the oven to roast for 40 mins. I am happy to roast when the weather is as cold as it was yesterday, makes the boat really cozy! Instead of veggies I decided to cook lentils, haven't done them for ages. Took 1.5 cups puy lentils, the greeny brown ones that hold their shape, gave them a good wash and set them to simmer along with a couple of bayleaves on the stovetop. Once done, about 20 mins, I drained them, retaining the liquor. Melted a spoon of butter and sauted a finely chopped onion. When they were nicely golden returned the lentils to the pan, added 150mls of the liquor and simmered for a further 10 mins. They were delicious and with the thinly sliced pork a delight for lunch. In fact that was enough for 4. Pretty good huh!

Today I had a go at making 'sliders' a sort or gourmet mini hamburger. Last time I went to Puerto Barrios I got a pack of small bread rolls and they needed eating up. So took 1lb minced beef, 1tsp chili powder, small sprinkle of ground cumin, 1 egg, salt and pepper. Mixed all together and divided into 12 small balls.

Warmed the rolls and cooked the mini burgers for 2 mins each side on the griddle. One burger on base of roll, crumbled some leftover blue cheese on top , grilled till cheese melted. Drizzled a little olive oil on the bun top and placed on the burger. Mmmnnn really tasty. TBH preferred the ones with plain cheddar on the top but I thought that was pretty unadventurous!

Oh and just in case you think we are being really greedy there is a big batch in the fridge still waiting to be cooked...

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