11 February 2007

Winter comfort foods

There is something about winter and making comfort foods. I tend to always cook and bake more in the winter months than the summer ones. Not that I don't bake or cook in the summer time but I tend to make stews and soups much more now than in summer. Summer is about enjoying the weather and in England it changes so quickly you have to enjoy all the sunshine you can get!

Over the weekend I made some split pea soup - lovely. The chunks of carrots and potatoes made it more like a chunky feast that needed a fork rather than a spoon. I also made a loaf of bread which went nicely. J usually likes cream crackers with his soups but with my home made ones he doesn't use them - doesn't want to adulterate them! Awwww, how sweet.

Now a bit more about the reduced aisle. Unfortunately, the nearest thing you can find reduced in America is when it's on sale. Over here in the UK when something is coming close to its sell by date the store staff reduce the item's price by usually half if not more depending on what it is and does it sell.

I am quite lucky and find a lot of things that I continually use reduced. I also go through these phases where I find the same things consistently reduced. For instance, I love hummus and I might go through a few weeks of always finding this reduced then it will be organic produce, or something similar. I try to shop at least three sometimes four times a week for my fresh vegetables and fruit so this provides me with ample opportunity to scour the usual reduced aisles.

I'm not sure what others do but for me and J this provides plenty of variety of what I might find but also allows me to try new recipes without having to get numerous ingredients at top prices. I usually have a well stocked larder and pantry so the basics and staples are almost always there and available. It also is economical as I am not making a mint in money and have to make it stretch.

Do you buy reduced? Is there anything that you wouldn't buy on the reduced aisle? I don't think there's much I wouldn't buy except for things that look off or I know are well off.


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