Eating like kings


They say that necessity is the mother of invention, but in our house, it could be that mother has the necessity of invention, or something like that.  

These past few months as I haven’t had a regular income, I’ve had to be really inventive to make those proverbial ends meet.  We’ve had to be more resourceful about how we shop and what we eat. 

Funny enough, despite a restricted food budget, we’ve never eaten better.  I've really enjoyed the challenge of trying to come up with meals using what’s on hand, what’s in the garden and if we don't have an ingredient, substituting or simply doing without. 

Last night we made pizza for dinner but we had none of the traditional toppings in the pantry.  No mozzarella, no tomato, no mushroom or ham.  Normally I would make a dash to the shops to buy the missing ingredients but instead, I used what we had on hand.  Plenty of milk, ingredients for dough and a garden full of herbs and garlic.   

First I made cheese with the milk.   A soft farm house cheese like a bit like this.  We made the pizza bases and topped them with garlic, olive oil, herbs, smeared some with nettle pesto, dolloped the fresh cheese and finished them all with a generous grating of parmesean.  The children loved them. Best ever pizza they said.  Win. 

Today I stirred finely chopped chives, thyme and parsley through the rest of the cheese and served it with a loaf of Irish soda bread - baked using the whey leftover from making the cheese.   Add radishes and lettuce from the garden, some pickled olives from a friend's tree and lunch was complete.

So simple and so delicious.  Peasant food it may be, but I couldn’t help but think that we eat like kings.  

18 comments:

  1. Yep! I agree. Nothing better.

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  2. We are doing the same here, except we have lost our main income for quite some time. We are being really frugal with food,growing more, and swapping as well. I have to say like you I am so amazed at what I have been able to make do when you haven't had the ingredients. Your pizza's sound like something I'd order off a menu. Well done to you to.

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  3. This post is so inspiring!!! I would love to know how you made the cheese, as I am so impressed that you just whipped up some cheese in such a short amount of time. It is so full-filling to be able to use what is on hand and come up with a satisfying meal that can feed and nourish our families. Thank you for being the person that you are and being such an inpiration to me and I am sure all of your other readers and followers:) Have yourself a wonderful day:)

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  4. Such inspiration! For the last two weeks, before we came on holiday we did no groceries. Generally we try to do a shop only once every two weeks, and throughout those two weeks we try to just use what's in the cupboard. I love that your kids love that pizza! It just shows that it's nice to come up with some new and different every once and a while, using just what you've got.

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  5. YES!!!!!
    On the drive home from Melburne yesterday we discussed how different our eating habits would be if we lived in town. If we could pop down to the shops on a whim. If everything was accessible all the time.
    And we all agreed (even the pre teen) that it would be boring. That we would become lazy. That we would spend so much more money. And that we wouldn't eat as well as we do when we have to make do.
    You are so ace Michelle. xx

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  6. It's just fantastic, this concept of using what you have to eat. I have started doing pantry-and-fridge roulette. Taste.com.au is my new best friend. Amazing what happens when you search for recipes for almost out of date steak, bacon and sour cream (best Sunday night meal ever, BTW)

    So looking forward to this coming season of being able to eat out of my garden. There is something beyond satisfying (a semi-smugness) of saying "I grew that" and "I made that from scratch".



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  7. Love it Michelle! All your food sounds incredibly delicious. Thanks for the link to the cheese too.

    We are 1 hour from the 'shops' and this makes us put more thought into our food, use everything we have on hand and generally be more organised. Growing and making our own food just makes sense doesn't it?

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  8. Sounds delicious!

    Holli xo

    www.twinsplusonemumma.com

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  9. Our daughter (as a young adult) lived & worked on Lord Howe Island for a few years. Before she left mainland it was so easy to pull into McDonalds or order pizza, but for her it was a totally new experience to have do without the major fast food outlets on the island, and make do with what was on hand knowing that many food items would not be available until the next supply ship came in (which comes in every 2 weeks). On one of her quick trips home I was amazed to see her whip up stir fries & risotto from whatever was on hand. And to hear that she was even growing her own tomatoes and going fishing for her dinner! Yes, necessity is the mother of invention.

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  10. An inspiring post about something that is oh so familiar in our house...

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  11. Smiling. I've been joking about how much silver beet we've been eating at the moment, but I don't mind a bit....everything tastes better from the garden. Growing our own herbs is particularly indulgent, being able to use them in dishes is such a luxury. Definitely with you on the eating like kings.

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  12. Fantastic! There's something so satisfying about using what you have, isn't there. Sometimes I look at my full pantry and think 'why do I need to go to the supermarket yet again??' You've inspired me to cook with what I have tonight :-)

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  13. We eat a lot like this as well. Satisfying? You betcha. To create nourishing family meals like this takes time, effort and love... and it's worth every mouthful.

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  14. Love it. I've been trying to be more frugal and inventive too. It's interesting how much more involved you become in the process when you create from what's on hand inside and outside in the garden.

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  15. even kings don't eat that well! looks delicious. x ashley

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  16. Sounds wonderful! I read somewhere once that despite the shortage of food iin England due to rationing in the Second World War, people emerged after this period much healthier, because they did what you did - fresh food scrounged when and where they could. There's something in that for all of us. Can't wait to meet in Canberra next week.

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  17. The food looks delicious! Really good flavours you've got there.

    Better than the food though, is your way of life. I'm very jealous, it looks like a truly magical way to live :)

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  18. Wow! I like what you did with your homemade pizza. My wife and I have a garden and we have lots of vegetables. I'm excited to tell this post to her. Thanks! :)

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