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.