A colleague recently asked me why I don’t write a blog as I spend an inordinately large proportion of my time talking about food. In fact I think I am obsessed by food to the point where some days it is the only thing that I think about all day (for those of you who know me and my overactive mind you will appreciate just what a feat this is). About once a week I drag a long-suffering work friend with me on quests to find interesting and delicious lunch time treats and we explore what street food is on offer around the Spitalfieds area or some new unusual looking cafe or restaurant that pops up. We cook at home most evenings and when things are quiet at work I sit and trawl through online recipes and read blogs, twitter feeds and reviews about food.
However one of the things I am not gifted with is writing, unlike my brother and blogging friends who are able to put pen to paper and create something interesting, witty and compelling to read. So most of this blog will be dedicated to something which I do religiously every week and which I hope may be of some interest and inspiration to others… weekly menus.
For about the last 7 years I have been splitting my salary into weekly allocations for frivolous spending and food/household essentials. When I met my husband I spent the first 6 months of our relationship throwing caution to the wind and abandoning my budgeting and planning ways. He loves cooking as much as I do so we spent many happy hours pouring over farmers markets and specialist food shops and before we knew it our weekly shopping bill for just 2 people was the same as a family of 4! A hasty retreat was beaten back to planning a weekly menu not just because of the unnecessary expenditure but also because of the amount of food we were wasting by buying things on impulse. Our weekly budget for food and household products is max £60, usually it comes in around £50 unless extra crisps or donuts make sneak into the trolley. This covers freshly made dinner every night, lunch for me for 4 days during the week and also our weekend lunches. Breakfast is not one of our strong points but a freshly made loaf of bread usually suffices for weekend toast and there are always eggs on the shopping list so we make do.
Most of my menus are made up entirely of existing recipes, we’re not reinventing the wheel just putting them together in a weekly order which is balanced and healthy and hopefully comes in quite cheaply. We try to buy British wherever possible and happy meat and sustainable fish are a must for me. Also if you can’t cook small amounts (like me) then you can freeze it in portions to have ready to go lunches or dinners to save cooking when you can’t be bothered!
When I was telling my colleague about this one day she said “Juliana I think you should write a blog with your menus because I would love to have something like that to refer to when I need inspiration”. So you can blame her if this blog bores you senseless and you don’t see the point in it, just drop me a line and I will send you her email address!