Friday, March 2, 2012

DIJATC part 4

You may have been wondering when the next DIJATC episode was going to appear. Well--- here goes.
It’s time to consider some budgeting matters.  Yes, I have a good job, and I have been used to going off to the supermarket and just wandering down the rows of tempting offerings and just sticking anything that takes my fancy in the trolley. Lately, I have made a conscious effort to check the prices and have some sort of idea what is on the menu for the coming week. Not only that, I am tending to split my shopping between the large supermarkets and the specialist butchers and green grocers.
If I buy at the Aussie Butcher, there is an added advantage of having a large fruit and veggie shop next door. If I spend more than $50 I get a great discount on my fuel bill--- Last time I filled up at the garage, I was surprised to see a $10 discount.
We have also started cook on what I call the (sorry—I know that sounds like Miranda’s Mum speaking) 1-3, 2-4 plan. We cook larger meals on Mondays and Tuesdays. We eat Monday’s planned leftovers on Wednesday and Tuesday’s on Thursday. All we have to cook on the alternate nights is fresh (or frozen) greens and rice (or potatoes when I get sick of rice). It definitely saves money and has another advantage of keeping ‘intake’ in check (see me ‘Fat Buggers’ blog).
OK, now for a little bonus. Next time you see ribs (it can be any—lamb, pork or beef) on special, grab them and stick them in the freezer. The night before you want to cook them, put them in the fridge to partially thaw. Make up a marinade, using your imagination. You could follow the ‘something ‘salty, sweet, sour and hot’ theme. With that in mind make up a combination of left over red wine (is that really possible?) any sort of vinegar, some chilli, honey or brown sugar and soy sauce. There are endless possibilities. Just get to know what comes under the four categories. It does not have to be expensive. Each time you go shopping, try to purchase something for you wonderful marinades and spice cupboard.
OK, you have your marinade. You could of course take the frozen ribs and stick them in a plastic bag along with a generous portion of the marinade and leave them in the fried. Alternatively, next morning place the whole mixture into your ‘crockpot’ or ‘slow cooker’ and turn it onto low. It can cook all day and won’t come to any harm. I  find the old fashioned crock pot set on low gives a better ‘cook’--- I find the modern slow cooker a little too ‘FAST.’
When you come home, the house is filled with a mouth-watering aroma. All you have to do is steam some greens and cook rice or potatoes. That little bit of organization saves you time and your long-suffering wallet. If you want crunchy/crispy ribs, drain off the fluid into one of those plastic jugs with the pourer coming from the bottom. The idea is to let the fat rise to the top and then you can thicken the tasty gravy and not feel too guilty. Turn up the fan grill and zap the ribs for a wonderful treat.

Enjoy and let me know how it goes.