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.

Fat Bugger Part 5

Oops--- it’s been a while. So, how have I gone? I have had lots of good walks. We had ‘sports day’ at the school where I work and my job was ‘wandering security’ on the tennis courts. None of the students are anywhere near there, as they should all be on the large fields and I very much doubt that anyone would be able to climb the high fences. ‘Course they can,’ you say. ‘After all they are teenagers; no fence could keep them out.’ You’re wrong. These fences are something else. Now you’re saying, ‘But why would you want to keep students out?’
Fair question, however it’s more about keeping students safe and that my friends is the reality in many schools now.
OK, back to the ‘news.’ I am getting fitter and not fatter. I don’t know what the scales will say, but when I weigh in next time (in about two months, hopefully the figures will be more favourable. I know that I felt good when I walked around my patch and I regularly left my lonely ‘post’ and trooped off to see the kids in all of their crazy ‘house colours.’ Like most NZ secondary school, we have a system of House Colours and in this case they are named after five NZ native trees. I have to say that I enjoyed walking around for four hours, catching up with the students and teachers.
After school, which finished early, I was able to take Perdy down to the lagoon. (Watch out for my upcoming blog, where I am going to release my latest book, chapter by chapter---TALK TO ME---Perdy features under a pseudonym and I star as a ‘talk back radio host). I managed two rounds of the lagoon--- no it’s not a fancy name for a golf course--- and only then did I feel tired.
What about my ‘fuel intake’? Well my kilometres per litre have definitely improved. I can walk further without making an excuse like:  ‘I’ve got a sore leg so I will have to stop now,’ or ‘I have to get home because my Aunty is coming for dinner.’
‘Cut to the chase,’ you say and, ‘stop dicking around.’ Well, I don’t know. I refuse to use my lying bathroom scales. I only weigh myself at the doctor, after he has chased me around his office and I have prevaricated for several minutes.
I have really tried to watch what I eat. I don’t need any advice, because I have heard it all before. (Like Madonna says---‘I don’t wanna hear, I don’t wanna know; please don’t say you’re sorry!’) I do fine for breakfast and lunch. It is AFTER DINNER that causes me trouble or to be more honest; that is when trouble finds me. I get ‘pleas for help from the cookie canister, imploring me to ‘liberate’ them. They hate been shut away in the confines of that narrow tin. Sometimes the bread demands that I spread it with peanut butter and chuck on a slab of cheese. OMG, it makes me salivate to think about it. Herein lays my demise and I fight it like its WW3.
I seek out allies in my battle and that’s where you all come in. COME ON, MAKE SOME COMMENTS. Like I said before---‘I don’t care if you’re rude, or bring out all the old clichés’--- just do it! You may inspire others--- there are so many of us out there, fighting to get control.
OK—that’s enough for today. Remember to look out for my blog about a café in Te Atatu tomorrow.