23 December 2011

Salmon as is the fish....

I have a friend and one day we were talking of the bargains we get at the grocery store. Money is tight for everyone and I’ve never hidden the fact that I buy things all the time reduced. Its how I’ve learned to have a varied diet but also to try things I could never afford full price. So we were talking and he was hoping to find some whole salmon at one of the famous stores here in the UK. So being the ‘use everything type of person’ I asked ‘What do you do with the bones?’ To which I got this very weird look like I just spoke in a foreign tongue – ‘What do you mean? I don’t want the bones I just want the salmon fillets.’

OK, now I know I am weird but I try to use everything – I too have gotten this whole salmon and I must admit the fish monger gave me quite a stare when I said ‘Please wrap up those bones for me too.’ Hey – you paid for them why not use them?! So when I heard he didn’t ask for them much less used them I said ‘Next time you do that bring me the bones – I make a soup with it.’

Mind you we had this particular conversation ages ago but this past week my friend said ‘I’ve got something for you in the fridge – come collect it.’ Not having a clue what this could be I went and lo and behold there were the fish bones! Awwwww...so sweet!

So today I made the stock and took what fish was still clinging to the bones and added this to the stock. Now for those of you who think – you don’t get much from bones – check out this plate of salmon I got from the carcass! Yes, I will admit it took me about 20 minutes of picking through the bones to get at the meat but that was really about the most tedious thing I had to do.I then added one onion, some crushed garlic, celery and two carrots that needed using from the larder. I can quickly peel and chop the veggies and pop those into the stock – I let that simmer about 10 minutes – they aren’t done but since I’ll re-heat the stock to cook my homemade pasta noodles it will cook further.

I made some pasta noodles for it as well so now it’s really quite a substantial evening meal. I must admit I don’t like canned soup. Over here everything is puréed so that it’s nearly baby food. To me soup has have some substance to it – you actually have to chew! So all in all I spent probably an hour getting the stock ready, picking the bones out for the meat, peeling the veggies and chopping them, preparing the pasta dough and then rolling it on the pasta machine plus doing the dishes in that time. If you add the time it took to cook the pasta in the stock – you’d have to add another 5 minutes but I don’t count that as I made the pasta ahead of time and left it on the counter until dinner time (covered with some cling film and a tea towel) so that when I got home from shopping I just had to add when it was boiling.

The pasta thickens up the stock and I have never been one for a clear soup – to me that is BoRiNg! I have also used this stock to make the Greek Egg/Lemon soup as well and while not authentic to the recipe it certainly was delicious. As usual no complaints in this house!So go off and find your bones and make soup! It's about the best winter dish I can think of and warms your body as well as your soul. Enjoy!

17 December 2011

American as Apple Pie!

I understand after years of living in England where Americans get their love of apple pie from but I have to say we improved it immensely. I was quite disappointed when I first moved here to and found out that the English variety of apple pie was very tart and absolutely no spices. Imagine – the spice trade made England yet it uses so little in their foods. Most strange......

So imagine how popular my apple pies were when I made them for a friend who ran a cafe. They always sold out and what is even more amazing...I hate pie crust or did, I should say. I never was a pie person – each year I’d eat the filling but leave the crust as most I found to be horrid and bland tasting. It wasn’t until I’d been asked to make them that I said ‘I don’t make pie crust often but I’ll give it a go.’

So with that I soon learned how to make a successful and even tasty crust. But it ultimately was the filling that won people over – it seems that American Apple Pie is a big hit in England. Fancy that!

So for Thanksgiving this year since I didn’t obtain my usual pumpkin reduced (usually I get one the day after Halloween but this year wasn’t able to do that) and I thought time for a change. Usually it’s always the traditional – pumpkin or sweet potato and while those are nice – sometimes you have to shake it up. So in came the apple and of course it ran into a lemon, some zest, a bit of sugar along with some wonderful spices cinnamon, nutmeg and a bit of clove; add an all-butter crust and well you have a wonderful dessert!
This is a picture of the filling and the crust that I rolled out – ready to top the lovely filling. I then brushed it with some water and sprinkled some sugar on top along with some nutmeg which I had grated for the pie but ended up having too much for the filling thought it would flavour the crust. Also I must admit when I make crust – depending on it being savoury or sweet I added a bit of vanilla sugar to the mixture – wonderful! This is the final product both before oven and after. It certainly was lovely and I made a nice custard sauce to go over it as well – something that as Americans we should have kept from the English. They certainly do know how to top their puddings! Enjoy!

11 December 2011

Fall and those lovely apples....

Every year since I’ve moved here and found this lovely orchard out in the wilds of Essex I’ve made my own apple sauce. I think the English gave us Americans our love of apples but we made it better! By this I mean if you buy an apple pie here in here in the stores you’ll find it quite bland and absolutely NO spices in it of any kind. It is simply apples – tart in taste – and little in the way of sugar. Their apple sauce is similar except no crust.

So now you can see why I love to make my own as it is so much better than just plain apple. I love to add cinnamon with some nutmeg and depending on my mood some cloves as well. Each year I end up with something different – one year less sugar due to the sugar in the apples used – as I mix it up and use whatever the orchard is selling that year.

Unfortunately, this year our car died and that means no trek out to the wilds of Essex to our apple lady (as I call her!) to fetch our tree falls (this is what naturally falls to the ground and they sell them cheaper!). Oh dear...I’m missing it more now that I type that.

Well anyway, that cannot happen this year so I’ve had to depend on what can be found cheaply in the store. Thankfully, I brought my nanny cart (this is a term from my friend Vicki – when we went out on our treks we used Nanny’s old cart to carry around our finds – hence the name nanny cart!) on this particular day in October which I found big bags of Kent apples for one pound!So ever the glutton (I have to make this last all year you know!) for punishment I got five bags – so yes, 25 huge bramley apples! I had to make two batches of said apple sauce but it was worth it and really will last me throughout the year. So in the mists of spring I’ll be enjoying a free-range pork roast with my lovely apple sauce.I usually share a jar or two with friends and I still years now after my friend who ran a cafe and sold my apple pies get asked if I’d bake them a special one. So it must be true that while the British gave us our love for apples Americans took it to new heights! Enjoy the spice of apple today!

27 October 2011

That darn Birthday Fairy!

Well yet another year for the bunny! My friend Vicki sent me a card that called the birthday fairy a b!&*h and well she really is at times! I sometimes wonder where has all the time gone...?

In any event, this year’s cake was different and a bit disappointing in the size department (more for my friends who didn’t get any!). I made from Rose’s Heavenly Cakes a red velvet cake. J had never had one before and it usually has been a favourite of mine. So I thought why not make something different this year than my usual pistachio cake?!?

I trust Rose and her cakes and recipes always come out as expected for me. I think my only criticism of the recipe is that it is not a normal two-layer cake – it was meant for a heart-shaped pan but I just used a round one. But it was a pitiful size and the frosting amount which I doubled to cover this one was really just enough – I could have used more. So I am uncertain how much a single batch would have covered. In any event, it came out OK and really was good – especially the frosting. It is a combination of cream cheese and white chocolate without any extra sugar. It gest enough from the white chocolate and really it was just right!I’ve just left a note in the book that you need to double the cake batter and at least double the double-batch recipe (found later on in the book) to get enough frosting to cover the cake and perhaps even six-times the recipe amount to have a thicker frosting as I like enough in-between the layers. But that’s my preference. Darn fairy....

15 October 2011

Gifts from the garden!

I am very lucky to know someone who has a garden. I’m even luckier that a few times a year I get some of her produce to sample. This day she gave me a living lettuce, some parsley and some lovely potatoes with their dirt still on them! What a feast!

I used the parsley in my hamburgers as you can see – they came out so great with the parsley – it was so unlike the kind I get in the store and even the kind I’ve grown myself in a pot on the sill. I don’t know why but it was extraordinary.

I used the lettuce on my burger along with some cucumber and tomato – I’m rather traditional that way.We then used the potatoes to make some homemade chips – lovely! Sorry I was too busy to get a snap of the end product but as you can see from the before pictures they were lovely specimens – and even lovelier to eat!Thanks to her we had an extra special dinner that shows you being able to grow your own food is indeed a great thing! Enjoy!

6 October 2011

Life's interesting roads...

Yesterday Steve Jobs lost his life to pancreatic cancer. Something that is near to my heart as my mother and uncle both died from this disease. I suppose he had a lesser virulent type but still in the end it got him. I thought this quote by him was really a good one. Read it all and truly let it sink in....

Commencement speech at Stanford University, 2005

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle. ~Steve Jobs

4 September 2011

Busy as always...

Difficulties come when you don't pay attention to life's whisper. Life always whispers to you first, but if you ignore the whisper, sooner or later you'll get a scream.
~Oprah Winfrey (1954 - ), Stanford Commencement Address, 2008

I thought this was an interesting quote. Right now I'm very busy with a big project at work so there'll be little on here until I'm done. But don't fret, I'm never far away and always looking out for the reduced items wherever I am! Enjoy!

27 August 2011

Birthday dinner and cake....

Every year I always make J something special. He chooses his dinner and cake he’d like and of course I make it for him. I’m sure he tries to pick things that I’ve got on hand or things that I don’t make often enough. This year he wanted sushi and a chocolate cashew brownie cake (recipe by the usual death by chocolate author). I know...he’s a bit strange but gotta love him!

So about two weeks before his big day (which wasn’t on this posting date I should add!) he says his preferences. I was a bit dubious of the sushi as we normally only make that when we have a really hot period as that’s the best for those days. We’ve not had a really ‘hot’ summer here unlike other parts of Europe or America.

But rather our usual English weather of mid-60s and the odd few days of something a bit higher. So it was a *big* surprise to both of us that on his birthday the Gods smiled on us with yes, HOT weather! It was pure luck I am sure but it was good to have those few days of heat and have sushi to enjoy. Here are a few pictures of the meal from the roll to the cut version. I make smoked salmon for him – shrimp or veggie for me.I had all the fixings for the cake bar the cashews which as luck would have I got on offer at the store. I also happened to get the chocolate reduced (OK only I could find this chocolate reduced but that’s the great thing about me – the reduced aisle!) that I used – which was the first time I actually used this chocolate. Since it was unsweetened I had to add a bit of extra sugar to the cake which wasn’t a problem and really it was delicious. J thinks it’s the chocolate that really made the cake and I sort of have to agree.

13 August 2011

The BakerLady is baking bread....

I know my love of bread hasn’t gone unnoticed around here but I really do love making my own bread. My sister came to have a holiday here in the UK as you know and before she left I ordered a few items that I thought would hold me in good stead over here. I know there are just some things you cannot get in this country (well you can but obviously at a ridiculous price!).

She got a small carry-on piece of luggage at one of the charity shops there and I quite happily filled it with goodies that I ordered on-line and had sent to her. It was far cheaper than her re-sending it to me via the post and well so much more to pack into the luggage!

So I found this Pain de Mie Pan (Pullman Loaf Pan) over at King Arthur, which had a good many qualities to its name – namely that King Arthur is selling it means quality, it has 65% recycled steel in it (all those cans you put in the recycle bin are coming back without having to damage the Earth harvesting them!), an eco-friendly replacement to non-stick which I’m trying to avoid and more attributes.

So this past weekend I made a loaf of bread with this new pan – it’s a mixture of white flour and brown malted which I like making. It’s not 100% brown loaf since I cannot have that often but enough to give it some good taste along with as usual my starter in there. I made a bit more than I’d use for my traditional loaf pan since this one is quite long (thankfully it fit into my oven as it should – I was a bit worried!).

This is the pan with my bread just going into it for its second rise. I let it get to nearly the top (about ½ inch from the top) when I clamped on the lid and put it in the oven. I read a few reviews that the lid popped off but mine did not and the loaf came out like a breeze. I must admit it didn’t fill out the pan as much as I had imagined but then again I didn’t do a measured batch – I just eye-balled it (scales are on the fritz!) and guess at how much I’d needed for the pan.And this is the loaf as it came out of the oven and then out of the pan completely cooling. I really got the pan to have more even slices of toast that fit into the toaster but also to have some that I could slice and put into the freeze for those times when you want toast but as usual is the case no bread! I don’t keep too much bread in the freeze as its valuable space in our household but a few slices won’t take much room and serves a purpose when you are trying to quickly gather a lunch at 7am!So go on try your hand at something new. Baking bread seems so mysterious when you combine only four ingredients and out comes something unbelievably lovely. You’ll be hooked I guarantee it!

6 August 2011

Those holiday snaps...

Well here are some long awaited holiday snaps from July when I went to Teignmouth with my sister and niece. We did have some lovely weather and really did quite a bit – relaxing was the order of the day since we travelled on three trains to get there to begin with!
This is a picture of the church just down from the cottage – they were having a flower fair. I looked in on the last day by myself – it was really just a local showing of flowers from the gardens, very homey.

The next three pictures are of the beach in both directions and the third is my niece playing in the sand – this was our first day there – she just had to go into the water. I swear she is a water baby!

We then went by bus to Brixham which had a replica of the ship Francis Drake used called the Golden Hind. It was moored on the Quay and the background to the ship as you can see from the next few pictures was amazing!Get a load of this sea gull that really wanted to be noticed. Then of course my culinary dreams began when I saw all these lobster pots and such. I wonder how much they have brought ashore for us to enjoy?

Then of course I was put off immediately by this restaurant’s name. I know silly of me but honestly – it’s funny but it’s not!

These two pictures are one of Torquay which we didn’t get to but I can see why it is called the English Riviera. The next one is of the St. Leonards Tower in Newton Abbot it certainly was imposing and impressive.I thought this offer at the local chippy (fish and chip shop) was impressive – I have yet to see this being offered here in Southend.And finally – what we all needed after this busy holiday – SLEEP! This is Olivia one morning – she began at the top of the bed but somehow made it down to the end. Don't even get me started on the night she fell out of the bed - yes and got back into bed all without waking up! I know - somehow just like her Aunt in many ways!A glorious ending to the trip! Hope you enjoyed that quick tour!

30 July 2011

Chicken A La MysticBunny....

I know – a weird title. It was meant to be chicken a la king but all the recipes varied that I thought I’ll just use what I have in the fridge instead. After all who follows recipes around here? Not me!

So first I began with making my chicken stock. Big pan of cold water into which I dump the bones from the chicken carcass, I find using uncooked chicken bones to be OK but look at what a real kitchen uses – roasted bones! That is where the flavour comes from and since this was originally a whole chicken roasted that is what went into the pan.

I then just add a bit of salt, pepper, and some garlic and a few other herbs that I like – this is really all down to what you want. What I like you might not – so don’t put it in – put in what you like. I once saw Ina Garten put in a bouillon cube into her chicken pot pie recipe – I thought that was a good idea. So if I know I’m making a big pot of broth I’ll do the same to pump up the chicken flavour. I let this cook for about 45 minutes to an hour. I let the broth cool and then jar it up.I have already shredded the chicken meat and deglazed the pan so the juices are in the same bowl. I have also made some homemade pasta which I froze so that I can make this a quick weekday meal when I come home.All I have to do is make a roux (butter and flour mixture) and add some chicken broth. This batch made 2 quart jars – I’ll probably use the remaining jar for meals at work with any leftover pasta that I froze. I then sautéed some onion, celery, carrot in a pan and then added these to the sauce now. I also added a tin of mushrooms that I had in the larder as well.I boiled a pan of water for the pasta and once that comes to a boil I added my pasta and cook for 3-5 minutes – depending on taste since they were frozen when I put them in – no need to thaw.Serve the chicken and sauce over the pasta and voila a second meal from the initial roast chicken. But all of this meal leaves me with two meals. This one which I used pasta for and the next I’ll serve over rice. The other jar of broth will yield me two meals at work so very economical. So in all I had three main meals from one chicken (it was about 1.75 kilios) and three lunches for work. Not bad. Enjoy!

18 June 2011

Some time away...

Sorry for the lack in postings as of late - I've vastly improved I think! =)

However, work is gearing up for me with several projects that I have to implement and I'm also going away on holiday the first week of July. My sister is coming from North Carolina and her daughter (my niece!) and we're renting a cottage down in Dorset. This is a picture of the harbour that we'll be overlooking when there!
So I'm making many preparations and trying to keep the home fires burning. Why is it women juggle several things and seem to be the only ones who feel guilty when they don't get it all done? I am so sure men do not have this complex!

We've also had a run in with our sad Polish vehicle - the FSO Caro - in that the darn thing started a fire in one of the back wheels! I know - if you knew me you would know that my luck is like CRAP! Anyway, we have been looking for a new car. So the silence isn't to be mean but out of necessity. The last thing I want to do when staring at a computer all day is come home and do the same.

As for the reduces aisle lately this too has been sparse. I have found a few bits and pieces but nothing good as I have in past. But we've also been living off of the freezer to get it lower so I could defrost it (yes, oh joy!).

OK - I'm off to do a few things down the High Street. I'll be back in mid-July with more adventures and pictures. I wish there was more time in the day but alas we all only have 24 hours - such a little amount of time! Make it worth it and try to do something different! Enjoy!

5 June 2011

A Chocolate Cupcake Craving....

Well I very rarely crave chocolate – most un-female like I will be the first to admit. I like chocolate and if I do have it a small piece of dark chocolate will usually satisfy me. I’m not a milk chocolate eater in the slightest. I’ll have a bit of white chocolate but again sparingly (unless it’s my white/dark chocolate cake – then it’s a different matte!).

But anyway, I’ve been fancying cupcakes all week. Each time I wanted something ‘yummy’ as I would call it – there was absolutely nothing in the house to eat that fit the bill. So I woke up this morning and thought ‘Right, I’ll fix that today and bake!’ I really enjoy baking and there is just something about it that makes you feel so good to know you creamed the butter, the sugar, and prepared it all yourself. I was watching a program earlier in the morning and they said something about their food had the ‘love’ in it. I really believe if you put your heart and soul into it there is nothing that is bad. It might not be the prettiest thing, or the most appetising but the care and devotion you put into making it will shine through to everyone who gets to partake of that item – be it a meal or a simply cupcake.

So I have a recipe I used that makes exactly 12 cupcakes. Most cake recipes I have found you can make into cupcakes but often they will vary widely in how many they make. For two people twelve cakes is a bit much so I do give some away but this also gives us about a week’s worth of desserts. We’re not big on dessert but every once in a while you just have to have them. So off I went to make my cakes. It is a good one that doesn’t call for a lot of ingredients – most I always have on hand and they are quite good even unfrosted if you so desire.

Chocolate Cupcakes – makes a dozen
3 ounces plain chocolate
7 ounces boiling water
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Chop chocolate and place in bowl. Add boiling water and stir until melted. Add cocoa powder and mix thoroughly. Cool to room temperature.

6 ounces butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg one at a time – beating well after each addition. Add in chocolate mixture and beat until well incorporated.

1 cup all-purpose flour (or cake flour if you have it - I don't so I use a low-protein flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix all together in a bowl and fold into chocolate mixture until well mixed and scoop into cupcake liners.

Bake in the over at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or around 180 Celsius) or about 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave to stand about 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
So now for the frosting of these lovely chocolate cupcakes – what’s a girl to do? I have two recipes that I’ve wanted to try. One is a marshmallow-type frosting, and the other is a ‘flour’ frosting. I opted for the marshmallow one because I’ve had that the longest and as yet haven’t tried it. I’ll do the ‘flour’ one I got from my friend TOV next time.

Marshmallow frosting
2 large egg whites
½ cup sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all of the ingredients and place on a double-boiler. Whip/stir for 6-7 minutes until it begins to thicken and has a fluffy top (the underneath bit will be syrup like – this is normal). Remove from the heat and continue to whip with a mixer on high speed until it is cool.
Frost your cupcakes just before you intend to eat them – this frosting isn’t for the kind you frost and leave. I altered the recipe to omit the water it asked for – it would have made it more watery I suspect. Also the frosting split the next day – I was able to re-whip it but I’ll have to frost the remainder with something else. Add sprinkles if you are feeling especially festive.
I must admit the frosting was OK but it is probably better as a filling inside a cake than a frosting for on top. It reminded me a lot of marshmallow fluff or the stuff inside a Twinkie. In either case it is sweet enough for the cupcake which isn’t too sweet. I rather like it that way. Enjoy!

29 May 2011

I feel like chicken tonight....

OK – that’s a bit of a play on a commercial but I must admit probably my favourite for meat – the first being lamb – something I never tried until I moved to England – how sad is that?! I found out at the store that whole free-range chicken was on offer. It is far cheaper per pound to buy a whole chicken and cut it up or roast it whole (and get a second/third) dinner from it than just buying already cut pieces. Don’t believe me? Compare the price per kilo. It does work out to be far cheaper and more economical. What is really the hard part is insisting that you use everything you have to make it go further.

So this posting will be about my initial dinner – roast chicken. I’ll chronicle only roasting the chicken and then I’ll chronicle the second and if I’m lucky third meal about it. With a whole chicken it depends on the time and my mood as to what I’ll do with it. I make this spicy blend (I had bought something similar to it originally but it was too salty so I looked at what was in it and then made my own – of course!) that I often just rub on the whole chicken and roast it just like that. Or I’ll soften some butter and add a bunch of herbs and spices and place that under the skin and let it roast. Sometimes I will put lemons in the cavity or there is always the plain but simply delicious option of salt, pepper and that’s it! If I’m feeling really decadent I’ll brine the chicken but because I stick to free-range or organic chicken that’s really not necessary (turkey is another matter!).

Today’s chicken I’ve decided to roast with my special spice rub. I like how it crisps the skin and also adds flavour to the stock that I make afterwards. I did this previously and it came out so good. I always wash it inside and out before I prep it. I pat it dry so that the spice rub adheres to the skin. I will even rub a bit on the inside of the bird as well – it seasons the underside of the meat. This is what the chicken looked like before I roasted it. I put a bit of oil on the bottom of the pan to keep the chicken from sticking while cooking.

The recipe I use for the rub is as follows;

Spice Rub (can be used on chicken, turkey or pork)

Equal quantities of each;

Paprika (sweet –not the hot kind), coriander, chilli pepper (I usually cut this to half as I’m not too keen on it being HOT), onion, garlic, nutmeg (again about the same as chilli pepper), salt and finally black pepper.

All spices are ground to begin with but lately I've been roasting them whole and then I put in a mortar and pestle to give them a extra grind but then add the other ingredients to combine and thoroughly mix. I then add some parsley flakes to the mixture and a bit of mixed Italian herbs once I’ve decanted it to a jar. I then have it ready for whatever meal I wish to use it for.

I roast the chicken at a higher temperature – about 220 degrees Celsius for about an hour or so until I know it’s done (and depending on the weight of the chicken). This is the chicken after I roasted it. Yummy!

I once saw a program about cheap chicken and how Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was trying to get everyone to switch from the cheap chickens to at least free-range or organic ones. To me he was preaching to the converted – I already do that. What I found shocking was those people who simply bought a cheap chicken – ate what they wanted and tossed the rest. This is why people and this planet are in trouble! We have to use everything that we have. Some of those old war mottos are right!
So come back next week to see what my meal number two is out of this fantastic roast chicken feast. I hope you’ll find something that appeals to you and that you try – that’s what this is all about – trying. Enjoy!

23 May 2011

Toaster Delight!

Well I’ve finally gone and done it. I have gotten the toaster of my dreams. Long before I moved to England I knew of Dualit toasters – they are famous! I have wanted one for absolutely ages and have fondled them more than I care to mention in the stores. I just could never justify the outlay. Recently though our toaster has been making protests and doing very odd things so again we’ve been eyeing the Dualit’s.

I have been seriously thinking we just need to ‘Nike’ it (means – just do it!). But then while at work I was posting some items to our notice board (electronic version) of events at the library and saw a notice about a Dualit toaster. Not one to let this slide I had to investigate.

Peeking inside the advert was a For Sale advert of now one disused Dualit toaster that was a three-slot toaster. What luck! All for the incredible price of under £50! I couldn’t believe it. But alas the advert was now about 3-4 days old and I was sure it was gone. I mean they are expensive and any other time I’ve replied to one of these adverts the item is gone. So I e-mailed the person and got a reply back that it was still available!

I swear I didn’t even think of J and what he would say but just said ‘I’ll take it!’ I know brave or what? Usually we always talk about our purchases to death to make sure it’s what we want; will we be happy, etc. But I knew I wanted it – just like a purse and I was going to have it regardless!

I looked at it and was happy it was an original and everything I wanted. It came home last week and it really is lovely. It took some figuring out with all the buttons and dials but really it keeps the toast warm and allows you to go at your pace rather than having to do things double-quick!

So now another want has been fulfilled and I’ve kept to a few principles;

  • I helped recycled an older appliance that still has loads of life left in it
  • I got an impressive bargain yet again!
  • It does double duty as a toaster but also the third slot does toasted sandwiches

So go out and find your bargain – you never know it could be something you’ve always dreamed of owning but never thought you’d get the chance to! Enjoy!

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