Sunday, 13 June 2010

Not just knickers...

We're running a bit of a tight ship here at the moment. In the last few years we've changed the upstairs windows, the kitchen and the bathroom, we've bought vital and large pieces of furniture, a fancy pants new telly, fixed the roof and the chimney and now we're refitting the utility room and having new downstairs windows. After that there's the small matter of painting the outside and the inside.

That doesn't leave a whole lot spare for treats like going out or other such frivolities, which is where M&S steps in. I'm a cook it from scratch kind of gal, so it's a bit of a treat when someone else does the cooking, or at least some of the preparation.

M&S dine-ins for two feed the four of us for a tenner, with a bottle of wine thrown in. Usually we get one of the big chickens, which gives us left-overs for a noodle dish the following day and a carcase to make into stock for soup. I love to stretch a good chicken. My record is six meals from one (very large) free range chicken which cost £7.

So tonight's dinner was a bit of a treat and a very easy Sunday roast. We had a rotisserie style chuck and all that needed was to be popped into the oven in its tray. The juices made a nice bit of gravy too. With that we had some new potatoes with herbs and butter. Not quite enough for four, so I added a few extra local new potatoes from the crock. Then some green beans from Tesco as the garden ones haven't got going yet. Dessert was a strawberry and rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream. All washed down with a Californian rose.

Simple, easy and (a sort of) a night off from cooking - or a least the thinking about cooking - for me. There's a portion left for Brian's lunch too. So that's four people fed and wined, plus one lunch and a pan of stock all for £10.

I love M&S - and not just for knickers - do you?


  1. M&S a bit too far away for us to try this - but love the idea... Then again, I'm spoiled as I don't cook (apart from the odd rhubarb crumble - with emphasis on the odd!) jxx

  2. Now that is pretty good. I love cooking but do know what you mean about a night off, not really the doing of it but the thinking about it.

  3. Just had very similar supper here except we had some local chicken pieces as no M&S anywhere near here. We had our own French dwarf beans as they were ready (cheated and grew some in our front porch and they did really well) used our own rhubarb for the crumble along with pears, never thought of using strawberries, sounds good. Our booze was Kopperberg (sp?) pear cider which I didn't fancy but loved and it was all cooked by daughter home from uni, with help from brothers, so night off for me too, yippeee!

  4. I am another cook from scratch type ...even with the minute size of my kitchen.

    This means that I pretend I live in Europe and do market shopping every other day ... make use of leftovers, and refresh them either with pasta, or in salads ... or in cold weather ... soup.

    I so agree with you that it truly simplifies this process if you let some other establishment do the long-time cooking bit ... usually involves the protein.

    Your menu sounded pretty delicious to me! xo

  5. Paris being our closest Marks and Sparks its a bit far to go for knickers or a take out but my sister who is a keen non cook and revels in ready meals swears by them.

  6. I don't think we have any M&S in this colony. But the idea of "creative cooking" caught the Bear's attention. I should follow this blog more closely!

  7. Nothing wrong with taking the easy route sometimes. My mother always used to say that a meal tasted better when someone else had cooked it - and in those days when cooking was something of a novelty I didn't believe her.

    Now, some 35 years later, I know exactly what she meant. I agree with Elizabeth about the 'thinking about it' too. Sometimes it seems that we've hardly put the pots away before we are thinking abut what to eat tomorrow. Oh to be one of those organised people who plans menus weeks in advance.

    ...And if anyone has any ideas bout what to do with a glut of spinach - please shout out.

  8. I'd love NOT to think about what we are eating tonight or in fact any night, or day. If I was just told what to do I think I'd find it a whole lot easier...M&S would be SUCH a treat!!!!

  9. YES! When is ours opening? Can't be a minute too soon!

  10. what a good idea will definatly pop into marks the next time i'm in town xx


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