Daughter starts secondary school in September and there is a looooong list of required uniform and PE kit. Even for the most frugal, when the school insists on polo shirts embroidered with the school logo, sweat shirts with the school logo and PE kit with the school logo, you have little choice but to go to the school uniform shop and let them name their price.
When we went to buy the school shoes, the kids wouldn't even let me treat myself to Delia Smith's Frugal Food going cheap in a remaindered bookshop, as my reward for all that trundling around the shops. They're only too glad for an opportunity to give me a taste of my own medicine: "We've spent too much money already and that's just NOT frugal, Mum!"
Fortunately we're good at frugal food, with or without Delia.
Especially the week before payday. We've been eating Homity Pie regularly for years, and with its simple ingredients I'd always assumed that the word 'homity' meant something like 'with humility'. It doesn't. Although the pie dates from Second World War austerity, 'homity' is a made-up word, possibly with local meaning somewhere in England.
This won't be the first blog to reference Homity Pie, and it probably won't be the last, but maybe this will serve as a reminder of how delicious it is!
We made mini pies this week, using half-wholemeal shortcrust pastry.
I don't use a recipe, but my pies are loosely based on the Cranks version (recipe below), with a filling of potato, cheese, and onion. This time I added spinach, and sometimes I add peas or tomatoes for variety.
Put a bit of grated cheese on the top, and once they're baked, that's that.
If the oven's on, then it's always economical to stick a batch of something else in while you're at it. I tend to think that soft fruit were designed to be eaten as nature made them, raw and healthy, but as we had a couple of punnets of blueberries sitting in the fridge, and I keep salivating at the sight of Simply Being Mum's naked muffins, I made some little fairy cakes with blueberries in.
And then I defied the kids, and bought Delia's Frugal Food on Ebay for half the price of the already-very-cheap remaindered bookshop price! This blog deserves it!
Homity Pie Recipe
300g shortcrust pastry (200g plain flour, 100g butter or margarine, approx 3 tbsp water)
100g grated cheese
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp milk
salt and pepper to taste
Boil the potatoes. Chop and saute the onions. Combine with the potatoes and the other ingredients, saving half the cheese to put on top of the pies. Bake at 220 degrees C (400 degrees F, Gas Mark 6) for about half an hour.
Blueberry Fairy Cakes
100g butter or margarine
100g self raising flour (or plain flour plus 1 tsp baking powder)
A couple of generous handfuls of blueberries
Beat the margarine and sugar together. Add the eggs and fold in the flour. Put a couple of teaspoons of the mixture into the cake cases and bake for 10 - 15 minutes.