Update for Hubby – includes top tip on preserving chillies for future use, as requested.


As the weekly shop cripples more families and fuel bills continue to rise, where possible housewives are having to look for new areas to save a few pennies. Funnily enough, it’s reverting back to grandma’s cook book.

This is how to be leftover savvy (and I’ll keep updating this as I discover more tips . . . so check back when you have a moment)

Leftover: Roast Chicken

The options for this are endless. Firstly. Straight after your roast dinner, don’t be throwing away that carcass. Instead turn it into stock or a filling, wholesome Chicken Broth.

The leftover meat can be a wonderful addition to weekday lunchboxes in sandwiches or salads. Knock up the perfect 10 minute monday night tea: Thai green stir fry with noodles – our favourite is Sainsbury’s stir fry sauce, meaning you can feed 2 for £2.50. Or how about a classic chicken risotto

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This year is our first wedding anniversary.  So much so, it needs to be a good one.  Luckily it also coincides with May Bank Holiday so we will probably do something nice, plus our wedding venue was also an English Heritage site so we’ll be calling in there on the Sunday before for afternoon tea, a stroll in the grounds and a reminice with the wedding organiser Carol.  But when it comes to gifts.  What is suitable?  In the same month I also have Andy’s birthday so I have double bubble in a period of a couple of weeks . . . I need some ideas.

Being a traditionalist, I’m thinking it will be nice to keep to the “list.”  Year after year, I will therefore try to think of an item which relates to the following. . . first year being – Paper!  Oh dear. 

  British American Modern Gemstones
1st Paper Paper Clocks Gold
2nd Cotton Cotton China Garnet
3rd Leather Leather Crystal, Glass Pearl
4th Jewellery Fruit Appliances Blue Topaz
5th Wood Wood Silverware Sapphire
6th Plate Iron Wood Amethyst
7th Wool Wool Desk sets Onyx
8th Bronze Bronze Linens, Lace Tourmaline  
9th Watch Pottery Leather goods Lapis Lazuli
10th Tin Tin Diamond jewellery Diamond
11th Scent Steel Fashion jewellery Turquoise
12th Silk Silk Pearls Jade
13th Barometer Lace Textiles, Furs Citrine
14th Clock Ivory Gold jewellery Opal
15th Crystal Crystal Watches Ruby
16th Hollowware   Silver Hollowware  
17th Accessories   Furniture  
18th Coloured Gems   Porcelain  
19th Furniture   Bronze  
20th China China Platinum Emerald
21st     Brass, Nickel  
22nd     Copper  
23rd     Silver plate  
24th     Musical instruments  
25th Silver Silver Silver Silver Jubilee
26th     Original pictures  
27th     Sculpture  
28th     Orchids  
29th     Furniture  
30th Pearl Pearl Diamond Pearl Jubilee
31st     Timepieces  
33rd     Amethyst  
34th     Opal  
35th Jade Coral Emerald  
36th     Bone china  
37th     Alabaster  
38th     Beryl, Tourmaline  
39th     Lace  
40th Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby
41st     Land  
43rd     Travel  
44th     Groceries  
45th Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire Sapphire
46th     poetry  
47th     Books  
48th     Optical  
49th     Luxuries  
50th Gold Gold Gold Gold
55th Emerald Emerald Emerald  
60th Diamond   Diamond Diamond
65th Star Sapphire       
70th Platinum Diamond   Diamonds
75th Gold or Diamond Diamonds    
80th     Diamond, Pearl  
85th     Diamond, Sapphire  
90th     Diamond, Emerald  
95th     Diamond, Ruby  
100th     10-carat Diamond  

My Bouquet (Photo by Simon Carr Photography)

And, just in case there are any fellas reading, here’s a list of the flowers you should consider buying, although I personally think it would be nice to buy your wife flowers that were featured in her bouquet – just a little hint there for you Andy (Avalanche Roses, Daisies and Lily of the Valley if you’re wondering by Lily and May!)

Year Flower
1st Carnation
2nd Lily of the valley
3rd Sunflower
4th Hydrangea
5th Daisy
6th Calla
7th Freesia
8th Lilac
9th Bird of paradise
10th Daffodil
11th Tulip
12th Peony
13th Chrysanthemum
14th Dahlia
15th Rose
20th Aster
25th Iris
28th Orchid
30th Lily
40th Gladiolus
50th Yellow rose, violet

The Dairy Book of British Food

Just a quick dedication to a recipe book that is like an institution in the UK. I adore it’s retro photos, it’s warmth, it’s old fashioned charm.  Apparently housewives used to collect vouchers from the milkmen to buy this book.  Old School!

I wouldn’t dream of making some of the dishes in here as they are so old fashioned and we just don’t eat like that anymore – some I’ve never even heard of before – Tea Cream, Damask Cream, Boodles Orange Fool, Teviotdale Pie, Cullen Skink . . . . But some others are simply classic and should be part of every British family’s staple diet.

Quick book description
Introducing cooking from all over the British Isles, this book contains over 400 recipes and concentrates on recipes that make the best use of British produce. The book explains local ingredients and lists annual food fairs and festivals, as well as listing the recipes.


Available second hand from Amazon

ahumblehousewife’s favourite recipes:recipe image

  • Dorset Jugged Steak
  • Beef in stout
  • Pan Haggerty
  • Glazed Shallots (side dish)
  • Norfolk turkey breast with asparagus (a hubby fave)

“Sweet April showers, do spring May flowers.”

This is the month I have been looking forward to since the clock struck 12 on December 31st.

We have our first wedding anniversary, hubby’s birthday, hopefully some sunshine in between to do some gardening and then off on holiday which we have waited all year for – we really do need a break!


Wedding Photography – Simon Carr

I’m really looking forward to our first anniversary.  As our anniversary falls on the bank holiday, we have booked a small French restaurant in Leigh-on-Sea. We have often walked past and thought we must give it a try but it’s always closed so wrote it off. Alas, as I searched the internet high and low looking for that special place to spend our first anniversary, I found “La Belle Epoque” had a healthy selection of really positive reviews on Trip Advisor. Which answered my question as to why they don’t have a menu displayed in their window – typically french and hinting they must use seasonal fresh produce, they change it every week. So, immediately got on the blower and booked a table for two.

Now, in my old age I don’t get that excited about much anymore, but the thought that we are about to discover a culinary delight on our doorstep makes me tingle. Some people search for that pub they can call their local. I, on the other hand, have searched for that perfect restaurant where I have a “normal table” and the owner/come chef says as I walk in “oh Claire we have a new bottle of … you must try which goes beautifully with such and such dish or cheese”. Oh please let this be the one! It could make my year!  (Oh my god I’m pathetic)

Apart from that I’m going to be cooking lots, practicing my cake decorating skills, going to write an inventory for all our boxes of bits so we can actually find stuff, actually do the garden (which the rain in april seemed intent on stopping) and try to get organised. Yes, still trying!

May . . . Busy, busy, but great.


Dates to note in May:

May 7-14 – National Dougnut Week

Technically this is a charity event, however, in memory of the fatty within, I partake in a few – KrispyKreme anyone?


May 15-22 – British Sandwich Week

Any excuse to make a club sandwich and I’m there!  I’ll research some immense ones and post a few favourites, plus some photos of my own which I intend to constitute a tower of meat and cheese! 

May 29 – Oak Apple Day

Umm . . . looked it up on Wikipedia.  Not much to say about it, just thought is sounded more intriguing than it actually is!

“Sweet April showers, do spring May flowers.” –   Thomas Tusser, A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry, 1557