Monday, December 17, 2012

Storecupboard Christmas

On Friday, I did a very stupid thing. I needed to print off a cheque-paying-in form from my online bank and the only way you can do that is to log in to your account. For some reason, I stubbornly mis-typed my pass code three times… and locked myself out of my current account.

In my head, it is “just one week until Christmas” and I was thinking that meant the end of the month, payday.
Err…. No.
There is a big difference between the middle of the month and the end of the month, financially speaking, and I knew almost as soon as I had done it that I really really needed to shuffle some funds out of my savings into my current account if we were going to buy food this holiday season. And I can only do that online as my bank doesn’t have a local branch office. Oh. My.

Telephone banking? I never did register for that, so I don’t have a security number. Oh. My.

The bank takes 3 to 5 working days to issue new pass codes, and they will now be coming through the Christmas post. So they are pretty unlikely to arrive this week. Oh. My.

No, I don't have a credit card.

So this weekend I bought only essential unavoidable food, resigned myself to having shaggy hair until 2013 (I definitely can’t afford a haircut!) and tried to view this as an opportunity.

I checked the freezer. There is definitely the makings of several Christmas dinners in there! There are two huge lumps of venison that will take at least a week to defrost (better start soon), several stuck-together-in-one-bag ducks, a slab of salmon, a bag of frozen peas and a bag of frozen sprouts. We have a big bucket of home-grown potatoes in FL’s ice-box study. I have flour and dried yeast, so bread is possible. There is dried fruit, so some sort of Christmas cake can be knocked together.

What we lack are mostly things we can do without: fizzy drinks, for one. Chocolate is another.

Yes, I will have to buy fruit.. though saying that, there is a bag of frozen summer fruits in the freezer.

More veg would be nice, though there are some tins in the cupboard: tomatoes, sweetcorn, beans.

Eggs? Yes, you have me there – we need those. Damn, if only we had chickens!

Milk? Yes, OK a couple of pints would be good.

But the point is this – I was on the point of spending something in the region of £100 on a big holiday food shop. And it is not necessary.

I have enough cash in my purse to buy those last few fresh bits and pieces.  And FL can buy dog food with his pension. (I have already confessed.  He laughed.)

And without coming over all evangelical on you, some people have nothing. This is a temporary cash-flow glitch which will actually help me to start the New Year with my cupboards swept clean.  And no fear of temptation from online sales.



Sarahel said...

SO glad you're not going to starve (you sound to have the makings of some rather good meals) , but I could almost feel the heart stopping initial panic as I read.

Gail said...

A thoughtful and humbling post. Thank you.

Also, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who does that kind of thing :-)

Lizzi said...

So - you turned a potential disaster into a positive opportunity. Well done. It really is amazing what we have in our cupboards and freezers. And I am sure the meals you have will be a bit more interesting and tasty. My ma used to say necessity was the mother of invention and she was right. Good luck and a very Happy Christmas to you.

blue hands said...

Well done on your equanimity! So frustrating when those things happen, but you're right, mostly we can manage with what we've got in stock. Enjoy your Christmas one of those hunks of venison sounds just right. xx

Mary in TN said...

Roast venison or salmon for Christmas sounds yummy. And thankfully you've got the makings of the rest of the feast in the pantry. Computers can be so frustrating. I did this once too.

MrsAlex said...

Some of my favourite meals have come from those "what's to eat up in the fridge/freezer/cupboards" moments. Bon appetit!

Brenda said...

It sounds like you have the situation well in hand. If you want eggless cake recipes, look at war cakes, such as this one -

rosyragpatch said...

Sounds like you've got some pretty good meals hiding in your stores.
Not being tempted by on line sales is a definite positive.

indigorchid said...

I didn't even finish reading, when I decided to read this all aloud to my man - he laughed with me, and then when I was done he was impressed with your turning of the event into something positive. As was I. I hope for a good holiday for you, with venison and summer fruits and good cheer! And - thank you as always for sharing your entertaining (and thoughtful) stories with us!

acharmofmagpies said...

What a wonderful approach to an unpleasant situation. I'm sure you'll create an amazing meal and the best part of the day is with your family as they ooh over your amazing handmade gifts!

sulkycat said...

Even if it ended up being a chip butty for Christmas dinner it would be fine, stoke the fire up and have a giggle about it. (am trying to think what I would have cooked as I have oven chips, gluten free bread and not much else in my freezer!)

The Foggy Knitter said...

I've been collecting up egg free baking recipes so I can let you have some if you need them (family mostly can't digest them). I've identified a likely looking one for fruit cake though not yet tried it.

jessica said...

Why do I have an odd sense of dejavu, reading this post??? Especially the part about freezer excavations, and also accidentally locking onself out of one's bank account at a critical juncture? ;-). Moments like these - a sense of humor, a little perspective, and a very sunny disposition are the ultimate saving graces. Good for you!

Colleen said...

Wow. My heart was pounding there for you and by the end of your post, I am remembering when we have been in similar situations and I am forced to "shop" in my pantry. Yeah, nobody starved and I realized once more that I tend to be a bit of an overspender at the grocery store, buying things we don't use until we are forced to.

Can you use the frozen fruits for some sort of pie? Do you have some sort of shortening?

Rehanon Mackenzie said...

This post is really inspiring. I was going to go buy a load of ingredients to make cakes for the last day at work but after reading it I've had a swoop and I've got everything except butter to make cinnamon whirls. What can be better than a warm homemade pastry :)

I'm glad you've managed to turn a potential disaster into a win. It's so true we so often spend before thinking. Thanks for reminding me there's much wisdom and positivity in not doing this.

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

Best wishes,

Miss D


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