Having been encouraged by a number of frugal Friday posts I thought I would add a couple of my own frugal activities into the pot.
The first is really all down to my husband. Last year my parents kindly gave us some money at Christmas for us to use in our new garden. We decided to buy a BBQ. However we are a couple that researches just about every big thing (and often little things too) that we buy. The BBQ ended up being a hasty exception to this usual behaviour. We knew we wanted a gas BBQ and so we went out to buy one. The local DIY shop had a good deal on the one we bought and on our first trip out to investigate we also purchased. We got it home and in true style Nigel opened the box and got going. It wasn't until the entire thing was assembled and the box disposed that realisation struck. It had no lava rock! ie: it was essentially an outdoor gas hob with no authentic coals to add that special BBQ flavour. He was devastated, we tried to sell it on the local free ad website but to no avail. Last year was a BBQ free year needless to say, the sadness of a coal free BBQ was too much to bear. So this year as the nice weather approached we turned a corner. After much thought he totally re-engineered the BBQ and so now we have a gas BBQ with coals. Here is the re-engineering in action. I think this is a feat worthy of frugal friday :-)
So it falls to me to add the second offering. We have a lovely neighbour, who incidently has a garden that really puts our to shame, and she grows great quantities of Rhubarb. It is growing amazingly well in our surprisingly mild early summer and so, just as last year, she appeared at my door last week with an enormous bundle of rhubarb for us. Last year I searched for a number of recipes to help me use the fruit for more than just crumble. Whilst browsing the Nigella Lawson coobook I love (How to be a Domestic Godess..."If only!") I stumbled across this amazing recipe, Rhubarb Polenta Cake (also known as Rhubarb Cornmeal Cake). So this seemed like a great way to use the rhubarb. Now what makes this a frugal friday contribution is the other ingredients. The recipe requires Cornmeal. This is not something routinely available or indeed used in the UK but I had bought an enormous bag some months ago when I decided to make cornbread from another wonderful recipe book. In the end the recipe required very little of the 1kg bag I had bought and so it had been sitting for months not being used. Here was its chance! Secondly the recipe requires natural bio yogurt, 250g. In my fridge, reaching the end of its shelf life was exactly that amount of yogurt. So not only did I use the rhubarb but also my vat of cornmeal and my almost out of date yogurt.
The cake came out so well and was absolutely delicious. Here are the pics to prove it. Nigella rocks!