Saturday, 19 January 2008

What - and who - is The Frugal Cook?

Welcome to The Frugal Cook! I guess there's a lot of us out there but the reason I'm blogging is to create a day-to-day (well, more or less) record of a book I've been commissioned to write by my publisher, Absolute Press (to be published in hardback in September 2008 at the amazingly frugal price of £12.99. More details to follow.)

Frugal cooking may mean different things to you than it does to me. It's not just about cheap meals and ingredients, it's about making the maximum use of everything you buy. Not - for those of us who are meat-eaters - insisting solely on using the most expensive cuts of meat but every edible bit of the animal. Buying fresh produce in season when it's cheap and tasty rather than having it flown half way round the world. Making use of what's left over from meals rather than leaving it to fester in the fridge then having to chuck it out. 

It was an idea that was popular in the '70's but things have changed a lot since then. For a start we all have a lot less time - or are less prepared to spend hours in the kitchen. Ingredients - and tastes - have changed. We're familiar with exotic dishes and cuisines we couldn't have imagined then. But the downside is that we've got into the habit of stacking our storecupboards with new ingredients every time we try a new recipe. We've lost the habit of thrift. 

Over the next few months I'm going to try and curb my own desire to go food shopping and instead find inventive ways to use the ingredients I already have. When I cook I'll cook with a view to creating leftovers for the next day - and even the day after that.

Hopefully it won't be too tough. I've already written three student cookery books called Beyond Baked Beans, the most recent of which, Beyond Baked Beans Budget was very much focussed on economical eating. I've got my own website which carries recipes and tips for students, singles and others on a budget.

Like every other book I've written, The Frugal Cook will be a voyage of discovery. Come and join me on the ride . . .

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