I must have been a wretched wicked old witch in a former life. This morning my hairdryer spontaneously combusted and sent itself to a long overdue grave and a couple of hours later while enjoying Miss Potter with a teeny tiny mozzarella and red onion tart of my own devizing, the house started to shake and then the boiler went BOOM! Boom it went, and a nice glass of cranberry cordial spread a purpley pink pattern over my cream jumper.

If I was an ordinary human being with an ordinary job and ordinary money set aside for everyday emergencies these kind of crises wouldn’t spread a rash of horror across my skin, but alas, my little chickadees, being thoroughly  ridiculous,  and the kind of single mummy electioneering politicians like to  develop entire campaigns around, these are just the kind of traumas likely to  finish me off.  And so I find myself cutting my cloth to stretch to plumbers and mechanics and the possibility of dry hair one day in the future and wondering how in heavens name it will be possible for me to stretch an already stretched budget in order to live to fight another damned day.

I’m tired.

But babbas need warmth. And frankly, sadly, I can’t live with wet hair or live without a car. And so it starts with teabags. I open the tin and there aren’t any. Immediately my apron is dashed to the floor and I’m running past the church to the post office to buy more, before spinning on my heel back again without them because you know what I may not have my favorite builders brew extra strong Tetley teabags, but heck couldn’t I win a prize for my drawer full of  fancy schmancy rose and lavender and white and green and probably purple sprouting brocolli flavoured bags?

I have enough teabags to last me into the next millenium. I have flour, in many many forms and yeast and eggs and sugar and tinned everything and a freezer full of homemade chilli and scouse and pea and mint soup. I’ve got dried pasta, chopped chilli and garlic, herbs growing n my draining board, three types of rice, every type of dried bean you care to mention, jam and sun dried tomatoes, chocolate chips, oats and golden syrup. There is parmasan, chorizo and feta in the fridge. Bags full of frozen veg, cookie dough and sauteed onions lurking in the freezer. Food a plenty. Food that could keep me and one little munchkin going for an age with a little ingenuity and a little less of the almost constant urge to shop….

And so for the sake of snuggly feet and a car that goes I am declaring this my USE WHAT YOU HAVE WEEK.  Use the dregs of shampoo in the bottle, forsake your favorite pink washing powder  and grate some soap into some washing soda and be done with the matter.  Actually read the magazines stacked at the side of  your armchair before you buy more. Bake bread.  Drink obscure tea.  Raid the pantry and feast …

Tonight I will start with a  chorizo and bean bake, ingredients straight out the pantry no shopping required… and ok so it won’t pay my terribly nice plumber Richard, but it is one step towards cosy toes isn’t it?

Chorizo and Bean Bake.

Ingredients: One tin of beans  (Any: flagolet, haricot, butter, any),  one tinned  of chopped tomatoes.  Chorizo or any old kinda sausage. One sauteed onion. One clove of garlic or dried or chopped equivalent. Breadcrumbs. And chopped parsley to garnish.

Method:  Shove all the ingredients into a  casserole dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake for twenty minutes. Serve with a generous amount of fresh parsley and feel strangely virtuous …

Life will go on, won’t it?