Saturday, 16 April 2011

Packed Lunch!

Packed lunches are a bone of contention at our place! For the young teen un's, its all about convenience, cotton wool bread & deals . . crisps & a coke with the sandwich. Whereas I'm all about simplicity, flavour, quality & taste. Plus, it doesn't always have to be a sandwich!! But as were talking sandwiches at least try to make them at home not the mass produced tasteless ones :)  Also I'm all about economical savings - using to the best of our ability all we can without waste. It just isn't economical to purchase sandwiches for lunch on a daily basis. It isn't cheaper. Perhaps,  it may appear good value, seem cheaper; a packed sandwich bought as a meal deal may seem worth the money but I am certain the cost isn't only to the purse but to the taste buds & ultimately to the health too :) It makes much more sense, with just a little advance thinking & planning, to create your own packed lunches. Invest in a delicious loaf or make your own bread. Use the goodness from the fridge & with only a few minutes needed a beautiful freshly made sandwich, prepared & wrapped only a few hours before lunch!! I love making bread, there's just something so warm, so nourishing, so homely about the smell of freshly baked bread.  We always have a traditional roast dinner - therefore we always have meat for lunch time sandwiches. Its old fashioned way of planning but it works & more than it working its cost efficient. Remember those brought up during the war were rationed, with large families, limited income & rigid budgets. No supermarkets to fall back onto. In fact we had our own salad, veggie & fruit patch in our garden :) Regardless the era cost effective planning makes sense all round without any affect on flavour & quality. My Mam is amazing, once upon a time what she could create from just the one Sunday joint . . hearty broth, rustic pies, door wedge sandwiches, mmmince & dumplings .. the one joint served the family for the whole week.  simple fact was they had to do it - we can learn from such frugality & apply such forethought to our skills too. Hence my dedicated post to the importance of home made lunches .. a delicious delectable deal that could be with drink & crisps too. Ooooh & the home made chutneys which are now maturing :)

You could invest in a long term drinking container which removes the need to ever buy plastic bottle of drink again, a steel or glass container which can be refilled.  Not only kind to your pocket but to the environment too!! Plastic bottles are a HUGE problem but thats another issue. You hopefully always have running water . . either metered or other but either way you're already paying for your drink so why buy another.  You can take with you a bottle of delicious, naturally flavoured, water daily which is far better for your health, complexion & the thought concentration process than the vile sugary chemical flavoured liquids available.  I use sliced piece of fresh fruit to flavour mine, slice up an apple & add it to a large glass bottle of water & keep it in the fridge, or I add grapes cut up, a strawberry, an orange - any fruit to hand goes into my glass . But for less waste & expense you could easily just add a few frozen fruits into the bottle which flavour the water beautifully throughout the whole day. Punnet of frozen fruits of the forest or citrus .. do experiment, they're are so effective at quenching the thirst. As for crisps, well you could also slice crisp & roast your own . .  also making parsnip, beetroot & carrot crisps too but for now we'll just concentrate on the sandwich :)  Well almost except the additional thought -  its easy to make a great big bowl of coleslaw too which lasts for ages and does accompany the sandwich or salads beautifully :D
So using up what we have for lunch   .. . today we're having ham, chutney with grated cheese in poppy seed bread.

Loaf of Bread

  • Using a sharp bread knife (note to daughter: bread knives are always the long ones with a serrated edge to deliver a lovely clean effortless slice:)  cut your bread to suit taste ( thick or thin :) My loaves are usually irregular but still great on taste. This loaf is made with poppy seeds.
  • Using mayonnaise (or butter if u prefer) add a coating of mayo to the bread
  • Wash, dry (pat in tea towel) & slice lettuce then add onto to the mayo'd bread
  • Rip some of the ham from the ham joint, shred into smaller pieces then add on top of the lettuce
  • Add some chutney to the other slice of bread, mix into the mayonnaise
  • Grate some strong mature (or mild) cheddar adding onto the ham
  • Pop the may & chutney slice on top of the ham & cheese (you can also add more lettuce, cucumber etc but as you're not eating immediately sometimes the cucumber can make it a little soggy so by trial & error, process of elimination you will discover what tastes best)
  • Cut your sandwich in half, if wrapping use greaseproof paper if possible or save your brown paper bags. Cling film isn't good for sandwiches, the flavour of plastic permeates into the bread. Aluminium foil isnt supposedly healthy, so to use it daily doesn't seem sensible. Greaseproof paper you can buy in bulk & lasts a good while, plus if you fold it up, it can be re used following day too.
  • Add some grapes or an apple into your lunch bag too. An apple a day keeps the Dr away :) An apple is packed full of vitamins, minerals & fibre . Prevention is better than cure :)
  • This sandwich is just one example, there are so many different breads to use, so many different filling flavours to create from any joint of meat you have: Chicken with hoisin sauce, coronation chicken, chicken  bacon, CLT (lettuce & tomato). Beef, lettuce & horseradish, beef, salt & mayo Pork, stuffing & apple, pork & redcurrant jelly  Tuna & sweetcorn, Tuna, spring onion & red pepper. Salmon & cucumber etc
  • Remembering there's also cheese, eggs, bacon - yaaay cold bacon is nice - think BLT (bacon , lettuce & tomato) a mixture of all these ingredients in many ways . . egg & tomato, cheese & bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce & salt . There are many ways to bring tasty pleasures to lunch wherever you are.
  • Majority of our sandwiches are made using mayonnaise, this is simply preference not a necessity but as I dislike intensely the feel of butter & meat together in a sandwich, mayo is the only option for me other than dry (which is did enjoy for many years 
  • What ever your bread, how ever you fill - enjoy goodness . Unlike processed foods, your health can't be bought, can't just be chosen off a shelf packed in a box served with another heart or colon. Think back to nature, when all things came from the soil or the trees. Eat what you're meant to eat don't be seduced by en mass factory manufacturing media hype or routines (you can eat something other than bread too - rice, salad, jacket potato)  The cost is far greater than simply the cash from your purse.
  • Mummy mode over - now have a great day :) 

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