The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Sunday 23 April 2017

Pantries and Preparedness. Weekly progress and my easy Lasagna Recipe.

News wise last week was one of wondering what to believe, what is real and what is not!  This week looks like more of the same!  I am glad I am a couple of years in to building up my pantry and learning new things.
I have been a member of Patsy's A Working Pantry Classroom and this has been very educational. I feel as though I have had an intensive course in preparedness and it has given me many extra things to work on.  Patsy has a new class coming up and a new subject coming later in the year also.  I will be taking that class as well.
Otherwise I have been working on an inventory and organisation.  When the bathroom is finished I will also have a dedicated cupboard for medications and remedies and more space for personal care type items so this will be good!

This week I am going to sneak in a recipe as I have been asked a few times for it. This is something I almost always keep in the freezer.  Having meals put away is really a great form of preparedness!  And a money saver!  If I am having busy day I can just grab a meal from the freezer. (Otherwise I will get something started in the crock pot.)

This is how I make Lasagna and it is very versatile.  I am very casual about quantities etc as this is how I make it, with what I have.  It is a cheats recipe really and probably not very authentic however it tastes good!

First of all... if I have a lot of tomatoes or have found a box of tomatoes at a good price I will make up lots of tomato sauce which is just onions, tomatoes, garlic, herbs and whatever else I have (possibly zucchini, eggplant, capsicum etc) and cook that up.
If not I use jars of a ready made spaghetti sauce like these....

Actually these aren't even the normal ones but this is what I used last time and they were fine! 
If I am having a cook up I will normal do about 4 kilos of mince (ground beef) which is roughly 8 lbs ish! You can do whatever qualities you like. 

First I chop three or four large onions and fry them in a little olive oil in a really big stock pot. 
Then I add the mince and cook until it is not pink anymore.
Then I add in my jars of tomato sauce ... I think usually about six to eight jars.  You want enough that your mince looks lovely and red not icky and brown! 

I swish each jar with water to get the last bits out and this little bit of extra liquid is a good thing....
Anything that is in the crisper that needs using or maybe I have because of a good price goes in... zucchini, capsicum, fresh tomatoes, spinach...  even carrot could go in. If you have picky eaters you can grate these and sneak them in. 
I add plenty of pepper and a fair bit of oregano. 
I let this simmer at least an hour. Two hours on low is even better.

With all this sauce I might have a meal of spaghetti and set some aside for another time.  I might even use some for on top of what I call a boys meaty pizza. (they seem to like it)
With this lot I froze some, used some over penne pasta and made three lasagnas.

I just use dry lasagna sheets. 
I am always breaking off the corners to get them to fit! 

I do a layer of pasta, then a layer of meat sauce, another layer of pasta, another layer of meat sauce and top with a final layer of pasta sheets!

Your meat sauce does not need to be very thick, just well cover the sheets.

I am often guilty of over filling the pan. Allow more room than you think!  

While the meat sauce was simmering I had a big jug of white sauce going. You can make a white sauce and add cheese or a cheese sauce anyway you like.  I do a fair bit which is probably two litres (four ish pints) of milk (usually powdered milk) and I do it by using about four large spoons of cornflour, make that into a paste, add my milk, add pepper and set in the microwave on high for three minute bursts. Stir well and repeat until you have a custard like thickness.  At the end I add handfuls of grated cheese and stir.  I do not make it with butter as I think with all that cheese who needs butter!  But thats just how I make it and its your choice.  As long as you have enough for a good topping thats all that matters.  Usually I chop some fresh parsley and stir that into it.

I pour that over...

Make sure you cover all the pasta to the edges. We love the cheesy topping so I am generous on that.
(If I end up with left over cheese sauce this is good!  I will toss in some cooked pasta and that might be dinner with some meaty sauce over the top or make a macaroni cheese type dish. Yum!) 

Then I sprinkle cheese over the top ...

Then bake in a medium oven until it is golden and bubbly...

You need to keep an eye on it as you don't want it too brown... and you want it to be in the oven an hour or so as it takes this time for the pasta to become soft and good.  It is just one of those things that you want the flavours time to blend and develop.

If I am freezing it or putting it way for another night I will only brown it lightly... or the second time it might get too dark. Think of that....

It is messy to cut when hot but when it is cold it cuts so neatly and nicely....

So if you want to freeze meals I suggest cutting it into portion sizes then wrapping them and freezing them. I wrap them in non stick baking paper and foil.

I have frozen whole trays many times but now I tend to do portion sizes and find we waste less, it thaws out quicker and it is really handy in portion sizes.

As you can see when I cook something I cook a lot. I just can't see the point of cooking in small batches, I would rather cook and ensure a good few nights off down the track. But you can make up any amount of meat sauce you like, layer it will pasta (sometimes I have used cooked penne or other shapes instead of lasagna sheets or even thinly sliced zucchini or eggplant)  top with a sauce and bake. The quantities are up to you and very flexible.
Lasagna is one of those things that taste better the next day like stew, soup etc as the flavour develops.   A tray of it also goes a long way as I always serve it with a large salad and if you wanted it to go even further you can serve with crusty bread as well.

Thanks to Lynette who knew I was making Lasagna and she said I should take photos as I go and finally share the recipe!

What meals do you find good to keep in the freezer for emergencies?   I try and keep a couple of weeks worth of dinners ready to go.  I also keep components of easy meals frozen i.e.  I always have some bacon and some pizza bases as in the fridge I always have cheese and so it is easy to make a pizza in about five minutes.  You can make a pizza this way much faster than get a take away one or even one delivered!

Maybe we can all build up our go to freezer meals selections!  Recently I discovered that Enchiladas freeze really well so I keep them individually wrapped and ready to go as well.

What have you been doing towards your pantry and preparedness?
Have a good week!  Our week is a bit funny as tomorrow is a public holiday. xxx


  1. oh that looks so good. I've never tried it with cheese sauce. I'm going to make it that way soon. Saturday we grilled enough pork chops for three meals. We had them twice in a row and then froze one meal. So easy to just make extra to have for later. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Dear Vickie, Thanks! I love cooking enough for a few meals. Its a relief! Lasagna is so versatile really. With love

  2. I'm so glad you shared this. It sounds delicious and is different from how I make lasagna. I think your white sauce sounds very good.

  3. Hi Annabel,

    That lasagne looks so lovely...thank you for the recipe! You sure do cook large batches, which is absolutely wonderful, as you end up with so many pre-made meals! I am trying to think of a few things along that line to have ready, as my in-laws are coming to visit in a couple of weeks.

    I am really supposed to be going to bed, and was just turning off the computer when I thought I would sneak a look at your blog. Our doe kidded tonight (which is why I am so late to bed)...two doelings (!!), which are miniatures of the two does we already have!! :) Glad it all turned out well. I am always amazed at how well everything goes when nature takes its course...just amazing.

    Gotta go...early morning!

    Love, Jen in NS

    1. Jen m I had to read your last paragraph twice , as I haven't heard the term before "doelings " before :-)
      I bet they are pretty cute ,nature is amazing.
      Love Maria xxx

    2. Dear Jen, Take lots of photos of the twins! They would be adorable.
      I hope you are adjusting to these early starts!
      Some cooking before visitors is a big help. You can just enjoy the time more. I like things that can make several different meals i.e. casserole can become meat pies and ground beef can become meatloaf or spaghetti sauce or meatballs etc if you start a big batch. That kind of thing!
      Have a good week Jen, with love

  4. Annabel, that looks really good and I had never thought of the cheese sauce. We also do big batch cooking, it is a real time saver. This week I've harvested, dehydrated and stored in jars, rosemary, plantain and lemon balm. I also planted several new herbs in my herb garden. I am really concentrating on expanding the herbs we grow and use. Thank you for the kind words on the classes I teach. There is one more week to join the disaster prepredness class that will start on May 1st. After that the class will be closed to new members. We started the pre-class, getting everyone ready for class stuff tonight.

    1. Dear Patsy, You are having a really productive time with the herbs and your pantry. This last week in the class has been amazing. Allegra sharing what she did has been wonderful. I have been loving it and cant wait for the next round! Ill be there! I mention it because it has benefitted me but I know it would help anyone wanting to learn more... somehow I feel is a mission to encourage everyone as much as i can in this area.
      Thanks for this information on the date. Have a good week Patsy! With love

  5. Thank you so much for the recipe - pretty much how I do my version of lasagne too - and for the laugh, I'm still smiling about "If you have picky eaters you can grate these and sneak them in." I was reading quickly and read about the veggies, then that sentence and was quite a way down before it hit me that I read it as grate up the picky eaters :) Though sometimes with picky eaters that is tempting. I add a tin or two of mashed baked beans to my lasagne. It stretches the mince and adds fibre and vitamins and minerals without adding a great deal of cost. I usually add 2 tins per kilo of mince and it doubles the quantity. With mince being so expensive here at the moment I'm going through a lot of baked beans.

    1. Thanks Cath for that baked bean tip, I must try it :-) love Maria x

    2. Dear Cath,
      I sometimes could seriously consider grating picky eaters haha!
      That is a good idea to stretch the mince. I am amazed really at what can go in and how far it goes by the time you have the layers and topping etc. Mince isn't the bargain it used to be that is for sure. I watch for specials and shop at Aldi and this has made a difference. Before that it was $14 a kilo at Woolies and I thought no way.
      I have made vegetarian lasagna and moussaka and they are really nice especially when there are some veggie bargains around or plenty in the garden. When mince is expensive this might be the way to go. Roasted pumpkin is really lovely in lasagna! Or perhaps picky eaters!
      With love

  6. Hello Annabel, I cooked up five freezer meals last night too, such a saving. I am very much like you in that I don't like to cook just one meal, unless it's say stir fry. I love to get things socked away in the chest freezer for later on. Great when the fatigue really hits in. I took a box of things to the op shop this morning after I took my dog to the vet. I came out with two nice dog towels (for the wombat carer friend), a lovely bowl and a gorgeous glass lidded jar, all for $1.70.

    Spending the day cleaning up here today as we have a dinner guest on Wednesday and I like things as tidy as possible (not easy when you theoretically don't have a kitchen).

    Have a good week, hope you are feeling better. Fi xx

    1. Dear Fiona,
      Nice finds at the op shop! You must be so looking forward to your beautiful new kitchen! It will be gorgeous I know. Renovating isn't fun but the end result is good! With much love

  7. Hi Annabel, my lasagne is very similar to your and I usually make a big batch too. I also make a couple of Mexican style mince with the sauce as well by putting some into a container and adding a can of beans and taco or Mexican seasonsing that way it only needs to be thawed out for tacos, nachos etc
    I love an economical meal and this definitely is one of them. Debbie xx

    1. Dear Debbie, I love the sound of the Mexican mince. I need to expand my mexican type dishes. I find curries good as if you make a heap the flavour seems to improve the next couple of nights. The weather is finally cooling which is good for all of these things. With love,

  8. Hi Annabel,
    Mmmmm Lasagne!!!!!! Bluey makes our lasagne with pureed pumpkin or pureed orange sweet potato instead of white sauce. He often layers leaves and stalks of pak choy on the lasagne sheets before laying the pureed veg over the top. Grated zucchini is cooked into the meat sauce. This way we use up lots of the garden produce and get a load of yummy veg as well. When the kids were little and they had traditional lasagne for the first time, they were really disappointed. They wanted to know why it wasn't cooked proper.
    We freeze lasagne in small plastic lunch boxes as a grab and go lunch for when I get work or for when Katie has all day Uni. Chicken pasta bake is another freezer meal favourite. It's basically cooked chook, cooked pasta, leftover cooked veg all mixed together in a casserole dish, with cheesy white sauce poured over the top of it then placed in the oven to cook through. There are so many things to add to this. Filling, cheap and easy to make. Pumpkin soup is another wonderful freezer meal. Easy to make, easy to freeze and easy to have plain or added to other dishes.
    Jen so glad you have some new babies that have arrived nice and healthy into the world. I love baby goats.
    Life is good.

    1. Bluey is very handy, thats what I say! I love the idea of his topping. Pumpkin, pasta, mince, cheese... these are all beautiful together. I think I will try this out. And yes the inclusion of heaps of stuff from the garden. Yum!
      I am liking the chicken pasta dish also... and pumpkin soup (also pumpkin scones) is high on the list here. I love it. Its about time I made some actually and the weather is about right. With much love

  9. Hi Annabelle,
    I try to always have lasagna in my freezer too. Some of the things I have home made in my freezer for quick meals are: soups such as taco soup, navy bean and ham soup, hobo stew and sometimes chicken and dumplings. I also have tamales and barbecue shredded pork. Some cooked chicken and ground turkey. Chicken broccoli casserole is another meal I have also. For sweets I make up cookie dough, roll it into balls and freeze a dozen to a bag. Banana bread, different types of muffins. I need to get to making more lasagna, tamales and cookie dough as they are low. All these meals came in handy while I was sick with RSV for over a month. I'm just recovering from it. It's also nice to have these items ready to go for friends and family in a time of need. Have a great week!
    Melody in OR

    1. Melody -your freezer must be a good place to shop !Wishing you full recovery , love Maria x

    2. Hi Maria, my grown kids certainly like to shop it! Plus, chocolate chip cookie dough to quickly make cookies when you absolutely need a chocolate goody for stressful times is great! Thank you for the sweet words. Have a wonderful week! ❤️

    3. Your soups sound beautiful Melody! So does the dough and the banana bread! I googles RSV and see it is respiratory which would have set you back a bit. I hope you are better now. It would have been lovely to have meals to select from the freezer, this is one of the reasons to have a supply on hand. Such a big help. With much love

    4. Thank you Annabel! I am feeling much better. I had an infection in my lungs and because I have 3 autoimmune diseases it takes me longer to recover. I got better and then my husband had a seizure last week and has lots of appointments and tests to see if they can find out why. It's mandatory reporting from Drs to DMV in our state, which means my husband cannot drive for 6 months! There's always something isn't there!? But we have many things to be thankful for and we choose to be happy and hopeful that all will be well. I hope your situation improves as well! Thank you for your wonderful blog that is so encouraging and full of inspiration! 💗

  10. Hey Annabel

    Timely post as I try to get meals prepared for my hospital stay for the girls and for when I fly to visit Mum. I Usually make the following and freeze in single serves:

    *Curried Sausages
    *Sticky Sausages
    *Sweet Chicken Curry
    *Pasta Bolognaise
    *Meatballs in Sticky Sauce
    *Butter Chicken
    *Green Curry
    *Fried Rice
    *Pork in Char Sui Sauce

    There are so many more that I make as well. I also bake cakes, muffins, cookies and scones and freeze these preferably in single serves along with soups. Savoury and sweet scrolls are also a favourite in our freezers. Mind you our freezers seem to be growing and yet there is still never enough room in them, crazy isn't it?

    God Bless and I pray you and Andy are feeling better
    Love Mel S

    1. Dear Mel, It all sounds beautiful... I think I should try the sticky sausages. Fried rice is amazing as you can add in so many things. I know building up spare meals will be very good for both when you are away and when you have your knee done. I am glad of the rain and the cooler weather as I really feel like soups, curries etc it is about time for them! Im off to Aldi tomorrow and will see what veggies are on special.... this will decide what kind of soup I am making! Also we have a lamb roast to have and I will use the bone as a soup base the way Nan used to.... it was a lamb roast bone, a handful of soup mix i.e. barley and lentils etc, all kinds of veggies and lots of pepper. Then whatever seasonings you want and blended. As kids we ate tons of that.
      I hope you had a good day for Anzac day and a rest! With love

  11. Annabel,


    Me? While vacuuming again this week under the love seat and sofa, I had an "aha moment." Perfect places to store (hide) 8-can boxes of canned goods! Ingenious!


    1. I love this Kelley, right there under your nose you have new storage space plus well hidden away. I like these ahah moments! xxx


  12. Hi Annabel and Beautiful Bluebirds!!

    Yum! Annabel, I am the only one who loves pasta here!! Now, after thinking about yours, .... I could make myself a mini lasagna - which, of course, is the opposite of the large cook up you have shown! Ah dear!!

    The doelings (thank you, computer!) sound marvellous!

    I'm not sure if Bluey has access to sweet potato leaves, too. Anyway, I find it valuable that sweet potato leaves, if sautéed (ie in oil) with salt until beginning to scorch and then simmered with water, are a noted remedy for colicky situations. What about sweet potato leaves in lasagna? Yum, I say!! They are slightly peppery!

    What have we been doing toward our pantry and preparedness? I've been helping my husband with timber, tool and paint work associated with better weather-proofing what, in Queensland, is simply called a 'car port'. Together, we lifted heavy boxes of macadamia nuts onto hanging shelves there. I am doing more outdoor cooking trials. Two experiments, today, produced wonderful results! It was good autumn weather! The extra olives are finished. I'd better put them into their jars in the morning!

    Enjoy your week, everyone!
    Rachel Holt

    1. Dear Rachel, I grew up with the car port my Pa always said that.
      The macadamia nuts are fantastic! I wonder how long they keep well for? I am sure you know but I am not sure.
      And more olives! Jane made an olive bread and I have been meaning to send you a photo of this... it looked delicious.
      A mini lasagna would work. Like a stack even and Vickys way with a ricotta topping... and olives on the side! Love

    2. Ha ha!! Annabel, you've got me thinking! Also, I don't think I ought to be feeling hungry at this time of night! Mmmm! Jane - olive bread!! My cooking ideas are getting intertwined with outdoor and camp oven cooking right now! You never know what I'm likely to come up with!!
      I have macadamia a from a few years ago. Thankfully, their very thick, very hard shells make great mini pantries! I need to use those up, then, in a couple of months' time, I think we'll need to eat olives every day. They last at least a year!
      Thank you!!

  13. Thankyou Annabel for your Lasagna recipe, although I do have it , the photos are helpful and the ideas others have given of their versions. Everyone is doing well with their frozen meal choices.Im encouraged to build mine up . Im still getting use to having the garage freezer up running over Christmas,and finding its very helpful at the moment with family things happening.My kitchen freezer is atop the fridge or combined should I say , so I need to be very efficient packing it as it's small.I mainly have soups, frozen berries and some veges, and a few other bits and bobs.
    Love Maria xxx

    1. Dear Maria, I am getting at freezing things flat and also without bulky containers because of the space and packaging issues.
      The extra freezer is very handy. Double batch cooking just gives some things to stash away... very handy at times. I hope your week is going well! We had Anzac day so a holiday today... I made three trays of enchiladas! with lots of love,

  14. Yum! Lasagna (made with gluten free pasta sheets, or gluten free crepes in a pinch) is something I also batch cook and freeze. I also keep a few gluten free pizza bases, they can then be spread with ketchup or pesto, topped with grated cheese from the freezer and any odds and sods lying about in the fridge or cupboard for a meal in minutes.

    Other batch cooked and frozen meals I do are pasta sauces, chillies and curries. Add pasta or rice from the pantry, again, meal in minutes.

    For pantry only emergency meals I keep about two weeks worth of tinned curries, jars of pesto and pasta sauces. This is something to fall back on should the power be off for any length of time. Aiming to up that to a month's worth eventually.

    1. Dear Allegra, Slices of pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant etc could be used instead of pasta also as a gf alternative. All yummy.
      Pesto is a great thing to have on hand! I forgot about that!
      A months supply would be great. One of my tinned emergency options is a tuna mornay. So easy, fast, yummy... and can come from the pantry.
      I think chilly and curry is really good too! Many thanks! With love

  15. Annabel, I love your version of lasagna. And you make so much at a time! So many time savers and money savers in that one recipe, it is just wonderful and a lot to ponder.

    I am currently working my freezer down, as it is almost vegetable and fruit time here. I want to be ready with enough room for those things in season.

    When I do have freezer meals available, I keep homemade enchillada sauce, home fried chicken fingers, spaghetti sauce, and when I have time to make it, pizza crusts for quick pizzas. I am not always dedicated to it. When I do it, I find that it helps immensely, and mainly on days I never expected to need it!

    Last week, after reading your post, I went digging around in my garage, looking for a container to hold the bread in. I found an old laundry basket that isn't strong enough for laundry any more. It is PERFECT for the space I had in my freezer. It suddenly cleared up loads of space and keeps all that homemade bread from falling out every time I open the fridge. I told my kids that this was a brilliant solution. I am so glad you suggested it! It never occurred to me, though the bread fell out every time I opened the door. lol.

    1. Dear Cristy,
      I am loving the sound of fried chicken fingers! Having pizza bases is awesome. Then a pizza is only minutes away.
      The basket was just right! That was really lucky! Drawers are just much easier to manage than shelves! I hope you have an amazing fruit and veggie harvest this year. What an asset! With love

  16. My freezer was very well stocked when my husband had his heart attack back the end of December and I don't know what we would have eaten after I brought him home if I had not had all that to eat from. I am rebuilding it bit by bit. I keep soups and chili, roast beef and gravy for noodles, lasagna, pasta sauce, sausage gravy, cookie dough, frosting for cakes, pasta based casseroles for two,cooked sausage for pizzas, chopped cooked chicken, mac and cheese.

    1. Dear Lana, Your example is an important one. I am so glad you had that well stocked freezer! What a help. Now as your husband is rebuilding his health you are rebuilding the freezer. Well done! I hope your husband is feeling better.... it is hard when you feel you should be doing this or that and the temptation to over do it is always there. Thinking of you, with love

  17. Congratulations on your new home, Bridge!

    Annabel, your lasagna looks amazing, I'm going to make the cheese sauce next time I am making trays of lasagna!

    For my freezer, I make bean burritos; beef and bean burritos; breakfast burritos; homemade refried beans; ham and cheese pockets; chicken and broccoli alfredo pockets; pizza pockets; chili; soups; homemade taquitos; homemade egg rolls; meatloaf; cottage pies; turkey and dressing casseroles; and chicken penne alfredo. I make cakes; cookie dough logs; and both cinnamon and regular biscuits. That's all I can remember off the top of my head right now, but I've been doing freezer cooking for years as a working mom, trying to feed my family quickly, on budget, and tasty food they would eat! I also throw my bananas in the freezer that are getting too ripe and then when I bring them out, the mash so easily for banana bread or cake!

    I cleaned out my upstairs freezer that is an upright on Sunday and was amazed at how many things were in there that I had forgotten about! It is all nice and neatly organized now and I know exactly what is in there.


    1. Dear Jeanette,
      Your freezer sounds like a wonderful shop! I would be stopping by if I was a bit closer!
      I have a feeling it will soon include pizza bases, bread rolls and other sour dough things!
      Well done on the organise session... with love

  18. Annabel,
    Your lasagna looks so good! I have never had it with white sauce before just ricotta. I do a lot of my freezer cooking during the garden season and it is so nice to pull out a pan of stuffed peppers or cabbage rolls and just pop them in the oven.
    I hope you are having a great week!

    1. Thanks Vicky! I love the idea of a ricotta topping and have never tried that! I have heard of a ricotta layer. Im going to try some of these variations. Yum. I love the sound of stuffed peppers and cabbage rolls as well. Your garden is such a big asset. With love

  19. Hi Annabel,
    Hopefully you and your dh are feeling better.
    Everyone's freezer food sounds so exotic! All of the curries and words I haven't heard of are all things I have never tried!
    My freezer is boring. I keep frozen taco meat, homemade salsa, various soups, and Cincinnati chili and regular chili that can be eaten as is, or served over pasta. We had some Cincinnati chili that needed used up and we ate it as a pizza topping last night for dinner! My dh cocked an eyebrow, but the girls told him we were cleaning out the fridge and eating weird things today! Turns out, Cinci chili and cheese make a pretty yummy pizza! The kids planted some lettuce seeds into some cheap boxes I bought today, so hopefully soon we will be eating salad from our porch. Have a good week!

    1. Dear Sarah,
      We also will use a meaty sauce as a pizza topping! It works!
      Over time I keep adding new good frozen meals as I learn them. From this I have learned a heap and variations on the lasagna.
      I hope you end up with a good lettuce crop! With love

  20. Hi Annabel, what a gorgeous lasagna ! You make it like I do, only I forgo the white sauce for calories sake, and use lean mince. I serve with veg on sale from aldi, or salad if a warm night. I plan my meals around the aldi "7 day specials". This is usually one of two meats, fruit, veg. I live alone you see (god willing not long now until I marry again! I believe I will find another husband and can't wait to make delicious food!) so what I make always goes in the freezer. I also love to make. Beef stew with red wine in the crock pot esp. In winter, soups, and made a corn, potato, chicken chowder last week that I blessed a neighbour with who struggles to eat healthy foods. She loved it ! My mother used to make ham , or egg sandwiches and freeze them for my dear stepfather when he worked everyday until 1 year after retiring was killed in a road accident. I found this a brilliant idea, as they thaw by lunch. I also keep tinned tuna, soup, and dry things to make meals if a disaster was to strike. Have a great week !, love sonia


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