The week's grocery budget was rather high: but justifiably so. Aldi had the dish cloths I like available for the first time in a few years, so I took the opportunity to stock up while I could. And a trip to Costco with friends resulted in a five-litre container of white vinegar coming home with me. If you don't factor those two cleaning expenses in, the total grocery bill drops to under $50.
I hadn't made a menu plan for the week, thinking I'd be mainly eating leftovers and finishing up items half-used in other dishes and waiting in the fridge to be finished. By Sunday I realised that this was an error, as the constant parade of things I'd eaten recently meant I hit Sunday feeling bored and grumpy food-wise: and it took quite some deviousness to stop myself from trotting off to pick up fish and chips or noodles from across the road.
The diversion that finally worked was trying to use the leftover risotto in the freezer to make arancini patties (balls were out of the question as I don't deep fry things).
I've learnt my lesson: this morning before I went grocery shopping I made a menu plan that included three dishes I've not made in ages, and which include ingredients I've not bought since this challenge started (almost three months ago! Can you believe it?!)
It was another busy week. I spent Tuesday helping prepare for the first Pop Up Small Business Fair, and in return was bought lunch
and dinner. (It was a long day...)
On Wednesday a friend and I went on a day trip to Goulburn to see the Rosalie Gascoigne exhibition on at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery and I budgeted to treat myself to lunch at a local cafe. As I explained to my friend, being frugal doesn't mean being a complete tightwad and having no fun: it means being mindful about how and where you choose to spend your money while keeping within your budget.
Friday was Cooking for Copyright day, and I'd arranged to guest post on a friend's blog with a $5 Friday meal. But I had other pressing appointments, so the post might just have involved a set-up photo and then some corn fritters out of the freezer for the final photo. Yep, a definite 'here's one I prepared earlier'bait and switch situation!
I suspected Friday was going to be another long day without a chance for a break and no easy access to any food except chocolates from vendors' stalls and cupcakes from the caravan cafe which was going to be in attendance. So, in a last-minute panic I grabbed various frozen packages out of the freezer and a couple of things from the fridge while making breakfast,
which I turned into this several hours later:
Saturday morning a friend dropped in on her way home from the farmers' markets with some 'little extras' she'd picked up for me. Which were much appreciated, even though it's rather premature for food parcels around here.
And for lunch with another friend, we played a game of Freezer Roulette. She brought bread rolls from her freezer (a day-old bargain from one of Canberra's top bakers, she tells me) and I offered her a choice of soups from mine. She chose tomato. I went for pea and zucchini.
I love me some Rosalie Gascoigne about as much as I love me some Alex Asch, so of course I had to go. And since I have no job, I could go any time I wanted :-D
Today was the day, and friend Tina joined me for the trip. And, being such mature grown-up people, our first stop in town was a selfie in front of the bum of The Big Merino
(which I shared on Facebook with the title 'Yum yum, sheep's bum, road trips are great fun!'). Yep: completely adult. Seriously though, I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition
(especially as we'd drive past Lake George to get there. And had the place to ourselves...)
The day got better when I discovered the children's room at the end of the gallery, which invited us to 'create your own Rosalie Gascoigne inspired [sic] collage and add it to our group work'.
As we read, our plans to visit the local op shops before we had to return home faded away.
I decided to photograph my pieces with the works that inspired them...
And, finally, I just had to make a miniature-sized work
which I had to play with once I got home. The first thing I spotted in the stash when I started looking for inspiration for the scene (because one more 'desk and stuff' or 'sofa and stuff' scene would probably put me to sleep) was this chair from Minisx2:
And, as sometimes happens, the whole story for the scene fell into place. It was a gallery shop, of course! (And what a long time since I've done a gallery...)
And, as happens, things seemed to just jump out of various storage spaces, demanding to join in the fun:
new things. Old things. And things that have been waiting in stash for a while for the perfect setting.
And, as usual, made time to catch up with friends. I took muffins from the freezer on a visit to see a friend's new flat, bought myself coffee when I arrived early for a meeting (and appreciated it so much more than I used to when it was a daily habit), had a Friday-night dinner and movie night with friends (they decided to order in pizza), and visited the National Gallery of Australia's Members' Lounge and was bought coffee and noms for the second week running. Oh, and just to prove that leftovers can be fun...
A day of old and new. The bins were bought when I lived in Sydney (so at least 16 years ago) and I'd somehow never got around to painting the wheels until today. While I was at it, I touched up some paint chips on the bins.