You are what you eat...?
Credit Crunch munch
Have rising food prices forced you to change your eating habits? We've been hearing from lots of listeners to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire who are now considering eating things they might previously have turned their noses up at...
If your tastes have changed in line with the rising cost of food in your local supermarkets, some of these cheaper options might just be enough to whet your appetite. Scroll down the page for ideas including rabbit, pigeon and turnips!
We're overrun with these furry little creatures which seem to have gone out of fashion in the UK - although rabbit is still incredibly popular throughout Europe. Reporter Jozef Hall was sent out to hunt down a bunny, and came back with this delicious recipe which makes the most of the tender, slightly gamey flavour of the meat:
1 rabbit - cut into quarters - or whatever they're called.
1. Soften the carrots, onion and garlic in the olive oil for 3-4 mins in a heavy bottomed pan. Don't let the garlic or onion brown. Put aside.
On the subject of eating rabbit, Ann, a listener to the Andie Harper Show, sent us this message: "Years ago when the children were young I used to get two rabbits from the local butcher. He prepared them for me but the only way the children would eat the stew was by telling them that it was chicken!
"The funny thing was, my first husband said he wouldn't eat rabbit as he didn't like the taste (little did he ever know) - he had been eating it the same as the children for years! He also said he wouldn't eat hearts either; didn't like the taste - but he didn't see it going into the pot! He ate it as beef stewing steak done in the pressure cooker - the same as the rabbit. We had four children - how did he think I was feeding everyone on the one wage!"
According to Baldrick, Blackadder's imbecile sidekick, turnips are "the best thing since sliced potatoes". And although it's not easy to find a fan of this cheap root veg, there must be plenty out there as a major supermarket has revealed that sales of turnips are up by 75% on last year. It was a staple food during the war and now, because of the Credit Crunch the turnip appears to be making a comeback.
But is there anything nice you can really do with a turnip? You could throw it in your rabbit casserole for starters... apparently it's great stewed... and one listener has sent us some recipes from a very old book which suggests serving them in a cream sauce or a spicy yogurt sauce. We're still not convinced, but if you can tell us how you're making the humble turnip more palatable, we'd love to hear from you!
Yup - just the common or garden variety - are, once you've got all of those feathers off, apparently very tasty. A local farmer who's diversified into producing oven-ready pigeon dishes for her customers, came into BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to show presenter Jeremy Sallis how to pluck a pigeon.
Jez learns how to pluck properly
Gilly says that it takes about four minutes to do a really good job, then you take out the guts and you're ready to go. She advises cooking pigeon breast in wine or a cooking sauce, or roasting the bird whole. It's very affordable, versatile and nutritious as all game is virtually fat-free, says Gilly.
Mandy, another listener to Radio Cambridgeshire wrote in to tell us about the delights of puffball mushrooms (free if you can forage for them!): "Cut into slices like a loaf, (must be totally white inside, or too old), dip the slices in beaten egg, press breadcrumbs firmly to the outside, and fry. There is no need to peel them unless they are too dirty to just wash. The slices are even better if left in the breadcrumb crust for an hour or so before cooking.
"I am told you can also scoop out the middle, mix with a filling of you choice, cover with a slice or two of bacon, wrap in tin foil and bake in the oven, so the next time I am lucky enough to find one, I think I will give that a go."
Be thrifty - shop smart
Becky, who's also a listener to Andie Harper's Mid-Morning Show also called in to say that she manages to afford to feed herself, her husband and their four boys by buying food which is about to go past its 'best before' date. She says there's no problem doing that as long as you use it quickly. And she buys in bulk, too, when she can, enabling her to make lots of meals and freeze them. Take a leaf out of Becky's book by listening to her advice - and munch your way through the Credit Crunch...
last updated: 29/09/2008 at 11:38
Have Your Say
Have you got any thrifty, delicious ideas for beating the Credit Crunch without beating up your tastebuds?