I discuss with interest now at gatherings the tenacity of how our food shopping has changed. Loyalty to a specific store doesn’t seem to be quite so strong. Some have embraced online shopping and have it delivered. Many now seem happy to choose from a variety of stores choosing ‘best bargains’. Another trend that has been noted is that ‘the BIG Shop’ doesn’t happen quite so much and I do think this can be a good development. Certainly in Thailand shopping is done for the family meal of the day and leftovers consumed before the next meal is catered for. This can be cost effective and reduces waste. Filling the fridge for ‘just in case’ and then throwing things out is certainly not cost effective especially if you are trying to be budget conscious and reduce over eating.

Conjuring up a meal with what is in the fridge and store cupboards can also be an adventure in culinary dexterity.

For my part I am often intrigued by the price of Aubergines at the supermarket anything from 50p to 75p each where only the other day I saw three good sized ones in my local ethnic store for £1.00. Large bunches of herbs £1.00 against a sachet for £1.50. So I do recommend that you spy carefully the unit price and packaging of your shopping list for better awareness. The variety of Stores now offering good quality and good prices are certainly worth an adventure. Watch for the seasonal specials that will be coming in soon. Last year I got Legs of Lamb from Iceland for £10.00. Sides of Salmon Fillets for £8.99 a Kilo. These are certainly worth finding a place in the deep freeze. I also plan and buy as much as possible for the Christmas holiday period now so there is no last minute panic buying or maybe that’s too much planning for you to consider.

On another note the midweek supper can often pose a problem for inspiration or finding something that is vegetable based instead of the traditional meat and two veg. Vegetable Bakes can often prove an answer but what else besides Potatoes and Pasta.


A Gratin of Tomatoes and Aubergines – 4- 6
2 Medium Sized Aubergines – Sliced
400g Ripe Tomatoes – Sliced
40g Grated Parmesan
Olive Oil – Salt & Pepper
Warm up the grill and place the Aubergine slices on a tray and brush lightly with Oil. Grill till golden – turnover and repeat on the other side.
Mix the Aubergine Slices and Tomato Slices in a bowl and Season
Tip into an oven proof dish – top with the Parmesan and bake in a warmed oven (200C/400F/Gas 6) for about 20mins until the cheese is golden and serve.
You could also add some sliced Chorizo or other cooked meats or vegetables according to availability and preference.