Frugal Feast


 My first hoot, by Belle Dame de Violette

Some time ago I approached Queen Tess to see if I could join The Red Hat Society.   “We’re having a ‘Hoot’ at Langham Village Hall. Come and meet us – see what you think. Just bring a supper dish which can be shared”

The first kindly act was putting me in touch with Sheila, who gave me a lift there. I was apprehensive at the thought of meeting lots of new people. We arrived in Langham on the due date on a very cold evening. A bird’s-eye view of the village that evening would have been intriguing. If any of the villagers had been out and about, what would they have thought of the spectacle of 30 – 40, ladies of all shapes and sizes; converging on their village hall. Each one dressed in purple and each one adorned with a red hat and carrying a mysterious parcel.

We entered the hall to an extremely warm welcome. The tables were bedecked with jolly red check cloths and the heaters glowed. The other Red-Hatters were immediately chatty and friendly and my fears were quickly proved to be groundless.

The Feast which arrived in the Red-Hatters mysterious parcels was enjoyed by all. Lots of recipes were exchanged and it was certainly more lavish than frugal!

What really endeared me to ‘The Hoot’ was the camaraderie which exuded from so many ladies. Thank- you all.


Here are the recipes, kindly put together by Princess Primrose. Enjoy!

Frugal  Feast  Recipes inspired by the January Rutland Hoot 2013




Tess’s Tortilias

Combine 300g flour with a teaspoon of salt.

Cut in 40g lard or vegetable shortening and then add 125 mls lukewarm water and mix with a fork to a stiff dough. Knead for ten minutes until smooth.

Refrigerate for up to 24 hours or use immediately.

Form into golf ball sized balls and roll out on a floured surface as thin as possible. This takes some effort but it needs to be really thin to cook quickly.


Drop onto a very hot  non stick pan for 20 seconds per side Until lightly flecked. Eat immediately with a knob if butter.


Corned beef pie/pasty:(6-8)             Joyce Marston

I tin corned beef

I large onion,diced

I 8 oz. mix of pastry / bought short crust

2 Tbl.sps. mint jelly


Make pastry.

Chop the corned beef into small cubes add the onion and mint jelly, some people would add some potato but  I don’t.

Roll out the pastry either into about 8 for pasties (I use a small saucepan lid for my template) or line a pie dish.

Divide the mixture out , dampen the edges and seal, add an air hole. Brush with either just milk or an egg wash.

Bake at about 200 or 180 fan until the pastry is cooked , pasties about 15 minutes and the pie about 20.

Good for a picnic. Can be eaten hot or cold


Chicken and Rice.                              Joyce Marston

1 tin chicken in white wine

1 handful frozen peas

1 handful frozen sweet-corn



Boil /steam rice and while it is cooking heat the contents of the tin and add the frozen veg.

No need to do anything else but combine them on a plate!  This serves two easily.








Honey mustard Chicken Pot(4-8 depending on appetites)           Joyce Marston

8 chicken skinless thighs

2 onions

350 g parsnips, cut into batons

2 Tblsp. wholegrain mustard

2 Tblsp. clear honey

thyme sprigs      oil

300 ml vegetable stock


Heat the oil, brown the chicken thighs , remove them and put on one side.

Add a little more oil and cook the onions until they are soft

Put chicken back and add the parsnips.

Mix stock with the mustard and honey and add to the pot.

Scatter over the thyme

Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes or longer, no more than 90.  Season.


Summer Pudding   Rufa Medica   (Sian Cheverton)


Approx 1.5-2lb of mixed summer fruits. The proportions recommended by a famous cook  are 1lb raspberries, 8oz redcurrants, 4oz blackcurrant, but you can alter proportions or add strawberries and other soft fruit. Works well with frozen fruit so left-overs from summer pickings makes a great treat in winter.

5oz sugar

7-8 slices slightly stale bread (white best), crusts removed. Fresh bread just goes slimey.


Place fruits & sugar in saucepan over a medium heat for 3-5 mins gently stirring until sugar dissolved and juices start to run. I sometimes add a small amount of water,  but this is not always needed. Take off heat.


Line 1.5pt pudding basin with slices of bread, making joins as tight as possible.


Pour fruit in, retaining extra juice if any. Cover with more bread. Place on top a small plate or saucer which just fits in the bowl. Then put a weight (3-4lb) on top of plate. Leave in cool place overnight.


Before serving, turn out carefully onto large plate. Spoon reserved juice over any white looking bits of bread. Serve cut into slices with cream and extra juice.


PS I have seen Summer Puddings made as individual puddings – presumably made in cups or ramekins or similar.

I have also seen it made as a sort of ‘lasagne’ with layers of bread, alternating with layers of fruit in a large rectangular dish. Individual portions are then elegant cube shapes.



Chicken Pasta Bake – Princess Posh (Jeanette Wersching)


225g (8oz) Pasta

200g (7oz) cooked chicken

295g can Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

200ml (7 fl oz) milk

50g (2 oz) each of peas and sweetcorn

Salt and Pepper to taste

125g (41/2 oz) cheddar cheese grated


  1. Preheat oven to 200oC (400oF), Gas 6.  Cook Pasta according to pack directions.  Drain Well.
  2. In small bowl mix together soup and milk.  Add pasta, peas, sweetcorn and cooked chicken.  Mix well together and season to taste.
  3. Sprinkle grated cheese on top.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbling.


Serve with fresh vegetables or salad and crusty bread.



Potato and Red Pepper Frittata        Lady Luffenham  (Helen Saunders)

Serves 2

225g/8oz potatoes, peeled and diced

50g/2oz fresh spinach

3 eggs

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion chopped

1 garlic clove crushed

½ red pepper seeded and chopped

25g/1oz cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper

½ tsp oregano

1. Wash spinach, cook and drain pressing out excess juice and chop finely.

2. Cook potatoes in salted water for 5 -10 minutes until just tender. Drain and cool.

3. Whisk eggs and add cheese, seasoning and oregano.

4. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry onion, garlic, pepper, spinach and potatoes for 5mins.

5. Pour egg mixture over the vegetables and stir gently.

6. As it cooks, push the cooked mixture into the centre so the uncooked egg runs on to the base.

7. When the egg mixture is just set place the pan under the grill for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.






Daffy-Down –Dilly’s Frugal Vegetarian Lasagne    (Daphne Murphy)


It simply contains one of every vegetable you have in the fridge, etc

1 onion

1 clove of garlic

Chopped fresh chilli (can be kept in the freezer)

1 carrot

1 stick of celery

1 pepper

1 courgette

Sweet corn if you have any over.

1 tin of tomatoes

1 tin of kidney beans in chilli sauce.

Chop up all the vegetables and saute to soften

Pour over tomatoes and bring to simmer

Add chilli beans.

Add seasoning to taste and continue to simmer until the mixture has softened and thickened.

I make mine in a slow cooker( frugal use of power!) until the consistency satisfies me.

I freeze portions in saved large cream and yoghurt pots ( being frugal!) to be served up with rice or jacket potatoes, as required.


Nut Roast – from Southern Belle       (Sheila Weiss)


Here is the recipe used, although I don’t necessarily stick to it, it depends what is in the fridge!


1 chopped onion

2 grated carrots

2 cloves garlic

115g mushrooms

175g cooked brown rice

115g brown breadcrumbs

110g chopped nuts

115g grated cheddar

2 med. eggs (beaten)

Herbs eg oregano and basil

S and p


1)Fry onion, carrot and garlic in olive oil or butter for 5 mins.

Add mushrooms and cook until soft, stirring.


2) Remove from heat. Stir in rice, bread crumbs, nuts, cheese, eggs, herbs and s and p.


3) Bake in greased loaf tin or dish (900g) at 180C for about 45 mins to 1 hour, until browned and firm. Serve with salad, tomatoes or tomato sauce .



Christmas Left-Over take on Eton Mess       (Princess Primrose – Kathy Burton)


I saw this in a magazine, and made it for the Hoot, but have to confess that I’ve since lost the recipe so this is guesswork ….


Christmas Cake  (you know when it’s a bit crumbly and looking sad) – crumbled and I soaked it in Cointreau overnight but I guess you could use sherry or anything really … preferably in the ‘spirit’ of frugality, something left over from the festivities.


I then folden it into whipped cream (whipping cream would do) and possibly experiment with adding Crème Fraiche or Greek Yoghurt to make it less rich


Crumble in some meringue – and that is it!


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