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Eating local on a budget

WHEN we go to the grocery on a tight budget it is not always possible to purchase all that we perceive we need. But, if you learn the art of preparing delicious foods in an economical way you’ll gain the reputation of being the perfect hostess and everyone will be charmed!

When preparing budget conscious foods the economical way prepare dishes which will yield many servings, and contain affordable ingredients.

Make a weekly trip to the market and buy vegetables that are in season. Keep a ready supply of fruits in season, watermelons are plentiful now and that makes a satisfying and refreshing dessert. Don’t go in search of fruits that are out of season because you’ll surely pay a premium. Go down to the fish market, if fish and shrimp are reasonably priced then buy a little extra and freeze it in portion sizes.

Remember having a vegetarian meal once or twice per week is very healthy and economical as well.

Eating local foods will become surprisingly affordable, not only are our locally grown foods good tasting they are good for you too.

So take a little time, plan your menus for the weeks ahead, and prepare delicious, locally sourced home-made meals for your family and friends. At the end of it all there really won’t be that much of a dent in your pocket book.

Here are some of my favourite local recipes for you to enjoy!

Grilled shrimp with rum chili glaze

Rum Chili Glaze

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 grated onion

2 tbs brown sugar

1/4 cup dark rum

1/8 tsp allspice powder

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 large lime, juiced

1 tsp chopped hot pepper (optional)

In a small saucepan melt butter, add onion and sauté until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes, do not brown or burn onion.

Add brown sugar, rum, allspice, lime juice and pepper, stir well, cook to bubbly stage, reduce heat cover and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally, mixture will thicken.

Remove from heat.


25 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails in tact

1 tbs minced garlic


freshly-ground black pepper

Marinate shrimp in garlic, salt and pepper for about 20 minutes.

Preheat grill or broiler.

Thread shrimp onto skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak in water for one hour before using ).

Grill shrimp until pink and curled, about 3 minutes per side.

Remove and brush generously with glaze, return to grill for a few minutes, turn, brush other side with glaze.

Serve hot with additional glaze if desired.

Serves 4

Stewed oxtail with cinnamon dumplings

2 lbs oxtail, sliced into 3/4 inch pieces

1 tbs minced garlic

1 tbs minced chives

1 tbs red wine vinegar

1 tbs chopped celery

2 tbs vegetable oil

2 tbs brown sugar

1 large sprig French thyme

1 pimento pepper, seeded and chopped

1/4 tsp allspice powder

1 large onion chopped

1 carrot, chopped

4 cloves

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Trim meat of fat, season with garlic, chives, vinegar and celery. Set aside for one hour.

Heat oil in a sauté pan, add sugar and caramelise to a dark brown colour, add oxtail slices and turn quickly, browning all pieces well, add the rest of the ingredients, turn well and season with salt and pepper.

Cook for a few minutes then turn heat to low and cover, let cook until tender, about 40 minutes, basing occasionally and adding water only if needed to prevent sticking.

Serves 4 to 6


2 cups flour

2 tsp butter

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and rub butter into flour until mixture is grainy, slowly all water and knead to a stiff dough. Cover and let rest for about 30 minutes.

Divide dumpling dough into 2 pieces, roll each piece into a long rope like shape about 12 inches in length, cut into 3 inch lengths, flatten slightly and drop into boiling water, cook until dumplings float to the top of the pot then drop into oxtail stew and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Flan au coco

Coconut flan

(Coconut flan)

1 cup freshly made coconut milk

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lime zest

1 cup full cream milk

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Beat coconut milk with eggs, vanilla, lime zest, milk and sugar until well blended, strain mixture.


1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

Combine water with sugar stir and bring to a boil, cook until mixture turns a caramel colour, pour into 6 ramekin dishes.

Pour flan mixture into caramel lined dishes, place into a large baking tray and fill the tray half way with water.

Bake until firm about 45 minutes.

Remove and refrigerate.

Invert before serving,

Serves 6

Green fig pie

12 green figs

2 tbs butter

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup grated cheese

salt and freshly ground black pepper


Boil figs in plenty of water, peel and crush with a potato crusher.

Now using and electric mixer add the butter and milk to the figs and beat until smooth, you may need a little more milk, add some cheese, season with salt and pepper.

Place in an ovenproof dish, combine crumbs with a little salt and cheese.

Sprinkle onto figs and broil until golden.

Serves 4

Wendy’s Cooking Classes: Call 357-0927

Chinese cooking:

Saturday Sept, 8, 9 am-12 pm

Perfect pastry:

Saturday Sept 15, 9 am-12 pm


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