Month: August 2013

Jack vs Jamie: The Evening Standard cook-off…

From Jack versus Jamie: The great austerity challenge, Evening Standard, 30th August 2013, by Susannah Butter. “Save with Jamie, by school-dinners saviour Jamie Oliver, 38, came out yesterday and aims at getting us to “shop smart, cook clever, waste less”. He says it’s possible to save £3,000 a year by following his recipes and reminds us that around 40 per cent of food bought in Britain ends up in the bin. Cue pangs of guilt about that leftover lasagne I binned last week. But single mother Jack Monroe, 25, has taken a pop at the chef, who is worth an estimated £150 million, for his approach. Monroe is known for her blog A Girl Called Jack, where she shares recipes used to feed herself and her son Jonny, three, on £10 a week. She calls Oliver “a poverty tourist turned self-appointed tour guide”, whose comments this week about poor people squandering their cash on televisions “support damaging myths that poor people are only poor because they spend their money on the wrong things, rather than being constrained by time, equipment, knowledge or practicalities”. Monroe has a book deal with Michael Joseph, who also publishes Oliver, and a book of her recipes is due next March. Unlike Oliver’s book, Monroe’s includes desserts but both insist meat can be included in a cheap diet. It also helps if you have a liking...

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Last word: You're only an expert in what you know.

So, it’s been a bit of a furious week. Between that scrap over the Left Futures piece, to receiving 200 tweets from the same person in 24 hours that repeated how privileged I was and how dare I complain about it, to writing an article for the Independent on “massivefuckingtelly”gate, and now I’ve just rolled off the BBC Breakfast sofa, from talking to a doctor called Ann about the hot topic, televisions, again, and opened my emails to find that someone had sent me two things. The first was an article by Stephen Fry, which I nodded at all the way through. The second was a screen shot of a tweet by Caitlin Moran. More on those in a minute. Firstly, readers and people on my Facebook page often thank me for saying “what they were thinking” or “speaking for then”, but as Naga said to me on the breakfast sofa this morning, you’re only there as an expert on what you know. I don’t speak for anyone other than myself. I know that I went to a grammar school, left at 16 with a handful of qualifications, had a few minimum wage jobs in retail and coffee shops before landing a brilliant job with the Fire Service as a control operator. I know that when I fell pregnant, I had some difficult choices to make. I know that...

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Austerity cooking has been hijacked by the moralisers. (Comment is free, The Guardian)

To read the full article, Austerity cooking has been hijacked by the moralisers, click here. Published in Comment Is Free, The Guardian, 28 August 2013. Jack Monroe. Follow me on Twitter @MsJackMonroe. Find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack A Girl Called Jack is available to order at Waterstones: https://m.waterstones.com/BookDetails.aspx?bookId=10013935 or on Amazon:...

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Slummy Mummy Recipe: Pasta, Peas-N-Cheese, 22p

“Hey Sprout, do you want tomato and cheese with your pasta, or peas and cheese?” “Cheese!” “Yes, but do you want tomatoes, or peas?” “Peas!” “Peas and cheese?” “PEAS AND CHEESE!” That’s how that conversation went with SB today, having spent all day painting and cleaning and coming home to a rather limited cupboard (and equally limited levels of energy to drag myself in the kitchen to cook – yes, I have off days too…) I decided to fall back on pasta, a piece of cheese in the top of the fridge, and gave him the option of accessorising it with either half a can of chopped tomatoes, or half a can of mushy peas. This resulted, and I watched astounded as he devoured the lot, mentally adding it to my ‘quick lazy dinners’ list… Ingredients (Serves 4): 300g pasta, 23p (39p for 500g, Sainsburys Basics) 300g mushy peas, 19p (19p, Sainsburys Basics) Cheese (I used a Sainsburys Basics mozzarella ball at 44p for 125g, I’d have preferred hard cheese but didn’t have it in!) Optional – 1 vegetable or chicken stock cube, 2p (20p for 10, Sainsburys Basics) Optional – Handful of mint – from the herb garden. First, bring a saucepan of water to the boil, adding the stock cube to the water. Add the pasta and reduce the heat to simmer for around 10 minutes. When...

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"The rain is just as wet, when you went to a grammar school. It soaks you to the skin, and your three year old, too." (TRIGGER WARNING)

I’d like to apologise to anyone I seem to have mortally offended with my apparent ‘conventional attractiveness’ and taste for middle eastern food. In an article published today on ‘Left Futures’, I am apparently ‘middle class’ for ‘not spending the afternoon drinking White Ace and copulating.’ I am often advised not to respond to criticism – and I rarely do, people are entitled to their opinion. But I do respond to outright lies and misrepresentation, because I’ll be damned if people can rewrite my life and I’ll just let it lie. In a potted bastardisation of my history, I have apparently ‘been judged lightly’ as a benefit claimant because, basically, i’m pretty and cook with chickpeas. (I’ll ignore the overlooked fact that I only claim child benefit these days, and crack on…) Really? Did you read the Sun comments section, the Guardian comments, the Daily Mail comments, the comments under the Hunger Hurts post on my blog? The tweets that flooded the Sky News feed telling me to ‘stop having children’ when I’ve got just one and probably won’t have any more? The death threats when I came out as gay? Judged lightly?! So, I’m sorry I went to a grammar school when I was eleven. I failed most of my GCSEs though, if that’s any consolation. I’m sorry I chose to spend my money on chickpeas and lentils...

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