Live Below The Line: Day Two and Mac and Cheese for 40p

Breakfast – water
Lunch – chickpea curry made with passata, an onion and frozen veg, with rice. 46p
Dinner – mac and cheese with mixed veg. 40p
Snacks – two slices of bread. 12p
TOTAL – 98p

Today has sucked.

It’s sucked because I woke up hungry and couldn’t eat until 1pm.

It’s sucked because of people breathing their delicious chocolatey breath over me in a meeting where they’d all enjoyed complimentary cakes/biscuits and I hadn’t been able to.

It’s sucked because there was office cake which I had to turn down.

It’s sucked because seconds after the office cake I received a Dominoes Buy One Get One Free offer.

It’s sucked because even when I don’t feel hungry I feel light-headed and my brain is foggy.

It’s sucked because people opposite me had delicious milky coffee and the smell made me want to leap across the desk and punch them so I could steal it.

It’s sucked because I can’t tell if these aches and pains are an oncoming flu/bug or just hunger pains.

But it’s been good because you people are amazing and have donated £228, which is amazing.

Seriously, though, this is really shite. I’m really sad and mopey, which I’m not trying to be but it keeps seeping out. I don’t feel actively sad, but Garry at one point was offering to pay me to smile because I looked so low. That’s not ideal, really.

Part of me feels like I’m massively overreacting and I feel stupid for that. This is just…really hard. Harder than I thought it’d be.

Anyway. Here’s a recipe for my 40p mac ‘n’ cheese, adapted from this by Jack Monroe. I got it this cheap by using really, really bad cheese and from Garry’s absolutely massive tub of milk.

Serves two

  • 160g penne pasta
  • 100g of mixed frozen veg
  • 40g semi-skimmed milk
  • 50g mature cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil

Put the pasta in a bowl of water and bring to the boil. Add the mixed frozen veg, bring to the boil again and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

In a different pan mix the oil and flour to form a paste. Then add the milk a dash at a time and stir. Put over a medium heat

Add the cheese to the sauce and stir until melted. Add splashes of water, stirring until you get a nice smooth sauce. Remove from the heat.

Drain the pasta/veg and mix with the sauce. Divide into two ovenproof dishes, sprinkle cheese over the top if you have any extra and bake at 220C until the cheese melts and the pasta on top is crispy.

If you need help, there’s a video tutorial (and a video diary) below.

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