No meat left? Still two more days till payday and only half a dozen items in the fridge and cupboard?
Refuse to be defeated, let your imagination go wild with leftovers.
The dinner hour is nearing and the troops are getting restless.
As you seek the dinner fairy in the fridge you instead find three slices of pineapple and a half-eaten tray of strawberries, staring back at you defiant in the knowledge they are safe as they are nearly out-of -date anyway.
In the cupboards the only cereal left behind is oats, because there is only so much of that the kids will eat.
If you move near-empty boxes around you might find a some uneaten sultanas leftover from the school lunches, which serves as a reminder that if you check the schoolbags you will probably find another box in there.
And if you scrounge around you might find a couple of spoonfuls of custard powder clinging precariously to their hiding spot at the back of the herbs and spices, or even better you actually have some flour left, though nearly unidentifiable as to which type.
Be not afraid! Seize the moment and drag that fruit out of the fridge into action and knock up a lovely fruit crumble that will quell the troops.
Chuck your pineapple rings in a frying pan, coat with some sugar, add a teaspoon of water and lightly brown and turn off the heat, and cut your rings into chunks.
If you are out of the white magic stuff, use brown sugar, its always my favorite as far as flavor is concerned.
And if you are out altogether use the real stuff, honey, or even golden syrup or molasses.
They taste better anyway in crumbles.
Its really almost a glaze you are trying to achieve with the pineapple, and it will do most of the work itself.
Halve the strawberries and put them in a small pan with a bit of honey and a couple of spoonfuls of water, and let barely soften.
Remove the strawberries, and add them to the pineapple mix.
Let the leftover strawberry juice keep reducing, chuck in any sultanas (or mixed fruit if thats all you have!).
If you have any ginger of any type, fresh, dried, crushed, whatever, just add a scraping into the strawberry juice, and if you can find a dried up bit of lemon squeeze that into the reduction.
Remove pan from heat and pour the reduced juice over the fruit, and pop the mix into a baking dish and start your crumble.
Add one (or two if you are lucky) packets of oats in a bowl with whatever flour you can spare (few big heaped spoons will suffice), along with some sugar and a pinch of cinnamon.
If you have a teaspoon of butter (keep it real if you can!) rub it through the oats and flour.
If you are desperately out of butter, try a little milk, or milk and that last egg in the fridge (though I would be saving that for someone more).
Pop the mix into an oven about 180 degrees, and bake 10-15 minutes, or if its is golden brown before that take it sooner.
If you have a couple of spoonfuls of icecream left in the freezer, share evenly between children keeping one spoon left side for yourself.
When the kids leave with sticky faces and full tummies , sneak your ice-cream and crumble to the bedroom and ask in a loud voice that the kids come help you make the beds.
You will be guaranteed peace and quiet and time to enjoy a really lovely dish.