Finger food favourite

Frugal Kiwi from Whakatane writes, “I love your oily rag newsletter and books! It is such a peace of mind to leave within our means and very empowering to be resourceful and find ways of getting what we want or need without going into debt. I would like to invite your readers to comment on ideas for finger food, bring a plate and other options for a get together with friends. What’s your favourite dish or recipe for a family or neighbour reunion?”

Let us know if you have suggestions for Frugal Kiwi. One of our favourites is Cheese Crisps – use a loaf of country-style bread sliced very thinly (better still, bake your own!), olive oil, and grated cheese. Place the bread on a baking tray, brush with the oil, lightly sprinkle over the cheese, and bake until crisp and golden – about 15 minutes. Break each slice into large pieces and serve warm or at room temperature. To turn these into an ultra-healthy treat, add a smear of marmite to the bread, or, to spice them up, add a touch of garlic to the oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and sesame seeds. For an extra special occasion, serve with dip or salsa.

Try a pot luck dinner – this when everyone brings along a plate as their contribution to the meal. That may mean you end up with multiple pavlovas and nothing much else, but that’s all part of the fun and people like pavlova anyway; it would be a bit more worrisome if you ended up with multiple beetroot salads and nothing else!

Or what about a progressive dinner. Entrée at one house, soup de jour at another, the main somewhere else, and dessert somewhere else again. That means you get to nosy around lots of house and no one person is stuck with all the preparation or all of the clean up activity.

Theme dinners can also be pot luck or progressive but the main idea is that the entire dinner takes on a theme, such as Mexican, Italian, Oriental… not only providing an interesting taste treat, but if you dress the part and listen to the music, or watch a DVD, you can share in that country’s culture too!

The one thing that’s the same for all of these ideas is the notion of fun, frivolity and frugality – that’s the oily rag way.