Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter, technical difficulties no end

 Happy Easter!!  It is a beautiful day and for once in a long time, the kids can hunt eggs without getting wet!  It's a good time to set the table with Granny's china and crystal and a whole set of implements.  When I was wandering through the goodwill (waiting for my husband to get a haircut next door). I happened on to a display of an Easter table setting.  I couldn't help myself, I had to fix it. Whoever set it up didn't know how to set a table.  I hope those formalities of life don't get lost in our hectic fast paced casual world.

Setting the table special sometimes and adding a splurge ingredient makes groceries on the cheap more doable.  My mother economized a lot, but we never knew it,  We always ate good for the times.
The culture of food has become more global and a lot more healthy since the 50 s in some ways.  We didn't  have the junk food that kids are being bombarded with, but we also didn't have the access to all the fresh food and vegetables that we get today.  All I remember is bananas and green peppers.  When my aunt lived with us we got grapefruit  and oranges.  I still have the scar to prove 9 I wasn't to good with the knife...the grapefruit won! LOL. We had Melmack , pink and turquoise, and aluminum glasses.  my kids informed me that Alf came from Melmack.  LOL

One of our favorites is blue cheese.  I take a box of roasted red pepper and tomato soup and add basil, milk or cream and blue cheese.  I only get the soup when Costco has it.  At Costco it is about two dollars a box.  At the grocery store it is upwards of four dollars.  I make Mac and cheese using whatever is in small supply in the cheese drawer.  I grate all the bits and pieces and mix them together and add some blue cheese.  I make a topping of breadcrumbs, parm, and parsley.  I use the word parm loosely, it's usually parm, Romano, or whatever the hard cheese I get at Costco for 12.00 a wedge.  The wedge lasts a long time.  I use a microplane to grate it.  A little goes a  long way.  Never buy parm in a box!

You don't need every gadget they make in your kitchen.  but there are a few that really make life easier and are budget friendly...that is, they pay for themselves in a short period of time.

The microwave pasta cooker passive cooks pasta , no watched or stired pot, and drains it in the same pot.

A microplane stretches cheese a long way and hides onions from an non onion eater! LOL

A food processor. Grates cheese, makes pizza dough, makes breadcrumbs...hacento you priced the bread crumbs in a box?  Not to mention they are free if you use the bread that would otherwise go to waste.  Makes short work of chopping veggies or making olive spread.  All,cheaper than buying it already prepped.

Remember, if you spend more time on the front end of the get the  meals on the table train and less
time on the back end, you will be better off.  You get paid for shopping, not for cooking.

 If you are on snap, Save up, look at garage and estate sales and the goodwill, let it be known to family and friends that you want a particular item.  You never know.  I have found blenders, and mixer parts free before.  I found a free food processor too, but it didn't have any safety features on it.  that could be penny wise and pound foolish.  Buying used or free has to be tempered with  a large dose of common sense.  I wouldn't buy a mattress used or get one from someone that wasn't a family member.  YUK.  it, most of our wood furniture is second hand either from antique stores or hand me downs.  My grandaughter has a table and chair set from old kindergarten chairs and a table I got at the goodwill for five bucks.
I digress.  This is about food ! LOL

I can't say enough about the virtues of a slow cooker.  there is something remarkable about a appliance that costs 25 bucks and with a couple minutes of work in the morning, you can have the
smell of a home cooked meal waiting for you when you walk in the door.

Next time my other catch phrase. 4+1=5 !

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