Archive for September, 2010

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Is Your Menu Dull?

September 9th, 2010

Sometimes we look at our food supply and all we see are tater peels, or so it seems.

Do you have picky eaters who put their toes under your table?  Are you mystified when it’s time to prepare a meal because you don’t know what to put together?  And, when it’s time to make dinner, do you ever feel as if you are searching through Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard, which was bare as bare could be?

It surely can seem that way, to be sure.

An account from the Associated Press reveals that our pioneer ancestors subsisted on “FLOUR MUSH” which was a mash of ground seeds, salt brush and sagebrush.  It kept them alive but I’ll betcha a nickel it was boring as all hollow.  No doubt it gave dull a whole new dimension.

Can you imagine putting a pile of flour mush on a pioneer daddy’s plate after he had chopped wood or plowed or wrestled with critters all day?  And what child back then would not have yearned for just ONE happy meal?

OK.  We may be leaning hard on the local food pantry for our sustenance.  We may be devouring food commodities and grumbling about the lack of variety.  We may have EBT cards for WIC and SNAP.  But at least we do not have to eat flour mush three times a day.

I just can’t resist sharing a story about my own parents.  Forgive me if you’ve heard it before; just smile and pretend it’s all new to you:

In 1933, Dad worked for a grocery chain.  You may have heard of it-Safeway Stores.  Times were hard and when he and mom were transferred to a small town in Kansas there was a mix-up over the paychecks.  On pay day, Dad’s check did not arrive.  So they ate out of the cupboard during  that two week pay period.  When the canned goods that had filled the shelves and foodstuffs that had stocked the icebox (Did you notice I did not say REFRIGERATOR?  It was indeed a box for ICE.) ran out, they consumed corn meal mush.  Mom boiled it, she fried it, she baked it in muffin tins.  They ate corn meal mush three times a day for days on end and were grateful to have any food at all.

Finally, one noon when Dad came home for lunch, he was carrying a grocery sack FULL of anything but corn meal! He had received his paycheck and picked up some groceries before taking his lunch break!  Mom saw him coming and she threw the batch of gruel she had waiting for him over the fence for the neighbor’s chickens.  Those old hens thought sure they had won the Hen House  lottery!

The first time I heard that story there was no Mickey D’s; in those days no one ever thought of credit cards to ‘get by on’ and it had never occurred to anyone in this story that they could ask for help.  Who knows where help might have come from, anyway?  Their relatives lived out of state; there were no ‘check to cash’ stores on any corner in Kansas then.  There were no Food Banks, either.

Human ‘beans’ are resourceful creatures.  They manage.  They make do.  You know that yourself.  You may BE one of the people who uses public assistance or maybe you are just a frugal sort of person who appreciates pinching pennies and squeezing buffaloes until they bellow!  This is why you have been drawn to this page.

I think YOU have stories similar to this.  We would LOVE to hear your stories of survival and resourcefulness.  Won’t you send them to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com?  Thanks, people.

For you faithful followers who saw the squash recipe on a very recent post, I am amused and delighted to tell you that Leanne Ely, The Dinner Diva ,posted a very similar recipe on her website today!  I’m so sure she is copying us!  grin

Mother Connie will spare you a recipe today, knowing you have some food for thought here.  I do hope your menus are not dull and if you think they are you are in a good place to garner some new ideas.  We offer recipes, tips, food news, and occasionally we are favored with posts from experts who care about users of public assistance to fund their food budgets.  We also hope you’ll surrender your email address in order to receive our series of cooking tips.  Once in awhile we offer a broadcast message but we don’t want to overload your Inboxes.

We just crave your comments here like we crave ice cream or moon pies.  Won’t you favor us by leaving a message for us on this page?  Click on “comments” and remember, you are free to remain anonymous.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated.  Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Always do business with those you trust implicitly.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Leeky Soup Pot?

September 8th, 2010

What a pity you can't smell the delicious aroma of this Cauliflower-Leek soup. We're just grateful we have a leeky pot with no mess!

Food Stamps Cooking Club members often use recipes for their cost effective dishes.  There is no recipe for this one but Mother Connie cannot WAIT to share the How-To because it is sooo delish!

Here we are, right at the beginning of the month AND of soup weather!  At least in our part of the world it’s good weather for soup; and if it’s not conducive to soup wherever YOU are, it likely will be soon.

It’s a pretty good idea at the first of the month to stretch those food dollars as well as you can because you don’t want to feel desperate when the end of the month rolls around.  One way to make food dollars go farther is to create soup from scratch.

Opening a can of commercial soup is quicker, that’s true.  But the nutrition may or may not be there and you can almost be sure that MSG, inedible as it is, WILL be.  Yuck.

Here’s how this CAULIFLOWER-LEEK soup went together:

1  leek, cut into rings and soaked in salty water to get rid of the grit.  After they have soaked-while you prep the cauliflower-rinse thoroughly and spread out on a towel to get rid of the moisture.  You will saute these later.

1 head of cauliflower, cut, salted well,cooked and drained.

As the cauliflower cooks, saute the well salted leeks in vegetable oil and drain them.  I used a strainer.

Working in batches and using a blender or a food processor, puree the cauliflower, adding in some vegetable broth or chicken broth.

Puree the leeks the same way.

Pour the pureed goods into your soup kettle, add more broth and pour in some milk so it has the color you like.

Taste test the whole works and make sure there is adequate salt AND pepper to please your palate.

If you like, you can cube some bread-I used Foccacia-scatter it across a baking sheet.  Drizzle some oil over it, sprinkle some garlic powder over it all and brown it in your broiler.  Here’s what you’ll have when it comes out, all fragrant and delish:

IF ONLY you could smell these lovelies! And they are WARM, as well! YUM!

***Cheese makes a nice garnish for this and adds protein, if you have some.

It just might be that this Cauliflower-Leek Soup could be your family’s new favorite comfort food!

For people who depend on SNAP or WIC; those who lean on food commodities and/or food pantries; even those who get Angel Food or just want to save as much money on groceries as possible, this soup will tickle your fancy and your taste buds.

If you take a notion to look at ways of bringing in another stream of income or if you just like to window shop, you might like to visit the sponsors on this page.  The Club Members who have visited our sponsors give us glowing reports about them.  I’m just sayin’…One of the most popular sponsors of the Food Stamps Cooking Club is the Dinner Diva.  She’ll make you drool.

Do you have comments or ideas to share about soup or saving money?  We’d love to hear from you: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  and we just swoon over comments on this page.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links in this post.  Should they be clicked, resulting in sales, your humble blogger would be fairly compensated.  Please do your due diligence when conducting affairs online or offline.  Always do business with those you trust implicitly.