Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Tomatoes!

August 26th, 2015

**A series of unfortunate technical issues prevents Mother Connie from posting photos.  Unless the Blog Fairies come to the aid of the cause, that’s the status of pictures.  Alas.

Now let’s talk about tomatoes.

Nebraska tomatoes are famous for their rich red color and sweet, juicy meat.  Slicers find their way to BLT sammies and we who live in Nebraska seem never to tire of that offering.

There are so many other ways to enjoy this fruit.  I remember that when I was a child my mother used her home canned tomatoes to make what she called “Stewed Tomatoes”.    Some people think of stewed tomatoes as having herbs cooked into them and maybe some end-of-the-garden goodies included.

Mom’s dish was simply tomatoes and bread.  She would leave slices of home made bread on the counter at night, covered with a clean tea towel.  For lunch the next day, she would cut the bread into squares and add the cubes into a pan full of her canned tomatoes, juice and all.  She would add salt and pepper and a generous spoonful of sugar.  When they were warm she would spoon helpings of the red sweetness onto our plates, along with whatever else was on the menu.

One of the things we saw on many lunch or dinner plates over the years were ground beef patties, salmon patties or crisp bacon.  It makes my mouth water now, just to think of those meals!

At this time of year when the tomatoes are slowing down their production one good idea for using them is to include them with other veggies to make “Ratatouie”.  I dunno if that is French for “last of the veggies” or what it means, but by washing, peeling and chopping squashes, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, or anything that is still giving life you can make a terrific meal.  Toss the whole business into a crock pot and let the appliance do your work.  Season the goodness with garlic, onion powder, a pinch of chili powder or whatever seasonings your family clamors to have and you have the makings of a great meal.  If you toast a bit of barley to add to the mix and a few beans (canned are the most convenient and least cost effective) you have complete protein.  A cabbage slaw (if you did not put cabbage into the crock pot) would make a nice side for a nutritious evening meal.  And think how great the house will smell with all that homeyness bubbling in the cooker!

One of the cooking tips I would share with you about tomatoes is this:  To cut the acidity of the tomatoes you might like to add a bit of sugar-not too much-so that the flavor is enhanced.  Sugar seems to brighten the flavor of tomatoes.

And who among us does not love a tomato sammie?  A slice of bread, smeared with  mayo or butter, a slice of red lusciousness, another slice of bread and you have pure luxury in your very own hands!

Does the peeling of tomatoes seem like a bother?  The enzymes are just below the skin but tomato skins can be tough to chew or slice.  Try this:  Using the BACK of your paring knife, use a peeling motion from the stem of the tomato to the bottom, going all the way around the tomato.  Then as you peel that tough skin will pull away from the fruit without “mooshing” it.  You’ll have a pretty, smooth tomato to slice.

Another way to use tomatoes is to cut them into wedges, arrange them on a plate and sprinkle dry sweet basil (if you have fresh basil that’s even better!) and drizzle a bit of French dressing or olive oil over the whole works.  When presented on a platter over a bed of lettuce, this dish looks pretty and even the pickiest children will be more tempted to eat fresh tomatoes.  Remember to use a pinch of sugar over the top, too!

If you use SNAP or WIC to beef up your grocery budget, here’s hoping that these ideas will be helpful for you.  Maybe you depend on a food pantry from time to time or a food drop.  If you have food commodities or garden goods from a generous benefactor this might help you to s t r e t c h your food dollars.  This blog is dedicated to those who depend on Public Assistance.  We are not selling a thing; we just want everyone to feel as valuable as they are and help those who are in need of some food ideas!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. 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. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind. If you are reading this outside of the USA, you may be leaving cookies behind.

 

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club: These Can’t Be Leftovers!

June 26th, 2015

IMG_20150626_113035736This does not LOOK like a pot of leftovers and it did not taste “left over” either!

Do you remember the spinach dish I prepared yesterday?  It was so delicious!  I dumped the meat we did not eat in with the spinach and put it away in the refrigerator.  It sat there all night, marrying all the flavors and getting even yummier.

For lunch today I sauteed carrots, onions and celery in a bit of coconut oil.  While they cooked I poured in a drizzle of beef broth so that would help finish cooking them.  While all this was warming gently, I heated the pot of creamed spinach and ground beef very slowly.  *I did NOT want it to scorch!

When the veggies were tender I added them to the pot which now became the soup pot!  The fragrance wafted through the house and coaxed The Normanator to the kitchen just to see what was cooking!

Since there were more ingredients today it needed more liquid.  I stirred some corn starch with a little water and poured that into the soup pot.  I added a bit more milk till I liked the consistency and I taste tested for quality assurance.  wink/wink

One more thing went in: about 2 cups of sliced mushrooms!  You can see what a pretty dish this made.  The bright green of the spinach, the sunny-ness of the carrots, and the milky liquid was cheerful and inviting!

We enjoyed soup plates full of this goodness and for dessert we had a small dish of strawberries.  We did not carry on scintillating conversation; we were enjoying our gourmet goodness!

Part of the reason this meal was so satisfying is that fresh ingredients were used.  During the summer months, fresh food is more readily available and here’s hoping you have as much fresh food as you need.  If you have enough to share, that’s even better.

Are you a user of an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Do you get food from a food pantry or a food bank?  Maybe you get food commodities.  It could be that you just enjoy being frugal or just getting by because you are living on a dime.  In any case, this little corner of the internet is meant for users of Public Assistance.  We dearly hope you find the information we offer you to be useful.

We have closed the comment panel but you are welcome to leave a comment for us at this address:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

 Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. 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: Cheap ‘n Cheerful

June 25th, 2015
IMG_20150521_195317004

Cooking in a cheerful environment makes creating cheap meals more enjoyable!

Here’s hoping you have not felt terribly neglected over the past months…we have been  a little busy helping The Normanator recover from open heart surgery and conduct his cardiac rehab program. You can tell that our dining room is a tad disheveled but the kitchen is cheery and I love being there to prepare our meals.

Today I want to share with you how our food pantry was a huge, ginormous help to us.  Occasionally they get truckloads of goodies that must be  used ASAP.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I went there for a meeting and upon my leave, I had bag after bag after bag of fresh ORGANIC spinach and other greens!  I was thrilled  to have this fresh produce but I knew we could not use it all.  I wondered who I could bless…

After most of the spinach had found new homes and delighted their receivers I set about to think of how I could best use the greens before they withered.

Here’s what happened:  I made a white sauce in my 4 quart saucepan, using some coconut oil, flour, milk and just a touch of salt and pepper.  I stirred it till it thickened and then I added all the freshly rinsed and drained spinach.  It completely filled the pot to overflowing.  I gently stirred the mixture as it heated.  The warmer the pot and its contents, the more quickly the greens withered into a bright mass, soaking up the lovely white sauce.

It just so happened that my “cook once/eat twice” adage was working for me…I rummaged in the freezer to find a freezer container that was full and marked “cooked and seasoned ground beef”!  I thawed that in a bit of beef broth til it was heated through thoroughly, stirring occasionally.

Just as I removed the lovely creamed spinach from the heat I sprinkled a little nutmeg over top.  Mmmmm it smelled DIVINE.  It was just as tasty.

I easily made a cheap and  cheerful meal for almost no $.  I am a happy girl!

Are you living on a dime?  Do you use SNAP or WIC goods by  having an EBT card?  Maybe you receive food commodities or get help from a food pantry.  The dish I described above can be made with canned spinach and if you have no beef, chicken, rice or orzo or potatoes could be substituted.  We just wanna help those of you who depend on public assistance for your food dollars.

Our SENCA, South East Community Action, Center will be hosting a cooking class in Tecumseh, Nebraska on July 24.  For more information you can email me: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  There is no charge for the class but you will need to know what to bring.  *It’s gonna be FUN!

Here’s hoping your summer is making your heart sing!  It really feels good to be blogging for you again.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. 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: Curry?

April 27th, 2015

The Normanator and I grew up eating liver and loving it. ONE guy at church brings it once a month; he obviously loves it, too.  But hardly anyone likes it, really.

Before you turn away in disgust, just see how we prepare it at our house:

It is rinsed and we make sure the membrane is cut away from the meat.  That membrane is what makes the meat tough…ugh!  As soon as it is rinsed, each piece is laid out on a clean dishtowel.  *You could use paper toweling, if you have it, but that uses up lots of trees.  Just sayin’…

After it has been patted dry, each slice is dunked into an egg mixture…just eggs, beaten slightly.

Next it is drawn through seasoned flour and the flour is seasoned liberally with salt, pepper and curry powder.  Any excess is gently shaken away.

These pieces are set aside on a platter while 2 or 3 onions are peeled and sliced.  Those go into  a bit of oil in a cold oven-worthy skillet or baking pan.  The meat is layered over the onions, a cover is set and the whole thing goes into a COLD oven.  The oven is set at *350 for about 45 minutes to an hour.  That’s when it’s safe to peek into the oven to check the doneness of the meat with a fork.  If the meat is tender and nicely browned and the onions are clear, with juice in the bottom of the pan, your food is ready to serve. If you want the meat to cook longer, just leave it in the oven til it looks the way you like it.

We like to serve this with spinach.  Sometimes I cream it.  If I do this, mashed potatoes are added to the menu, so the creamed veg tops the potatoes like gravy.  Other times we season the spinach with salt and pepper and a few drops of rice vinegar. *Any vinegar will do.  Spinach is beyond delicious when a pinch of nutmeg is added just before it’s served.  Nutmeg can be added to the creamed version; but adding vinegar to that is inadvisable.

This blog is dedicated to users of Public Assistance for their food dollars.  Food budgets that are strengthened by EBT cards and WIC need all the help available.  So do those budgets dependent on food commodities or food drops or food pantries.  We hope our target audience finds help from our offerings.

There is a place in the upper right hand corner for people who might like to get a series of cooking tips.  Just click the button and you are instantly a Member of the Food Stamps Cooking Club!  We cherish each member and value your thoughts and opinions.  If you have ideas to share you are welcome to send us a messsage:

foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

There is nothing to buy; no fancy apps.  Just common sense ideas for frugal food prep!  With a bit of humor, served on the side.

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there might be links on this page. 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 and Veggie Prep

January 9th, 2014

According to the Food and Drug Administration each of us needs from FIVE to NINE servings of fruits and vegetables daily.  Five is the minimum; nine is the ideal number.

The issue sometimes can be that the cook often hears “I don’t LIKE that” and it can be not only frustrating for the cook but a deterrent to good health.

So let’s talk about carrots.  They may not be a kid’s most cherished favorite but I have an idea to share-one I pinched from a FABULOUS cook in a nearby town.

First, I would caution you about baby carrots.  You know-those  little perfectly shaped cuties, packaged in handy/dandy plastic sacks.  No tips or tails to trim...these are made from carrots that are not “pretty” enough to appeal to the public.  So they are dunked in a toxic bath and trimmed to look good enough to SELL.  They are not health enhancing.  In my view, they are just like toxic bullets.  If you get a package of them and they hang around long enough, you will learn that they do not spoil.  That’s your clue that baby carrots are not good to eat.

That said, let me tell you about regular carrots and how to make them irresistible:

Trim and scrub 2 carrots for every person you’ll feed.

Slice them the way you like to see them.  It’s easy to cut them to look like coins; it’s equally easy to grate them.  The smaller the cut, the quicker they will cook.

Add some water, sprinkle some salt over the potful and allow them to cook til tender.

While they cook, very finely chop 2 ribs of celery and 1/2 of a small onion.  You may saute these in a bit of oil to enhance the flavor or you can add them as is to the cooking carrots.  The choice is yours.

When they are cooked, drain the water and add a spoonful of MAYO and a chunk of CREAM CHEESE.  Stir these into the hot veggies.  You may want to taste; they might need salt and pepper.

I first ate this dish at a pot luck meal.   I went from table to table to discover who had brought those carrots because I HAD to learn how to make them.  I asked for the recipe and the cook giggled and told me there was no recipe.  Then she described what I shared with you.  I have always loved carrots, cooked or raw, so I actually get hungry for this!

Here’s hoping this carrot dish delights YOU the way YOU delight Mother Connie.  The mail just makes tears in my eyes sometimes.  Here is our email address:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com   You are also welcome to put a message on our comment panel below this post.

Are you living on a dime ?  Do you depend on an EBT card for SNAP or WIC?  Are you a regular at the food pantry or food bank?  Do you get food commodities?  Maybe you just love being frugal.  In any case, this blog is devoted to helping you with your food budget.  No judgements, nothing to buy.  Just some help.  Maybe you could think of this corner of the internet as your cyber next door neighbor or long distance auntie!

Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this page. 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.

Searching for Menu Ideas? Food Stamps Cooking Club

February 6th, 2013

 

Are you searching the grocery ads in search of affordable menu items for your family?

It’s still winter; we still need to eat three times a day.  Although it’s the first part of the month, you are probably hoping to s t r e t c h your food budget dollars as far as March 1 without subsisting on beans and rice; rice and beans exclusively.

One of the best places to look for tantalizing menu items is the newspaper.  Wednesday’s papers are full of recipes,  photos and food columns, designed to whet our appetites.  Grocery circulars inside those papers tout the ads and special prices.

Here are  some shining examples from today’s newspaper:

“Beef Top Round * Boneless Beef Top Round * Boneless Beef London Broil are ALL ‘only’ $3.49 per pound”  I YI YI  Ground lamb is $5.99 and Ground Chuck is $3.49!  Holy Moley!

These price tags makes me think EGGS,  of which we happen to have a good supply in our fridge, thank God and our sister in law!

So my thoughts also turn to fish.  Lent is coming and fish is generally a good sale item then.  Tilapia and  Swai filets are $3.79 per pound; Salmon is $4.29 for FOUR OUNCES and Mahi Mahi is $7.49 a pound!  EEEK

Now I’m thinking beans and rice; rice and beans again.  My GOODNESS, food budgets are a challenge!

Vegetables are so important…I see there is a tiny mention of cucumbers:  4 for $3.00 and Napa Cabbage or Bok Choy for $.99 per pound.  I’m feeling slightly more hopeful.  Carrots are $1.19 and ginger root is $1.19.  I guess we could build a Chinese meal around these items.  The ad mentions that if I buy a 7 oz sack of salad greens I get a second one free.  Hm…It’s iceberg lettuce…  That’s about it for veg in this particular circular.  Surely they have more vegetables available in the store than what’s in the ad.

This circular is full of info about the bargain  prices on pre-made and deli foods, wines, pre-cut appetizer platters and bouquets of flowers.  They have a few dairy items but what is advertised is not anything humans ought to consume.  Things like processed cheese – not healthy and even it is way over priced.   None of these dairy items is budget minded and probably not the healthiest choices we could make.

It looks as if we are back to beans and rice.  Or rice and beans, whichever you prefer.

Tomorrow Mother Connie will have something tasty, healthy and much more budget minded for you to consider.  That is, if inspiration strikes like lightning!

Meantime, you are all to be commended for sharing the word about the Club…new members are signing on every day and we welcome each one with open arms.  We seriously mean to encourage anyone who is living on a dime, depending on public assistance for their food dollars.  We expect to be of service to people with EBT cards from SNAP or WIC.  We offer a hand to those who have goods from a food bank, food pantry or who get food commodities.  We love it when we hear from our members, either by commenting here or sending a message to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  We read every message and respond as we are able.  THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH.

~Connie Baum

The FTC wants you to know there are links on this blog. 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.

PS:  After this post was published, I found a link you may appreciate:

 Shopping Tips for Healthier Eating

Facebook Friends + Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 6th, 2012

 

Sofrito is something one of our Facebook friends posted. It made my mouth water, just to see the recipe and see how easy it is to prepare!

 

Summer has savaged us this year.  It has been too hot to eat lately, much less cook.  If you cook on a shoestring, it’s even more daunting.  A Facebook friend, who is also a foodie, shared this recipe and I think it’s a winner.  Here is Loren’s recipe as it appeared on Mother Connie’s timeline:

SOFRITO

‎2 green peppers, cored and diced in chunks
1 red pepper, cored and diced in chunks
4 onions diced in chunks
3 medium size tomatoes, diced in chunks
25 cilantro leaves
3medium heads of garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon of pepper.
Put everything in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. I freeze mine in ice trays, so I can use one at a time and it does not have to be cooked unless you use it in stews, roasting meats, etc. Enjoy!!
Thank you, Loren.  I’m sure we shall!
Another way to prepare an inexpensive summer meal is to use zucchini pesto.  Goodness knows the zukes are still coming and when you top pasta with pesto you have a quick, affordable meal that will tantalize the taste buds of everyone in your family!  This is DELICIOUS!
Another Facebook friend and foodie from across the pond in the UK offered this treat!
Zucchini Pesto
2 medium zucchinis, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
Approx 1/2 cup fresh basil or other herb  *MC here:  Use dried if that’s all you have.
Scant 1/4 cup sunflower seeds with no shells
Heaping 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan *MC again:  I bet the Kitchen Police will have nothing to report if you use whatever Parm you have available.  Unless you’re close to Italy, that is.  grin
Heaping -although oil doesn’t heap well- 1/4 cup olive oil *MC once more: Don’t mention to the K.P. if you have no olive oil and wish to substitute another veg oil.  I’ll never tell, either.
This a very quick and easy prep and can be made in 5 minutes from start to finish.  Pop your zukes, seeds, garlic, and cheese into the blender and process until chunky.  Start adding the oil in a slow and steady drizzle.  Continue to puree into the mixture is smooth.  Add salt to taste and you are ready to eat!
A zucchini pesto tastes like summer and since you can get it ready in mere minutes, it makes the perfect after-work al fresco dinner!
~Debs Parkes
Debs, thank you very much.  I’m sure our Members will appreciate having this summer specialty!
Are you holding an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Do you visit a food bank or food pantry?  Are you using food commodities?  Do you s t r e t c h your food budget as far as you dare month after month?  Are you living on a dime?   If any of these describes your situation, you may feel as if you are never listened to or never heard.  The good news is that someone does care.  The Food Stamps Cooking Club is loaded with people who are in the same boat AND you are invited to submit your story to people who want to know about it.
In our last post, we introduced you to Meg Cramer.  She is associated with the Public Insight Network.  She and her colleagues are really interested to hear from anyone who has received public assistance, so please share your story, if you are so inclined.  It’s quick, painless, confidential and there is nothing to buy.  In order to participate in this important activity, just click on the links that say “Meg Cramer” and “Public Insight Network“.  If you have questions, she welcomes your  email Meg at cramer.net@gmail.com .
If you have scoped out the blogs we have mentioned recently, you know how delightful they really are.  It’s noteworthy that most of the bloggers who receive comments are kind enough to reply to those comments.  You don’t often find that kind of attention to people who take the time to comment; how refreshing!  Again, we invite you to visit Creative Savv or CT On a Budget, as well as  Poor to Rich a Day at a TimeBe sure to mention that Mother Connie sent you!   If YOU find blogs you think we’d appreciate, please feel free to share!
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.

Orzo-Broccoli Summer Salad at Food Stamps Cooking Club

July 19th, 2012

Cool, refreshing summer salads are just the ticket for hot days and hungry families!

Do you have some Orzo in your pantry?  Orzo looks like rice but it is really a tiny pasta.  Not as itty-bitty as couscous, but quite small.  It makes a big hit out of your meal, though, if you know how to combine it with other goodies. 

Mother Connie ran across a salad that really could be a go-to for comfort food, as a potluck contribution or just something different on a hot summer day.  Methinks this salad could also seque into a year around fave comfort food, particularly for those who use EBT cards for SNAP or WIC; those who depend on food commodities or food pantries or those who are just plain frugal and watch the food budget like a hungry hawk. If you ARE living on a dime, you know what Mother Connie means!

ORZO-BROCCOLI SALAD

4 oz orzo

1 large head broccoli, cut into florets.  This should yield about 5 or 6 cups of veg

1/2  cup finely cut green onions

1/2  cup finely chopped black olives, drained

1  small grated carrot

1  cup corn *fresh off the cob or frozen or canned and drained

1  teaspoon dried oregano

1  clove garlic, very finely minced

1/4  teaspoon pepper

1/3  cup vegetable oil  *Olive oil would be my first choice…

1/4   cup vinegar  *red wine or rice, if you have it-the Kitchen Police won’t mind…

Cook the orzo according to the package directions.  During the last few minutes, add the chopped broccoli so it cooks to tender.  Drain the whole works in a colander and rinse with very cold water.  This keeps the orzo from overcooking. 

In a large bowl, put the orzo, broccoli, olives, green onions, carrot, corn, oregano, garlic and pepper.

Using a glass measuring pitcher, whisk together the oil and vinegar.  Toss with the salad ingredients.  Add salt to taste.  Chill thoroughly before serving.

All you’d need to make this a complete meal would be a protein-Fish?  Cold Chicken? Meat patty?  Serve some fresh fruit for dessert and you have a quick, easy, CHEAP meal.  It takes a total of half an hour to prepare from start to table and will serve 8 people.

This summer weather has been brutal all over the country.  Mother Connie reminds you all to drink lots of water, pay attention to the way you feel if you are outdoors in the heat or indoors without a cooling system and look out for your neighbors, particularly those who are elderly.

We LOVE LOVE LOVE your comments and we know you have been cruising around, visiting our favorite sites.  They love your comments, too!  We are all in this together, kids.  Let’s all support one another!

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.

*Uh, did we mention how much fun we find the MAIL to be?  Yes.  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com…THANKS, KIDS!  grin

Shopping For Sale Items: Food Stamps Cooking Club

May 18th, 2012

 

SAVE BIG MONEY BY WATCHING FOR SALE ITEMS!

We can ALWAYS count on the Club Members to come up with great solutions to the problem we all face:  Taming the family budget!  Whether we are shopping for food or household items, timing is everything.  MikeMax, bless her heart has come through for us with this message:  THANK YOU, MIKEMAX!

From the desk of MikeMax:

“For those of you who budget from month to month and usually run out of money by the time you run out of month: Try to hang onto a little extra ca$h this month. There will be really good sales over Memorial Day, which is the 28th this year.  You might save big on groceries and on lawn and garden items. Memorial Day is a good time to stock up on condiments, canned beans, etc., for the summer. You may also find “grilling” meats on sale, since Memorial Day is the first big weekend of the summer.

Ace Hardware-and likely Home Depot and Lowe’s-will have great prices on garden tools, fertilizer and such like. No, I don’t have any inside info–they just always do! Some of the best deals at Ace will likely include a rebate. They process their rebates very quickly, but you will still need to be a few dollars ahead to take advantage of them. Watch the newspaper for flyers the week before the holiday weekend.”

Great ideas with foresight, MikeMax.  Those young ‘uns who are just starting to keep house will surely find it helpful and those of us whose households are firmly established can always use reminders!

Now, if I may change the subject abruptly:

Several posts ago Mother Connie posted the recipe for Celery Salad.  It featured celery and onion and was a BIG hit in the Club House!  WEll, here is a bit of a PS:  We did not eat the last bit in the first sitting so FROZEN PEAS were added to what was left for the next go round.  O MY, talk about DELISH.  This salad would be a perfect take-along for a summer picnic, especially if you omitted the mayo and used only the dressing.  I’m thinking Memorial Day…

Each time the mail comes in, it is heartening to see how you are sharing this blog with others.  This must mean that we are accomplishing our goal of helping people who must cook frugally!  This whole project was designed for those who use WIC or SNAP’s EBT cards; we cater to people who depend on food pantries and/or  food commodities  as well as those who are living on a dime, just love to squeeze those nickels til the buffalo bellows or are just cheap by nature!  For those of you who have joined our bunch, we hope you like our series of cooking tips.

It seems as if everyone who is lucky enough to have work these day  probably has TWO jobs.  People are tired, stressed, and hungry at the end of a day.  We cannot plug in your crock pot or turn on your oven for you but we hope we make your life a wee bit easier by providing recipes and ideas that give your families good, sound nutrition for very little money.

The school years are grinding to a halt around here.  Let’s hope every family has a safe, happy summer, full of tremendous good memories and great, affordable meals!

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.

 

Bean Talk at Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 22nd, 2011

 

If you are talking BEANS, I am hearing BLACK BEANS!

The bean does not exist that Mother Connie does not love.  I recall with fondness the many kettles of White Northern or Navy beans my mother cooked every Monday she washed clothes as she used the old wringer washer!  Bits of bacon or ham went into the bean pot, as did shreds of carrot and pieces of onion.  They soaked on the counter top every Sunday night and when supper time rolled around they were paired up with crusty cornbread!  We could depend on eating beans and cornbread every wash day, which-of course-was traditionally Monday.

SIDEBAR:  Could you live YOUR life, knowing that Monday was always to be laundry day?  END SIDEBAR.

Through the years, Mom often cooked lima beans, even though my dad groaned his displeasure.  She also made baked beans with weiners, back in the bygone days of CHEAP NATURAL CASING HOT DOGS!  And of course, she was big on bean salads of every stripe and color.

Mom talked about a childhood that was-shall we say austere?  She and her sister both remembered being hungry at bedtime on a regular basis.  Wash day was not the only time they saw a plateful of beans!  Grandma did well to have enough dry beans to make meals with, especially because meat-and money and food-was mighty scarce.

Neither Mom nor my aunt were never ill as youngsters, so what little food they did have to eat nourished them well. Mom was 86 when she made her transition…she still had her own teeth!  Maybe mineral-rich beans were all right, after all!

Beans provide color and variety; fiber and texture.  They are a staple all around the world.

My Inbox held a wonderful recipe for chickpeas and grains this morning.  I was thrilled about it until I found out that recipe was not meant for sharing.

SIDEBAR:  HUH?  No sharing recipes?  What’s that about?  And if it is not for sharing, why was it in my Inbox?  NO FAIR! END SIDEBAR.

Let’s just say again that beans and grains make a complete low cost protein and let that stand.  If you and your family favor a certain type of bean and you have a favorite grain, I would strongly encourage you to mix and match and come up with your OWN recipe.

SIDEBAR:  If/When you DO that, feel free to put it into our Inbox for sharing.  The email address will appear below!  END SIDEBAR.

Beans lend themselves to salads, side dishes, entrees and snacks.

Chef Shawn Bucher reminds us that RE-FRIED beans are really “smashed” beans.  I found that comical.  When I read that, my mouth watered and I pined for little tortillas with a dab of re-fried beans, topped with a dollop of sour cream.

Any variety of cooked beans-canned or home cooked-adds interest to stir fry dishes, soups, salads, or even sandwiches.  Have you mashed any beans and used those “smooshed” beauties as a sandwich spread in lieu of mayo or butter?  They can be run through the food processor, along with sandwich meat or eggs and flavored with a dash of vinegar, some pickle relish and a bit of salad dressing, oil, or mayo.  Used this way, they can fill lettuce cups or be a sandwich spread.  This is ideal for lunchboxes!

People who have food commodities are likely to have beans on the shelf in their kitchens.  The same is true for users of a food pantry.  If you have an EBT card for WIC or SNAP; if you have Angel Food Ministries foodstuffs or you are a coupon clipper, you are very likely to have a stash of canned or dry beans around.

On the other hand, if you just like being very careful with your food dollars you are very likely to have a variety of beans to make your home cooked meals interesting and economical.

We are eager to hear from all of you about the way YOU use beans.  Just send your info to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.comWE LOVE MAIL!

We also l0ve having new Club Members!  We have a brand new batch, so treat ’em all with love!  Please make all the new kids feel welcome here.

Connie Baum

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