Posts Tagged ‘Farmers’ Markets’

Breaking News at Food Stamps Cooking Club!

September 5th, 2012

*Photo of  Chef Lawrence De Villiers is on its way…   :/



We have made a French connection!

Recently, the Lincoln Journal Star featured an article about an entrepreneur who has been making a splash at a Farmers Market.  French pastry chef Lawrence De Villiers came to Lincoln from Normandy, France.   His  story deeply touched my heart.  This incredible man  and his coming to our part of the world is something of a … well, in my view, it’s a God thing.

Contact info was given so I sent an email, explaining how the Food Stamps Cooking Club makes every effort to support those who depend on public assistance for their food dollars.  I recounted how we’ve had Kay Young, the author of “Wild Seasons” who taught us how to eat from our yards; we’ve had a demonstration about canning sauerkraut; we gave a presentation about stocking the pantry and shopping; we even showed a collection of people from a group home how to prepare a simple menu and save  money.  One chef has sent us tips; another had hoped to do a class but his schedule went awry when their newborn appeared!  I invited Chef Lawrence to give a class about crepes and this is what happened:

I had just hit SEND when the phone rang.  IT WAS OUR FRENCH CHEF!  He spoke with a lovely French accent and said he would be delighted to give a class in the Club House, no less!

Since the arrangements have been put in place, I have been positively breathless!  Here’s what GOT me:  I offered to supply the ingredients he would need.  He responded by telling me that the piece in the newspaper had created a lot of buzz and new business for him.  He felt a strong need to give back.

Next month, on October 2, we will host a dozen folks for this event and we hope to video tape it, as well.  Chef Lawrence De Villiers will show us the fine points of making crepes and for a special treat, he will make us a Crepes Suzette! 


Be careful what you wish for…it will appear!

Those of you who lean hard on SNAP or WIC and the EBT cards that go with those programs know how important it is to feel supported.  The same is true for people who are using Food Commodities or getting things from a Food Pantry or Food Bank.  People who are living on a dime but not using public assistance understand the need to feel appreciated and supportedWe are doing what we know to do to help you feed, nutritious food to those you love. 

This does not happen in a vacuum.  Those Club Members who chat over our proverbial “backyard fence” by leaving comments, those who send emails with great ideas and recipes, and those who stand on the sidelines and cheer us on all contribute to the common good.  For all these, Mother Connie’s heart is bursting with gratitude and joy.  Thank you, everyone.

It’s a pity we can’t cram the whole Food Stamps Cooking Club membership into our living room…but we’ll do the best we can to share the event via video!

Tomorrow we’ll dip into the mail bag and share some great stuff that you people have contributed.  Today we are dancing on the table tops, doing the Happy Dance!

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.

I Heart Cooking and I Heart Food Stamps Cooking Club!

July 18th, 2011
My, but it’s been a long time since we were all in the Club House! You all have been sorely missed!

Oh, my!  It feels SO GOOD to be back as your humble blogger.  Technology is wonderful when it works and when it doesn’t–well, let’s just say it can interrupt the flow of life! 

Things have been happening at breakneck speed while the blog was quiet...we have so many new members to welcome and thank!  We are working feverishly on an offline cooking class and recipes have been pouring in!  WE LOVE IT ALL!

That we have so many fresh new faces around the Club House tells me that a need is being met.  People who use EBT cards from WIC or SNAP are getting some valuable assistance; those who have food from commodities or a food pantry are looking for help in creating interesting, low cost dishes for their families and those who are frugal by nature are coming to share ideas and offer their wisdom.  It is so wonderful to have all these souls coming together for a common cause!  Thanks, EVERYONE.

The Normanator and I are extremely grateful for Angel Food Ministries.  We feel that we are doubling our food budget dollars by using this valuable service that is open to EVERYONE, regardless of your situation.  They also welcome those EBT cards from SNAP and you can order online.  Point, click, save!

Before we were so rudely interrupted by electronic glitches we were on a rant about BEANS.  While we were down a wonderful recipe arrived at the Club House door by one of our most faithful charter members and I want to share it here.  I am warning you:  IT IS DELISH!

Pork and Bean Cake

Yes, pork and beans; that is not a misprint!  ~Mother Connie

1  15 oz can pork and beans

1  8 oz can crushed pineapple, juice and all

Beat well until beans are pureed.

Add 2 cups sugar

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat well for 2 minutes

Add 2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Beat well.  Pour into large UNGREASED jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes.

When cool frost with this mixture:

1  6 oz pkge cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

4 cups powdered sugar

The finished product will remind you of spice cake and you will be delighted!

Thanks to KIM for this offering.

Do you have something “beany” to share?  Shoot us an email:   We appreciate you and your ideas.

We will be keeping you all in the loop about the upcoming offline cooking class, so do keep your eyes open for that.  Those of you who do not live in SE Nebraska will have access to some of that information because we plan to video a portion of the presentation.  EACH OF YOU IS CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OF THIS GATHERING OF LIKE MINDS! 

Gardens around town are bountiful now; there are some tremendous ideas to share about TOMATOES so if the computer behaves itself, those ideas will be forthcoming.  grin

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



Creamy & Dreamy for Food Stamps Cooking Club

June 13th, 2011


Looking yummy…could ANYTHING make this dish more appealing?

It feels soooo good to be back in the Club House with all of you!  Thank you for your patience in the absence of your fearless leader and welcome to all the MANY new Members!

During the break that was mine I had occasion to discover a new product.  Being the daughter of a grocer gives me a healthy curiosity about any new item.  Those of us who stocked shelves greeted new products with delight but shuddered to figure out where anything new would FIT.  We already had more products than shelf space!

SIDEBAR:  Sound familiar?  I know our kitchen cabinets groan sometimes…END SIDEBAR.

The new kid in town is “cooking cream.”  I was suspicious the moment I saw the colorful packaging.  My very first thought was, “And just WHY would I need cooking cream?”

When I did some grocery shopping I looked for the stuff in the dairy case.  Sure enough, EVEN IN OUR TINY TOWN, it sat among the cream cheese and there were 3 flavors.  I looked at the cute package and perused the label.  Yes.  Just as I suspected.  JUNK in that trunk!  Nothing in the ingredient list struck me as necessary to the new “Plate Graph” the USDA just released.

Then I canvassed the pros.  I asked Chef Shawn and Chef Josh what they thought about cooking cream.  I could not hear them laugh via email but their amusement over such an unnecessary product came through loud and clear.  These two are all about good food for little money so they were not shy about saying that we need not use the silly stuff.

So, kids, the bottom line is this:  if you think your dish needs  something creamy, think of sour cream or a home made white sauce, with or without cheese.  Don’t stoop to using non-nutritional, costly packets or cooking cream or anything else commercial.

Our email account has been busy:, for which we are grateful.  WE LOVE MAIL.  We do not love spam. 🙁

Since June is in full swing, our attention is beginning to turn to the offline cooking class!  We eagerly welcome your ideas.  This IS YOUR CLUB, after all!

With warmer weather here to stay we hope you are eating big salads with lots of home grown greens and other veggies from your gardens or Farmers Markets.  Carol has a dynamite suggestion for shopping Farmers Markets…she only shops with ONE vendor.  She and the vendor have a relationship based on loyalty and trust and she gets great value for her food dollars.

Maybe you use food commodities or food from a food pantry…If you are shopping at a Farmer’s Market or using Angel Food from Angel Food Ministries or you are an EBT card carrying user of SNAP or WIC – or if only you love to be frugal and s t r e t c h your food budget dollars as far as possible, we hope this cheery little spot in cyberspace is helpful to you and yours.

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.

PS:  In case you missed Mikemax’s comment here it is again!  This is VERY exciting news!

“My friend Mary is visiting. Her husband is president and weekly volunteer at a community food pantry in Oregon. She told me about a cookbook a young girl wrote for her Girl Scout Gold Award (similar to Eagle Scout for BSA). It features low cost recipes using products typically available at food pantries. She tested every single recipe and Mary says they are good! She is going to try to get me a copy and I will share the recipes and any words of wisdom therein.”

YAY, Mikemax!  YAY, Mary!  Good on YOU!





Lorraine Wellman and Connie Baum Speak About Food Stamps Cooking Club?

February 17th, 2011

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Shoppers, Take Note!

November 22nd, 2010

This young man is responsible for today's post! He wrote an insightful piece for his newspaper, The Columbia Tribune. You'll love it, especially if you ever frequent Farmers Markets!

This handsome YOUNG man-I swear he looks to be too young to drive!-is T J Greaney and his well written article caught my eye.  I have his permission to reprint what appeared in the Columbia, Missouri  DailyTribune on Sunday, November 21, 2010:

‘Farmers market tries out food stamp program

By T.J. Greaney Columbia Daily Tribune

Sunday, November 21, 2010

At the Columbia Farmers Market yesterday, Stephanie McGuire used an EBT card given to all recipients of food stamps. The mother of two asked for only $24 worth of wooden tokens, which are redeemable as cash at the stalls in the outdoor market, but instead she received double that amount.

It wasn’t a mistake.

McGuire is part of a pilot program sponsored by Sustainable Farms and Communities Inc. that is doubling the food stamp dollars for shoppers at the market.

“Everything here is so amazing,” McGuire said while toting a bag of butternut squash, acorn squash and potatoes. “We never realized how big the farmers market is and how bountiful it is, really.”

The program will officially launch in March and organizers hope they can raise $50,000 to fully fund it, making it available to all local food stamp recipients. The program now is in a trial stage with only a handful of participants.

Casey Corbin, executive director of Sustainable Farms and Communities Inc., said the idea behind the project is to give people who live on a fixed budget access to locally grown produce, meats and dairy.Many of the healthy foods found at the outdoor market are more expensive than those in supermarkets, and food stamp recipients typically are unable to pay a premium for higher quality.

The pilot program seeks to eliminate that barrier.

“It’s like walking through the market and everything’s 50 percent off,” Corbin said. “And some vendors have already pledged to offer further discounts for people with the cards.”

Congress created the Farmers Market Nutrition Program for WIC participants in 1992 and expanded those benefits to low-income seniors in 2000. However, the funds for those programs are limited, typically maxing out at $30 per recipient per year. In 2008, a private organization based in Connecticut, Wholesome Wave, pushed the concept even further by doubling food stamps used at participating markets. That program has been successfully implemented at dozens of markets across the nation.

Sustainable Farms and Communities Inc. hopes to bring the Wholesome Wave model to Columbia.

Yesterday, Corbin and others held a fundraiser at Orr Street Studios to kick off what advocates hope will be a successful winter of fundraising from private donors.

In addition to doubling food stamps, the group also plans to hold community cooking classes and hand out free pots, pans, utensils and cookbooks to needy families.

Corbin said the instructional classes will be held in local churches and teach basic food safety and recipes.

“One of the big concerns in our community meetings was, ‘What good is it to have great access to healthy foods you can afford, when most people who have been living off frozen foods from Sam’s Club don’t know how to cook anymore?’” Corbin said. “I personally don’t know that many people who know how to cook.”

McGuire, who works part time as a breastfeeding peer counselor, said she likes the fact that the trips to the market are opening her daughters’ eyes to new foods.

Yesterday as father, Shane Capuano, cuddled 6-month-old Keira in his arms, the couple’s 3-year-old Rhiannon excitedly walked from stall to stall.

She watched eagerly as an accordion player belted out “Old McDonald.” This wasn’t like a typical trip to the supermarket.

“I think she’s tried a lot of things here that she wouldn’t normally, because a lot of the sellers here will hand you pieces of different kinds of vegetables just as samples,” McGuire said.

“Last time we were here, someone said, ‘Hey, would you like to try a turnip?’ And she was like “OK” and that’s not something we eat a lot of. It definitely gives her a new perspective.”’

SO!  There you have it, kids.  If YOU are a user of an EBT card for SNAP or WIC; if you love fresh fruits and veggies and other goodies readily available at Farmers Markets or if YOU use foods from a food pantry or YOU have food commodities, this item is no doubt of interest to you.  If you use Angel Food bundles this should appeal to you, as those can be purchased with EBT cards.  Even if you are just cost conscious about YOUR own food budget, this article should give you hope about getting families fed.

We at the Club want to thank Mr. T J Greaney and his newspaper for granting us permission to use the article.  I hope you will cruise on over to his newspaper and leave your comment…AFTER you leave one HERE, of course.  Grinning and winking…Here’s hoping you will find time to send us a message at, too.

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: Doing the Happy Dance?

October 24th, 2010

I dunno if this is how the Happy Dance looks but Mother Connie is HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!

When it was decided that people who use public assistance to fund their food budgets-SNAP and WIC, for example or food commodities; even food pantries it never occurred to Mother Connie that it would have the impact that we are seeing today!

Here’s what’s really going on:

You know how I nag all of you for comments…well, many of you have responded thoughtfully by offering your remarks, your messages, your recipes, your blog posts and your undying support.  You have even, much to the delight of this blogger, created community and dialogue!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!  THANK YOU!

Some people are shy, however.  Even though you know you can comment anonymously, there are those who have great ideas but are just too bashful to come forward.  Mother Connie understands.

Today the phone rang; on the other end was a gentleman who wanted to touch base with the Club to let someone know he loves to cook but doesn’t always know for sure how things go together.  We had quite the discussion about limes vs lemons and cilantro and how much might be too much.  It was exhilarating, because I realized once again that we are making an impact!

Our caller is an avid and talented gardener.  He has a market garden, which means he raises organic foods that are sold at the Farmers Market.  His customers clamor for his melons, his tomatoes and his luscious sweet potatoes.  As his crops ripen they quickly go to market to be purchased by people who seek quality foodstuffs.  He promised to taste test the sweet tater recipe in question and will happily share it here!

DO YOU SEE HOW YOU ALL ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE?  I want you to go to the mirror, smile at your self and say “Thank You.”  Say it like you mean it because you all are wonderful!

In the same vein, I can tell you that recently I was able to promote the use of Angel Food Ministries to a couple of group homes-boy, do THEY ever need to save money on food!-and to some people who had not heard of the wonderful service they render.

We all need one another, you see.  And Mother Connie is doing the Happy Dance because you are all rallying around one another in full support!



Mother Connie

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: Could Your Head EXPLODE?

August 31st, 2010

You won't BELIEVE what is happening to our healthy choices!

SOMETIMES Mother Connie is sure her head may explode!  Get a load of THIS:  There is an advertising campaign which takes baby carrots, packages them like junk foods-e.g. chips, cookies, etc-and trots them out to tempt children!

Oh, this is fraught with issues.  #1, it’s probably a clever concept and someone will likely be handsomely paid for thinking of it.

#2, I have serious issues with baby carrots.  Yes.  Baby carrots are NOT healthy, NOT nutritious and in some cases they are downright dangerous.

#3, is it kosher for people to appeal to kids in this way?  It makes me squeamish.

The reason why baby carrots are not good is that the clever food processing people take all the ugly, misshapen carrots and make them look perfect because after all, we eat with our eyes first.  Right?  Right.

The problem is that after they get them shaped just so, they dunk them in a vat of slush that purports to keep them sanitary.  That vat has CHLORINE in it in order to kill the bad guys that might be growing there.  Those carrots sit in that brine from the time they go in to the time you use the little critters.  Didn’t you ever notice how LONG those things keep and HOW SLIMY THEY ARE? Yuck!

The manufacturers can dress them up any way they like to sell more stuff.  But if you dress up a pig and put lipstick on it, IT IS STILL A PIG.

Does Mother Connie make herself clear, people?

Families who are managing their food dollars with the help of WIC or SNAP and an EBT,  need to have accurate information about the food they purchase.  For people who use Angel Food Ministries, for those who have items from a food pantry or use food commodities, these are important considerations.  If you have goods from a Farmer’s Market or are just plain frugal and you love food, especially comfort foods, you need to have good information about the food you and your loved ones consume!

Good food is good food.  It should be good FOR you, not just perfectly pretty.

If you have REAL carrots, with their imperfections and all, I want to share a prep tip with you.  And if you get your kids involved in shopping or growing or digging or cleaning the produce the chances of them EATING it are much, much greater.  Here’s what’s really good:


1 pound of real carrots, scrubbed, not peeled.  Do cut off the end pieces for your stock pot.

Cut the carrots the way you want them to look.  They can be grated, cut crosswise, chopped into chunks-however you like them.

Put them in a heavy saucepan and add some water and salt.  Bring them to a boil; reduce the heat to a simmer and allow them to cook till fork tender.

Drain them, add a spoonful of butter to them and let that melt.  Add 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar and a sprinkle of nutmeg.  These will smell divine, taste so elegant and those kids will beg for second helpings!


Mother Connie

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: Is It ALL About the Money?

August 31st, 2010

Everywhere you look, people are fighting for the money it takes to survive!

According to USA Today there is grim news.  According to an article that appeared yesterday-thanks to Sandra for bringing this to our attention-more than 40 million people are using an EBT card for SNAP to feed their families!

I can tell you for certain that there are also people who NEED this assistance but for whatever reasons they do not qualify for benefits.

People who have Medicare-50 million of us-may have those benefits but paying the bills not covered by Medicare can leave the food budget in a shambles.

Hopefully this page will help you to hone your survival skills, particularly if you  use public assistance OR NEED IT; if you use food commodities or visit a food pantry.  Mother Connie wonders seriously and aloud if the Soup Kitchens of the 1930s will soon reappear.

Someone asked me this question yesterday:  “Why do you wake up every day?”

People who need help with feeding their families propel me out of bed every day.  Scouring newspapers, cookbooks, newsletters, articles online and speaking with neighbors and friends to pick their brains in order to help families manage their food dollars and keep their dignity intact is my main push.

There are a great many factors at work in the world.  Politics, greed, fear, natural disasters and of course, the stinking economy.  It doesn’t matter WHY the issue exists; what matters is that people can feed their loved ones and be well!

Bringing you food ideas, recipes, tips and including you in our circle is critical to all of us.  We want to teach your children the best ways to create meals as well as memories.  We want to help you learn better and better ways of preparing foods in order that you can be well and happy and do it all within your means, no matter how meager.

We cannot do this alone.  We need one another in this Club.  We must have one anothers’ backs in order to bring out the best in everybody.

Today is the last day of the month.  If your house is anything like ours, your cupboard might be looking bare.  Your canisters may be low or empty.  The fridge sounds hollow; so does the freezer.  It is so easy to run out of food dollars before the end of the month.  I want to share a simple dish we turn to on EOM (end of the month) days:

Eggs with Zucchini

1 small onion, chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

Saute these in a bit of oil in a skillet until the veggies are “sweaty”.

Add 2 cups of peeled and grated zucchini.  Be sure to squeeze out excess moisture before you add the zukes to the other vegetables.

Let these hang out in the skillet until the zucchini is soft.

Add 1 cup of cooked rice, quinoa, oatmeal or barley

Stir well until everything is heated thoroughly.

Add 4 beaten eggs and cook on medium low heat until the eggs are cooked.

As soon as the eggs go into the skillet, season the whole shootin’ match with salt, pepper and curry powder (or whatever else your gang likes best!)  to taste.  It won’t take much of any of it.

If you have toast and jelly to go with this dish, you have a total meal and everyone will be too full for dessert!

Speaking of dessert, it’s apple season around here.  Find yourself a neighbor with an apple tree.  They are most likely to be happy to share the bounty.  If you HAVE an apple tree, please look for someone who could benefit from your harvest. You might even make some new friends under the apple tree!

This horrible economy and all our serious needs could really turn out to be a blessing in disguise, people, as we come together for a common cause and help one another in every way possible.

And, club members, if nobody has TOLD you yet today, please understand that you ARE loved and you ARE appreciated!

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: Smile! It’s Marilyn’s Cucumbers!

August 22nd, 2010

Marilyn knows and grows cucumbers so she sent her favorite salad recipe for us to share!

Marilyn describes herself as frugal.  That pretty much says it all for all of us who hang out in the Clubhouse.  We are all about getting all we can from EBT cards from SNAP and WIC.  We do all we can with food commodities and what comes from the food pantry.  If we have goods from the Farmers Market or Angel Food Ministries, we make that stretch as far as possible.  And then, some of us, like Marilyn, are frugal and want to be good stewards.

She sent her favorite recipe for cucumbers:


4 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/2 cup vinegar
1/4 cup cold water
2 tablespoons chopped dill
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash pepper

Combine sliced cucumber with all other ingredients; cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
Marinated cucumbers recipe serves 4 to 6

YUMMY, Marilyn!  Pretty similar to what we make at our house but with a bit of a twist.  It’s always fun to freshen the menu with new ideas and we appreciate your sharing!  Thanks so much!

We have  another great offering from our faithful contributor, Sandra.  She suggests this would be a perfect project for the weekend because it needs to simmer to marry the flavors.


3½ hours | 25 min prep | Yields about 24 cups of gravy.

4 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste

2 (28 ounce) can tomato puree

3 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

1 (35 ounce) can whole tomatoes in puree or water (crush by hand when adding to the pot)

4 cloves garlic, crushed (or substitute 2 tablespoons garlic powder)

½ cup onion, chopped

3 – 4 tablespoons good olive oil (it should smell fruity when heated)

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon Kosher or other coarse salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons dried basil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional)

½ cup parmesan cheese

1 cup dry red wine

5 cups water

In a large stockpot on low-med heat add olive oil and sauté onions for about 4 minutes, then add garlic powder and cook a moment longer. Then add remaining ingredients, being sure to mix everything very well. Cover and cook for 2½ hours. Taste and adjust seasonings, salt or sugar as desired.

So now we have the makings for a complete meal, except for dessert.  Maybe we’ll be too full for dessert?

Those of you who have entered your name and email address have received a series of cooking tips and we hope those have been helpful for you.  Occasionally, VERY occasionally, we send out messages that are germane to this site.  We never mean to intrude or overload your Inboxes.  We are tickled pink when new people join our gang!

We are also tickled pink to have comments and emails: will get your email to us.

If you are interested in health and wealth you might also like to see The Healthy and Wealthy You blog.  You might even like to look into having another stream of income or super dental care by clicking on some of the ads and links in this post.  No pressure; just great ideas to enhance your life if you like.

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: Patty Came to Dinner?

August 21st, 2010

Guess who came to dinner? PATTY!

Mom always maintained that if you did not get to the grocery store you’d just have to make do in order to put a meal on the table.

Chef Shawn Bucher recommends that most meals consist of protein, sides and dessert.  He also puts a high priority on sauces.

Today I satisfied BOTH of those folks’ requirements and felt proud as punch in the process.

Mother Connie is not a fancy-schmancy cook; has no formal training and certainly is no high priced expert when it comes to the culinary world!

I made a meatless ‘meat’ patty!  Here’s how I did it:


2 potatoes, scrubbed and quartered.  I had 1 white and 1 red tater.

1 small zucchini, peeled and cut to match the size of the cut potatoes.

I covered the potatoes and the zucchini with water, sprinkled them with salt.  I brought them to a boil and let them simmer til the vegetables were fork tender.

While those cooked, I chopped a small onion and set it aside.

I combined 3 small eggs, 2 slices of bread made into fine crumbs, the chopped onions and 1 teaspoon of curry powder.  I salted and peppered the mix, as well.

When the potatoes and zucchinis were cooked I drained and mashed them, skins and all, and added that combination to the eggs, crumbs, onions and seasonings.

I was eager to see if my combination would be fit to eat, so I took a page from Rachel Ray’s book and made a teeny sample sized patty to fry.  When it had browned on both sides I borrowed a hint from Anne Burrell, who is big on QC  or Quality Control-as in TASTE.

Well, let me tell you:  I thought it was MOREish, which means there may not be enough! grin

While the patties browned in hot olive oil I made a beshemel sauce.  That’s only a fancy word for white sauce.  I used 2 Tablespoons of melted butter, a slurry of 1 teaspoon of corn starch in water and stirred it all together.  Before it thickened I added about a cup or so of milk.  When it came together I salted and peppered it and added about a half a bag of frozen peas.  I flirted with the idea of adding spinach but the peas were more appealing to me.

You can see for yourself that it made for a pretty dish, spread all over a luncheon plate.  I had some beets-they had sat in a rice vinegar brine for most of the afternoon so I sliced them and used them as a garnish.

Next time I make these goodies, I’ll hope to have celery and corn on hand.  Oh, and beans.  Mashed beans could replace the potatoes and help to bind the vegetables together.  Carrots, cabbage-any combo of foods would work well with this method.  And the curry is just ONE of many ways to season things.  That’s where the creative cook can shine.

Fooey!  Even young children or picky husbands who don’t like anything but chicken nuggets will enjoy these yummies!

Oh.  About dessert.  I hate to admit it.  We had green gelatin.  Well, like Mom said, you have to use what you have in the house…I have no idea why we have gelatin in our house because it has no redeeming nutritive value.  It does LOOK cheery, though.

If you are users of Angel Food Ministries, visit a food pantry or use food commodities; if you have an EBT card for SNAP or WIC, we hope “Patty” will be YOUR new best friend forever!  This is also true if you have food from a Farmers Market or you are just thrifty and pinching your pennies to make your food budget last through the month.

Leave your comment on our doorstep or shoot us an email at  We ADORE hearing from you!

PS/We hope you have scoped out The Dinner Diva’s ideas, too! They are spectacular!

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.