Posts Tagged ‘Food Pantry’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Member’s Cooking Lesson

January 17th, 2014
Mother Connie has a hodge podge of cookbooks and recipes; some of her food notions live in her head...

Mother Connie has a hodge podge of cookbooks and recipes; some of her food notions live in her head…

You all know by now that the mail you send makes Mother Connie’s heart go pitty-pat!  Today  a message from a Club Member came in that really piqued my curiosity!  Here is what Delaine wanted to share with all of us:

“With food-stamp allotments being so small, and being cut all the time, I know fully how every calorie counts and how to count every calorie.  For me, I am in a very uncomfortable situation that most people do not understand, and that is for some of us, hanging onto every pound we have is as difficult or more difficult than losing weight.  Please do not envy us.  It sounds wonderful, but it is more painful to try to gain weight than lose it, as I have done both.  I was obese until I got sick, and now I am on the other side of the scale of having to try to hang onto every pound, so trust me when I tell you I understand the dilemma.
In the meantime, getting as much nutrition from every food stamp penny is my goal, and even when I am off the social network, as I apparently will be over the next few months, I will still only have the same amount of money for food as I currently have in food allotments.  I have many helps and hints both for stretching food stamp money and using ‘food for cleaning.’ “
Delaine goes on to share how she ACCIDENTALLY learned to make syrup on the cheap:  ” It’s just like the pancake syrup that is 1 cup brown sugar to 6 oz of Dr. Pepper, and boiled down to syrup consistency.  Cheap and accidental, because I was not intending to make pancake syrup when I discovered that!”
SIDEBAR:  Mother Connie is no fan of soda pop but a cook’s gotta do what a cook’s gotta do!  Go with what you have on hand!   END SIDEBAR
Delaine goes on to share her preference for comfort food that won’t break the bank:
“1/2 package elbow macaroni

1  can black beans
1  can corn
2  small cans tomato sauce
Taco season mix – equal parts chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin and sugar.
2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
The trick to this recipe is to brown the macaroni thoroughly.  It should look like “whole wheat” macaroni.  Drain and rinse the beans and corn and add to the macaroni along with 2 cans of tomato sauce and the spices.  Add 2 tomato cans of water, reduce to a simmer and wait for all the water to be absorbed.  You may need to add water if the macaroni is too stiff.
This goes well with a pan of corn bread.”
SIDEBAR:  Mother Connie strongly suggests you add a green salad or plate of raw veggies OR fruit  to this menu, if that’s  available.  END SIDEBAR
We greatly appreciate Delaine’s contribution to our Cooking Class! 
Those who are living on a dime, people who use public assistance for their food budgets and anyone who holds an EBT card for SNAP or WIC needs all the help they can garner.  If you use a food pantry, food commodities or any other form of public assistance you know that it’s a tough row to hoe.  We hope to help in that regard.
If you have not signed up for our little series of tips, we invite you to do so.  And keep those emails coming!  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com
We remind you, also, that you are dearly loved.
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.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Egg Yolk Video Tutorial

January 13th, 2014

People who are learning to cook will discover that sometimes eggs need to have the yolks separated from the whites.  Here is an entertaining way to accomplish that:

Are YOU learning to cook?  Are you receiving public assistance for your food budget?  Do you find yourself living on a dime?  Do you have an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Do you visit a food pantry or receive food commodities?  If your answer to any of these questions is ‘yes’ then you have found a place to belong.  This corner of the internet is dedicated to YOU.  There is nothing to buy and no obligation…how refreshing is THAT?

This video is part of the series we are calling our Cooking Class.  We believe that if you know how to cook you can save all kinds of money.  We know this from our own life experience.

We just love hearing from you…either on the comment panel below this post or by email:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.

Please  bear in mind that you are dearly loved.

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.

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club is Making GRAVY!

January 10th, 2014

If you were blessed with a food bundle at holiday time, you may have found a packet of gravy mix in your bag of goods.  I’m happy for you if you did, but I’d be more thrilled if you learned how EASY it is to prepare gravy.  AND HOW CHEAP IT IS!

A packet of gravy mix runs around $1.29.  For only a few cents you can have gravy in jig time.  You can make as much or as little as you need.  You can use broth, milk or water to make it.  Milk makes good gravy to go over biscuits; it goes well with fried chicken, too!  If you use broth or water with your meat drippings you’ll have a fine, dark gravy that goes well over mashed potatoes,  with roast beef or pork.  Either type of gravy makes a great addition to soups with leftover goodies from meals that were not completely devoured at first blush!

Thickener for gravy can be flour, cornstarch, or arrowroot.  USE WHAT YOU HAVE ON HAND.  When gravy is made with flour, leftover gravy can be reheated without being lumpy if you warm it slowly.  If it’s made with cornstarch it will be  thicker but will still reheat nicely if the temp is kept lower.  It will require your attention to keep it from getting too hot too fast…

 

Some time ago Mother Connie made this little video.  I hope you find it helpful:

 

You could be one who just loves to be frugal.  You and yours might be living on a dime.  It’s possible you are an EBT cardholder for WIC or SNAP.  Maybe you have things from a food pantry.  You might be consuming  food commodities.  Without a doubt, you probably watch your food budget like a hawk.  Those who are on public assistance for their food dollars know that learning to cook will save them lots of money over the long haul.  We dearly hope to help you in that regard.

Our number of Members is climbing!  We have YOU to thank for that!  We love the things you put on our comment panel and we adore your email messages at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com   Thank you SO MUCH.

Please remember that you are dearly loved and cherished.

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.

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.

Food Stamps Cooking Club: EGGS!

January 3rd, 2014

Holiday 13 and beyond fscc 020Perfectly cooked eggs are easy-peasy!

Allow me to begin with a disclaimer, of sorts.  The food safety police will hunt me down for major punishment if they read this, because I’m going to advocate that you do something they would never approve!

To hard cook eggs to perfection, it is critical to the process to leave the eggs on the kitchen table, in their carton, overnight.  Mother Connie realizes this is counter intuitive but if you want pretty eggs that look as good as the one on the gingham plate, this is Step One.  **My own mother did this and no one made finer hard cooked eggs than she!

The next step is to put all your eggs in one basket…NO! WAIT!  That should read “saucepan” not basket!  grin/giggle    Ideally, the eggs should cover the bottom of the pan but they should not be crowded.  When Mother Connie filled her 2 quart saucepan,  9 medium sized eggs did not quite cover the bottom but it worked out well.

Holiday 13 and beyond fscc 010From carton to saucepan…

You can see that Mother has salt, vinegar and soda ready to use.  Cover the eggs with water…then liberally salt the raw eggs ensuring that IF one happens to crack, it will not leak out as much egg white as it would without the salt.  Next, sprinkle a 1/2 teaspoon or so of baking soda over the eggs.  This enhances what the salt does.  Finally, drizzle enough vinegar (it doesn’t matter what kind of vinegar you use) to make a foam.  Set the covered pan on the burner, set to MEDIUM heat.  When the water begins to boil, turn the heat to LOW and set your timer for TEN MINUTES.  When ten minutes has passed, take the pan off the heat and put the cooked eggs under tepid running water.

The little gems should peel easily and be smooth on the outside edges.  The yolks should be bright yellow.  If there is a greenish ring around the outside of the yolk, that is indicative  of too much heat or too long cooking time.

Now that you have hard cooked eggs, you can create any number of delicious, nutritious dishes for those you love.  On MONDAY, Mother Connie will show you how to make deviled eggs.  When you learn how to make these, you will know just what to take to your next pot luck dinner!

The response to yesterday’s post was really overwhelming and we thank you who joined the chorus!  As you know, this little corner of the internet is meant to help everyone, but especially those users of  SNAP or WIC or food commodities or goods from a Food Pantry.  There is nothing to buy but we do hope you cruise over to the fellow bloggers we mention from time to time and garner all the goodness they are offering.

We always welcome new Members with open arms and we appreciate hearing from all of you on the comment panel or by email:  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  Please remember that each of you is  dearly, dearly loved and appreciated!

Connie Baum

To Can or Not to Can…at Food Stamps Cooking Club

September 10th, 2013
To soak or not to soak?  This age old question has been debated before.  Here we'll take another look to see what we ought to put into that bowl!

To soak or not to soak? This age old question has been debated before. Here we’ll take another look to see what we ought to put into that bowl!

It may not be soup weather as you read this.  IT IS 94* here today!  But soup weather will soon be upon us.  If you have beans on your shelf, you are going to be in the soup…but in a GOOD way!  Enjoy this one, kids!

Those of you who have food commodities sometimes get cans of beans…those of you who think of canned beans as ‘convenience foods’ watch for sales like hawks hunt for  prey!  Those of you who have practiced frugality like an art form may prefer canned beans but they may also like the challenge of soaking dry beans.

To be honest, soaking beans CAN be challenging.  Sure, all you do is throw them into a pot and let them sit and soak.  BUT you also have a house to keep, a job to be on time for-if you are fortunate to HAVE a job, maybe two!-and then there is the small matter of keeping your gang fed on whatever schedule everyone in the house has going! And we have not even mentioned getting everyone to school/work/wherever OR the laundry… It’s enough to drive a person out of their ever lovin’ mind!  I’m sure you can relate.

So I found a soup recipe that calls for 8 cans of beans.  There was a huge debate in Mother Connie’s head about whether to mention it, since the price of canned beans is obscene.  I’m quite sure you could make this with only one type of bean to make it easy on the bean soakers of the world; if you have the where-with-all to get 8 cans, that’s good.  If not, you might make only half a recipe IF that will feed your gang.  Use your own good judgement.  I offer it here for your perusal:

Eight Can Soup with a South of the Border Flair

I do not recall the source…emails abound in the Club House…

1 (15 oz.) can each: drained and rinsed, black beans, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, sweet corn. *Personally, Mother Connie would not RINSE corn…

1  15.25 oz can chicken, drained *The Kitchen Police will not write you up if you use leftover cooked chicken…

1 (10.75 oz.) can cream of chicken soup

1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce

1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth  *Nobody will die if you use home made broth or even water with a bouillon cube or two.  We are all about saving $$ in the Club

1 packet taco seasoning 

**Mother Connie is DEATH on seasoning packets!  They are full to the top with rubbish the human body does not need to maintain good health!  Surely you have chili powder on hand!  You are most likely to have cumin.  You’ll save a bundle by NOT using packets and your budget with thank you for keeping a few spices on your shelf.  Seriously, kids.  You CAN be healthy on a tight budget.

Toss everything into your favorite soup pot.  Heat through gently but thoroughly, stirring every so once in awhile.

This soup is hearty, tasty, and would pair up quite well with a green salad and corn or tortilla chips.  Mother Connie does not normally recommend chips but there are times when chips are just the thing.  *I already ranted and raved about the seasoning packets; I’ll let up now.  ;)

If you are holding an EBT card from SNAP or WIC, if you are using food commodities or things from a food pantry, food bank, food drop, or any other form of public assistance, we are delighted to be of service to you.  Most everybody finds themselves living on a dime at times… We dearly hope our ideas and recipes help to keep your food costs at bay.  We hold no judgement and we are not about selling you stuff.  We are tickled pink whenever we see new names on our roster (which has been every day, thanks to all our Members’ spreading the good word!) and we love hearing from each of you.

It may not be soup weather as you read this.  *IT IS 94* here today!  But soup weather will soon be upon us.  If you have beans on your shelf, you are going to be in the soup…but in a GOOD way!  Enjoy this, kids!

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.

 

 

 

Processing Tomatoes at Food Stamps Cooking Club

September 9th, 2013
These beauties awaited us when we returned from breakfast one recent summer morning.  The Tomato Fairy had landed right on our picnic table!

These beauties awaited us when we returned from breakfast one recent summer morning. The Tomato Fairy had landed right on our picnic table!

When you are given such a wonderful gift, there’s nothing to do but shift into high gear!  We did that!  We turned these flats full of yummy goodness into these delights:

We got 8 quarts from these; we already had 6; over the weekend we canned 8 more quarts.  The Normanator and I make quite the duo!

We got 8 quarts from these; we already had 6; over the weekend we canned 8 more quarts. The Normanator and Mother Connie make quite the working duo!

Canning tomatoes is not particularly hard work.  It’s sorta messy but that’s what soap and water is for.  We just grabbed cleaning rags and scouring powder and the stove looked good as ever when we finished!

We cut out the stem portion and made a slice in the bottom of each tomato.  They were dipped into boiling water until the skin split.  As they were held under cold water that skin peeled off easily!  The skinned tomatoes went into a large heavy kettle to simmer until there was foam at the top.  That was skimmed off and discarded.  We used a potato masher to crush every tomato.  We were using juicy tomatoes and Romas, which are more firm and not as juicy, so we crushed the whole lot of them.

There was a system that worked well for us:  While we worked to cut and skin these babies, the oven was working full time.  We had a jelly roll pan with water, each pan holding 6 jars filled with an inch or so of water.  These, along with the canning lids, hung out in the oven as we worked.

When it came time to fill the jars, The Normanator skillfully put dipper after dipper into the each jar.  As soon as it was full, I was in charge of adding the salt, topping it off with the lid and securing the ring.  Each jar took its place on a towel on the kitchen table as we listened for the “CLICK!” of the lid, making the sound that it had sealed.

There was only one jar that did not seal.  It was morphed into a lovely spaghetti sauce when I poured it into a heavy skillet, added lots of oregano, basil, pepper, and a “blub” of red wine.

SIDEBAR:  No vino?  You can use 1/2 cup of any ole vinegar + 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Taste test as you go.  *The sugar diminishes the too-tomatoey  flavor of the sauce.  **That’s the purpose of the wine.  END SIDEBAR

Our benefactor told us they have put up over 100 quarts of tomatoes and salsa for the winter!  We are going to have some major good eats at our house this winter, thanks to the Tomato Fairy!  I have a feeling there will be a chili feed or two on the social calendar!

Are you living on a dime?  Do you LOVE to cook?  Do you HATE to cook?  Are you holding an EBT card from SNAP or WIC?  Maybe you have goods from food commodities, a food bank or food drop.  It could be that you just groove on the challenge of stretching your food budgets until you hear George Washington creak…If you are using any form of public assistance, we hope to be of service to you.  You seem to be passing the word, because the membership has SOARED lately.  Maybe that little list of cooking tips is helpful for you.

You most likely have ideas that will help others.  We would love to hear whatever you have to say.  Our most popular  place for ideas is  either on the comment panel or you could send an email to us at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.

Above all, please remember that YOU do matter and we love you with no reservation or judgement.  We only want to help.

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.

Hearty Breakfast at Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 30th, 2013
A hearty and heart healthy breakfast is just the thing for everyone in your family as school gets into high gear and summer's heat becomes fall's chill...

A hearty and heart healthy breakfast is just the thing for everyone in your family as school gets into high gear and summer’s heat becomes fall’s chill…

We expect temps today in the high 90s.  The Normanator and I plan to stay close to the A/C and suggest you do the same, drinking plenty of water.  Make sure everyone you love is safe and well hydrated.  The holiday weekend that lays before us will probably include outdoor fun so do take good care!

The heat that plagues us now will soon be the chill we complain about.  Having a good start to busy, chilly days is imperative!  The Imperfect Homemaker offered a nifty recipe some time back; I am sharing it with you now because it is inexpensive, easily and quickly made and it tastes DIVINE.

Maple Pecan Granola

From Kelly at The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking

“I love the ease of granola for breakfast. I love the crunchy sweetness. I love that everybody in the family eats it happily without complaining. I love that my older children can serve themselves while I nurse the baby and sip my coffee.

And I love that this recipe is so simple that I can make it from memory in my groggy pre-caffienated state.

This recipe makes enough for our whole family to eat it for breakfast twice if served with yogurt, fresh fruit, and a tiny bit of self restraint!

 In a mixing bowl, combine:

  • 3 cups of old fashioned or “large flake” rolled oats
  • 2 cups of chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (super-duper good for you and available at health food stores and well stocked grocery stores or online 
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

In a small pot combine:

  • In a small pot, combine:
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • a splash of vanilla extract

Heat until the coconut oil has melted.

Pour wet ingredients over the dry, and stir.

Spread granola out on two parchment lined cookie sheets and bake in a 300 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until fragrant and slightly golden brown.

The trick to perfectly cooked granola is to remove it from the oven just before you are convinced it is done, because it will continue to cook a little even after you’ve removed it from the oven.

Cool completely before moving to a tightly sealed glass jar. 

Serve sprinkled on yogurt, alone as a yummy crunchy snack, or in a bowl with milk.”

As you can see in the photo above, Mother Connie is out of pecans, so I will be using walnuts.  Let’s hope the Kitchen Patrol is on another detail while this project is underway.  Also, we are temporarily out of the large flake oatmeal, which we much prefer, so the quick stuff will have to do for now.

If you have never used Chia seeds, you are in for a treat!  They come in black or white.  We prefer the white, as we understand they pack a bigger punch.  Because we are raisin fans, we will use those also.

Thanks to Kelly for her recipe and a peek into her busy family life!

Are you living on a dime?  Do you enjoy the challenge of wrestling with the food budget,  S  T  R  E  T  C  H  I  N  G   every food dollar?  Maybe you are a holder of an EBT card for WIC or SNAP…you might be receiving food from a food drop, food bank, food pantry or food commodities.  Knowing how to cook, understanding what value is in various food items and knowing that you are supported NOT JUDGED is vital to feeding your loved ones well and wisely.

We are just thrilled to see the new faces in the Club House.  This is so gratifying to Mother Connie and the Food Stamps Cooking Club.  We are all in this together, kids, and we are here to help one another.

Above all,  remember that you are loved and appreciated!

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.

 

 

 

Summer’s End Quiche at Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 29th, 2013
End of Summer goodness can make for an easy, tasty dish on the cheap!

End of Summer goodness can make for an easy, tasty dish on the cheap!

As sweltering summer days come to an end, we seek fresh ways to use garden goods. It has to be something your gang will enjoy…We hope for quick and easy, we yearn for lots of nourishment and it’s GOTTA BE CHEAP!

A precious friend from Mother Connie’s high school days shared a recipe for something yummy that fills the bill:

Quiche!

Mother Connie is not high on “convenience foods” such as boxed cheese side dishes, potato products or gray mixes. But I do lean hard on frozen veggies. IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT. My top 2 faves: Spinach and Broccoli. This recipe features the latter and will melt in your mouth.

Broccoli Quiche

Start with: 2  cups broccoli, chopped.  Boil gently for about 10 minutes

3/4  cup zucchini, peeled and thinly sliced

3/4  cup yellow summer squash, peeled and thinly sliced

Boil 2 cups Broccoli for ten minutes.

While that’s cooking slice 3/4 cup Zucchini and 3/4 cup Yellow Summer Squash thinly. ***You will not lose points if you only use one variety of squash.  Use whatever you have.

Then grease a deep dish pie pan or casserole and layer squash slices on the bottom.

Drain the broccoli thoroughly and add that to the squash slices.

Top these layers with a sprinkle of red onion-about 1/3 cup.

***Or whatever color onion you have.  You may have to resort to onion powder.  It’s all good; the Kitchen Patrol is probably off duty today anyway.

Top the whole works with 2 cups of cheese.  Colby or Jack are preferred; use whatever you have on hand and know the kids will eat.

If you are green chili aficionados and have a 4 oz can, you can drain those and add that to cover the cheese layer.

Break 6 eggs.

In a blender, combine with 2 cups whole milk, salt and pepper to taste and blend well.

***No blender?  No worries.  Just use an egg beater, whisk, food processor.  Don’t worry; it will all be fine and in 100 years from now you will not care that there was no blender in your kitchen.  

When the eggs are fluffy and light, pour them over the veggies and cheese.

If you wanna be fancy/schmancy you can sprinkle paprika over the top.

Bake at 350 for 45 min. Test with toothpick like a custard.  The quiche will be done when the toothpick comes out clean.

It may need 5 more minutes or so.

Thank you, Sheila!  This is a good dish for busy days.  While the quiche does its thing in the oven, you can throw together a fruit salad and it can double as dessert!  Summer squashes provide wonderful, filling nourishment, as do the eggs.  Best of all, it tastes delicious and will not break the bank!

If your eyes have fallen on this page, you probably know that Food Stamps Cooking Club is dedicated to helping people manage their food budgets, particularly if they happen to be living on a dime, using public assistance or benefiting from generous gardeners!  If you receive food from a food pantry, food drop, food bank or have food commodities we are here to help.  Do you hold an EBT card for SNAP or WIC?  We are here to help you the best way we know how.  We will be offering a fall offline cooking class featuring basic cooking skills because it’s important for you to know how to feed your loved ones as economically  as possible.  We truly mean to offer value to all our Members.

If you choose to join our ranks we have a little series of cooking tips for you as a thank you.  We are not selling stuff.  What a concept, huh?

If you really wanna make Mother Connie’s heart go pitty-pat, you could leave your comment in the comment panel.  YOU ARE LOVED AND APPRECIATED.  YOU MATTER TO US.

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.

Cucumbers and Food Stamps Cooking Club

August 28th, 2013
Cucumbers can shine in a hot weather salad...or NOT!

Cucumbers can shine in a hot weather salad…or NOT!

One of our kids calls these “coonkumbers”…it’s shorthand to refer to them as “cukes”.  The Normanator doesn’t care what you call them; he doesn’t like them.

Yesterday was a rare event in the life of your humble blogger.  We treated ourselves to a double date with former neighbors, which involved a restaurant meal and a baseball game.  It was so great not to have to think about shopping, chopping and presenting a meal.  Better yet-I was not on the clean up committee!

I ordered a chicken fried steak, smothered in creamy white gravy, which was completely tender.  I cut it with my fork, savoring each bite.  I also ordered turnip greens which were drizzled with a lovely vinegar.  Freshly sauteed green beans appeared on the plate, as well.  My third choice was a delicious sounding salad that promised to cool and refresh:  cucumbers with tomatoes and onion.

The salad was a train wreck!  Thumbs down all the way!  I suppose I was expecting the kind of cuke/tomato/onion yumminess that my dear mother always made.  She peeled the cucumbers, chopped the tomatoes and cukes in to bite sized pieces and the onions were minced so as to be the background.  She would save a few rings of onion for garnish.  Then she bathed it all in a solution of vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper.  It was always delectable.

What our waitress delivered to the table were HUNKS of cucumber, whole tomatoes that were so pathetic they had NO juice and were wrinkly and unappealing.  The onions?  Oh, my, they were hunks of onion, too!  CHUNKS, none of it was even chopped!  It looked icky and tasted blah.

Complaining about food ordered in a restaurant is not my cup of tea but when asked directly how everything was, I suggested that they rethink their salad or remove it from the menu.  I suspect they might take my idea under advisement, because even the manager got involved in salad conversation…

Here’s how cucumber salad should be prepared, in Mother Connie’s humble opinion:

Summery Cucumber Side Salad

1 medium cucumber, washed, peeled and diced into bite sized pieces

2 medium tomatoes, washed, peeled, chopped

1 small onion, peeled and diced

Place vegetables in a small bowl.  Add a liberal amount of salt and let stand for 15 minutes or so, until there is juice in the bottom of the bowl.

Pour off the juice and salt.  Add enough vinegar and cold water to cover the goods.  Add  a generous amount of salt, pepper and sugar to the mix and allow it to stand in the fridge so it has time to chill and the flavors can marry.  Taste test the solution as you go.

Using rice vinegar or wine vinegar-if you have it-changes  the taste of the brine and promises to delight the palate!  This is refreshing on a hot end-of-summer day and will keep well in the fridge, so you could double or triple the recipe and save yourself some prep time!

Are you living on a dime?  Do you hold an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Maybe you just like the challenge of squeezing the food dollars and seeing how frugal you can be!  Are you getting goods from a food pantry, food drop or food commodities?  Maybe you have visited a food bank…in any case, if you use any form of public assistance we are devoted to helping you  S T R E T C H  those food dollars.  We sincerely hope we bring value to you and your loved ones.  We bring no judgement and we are not out to sell you anything.  We have a little series of cooking tips to share if you join the Club and we always hope for your comments and emails to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.

Plans are in the works for an offline cooking class…stay tuned!  And do remember you are loved and appreciated!

Connie Baum

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