Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Garden Variety Food?

July 22nd, 2009

Yesterday was an embarrassment of riches at our house.  Thank goodness our food budget is not dependent on food pantries, food commodities or SNAP.  We have not procured coupons for the Farmers’ Markets, either.  Angel Food Ministries, while in our area, is not providing this family with something to eat.  BUT OUR GARDEN IS!

The Normanator brought in a fine array of beans, beets, peas, zucchini, potatoes, corn and onions and we proceeded to feast like royalty!  And the tomatoes are big, fat, red and juicy.  They just INVITE me to the garden with a salt shaker in hand for snacking!  They really ARE glorious.

The joy of having garden goods is not limited to flavor.  Oh, no.  There is power in creating a strong healthy body that can come ONLY from nutrition.  Phytonutrients, anti-oxidants, enzymes–all the goodness inherent in real, whole food just cannot be duplicated in a lab or processing facility!  We truly ARE what we eat and what is assimilated.  When we eat well and wisely we can be our best selves and raise ourselves to a higher standard of living and being.

Putting wholesome foods on our dinner tables need not be an extravagant expense.  It need not strain your brain, either.  Simple foods are easily combined to make interesting, inviting plates that beckon even to little children.

I looked at a plateful of brightly colored cooked beets and thought, “If only I had some skewers, I could make Beet Lollipops.”  So skewers found their way to my shopping list!  There are still a few beets left to pull!

Ah…  Life is sweet!

Please know that we deeply appreciate your comments on this blog and your messages to  We are THRILLED when you send your recipes and ideas.

We are preparing for our September Cooking Class.  This class is available at no charge to those who are using SNAP, or any other food assistance program BUT YOU MUST RSVP  by September 1 by email to in order to be assured a spot for the class.  Just put “SAVE ME A SPOT” in your subject line.

Thanks to those of you who have popped by Food Stamps Cooking Club to get your name on our list!  We send little tidbits out from time to time and we want everyone to feel included.

Our partners have indicated you are stopping at their “shops” as well.  We appreciate that, as do our partners!

Connie Baum

Coupons, Anyone?

March 14th, 2009

All the news outlets are going ga-ga.  Each one is doing its best to upstage the other networks to bring the most news and best tips regarding money saving ideas.  That’s commendable.  The problem is this:  How helpful ARE these ideas, really?

Today I watched something about coupon clipping.  They showed the woman with her professionally tended fingernails and her professionally coiffed hair in her designer home, replete with granite countertops and matching stainless steel appliances. The children were dressed in designer duds.  Those images alerted me that she and I might not be in the same league. 

The woman talked about using her many coupons and she told her young children to pick out the cereal they liked because it was on sale…she loaded her cart with every bargain for which there was a coupon…I wondered if, when she got home, she would know what the supper menu would be.  Anyway, at the checkout counter, the clerk had to PAY THE CUSTOMER because she had so many coupons that the STORE owed HER!  Sounds like a good deal.


My take on that shopping trip is that there were so many boxes and packages of STUFF that is not contributing to the health of those children!  Sugary cereals, juice products laced with sweeteners and loaded with water from who knows what source, MSG…I think it’s fair to say that her idea of a week’s worth of food does not match mine. 

Let’s talk for a moment about your car.  Would you even dream of putting artificial fuel into the tank?  Would you intentionally wash it with polluted water?  Would you neglect to have the oil changed?  Of course not!  Sometimes we take better care of our cars than we do our bodies!  Our automobiles would recognize inferior products; so do our bodies.

Saving money at the expense of your health is false economy.  If you don’t KNOW what’s healthy, find out.  If you don’t know who to ask, consult your local home extension agent at the court house in your county.  We’ll do our best here at Food Stamps Cooking Club to help you know what’s what in the way of healthy, low cost foods and interesting ways to prepare meals. 

The visitors to this site are a great bunch of sharing souls.  They have been most generous to send their ideas and cooking tips to  and we have shared them on this blog as well as the occasional messages that come through your email.  We empathize with those who depend on food stamps and food commodities.  We understand how it is to need to visit the food pantry in your community and that’s why we offer help and hope to those of you who find yourselves in that situation.

We want for you to be healthy while you cut costs, too.  YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO US.

Spring is about to POP and that means it’s time to think about gardening.  Even if you don’t know how to garden, get a few pots and some tomato plants to set in your yard.  Your children will benefit, you will have some good produce to include in your meals and maybe you’ll have enough tomatoes to freeze or can!

Gardening is a very popular pastime in the US.  If you want to learn about gardening, ask someone in your community to teach you.  There are retired farmers and teachers who love to share their knowledge about working with the earth.  Some communities have City Gardens or some similar program.  Don’t be shy about getting involved with those.

If you ARE a gardener, solicit some students.  They can help you weed and harvest.  You can make some rich, long term relationships that way.  And Mother Earth will get some much needed TLC.

Coupons?  Nah, not so much.  Only when it’s a good thing.

Please feel free to visit our partners at Saving Dinner and Kristen Suzanne and if you would like to bring some money into your household, please check out this site: Rapid Cash Marketing !

Connie Baum