Posts Tagged ‘kitchen’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: EOM

July 30th, 2015

Jeepers Creepers!  It is the End of the Month and the WIC or SNAP funds are  pretty much toast.  The family has to eat…what’s a family to DO?

Making the food budget and the month come out even can be tricky, as you surely have experienced.  I have a couple of ideas that may help you get everybody nourished and not have to go to bed hungry.

There was a time when eggs were a bargain.  Today that is no longer true.  You already know that beans and rice are good values but I’m guessing you’ve had your fill of those.

What about lentils?  Have you tried those?  They cook in about 20 minutes, come in a variety of colors, provide great fiber and protein and they are cheap as anything.

If you have some onion or carrot to jazz lentils up a bit to add color and nutrition, that is a plus.  Just throw some rinsed lentils of whatever color you have into a saucepan, cover them with water, put the lid on the pan and bring them to a boil. When they have reached the boiling point, reduce the heat and let them simmer til they are tender.  I like to saute any veggies I add but you don’t need to do that if you are in a rush.

If you are fortunate to have prunes, raisins, canned fruit of any kind, that makes a nutritious dessert and your tummy will thank you.

Another inexpensive go-to is rice and spinach–or any greens you may have access to…turnip greens, kale, chard or cabbage–even beet tops.  Cook the rice, add the chopped greens at the last moment to let them wither.  Season them with salt, pepper and any other seasonings your gang likes.  If you have the luxury of bread, you might like to toast it to offer some crunch to the menu.

If you have other EOM meals that you are famous for, let us know by sending an email to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com .  WE LOVE MAIL.

We love YOU, too.  People who depend on public assistance for their food dollars are not exactly livin’ the dream.  We understand and just want to help a little.

You who have shared this site with others by joining and spreading the word are really doing your part to help others.  We offer a little  series of cooking tips we hope will give you some concrete help.  It would be more fun if we could hang out in your kitchen or go grocery shopping with you … this seems to be the next best thing.

Summer is quickly drawing to a close and we’ll be talking about cooler weather ideas soon.  Be well, people, and know that you are loved.

Connie Baum

PS/Please visit the website for SENCA if you are a resident of South East Nebraska.  You may find resources there that will be helpful to you and yours. For instance, they are hosting a FREE cooking class tomorrow in Tecumseh, NE.  Their motto is “Helping People; Changing Lives”…it is worth a peek! 

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: Beef ‘n Barley Soup

March 5th, 2015

DSCN0841

What could be more satisfying on a brisk March day than a serving of

Beef and Barley soup?

One cup of barley went into a cold skillet as this soup was “born”…I toasted it gently over a medium-low heat, stirring to make sure it did not brown too quickly.  This process took about 5 minutes and the elegant aroma of toasting barley made for time well spent!

Next came a box of chicken broth.

SIDEBAR:  Beef broth would have been preferable but you know that we use what we have because the Kitchen Kops do not CARE!  END SIDEBAR.

There was a container of beef I had browned for another meal in the freezer.  It was a perfect item to use for this soup!  The block of beef, still frozen, went into the broth, as did the toasted barley.

While the heat thawed the meat and warmed the broth I chopped up an onion and 3 or 4 ribs of celery, using a rough chop.  Those went into a bit of oil in my trusty cast iron skillet for a quick saute`…at this point the kitchen began to smell divine.

As lunchtime neared and the stirring and aroma were making the household eager for the meal to be served, I decided to add a bit of color.  *The color was completely optional.  If you do not have ‘gravy booster’ liquid in your pantry, do not worry your head about it.

Two small spoonfuls of the liquid made for a beefy looking broth.  Then I made an executive decision:  the broth was too thin.  With a bit of cold water and about 3 teaspoons of corn starch mixed together, I added the thickener to the soup and the new consistency pleased me no end!

I let it simmer on a very low heat while I put a meat patty into a hot skillet.  I love the sizzle that happens when cold beef hits a hot surface!

SIDEBAR: The meat in the patty was left from the day I made stuffed red peppers.  As I mentioned in a recent Cooking Class, a meat loaf mixture can be made and used for not only meat loaf, but for meat balls, meat patties and stuffed peppers.  Saves time, gives the cook options and tastes divine!  END SIDEBAR.

When the meat was sufficiently browned on one side, I flipped it to cook the other side.  While it took care of business on its own, I spread mayo on brown bread and added some crisp lettuce leaves to make sandwiches as companions to the soup.

A Quality Assurance taste test reminded me that thyme would add a bit of zip so I sprinkled ever so little into the soup and gave it one last stir.

As you can see by the photo above, the soup looked quite good enough to eat!  Sorry; I forgot to photograph the sandwiches, which were wondermous, btw.  Our house guest did not know they were sammies; she called them by their English name:  “butties”.  She pronounces that “buh ti’  as with a short ‘i’.  We giggled our way through lunch, as you might imagine.

If you have barley in your pantry, you could make it into a hearty soup all on its own, without meat.  I thin you will find it to be filling, nutritious and inexpensive.  Paired with sandwiches or salad or fruit you have a simple meal that is easy to prepare, quick to fix, and very budget friendly.

We would be remiss if we did not welcome the New Members to the Club!  It is so gratifying to know that this little corner of the web is able to touch peoples’ lives in ways they find meaningful and helpful.  Thank you so much for putting your toes under our table in a virtual manner!

If you are a user of an EBT card from SNAP or WIC, if you receive food commodities or have things from a food pantry, we have dedicated our work to YOU.  Maybe you just like to nurse your nickels for sport…perhaps you are not using public assistance but are simply skint and are on the lookout for ways to be frugal in the kitchen.  We hope we are meeting and exceeding your expectations.

We love mail-hint/hint-you are welcome to send mail to: foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

To all our members, we remind you that you are dearly loved and cared about.

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: Turban Squash Soup

October 31st, 2014

Phone pix 2014 Oct 001Turban squash soup is easy, tasty and CHEAP!

Autumn seems to scream, “SOUP!  FIX THE FAMILY SOME SOUP!”

Of course you could pick up a can of soup somewhere but soup from scratch, seasoned to your specific preference is so delicious.  Squash soup is particularly filling, nutritious and easy to prepare!

Turban squash came to my attention when I went through my “Macrobiotic Phase” … I had never seen one of these beauties before and was fascinated by their unusual color and shape.  Turban squash are very dense and difficult to cut but once you’ve managed to open them up it is a breeze to oil the exposed flesh and place them on a baking sheet, flesh side down.  I roasted two of these babies in the oven for about an hour and a half at 325*.  Ovens vary…ours runs hot so you can see if 350* is good for YOUR oven.  Adjust the temperature accordingly.

As the roasting process went on I chopped a huge leek into rings, soaked them in a bowl full of cold water.  I rinsed them and cut the rings into quarters.  I sauteed these with a bit of veg oil until they were soft, adding salt and pepper.

When the squash came out of the oven, I scooped out the seeds.  Some folks like to roast those with a bit of salt for a snack.  Those are not popular at our house so I disposed of them, as I did with the outer shell.

The dark yellow-orange flesh of the squash went into the food processor, as did the sauteed leeks.

SIDEBAR No food processor?  Not to worry.  A potato masher works quite well.  The job will go faster if you add a bit of hot water and/or broth to your soup pot as you mash.  The idea is to break up the stringy pulp that remains so your soup will be smooth. END SIDEBAR.

From the food processor the squash and leeks went into the soup pot,  along with enough chicken broth to cover everything.  You could use vegetable broth, as well.  It’s a matter of using whatever you have.  After tasting this mixture I added a bit more salt and ONE TABLESPOON of brown sugar.  That was the magic bullet!

To make a thicker soup I added 1 tablespoon of corn starch.  That didn’t quite DO it for me, so I put in some leftover mashed potatoes that were just sitting in the fridge, waiting to be of service.  When I was satisfied that the soup was thick enough I called it quits. I wanted this to be smooth and creamy so I added milk until it had the consistency and color that pleased me.  You might prefer a thinner soup…it’s all about what YOU like.

As the soup gently simmered I taste tested it again.  It needed just a little something/something so I added a tiny bit of thyme.  I thought it was yummy but to make sure, I offered a spoonful to our house guest, who raved that it was “BRILLIANT!”.  Before I served the soup, I sprinkled some dried parsley into the pot to add some color.

SIDEBAR:  Had it been available, fresh parsley would have been ideal.  I dunno about YOU but we don’t have the luxury of fresh herbs so we lean on the dried versions.  END SIDEBAR.

We had half a dozen lunch guests on the day this was served.  Each of them has far more experience in the kitchen than I.  Everyone complimented the cook on the soup so I think that qualifies me to announce that Turban Squash Soup was a huge hit!

*I should have made a double batch!  It would be easy to do and that way there could be another meal, waiting in the freezer!

Changing the subject abruptly, I want to let you know that there will be a cooking class for users of EBT cards from WIC,  food pantry users, and those who have food commodities!  It will be held on Friday, November 14 at 1:30 PM at the SENCA office in Tecumseh,  Nebraska.  If you are in the area and wish to participate, just call the SENCA office to let them know you’ll be there.  There is NO CHARGE for this class but we need to count noses so we’ll have enough food for the attendees! I plan to show how to use things from your food bundles that are easy, cheap and tasty!

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: Wednesday is Fridge Day

September 26th, 2014
This fridge is nearly empty; we did not want to return from a trip to "science experiments"

This fridge is nearly empty; we did not want to return from a trip to “science experiments”

Refrigerator 004        Even the crisper drawers were free                             from”yuck”!

 

 

 

 Nobody has ever accused me of being obsessive or compulsive-especially about cleaning-but I have found over the years that LOTS of $$$$$ can be saved simply by making sure all the food we buy gets eaten, not wasted.

 We took a few days to get away from our normal routine and visit a friend in Colorado.  Before we left town, I made sure there would be no “science experiments” awaiting our return and that no food would go to waste.  The photos above  show just how empty our cold storage was!

  If you have been a Club Member for any time at all, you know how important it is at our house to “cook once and eat twice”  (or more).  If the second go-round won’t be eaten by the next day, that portion goes into the freezer for a quick meal on another busy day.

  It has become my custom to designate Wednesday as “clean out the fridge” day…before any week end shopping trip I make sure nothing gets overlooked on the shelves or drawers of our refrigerator. I still hear my mother’s voice in my head,  “Waste not; want not!”  That  is my motivation for making way for fresh goods.

SIDEBAR:  Wednesday isn’t good for you?  Choose any day you like.  It’s YOUR kitchen, after all!  The Kitchen Police will never know and Mother Connie will never tell.   END SIDEBAR.

 First, I survey the containers.

SIDEBAR:  It is really important to mark each container with the contents and date.  If not, you forget what’s what and can’t even recognize what’s there for the reheating!  I keep a  marker in the drawer with the plastic bags so I can quickly and easily jot down what’s going into the fridge or freezer, complete with the date.    END SIDEBAR

 I take everything out of the refrigerator, one shelf at a time, and wipe down each shelf and the walls with a disinfecting wipe OR rag that has been treated with dish detergent and bleach solution.

  As the containers are replaced, I give them a quick  swipe, too.

  The shelves in the door get the same treatment.

  This whole process takes about 15 minutes.

  When everything is back in place, I wipe down the top and outside of the fridge to make it sparkle as much as the ancient beast can!  *Our refrigerator was purchased shortly before home refrigeration was invented.  Shh-hh…the poor thing has to go awhile longer; We don’t wanna jinx it!

  I offer these photos and tips in order to help you manage your food dollars.  Take what you like and leave what you don’t.  YOU probably have better ideas that you find more workable for YOU…and we’d love to know what that might be!  Just send your good ideas to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  WE LOVE MAIL.

  Are you living on a dime?  Do you use an EBT card for WIC or SNAP?  Maybe you have food commodities or you benefit from a food pantry and would appreciate knowing how to s t r e t c h your grocery money.  If any of these applies to you, we are happy to be of service!  We have this little corner of the internet just for you and those like you.  We offer a little series of tips when you become a Member.  There is nothing to buy and we won’t hound you about apps or offers or whatnot.  We  only strive to be a help for those who struggle to make ends meet.

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 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: French Toast!

January 8th, 2014

WordPress will not load the gorgeous image of the finished product!

If you plan ahead, you can delight the people who put their toes under your table with a “fancy schmancy” meal, even if you are just learning to cook!

French Toast is fun, filling and fabulous.  It is easy to make, pretty to serve, and it is satisfying in the way of comfort food..

Mother Connie put several slices of bread into a 8 X 8″ casserole dish and covered the bread with a mixture of 2 beaten eggs and some milk–enough to cover the bread.  It went into the fridge to hang out til morning.

*There is a great image of these slices, soaking.  Alas, it won’t load!  argh

You can use a lightly greased skillet or a griddle, depending on what you own and how many mouths you’ll be feeding.  We use a griddle, with the temp set at 350*- but when I turn on the griddle I also set the oven to 2oo*.

The bread soaks up the milk and egg mixture.  I place each slice on the very lightly greased griddle and let it brown nicely before I turn it.  When each slice is browned on both sides and removed from the griddle, it goes onto an oven safe platter or casserole dish.  These freshly done slices get to lounge in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes.  This allows a nice crust to form and make them crisp.  **This is how it’s done in high end eateries!

When it comes out of the oven, you can dress it up with a very light sprinkle of powdered sugar.  I use my flour sifter.

We like to top our French Toast with honey or home made syrup.  Sometimes we put a few berries on the top or maybe a slice or two of peaches.  Our favorite bread to use is Lithuanian Sourdough Rye because it is a heavy bread but any bread will do.

Here’s how to make the syrup.  Once you make this you will never buy commercial syrup again.

The image of the syrup in the cutest pitcher ever will NOT load!  *argh!

Home Made Syrup

Into a heavy saucepan put

2 cups sugar

2 cups water

dash salt

Bring this to a rolling boil and make sure all the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from the heat and add 2 – 3 teaspoons maple flavoring.  Pour the syrup into a pitcher or bowl with a serving spoon.  Pour any leftover syrup into a jar.  I store syrup in the kitchen cabinet.

Those of you who have been Members here for awhile know full well that this corner of cyberspace is devoted to users of public assistance for their food budgets.  If you are a holder of an EBT card for SNAP or WIC, we hope you are getting helpful information here.  Maybe you are living on a dime or you just make a game out of being frugal.  You might frequent your food pantry or you might be using food commodities.  Whatever your situation, and especially if you are just learning to cook, we are so proud to have you in the House!

When we read the emails that pour in; when we read the love you leave on the comment panel, it’s patently obvious there is a need for the service we hope to provide.

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.

PS/Do take a moment, when you can, to cruise over to Creative Savv and CT On a Budget.  They have such great info for saving $$$.  And their images DO load…sigh..

 

 

Food Stamps Cooking Club’s Class Is All Souped UP!

January 7th, 2014

Cooking Class Home Imp Kay 038Soup’s ON!

It seems as if most of the United States is in the deep freeze!  What could be more warming than a bowl of hot soup on a frigid day?  We have a wonderful soup to share with you.  There is a wee bit of a story to go with it:

When I was a little girl my mother used to make what she called “Our Favorite Vegetable Soup” and I loved it so. I think of it as a comfort food. She made it quite often and as I grew up and took up in my own kitchen, I made it as often as she did.  It really WAS our favorite soup!

Mom came to live with us as her health began to fail and one day I came home from work to discover that she had “commandeered” our kitchen to delight us with steaming bowls of this luscious comfort food!  It was the very last meal she ever prepared.

It might become YOUR favorite soup, too.  It’s super easy and quick to make and you can vary it to suit YOUR fancy.

Our Favorite Vegetable Soup

To begin:

1 small onion, chopped

2 or 3 ribs of celery, chopped

3 or 4 carrots, chopped

Saute in a bit of vegetable oil.  Salt and pepper.  Cook until tender but firm.

Cooking Class Home Imp Kay 008Veggies saute very quickly over medium high heat.

Continue by putting into a soup pot: 1/2 package of macaroni *I prefer gluten free but YOU use what YOU like.

Cooking Class Home Imp Kay 013This is how Mother Connie stores her pasta; here it has been freshly removed from the freezer!

Put the sauteed veg into the soup pot with the macaroni and  4   cups of chicken broth, if you have it.  *Use water if you don’t have broth.

Cook this combo on medium heat until the macaroni is tender,stirring occasionally.

When the macaroni is cooked BUT NOT MUSHY, add 3 – 4 cups of milk and heat thoroughly.

If you like a thin soup, this is IT.  If you like a thick soup, sprinkle some instant mashed potatoes (or leftover mashed spuds) into the pot until it is the consistency you and your family like best.

Taste test to see if you need more seasonings.  This can take a good bit of salt, especially if you add potatoes.  This soup is lovely when served  with a dark bread or green salad-or both.

This will make 6 – 8 servings.  I always hope to have leftover soup so I can freeze it for an easy meal another time.

Those of you who have been Members for awhile know that we cater to users of WIC or SNAP and are EBT  card holders.  We also hope to help users of food pantries, food commodities; anyone who uses public assistance for their food budgets.  A good number of you are living on a dime.  Many people have not learned to cook.  We hope this little Offline Cooking Class will help those who are interested to know how to prepare simple meals on a tight budget and still maintain nourishing foods will get the help needed to really make their way around the kitchen.

You have no doubt noticed there is no loud voice, begging you to BUY stuff.  *Are you relieved?

You are welcome to share our information on Facebook or with those who sit in your circle.  Lots of people need help these days; together we could make a real difference in the world!

Please remember 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 Egging You On!

January 6th, 2014

deviled eggs for class 006A platter with Deviled Eggs will appeal to guests and the little gems will disappear quickly!

There are many ways to prepare Deviled Eggs.  Mother Connie uses no recipe for this; it’s a matter of adding ingredients and tasting.  Here is how we got from well cooked eggs to this group of pretties:

deviled eggs for class 002

1.  Slice each egg lengthwise and gently remove the yolks from the whites.  Place the yolks into a shallow bowl and set the whites aside on a plate.

2.  Mash the yolks with a fork.  Add some prepared mustard. ***Dry mustard powder can be used, if you have that; most households have the prepared type.  Using your fork, combine the mustard with the yolks.

3.  Drizzle a little vinegar-any type will do-and continue to combine the ingredients, using the fork.  You could even use sweet pickle JUICE if you have that on your shelf.

4.  *IF you have pickle relish, add some until you like the look and consistency of the mixture.  If you do not have pickle relish, no worries.

5.  Using a clean spoon, do a “Q.A.” (quality assurance) test.  Does it need more mustard?  Is it sweet enough?  Do you need to add a pinch of salt to make it taste the way you want?

6.  Sprinkle a TAD of sugar over the mixture and incorporate all the ingredients.  When you are satisfied that it has just the right amount of pizzazz, you are ready to stuff the whites, using the tip of a spoon. *I’ve heard some say they use a melon baller…sounds like a good idea to me!

7.  When you arrange these little delights over a bed of lettuce they will be irresistible to your  guests; if you take them to a covered dish meal, they will be the stars of the show!

**Variations:  You might prefer to use mayo in place of mustard for a milder flavor.  You might like to add celery seeds to your mixture.  Some people use very finely chopped onion and/or celery.  This is all well and good; but Mother Connie is all about saving TIME.  It is common to dress up the finished eggs by sprinkling paprika over them.  That is IF you have paprika on your spice shelf…

Deviled eggs make a great project for experimentation and kids love to help to make them.  By playing with the flavors you will create your own signature combination!    YOU might become known for YOUR signature dish!

This little corner of cyberspace is dedicated to those who use public assistance for their food budgets.  Do you have an EBT for WIC or SNAP?  Are you dependent on food commodities or food pantries or the food bank?  Maybe you just enjoy being frugal.  It could be that you are living on a dime… Maybe you love to cook; perhaps you hate to cook.  In any case, we hope to help you navigate your way around the kitchen.  We have learned more from YOU MEMBERS than you could guess, so we hope you will leave some of your wisdom and love on the comment panel and in our Inbox at   foodstampscookingclub!gmail.com

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

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