Planning for and preparing three meals a day every day is, as you are keenly aware, relentless. It can also be daunting, not to mention how physically draining it can be or how EXPENSIVE.
You may have snazzy cookware. You might have a glitzy kitchen. Your food budget may be unlimited. It’s possible you have kitchen help-a spouse, a parent, a child, a roommate or “day lady.” In any case, nobody eats until somebody steps up to make the meal. It’s wonderful to have help but we all know that not everyone has that luxury.
Most cooks in my world have picked up their cookware at garage sales or their collection pots n pans consists of hand me downs. Most are mismatched and with any good luck, some have lids that fit!
Many years ago your humble blogger sold cookware. One of the most important things I learned during that time was to use the right sized saucepan for your food. That is to say that you would not put a cupful of corn into a three quart pot-unless that’s all you had to use.
Making skillet meals or one dish menu items makes good sense if your cookware options are limited. Saute some onion, celery and carrot and add whatever cooked meat you have on hand. *This is a great way to use tuna, which is usually low cost. Serve that combo over cooked noodles or cooked rice and you have a nourishing and satisfying meal for very little money and not many dishes to wash!
If you fell heir to a poached egg set-up, I’d advise you to use those little cups for dipping out flour or sugar from your canister. When it comes to poaching eggs you can do it EASILY by filling a skillet with water-about 3/4″. Salt the water, add a few drops of any ole vinegar you have on hand. When the water simmers, lower the heat and carefully drop each egg into the water. Because of the heat and vinegar combination each egg will immediately begin to cook and it won’t look like scrambled eggs under water. It’s a quick way to fix eggs and there is no grease involved. That saves you some money.
If you are blessed to own a cast iron skillet, it’s important to know how to season it. Those will last a lifetime and they are truly non stick when they are properly cared for. I season mine every time I use it by washing it, preferably without soap, and then I pat it dry so as not to stain the dishtowel. *I’d use paper toweling but that is sooo expensive to use. I put it on the burner, turn the heat setting to HIGH and let the skillet heat through. I squirt a shot of spray oil on the bottom and around the sides and turn off the burner and let it cool before I put it away.
Storage of cookware can become an issue. My collection fits well in the drawer under the oven and I like to store each pot with its own lid. It’s so frustrating to have to hunt for lids when all you want to do is get a meal over with and get on with life! Hanging cookware can be a handy way to store it, too. And it won’t matter if your pots are not gorgeous enough to appear on magazine covers.
Here’s a word of caution: If your cookware is not enamel lined or glass or stainless steel, do NOT store food in it in your fridge. It only takes a moment to scrape left over food from a pot to a food storage container or bag and pop that into the fridge or freezer for later use. Meat can be wrapped in waxed paper. I learned the hard way that food left on a cookie sheet can be tainted very quickly, wasting food and making people sick.
It’s been my experience that users of WIC and SNAP with their EBT cards are smart. Those of you who fit that description probably have super great ideas about using and storing cookware. We’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are living on a dime, frugal by nature, or benefiting from a food pantry, food bank, or food commodities, you no doubt have had many learning experiences the rest of the Club Members could learn from. We’d love to hear from all of you, as well. The sharing that takes place here is wonderful!
We are hearing from peeps who have cruised by some of our favorite bloggers’ sites and it seems you are enjoying those immensely, as is Mother Connie. It’s a wonderful way to learn and to connect with like minded folks. Thanks, everybody, for sharing the love.
We are looking forward to your stories about cookware! Can’t wait to see your comments and messages!
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