Posts Tagged ‘WIC’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Curry?

April 27th, 2015

The Normanator and I grew up eating liver and loving it. ONE guy at church brings it once a month; he obviously loves it, too.  But hardly anyone likes it, really.

Before you turn away in disgust, just see how we prepare it at our house:

It is rinsed and we make sure the membrane is cut away from the meat.  That membrane is what makes the meat tough…ugh!  As soon as it is rinsed, each piece is laid out on a clean dishtowel.  *You could use paper toweling, if you have it, but that uses up lots of trees.  Just sayin’…

After it has been patted dry, each slice is dunked into an egg mixture…just eggs, beaten slightly.

Next it is drawn through seasoned flour and the flour is seasoned liberally with salt, pepper and curry powder.  Any excess is gently shaken away.

These pieces are set aside on a platter while 2 or 3 onions are peeled and sliced.  Those go into  a bit of oil in a cold oven-worthy skillet or baking pan.  The meat is layered over the onions, a cover is set and the whole thing goes into a COLD oven.  The oven is set at *350 for about 45 minutes to an hour.  That’s when it’s safe to peek into the oven to check the doneness of the meat with a fork.  If the meat is tender and nicely browned and the onions are clear, with juice in the bottom of the pan, your food is ready to serve. If you want the meat to cook longer, just leave it in the oven til it looks the way you like it.

We like to serve this with spinach.  Sometimes I cream it.  If I do this, mashed potatoes are added to the menu, so the creamed veg tops the potatoes like gravy.  Other times we season the spinach with salt and pepper and a few drops of rice vinegar. *Any vinegar will do.  Spinach is beyond delicious when a pinch of nutmeg is added just before it’s served.  Nutmeg can be added to the creamed version; but adding vinegar to that is inadvisable.

This blog is dedicated to users of Public Assistance for their food dollars.  Food budgets that are strengthened by EBT cards and WIC need all the help available.  So do those budgets dependent on food commodities or food drops or food pantries.  We hope our target audience finds help from our offerings.

There is a place in the upper right hand corner for people who might like to get a series of cooking tips.  Just click the button and you are instantly a Member of the Food Stamps Cooking Club!  We cherish each member and value your thoughts and opinions.  If you have ideas to share you are welcome to send us a messsage:

foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com

There is nothing to buy; no fancy apps.  Just common sense ideas for frugal food prep!  With a bit of humor, served on the side.

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: Lunch is Ready!

April 20th, 2015

The weather in our part of the world invites this cook to make soup for lunch!  *The weather most any day does this; we are soup LOVERS.

We are also frugal.  Lunch ‘out’ is way spendy, unless lunch ‘out’ means we are eating on the deck…and today it’s way too windy for THAT !  grin

A good friend will be here to share our lunch. I’m going to make a low cost soup so good she will beg for seconds.

Here’s what I’ll do:

Saute` 1/2 an onion in a bit of oil *I prefer coconut; you use what YOU like best.

I’ll add a couple of carrots, scrubbed and sliced and toss  in a 2 or 3 ribs of chopped celery.  I’ll cook this over a medium heat til they are tender and fragrant.  Just for fun I’ll season the mixture with salt, pepper and a touch of garlic powder.

I’ll set that skillet aside and put 1 cup of rinsed lentils into a saucepan.  I’ll cover those with 2+ cups of broth and bring those to a boil.  As soon as they have come to a boil I will add the veggies I sauteed earlier.  The whole soup will be finished in about 20 minutes!

SIDEBAR: If you do not have broth, or don’t care to use it don’t fret.  Broth only makes the soup richer.  Nobody will croak if you use water.  But you might like to season the water with rosemary or sage or garlic.  Make it taste  the way YOU like it to taste!  Golly, you can season BROTH that way, too! Also, if you have a bigger family you’ll want to use more lentils and more cooking liquid.  END SIDEBAR.

Lentils are a complete protein so there is no reason to add rice or barley or any other grain. But this meal will be more complete if it is accompanied by a veggie salad.

I browsed through the fridge and came up with mushrooms, Romaine lettuce, red onion, celery, cherry tomatoes, red, green, and yellow peppers.  Methinks this collection of goodness will make a bright, crisp companion for the Lentil Soup.

The Normanator likes crackers in his soup.  I think I’ll change things up a bit and pop some corn to use as “croutons”…it’s good fiber, no gluten and makes the house smell yummy.

Lunch is ready.  Won’t you join us?  (I WISH.)

This soup is so easy that children could help.

If you have an EBT card for SNAP or WIC we hope this blog is helpful for you.  If you use food commodities or food from a food drop or food pantry we want to help you s t r e t c h your food budget!

We welcome your comments and we are thrilled to have new members!  foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com will get us your comments!

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.

PS/Next month SENCA will host a cooking class dealing with seasonings.  We would LOVE to have your ideas about how YOU use spices and herbs…you have our address…just sayin’

Food Stamps Cooking Club: Humble Potatoes

April 17th, 2015

Pardon our lack of visual delights.  It’s complicated.  *SIGH…

There is an organization in our small rural town dedicated to helping people and changing lives.  It is South East Nebraska Community Action–or SENCA, for short.  One of the programs sponsored by SENCA is an annual Woman of Distinction event, honoring the amazing women of Johnson County, Nebraska.

It is costly to present this affair so to raise funds to defray the costs a Potato Bake was put on so the public could make a freewill offering, have a great meal, and have a really good time.

The SENCA office location was host for the evening.  Their Advisory Board, made up of 7 people in the community who are just average folks in the community did the planning, cooking, serving and of course, clean up.

They baked a LOT of potatoes; they set out an array of toppings that were mouth watering and pretty.  The offerings included butter, sour cream, grated cheese, broccoli, creamed corn, bacon bits, chopped ham and well seasoned chunks of chicken.  Beverages were iced tea and water.

SIDEBAR: Other items were considered but to minimize cost these were omitted:  onions, chives, chili, salsa, red/green peppers, chopped lettuce and olives.  END SIDEBAR.

The plates were colored to match SENCA‘s theme colors: red and blue; the flatware was delivered to their door by one of the Advisory Board members who happens to be a minister.  The kitchen at his church was missing all its flatware that evening! (Every piece is in its proper home this morning!)

The potatoes that did not get consumed were toted to a sister agency in a nearby town.  The leftover veg was stowed in the SENCA fridge and some of the meat went into the freezer for use by the SENCA cook.  There was not a shred of  waste!

I mention all this because it got me thinking how easy it is to make up fixin’s for baked potatoes for a hungry family.  The cook might spend an evening or a day off afternoon chopping whatever veggies the family favors and keep them in the fridge til they are needed.  Well scrubbed potatoes will cook nicely in the crock pot til it’s time for the evening meal.  Various toppings could be set out for each diner to decorate his potato to his own liking and no one would be put upon after a tiring day of work. And the food budget would still be intact!

SIDEBAR: IF you have a dishwasher, loading potatoes into it is a slick and simple way to get a lot of taters clean in a hurry!  That’s how the SENCA bunch pre-cooked theirs!  When those taters came out of the dishwasher they were checked for spots, oiled and placed on baking sheets to slide into the ovens! END SIDEBAR.

Users of EBT cards from WIC or SNAP might find this idea useful, if not new.  If you or someone you know uses food from food commodities or a food pantry, this is just one more way to make life a wee bit easier.  Maybe you have things from a food drop or church food pantry…dressing up the humble potato is a wonderful way to add fiber, nutrition, flavor and oomph to what might otherwise be a boring tater!

As you who are Members of this humble Cooking Club know, we dedicate  this piece of cyberspace to those who depend on public assistance for their food budgets.  We intend for it to be a helpful asset.  We also hope you will share your stories and experiences with us.  If you like, you may write to us at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  WE LOVE HEARING FROM OUR MEMBERS!

We also hope you are getting benefit from the little series of cooking tips we send along to new members.

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: Reality!

April 14th, 2015

To All Food Stamps Cooking Club Members:

It’s shameful that this corner of Cyberspace has been so sorely neglected.  I make no excuses except to say I have a lot on my plate.  But Facebook posted something that was so important to me that I shared it on my Timeline.

Today a good friend mentioned that she was unable to post a comment here and sent me a private message.  I am sharing part of our conversation here because it is SO important.  And by the way, SO ARE EACH OF YOU!

Lorraine sent this:

“These days many people lack the knowledge that our aunts, and grandmothers took for granted that everyone knew such as the ideas expressed here on how to use every available resource to keep their families fed as inexpensively as possible.

Too many times we hear about some well meaning celebrity who tries to bring attention to the situation that all too many folks are going through…how to feed your family on the cheap and make it stretch.

While well intentioned, often times they truly have no idea how to go beyond the surface and really dig deep and utilize every resource available to them to fill their family’s bellies with highly nutritious foods in creative ways when there is not an unending supply of available real food.

Here is another individual, besides you dear Connie, who truly understands the importance of that. http://monkeydoproject.org/2015/04/13/dear-gwyneth-this-is-what-a-real-snap-grocery-cart-looks-like/ Thanks for all you do, educating and supporting those who are down in the trenches making it happen for their loved ones. You provide so much useful information on nutritious meals on a dime.”

Thank you, Lorraine.  I so hope that our Members will cruise by the link you include.  THERE is the reality of what $29.00 will really buy. To feed a family of 4 on this food FOR A WEEK?  O my goodness.

People who manage their food dollars with EBT cards from WIC and/or SNAP; people whose youngsters would be hungry if not for food pantries or food drops or food commodities are people I want to serve.

There is some issue with posting comments on this blog…*Drat WordPress anyway…If you want to voice your opinion please direct your message to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  EVERY comment we receive is read and receives a reply.

Thank you, all.

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: Kitchen Klatter

March 23rd, 2015
Mother Connie reluctantly poses in her kitchen for an avid photographer...

Mother Connie reluctantly poses in her kitchen for an avid photographer…

If you are of a “certain age” you may remember a radio show that kept home cooks mesmerized for decades.  It was called Kitchen Klatter and originated from the home of Leanna Driftmier over radio waves from Shenandoah, Iowa.

Kitchen Klatter had a magazine, too.  It was packed to the gills with news about the Driftmier family, recipes and adverts for their flavorings, cleaners and premiums.

I thought it would be fun to share one of the recipes from this publication.  I am fortunate to own 2 copies because my good friend, Kris Brase, gave me a copy from her collection since one of my articles was published there long ago.  The other copy came from a presentation Kris recently gave at our local Assisted Living facility.  Oh, you should have heard those women carry on about how they never missed the program!  One lady brought a stack of magazines from her mother’s collection!  Another lady mentioned how her mother shushed her brood from 9 AM to 9:30 AM every weekday morning so Mom did not miss a single thing from the broadcast and could hear the recipe.  She would copy every ingredient and the instructions in order to make it for her family’s evening meal!

I chose this recipe to share because  it is affordable, nutritious and easy to make:

Spinach-Cheese Quiche

1/2 cup butter

4 oz cream cheese

1 cup flour

1 lb. fresh spinach, washed and trimmed

SIDEBAR: My cheap cheat here would be to use frozen spinach, thawed.  But if you have fresh, go for it!  END SIDEBAR.

2 Tablespoons flour

1 cup  grated  Cheddar cheese (Use whatever you have or whatever is on sale!)

1 cup grated Swiss cheese (See above)

3 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 cup mayo

1/2 cup milk

***Optional:  8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

METHOD:

  Combine butter, cream cheese and 1 cup of flour…with a fork cut butter and cream cheese in the flour til crumbly.  Place in 0″ pie pan.  Press to form crust.  Refrigerate.

  Preheat oven to 350*.  Place spinach in covered kettle and cook til tender, drain well, chop, then drain again on paper towel or clean dishtowel.

  In a large bowl, combine spinach with the 2 tablespoons of flour and the remaining ingredients.  Mix well.  Pour into chilled pie shell; bake for 1 hour or until set.

*This was offered in September 1985 from Mary Lea; Mother Connie’s notes  are in italics because those who use public assistance for their food dollars may or may not have the ingredients Mary Lea lists.  Our Members have learned to be adaptable!

Do YOU have an EBT card from SNAP or WIC?  Are you dependent on food drops or food pantry food for your family’s meals?  Maybe you just enjoy being frugal and squeezing a nickel til the buffalo bellows.  In any case, this little piece of cyberspace is dedicated to YOU and helping YOU s t r e t c h YOUR food dollars as far as possible.  We hope to be helpful in that regard.

~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: Garlic Lovers’ Dream

March 2nd, 2015

2015-01-08 1st Phone 001Midnight Pasta is the easiest, tastiest pasta dish you’ll ever make!

Is pasta one of YOUR comfort foods, too?

I’ve always fancied spaghetti, macaroni and any other pasta product ever invented.  Recently I’ve turned to the gluten free varieties and I do believe G-Free is my favorite now.  It never gets mushy as it cooks!  I bring well salted water to a boil, add the pasta, lowering the heat a bit.

SIDEBAR:My favorites are spaghetti or linguine but any pasta will do. END SIDEBAR.

I put a wooden spoon across the cooking pot instead of replacing the lid and let it simmer until the pasta is cooked–20 minutes.

For Midnight Pasta I do as I’ve described and while it bubbles I take a whole head of garlic (If you have a larger crowd around your dinner table, you’d want to add more garlic accordingly).  I peel it and put it into a skillet with a bit of olive or coconut oil.  You’ll need to put it on a low heat and stir it occasionally.  As the garlic cooks and sweetens it softens.  When every bud has become soft, add a ladle or two of the pasta liquid and stir thoroughly.

JUST before you are ready to marry the garlic with the pasta, add 1 to 2 cups of Parmesan cheese to the garlic.  *You may need to ladle more of the liquid from the pasta to melt the cheese.

Drain the pasta, dump the cooked product into a good sized bowl with the garlic mixture and toss it to thoroughly coat the goods.  By this time, the aroma of the garlic has your taste buds crying, “HURRY!  GET THIS TO THE TABLE!  WE ARE HUNGRY!”  grin

A crisp green salad and maybe a slice or two of garlic bread per diner makes a complete feast with lots and lots of flavor for very little money !

As you know, this little corner of the internet is devoted to users of Public Assistance for their food dollars.  We hope we are helping those who have EBT cards from SNAP and WIC  and those who get goods from Food Pantries, Food Commodities and generous gardeners or neighbors who wish to be helpful.  We are not fancy/schmancy; there are no apps and  certainly there is nothing to buy. We mean to HELP your budget, not desecrate it!

**Just because we have ads doesn’t mean you are obligated to spend money!

Because of computer issues we have been conspicuously absent.  While being offline we have found some ideas we cannot wait to share with you!  We’ll want to tell you about the Cooking Class, too!  It was such fun and it’s a pity you could not ALL attend!

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: Using Our Imagination…

February 4th, 2015

Mother Connie has been plagued with technological issues.  Hence, no photos…(SAD FACE)  But at least everyone at our house is warm and well! (HAPPY FACE)

Plan A was to post pictures of the luscious food that was photographed specifically for the blog.  HOWEVER, Plan B had to be executed because those perfectly gorgeous photos canNOT be accessed. (SAD, TEARY FACE)

SIDEBAR: In my next life I’ll be an IT whiz.  END SIDEBAR

During these cold weather months we have concentrated on oven meals, one pot dishes and hearty soups.  *They all made lovely portraits which I suppose we’ll never lay our eyes on.  They all tasted  wonderful and the left overs were morphed into different and tasty offerings.  That is part of the joy of cooking at home.  Not only do you save money and know precisely how the food is prepared, you get to revel in re-imagined leftovers!

The Normanator begs for chili soup oftener than I care to ‘build’ it. Yesterday, on a shopping trip, we found a package of reasonably priced ground chuck so I snatched it up.  For dinner I browned and seasoned the meat with salt, pepper, a rather stingy amount of chili powder and I added onions.  This made for great filling for tacos.  YUM  We  oohed and aahed between taco bites at dinner!

This morning, as snow fell and obscured our view of the street, I used the meat left from tacos to make a chili soup.  I added chili flakes, fresh green pepper, and home canned tomatoes.  As I looked for beans I was stunned to discover I only had garbanzo beans!  Not suitable, imho, for chili soup!  I spied the jar of lentils.  I pulled out of the freezer a bag of barley and tossed a handful into a skillet to toast and I put the toasted barley and some lentils into the soup mix.  I added some onions.  I spooned in a scant teaspoon of sugar to diminish the tomato’s sting.  It began to bubble and smell like chili.  I tasted it and swooned.  I can hardly wait for lunch time!

No doubt many of you have made similar substitutions.  That’s what you do when you have what you have.  Especially if your pockets are empty and/or it you are in the midst of a blizzard!

Those of you who depend on public assistance for your food dollars know precisely what I mean here.  If you use WIC or SNAP or food commodities or get your eats from a food pantry you have no doubt made plenty of substitutes.  You are to be applauded for your creativity.

After being offline for what feels like forever it was a joy to see that we have so many NEW Members to this club!  Thank you all for joining and we welcome the newcomers with open arms. We hope you’ll have good, solid help from this little part of the internet.  You are welcome to contribute, too.  Send any messages to foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com.  WE LOVE MAIL because we love our Members!

There will be a Cooking Class at SENCA in Tecumseh, Nebraska on February 24, 2015.  There is no cost for the class but we need to know how many will be able to attend.  Please call 402 335 2134 to reserve your spot.  The class will focus on One Pot Meals and we will be talking about seasonings.

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: Merry Christmas!

December 22nd, 2014
Because there was no room at the inn...

Because there was no room at the inn…

As you are no doubt aware the holidays are in full swing and there is a frantic push to make ready for Christmas.  When you depend on SNAP or WIC or food commodities you tend to be  in survival mode.  It’s almost painful to think of helping others because you may be fretting about your OWN situation.

A wonderful message about this very issue awaited me in my Inbox this morning.  I just HAD to share it with you:
“Today was the first day in forever that I felt well enough to go to the  Farmer’s Market with my family, especially since I am till weak and fragile. Who would I run into than the little “all too young mother” that I have written you about. She’s passed her GED and is working “almost full time” for a national retailer. But OHHHH the PAIN when she hugged me! My family knows how sore I am, but how can I complain? Please do not praise me, but it seems that this is what happens to me.

Anyway, she told me that there was a homeless family in the park across the street and even the street-folk were shunning them. I was weak and so frail; still I followed her across the street only to discover that this was the indeed rare homeless family who is homeless due to economic circumstances that do not include the plethora of “choice” based homelessness. He had a skill, was trying to find work, and they had lost their home etc. In other words, this is the basic middle class family who does not know how to be poor. The community was shunning them because they had become infested with head and body lice, and the only treatment that they knew would cost them hundreds of dollars that they did not have.

I had my son-in-law drive me over to the dollar store where I got 4 bottles of shampoo, 2 pounds of table salt and a bottle of laundry detergent. The total was under $6.00. I asked “all too young mother” to go to the farmer’s market and gather all the food that had fallen off the tables and was under the trucks and otherwise set to be disposed. Anything that could be eaten, and even ask some farmers for the food they might be throwing away.

That gave her a mission that did not include hugging me. I taught the parents that by mixing half salt and shampoo that it would kill the lice. They had to put it on their hair undiluted, and body then wait 30-45 minutes until rinsing it off. They took advantage of the free access to the American river to rinse off, but I told them that they had to do this every day for the next 6 days because it did not kill eggs. What courage! The American River is icy right now! I gave them the comb I had in my bag. But the littlest was sick, and once we got her mother and her lice free, I put mom on the light rail wearing some of my daughter-in-law’s clothes which were going to be on their way to resale stores, but she was clean and lice controlled, and on her way to the emergency room with the littlest.

I taught dad to boil all of the clothes and bedding in his 22 qt pot for not less than 5 minutes, and then take the whole thing to the laundry that was 2 blocks away. I bought a can of insecticide to treat the car and the tent. Then he and the older child washed all the laundry with the soap and dried it with the quarters I gave them.

I do not know how things turned out for this family because I was too sick and weak to follow through. I gave them the list of community resources that I always have with me and I hope that they follow up with employment and resources. my “all too young mother” came back with a bunch of vegetables and fruit for the family.

I think that the moral of this story is that it is a skill to survive being poor. Knowing how to treat lice and make a meal from the veggies that the farmer’s market would otherwise throw away is another skill. Sure, I spent $10.00 or so of my own money, but hopefully this family will survive.

I came home and went to sleep for a while. Anyway, I do not want you to praise me for this, but maybe you can use the lice killing salt and shampoo in your mission as well. I hope you have a happy holiday season.  Take care.

Love,

Delaine”

If someone who is in abject agony can help a homeless family, it makes me wonder what I might be able to do for any of my fellow human beings.

*We are THRILLED to welcome new Members into our Club House!  We welcome your comments and messages at foodstampscookingclub@gmail.com  .  We read every single one and appreciate each of you so much!

Merry Christmas!

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

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