Thursday, March 29, 2012

Winning Arguments: One Woman's Unhealthy Relationship with Grocery Shopping

If there is one thing I inherited from my mother*, it's my overall disdain for grocery shopping. So it was with great pleasure that I told my husband on Sunday I didn't need to go grocery shopping because I thought we had enough food to last us through the week. 

When I said this, I was full of fries and hamburger patties from our free Burger King lunch**. I was thinking that making bread from scratch and cooking several pounds of chicken would be a fantastic time-- that is, after all, the mark of a homesteader. And he really wants to homestead. But he also doesn't really mind shopping and he wasn't too excited about this. He remembered all the times this hasn't worked out. You can probably make that mental leap without a walk down memory lane with me.

But I'm thinking that any extra money we save this week can boost us next week. For some reason it is so much easier to shop with say, 70$ than it is with 35$. A 70$ trip might mean that we get to go to Costco (squee!). I should probably say here that I've never been to Costco. Or that 35$ can just stay in our pockets. We're expecting a huge expense soon that will drain our savings and so every penny helps, right?

But many of the best Burger King plans are laid to waste when Shakespeare gets hungry. Two days later we bought a 7 dollar pizza for dinner because I forgot to thaw everything.

It's tricksy finding delicious ways to stretch the food we have. I had enough peanut butter for one sandwich. No cheese, eggs, fruit or tomato sauce/paste. I did have a lot of frozen chicken and vegetables. George only eats on campus 2 days a week so I had to come up two meals that weren't leftovers (no microwave) and could handle a beating in a backpack after his bike ride to school. ~~SoO KEwT~~

And so began the day where I made a bunch of food I don't really like to eat to avoid grocery shopping and prove a point.

I had to figure out what can be made and taken to school with what we have. We're out of bread, so I decided to make sourdough rolls and chicken salad. Both are things Jordan likes, and I only like the sourdough rolls part. I decided to make a large batch of both. Bread making is not always fun.

We already had sourdough starter ready, but this was its first use out and sourdough tastes better and better the more you use and feed the starter. I followed a recipe I found online and it took FOREVER to knead it. It was a very sticky dough and difficult to work with, but the end result was-- tada!--very tasty.
Lil' muffin breads (*^▽^*)

I don't like cold salads (categorically), but Jordan does. I had everything I needed to whip it up, and after I cooked up the chicken and let it cool, I shredded it and added the ingredients. Only we were (and still are) out of pretty much every spice. Ack.

Though we had fresh onions (gag), he doesn't like fresh onions in his chicken salad. I ended up adding a little more dill and fennel (which I crushed with mah pestle); I also added spicy brown mustard to taste. His taste. He loved it.
"My wife is hott and smart and that was the best lunch evar"

And sauerkraut. Yes. That.

Cabbage has finally reached its (presumably) lowest price of the year at 19 cents a pound; we got one head. Who eats a lot of cabbage?

Anyways, I'm not a cabbage lover. Boiled cabbage couldn't look or taste less appetizing to me, but it's cheap. Also the sauerkraut. Jord loves him the sauerkraut.

It's actually very simple to make: chop up the cabbage into very small pieces, add kosher salt (1 tbsp to 1 cup) and shove down into a jar. The cabbage and salt become pretty briny right off the bat.
"S" is for salt, ya dingus
 I actually used 3 washed peanut butter jars for this-- I soaked them in a water/vinegar solution first to kill off any of the remaining peanut butter oil smell. They worked perfectly.

The taller one has been sauerkrauting a little longer, and it's obvious to everyone.
And so that's all, really. Not as dramatic as I made it sound to myself.

Today I'm making stock. Hopefully, my bad attitude will carry over. Hurray!

Oh, and we ended up staying under our budget by 46 cents, including the pizza. Boom.

*Also: dramatic phone conversations; caffeine addiction; my magnetic personality and charm
**They were giving out free fries for St. Patrick's and we also had a 10 dollar gift card from Mypoints. So yeah. We got sundaes.

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