Always check your pantry before cooking to avoid frustration
Recently I made a quick trip to the grocery store. I had been cleaning my basement and my appearance somewhat resembled that of the cleaning lady in the old Carol Burnett skits.
Although I didn’t want to leave home, I had a wild desire for a nice, ice cold glass of milk.
Having more work to do when I returned, I decided that changing clothes wasn’t going to happen and instead of fixing my hair I would just throw on a hat.
I wouldn’t be gone for more than 20 minutes tops, so what were the chances of running into anyone seeing me that I knew?
As I drove to the grocery, I made the decision to go to one I don’t frequent all that much so my chances of being spotted would be narrowed even more. Right?
Well, you’d think so, but not the case. I ran into a lady who recognized me (was I really recognizable?) and she proceeded to tell me how much she enjoyed reading my column.
I was deeply appreciative and smiled as I walked away but couldn’t help wondering if she wondered where in the world they had dug me up from?
I wasn’t prepared. If you think you shouldn’t go out because you look too bad, maybe you shouldn’t go out.
I had mentioned in an earlier column that one of the “rules” that saves one a lot of anguish and frustration (and possibly a few choice words) is to always go over your recipes before starting and make sure that you have all of the ingredients.
I have taught this to my granddaughters. They were here recently and before we started making some cookies they said, “Let’s make sure we have everything Mamaw.” Right. Good girls.
I decided to make an old familiar and loved recipe of a no bake cookie, Chocolate Sams.
I put the milk, sugar, cocoa, and butter in the sauce pan and proceeded to bring it to a boil.
I decided to get the rest of the ingredients out while waiting, which was peanut butter, coconut, and quick oats. Where were those quick oats?
After moving everything around in my pretty much organized cupboard there were no quick oats to be found.
So, as you might have guessed, I had to run to the store, aggravated with myself for not being prepared.
Grocery shopping hasn’t been much fun for me lately. Prices, for whatever reason, (weather, economy, flooding, hurricanes) have gone up. I understand the reasoning, but it makes shopping less enjoyable.
So I have gone back to a method I used when I owned my restaurant that is practical and makes the money spent on food part of a “business” decision. Make out a weekly menu.
Check your pantry for things you already have that you will need, or that you need to use up, and utilize sales.
If chicken is on sale, make chicken and noodles one night and possibly a chicken stir-fry another, to use up that package of frozen veggies in your freezer.
If ground beef is on sale, make up patties and layer between sheets of waxed paper and freeze. Much cheaper than buying already portioned patties.
I gasped when I saw the price of frozen onion rings (which my sister loves), so I bought two whole onions and will cut my own and make a little homemade batter to dip them in. Less than half the cost.
Green beans on sale?
Have green beans with those chicken and noodles and then with the ones that are left over add some cheese and a little milk along with salt and pepper and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees.
Now you have a cheesy green bean casserole to go with your pork tenderloin.
There are ways to stretch your budget and still eat well, and I have found some of those ways and am willing to share. Stay tuned.
The cookie recipe that I am sharing is for a night when you want a little dessert but don’t want the cost of extra things on your grocery list.
Everything needed is probably already in your pantry. Well, maybe not the quick oats.
2 cups sugar
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 1/2 cups quick oats
2/3 cup coconut
2 heaping tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine sugar, cocoa, butter and milk, boil 1 minute.
Add to the rest of the ingredients and drop on wax paper.
Refrigerate for at least 5 hours for best results.
So easy you will feel a little guilty.