Tag Archives: cooking

Hats off to budget shoppers.

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For the first time in two years we’re venturing out of our Thanksgiving Covid bubble and spending the holiday with friends as was our tradition. It will be a small gathering with a large amount of love.

And food. As well as drink.

In that spirit… I went shopping yesterday for the ingredients to whip up my contributions to the feast. To say I had sticker shock is a gross understatement, and while I’ve been cringing at the checkout counter for a while now, this trip was solely to make three things which made the cost positively ridiculous.

Harvest sangria –

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And mind you, I already had the vodka.

Crabmeat toasties –

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Already had the mayo.

And a cappuccino mousse trifle.

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Already had the milk.

To assemble a drink, an appetizer and a dessert in 2022 without the items I already had at home?

$211.76.

Granted the fresh crabmeat is an indulgence at … are you ready? … $40 a pound. In Maine! Two pounds are pictured, which a few years ago cost me roughly half that. And sure, I could have brought cheese and crackers but everyone loves these and looks forward to them. Probably because they’re too cheap to ever make it themselves, but still.

On the flip side of my extravagance, I have a frugal girlfriend. Every year she challenges herself to make an entire Thanksgiving dinner for six people for under $30. She’s so proud of her ability to do this she lists her purchases on her Facebook page if anyone wants to follow her lead.

I thought this year, with its astronomically high food prices, she wouldn’t be able to do it.

I was wrong. And I’m including her post because she just impresses the Hell out of me.

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I’ve been asked by so many people if I was going to do a Thanksgiving on a shoestring post this year. Well, I did it. I’ll give a shopping list with prices, menu, and break down how I did it.
Turkey $6.14 (.47 #) 13# bird
1 1/2 # sweet potato .56
2# sweet onions .87
Celery $1.50
1# carrots .50
2.5# potatoes $1.00
Squash $1.00
Turnip $1.00
Fresh herbs $1.99
Graham crackers $1.25
1 large banana .40
1# flour .75
2 cups sugar $1.00
Canned whipped cream $2.50
1qt. milk $2.19
Butter $3.99
Vanilla pudding $1.49
Cranberries $1.00
Stuffing $2.49
Grand total $31.62

Thanksgiving menu
Roast turkey with stuffing
Mashed potatoes
Squash
Roasted Root Vegetables
Homemade cranberry sauce
Homemade gravy
Chai pie
Banana cream pie
Biscuits

This was probably the most challenging budget Thanksgiving Dinner. My goal was to keep it at or below $30.00. I could have done it if I went with with cheaper options, like margarine, instead of butter, but I refuse to skimp on quality. Another option was to get a loaf of bread for 1.29, at the off price bread store for stuffing, but $1.00 savings in the meal didn’t make sense when it cost more in gas to go get it. A lot of things, like potatoes, flour, and sugar I buy in bulk, but I used store prices for those items. By making things from scratch, like pie crust, biscuits, and cranberry sauce, you can save a lot of money. I got canned whipped cream, because whipping cream was sold out. The price is about the same. My menu is looking a little different this year as well. I talked to those who were coming for dinner, and we decided on two pies that we all liked. There’s no sense in baking a bunch of pies that aren’t going to be eaten. Six different side dishes aren’t necessary, so we decided what our favorites were. We grew our own Squash, turnip, and herbs, but I priced them for the dinner cost. This list can be tweaked to your personal liking. I didn’t include beverages, because we already have that stuff on hand. In the end, Thanksgiving dinner for 6 breaks down to $5.27 per person. That is, until I turn leftovers into more meals 😉………Happy Thanksgiving all! I hope this had helped 🙂

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Proof positive it is possible.

That’s also proof I’ll never do it myself, but hey… to each their own.

So however you celebrate Thanksgiving , or even if you don’t… I hope your day is filled with food, friends, family and fun.

Let the boozy goodness begin!

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In my defense, it was a very deep cabinet.

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I was sifting through our kitchen cabinet the other day for a box.

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Yes, I admit it…. every once in a while I cheat and use Shake and Bake. It’s easy and the husband loves it. So sue me.

But as I was sifting through boxes, cans and bags I came across this:

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Hmm. It looked a little different from the first one I pulled out… and when I turned it over I realized why.

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Proof positive I need to clean out the cabinets more often.

🤣

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Random skies and sammies.

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Woke up this morning to an odd light in our front yard.

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The sun was shining through little peaks in the clouds and it was positively eerie.

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This being Sunday, it was my day to cook for the weekly man cave pool tournament… but this time, I took your advice.

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Fresh ham salad and chicken salad sandwiches on flaky croissants.

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With fruit plate accompaniment. Pretty… and so much less time consuming.

👍

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I may have set a dangerous precedent.

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The husband’s weekly Sunday pool game is still in full swing and I fear I’ve doomed myself to a full day of cooking, serving and cleaning from here on out.

I’m hard wired to feed people when they visit, and though technically no one is visiting me… the men come over to play at 9:00am and don’t leave until 3:30 – 4:00pm which means lunch. Whipping up something in the crock pot works well because it meant less trips back and forth, and with no kitchen or running water in the man cave I’m not serving 3 course meals. But it also means I’m up and cooking at 5:00am every Sunday so it’s ready at noon. Back and forth to the barn with cutlery, plates, serving utensils etc. … setting it all up, feeding them, clearing up, running it all back to house to wash. This is not my idea of a relaxing weekend.

But the sweet little (competitive as hell) old man is a widower so now as well as feeding him lunch… I’m boxing up leftovers for him to take home.

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Creamy ham and noodle casserole was a hit last week. As was my plate of strawberry crinkle cookies I made the night before and had to post off limits before the husband ate them all.

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I keep telling the guys once summer heat is in full swing the meal train is apt to stop, although the widower’s disappointment is almost palpable. No one wants chicken and dumplings in July… and besides, I’m rapidly running out of crock pot recipes.

🥴

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News you can’t use.

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Because I like to keep my readers well informed. .

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This is good news. Next time the husband ignores me while watching some ludicrous old western on tv? I’m going outside to talk to the ‘shrooms.

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For the love of God, why? Who would buy such a thing…

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You heard it folks, move fast.

Like you have to after each and every time you eat at McDonalds.

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I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say if you have a 36 foot yacht? You’re probably not that worried about work in the first place.

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Yes, from the people who brought you How To Bake A Potato … the sequel.

Wash sweet potato.

Pierce sweet potato.

Bake sweet potato.

Riveting stuff… no?

🥴

Pandemic humor.

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Because I’m still trying to laugh.

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Ain’t that the truth! I’ve cooked and baked more in the past two years than I have in the last 20. Which sadly, my hips and thighs can attest to.

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I need one of those.

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This is funny, but not. Our neighbor is a nurse and has been past the point of burnout for a solid year.

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I really hope not, but you can’t argue with the logic.

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A recipe book for the rest of us.

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In general I’d say I’m a good cook. People like to come over for dinner, my dishes are requested at potlucks, and Lord knows my husband doesn’t complain. But every once in a while I’ll try a new recipe and things will…. how shall we say? … go astray.

I read the directions, I do just what they say… but the result is often inedible.

Perhaps I need this:

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I wouldn’t count on it, but let’s see.

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Who knew there was such a thing.

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Cheese? Good.

Kale? Bad.

Got it!

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I’m afraid I can’t follow that rule. Growing up with a father who died after his fifth heart attack… and living with a man who has had triple bypass, I don’t add salt to anything.

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Well, if the lobster says so… it must be true.

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Stray thoughts….

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#1. We’re spending Thanksgiving Day with friends this year and along with my luscious crabmeat toasty appetizers and a cappuccino mousse trifle dessert, I was asked to bring… are you sitting down?

Green bean casserole. 🤢

While I’ve been known to make that abomination (for certain spouses who shall remain nameless) I can’t say I’m a fan. So I searched high and low for a recipe that would make it more palatable.

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I found one for the crock pot that sounded much better than the original. Fresh beans, fresh mushrooms, heavy cream, fresh garlic and thyme etc.

It was a bit of a pain to make and littered my kitchen with dirty dishes… but thankfully I did a dry run a few days ago before I served it to the group.

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Sadly, the trash can was the only appropriate place for it. Blech! How something so promising could taste so horrible is beyond me.

I shall now be making the original bowl of slop that everyone expects.

Clearly it can’t be improved.

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#2. I heard that Paul Rudd had been voted Sexiest Man Alive in People magazine. I can’t say I agree, but I won’t argue with this logic:

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#3. I believe I have officially reached the point of no return on the less than graceful decline into old age. I know this because the only way I can remember to add a song to my iPod is to take a picture of my car radio when it’s playing.

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And yes, I said iPod.

Told you I was old.

🤣

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