Wednesday, December 1, 2010
One of my favorite traditions is making turkey soup after Thanksgiving!
After we make turkey sandwiches, turkey tetrazini, and turkey mu shu, I take the poor remaining, naked carcass of the turkey and throw it in a pot of water on the stove. This year we also threw in the remains of a bag of rice, two extra cans of green beans that weren't needed for the green bean casserole, Ruth's can of carrots, Mark's cans of peas and corn, and some salt and pepper. And then we all ate for two days and put a big Tupperware container in the freezer for later. All for FREE (because we had everything on hand).
I just adore that kind of resourcefulness! I feel all Depression-era-survivor! It's like my own little victory over the economy. I can conquer the empty cabinet! I can feed large numbers of people delicious food on scraps and cleverness!
With 5 kids and a small budget, I pride myself of being able to feed everyone for minimal cost. Asian stir fry for 7 costs about $6 to make.
I can feed 12 people large amounts of spaghetti and garlic bread for $13 -- with leftovers!). This is how Mark's family bonds -- over LOTS of spaghetti! (This may have something to do with the fact that Mark has three brothers and two sons so "boy quantities" are necessary. This is a new mentality that I've had to learn after feeding a house full of girls all these years!)
Leftover spahetti sauce, a $1 can of refrigerator biscuits, and some cheese becomes everyone's favorite "biscuit pizza" (just flatten the biscuit dough, add sauce and cheese, and bake)!
I also love to make butternut squash soup - boil a large butternut squash (usually about $5) until it's easy to peel, cook until it's easy to puree, add garlic, salt, pepper, and a couple of bouillion cubes and voila! A little sour cream on top makes it especially good! And it's massively healthy too!
When the cupboard is bare, I often whip up a quiche with a homemake crust using just flour, butter, the dregs of the veggie drawer, 6 eggs, a splash of milk, and the last handful of cheese.
One of Sara-Grace's favorite dishes is Asian peanut noodles (recipe below). Usually I have everything on hand even when there's not much food in the house -- like when I pull into Enid in the evening and need to conjure up dinner immediately!
Most nights, I make dinner (for 4-5) for less than $10. I am very proud of this ability. But more than that, there is comfort in knowing that it doesn't have to cost a lot to eat well!
Asian Peanut Noodles
1/3 cup peanut butter
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
4 Tablespoons vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoon powdered ginger
2 sliced scallions
Mix together over low to medium heat. Serve over spahetti noodles.