Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day Four: Hunger Action Week

Last night's dinner high was followed by the "morning-after" dishes blues. We were already backed up having run out of dishwasher detergent the evening before. And if you hadn't picked up on it, I'm not the most disciplined dish-doer (although I'm vastly improved over the newlywed habit of leaving out the dirty dishes until they grew one will want to eat off my plates after that confession, will they?).

My morning consolation was a beautiful pot of stock bubbling away in my shiny red dutch oven. Tonight's soup is gonna be good.

Having cracked open the egg carton yesterday for the cake, I thought some nice fried eggs were in order for breakfast. But only for my husband, my oldest daughter, and myself...the boy is not a fan of eggs.

He got his favorite breakfast...yogurt (paid). But before I could catch him, he'd plopped a handful of granola on top. I wasn't planning on using granola this week to avoid entering it into the tally. I guess he didn't get the memo.

Thursday mornings are busy with carpool and preschool. My son got his snack at school, the baby got her snack from me (hey, it's recycled food so I'm going to go with "paid").

And thank goodness for leftovers. Lunch was cheapy-cheap. Fried rice using the leftover brown rice from Monday (paid), carrots (paid), a small onion (.65), a couple of cloves of garlic (paid), an egg (paid), and chopped chicken (paid). It was flavored with soy sauce (1.50)--I've never used dark soy sauce before! Soy sauce is pretty cheap for a bottle, but this can also be purchased in bulk under the name "tamari" at PCC (as can olive oil and maple syrup...but these products are fairly expensive when you buy organic). Some of you have mentioned the bulk bins at Fred Meyer. They do have a lot of organic products there. PCC is just so close to my house which is one reason I shop there so often.

The baby liked it, too. She insists on having a spoon which she holds in one hand while scooping food into her mouth with the other hand. She especially liked the onions.

Dinner tonight was essentially free thanks to the amazing stock from last night's roasted chicken. The bones simmered all night in the oven (set at 180 degrees). This morning, when I should have been showering and getting ready for my carpool day, I was carefully straining out the stock by pouring it through a lint-free kitchen towel. Cheesecloth would have been ideal, but I was out.

Then, I simmered it with a leek and a carrot and some black peppercorns for a couple of hours. At five p.m., I brought the stock up to a boil (with carrot and leek removed) and start chopping veggies. I love chopping veggies! It gives me a chance to practice my knife skills with my favorite sharp instrument...the Global 8 inch knife.

I decided to break from the normal onion and use another leek, discarding the dark green parts and thinly slicing the white and light green parts. Minced a clove of garlic. Diced a carrot. Into the saute pan with a little olive oil and a touch of butter and salt of course. All of this went into the simmering pot while I prepared the biscuit dough.

Flour (.76), sugar, salt, baking powder, butter (paid), and milk (paid). Knead a couple of times, roll it out 1/2 inch thick. Cut with handy dandy biscuit/donut cutter and place on my brand new baking sheet (bought with the proceeds of this lucrative blog, by the way....fruits of my labor) and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Break open and slather with butter, honey, or jam.

But, back to the soup. After the veg simmered for a bit, I slid in some chicken meat rescued out of the bone pile. I boiled a bit of water and cooked up 1/4 cup of orzo (.43), served on the side for everyone to add into the soup (if I put them in the soup, they soak up too much liquid in the leftovers).

Oh, I almost forgot....I pureed the leftover root vegetables (celeriac and golden beets) to thicken the soup. It was a nice flavor addition.

One more day to go with more leftover chicken recipes...yes, I am growing tired of chicken, but that's the rub I guess. Tomorrow I promise to tally up my costs...I'll be squeaking very close to the big number! But I also expect to have lots of extras left like olive oil and bread and such. Those things will be tallied up, too.



Alice said...

We had granola and yogurt at our house today. Fried rice sounds so good right now. I can't believe I didn't buy any rice for the week. :(. Your biscuits look awesome.

Jenn said...

The magic of leftovers. That soup look nice and hearty though. Goes very well with those biscuits. Yum!

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