Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cheap, Good Food...(recipes)

When my kids were little, they didn’t all like their vegetables, but they all loved them a couple of weeks later when they became part of “that kickass soup”.

I’m posting this today because I know times are hard and money’s tight. My soup is pretty much free. I’m posting both ingredients and instructions, so pay attention.

The unchangeable ingredients are: beef, onions, potatoes, carrots and one can tomato soup.

The soup is pretty much free because it is all leftovers. That’s the catch. You have to get used to freezing every leftover you can.
If a kid leaves part of his hamburger, wash off the leftover meat and stick it in a baggy in the freezer. If you have a slice of dried up roast, ditto. Look for soup bones on for cheap. Every smidgeon of beef you can get you hands on is immediately frozen. Same thing with onions. Raw onions are frequently leftover when preparing or consuming food. Bag em and freeze em.

Potatoes are a bit different, since the ideal situation would be to put in raw potatoes, peeled or not, but you will find that any form of leftover potato will do as well, including mashed or creamed potatoes. Just save them in the freezer. I almost always have a couple of stray carrots in the “crisper”, but the same applies to carrots as the rest. Leftovers are perfect.

Now, possible additions include green beans, English peas and corn. I eschew cabbage type vegs because the flavor is too strong. As with all the other ingredients, the thing to look for is leftover or perhaps superfluous vegetables. (Somebody might give you five pounds of greenbeans, for instance.)

Assembling the soup is extremely simple: tear open the bags and deposit everything frozen in a big pot with one can of tomato soup and enough water to cover. Add about 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper then cook it on low all day, stirring every hour or so. When evening comes, serve the hot, flavorful goodness to your family with a pan of cornbread:

1 ½ cup cornmeal
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
¼ cup bacon grease
Mix bacon grease into dry ingredients
1 beaten egg
About 1 ½ cup milk---enough to make a pancake-like batter

Pour into hot 12-inch iron skillet greased with bacon grease

Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Y'all hoard your leftovers and try this. I'll try to remember to publish some more cheap recipes.

Apropos of nothing, but very important to me, my husband is on peritoneal dialysis and is feeling so much better.


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