I'm not Martha Stewart either. And I don't strive for that standard of living. It's grand but I'm helping my oldest son raise his daughter so I've got a small child with me all day. I don't have the time to basket weave or choose new place settings that I emboss or whatever.
But I do have time to cook and you do as well if you want to.
That's not a lecture or me scolding you -- I'm not saying, "You must cook!" You have no obligation to cook. You can order in or eat out.
But why I say you have time to cook is because of those noodles.
With a green salad, what I'm about to offer could be for two. But it's really just for one.
I took Jenna's challenge and got the Lipton Alfredo noodles at the store. I also grabbed a can of the cheapest bisquits and headed home.
In 13 minutes I made a mini-meal for myself. Time starts when I grab the pan for the noodles. I put in the water and milk according to directions on the Liptons package. I skip the butter indicated because I do eat these noodles myself and I always feel like the butter makes it too greasy (especially for the Asian noodles). I have the pan on the stove with the burner it sits on on high to bring the contents of the pan to a boil. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (or whatever it temperature it says on your can of bisquits). Now I open the bisquits. I use a pizza pan but you can use a cookie sheet. I sprinkle garlic powder in one hand after opening the bisquits. I take three from the top, roll them in my hand into one long roll, place on cookie sheet. I sprinkle some garlic powder on the hand and do the same with three more and then with three more. I have three long rolls. I place them in the oven. If you're oven has a preheat setting and a cook setting, you'll need to switch it over so the bread will bake. I grab one bell pepper, one yellow squash and one zucchini that I had left over and wash them (with just water, no soap, if you've never cleaned vegetables before). I grab a skillet (you can use a wok) and add a little olive oil to it and placed the skillet on a burner on the stove. It was now time to add the noodles to the boiling water. I did so. The directions say let it come back to a boil and then boil for eight minutes stirring regularly. I stir twice every minute to avoid the noodles sticking to the pan. While I'm bringing the noodles to a boil and boiling for eight minutes, I'm slicing the yellow squash into very thin slices. As thin as possible. And I add to the skillet and put the burner on medium heat. I continue adding the squash. I then do the same with the zucchini. I slice up the bell pepper and do it in tiny strips just for a different look than chopped. I am stirring the contents of the pan and the skillet regularly. If you have fresh or canned mushrooms, you could add some to the skillet. I thought I did but I didn't. It will taste fine with no spices but if you have a favorite spice, you might want to add a small dash of it to the skillet. I added 3 drops of soy sauce -- mainly because I had to get rid of the soy sauce that had about 3 drops left in it.
At eight minutes, I turned off the burner the pan was on. Liptons tells you to let it sit for two minutes so noodles and sauce will thicken. So I did that with the pan. I continued cooking and stirring the skillet contents. I also took out the rolls from the oven and dabbed a little butter over the outside to give it a golden color when it's done baking. Having dabbed butter on it, I now put it back in the 400 degree oven. I stirred the skillet one last time and then turned the burner it was on off. I grabbed the pan and carried it over to the table where I had already placed my plate. I took the noodles out of the pan and made a large, flat circle. I then carried the pan to the sink, added some detergent into the pan, turned on the water and began to fill up the pan (and sink) with water. I took the skillet over to the table and spooned the squash and bell peppers on top of the noodles. I took the skillet to the sink and placed it inside as well. I took the rolls out of the oven. I grabbed one and put it on the plate. But I put the pan back inside the oven (and turned off the oven) to keep the other two warm. My sink was now pretty full. I turned off the water, sat down at the table and began eating dinner.
That wasn't time consuming. Except for my plate and fork (and bowl if I had had a green salad -- I didn't), everything's soaking in the sink for easy clean up. (I wipe my pizze pan unless something gets burned on. If it's the latter, I wash it. But otherwise, I follow the instructions for the pan which said you only had to wipe it clean with a wet cloth.)
So if Jenna did the above, she could have at least three vegetables (excluding salad) when eating her Lipton's noodles.
This is not a gourmet cooking site and anyone who thinks it is should check out a gourmet cooking site. I started this site back when Bush was in office and the economy was tanking but no one really seemed to want to note that. Pig Boy Danny Schechter likes to pretend like he was noting the ecoonomy in those dark days but he wasn't. I had read a piece Ava and C.I. wrote at Third, a TV piece that mentioned the economy and explained the housing crisis that the country was about to see nationwide and I asked myself what I had to offer?
C.I. was doing the Iraq snapshots and I agreed with Keesha that those needed to be out there because there was so little Iraq coverage then (now it looks like it was non-stop because there is even less Iraq coverage). So I thought about a website and asked myself what I had to offer?
The only thing was cooking. So I started out (and contine) with a recipe a week. Why cooking if we're talking the economy?
That sounds like a question Pig Boy Danny Schechter would ask.
You can always tell a sexist pig, can't you?
When the economy dives, it effects everything including what you eat. If you're able to cook a meal, you can eat a little cheaper. So I try to provide simple meals.
On that, JJMTACOMA. I don't know her name. I'll assume she's from (at one point or another) Tacoma due to her name but I could be wrong.
JJMTACOMA seems to be on a similar message, click here. She blogs at Corrente and she's been doing food recipes for I don't know how long; however, this year, it hasn't been an occassional one, she's been offering one or more a week. She's trying to go for simple recipes and she's offering tips on how to make them less expesnive (such as when ingrediants won't perish quickly, she'll advise you to buy them on sale, stock up, and keep them for when you're ready to make the recipe).
My husband and I have eight kids. Pig Boys like Danny Schechter will never grasp how cooking and the economy are related. Any family that's struggled will. All of our kids are grown (and I'm a grandmother via my oldest son) so, in the worst economic crisis in the country in my lifetime, we're actually doing okay. That's because the money we have coming in no longer has to be stretched to feed and clothe ten people, pay for sports activities, etc. In fact, when my son needed someone to watch his daughter (who was only a couple of months old then), we were doing so good that I was able to leave my job.
I'm not trying to rub that in anyone's face. Why I bring it up is that we had to learn to economize, we had to learn to pinch pennies. What we had to do all along is now what most of America is having to do and it's not fair, no, but if you're able to learn a few basic things, you'll be a little bit better off. Not sitting pretty. Not where you were ten years ago. But you may be able to manage a little breathing room, a tiny space.
Marlon e-mailed to note that the price of soft drinks has more than doubled. And he points out that last year, he could still get them on sale at the local drug store for 99 cents. These days the same drug store offers them on sale for $1.50. "And they aren't on sale very often," he writes. (He's also referring to the 2 liter bottle, by the way.) We have a community member who has tracked the price of Roma tomatoes. This began, in 2005, because he hated Roma tomatoes but the regular ones were too expensive. So he'd get the Romas at his local store for 59 cents a pound. They are now $1.49 a pound at his local store. And they are still the cheapest tomato.
So it does matter. Now maybe if I built my website up by using, misusing and sexually harassing women, I wouldn't care about food prices and would just thunder about the economy in a self-righteous manner? Well I'm not a Pig Boy. I'm not a Pig Boy who is so awful that his ex-girlfriend feels the need to send out e-mails warning women against him because of sexual harassment and sexual assault and much more. Again, I'm not a Pig Boy.
I'm just a woman who started a website that doesn't even rise to the level of "blog" and tries to share some thoughts on the economy and help you find a recipe you like and can use. And try to amplify the Iraq snapshot so that we all remember that despite Barack's Pretty Words, the Iraq War has not ended.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday: