17 July 2011

Ending Pantry for the SNAP Challenge

My week was over last weekend, but I've been busy and didn't have time to post. Here is what I was left with in the pantry:
If I were a bigger person, or bigger eater (which might make me a bigger person!), there would probably be less left. I meant to put the nine cents I had left at the end of the week in the pantry photo, but forgot. I'll post the chart of what I spent as soon as I remember to convert it to a JPEG. I was VERY lucky with sales last week, this week I could not have gotten most of the items at the price I paid, although I found a loaf of bread for 93 cents. It was "10/$10", according to a sticker on the loaf, but it was on the old-baked-goods rack at one grocery.

The pink item in front is my last egg, one of the hard-boiled ones. You can't see, the peanut butter jar is about half empty. I put the macaroni into a measuring cup so that you can see how much is left, because it didn't show in the box. I was surprised that I didn't eat all the greens, but not completely surprised I didn't eat the chickpeas. I love them, but mostly in soups (and I had a bean soup already that week) or curried, and I had no way to make a curry. Too many ingredients were not in my SNAP pantry.

In addition to my starting pantry, I was able to buy some cabbage for a St. Patrick's Day meal, and also two oranges that I found on the hurt produce rack. Such a treat! I really, really wanted some fruit by midweek. I carefully parceled those out, one each on two different days.

Here is what I made for St. Patrick's Day:
Stuffed cabbage. I chopped potatoes and the other half of my onion, and all the cabbage I wasn't using to roll, sauteed them in a bit of oil, then added half a box of kale. I also shredded in a bunch of cheddar cheese. Then I blanched the big outer leaves to soften them, and put a bit of filling on each, and rolled them. I ended up with five rolls. I pureed a can of tomatoes and that's the sauce. Not exactly traditional Irish, but with the cabbage and potatoes and lots of green, it would do.

When I went to get the cabbage (on sale, of course), none of the heads were small enough to fit into my remaining budget. Then I noticed that the bin had a lot of loose leaves. So I grabbed as much of those as I thought I would need, and weighed them. A bit under a pound. This gave me enough leftover money to buy the oranges.
The other half of the kale, and some un-chopped tomatoes, helped to make a red-green-white dish for St. Joseph's Day later that week:

Pasta, and a bit of white cheddar shredded on top.

Some of the other things I ate included the mac-n-cheese I mentioned in an earlier post, made with milk and cheese and macaroni and not much else, because that's what was in the pantry:

I forgot to take a picture before I ate some. I like it when there are crusty edges, and because this was on the thin side there was a lot of crust, not too much soft middle.

On the weekend, I treated myself to french toast. The end of the bread was getting dry, and it's a good thing to do with dry bread. I still had some of the milk, and a couple of fresh eggs, which made the dipping batter. I added a bit of cinnamon because I didn't have sugar or anything sweetening, and of course no jam or honey for on top or in the batter:

It was pretty good. I mixed the remaining milk-egg mixture with the last bits of milk and some water and a handful of rice, and turned it into rice pudding. It would have been nicer with raisins (IMHO!) but was OK.

If I were going ahead with a second week, I wouldn't need to buy a few things, which helps. But with the basic item's I'd bought now at a higher price, the pantry might have remained as scanty as it was the first week. And Congress is talking about reducing SNAP even further........

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