Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saucy Stories

     There was a period of a few months where we only went to the grocery store for a few basic items. I still bought the newspaper and perused the sales ads out of habit, but there just wasn't money left for groceries after bills and gas for the car. No, I didn't waste away to a size two. We ate out of our pantry and freezer.  I browsed my cookbook cabinet instead of the grocery ads. We mainly shopped at a fruit stand and Amish goods market on the way home for fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, and eggs. We couldn't afford meat very often.

     I started really paying attention to the grocery store sales. Many of these buy one get one free foods that I could purchase almost for free with coupons were full of chemicals. Pasta sauces, seasoning packets, boxed dinner mixes, even beef and chicken broth are often laced with chemical additives and MSG. I didn't realize how many modern foods contain MSG. I had mistakenly thought they did away with that when they learned that it made many people ill. Silly me...

     My two year old grandaughter has been in my house all along. When she was on formula we called her the exorcist baby because she projectile vomited constantly. She was switched to every formula there was and nothing worked. However, she flourished as soon as she went on regular food. She tries all foods and eats almost everything with great gusto. She loves the home cooked meals, asks for beans, and eats tomatoes like candy. She even eats things you wouldn't expect a baby to eat like chicken with hot sauce, tacos, bean tostadas, guacamole, and spinach artichoke dip.

     My five year old grandson moved in with us and for a week straight he refused my dinners and ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich instead. He only eats peanut butter and jelly, pizza, chicken nuggets, fries, apples, bananas, cereal, and corn dogs. Gradually we hope to have him taste some new dishes. 

     I usually drop into my produce store on the way home from work. It's the end of the day and they give great deals on everything they won't be able to sell much longer and sometimes it is just free. One day I was given an entire box of tomatoes. I brought them home along with red peppers, garlic, onion, carrots, and celery. I chopped, peeled, sliced, steamed, and ran everyhting through the food processor. Everything went into a big stock pot on the stove and cooked a long time. As a matter of fact I was cooking sauce on Halloween night when a little girl, probably around twelve years old, sniffed and asked what I was cooking for dinner. She then went down the street and marched her dad up my driveway so he could smell dinner too. My daughter tried the sauce that night, closed her eyes, and said, "Please don't ever buy jarred sauce again." I haven't bought sauce since. I cook a box of tomatoes at a time and put the sauce in freezer bags. We use it for pasta dishes and pizza. I plan to try it as a soup base too.

     Goodbye coupons and grocery stores. I think I'm much better off without you.


  1. Agree, home cooking is a real money saver, ad healthier, too. Batch cooking, aka, making your own frozen assets is a win-win situation.
    Carol in CT

  2. I laughed at the little girl wanting her father to smell dinner cooking. That is sad! I want to smell your spaghetti, too, now!

    You are so lucky to have all that produce to use. You are so smart to eat cheaply and are willing to work to cook it up into nourishing meals.

    Chicken nuggets, fries, corndogs, and pizza would be homemade. Put the spaghetti sauce on a round piece of bread for pizza. Or, you could make one for dinner for the whole family and make the crust from scratch. Make the chicken nuggets small and few and for the whole family. You can get around all this unless his mother is there paying for all of it.

    I showed my mother some sort of mix in a small box like Jiffy for pizza crust. My brother was 12, discovered pizza, and she thought he should have pizzas multiple times a day because he asked. She made pizza in disposable pie pans and froze it so he could help himself. Unfortunately, I taught her how to do this. I thought maybe he was going to eat a pizza a day! Oh, yes, I told her to put her homemade sauce on it. I think she bought spaghetti sauce for his pizza.

    Frozen sauce sounds delicious! Do you have the equipment to can it? I am just thinking that freezer real estate might run out.

    I had a girl who was a projectile vomiter. I took her to the doctor. It seems historically that it is dangerous for a boy to projectile vomit...not sure what the difference is. ??? It was rough and she ate better than my two older kids when it was time for table food. She only threw up on formula.

  3. So glad you're back! I really hope things continue to get better for you and your family.

  4. I just found out you're back to blogging. I am so glad.

  5. Are you all okay? It being over a month since I started reading your blog and got up to Feb 8th and now nothing new has me concerned for your welfare.

  6. please let us know you are ok. Eileen

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  8. I hope you and your family are well. Things have been so hard for you for so long, I'm worried by your absence.