Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A Rough Weekend Makes for a Smooth Week

One of the few casualities of the weekend power failure was the food we brought up to the cabin in coolers. We kept it all cool in the garage but I wasn't comfortable refreezing anything or keeping anything long term. It all needed to be used or thrown out and there was little chance of me throwing it out!

First on my list of things to use up was a four pound brick of extra firm tofu. I made tofu bacon and served it along with pumpkin pancakes made from the pumpkin puree that had begun to defrost. There made enough of this for two breakfasts for everyone.

There was a big container of frozen bananas that I had planned to use in smoothies. These I blended up and made 6 loaves of banana bread which has made mornings go very smoothly this week.

The veggies that were along for the ride were used in various soups and sauces.

BTW, I don't recommend using foods that have been without refrigeration and allowed to come to 40 degrees or more. Four hours at an unsafe temperature and you're on your way to some heavy duty food poisoning. When in doubt, always throw it out. I kept close track of the temperature in the garage (never above 30 degrees) and of the condition of the food. I knew most of the thawing occured on the ride to and from the cabin. Frugality is important but food safety definitely needs to come first.

4 comments:

HippieEarthMama said...

Katie:
I have read with interest your post! It reminds us all to be prepared, doesn't it? It is amazing the frugal creativity that blossoms when we are under un-normal situations! I hope your family has grown closer, and that you will look at this time with humor! It sounds as if you have had a feast! You have amazingly kept your family fed, happy, & together in a time of stress!! Bravo!
*Kelly*
(and yes, I finally figured out this blogging thing!!)

sarchan said...

Hey there, I've been checking in on your blog for awhile, and it is always interesting to see how you manage to eat healthy vegan food on a budget. I'm a college student, so I can definitely relate. Unfortunately, cooking for one is certainly not always the most economical task.

Ruthie said...

Au contraire.

NOT cooking is a very UNeconomical task ;-) Trust me. The less you cook the more you spend.

Compare the price of

a bland, overpackaged, questionable ingredient-full vegan Boca burger ($0.62, based on $2.50 a box)

to

a homemade burger made up of 1/2 c leftover cooked from scratch ($0.05) or canned beans ($0.15) and 2 tablespoons leftover potatoes or brown rice ($0.05), even microwaved instant type, and some oats or ground flax to bind it ($0.02), and some spices ($0.01), total cost for the same size, super tasty, totally natural burger is less than 1/2 as much.

And it doesn't take too much more time to smoosh up leftovers into a patty than it does to rip open a cardboard box AND a plastic protective sheet. :-D

But I know its a whole lot EASIER to not have to THINK about everything that goes into making food from scratch. It's a lot easier not to cook. But its so much more economical to cook. It really really is.

Katie said...

Thanks Kelly! It certainly doesn't hurt to be prepared but you're right unusual situations can breed their own frugal creativity. There's a certain amount of fun in it. The kids weren't fazed at all. They said it was just like camping.

Hi Sarchan, welcome aboard! Ruthie makes great points but the real question when you're a college student is what are you're cooking facilities? Its not impossible but like the power failure, it comes with its own set of challenges.

BTW, cooking for one becomes not only more economical but more convenient when you have access to a freezer and can freeze extra portions for quick meals down the road.

I'm with Ruthie, I'm so sick of Boca Burgers.