Friday, February 24, 2006

Dinner in The Garret

Being the single gal with a good job, I had gotten used to swinging by the grocery store on the way home for something fast and easy, hot soup already prepared - FarmFresh has a great She Crab Soup - or a big old salad from the in-store salad bar. I'm not a person to grocery shop once a week or fix dinner after work. And hauling a week's worth of stuff up the stairs would probably totally destroy my back.

But with unemployment and attendant reduction in circumstances, I find myself back in the kitchen. I got a great bargain on a honking big thing of hamburger meat. I picked up a load of pouched noodle & rice side dishes for a dollar apiece. I make casseroles in the microwave. I have a large jar full of rice. 5 for $5 frozen Swanson dinners are in the freezer. A bag of potatoes and a bag of onions are on top of the fridge. The ramen I hoard is only for the direst of circumstances.

Not the most nutritious fare but it beats Chef-Boy-Ar-Sodium. What I want to know is why I can get 5 for $2 on cans of some processed crap but it costs me $3.50+ or more to put together a dinner of fresh dark leafy greens with all their goodness intact & little skinless chicken breast mixed in? And leafy greens do not include iceberg lettuce. That is a travesty of a non-food engineered to serve only as a vehicle for ranch dressing.

Cooking for one is a pisser. You either eat what you made for three days running or it goes bad. Buying milk is worse. Some noodle package flavors call for milk and who knows? I may someday possibly want to bake something....As if. I nabbed the only two three-packs of aseptic packaged shelf-stable milk in all of FarmFresh today. It was hidden among the juices. But FarmFresh has great employees who knew exactly where it was. Useful stuff in 8 oz individual packages. Not like buying a quart where for a single person half of it will likely go bad unless they really like to drink milk.

Why hasn't aseptic packaged milk taken off her in the USofA? When I first encountered it back in 1982 and doing a semester in London is was suitable weirded out. But it makes sense for the singular.

In other matters, many congratulations to Canada for winning the gold in curling at the Olympics. Couldn't happen to a nicer group of folks. And yay for the Bronze Boys from Bemidji.

Well time to turn off the lights in the garret for another day. My landlord doesn't want to renew my lease which expires on April 1. I don't know why. I've lived here eight years. I have to speak seriously with him next week. Do you think I could persuade him with some hamburger, picante sauce, and rice casserole?


At 10:59 AM, Blogger Erik Ivan James said...

You have a good attitude, Lisa, and I respect the hell out of you for it.

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Lisa S. said...

Thanks Erik! I just got another letter from Landlord. Say I can stay until June. Reason they gave for not renewing my lease is that they need to "renovate" my apartment. uh...yeah...and it sounds like gentrification to me.

But I got chicken for $0.59/lb today at the Food Lion. Boling the chickens & freezing the meat and stock in portion controlled segments.

Good Lord, I'm becoming a crazy survivalist! *snicker*

At 7:14 PM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

Good news on the apartment, Lisa! hopefully he'll continue to forego renovations. Day at a time, I suppose.

When Ian and I first married and we had no money, we found Chicken for 39 cents a pound one day. We're going back 18 years now. We thought we'd hit the jackpot. We bought twenty pounds. Ate it for over a month. Dinner was a piece of chicken, rice, canned vegetables that we'd picked up at the Shoprite can-can sale.

Mother of invention mode, Lisa. Hang in there.

At 7:40 PM, Blogger Lisa S. said...

Shop Rite Can Can Sale!!!! And the song. I SO remember that.

Today it's great to save some cash,
So come to ShopRite's Can-Can bash,
From can to can to can to can,
You'll save much more on every brand...

For quality that you can trust,
For tasty corn, asparagus,
The Can-Can Sale can save you more,
It's only at your ShopRite store!

Shop.. and.. save.. more.. at the ShopRite Can-Can blast,
Now's.. the.. time.. to.. stock up while the values last!

At 7:52 PM, Blogger S. R. Hatcher said...

First of all, good news on the extension with the apartment, although I'm sure you feel June is not far off but it's better than April.

Have you noticed that sugar loaded fruit juice costs more per gallon than gasoline? You have to search for the 100% juice with no sugar and it's even more! That's my pet peeve. I'm trying to teach Ben (my son) how to eat cheap at college next year. Told him a bag of baking potatoes, a bag of apples, etc. Thought we were making progress until he said "For this amount, I could just eat at Taco Bell every day." There's still work to do there.

Never heard of ShopRite even when living in Atlanta. Northeast thing??????

Hang in there.......

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Lisa S. said...

Yeah, ShopRite is a Northeast supermarket chain. That and Stop'n'Shop.

At 11:19 PM, Blogger Bonnie Calhoun said...

Never hear of either of those chains. Here in New York, it's Giant, Wegmans, or Pricechopper.

We have fresh milik in the grocery store in 8 or 16 oz containers.

Congrats on the lengthening of days. I'll pray it continues until you are ready!

At 7:11 AM, Blogger E. Ann Bardawill said...

I'm feeding hulking teenages boys.

If I don't keep food in the house at as times, they stay eyeing up the dog as potential BBQ material.

HEY! THAT'S why the dog's so neurotic.

At 7:12 AM, Blogger E. Ann Bardawill said...

Re your landlord, try groveling and crying.

Used to work great for me.

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Lisa, I just love those $1 stuff. When hubs is out of town, I don't cook, I just do the microwave dinners. Easy for me and more time on the computer.

But yay! on the apartment. Hope the landlord will change his mind completely, and let you renew for another year.

At 8:50 AM, Blogger Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Sharon - Taco Bell is what I ate in college. There was 79cent taco Tuesdays. We were all there. We'd order 5 tacos each and free ice water. Hmm. Maybe that's why I got health issues.

At 10:38 AM, Blogger M. G. Tarquini said...

There were Shoprites in Philadelphia area and Westchester County New York. We planned for the sale, it happened every January. I saved my money and made space in the cabinets. We ate from it all year, had cases of cans piled in the kitchen.

At 1:06 PM, Blogger Lisa S. said...

E. Ann - Groveling and crying never ever works for me. I just can't do that soft and wounded look no matter how hard I try. But can I borrow your sons if and when I have to move out of my garret?

Dana - When I first left me ex-husband in 1998 I was stone broke and had a job that paid crap. I lived on ramen and store brand hotdogs. Living Large was having three dogs in the bowl of ramen rather then just two.

M.G., I cannot fathom carrying all those cans up stairs a this point.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Dana Y. T. Lin said...

Lisa - Ohmigawd! Diced dogs in ramen noodles? We would had SO much fun as college roommates!

Um.... er.... how do you feel about.... uh... SPAM?

At 8:48 PM, Blogger Lisa S. said...

Um.... Er... I'm not from Hawaii

At 11:22 AM, Blogger E. Ann Bardawill said...

You have issues with Spam.

Serious, serious issues.


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