Friday, May 24, 2013

The Face of the Mutant Carrots

I came upon an interesting find while working in the garden today.  I was delighted with my discovery and very amused.  Do you remember the mutant carrot post?  Just in case you don't here is the text:

"The mutant carrots are back at it.  These two are Carrocchio and the Fairy Dancing queen.  Carrocchio is on the left side of the picture.  He is saying "I don't really think they are going to roast us!"  The Fairy Dancing Queen is on the right - She is saying (to Carrocchio) "Don't you lie to me!"  "Your nose is getting bigger and bigger!"

I guess the lack of food is having an effect on me.  And - those silly fairies keep creeping into the blog.  Well-Sharon and I roasted them.  The fairy was right - he was lying!"

Well today, while I was planting the challenge garden, I was digging around the old carrot patch and guess what I found - It could be the real face of the mutant carrot or, it could be the carrot mascot.  He kind of looks like a miniature Mr. Potato Head.

Today, I planted celery, parsley, broccoli, spaghetti squash, zucchini squash, butternut squash plants and seeds for sunflowers, turnips, beets, leeks and radishes.  The weatherman warned of the danger of frost so I covered some of the squash plants with sheets.  I hope he was wrong.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

GIFTS . . .

This weekend, Sharon and I were "gifted" with carrots and sweet potatoes.  We split the carrots and Sharon is using the sweet potatoes.
Today, I blanched my half of the carrots and froze them.  I have eight 12 oz bags.  Pictured below are the carrots before blanching.  Pretty nice!!!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Mini Challenge Wrap Up

For dinner this evening, I made potato pancakes from the two remaining potatoes, one egg, chives from the garden and margarine.  I also used the last two pieces of bread and the last two pieces of cheese to make a grilled cheese sandwich.
All I have left is:
And 15 cents that I didn't use.
I'm thinking this is not the most nutritious way to eat.  Lots of "white" food (potatoes, white bread, oatmeal, bananas, eggs, pasta).  I look forward to having the harvest from my expanded garden to eat for health and savings during the next challenge.

Final Round - Fight!

Sooo much food for breakfast this morning.  I had 1 egg, oats, a banana, and hashbrowns, plus coffee.  My coffee made it pretty far.  I made 6 16-oz cups of coffee from the 2 packets in the mail plus the chicory root.  I still had an egg left so I made it for Jessica.  I am stuffed.

For lunch, I was SET UPON BY THIEVES!!! Actually it was just Jessica.  She ate all my bologna.  She did offer to go buy me more, but I accept that thieves took some of my food and challenge on.  I had beans, a baked potato with margarine and chives, and the rest of my pasta from the other night.

Dinner was buttered noodles, fries, creamed corn, and 2 pieces of toast.  I used all the margarine. I in fact used nearly everything, save a surplus of navy beans and some ranch dressing.  I shared my potato salad, eggs, and (unwillingly) bologna, and still had enough food to make it through this mini challenge.

Final thoughts?  I think $1.50/person/day is a good starting point for our big challenge.  I think $1.50/day would have been easier if it was over a longer time period, where bulk buys of more goods could be incorporated (and I can justify a can of coffee.)

Day 5 - Did I mention the carrot?

Well - we made it to day 5. I don't think I mentioned the bonus carrot.  While at the grocery store on Wednesday, shopping for a birthday treat for a friend in a nursing home, I looked over the produce section and spotted bulk carrots.  So, I carefully picked out a small carrot to be certain I didn't go over the 31 cents I had remaining in my budget.  The carrot rang up at 16 cents WOOO HOOOO!!!  Carrot in my salad today.

Yesterday's menu changed a little as I worked in the garden for most of the late afternoon and evening.  For lunch, I ate tuna mac casserole and a baked potato.  Supper was two scrambled eggs and two pieces of toast.  I drank lots of mint tea, both iced and hot as I made a futile attempt at ridding the herb garden of the roving take-over mint.  (I also have mint in a large pot in my garden.)  I didn't have my salad yesterday so that means more lettuce and tomatoes for today's salad.
For breakfast this morning, I ate the last banana and the rest of the oats.  Along with the carrot, I have the supplemental dandelion greens, about 10 cherry tomatoes cut into thirds, the small head of purple and green lettuce and the remaining ranch dressing, I have a pretty nice salad for lunch.  I'll also be taking one of my two remaining eggs (hard-boiled) and the rest of the tuna mac casserole in addition to the salad.  Supper will consist of some combination of my remaining stores which are two potatoes, two pieces of bread, one egg, margarine and 4 pieces of cheese.  That's it!  Almost at the finish line.  I'll be posting my final thoughts on the challenge.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Message From Day 4

Breakfast; oats, hash browns, banana coffee.

Lunch was a little late today, I had an extra piece of bread from my missed meal yesterday so I made half my hot bologna into a sandwich.  'Bean salad' has turned into just beans, I haven't done anything with them other than cook them.  I shared my potato salad with our worker, Mike, who has been helping me move cabinets for the last 2 (and probably for the next 2) days.

Looking at my menu plan, I still have pasta left from yesterday, I don't have any macaroni salad left.  I have the things needed to make macaroni salad if I feel like it. (macaroni salad was my 'snack' scheduled for today.)

As of yesterday the basswood has finally exploded into green - the young leaves are quite edible.  They have a very 'green' taste.  I picked some this morning for my chef's salad tonight.

I have everything I planned for tomorrow, and also have 1 extra hard boiled egg, uncooked macaroni, 1 extra potato in the form of french fries (I made 2 potatoes into fries) and copious amounts of navy beans.  I might just bake up some of those fries to go with dinner tonight.

I will probably have food left over when the mini-challenge is over.  I would be really good at making ends meet as a poor person, which is probably exactly the reason I am not a poor person.

Day 4 - No More!!

The meals are filling though I feel that I'm not getting enough nutritionally. I'm craving honeydew, apples, pineapple and fruits of all sorts. I feel that I'm lacking variety of the good healthy stuff I'm used to eating.  With that being said, I'm withdrawing from this challenge.

I really appreciate embarking on this experience. It makes me realize how fortunate I am to have access to wonderful nutritious foods.

Mini-Challenge - Day 4

Last night, after my dinner of two scrambled eggs and toast, I had a snack of one banana and two pieces of cheese.
For breakfast today, I had a bowl of oatmeal with a banana.  For lunch I'm planning to have a salad (similar to yesterday's salad), along with macaroni, tuna casserole.  Dinner will probably be a baked potato with chives and either grilled cheese or an egg sandwich.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Recipes from the Mini-Challenge

Potato Salad
3 medium potatoes (actually 1 giant and 1 medium potato)
3 eggs
wild onions
ranch dressing
salt and pepper to taste

Cube and boil potatoes, hard boil eggs.  Slice eggs, dice chives and onions, mix with ranch dressing.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

My favorite method to hard boil eggs is as follows; bring eggs to a boil, let boil for 10 mins.  remove from pan and place into freezer for 20 mins.  Hard boiled eggs are easier to peel if they have been sitting around for a few days, you'd be surprised at how long their actual shelf life is.

Macaroni Salad
2 cups cooked macaroni noodles
1 hard boiled egg white
wild onions
ranch dressing
salt and pepper to taste

chop egg white, onions, and chives.  Mix ingredients.  I made about half of this recipe, I used about 1/2 of an egg white from the potato salad and a cup of cooked macaroni.  It took 2 packets of mustard to get the taste right.

Stuffed on Day 3

I understand that to make this challenge appealing and possible for most people, the creators had to make it seem like it was going to be difficult.  It is not.

If this were a true poverty challenge, you would have to source and secure the food one day before the challenge starts, and you have to do it on foot.  Oh, and $3.50 would go to rent for the hovel you live in on the equator, so you'd have $4 instead of $7.50.

Our ability to search sales flyers and drive to multiple locations to get our groceries for this challenge have made it, quite frankly, too easy.

I did a few substitutions on the menu; last night I had to take my dinner with me so I swapped the baked potato out for some potato salad.  This cascaded into my not wanting potato salad for lunch today, so I instead had macaroni salad.  This will not leave me enough macaroni salad for tomorrow, but I have more potato salad left.

More importantly, I did not eat lunch today.  I was out at a site taking cabinets apart and didn't get back until 6PM.  Having missed lunch I had double food for dinner!  I immediately ate the rest of the mac salad and the hard boiled egg when I got back.  Next I fried up the bologna that was supposed to be on my lunch sandwich, made 2 pieces of garlic bread instead of 1, and had a nice salad of dandelion greens and wild onions.  Add to that the pasta and creamed corn and I am absolutely stuffed!  I actually have probably half a pound of pasta left, and I simply can't eat any more.

Do I crave things?  A little.  No more than anyone who goes on a regimented diet for any period of time.  I am certainly not hungry though, nor am I dissatisfied with my culinary variety.

Day 3 - Ugh!

This morning I'm feeling that I can't stomach the eggs anymore. I rarely eat eggs. As I stated yesterday, the celery isn't too appealing anymore either. Today should be interesting. I may try to space out the 3 quiche  triangles throughout the day instead of all at one meal and see how it goes.

Day 3 - 1/2 way through

No pictures today.  Just a brief update on the menu.  For breakfast, I had a bowl of oatmeal with banana slices.  While rummaging through my kitchen cabinet this morning, I found an old foil packet of honey from a fast food store.  I added the packet to my oatmeal.  It was a little too sweet.
For lunch I'll have a salad similar to yesterday's lunch time salad and the tuna macaroni casserole.  I'll probably take one potato to work.  In case I need a snack, I'll have a baked potato.
Supper will be two scrambled eggs with chives and two slices of toast.

At the end of today, my challenge inventory will include:
     4 eggs
     3 potatoes
     8 slices of cheese
     1 small head of lettuce
     12 cherry tomatoes
     3 bananas
     1 cup of oats
     1 1/4 sticks of margarine
     4 slices of white bread
     small amount of ranch dressing
     2 servings of tuna macaroni casserole

I might even end the week with a couple items left over - and under budget.
A friend of mine told me that a local chain store has peanut butter for $2.99 with a $2.99 rebate at the register.  I think I'll check it out.