>So I haven’t posted in a while because I wanted to put up pictures from our retreat up in Flathead. But my computer is en route to the Apple shop, so I can’t. Well, by en route, I mean they sent me a DHL label, which no longer picks up shipments in the US. Of course, I could drop it off at a DHL location, but I don’t think they have one in Montana. At least not Missoula. So they sent me a FedEx label. Of course, this would be a lot easier if there was an Apple store in Montana, but there’s not.
So Missoula is known for being a “crunchy granola” town. I learned this when going to a wedding with John. His college roommate’s mother was telling me, aghast, about someone whom she knew that went to Missoula, “for three days – just for fun!”
This is my super easy recipe for granola:
1 stick butter (or a 1/4 cup vegetable oil)
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbl vegetable oil
Mix these together and pour over 4 cups of whole oats
Spread over a greased pan
Bake in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes at a time, for about 30 minutes total. Check OFTEN, it burns easily.
Mix in 3/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, if you’re a JV) and 1 cup nuts (or not, if you’re a JV)
So food is an interesting thing as a JV. In this house, we get $63 a week for food for 5 women. Last year we got $100 for 8 people. But this is a rundown of how we make it work, without eating rice and beans every single night:
1. Don’t eat out on community money. Until you save up lots and lots and then order a pizza. Which is what we did last year on the night it snowed 24 inches in 36 hours. And it was amazing, pretty much one of the best meals I’ve ever had. No one felt like cooking after walking home a few miles in 15 inches of snow!
2. Eat meat about – 3 or 4 times a year. Okay, so we could probably do more this, and definitely could’ve last year, but meat is PRICEY. People always say that being a vegetarian is pricey, but that’s just if you eat all tofuy and organicy. Meat is expensive.
3. Vary your grains. Pretty much everyone eats oatmeal for breakfast. For dinner, we have a lot of lentils, quinoa, rice. One of my housemates is allergic to beans, so we don’t have those too much.
4. Eat in season. Produce is cheaper if its in season. We got apples for 50cents a pound at the Farmer’s Market! Also, we’re not afraid of a few bumps and bruises, or produce that’s a little past its prime. Sure, maybe it used to be a little squishy, but you won’t know that once it is in the frying pan!
5. SOUP! I cook a lot of soup. It’s fast, simple, filling, and cheap. I think that’s cause water is a main ingredient, haha. Karen made delicious cabbage and pepperoni soup last night. I know, it sounds weird but it was wonderful.
6. Breakfast for dinner. Yum, and also, practically nothing is cheaper than pancakes. Oh, and if you are out of milk and eggs, you can substitute a can of beer. Um, not that JVs would ever have beer and not milk in the fridge. Definitely not.
7. Eat at work. Last year was a painful year of kid’s food. Everything was macaroni noodles seeing as how little kids aren’t too good with a knife and fork. So relatively, this year, food from a homeless shelter tastes great! Its hit or miss anyway. Today I missed the soup kitchen’s hours, so I grabbed a sack lunch to go. Ham and cheese sandwich, a bag of kettle chips, and a chocolate chip cookie – can’t beat that. Especially since its free.
8. Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without. I’ve learned so much about recipe substitutions this year, mainly as in: “Oh, I don’t have this, this, or this. Oh well. Let’s just pretend its a different recipe that didn’t call for that in the first place.” I don’t really buy for certain recipes, but instead just cook what I got. And make sure that bread ends become bread crumbs or croutons, left over rice goes into soups, etc.
That’s all I got right now; let me know if you have any ideas.
Read Full Post »