One of the ways I avoid worrying about money, is denial. I work as hard as I can, I spend as little as I can, and I never check the balance in my bank account. This is no good for you if you’re normal. It works for me only because, I assume that no matter what, I always have to work more and spend less, that there is no resting point.
Famous quotes when I was growing up were, “a 98? Why couldn’t you get a hundred” or “you bought a pair of boots? What if you get hit by a car and break both of your legs? Where are you going to get the money to pay the bill for that?”
There are definite obvious disadvantages to this kind of thinking, but one of the advantages is I can make a feast for about a $1.89. I have always been determined to live the good life no matter what the budget.
Soup is your best friend when there is not a lot of cash.
Dried beans are even cheaper than canned, and about a million more times delicious. Soak a half a pound of cannellini over night in cold water. Rinse them well. Put them into a large pan, and cover them with water, with at least two inches of water above the beans. Add a spill of your favorite olive oil, some salt, a sprig of thyme, and a bay leaf. Cook them for about an hour over very low heat. Transfer them to a bowl. Rinse out that pan, dry it, and then heat up a little olive oil. Throw in a few cloves of garlic, and over low heat, get a little color on them. Add one finely chopped medium onion, a spring of rosemary, and a finely chopped carrot. Keep stirring this over low to medium heat until the onion are cooked through; a good fifteen minutes. This step is critical; if you don’t cook the onions long enough they taste boiled. Add a few Tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley. Give another stir. Now you want to add a few peeled and finely chopped potatoes. Turn the heat up a little, and stir these around every once in a while with a little salt until the potatoes start to stick to the bottom of the pan. You want to get them a little brown on the edges and a little crusty, so don’t stir too much. Add about four cups of water, a sprig of rosemary, turn the flame down to a simmer, and cover the pot. You want the potatoes to be tender. Scoop out some of the cannellini from the liquid, like maybe two cups worth. Mash them with a fork and add them to the potatotes with some whole cannellini and cooking liquid from the beans to taste. Adjust the salt and the pepper, and drizzle with an extra virgin olive oil that smells like an olive and makes you want to cry from how good it tastes. Grate on a some parmesan and serve hot.