This week I tried to be on a food budget. My goal was to spend less than $175.00 I spent $255.00. That falls under the Banner of Pathetic. Here’s what happened: Ferdinand has been sick for two weeks. He has been on a diet of plain pasta, stock, cranberry juice and rootbeer–every few days we would try to lift our spirits with the bounty of a single serving bag of chips.
I passed through the vegetable aisle and lost control. I bought escarole and fresh baby beets with good looking greens still attached, string beans, broccoli, asparagus and carrots with tiny bits of earth clinging to their wiggly root. I bought fresh cilantro, parsley, basil and thyme. Cilantro seeds. Cans of San Marzano tomatoes. Whole milk organic yogurt. This years batch of organic maple syrup. A double fisted wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano. I bought deep orange dried apricots, four kinds of fresh apples, bananas and pears. I bought olive oil from Tuscany, walnut halves and dark chocolate bars. I prayed to the gods of organic chicken and beef over in the meat aisle. My friend Mary came with me. She walked out with two sensible bags that she managed with no problem on the backseat of the cab. We could barely squeeze my lot into the cavernous trunk.
Points to scratch my way back up the ladder of forgiveness: I made menus for the week. The whole family benefits. Organized thoughts help guarantee everybody’s going to like at least one part of every dinner. Plus, less stress on Mama at dinnertime. And you know what? When Mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.
Week one for two adults and an eight year old:
Black bean chili with cherry tomato, grilled corn, chive and avocado salad
Skewered turkey meat balls with a heap of buttery mashed potatoes and string beans.
Marinated, seared tofu with soba noodle, broccoli, fresh ginger, garlic, cilantro and radish sprouts
Farro with tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella; side of garlicky escarole
Pasta tubes standing on their heads filled with meat sauce and finished with layer of fine bread crumbs, parsley, and parmesan
side of homemade pickled beets and string beans
Wild salmon/potato cakes with side of asparagus, mint, basil and lemon
Whole wheat linguine with sage, garlic, pecorino and toasted walnuts; side of arugula salad with oranges, green olives and shallot