The pork stew on Thursday turned out awesome. I decided I was going to make it again with the pork I have left but needed more onions and garlic. Yesterday while picking up the onions I learned that a 3lb bag of onions for $1.99 was buy one get one free this week. "Hm, what in the world will I do with 6lb's of onions?" I grabbed two bags and figured I could always give some away if need be.
When I got home I decided to look into making some sort of onion soup. We're not real big soup fans. (I do not lump a stew in with soups) Often times soups are high in sodium and my husband has been managing high blood pressure for years. He also gets debilitating migraines from MSG*. Broths and stocks either have loads of MSG added to them or mask a naturally occurring kind (which should not give him a migraine but he's ruled out eating any sort of stock or broth or anything made with one regardless).
Now onto my soup. I chopped up an onion, caramelized it in some oil and butter, then added two minced cloves of garlic. Once the garlic was cooked a bit I added some flour to the pot and made a rue. Then I added water, salt and pepper. A potato was quickly peeled, chopped and thrown in. I also added a small amount of balsamic vinegar. The whole concoction simmered for a half hour before I threw in a handful of frozen corn. And whalah, onion, potato and corn soup with no broth, stock, MSG, or seasoning packet thrown in and it turned out really well.
Baking and cooking has become quite the adventure for me. Between trying to cut food costs, having a garden during the past two summers, and delighting in the beautiful transformation of food as it cooks or bakes I'm learning to make so many things truly from scratch. When I began this debt payoff journey my husband and I ate out all the time. That seems so long ago that it's almost hard for me to remember living that way but eating out regularly was our way of life (our very expensive way of life). I love how much we've changed during this journey!!!
A huge bonus: when the pork stew was simmering away for two hours on Thursday my entire house smelled just like my Grandmother's kitchen in Indiana, the way I remember it smelling when I was a child. The aroma of the stew instantly transported me back to wonderful memories, very old but not forgotten wonderful memories. It was a delightful surprise to happen upon that fabulous aroma while making dinner in my very own kitchen so very many years later. My grandparents have been gone for a great deal of time and the smell of the stew was sort of like receiving a heavenly hug from the both of them.
Spending rundown today: $0, NO SPEND day 74 for the year. I did however purchase soap online, from my friend in Montana @Rock Creek Soaps yesterday. That adds $10.40 to my spending tally. Totally unnecessary purchase but I could not resist. Really, I couldn't. Plus, I'm very very pleasantly surprised at how far I'm stretching our food and how creative I've been getting with meals during these past six days. Other than milk and eggs I actually don't think I need to purchase anything tomorrow either.
My budget for the month is $450.79 which leaves $37
Average daily spending for 2015: $17.78
*MSG - mono sodium glutamate is a known trigger for migraines. My husband has dealt with very bad migraines most of his life. He used to get several a month. He slowly started to identify foods that he thought triggered them. When he learned about MSG as a likely trigger he also discovered that ALL of the foods he identified as triggers had MSG in them. That's when he totally cut MSG out of his diet and his migraines stopped. He gets one on occasion and it's always after he's eaten something new that he either wasn't able to read an ingredients list on (like at a small restaurant that can't find an ingredients listing) or the new food had something in it that masks MSG and on virtually every occasion he's second guessed if he should eat said food or not.