Sunday, June 29, 2014

I’m not being frugal, I’m an artisan

This is a good time in history to admit to being frugal.  Blogs are a plenty that help families and individuals live the good life, and save a buck or two in the process.  Repurposed furniture and housewares, vintage clothing and jewelry, and home grown and baked foods are as likely to turn up in a trendy urban neighborhood as a rural village.  A side benefit to this more earthy living is a few more dollars left in your pocket, dollars that can be reapplied elsewhere.  In my new lens, I am trying to make those dollars add up to be applied to things more worthy than a chain restaurant lunch, like my September extended-for-fun business trip with my daughter.

Imagine my smile when I learned that my fall back lunch of convenience, ramen noodles with a handful of frozen vegetables, is really cutting edge foodie worthy. Author Sarah Child has a book, Rah! Rah! Ramen , with over 50 recipes to glam up the modest ramen noodle.  While aimed at college students, these aren’t the ordinary noodles I ate twice last week. For more on the culinary creativity of Ms. Childs, and how others are weighing in on the heightened acclaim of ramen, check out this story from Minnesota Public Radio. ramen
My older daughter is a vegetarian, so when she is around, we seem to always have those preformed veggie or soy patties or bean burgers from Bocca or Morning Star on hand.  She says they taste fine, but for a cost of $1.00 a patty, on sale, it seems we should be able to do better than fine. A thank you goes to Jack Monroe, who blogs in the United Kingdom as A Girl Called Jack. a girl... I’ll probably reference her frequently in future blogs, as an example of someone who really has figured out purposeful living, and at a very young age.  She has adapted pantry shelves of uninspiring canned staples into some visually stunning, and by her huge number and still growing follower’s opinions, tasty low cost dishes. I modified her kidney bean burger to use my American cupboard staple of chili beans.  Delicious!  While my youngest wasn't won over, my husband loved them as well, and even requested them to be made again, which I did last night, since the kid was still on a church mission trip.  Next time, I'll make a reserve batch; bye-bye frozen preformed patties, which quite frankly, sort of left a weird smell lingering in the kitchen. I’m feeling very mid-western foody chic right now.
ahh, the humble ramen

2 comments:

  1. It's funny how tastes and activities born out of necessity can become a trend in themselves. But hey, nothing wrong with being sensible about money and food choices. And Jack Monroe is a wonderful woman, her writing about her dire poverty and the awful times she had trying to make her son health meals out of next to nothing is heartbreaking. She's a real example of someone whose career has emerged out of her own experience and necessity, rather than adopting some trend of frugality. And she is a feisty campaigner for people's rights to reasonable benefits and support. She's great! xxx

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  2. She is about the same age as my older kids, and I only hope they have half her common sense, compassion, and moxy. I sometimes crave the bean burgers.

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