Where has the month gone? So far tahini, lemons and corn chips are the things I have purchased that were not in my pantry and none of them were necessities. The other meals have come from the pantry or freezer. I can honestly say my refrigerator freezer is looking slimmer which is a good thing. Now there are frozen veggies from last summer's garden and a few leftovers in there. If anything, this challenge has cleaned out the freezer.
My next door neighbor and close friend, Maggie, told me about a site based on Hummus and Middle Eastern foods. Even though there is a collection of hummus recipes in my file, I wanted to try an authentic recipe. This blog inspired me to finally make some. What I really appreciate about the blog, were the tips on soaking the garbanzo beans. I now am changing the soaking water more than once during the process and skimming off the foam when the beans are cooking.
Although I have a 25 lb white bucket of garbanzo beans in my storage, I decided to go to the store and buy a couple of pounds. I did not want to break the seal on my stored bucket yet. To my surprise I could not find a bag of garbanzo beans at Albertson's, Safeway or Top Foods. I did find them in the bulk section of Top Foods. So that made me wonder if the locals are only buying garbanzo's in the can and not cooking the dried beans. It is so much less expensive dollar wise to buy the dried beans. Yes, there is some effort in cooking them but for those of us wanting to make things from scratch it is well worth the effort. My request is that you ask your local grocery store managers to carry bagged garbanzo beans so they can be more readily accessible to all of us.
Then I had to buy tahini for the first time. There were two brands on the shelf. I chose the one that was the least expensive. When I read the ingredients I found there all sorts of things in it including garbanzo beans. I checked the site and a pure tahini has just a few things in it. I don't know where to get sesame paste around here to make the recipe offered in the blog but I am going to be checking around. We are hoping we can still make a better tahini and then a better hummus.
Can't offer any new create recipes today. I have been having oatmeal with brown sugar almonds and dried cranberries for breakfast. Leftovers for lunches and common dinners like broiled salmon, baked pork chops and hamburger patties.
Cooking for one is not as rewarding as cooking for two. I really have to push myself to cook up something yummy.
I am interested if any of you are keeping up with the challenge. Please leave a comment if you are. I know my budget is doing well and my change jar is filling up with coins and dollars. I am thrilled to be able to save some money in the face of adversity. As you know my goal is to save $2010 in 2010. I am up to about $80 so far and it is a bit over half way through the month. If I save $167 a month I will be able to reach my goal. I know there will be more to add to the pot since I am not buying many groceries this month. I just might keep the basics of the challenge going next month too and only purchase staples to keep going.