Yep. That’s my husband, getting the tiki bar ready for his Father’s Day bash. Today has been a day — of lots of cleaning and prep work for tomorrow’s somewhat challenging BBQ. This morning, I saw that Mr. Husband’s shopping list (he needed to go to the hardware store) included more potato chips. He bought a bushel of tortilla chips yesterday (great price, but it’s a boatload of chips — seriously), and I also haggled over which kind to buy. But what I didn’t buy was ruffled dip chips.
After an earnest conversation, guess what? I won the toss, we’ll live with the unruffled chips, and we shall stick to the FS budget through the rest of the month. In our desire to have “enough” food for the party, we have pulled out some chicken, sausages and hot dogs from our freezer stock and the burgers from yesterday, and will have a reasonably suitable BBQ buffet for all who come.
My dear friend Deanna, who works for the Ghirardelli chocolate company here in the Bay Area, had a presentation in San Francisco this morning, and brought the leftovers from the meeting to us. We now have three large boxes of mini-chocolate cheesecakes (assorted flavors) and deluxe chocolate-double-dipped strawberries (as big as a child’s fist — they’re huge!). So I will hang onto the chocolate chip cookie dough* I made until after the party, and my kids will eat cookies this week. I’d rather let guests help themselves to cheesecakes. If they don’t help us eat cheesecake, we may be stuck with cheesecake only to eat by next week…and then won’t it be ironic if Marie Antoinette says, “Let them eat cake.” Oh, history, you repeat yourself in the strangest of ways. Deanna also brought a carton of chocolate croissants, of which I immediately ate two. Ooof. Shouldn’t have done that. I’d like to point out that it’s awesome to have a friend in the food business. We’ve often been the happy recipients of cheesecakes, chocolate squares, brownies, cookies and more from her product-development experiments. Mmm.
Here’s the soup we ate for lunch today, from two days ago. Good stuff. Weird combination, but tasty: parsnips, bok choy, kidney beans, one leftover mushroom, someone’s leftover carrot sticks from lunch, alphabet macaroni.
You can also see that I’m boiling eggs at the same time. That’s because I still have to do my usual food prep for the week, as well as party prep. Mr. Husband eats boiled eggs for breakfast at his desk. I like ’em, too. Well, they’re ready for Monday morning.
I was preparing raw veggies for tomorrow and that involved trimming celery and green onions, and peeling carrots. I also made the 3-bean salad (using dry beans I had on hand — kidney, garbanzo and white navy beans). I chopped up some onion for the salad, and noticed some leftover odds and ends of the veggies.
So I decided to make vegetable stock out of the peelings, trimmings and ends. All of those bits and pieces are simmering on the stove right now. This is from an old vegetarian cookbook, I think the 1970s Sunset one, called “Save It Up Vegetable Stock,” although I’ve called it “Garbage Soup” over the years. It isn’t nutritious/filling enough to call it soup; it’s just a way to make your own stock instead of depending on bouillon cubes or powdered or canned stock. We’ll need to add pasta, meat, beans, and fresh veggies to make it into soup or stew.
I’ll freeze this, after straining it tonight, in those large yogurt containers, and when I need stock for soup, I just grab it from the freezer. It’s essentially free, since the odd trimmings would have gone to the compost. I just used them one more time before I feed the cooked bits to the chickens. They like cooked veggies better than raw. Don’t ask me why. I can’t read their bird brains.
Here’s the “Save It Up Stock” in the photo — lots of steam in the photo, sorry. Yes, those are carrot peelings. Yes, they are still good enough to use for stock. You can use almost any veggies for this but I avoid broccoli, cabbage, beets and Brussels sprouts — too strong in flavor or color for a broth.
No more deep thoughts today. Busy cleaning, cooking, hiding all the stuff I can’t deal with putting away (my office — ha!), and keeping tabs on the scattered teenagers.
Breakfast:Julia: oatmeal, banana, coffee. Patrick: Coffee. Simone: cereal and milk.
Lunch: Vegetable-bean soup. Ana: Sandwich and tortilla chips.
Snack: Chocolate croissants (free).
Dinner:Patrick and Julia: small artichokes (from garden), steamed beets, shared cheese quesadilla with avocado, tomato and cucumber salad.
I don’t have a scanner that works at the moment, which is irksome, but this is how the math breaks out so far. We started with $454.50 for the month of June.
June 1 Grocery shopping/Lucky $68.82
Farmers’ Market $30.00
June 8 Grocery shopping/Lucky $139.99
(add frozen cod from pantry stock) $ 4.71
(add turkey ham from pantry stock) $ 6.13
June 15 Farmers’ Market $ 31.00
June 18 Grocery shopping/Lucky $ 95.51
Party prep/Pak n Save $ 43.37 =============================== Total spent: $419.53
Total left to spend: $34.97
Oops. Looks like my math skills were funky yesterday. OK, then. $35 bucks to get to July 1. OK. So off we go. (And, for full disclosure and total transparency, this is not counting out-of-pocket spent for Taco Bell [$25.30] or at the baseball game [$30]. Groceries only, food-stamp applicable. Sigh.)