One of this week’s most popular search terms that brought people to my blog: “extra food stamps in November and December” or more directly,“Can I get extra food stamps for the holidays?”. Sorry…it doesn’t work that way. If you really need help putting together food for your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, contact your local food pantry or call your food stamp caseworker for a list of organizations that distribute food. In my area,for example, beside the food pantries there is a network of people & groups who rescue food and distribute to those in need. When I say “rescue”, I don’t mean they picked out of the trash. They have an arrangement with grocery stores,caterers,restaurants and other food service to collect food that may otherwise go in the trash for some reason or another. There’s nothing wrong with this food – it truly would be completely wasted if not for food rescuers.
You could also try calling a local youth group ,such as 4H to see if they’re organizing anything for families in need during the holidays. My daughter signed up this week to sort canned goods and bake goodies for families (ironic ,I know).
For those on the opposite side of the food scarcity dilemma, especially those who garden, Growing a Greener World’s episode 220: Gardening for the Hungry has a wealth of information about growing food for the hungry and how to get it where it needs to go. There’s also a great post on GardenHelp.org on Feeding the Hungry from Your Home Garden. If you do contribute in some way, make sure you tell The Gay Vegans about your do-gooding.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, we have our turkey. 48¢ a pound. Nope, not the most ethically grown turkey,as I would prefer but it’s a turkey. Someday, we’ll raise our own.
My family has decided (not the family in my own house but extended fam- my mother,aunts,,uncles,etc) have decided to not have Thanksgiving at a family member’s house and instead , “Let’s all go to a nice restaurant for Thanksgiving!”. Um, no. Not only can I not afford to take my 9-person family out to a restaurant but I have a toddler. Toddlers don’t necessarily mean you can’t eat out but at this current stage in his life, he doesn’t do restaurants. We went out for brunch this week and he was much more interested in checking out his surroundings, which meant I had to chase toddler instead of actually eat…and when I did eat,I was trying to hurry so we could get out of there and didn’t really enjoy it.
So, we’ll be at home, which actually sounds nicer to me than spending Thanksgiving in a restaurant. Besides, who wants to eat out and miss all those awesome Thanksgiving leftovers? Not I!
Here’s what we’ve been eating:
I felt like crap all day and the toddler wasn’t quite feeling up to par,either. I don’t quite remember eating much of anything. I made dinner ,though. I had 5 lbs of ground beef to use up (it had already been frozen and thawed) so I made meatloaf with some of it. It was all I could do not to hurl while cooking. I’m not a huge fan of beef but then feeling ew… not good. It was basic meatloaf with mushroom gravy. Used up the last of the potatoes for mashed potatoes and cooked carrots for a side dish. They were honey-glazed. I don’t normally sweeten veggies but I hate carrots so I’ll do anything to make them more palatable to me. Carrots are the only food I really don’t like at all.
Remember how I broke my front tooth ? I called every dentist in the area to see if I could make some arrangements to pay monthly. Without insurance, no one would see me unless I agreed to pay 100% of the bill at the appointment. So, Thursday I went and applied for Medicaid . Very heavy sigh. I just didn’t know what else to do. The sad thing is , even if I get approved, it’s no guarantee I’ll be able to see a dentist .
We had to take an early bus into The Little Big City for my appointment. We had hours to kill before my appointment so we ran errands and went and ate waffles for brunch. Obviously, not a food stamp transaction…cash money but it was frugal.
Dinner that night:
I had garlic scapes, thanks again to the Veteran’s Sanctuary.
Nobody was very excited about eating these,except for me. but then? Some chicken breast, feta cheese and the garlic scapes tossed with pasta and some herbs – yum.
Some roasted red peppers on top for garnish. By the way… go visit Red, White & Grew to see her Roasted Veggie Spectacular.
Kids had the day off from school for some conference thing. Pookie made pancakes for everyone, all by herself. Lunch was a combo of leftovers and tuna fish sandwiches.
For dinner, I made a pizza that some cooking mag I have refers to as Pizza Bianco. It’s a sauceless pizza topped with a combo of ricotta & mozarella and basil, then topped with mushrooms,garlic & onions.
We ate pretty crappy all day. The toddler hasn’t been feeling well and Saturday was the worst. I personally didn’t cook anything all day…older children made eggs & toast in the morning, then PB & J for lunch. My oldest son made dinner….leftover cooked pasta from Thursday with some browned ground beef,salsa & cheese thrown into it.
Kids all went out to breakfast with Grandma and I didn’t feel like anything besides coffee in the morning.
My fabulous hubby made these sandwiches for us for lunch:
They’re pitas stuffed with ground beef (did I mention we have a ton of ground beef to use?), cukes,tomatoes and sprouts w/ a greek feta dressing drizzled on.
I had intended to make sweet rolls for breakfast that morning but with no one around,I just made them later on. Earlier in the week, we had carrots. I was waiting to see if they go gobbled up like the other leftovers but no one seemed too crazy about them. I swear, I try very hard to keep my disdain for carrots to myself for fear of infecting the kids with it. I know adults who tell me they never ate certain foods as kids because their parents didn’t like them. If my kids end up liking carrots, that’s awesome.
I hate wasting food so I needed to figure out how to use up the leftover carrots (a little less than 1 cup ,originally honey-glazed ) .I hate a lot of suggestions for what to do with them (as a dip,in soups,in cake,muffins,etc) but I think most required more carrots than I had .Someone passed on a recipe for sweet rolls, made like cinnamon rolls but filled with a carroty-mixture. The dough was straightforward cinnamon-roll dough but the filling called for an entire container of cream cheese, a box of vanilla pudding, a jar of baby food carrots & a whole half cup of sugar. Wow. And that’s for just 12 servings. One thing I notice with a lot with recipes is that they’re WAY too extravagant ,both with calories & finances.
So, here’s what I substituted for the filling:
mashed cooked carrots
1 cup of ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons cream cheese ( because that’s all I had left)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
I blended this and spread it on the dough , just like when you make cinnamon rolls. Over the mixture,I sprinkled brown sugar . not a ton, just enough to cover the area lightly. Instead of making these super sweet I let the cinnamon & nutmeg dominate and the sugar accentuate.
The result was a slightly sweet rolls with a very slight carroty flavor.
My daughter was half finished eating one and asked what was in it. “Carrots”, I told her.
“But I hate carrots! But these are actually ok”. Yay!
For dinner, I made chili in the crockpot. Using the very last of that ground beef. Thank the gods… I was getting tired of that ground beef.
I’ll be using hashtag #foodstampfood when I tweet about food. If you use food stamps to eat, feel free to use it,too.