But I have to admit I am high on my progress so far. The average person passing my house would not be able to tell that anything has been done, but I can. Now I am dreaming big. I am thinking maybe I will be able to work in a couple of unobtrusive tomato plants. That will be my antidote to the "skyrocketing" food prices.
I am very tired of hearing about these food prices and the stupid things people are apparently doing to cope, i.e., eating Spam and ketchup and mac and cheese. For one thing, the prices are not THAT bad. This is not the Great Depression. For another, um, can't anyone else out there cook? Am I the only one in the world who likes to come home from work, tie on an apron, pour a glass of wine and start chopping onions?
While I was in California I stooped to reading USA Today because that's what the Holiday Inn served up with breakfast. One story in the Life section killed me. It was a big story about these "skyrocketing" food prices. They zeroed in on one yuppie couple's hardships, chief of which seemed to be that the couple could no longer go out to dinner every night.
"Jack and Jill Jerk (I can't remember their real names) get ready for another dinner at home," read the caption to a big photo. It showed the wife putting salads on the table while her husband, in the background, opened the fridge. Both of them had bitchy, nasty looks on their faces.
That is such a trash attitude!
I love eating at home. It is one of life's supreme pleasures. Here are a few things, right off the top of my head, you can make with almost no money.
You can make chili with good old pinto beans, maybe a pound of ground beef or ground turkey. I like topping it with cornmeal dumplings. I know, people blah blah blah about corn going up because of ethanol, but you know what? That big bag of cornmeal still doesn't cost you that much, and you can get tons of meals out of it.
Chicken usually still hovers at not much more than a dollar a pound. Look around and you can get it for less. My favorite comfort food dinner -- I made this for my mom yesterday -- is chicken pieces in a pot with carrots and greens. Greens are a bargain vegetable. I paid $1 a bunch for collards and turnip greens. That was at the supermarket. In a little while you'll be able to find them for less at farmers' markets.
Make a fish chowder with mussels and those end pieces of catfish you can pick up cheap at the Tops fish counter. If you call it bouillabaisse, you will also have an excuse to use up a bit of orange rind, which you'd otherwise throw out.
These people who complain that they have to have another dinner at home should be given something to cry about.
Go on, start chopping those onions.