Sometimes I get crazy ideas and they roll around in my head for days. I know they’re crazy, I know I should forget about them, but I seem to have so little control over the things that pop into my headspace and take up residence there.
The thing this week I keep thinking about is the amazing way my mother could always feed a crowd with nothing in the fridge. The Biblical account of the feeding of a multitude with five loaves and two fish was one miracle communicated to me in childhood. But I observed my mother perform stunning miracles of the same genre frequently. Miracles that magically expanded so little fare into a satisfying feast.
And then I think back to when Hub and I were paying off our house. With an agreement that financed a portion of the house through the bank and the rest privately through the seller, we made double house-payments every month. We were far from rich but our house was totally paid off in 3 ½ years. No, it was not easy. It was really tough. And during that time, I could have wrote you a book about feeding miracles performed daily for a family of five.
Now the reason I keep re-circulating these thoughts is because of the many newscasts about hungry children and the many lifestyle magazines that promote eating such a variety and complexity of expensive ingredients that one is led to even comtemplate buying an airline ticket to Tibet to get fresh yak milk. And even in school children are taught to cook with ingredients that are far more complex and expensive than they need to be. And leftovers…what’s that? No one knows what to do with them.
Now when you live like I do and hate the dreaded trip to town as much as I do, on grocery day you buy salad fixin’s, a bit of meat, staples like flour, sugar, etc. and that’s that for the next two weeks. The first week cooking requires minimal planning with a well-stocked fridge. But as week two progresses, I go into ‘survival mode’ and begin to fall back on the miracles that my mother showed me.
This week I am working the old miracles. Last night I dug the last chicken breast out of the freezer. Not the neatly trimmed, skin removed, seasoned chicken breast but an economy-priced whole chicken breast with skin on and bone in. I boiled that breast with a few celery leaves, carrots, diced onion, and seasonings. When tender, I discarded the skin and bone, and diced the breast meat. The meat made Hub and I a couple of lovely chicken pot pies for dinner. The next day, with the reserved liquid I cooked that breast in, we had soup for lunch made with homemade noodles, diced veggies, and enhanced with a dash of chicken bouillon powder. It was excellent, much better than soup from a can. And for dessert, bread smeared with butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon and stuck under the broiler just long enough to work the miracle of turning bread bites into fresh, warm, sticky buns.
So then I thought, who shares and bestows college students and financially strained families with cooking skills similar to this so that they can manage to still eat healthy and hearty meals despite limited funds? It’s a skill valuable in ensuring that no one goes hungry no matter how tough life gets. My mother taught me those skills. But is it now as lost as the art of tatting? Seems so to me. So maybe with the miracle-working skills my mother taught me, I should start another blog.
See why I’m better off to get these silly notions out of my head? Unless someone can mentor me on how to do housecleaning miracles like tidying and cleaning my house with a nose twitch, or how to slow time with folded hands and a nod of the head, I am forced to shake this silly notion of starting another blog. Hopefully, in the meantime, no one will go hungry.