Today was it, the last day of my food-stamp diet. I am kind of glad it is over, but in another way, I'm not. Now that I have a cushion of almost $40 it would be interesting to see what I could do going forward. Certainly add some more spices to the mix, a bit more fish, just some more variety. Parmesan cheese for my pasta would be nice. Oh, and perhaps some better coffee.
On the other hand, now I won't have to prepare all of my own meals and can enjoy what the Mysterious Chinese Woman prepares. Probably more salads for lunch. Not that I couldn't afford salads on my budget, I just found the peanut butter and banana sandwiches easier, and tastier.
I will keep eating oatmeal for breakfast on a regular basis, though. I have grown quite fond of it.
But, The Last Picture Of It You Will See
The Last One Of My Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Too
I had only squirreled the bones away from three of my chicken legs and thighs and I figured it was now or never if I was going to use them up.
Scrawny, And A Bit Spooky
Not much going into this stock, just some salt, pepper, and onion.
No Garlic, Yet
Easy to make stock, just add water.
Instant Stock, Almost
After bringing it to a boil and letting it simmer for about an hour I had it right where I wanted it.
Nice And, Well, Brown
I wasn't going to need much, which was good, because I didn't get much.
More Than Enough For My Purposes
The rest of the ingredients, except for the secret one. As you can see, I won't lack for garlic.
Just A Meat And Garlic Kind Of A Bar Guy
I sliced up the garlic medium thin and then sauteed them in quite a bit of olive oil over a fairly low heat.
Making Them Sweat
Ah, the secret ingredient, pasta. I made a decent sized batch and then when it was done I drained it thoroughly and put it into this little pot. Then I poured the chicken stock over it and emptied out the pan with the sauteed garlic and most of olive oil.
Absorbing The Flavors
Then I simply fried up the steak in a bit of the garlic infused olive oil.
Nicely Browned And Medium Rare
The final step was to put the pasta into the frying pan and crisp it up a little bit.
Kind Of Like What I Do To My Rice
And there you have it, my last meal of the food-stamp diet.
The Grand Finale
I could have had veggies with it, I have a whole pound of the frozen mixed vegetables in the freezer. I just didn't feel like it though I also had several eggs left over, another package of frozen spinach, a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of tomato puree, about half a pound of beans, and about four pounds of rice.
Well, there you have it, a month of healthy eating on a food-stamp budget and with both money and food left over. And I didn't have to live on hamburger or macaroni and cheese either. Not even rice and beans, although I bought enough of them. Used most of the beans in my stew and chili.
Two things that I didn't buy were sugar, which I very seldom use anyway, or butter, something else that I seldom use. And I didn't buy nor use any hot sauces, something I usually do use a lot of. I probably have at least twenty-five different kinds of hot sauces in the refrigerator. And no soy sauce, although I could easily have afforded a bottle, especially if I bought it in Chinatown.
But, all-in-all, I really didn't feel that I deprived myself at all. One thing that probably helps is that I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so no deserts wasn't a problem.
And, as I said, tomorrow I will probably head to The Manhattans (in Brooklyn) and celebrate the end of my month of sobriety (and I didn't cheat, either) with that draft Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of bourbon.