Today we headed over to Bearss Groves to pick up some produce and grab a few wooden pallets. We're experimenting with the pallets, seeing how hard they are to break down, so we can use them for a variety of projects. It's virtually free wood when you can find them, well...free. That's a whole nother post though. Getting back to the veggies. I was inspired at the market. How could you not be inspired by this...
Those little tomatoes in the front are from my garden and will have their own post soon.
As you probably know, I've been trying to cut down expenses, eat healthier and create meals from foods that we're able to grow ourselves. A lot of this is learning, experimenting. On my menu I have "soup/salad/sandwhich" night a few times a month. It's quick and hearty. It's also fairly flexible which is good. I've been buying precanned soups and find them lacking in innumerous ways. First of all, they're pretty darned expensive. Especially, if you buy the "good" stuff. I use that term loosely. Add in that we have to make 2-4 cans depending on the hunger level of the family and we're looking at a $10 meal just for the canned soup. Also, the meat varieties have very little meat in them. The quantity and taste of the vegetables is ridiculously miniscule.
I will probably still keep a few cans in the cabinet for days when we're running low on time or I'm sick and just can't stand to make anything harder than opening a can of soup. But today I made a change for the good, I think. I made a shitload of soup.
For you mathematicians, a shitload is > or = to 9 liters of soup. There are 38.8 (we'll just be generous and say 39) ounces in a liter. A can of Chunky is just over 18 ounces. On a good day Chunky costs $1.60 a can. For a liter of Chunky soup you'd pay just over $3.20. $3.20 x 9 = $28.80. I spent $60 on materials for all these soups. That includes 2 full chickens which will be a meal on their own, the left overs are going into the soup. Dry beans, tomato paste, butter and milk. I'm not sure how to factor in that I made soups you can't buy but I'm sure that makes my GDSP (that's gross domestic soup product) much more valuable, or less valuable. I'm not sure.
We (and by "we" I mean "I" while everyone else tried to "help") made Broccoli Cheese, Potato Leek, Loaded Baked Potato and Garden Butternut Squash. I still have Chili, chicken noodle, vegetable and corn chowder to make tomorrow. Worked out that today was all the soups that needed the emulsion blender. The one tool I didn't actually have until the soups were made, I realized I needed it, and then forced Rob to go to the store with Max, the best "helper", and buy one.
I'll be posting the recipes throughout the week and possibly into next. I'll update the tutorial sidebar when a new one is posted so ya'll can get to 'em quick like. (I'm sorry. I don't know why I just turned into a Southern Belle.) The first up will be Broccoli Cheese and by God it's a good one. Soups on folks.