Get Your Fruits In

lighten up your dessert choices

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When I was growing up mom cooked every day. Every single day, for a family of nine. That’s a lot of time standing in the kitchen. She still made sure we got our veggies and fruits. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that fruits and veggies were less expensive to feed a large, hungry family.

After dinner there was frequently some type of dessert. But, dessert was different then. Not always cookies or cake or some super sweet something or other. Most of the time we had fruit in one form or another. Sometimes she’d make a cake, like fruit cocktail cake, that was easy and inexpensive. I like this cake a lot. It somewhat reminiscent of upside down cake but not as sweet. And the butter, when it combines with the taste of the nuts on top of the cake, gives you a little burst of salty to go with the sweet. It’s a nice, light taste that still satisfies that taste for something sweet after dinner.

Feeding Your Family on a Budget

how we cope with very little income

Sometimes this is a hard thing to talk about. In my house there are three adults and none of us are employed. This is a long story involving disabilities and a really lousy job market for older people. As such, the money we haveĀ coming in barely covers our bills so grocery shopping is sometimes bleak. We depend on food banks for the large part of our groceries. When we shop for groceries I try to buy things that don’t show up at food banks. I get oil for cooking, vinegars for flavoring, spices (you can find some for a dollar), flour, sugar, that sort of thing.

You learn to stretch the food you have until you can get more. We’ve learned how quickly we use produce and we’ve started chopping, portioning and freezing things like celery, onions, and peppers. That makes fixing something like Spanish Rice a lot easier. This is a fairly quick, one-skillet meal. The recipe calls for bacon or sausage, but I’ve used other things. I really like cooking a pork roast in the crock pot, and leftover pork from that is a great protein to use for this. And, honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever used fresh tomatoes because they make great salads. Canned tomatoes work wonderfully in this. Make this your own, add some cumin, or ancho chili powder, or and chili powder that your family likes. It’s a good way to stretch your protein and feed your family.