Kitchen Counter Economics Rotating Header Image


Cheap and Good: Christmas Breakfast

xmasbreakfast Ah, Christmas morning…filled with the sounds of ripping paper, “Dad, where’re the batteries?” and “I’m hungry…”

We’re back in the kitchen (you guys think I really live here, right…kicking the sleeping bag back under the table) with the thought of Christmas Day, which is usually filled with eating things that you would frankly shudder to think about on any other day, capped with a dinner (either at your house or someone else’s) that will send you waddling for the bathroom (and the antacids) later on.

Any way to stop that? Well, I’m not sure, but I’m a big proponent of getting a good slug of protein in the morning and also of the “anything you can shovel into a tortilla” form of breakfast. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Bread – One Dough, Three Ways

bread So, we’re back in the kitchen and we’re going to make dough that we’ll turn into: bread for toast and sandwiches, cinnamon buns, and a sort of finger roll that can be baked in a toaster oven for those folks who are not in the mood to fire up the stove or it’s August and you don’t want to heat up the kitchen. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Chowder

shrimp-chowder So, you’ve gone to the grocery store with your $10 bill and you’ve bought some staples. You put them on the shelf and it looks good. You feel solid.

Let’s take a look at chowder, that theoretically quintessential American soup.

Actually…it’s not. Chowder comes from the French word chaudiere. This is the name of a big pot that is basically used for things like stews, because if you look at the word, it contains another French word, chaud, which means hot.

If you look at the map of New England, you will notice that it snuggles up against historically French areas of Canada: the Maritimes and Quebec. The Maritimes are great fishing areas still. And, if you look in any phone book, from Castile, Maine to parts of northern Vermont you will see hundreds and hundreds of people with names like Thibodaux, Dubois, Michault et al. — the border between the US and Canada in those areas is remarkably porous and people for hundreds of years passed back and forth, or were forced out of places like Nova Scotia and moved and brought their customs, dishes and big iron pots with them. And stews and soups made out of fish and shellfish have been around for a very long time. (more…)

Cheap and Good: Chili

chili1 Well, we’re back in the kitchen with Aunt Toby (which works out pretty well, since we’re talking about food) and your first assignment (because I’m all about the assignments and all about doing it right now) is this:

Take out your wallet and take out a $10 bill. Put that bill in an envelope with your coupons or shopping list for the week and hold onto it. We’ll talk about that $10 bill a little bit later, but trust me on this one: You will want to do this every single week for a while. It WILL save you money.

The whole point of this series (which will be on-going…at least until the economy gets itself together) is to share ideas on how to nourish ourselves and our families with stuff that is a) good, b) cheap and c) good for you. There are a lot of things that are cheap and good, but from a nutrition standpoint, are not particularly good for you. The point here is to hit the Nutritional Trifecta: Good, Good for you and Gives you ultimate bang for your nutritional buck.

For our last discussion of Nutritional Bang for the Dollar, see:
What’s It Worth To You?

Our first week’s topic is the old and new favorite: chili.

The Return of the Urban Chicken

chickenOK, we’ve talked about starting a garden and even gardening on the deck of apartments. I mentioned raising a little bit of protein – but also cautioned that people need to check out their local ordinances.

It seems that I am a bit “behind-hand” (as my mom used to say) in terms of urban farming. Apparently, raising chickens in the urban setting has become, like knitting, “the new yoga”:

This past year alone, grass-roots organizations in Missoula, Mont.; South Portland, Maine; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Ft. Collins, Colo., have successfully lobbied to overturn city ordinances outlawing backyard poultry farming, defined in these cities as egg farming, not slaughter. Ann Arbor now allows residents to own up to four chickens (with neighbors’ consent), while the other three cities have six-chicken limits, subject to various spacing and nuisance regulations….

In New York, where chickens (but not roosters, whose loud crowing can disturb neighbors) are allowed in limitless quantities, there are at least 30 community gardens raising them for eggs, and a City Chicken Project run by a local nonprofit that aims to educate the community about their benefits…

(Poultry Politics, urban chickens)

For those interested in getting together with other egg-fanciers, here are a few sites to help you find one another, check out your local ordinances, and so on.

(originally published at Oxdown Gazette)

What’s It Worth To You?

meaticonOK, kids; it’s back to the kitchen with Aunt Toby. Let’s talk today about the real value of the food that we are eating. I’m not going to talk today about ‘carbon footprint’, ‘distance to the table’, ‘eating local’ and so on (although those are additional costs to definitely take into consideration).

What we are going to look at is: bang for your buck in the protein department. (more…)

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Bad Behavior has blocked 420 access attempts in the last 7 days.