Thursday, August 5, 2010

Fish Tacos

So my food stamp interview went swimmingly. I feel the need to say thank you every other sentence to the person on the other end of the phone. I thanked her so much, that she told me to stop. I aslo had to keep saying that hopefully, we will not be needing the assistance of the Department of Public Welfare much longer, as this has, and always will be, a temporary situation. She didn't care. She just asked her questions, and that was the end of it. Painless. It makes me feel better at least, to say those things.
Ironically, my food stamp benefits were available this morning for the month of August. Good thing, as the grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches did not go over well the other day, and I had nothing else to make for lunch. Or dinner. So off to the store we went. I purchased fruit, and vegetables, and milk and cheese, and food for breakfast tomorrow morning. Tonight, we are having fish tacos. I make them Sandra Lee style. She is that awful "chef" on the Food network who doctors up store bought items and claims them to be "semi-homemade". Like she had that bright idea. What the heck was my Mom cooking all those years on Tulip Grove Drive? My fish tacos are made from a bag of frozen beer battered fish. I buy a bag of shredded cabbage, some cilantro and some limes. We put them in soft tortillas, and I make a sauce of sour cream, with a chipotole in adobo blended into it. Yummy, cheap, and the family loves them. Sandra Lee......please.
She took a way that most people cook, and called it her grandmother's secret. And she has made a mint. I don't even think she is trained as a chef. I spend hours out of my day, trying to think of ways to be rich. Not even rich. Just to pay the bills. I try and invent things, and clearly, they are right in front of my face!
When I lived in NY, I invented Spanx. I really did. I used to buy control top tights, and cut them off at the knee. I wore them under skirts and dresses. I did this for years. Then someone slapped a name on them, and they are rolling in money! It sickens me. It is the same with semi-homemade cooking. Who doesn't short cut, and purchase a store bought pie crust. Who hasn't used onion soup mix, for other things, other than onion soup?
I need to come up with a cookbook or a show on how to stretch what you have. I have had one pack of baby wipes all week. I have had to wipe so many poops off of Molly's butt, and you would be amazed at how much can be removed with one baby wipe. You can stretch a half gallon of milk for days. You can take one tea bag, and make dozens of cups of tea. Brown sugar is perfectly good as a substitute for white, in a glass of iced tea. I could teach you how to choose roads that are downhill, so you never have to press the gas pedal and get 2 miles. I can tell you how long you can wear a tampon for, without risking Toxic Shock Syndrome, to conserve the few left in your package of tampons.
What could I call this book, or, better yet, program? "Half ass living"?" Living like a chump"? " Semi-living"?  "How to kind of get by"? I really need to get on this idea. You know someone will snatch this gem of an idea away from me, and laugh all the way to the bank.


  1. A friend once said to me, "You guys aren't so 'green' and environmental because you care about the earth, you do it because you're so cheap."
    Damn straight and damn proud of it.

  2. I like to think I'm "thrifty". But cheap I am. Haven't always been. My mother used to say that she could roast a chicken for us on a Sunday, when I was a kid, and we would get that chicken all week, in a pot pie, in a casserole, in soup. I loved her pot pie. LOVED IT! I never knew she had no choice but to stretch what she had. As far as I was concerned, Chicken pot pie night was my favorite. Funny how I see things, and I know, for at least right now, my kids have no idea.