Monday, January 21, 2013

Frugal Food for a Midwestern Deep Freeze

This past Saturday the high temperature in Madison reached 40 degrees.....in January....Madison, Wisconsin!  And then Mother Nature decided enough with the silliness, ordered up 50 mph winds, and plunged us into a deep freeze.  Today's high did not break double digits, and the wind chill puts us at below zero.  So, what better way to counter such a fierce change of direction?  Plunge into the chest freezer and pull out the tastes of summer for dinner!

Here was dinner at our home (note, a sick child is content with cinnamon buttered toast and ice water -- this was for the parents):

  • slow cooker chicken breasts with chopped tangerines (from the counter, and close to joining the compost pile) and a drizzle of honey;
  • corn; 
  • cream of asparagus soup; and
  • strawberry rhubarb crumble.
For the soup I melted 1/4 cup butter, added 1/4 cup flour, mixed (off heat), added 1 carton chicken broth (substitute vegetable broth if you desire), 1 package pureed asparagus (from the freezer), 1/2 cup cream, salt and pepper to tasty.  Simmer for 30 minutes -- and memories of Spring will spring to mind with the first bite.

The dessert was as simple as thawing a jar of mashed strawberries and bag of chopped rhubarb (both local, from the farmers' market last summer).  Place in a quiche dish, and pour the following mix over top: 4 tablespoons softened butter; tablespoon of honey; 2 eggs; 1 teaspoon vanilla; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 1/2 teaspoon baking soda; 1/2 cup almond meal; 2 tablespoons of my homemade granola.  This is great for those in need of a low GI dessert or something that is gluten free.

Amazingly flavorful, simple, inexpensive, and a reminder that this weather shall pass, and once again I'll be making trips to an outdoor farmers' market.

How about you -- what frugal foods to you turn to this time of year?

No pictures tonight...just one of those days.  Thanks for reading, and I'll be back soon with more reflections from my frugal life.

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