Saturday, March 1, 2014

Leaving a Double Boiler on the Shelf, and Other Frugal Moves In the Kitchen

An annual chocolate party is marked off on our calendar for Sunday.  Held every year by childhood friends, we will be attending this year for the first time.  Oh, and we are excited!  All week my cooking mind has been hatching plans about our chocolate contribution for the table.  My solicitation for ideas on Facebook yielded several tasty options, including a slow cooker chocolate cake.  My associate recommended a walnut cranberry mixed with melted chocolate.  And the kids voted for chocolate covered macaroons.  Being ambitious, I thought, heck they ALL sound good, why not go over board and make them all!

Seeing melted chocolate on several recipes I decided it was time to purchase a double boiler.  Posting this intention  on Facebook brought forth several frugal observations.  Why buy a special pan when a stainless steel or glass bowl nested inside another pan with boiling water would do the trick.  Listening to them, and my body that was telling me the virus I'd been fighting all week was winning, I opted to leave the double boiler on the shelf.  Why tax our budget and my health, keep it simple!

My plan upon waking today had been to use the frugal approach and melt chocolate for the recipes via Pyrex in a larger pan. That is when this nasty virus decided to play its trump card.  Off to urgent care we went, a son with a double ear infection and antibiotic, a mother with painful sinuses, but not yet infected. "Rest and rest some more, drink lots of fluids", the words of wisdom from Tom the ER Doc.  And so tonight I scrapped my entire cooking plan.

Tomorrow's contribution grew from the cake mix I'd bought for the slow cooker cake.  Mixed per the box instructions and used to fill ice cream cone cups 3/4s full, my contribution will be quick and easy.  Add a little frosting tomorrow, sprinkle coconut on top, and voila -- cupcakes in cones.  Cheerful, easy, and a reminder that maybe this polar vortex winter will finally exist and usher in real ice cream weather.

Thanks to my frugal friends our budget has an extra $20 or $30 this month, our kitchen cupboard is not bursting, and my purchasing consumption did not further drive demand for "stuff".  Now, off to the couch with my cup of tea and David Sadris' latest book -- following Dr. Tom's instructions, and hopeful that I will soon be back to full strength.

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