this time of year always seems to bring out the accountant in all of us. as the government attempts to figure out what we’ve all known all along, i.e. you can’t spend more than you have, we try to do that at home too. this weekend my brand new husband, houston, announced that we should try to go through the entire weekend without going to the grocery store while still managing to eat well. i thought this was a great idea, but what he didn’t know is that we actually do this type of thing all the time. if it is not obvious by now, i am doing most of the cooking, shopping, planning and prep of our meals. i am not complaining. on the contrary, it is one of the most satisfying things that i do. although you will find that i like to make food that takes hours simmering, requires that i learn a thing or two while doing it, and generally makes enough for 10-12 people so we can invite our friends to bring wine and beer, this weekend we will hunker down, regroup, and be creative emptying out the pantry.
our first meal after the declaration of a new budget was one houston’s famous egg scrambles. he is famous in his family for finding things in the fridge, chopping them up into bite-sized gems and throwing it all together in a scramble for breakfast, sometimes unashamedly cooked in the drippings the bacon just left behind in the pan moments before. what’s not to like? later that morning we found a beautiful cut of country style ribs in the freezer that we had purchased at the farmer’s market from one of our favorite meat farmers, Richardson Farms. houston sliced her up and put the gorgeous meat into the crock pot with garlic, onion, green chiles and some tomatillo salsa from the fridge. although it was very spicy, we were able to tone it down as we ladled the pork morsels, with their lovely chile gravy over some plain steamed rice. i will post the recipe as soon as i can get him to write down exactly what he did!
not to be outdone, the next morning i put together one of my favorites, huevos rancheros. having a well-stocked pantry makes challenges like this a cinch, really. living in texas also gives us a special advantage: ready access to latin foods. i heated up a favorite brand of salsa from mexico, added some cumin and other spices with a touch of olive oil. then i topped sauteed corn tortillas, also kept well in the freezer, with some doctored up black beans, over easy eggs, the warm ranchero, with just a smattering of shredded cheese to round it out. i truly felt like the frugal gourmet. here’s the result:
we shall see what we come up with for sunday dinner but more than likely it will be, as it should be on a budget, leftovers which almost always taste better the second day anyway!