A couple times per week our family shares history and creative writing home school classes with two other families. The other two moms teach and I bring supper. Since I love to cook and I love to cook for a large number of people, I think this has been working out great. I hope the other moms are enjoying it as much as I.
As I was preparing this evening's meal, I recalled a segment from a morning television program about "dining on a shoestring". This program hosts guest chefs and each chef is allotted $40.00 to prepare one meal for a family of 4. When I heard this I thought, "$40 for one meal? Why that's almost half my weekly grocery budget and I often feed quite a few more than 4 people."
This evening I prepared enough food to feed 11 people for about $8.00. Our menu included black eyed peas, fried cabbage, potato cakes, and sweet tea. Here's a breakdown of my expenses:
1 # black eyed peas $1.19
1 med. head cabbage .88
2 onions .66
1 # salt pork 2.25 (sale item)
1/2 bell pepper .44 (.88 ea.)
2 # potatoes 1.25 (sale 5# @ 2.50)
1/3 bag frozen corn .70
1 1/2 c. grated cheese 1.25 (buy in bulk & grate myself)
pantry items: 1/2 c. sugar, salt, pepper, 1 tsp. pinto bean seasoning, 1 c. flour, 2 eggs, 1 jalapeno, tea
The entire meal cost less than $0.80 per serving. Where I come from and in today's economy, $40.00 for one meal for a family of 4 ($10.00 per serving) is not a bargain. No wonder we have families all across America drowning in debt ... thanks to television, most don't have a realistic concept of what dining on shoestring really is.
The recipes for my fried cabbage and potato cakes are in the recipe section. Here's my recipe for
Black Eyed Peas
1 lb. black eyed peas (rinsed & sorted)
3/4 lb. salt pork, diced
1 onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 whole jalapeno pepper
1 tsp. pinto bean seasoning
1 tsp. sugar
salt & pepper to taste
In a large stock pot cover black eyed peas with water. Bring up to a boil and boil for two minutes. Cover and remove from heat. Allow to stand 1 hour. Add salt pork, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, pinto bean seasoning, sugar, salt & pepper. Add additional water if necessary. Simmer (do not boil) over med. low heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally, or until black eyed peas are tender. Remove jalapeno pepper before serving.