Tuesday, December 8, 2020

FOOD :: Just some thoughts about food and life and poverty and...

Been thinking about posting here for a long time... little things that happen in the days before shopping, after shopping, when I'm online... food thoughts.

There is this before food and after shopping for food change that happens every month.  I tend to eat too much because I finally have some food again.  This month it is a LITTLE better, but I noticed I didn't need to rush into my supplies because I was so full from eating a larger McDonald's meal than I ever have.  I was full for so long, and I didn't even WANT to eat my goodies.

I'm trying to figure out how to do that every day now.

That seems to be the idea behind the veggie eating programs.  To eat a lot of fruits and veggies that make you feel full for a long time.  Potatoes are one of those filling foods... and I think it may have been the french fries that filled me up for so long a time.  I need to experiment this month on foods that will keep me from eating too much.

The Mc Rib is back at McDonalds this month.  :-)    I love those things, and most of the time they are great.  I've only had one or two bad ones... ones that were not like they are suppose to be.  This month I have had two meals so far.  Usually I just get the sandwich.  Someone else bought the first one, so it was easier just to get the meal.  I was in a drive-thru for the second and it was different ordering.  Big Bucks the second time!  Even so, I just like being able to get them at all.  :-)   In searching for Uber Eats options before buying anything fast food, I discovered they had been discontinued since 2012 I think it was.  

Food budgeting, for me, included eating at a fast food restaurant as a treat.  That was when I got around on my own.  I get rides to the market now.  Sometimes I get a treat on the way home from shopping, sometimes I figure I can "save" my treat for another time.  Now I am thinking of one treat a month with Uber Eats.  :-)

Treats are good for morale.  :-)   Mine, anyway.

Of course, this month may have TOO MANY of them! 

I'm OK with that.

I figure we don't have to suffer for the "healthy eating" crowd when we are so old we could die at any time.  I consider it a great joy to have some of my favorite foods.

I am also making plans to eat more fruit and veggies in the next year.  Learning recipes that will be something I WANT to eat.

My back-up pantry is getting better.  I had hoped to be re-stocked by the end of this year, but it's taking longer than I hoped.  I am making my storage options better as I figure out how much I need to feel prepared for unexpected circumstances - like the lockdowns and empty store shelves.

I live in one large room with one big closet... and a kitchen area.  It's like a studio apartment, if you know what that is. Creating storage is an ongoing issue.  I am still working on it for crafting spaces. It's getting better.  I think I will be looking for one storage unit that will fit in one space and then fill that with whatever I can as my emergency food pantry... with associated supplies for cooking without gas or electricity.

I had some really old supplies I found in my reorganizing, which I just threw out.  Now I need a better water supply for emergencies.

One change leads to another, and then I find more space to fill with something else.  That is what I am doing.  Slowly going through my room and making everything better.

What do you need to last three months?  I don't really know. That is what I am trying to figure out.

Oats and dried fruit for breakfast.  I make it with extra water now so it doesn't need milk.

Rice and pasta for multiple meal options.  I am assuming a campfire or other means of cooking for this level of food.

Canned good for easy storage... meats, tomatoes, veggies and fruits.  With no electricity a possibility, fridge and freezer foods won't last.  I am looking for small cans/packages and easy prep.

Boxed meals for easy prep... including RAMEN soups.  When I was homeless in my van, I used five tealights in a container with a makeshift "grill" to be my cooking source.  :-)  It took awhile, but it heats up the water for soups and will make canned meals warm.  Ramen can be put in water on the dashboard and will work as a pasta for pasta salads.

When yeast disappeared from the store shelves for so many months, I decided I need to stockpile it.  And dried milk.

When you buy bulk foods, you need the right containers for long-term storage.  I'm working on that.

I hope I get that all covered by April.

I will try to keep you updated on my progress, especially learning how much you really need.

My plan involves thinking of meals I eat and the deciding what ingredient amounts I need for one month, two months, three months.

If you have some ideas, let me know.

Until next post...

Deborah Martin


Sunday, November 8, 2020

FOOD :: Sharing some thoughts on digital food...

In thinking about what to share on this blog, and my ongoing efforts to find income related to food, I will share some of my random thoughts from recent experiences.

I found a YouTube page called Living On A Dime To Get Rich (link below) because of one video I wanted to watch.  Then there were free offers to get on the email list.  Then the emails.  And here I am... thinking about survival foods again.

Cheap foods are really just made with less.

I use to make anything with ground beef by using less than was normally required... instead of one pound, I sometimes used 1/4 pound.  I figured the flavor and nutrients would be a benefit even if it wasn't a large amount.  This was mostly in dishes like Spanish Rice a Roni made into a one pan dish... adding corn and hamburger, cheese on top if we had it.  I still love that meal, but now I am trying to learn how to make Spanish Rice from scratch.

Meat is a costly item in poverty households.  Living without it was a source of misery then, now I want to live on more fruits and vegetables, trying to go fully organic because of the dangers of GMO foods, and reducing my portions as often as I can.  Looking back, it was a good thing to be poor in that respect (eating less meat).  :-)

The freebie I signed up for was a PDF with 22 Dinners you can make in 22 Minutes... so, when I looked at the recipes, they are simple meals using one main meat source.  Their family is larger than mine was, and I could never afford some of the meats they shared recipes for.  I guess we mostly ate ground beef and maybe hot dogs back then... it's hard to remember right now.

So, living on less is really a relative statement.

In countries with intense poverty, life is much different.  I cringe every time I see people getting their food from the dumps.  I even saw a photo where elephants searched for food in dumps.  This is not good.

I like having more meals with rice and veggies, but I end up with pasta as the main go-to ingredient when I am at the end of my food.  I am working on some better pasta recipes for one these days... smaller portions... less ingredients.

I am really trying to find the right amount of variety each MONTH, which is my budget cycle for food.  That means using rice, pasta, breads, and other grains in varied meals with mostly veggies and fruit.  I discovered the food movie Forks Over Knives and work to limit my meats and dairy.  I don't plan to live without them, but I am trying to reduce my intake.  It is hard with dairy for me... I love my cheeses.

In my search for better foods and recipes, I am beginning to discover things I never knew were possible in food options.  It's so sad that I am heading into the grave instead of looking toward a long life.  Why does it take so long!?!?  

If you can start now, you will be ready for any future problems that don't destroy your supplies.

Here are a couple links to check out this low-cost food living effort ::

Living On A Dime (.com)

https://youtu.be/mE9IxAmk8gg  -- short video on stocking a year's worth of food for unknown emergencies in the future.

With the economy an unknown, anything you can save ahead will be a benefit.

My idea of stocking up for a year is more ongoing.  I would like to build up to a year's food but go through my supplies at the end of every year to make sure I give any food that is soon going to expire to the local homeless missions and food pantries. Then in January I want to build my food reserves back up to the limit I can.

In the video I shared a link for, and in other prepping videos you can find on YouTube, storage is the critical issue.  I don't have that kind of space.  I am rebuilding my reserves after depleting them to see how long they might last (twice!) and hope to get to a better JANUARY supply.

In restaurants and other food businesses, the rule is "first in, first out" to make sure you use the oldest food first.  This takes a storage plan!  :-)

One thing I really missed in the shopping struggle this year was yeast.  It went away and didn't come back for months.  I was amazed.  It made me wonder how yeast is made!  :-)  I am stocking up on yeast now.

So, this became a nice post!  :-)    Hope you liked it.  Let me know in the comments.

In Christ,

Deborah Martin


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Sunday, October 25, 2020

FOOD :: What I keep learning...

 Hi, again...

I thought I already posted to this blog, but as I am checking my posting dates, I discovered I only thought about all the things I wanted to share about food issues this month.  Sorry about that.  I really have been thinking about what I need to share here.

I came across a link to a really great COOKBOOK I first discovered when it was created years ago.  It is the first "real" cookbook for low-income households that I have ever seen... and it is beautiful, with great recipes and information about good food that doesn't cost much.  The author is Leanne Brown and she has a webpage to share her works.  

I found a free PDF of the cookbook I knew about, and then another free PDF of her first cookbook about cooking from scratch.  Find them here ::  leannebrown.com  

You can also buy real copies at Amazon.

I have been looking for a pancake recipe this month because I made some syrup with my blackberry juice, or attempted to.  I hope to make them today and/or tomorrow.  Pancakes can be frozen, but her recipe uses bananas in a great way. I will try applesauce if I make them today, bananas if I make them after I get to go food shopping (maybe today).

What else am I discovering... 

I am trying to remember...

I am creating my own bread recipe again.  I have it almost figured out.  I am experimenting with different kinds of flours now.  I was working on my income options this morning and I think I may start listing RECIPES I create for $1 as a digital file.  That will cover my fees just to try to sell them and payment fees and leave me a small amount for myself.  Maybe it will help me with all my income needs.  I think my bread recipe may be the first one.  :-)

For CHRISTMAS this year I am going to give some great magnets about growing your own food.  I tried to find a copy to share here, but there is no access to the photo for sharing.  You will have to go to the site and then the SHOP.

The MESSAGE ::  Growing your own food is like printing your own money.

I like it.  It's the only thing I would buy from his shop.  I tried to share my thoughts about his language issues at the shop, but it didn't seem to do any good.  :-(

I found them at RonFinley.com when I discovered his earlier efforts with urban food issues in the LOS ANGELES area.  He made a TED talk somewhere when he was trending online.  You can find them with a search or at YouTube.

It's hard for me to recommend anyone with a lot of bad language issues, but I am sharing this here because the magnet is a great item to share in your greeting cards, maybe with some seeds to encourage immediate activity.  Container plants work inside, or planning for the next garden.  SEEDS lasted thousands of years in tombs, so I think last years seed will work somehow.  I save seeds from my food and hope to plant them if I ever get my own space.

I grew up in the Los Angeles area so I am deeply attached to some of the issues there.  FOOD is a huge issue in urban areas, especially for poor families.  There are few options beside the neighborhood store.

I hope you visit these spaces and explore them for yourself... (adults only).

I would love to know what recipes you try in Leanne's cookbooks... then I will be encouraged to try them, too.

In Christ,

Deborah Martin


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