Monday, August 31, 2009

Great Depression cooking with Clara

This is one of my favorite feeds on Youtube. From the description:
"91 year old cook and great grandmother, Clara, recounts her childhood during the Great Depression as she prepares meals from the era. Learn how to make simple yet delicious dishes while listening to stories from the Depression."
I've never tried her recipes, but I love hearing her talk about memories from the Depression while she cooks.

Food log: Monday August 31th

Cereals: from groceries
Cereals - from groceries
I'm really digging those organic cereals. Crunchy!

Banana and chaï tea from the bistro - free
Tea and banana from the bistro - free

Broad bean soup, English muffin, cheese and lemon bar - from groceries
Diet Coke from the vending machine: $1.25
Broad bean soup, english muffin, cheese and lemon bar - from groceries

Fig and tea from the bistro - free
Figs and tea from the bistro - free

Another snack, brought from home

Afternoon delight

Fizzy drink - from groceries

Fizzy drink - from groceries

Otsu, made from scratch - from groceries

Otsu, made from scratch - from groceries

Now, this is one FANTASTIC dish. I found it on 101 Cookbooks  and could not wait to make it. I ommited the cucumber (didn't have one) and switched the honey for maple syrup. The soba is cold and the tofu is hot, golden and creamy on the inside, making for interesting textures. Everything is doused with a delicous sauce that fuses many flavors: lemon, hot pepper, ginger, sesame... As they say on the blog it's from, it's very soul-satisfying. There's also a ton of coriander and scallions in the mix, for that added touch of green. You garnish it with sesame seeds and hope for seconds.

The last lemon square, I swear
The last one
I also had a yummy peach. Or two.

Money spent on food today: $1.25

Waste less: tomato paste in a tube

Here's the scenario: you make a dish that requires 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. So you open one of those tiny cans and measure out what you need. Thinking ahead, you save the rest. "I may use it in a sauce or something" you promise yourself. The smartest amongst us will freeze the leftover paste, but most of us will just smack a piece of cling wrap on top on the opened can and call it a day.

Fast-forward to a few weeks later.

You are cleaning out the fridge. Behind the jar of dill pickes, hiding next to the box of baking soda, sits the wrapped can of tomato paste. You take it with a disgusted "eww!" and dare not look under its plastic shield to see what's going on. Out to the trash it goes. What a waste!

The solution is to let go of the cans and to buy tomato paste in a tube. 

Tomato paste in a tube = no more waste!

You just squeeze out what you need, put the cap back on and voilà! No more waste. And no more breeding ground for bacteria in your fridge. It may look like it's more expensive than the cans, but you'll use it all. And in my experience, it's tastier, too.