Weekend Adventures in Budget CookingPosted: March 26, 2012
It was in the mid-70’s all weekend and I couldn’t bear heating up the apartment any more than absolutely necessary, so yet again I skipped cooking a batch of pinto beans like I’ve been planning for two weeks! Where’s the March-y weather, March? For a girl who used to hate beans, I’m sure missing them now. They’re just so… delicious! And healthy! And cheap! Anyone who claims you can’t eat hearty and healthy meals should try experimenting with beans. I’m not one to judge though – it took me a full five years of having my own kitchen before I got up the courage to soak and cook beans for myself. Instead of beans on Saturday, though, I cooked up those tomatoes I picked up last week. I don’t do much in the way of fancy tomato sauce, because I am an impatient cook. (That’s also why I’m such a miserable baker.) I just chop, add garlic and herbs, and simmer till they’re a good consistency. The whole process only takes about 20 minutes. 5 to chop, 15 to simmer.
I have about ten glass jars that used to have peanut butter in them, so I used two of them to store the sauce. One is already gone because we had pasta for dinner that night. It’s not pasta night without a little cheese, but the Parmagiano Reggiano blocks at the store were $21.99/lb, and the grated Romano was $5.99/lb. Guess which one I chose?
On Sunday, I experimented with a new recipe for gluten free waffles. I was contemplating the “high cost, low preparation” factor of our frozen waffle addiction, I remembered that I actually OWN a waffle iron! I use it every few months and then put it away and forget about it, which is a shame because it’s a very special waffle iron. It’s at least 20 years old, and probably older – I hope that means it’s still okay to use! When my grandparents passed away a few years ago, I chose two items from their house: the little brass rocking horse that now stands on a bookcase in our apartment, and the waffle iron. I have vivid memories of breakfasts at my grandparents’ house, and of my grandmother placing a HUGE waffle in front of me. It was as big as the whole plate! (There was also always cantaloupe at breakfast… isn’t cantaloupe a quintessentially grandparent food?) Imagine my surprise when I saw the waffle iron again for the first time in years and I finally realized that it’s really small! The plate in the picture is a little bit smaller than a typical dinner plate. Don’t you love the heart shapes?
Unfortunately, Justin’s saying of “low cost, low flavor” was true with this recipe. The waffles look delicious and have a good texture, but they’re pretty bland. In the end, though, I didn’t care about the taste or the price at all – the fact that they were cooked on my grandmother’s waffle iron made them perfect.