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Spring dinner

Feeds eight for under $30.

The extension service rulez!

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Submitted by lambert on

.... but I would bet that in the same way that local, farmer's market eggs or bacon are a completely different experience from the food chain version thereof, even at a good store, so ham will be.

jjmtacoma's picture
Submitted by jjmtacoma on

Bake them for hours, like turkey, and then they are super. Here is a site that has the type of recipe I'd use: How to bake a ham. Un-cooked hams have way less salt than processed (just heat it up!) and if you have space in your freezer, here is what can be done:

Night 1: Ham dinner (we love mac & cheese and green beans with ours - kids!)
Night 2 & 3: Scalloped potatoes au gratin with ham (kids again!) and some green salad

Then - so you don't get sick of ham:
Cube all the meat, separate into about 1-2 cup portions and freeze
Also wrap the bone tightly and freeze that too.

Any time you'd like a ham and cheese omlet or a repeat of au gratin potatoes with ham, pull out some of your cubed ham. I use freezer bags (I know - evil!) and lay them with the ham spread out so it doesn't freeze all together and I can take out a little at a time.

The bone will make a super navy bean or split pea soup and you can add cubed ham to that too if you have any left when you get to making soup.

My OLD family recipe for au gratin potatoes - no measures:
grease 8 1/2 x 11 baking pan:
pre-heat oven to 350

cover the bottom of the pan with thin sliced russet potatoes
next add thin sliced ham with space for potatoes to show
sprinkle with a little flour (about 1-2 tablespoon), salt & pepper
cover with grated cheddar cheese
then repeat layers until about 1/2 inch from top of baking pan - usually 3-4 layers
pour in milk to come just under top layer

bake for about an hour and a half
you may need to push down the top potatoes if they try to cook over the baking pan. Putting a cookie sheet on the lower rack can save some oven cleaning later if the milk cooks over the pan. Test for doneness by stealing a potato slice from the middle of the pan, it should be soft.

RedQueen's picture
Submitted by RedQueen on

I regularly feed 10 people on 20 bucks or less.

Poverty! It's what's for dinner.

Submitted by jawbone on

real food shortages, real tight financial conditions.

One commenter suggests donating good quality cereal to food pantries as means of providing nourishing, filling meals.

Another commenter notes that after the Crash of '29, two years later the financial fluffers of the day were saying fundamentals sound, recovery well on its way, etc.

This is Exactly what happened in the first 24 months after the Crash of 1929. Government officials and businessmen said the fundamentals were 'sound'. The newspapers would not cover the suffering of real people because they didn't want to lose readership by printing stories that depicted despair and gloom. It was only until late 1932 when the suffering reached the proportions of 25% unemployment that the media of the day was forced to report upon it honestly. The media has done a great job hiding human suffering & Government has done an even better job minimalizing the impact of this current depression upon everyday people.
Posted by: Tyler Eliott | March 28, 2010 at 02:27 PM (My emphasis)

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

So my hunny and I decided this year to target whatever we can donate to Gleaners, Forgotten Harvest, and a wonderful charity locally, the Capuchin Soup kitchen..they have a great program of gardening, they grow many of their own staples, and they are teaching local residents and schoolchildren how to do it themselves. It is criminal that we have to triage donations towards FOOD, rather than some equally worthy charity, but after "airway, breathing, and circulation", if you ain't eating, your heart will stop beating.

jjmtacoma's picture
Submitted by jjmtacoma on

I buy sale items and clip store coupons to buy extra when I am grocery shopping. I buy family friendly foods but I also try to find very simple heat & eat foods that aren't TOO unhealthy because they work well for homeless people with sterno.

Our family is also planting vegetables in a community garden this year. Extra or un-harvested foods are sent to the same foodbank.

The food bank is based in downtown Tacoma and serves poor and homeless. I hope it helps - so many people in this area are unemployed or under-employed and don't have the reserves to be jobless for 6 mos to a year or more. Retraining only helps if there are jobs in another sector, which there are not.

The Seatte, Tacoma, Bellevue (MSA) had a 9.6% unemployment rate in January, but Tacoma's actual unemployment rate is higher than Seattle and Bellevue (10.7 reported by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics for January).

sisterkenney's picture
Submitted by sisterkenney on

This sounds like alot of work, but most of the chopping/toasting, etc, can be done ahead of time..BTW I'm not a great cook, this recipe is idiot-proof and everyone who's tried it loves it (not so low sodium, due to the broth/bullion, but maybe lo-sodium replacement with salt substitute would work. if anyone tries that, let me know how it went.

Ingredients:
1 20 oz loaf of stale bread (sourdough is best) (if you bake your own, or can buy at a discount bakery, it's even cheaper), toasted, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 LARGE yellow onion, chopped fine
4 celery ribs WITH LEAVES, chopped fine
8 oz package of swiss cheese, cut into SMALL cubes
1 can, or home made , chicken broth, approx 14 oz
1 stick butter, melted, divided
1 bullion cube (herb ox is best), (or powder equivalent)

preheat oven at 325 (can go higher, if baking other stuff, but will cook faster, so watch)
mix bread cubes, onion, celery, swiss cheese in large mixing bowl. Grease 4 qt casserole with stick of butter, then melt butter and add to contents. heat 14 oz chicken broth with bullion cube added, and dissolved. mix all ingredients well. salt and pepper to taste, place loosely in casserole, cover and bake approx 50-60 min. (hint, when removed from oven, crack lid to prevent "collapse" like a souffle)

RedQueen's picture
Submitted by RedQueen on

Are all at my blog elizabitchez.blogspot.com

Just hit the tag for RQ Cooks. Nearly everything I make is cheap, we're poor after all.

But some suggestions for super cheap:

Sesame noodles for the allergic (I can do this for 10 people for about 12 bucks or less, depending on if I use peanut butter instead of sunflower butter)

Squash and roasted corn soup is cheap. So is hotspacho if avocados are on sale. If it's tomato season, roasted spaghetti sauce can be made in bulk and frozen. Awesome fried rice I can do for about 15 bucks for 10 people, with the added bonus of having enough ingredients to make a second night's worth of dinner with no added expense. And cuban black bean soup is cheap.

If you're a meat eater- pork roast in a crock pot is a super cheap giant pile of meat. A 4lb roast will feed the 10 of us for at least 2 days. Also pork chops are cheap and quick, and my all time standby of boneless country pork ribs are easy. Just season with garlic salt and pepper, throw under broiler till they get brown, turn and brown, then slather with your favorite b-que sauce and keep broiling till the sauce cooks into the meat.