Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back to Basics

When we put our house up for sale and moved 600 mi. across the country last year, we didn't count on the economy tanking and the housing market stagnating. A year later, we continue to pay the mortgage on our house back home and rent here. Needless to say, we're a little strapped for cash these days.
I've always enjoyed cooking. From the time I was old enough to sit on a stool in my grandma's warm, tiny little apartment kitchen or on my mom's counter and stir a pot, it's fascinated me.
I've always cooked. Early on, my dad was sweet enough to eat my mistakes ( he swore up and down that he loved burnt cookies). As time went on I eventually worked my way up to making meals for my family as a teenager. When I was fourteen, I decided to become a vegetarian. I learned all about balanced nutrition and vegetarian cooking.
When my firstborn came along with multiple food allergies ( to dairy, egg, chocolate, peanuts, tree nuts and kiwi), I had to learn the art of substitution. I must have spent a good year reading labels and hunting down elusive ingredients in health food stores.
I finally got it down. (Thankfully, he's since outgrown all but tree nuts and peanuts, though we did recently discover an allergy to okra).
We've pretty much run the culinary gauntlet.
Recently, because of our financial situation we've really pared down our grocery budget, so it's back to basics. I've begun making our own bread ( I even pulled off homemade hamburger buns). Today, I tried my hand at homemade English muffins ( thank you, Alton Brown).
I'm trying my hand at making things most of us never really would even think to attempt. Need egg noodles? They're in the freezer section or dried in the pasta aisle. Need bread? Swing by the store on the way home and grab a loaf. Pizza? The number's on speed dial.
I've recently discovered that not only are these things pretty stinkin' easy to make at home, they're ALWAYS cheaper and ALWAYS taste better. I'm going to use this blog to chronicle my hits and misses with inexpensive, back-to-basics, healthy cooking.

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