recession meal #1 – cod, old squash & my roomate’s rice

Despite my lack of a recession-induced layoff, I am shaking-down my piggy bank these days due to my New Year’s decision to try freelance journalism full-time.

I actually have earned some pay cheques  – it’s waiting for the cheques that’s making me blow up my bike tires to save paying for the street car.

I spend money on three things in this order:  1) RENT  2) GOING OUT DRINKING 3) GROCERIES.

Obviously the only place I can really cut down is groceries.  So I’ve made a commitment to use everything in my freezer and cupboards and until they’re gone, never to set foot in a grocery store.  To avoid scurvy and a soar stomach, I am buying whatever fruits and vegetables I want, as long as they’re purchased in Chinatown.

My first supper wasn’t bad considering I’m a mediocre chef at best, here it is:

recession meal numero uno

Cooking it was a bit scary.  I baked the spagetti squash (which looked so nice sitting on my window sill I’d forgotten to cook it since picking it at a local farm in October), defrosted a pack of five cod sticks, then made a batter of sorts using frozen hot dog buns from last summer’s bbq.  I was already really hungry so as I tried a few spoonfuls of spagetti squash as I scooped it all out, and it tasted mushier than usual, but I’m still not sure if that was my inability to believe the squash could still be good after all that time.  Then the faint burnt smell from the toaster as the hot dogs buns were so dry with freezer burn they went up like matchsticks.  I took a bite from the less burned half and it tasted like, well, freezer burn.

But I soldiered on. Scraping burnt bits from dog buns, whizzing them in the cuisine art, throwing in parmesan cheese and lots and lots of ground pepper.  Then I coated the fish sticks with milk, then a little flour, then more milk, then the batter.  Cook for six minutes – done.

The pièce de résistance?  My roomate’s homeade “Mexican rice” leftover from a weekend dinner party.  Topped with her Feta cheese.  I have to admit this was the best thing on my plate, and sadly, not my own.

What other delights in my cupboard and freezer await my creative talents?  Maybe I’ll skip dinner tomorrow.

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Filed under cheap fun, recession, thrifty, Toronto

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