Everyone is being told to be “sensible and thrifty” during our country’s health crisis. I never knew there was another way to live. My parents and grandparents struggled through wars and viruses for generations. Therefore I was raised to survive by going to the store once a week with a grocery list and clipped coupons. Also planning meals that could be eaten more than one day — such as soups and beans. In the 60’s I was a young widow with three small boy’s to raise and therefore I practiced what my parents taught me — being conservative and using common sense. Today I will include some recipes that may help you survive with less stress.
First plan your meals for the week, make a grocery list and check your coupons with the sale papers — even if it means going to a couple of stores. Do not go grocery shopping on an empty stomach — you tend to buy quick foods already prepared which cost more. If possible leave the children at home — kids will pick up articles and drop in the cart without you knowing . Bulk buying is the best way to go — divide up the merchandise and re-package in meal size packages. Keep the staples on hand — flour, sugar, butter, eggs, potatoes, canned or frozen vegetables baking supplies and spices.
HAM AND CABBAGE SOUP
Cabbage was on sale recently so I got a large head. I knew I had a ham bone in the freezer so I got it out and put in the soup pot. I had left some meat on it to have just for times like this. Chop 1 large head of cabbage and add to the boiling pot — putting just enough water to cover cabbage, Add one teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt, 4 peeled and quartered potatoes and a small amount of ham bouillon if needed. Cover and cook until cabbage and potatoes are tender — taste for seasoning about 15 minutes into cooking time. This is a great filling meal and even better the next day.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together 1 1/2 — 2 pounds ground beef with 1 cup bread crumbs, 1 chopped onion, 1 beaten egg, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 cup tomato sauce. Form into a loaf and place in a shallow baking pan. Bake for one hour. While starting to bake, mix up a sauce consisting of 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons mustard, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and two tablespoons vinegar. About halfway thru bake time pour this sauce over meat loaf. Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans.
EASY RUMP ROAST
Place a 2 to 4 pound rump roast in the crock pot. Brush the roast generously with mustard. Mix one envelope dry onion soup mix with one cup water and some Kitchen Bouquet. Mix well and pour over the roast. Cover crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours. This will taste even better the next day, Serve with vegetables.
BAKING POWDER BISCUITS can be served with any meal but especially good with fried meats and gravy. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together 2 cups all purpose flour with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir well. Cut in 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon shortening and 3/4 cup milk. Mix well and roll on floured surface and cut with biscuit cutter. Place in lightly greased baking pan and bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Wash in cold water and cut up one 3 to 4 pound frying chicken and place in a plastic bag. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon paprika and a dash of black pepper. Seal bag and shake vigorously coating chicken. Fry chicken in a fry pan or skillet with shortening or oil on medium-high heat until chicken is golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels — while chicken is draining, make a gravy in the pan drippings. Serve gravy on mashed potatoes — a fresh baked biscuit is great also.
The final recipe today is definitely a country family staple food — DUMPLINGS — these dumplings will stretch a meal, fill a stomach and please everyone. All you need is some nice stock from beef juices, pork juices, chicken juices, ham juices and can be added to a pot of beans. Mix together 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup vegetable oil and mix until dough is pea size. Slowly add enough water until you have a soft dough. Knead dough until soft. Pull off balls of dough and place on floured surface — roll into desired thickness and, cut into desired size and drop into pot of rolling boiling meat stock. Cook until tender. Serve hot.
Wash your hands often, have the children and other members of the household do the same. Check, via phone, on elderly members, remain positive, play board games with the family and have students read each day and write letters and cards to nursing home patients, soldiers and keep a diary of their activities each day.