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The Poor Dog Had None.

 

Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard,
To fetch her poor dog a bone;
When she got there, the cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

So goes the old Mother Goose rhyme. What with cost of food and gasoline rising faster than the speed of light this old Mother Goose rhyme may be true for more and more of us sooner rather than later.

If you don’t have one already, it may be time to create and begin stocking a pantry. And if you do have one, it may be time to replenish it, take stock of what is there and what might be missing, as well as check expiration dates.

I think it is always a good idea to have some extra food and water stocked by. You never know when extreme weather may prevent you from going to the grocery store. Or if you get sick you won’t have to worry about feeding your family.

And having a pantry stocked with the basics will save you money in the long run and may keep your family from being hunguy in this ever worsening economy.

How much should you stock up? There is no correct answer. It depends on so many different variables such as how much space you have and your comfort level. Do you want a 3 month supply of food, or 6 a month? Should you have a freezer to put up meat?  I think it is a good idea. Unfortunately, I don’t have a meat freezer. I wish I did. But I do not have the room. Nevertheless, I do keep some meat in my refrigerator’s freezer at all times. It may not be the healthiest of meats, but it would keep me from starving in an emergency.

Stock Your Food Pantry With Sale Items

One of the benefits of having a pantry is being able to purchase food when it is on sale.  Stores around here are big on 10 for $10 sales. That is when I buy things like pastas, canned fruits and vegetables. Then since I always have staples on hand when I get ready to cook a meal all I have to buy is meat and fresh vegetables. Every little bit of savings helps these days.

One of my pantries.

What Should I Have In My Food Pantry?

I think a big question on the minds of many people is what should I stock a pantry with? What should I stock up?

In part that is a personal decision. Nevertheless, there are some basics that are great to have on hand for making budget-friendly meals.

Following is what I think would be a good start to a basic pantry.

Top Tier Basic Food Pantry Items

With these basic items you can make a basic meal:

Rice     Instant and Regular

Pastas

Canned Tomato Products

Peanut Butter

Crackers

Oatmeal

Second Tier

You can expand your meal choices with these items:

Canned Tuna Fish and/or Salmon

Broths Chicken and Beef, Vegetable if you are a vegetarian

Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Beans

Oils     Olive, Canola, Vegetable

Flour and/or Bisquick

Butter

Canned and Powdered Milk

Fill Out Your Pantry

You can add some nice flavors to a meal with these items:

Vinegars         White, Cider, White & Red Wine

Spices

Sugar

Worcestershire sauce

Condiments 

Just In Case

Manwich

Canned and Box Soups

Box Mac and Cheese

What do you stock in your Food Pantry? What would you suggest others stock up on? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

Old Mother Hubbard went to the cupboard,
To fetch her poor dog a bone;
When she got there, the cupboard wasn’t bare,
And so the poor dog got some canned tuna.

OK. So it is not destined to become a classic like Mother Goose rhymes. But at least the dog didn’t go hungry.

Featured Recipe    Orange and Black Olive Salad

Surprisingly oranges and black olives go together very nicely. It’s a sweet-salty thing. And since I have lots of black olives left over since making Mediterranean Chicken, I need recipes that can help me use them up. Thus today’s recipe.

Today when I went to the store to get some Navel oranges, I saw an orange I had never seen nor heard of before. The sign above them read Cara Cara oranges. I asked the produce clerk if it was the same as a navel since it looked like them. She said they were similar but not the same. She said the color was really a pretty pink, almost like a grape fruit. She also said they were sweeter than Navel oranges, and that there were no seeds.

So I decided to try one. I purchased one Cara Cara and one Navel.

When I came home I did an internet search and learned they have been around for years. They are a type of navel orange, first grown in Venezuela. Some are grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley now.  There is some dispute if it is really a true cross of the Navel orange.

If you want to read more about the Cara Cara orange you can click here, here, or here.

This is one of the sweetest salads you will ever taste. It is SOOOO delicious!

Some people add red onion slices to the salad. The salad is delicious that way too. Some people add diced red onions or shallots to the dressing, as well as other spices such as paprika. Jazz the salad up to suit you. My recipe is the simple basic recipe.

Here is what you need for 2-3 people:

2 Navel oranges

Black olives, about 10

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 sprig parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Slice the oranges into rounds.

Since I am not a professional chef, and as regulars to MTTD know, I am scissor challenged ever since failing scissor cutting in 5th grade, therefore I am also knife challenged.

That and I just waste so much of the fruit when I cut off the skin or peel the way cook books and the TV shows do.  They just cut off so much of the fruit when they cut the skins off that it seems a waste to me.

So this is what and how I do it.

I cut the fruit into as even slices as I can. I laid the slices up here so you can see the difference in the color of the Navel oranges (left side) and the Cara Cara’s (right side.) The Cara Cara’s are certainly pinker and do resemble the color of a pink grapefruit.

Then I make a small slit in the peel only.

Then I use a knife to loosen the peel all the way round and slip the fruit out. Works for me.  Cut anyway that makes sense for you and that you feel comfortable with.

But from the pictures you can see, very little fruit is wasted.

After you cut the peel from each of the slices, place the orange rounds onto a plate in pleasing fashion and with some eye appeal.

Making a pretty, eye-appealing plate was really easy with the two colors. This was the best part of using the two different varieties of Navel oranges. Using the two colors makes this salad look 500% better than when there is only one color. Much prettier. And I think food should look pretty. Don’t you?

Now scatter the olives over the oranges. Also scatter some diced parsely over the oranges too. This is such a colorful salad. Nice and spring looking.

Now it is time to make the dressing. Place the olive oil in a small bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, some salt and pepper if using.

Whisk until the ingredients are emulsified and the dressing looks a lovely pale pinkish color.

Sprinkle the dressing over the salad and pass the plate and let each person take what they want. This salad goes with anything and everything from the humble hamburger to steak or lamb, and anything and everything else in between.

Bon Appetit!!!!

Cost

2 Navel oranges                               $1.62

Black olives, about 10                       $0.19

3 tablespoons olive oil                      $0.54

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar             $0.04

1 sprig parsley                                 $0.05                         

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost = $2.44

Cost per person for 2 = $1.22

Cost per person for 3 = $0.81

Quote of the Day

It’s a great country, but you can’t live in it for nothing.

Will Rogers 

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4 comments to The Poor Dog Had None.

  • That salad is so pretty!

  • I couldn’t agree more. Stocking your pantry when things are at their least expensive is one of the best ways to cut your food costs. Then it’s all about using fresh ingredients as they too go on sale. Though, I have to admit, waiting for what you want to go on sale to actually be affordable sometimes SUCKS. How fabulous that you have it arranged in tiers. People forget what it really takes to make things work on very little. Thank you for such a wonderful post.

  • Gorgeous salad, such great flavours!!