Friday, February 6, 2009

Cooking in these troubled times

I'll be the first to admit that a lot of my 'fun money' goes toward food, and new toys for the kitchen. Cooking is my passion, and I'd rather spend $50 on quality ingredients from the market that will go toward a meal for family, friends, or li'l ole me, than I would on a new shirt.

Image: David Besa

That said, even I gaped at the cash register of my local cheese shop recently when my order of Fontina cheese from Italy, already grated for me for a Fontina, proscuitto, and shiitake mushroom frittata I'd planned to make, came to $35. That seemed a little excessive on my salary.

So, I've been trying to cut back lately on my food costs, especially in this tough economic times. I'm wasting less, only buying what I think I'll actually consume, and focusing on fresh but moderately priced ingredients.

I don't think I'd ever go to the extreme that NOW Magazine's Steven Davey did for his story Loonie'Licious, in which the writer's experiment was to make a dinner out of items found in the aisles of his nearby dollar store.

By the sounds of it Davey made a perfectly serviceable pasta dish with less than $10 in ingredients, including dry pasta, canned olives, artichokes, and tomatoes, and jarred pre-chopped garlic, but as he wisely noted at the end, most of the canned stuff could've been replaced, and for less money, by fresh ingredients at his greengrocer.

Great read though, and I applaud his ingenuity in coming up with the cheap meal. And he even managed to avoid using Spam! Check it out.



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