Food for thought

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Suffering from a bout of insomnia last night, I was channel surfing and caught an interview with a woman named Dani Johnson who has developed a program called “Your War on Debt”.  She was living in her car when she was 21, and two years later was a millionaire.

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If you’ve seen Dani (at left) on television, you will know why. But what really caught my attention is when she said one of the biggest drains on a family budget is food.

“We have cabinets and refrigerators filled with food and we still go grocery shopping”, she alleged.

Ouch.  I was convicted.  I can’t another thing in my freezer, but I keep buying more “stuff”- probably because I can’t recognize those little packages of mystery meat which fall out every time I go on a hunt for the ice cream.

I’ve got canned goods dating to the last century – primarily canned fruit which I discovered is packed with sugar and green beans which I detest.  I probably bought them on sale. Ca-Ching.  That’s the sound of money going down the drain. Why do we do that?

Dani further charges that we’ve lost the ability to distinguish between our needs and wants.

“Chips, cookies and ice cream are NOT needs. We go to the store to pick up milk and leave with a bag of chips which we rip open in the car and polish off before we get home to starting preparations for dinner,” she declared.

I’m ashamed to say I’ve done that!

Among Dani’s tips:

*Shop the perimeter of the store where the fresh produce and meats reside.

*Don’t go shopping until you have used up what you’ve got on hand and shop ONLY once a week.

*When you go shopping there should be nothing in the fridge but condiments.

Dani claims she spends less than $100 for her family of seven!  I can’t imagine how she does that given today’s escalating food prices.  I spend three times that much on one human and two canines! I’ve resolved not to go to the store until I’ve used up what I’ve got.

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Dani’s Empty Out Your Refrigerator Pasta

(Keep in mind I jotted this down in the dark at 2 a.m.)

Anything leftover in danger of dying (any vegetable will do – bits of peppers, a handful of broccoli florets, a half onion, small container of green peas from last Sunday’s dinner, three cherry tomatoes and as much garlic as you can stand).

Dani had a few slices of Italian sausage which she removed from the casings and browned in olive oil.  She added the veges and whipped up a pan of Alfreda sauce by melting a stick of butter and adding a small carton of half and half.  She whisked in some parmesan cheese until thickened.

Cook up a pot of pasta and mix the two together.  I opted to hold the pasta and the dish was delicious on its own. This will be my new Tuesday dish because I always shop on Wednesday.  I’m determined to keep my kitchen clean from now on.

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