Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Twinge of Self-Sufficiency

I like to play this game where I try to stock up enough food and staples that I don't have to go grocery shopping for a long time. After a lot of practice I finally got to where the only things on the list were dairy products such as milk, cheese slices, cheese sticks, and butter. Apple juice also had a permanent spot on the list. After a few good sales we now have lots of cheese and butter in the freezer and many, many gallons of juice in the pantry. We're down to picking up a gallon of milk here and there when we stop at the local meat market for lunch meat.

Today when I came home from work I walked in to the kitchen and sat my tin I Love Lucy lunch box on the counter as usual. From there I looked over towards the fridge and could see that two lines at the top of the grocery list had writing on them. Darn! I thought, what could we possibly be out of!?!

cream cheese

Bagels - hmmph! The last package almost got moldy before I pointed that out and my hubby quickly scarfed them down as a week's worth of breakfasts. I knew that I could make them from scratch because I did it before after reading Heather's post about it that linked to a good bagel recipe. So instead of curling up on the couch like I had been hoping to do (I've been sick since Sunday night) I busted out the bread flour and made 4 fresh, homemade bagels. It was a lot easier this time since I have the bread maker now and can use that for the kneading and rising. I only made 4 because last time some got hard before they were eaten. A full recipe makes 8 so it was easy to halve it. I might try making a full batch next time and freezing them but I'm worried that they might not freeze well.

On to the cream cheese. Of course we have cream cheese. There are a dozen packages in the fridge drawer, all purchased for $1 each on sale and dated as far out as March. I've been making a dessert a week and cheesecake has become a real favorite. What the hubby wanted was the cute little butter dish type of spreadable cream cheese just like the almost empty one on the top shelf of the fridge. The one growing more mold than a petri dish.

Last weekend I had spotted a little recipe for flavored cream cheese in the Miserly Meals cookbook. It just called for mixing 3 oz. of cream cheese with 2 tbsp. of strawberry jam. Brian nixed the idea of flavoring it but I whipped 1/2 package in the mixer and put it in the (freshly washed) dish.

2 PM: 2 things on the grocery list
7 PM: Empty again. Score! 20 points for the baker in the family.

Self-sufficiency feels good! :) I'd love to hear your story on how you've come to take less trips to the store, or come to rely on yourself more than you did.


Abbie said...

Sounds like you need a dairy cow and you'll be all set.

Anonymous said...

Ooooooooh! I loved this post! I'm trying to do the same thing. You know, self sufficiency. Ha, I live (sort of) in a city. But my grocery list looks a lot like yours. I LOVE that! I'm going to check out that bagel recipe you shared- I think my husband would love it. :) Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

Me again. You know, if you ever want to make your own cream cheese, all you have to do is strain some yogurt through a piece of cheese cloth. Tie up the yogurt in the cloth and hang it over a bowl so the liquid drains out. I wouldn't have believed it was so easy, but it was and it was SO good. Next time the yogurt is about to get moldy, quick do that and make some bagels to spread it on. ;o) At least, that's what I'm going to do! lol! Have a great weekend. I'm going to post about that sweet award you gave me today.

Tereza said...

I havent had the chance to go to the store! I have flour. I have yeast.. Maybe I'll try this!