September 18, 2010

day 4: economic crisis

Ok first off let me say that this was MY day =)  Part of why we prep is for events like this. Let me explain. The challenge today was to help out a family friend with a vegetarian family of 6 for a day on short notice. One of the 6 is a baby. They showed up after breakfast and you had to be able to accommodate them for at least one day.

Well this was easy-peasy for me. Since I'm mostly vegetarian doing the meals wasn't hard at all. BUT since we had a low meat month last month, this month that's practically all I bought! was a little more difficult than usual. Especially since it was supposed to be a dinner for 11 vegetarians. Usually I'm just trying to feed one! Plus since the monthly food budget was already spent I couldn't even cheat and go buy something to add to the meals =(

But we did it! Here's some pics and explanations =)

(L-R, top-bottom)  Goulash with Italian seasoned bread crumbs, Parmesan & mozzarella cheese, and onions --- Goulash with Parmesan & mozzarella cheese and onions --- Goulash with onions

Goulash today was - elbow macaroni, onions, tomato sauce, veggie spaghetti sauce, garlic, basil, oregano, corn, re-hydrated button mushrooms, black olives

(L-R, top-bottom) salad with iceberg lettuce, carrots, onions, and tomatoes --- steamed zucchini & tomatoes with onions, tomato sauce and Mom's Mix --- (middle) vinaigrette --- pureed cooked apples -- pureed cooked carrots

The vinaigrette was made with about two-thirds olive oil, one-third red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning. I'm not sure if it's a proper vinaigrette or not but I like a combo like this for on top of salads.

The baby food I pureed in the food processor after steaming. I just chopped the heck out of them and added some water so it would be more liquidy and I also added about a teaspoon of brown sugar to both to help sweeten them some. I never made baby food for my kids when they was babies - don't know anyone who did. But I know how we introduced table foods to kids in our family was to chop the heck out of it and if you can add a little sweet to it cause most babies will take to something sweet first. I now know that this does lead to some bad habits for kids but if that's what it takes then by all means, I say do it! =)  ***NO HONEY!***

(L-R) Anne's Alfredo -- steamed brocoli

Anne's Alfredo tonight was made without onions, commercial cream of soup, or evaporated milk. I used my new favorite cream of whatever mix (it's similar to this one). I'll have to post my recipe soon =) But I did use some corn, re-hydrated button mushrooms, and lots of black pepper. Let me tell you it was bland as HE**! But it was edible so I think it counts =)

 (L-R) steamed pureed carrots -- mashed bannana

I did so many variations because it didn't specify what kind of vegetarians this family was. So with lunch I think I had all possibilities covered when it came to supper though I failed to provide different possibilities.

As to the rest of the challenge (besides food) we would of had no troubles with accommodating the family -- although they sure wouldn't of been at peak comfort.  Our house is set up for a family of four -- we stretch it to a family of six on a normal day so 2 families of 6 would of been a BIG stretch! But yes, everyone would of had a place to sleep =)

Now on to the money lending part, needing extra tp, and running out of eggs and milk. Ok lets go in reverse order to explain.

Running out of eggs at this time of year is almost impossible! SR's hens are laying about 5-9 eggs a day. Now in the dead of winter this is a possibility though. But I do have backups in place for those times. They are powdered eggs, powdered egg substitute, and frozen eggs from summer. The milk isn't very likely for us either as we stock up in multiples of powdered milk and canned evaporated milk. In fact this is the ONLY milk we use here unless it's a special occasion. But, at any rate, we didn't use but 3 cups of made powdered milk and no eggs because we DO understand that there IS that possibility to have NONE.

 tp 1.16.07Image by kmevans via Flickr
On to the fact that we were low on tp and do NOT have an extra storage of it. This challenge happened ON check day which now runs every two weeks in our house -- just switched from a one week pay period last month. We were low on tp for 11 people but it would of lasted for at least one, possibly two days so I think it's safe to say that we would of been ok. I can never seem to stock up on tp though! Maybe it's just me or maybe other large families with teenagers have this same problem? Not sure but I'm constantly trying to work on this =)  I would love to have about 12 packages of 24 rolls saved up! That would be 6 months worth for us.

Now to the fun part - lending money! Now let me start off with saying I'm a VERY giving person especially with my friends and family - but there's no way I'd just fork over $100 without some pretty dire straights going on! Quite frankly I'd help them with MAYBE $20 but really I don't think I could loan or give someone more than that when they obviously are too stupid to prepare themselves. I've been down and out but I still wouldn't be so bad off that I had to ask a friend (not family!) for such a large amount, which quite honestly probably would the amount you would need to fund the WHOLE trip.

I know that's not what the challenge said though. The challenge was worded as - do you HAVE that amount that you COULD give them. Not that they necessarily asked for it but more along the lines - could you offer it to them? Or at least that's the way I took it. And yes since it was payday we could have - any other day? NO! We are lucky people who are broke BEFORE we get the pay check cashed LOL! Could I even between pay checks come up with about $20 - yes! You would not believe the amount of money you have laying around the house when you go digging. Plus I could also borrow it from someone - not that I like to do that though.

Plus I also know that there is also help that a person can get from the local police stations - well at least you used to be able to in Illinois and Iowa. If you go into the local police station and tell them that you are stranded they will give you either some money or a voucher for gas at a local gas station. Now let me say I have never done this myself but this is what I was told by more than one person - this is what they had to do more than once to be able to get home while "stranded" in a far away place (usually within a couple hours from home). I assume you probably would have to tell them where you live and how you ended up in the position your in but all in all it's probably worth it.

Now granted I understand this isn't the way to do things. But when you've made such bad decisions in your life that you are homeless and without money then these are times that you'll learn from your mistakes. How will a person learn if they don't experience some discomfort? When someone has EVERYTHING handed to them they have no initiative to learn to do it themselves and correct their wrongs. I in no way believe that someone should be treated wrongly but I don't think it hurts anyone to do a little learning!

Here's our report card for today -

We had alot of fun doing this one - it was a nice change from the other days cause we could actually do all of it! =) Although we went out later in the evening and so I didn't get it posted till today.


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