A Brit, a Yank and a Kitchen

Tuesday, August 29

Catfish, Collard Greens & Cornbread

Dave and I are heading to the world of two mortgages (new house closes next week, old house hasnt sold yet)... which means... we gotta figure out a way to eat dead cheap. Although I am going down kicking and screaming because I refuse to reduce us to boxed dinners... it seems it is the only way to do it with the budget we are about to be faced with. You see, I did a test run at the grocery store... buying the absolute cheapest of fresh foods that I could... besides the necessary weekly staples (buying generic this time!)for dinners I picked up a whole chicken to poach, to use for 3 dinners during the week, catfish, at $2 a fillet, collard greens, dried beans, you get the idea. the cheapest I could find without breaking down and buying Ramen and hamburger helper. It all still came out just over $60. Well over what we are going to have for our food budget each week. It does indeed appear that I am somehow going to have to get creative with cheap prepared junk- if thats possible... seems like an oxymoron. Which in turn lead me into a raging fit at the state of this matter how simple you try to do it... you just simply CANT eat fresh home-made HEALTHY food on a very tight budget. We sat down, and worked out.. say.. a box of mac and cheese and some hotdogs costs what total... $2? $3 max? Tuna helper about the same.... You cant even get salad mix for that little, nevermind if you wanted to have something with it. How can you compete? Ugh.

I tried to do some searches online for cheap cooking... most of which involved bulk buys and cooking for massive families... or college fare which was basically getting creative with ramen and PB&J. Anyone out there have any ideas? Copperpots is gonna take a deep dive south soon for a few months otherwise!

So end of rant... this was dinner last night... costing about $8 total ($4 for greens, $4 for the catfish)... I happened to have all the ingredients for cornbread on hand, so I made that as well. =)

Collard Greens

1 large bunch of collard greens, chopped with stems removed
1/2 cup diced salt pork
2 cups chicken or pork broth
salt and vinegar to taste

Bring the broth to a boil and add salt pork, simmering for about 5 mins. Add greens, cover and simmer for 1.5 hours, stirring now and then.
Add salt and vinegar to taste before serving.

The catfish was panfried with some cajun seasoning. =)



Blogger wheresmymind said...

If anyone can make cost effective meals look and taste beautiful I'd put my money on you :)

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Ros said...

I'm amazed at the difference in food prices between London and Viera. When I did a budget week for my blog, I was working on the equivalent of $35 for just me and that was well under the weekly student food budget here.

I'd get really excited if I saw a catfish fillet for $2. The only meats I've seen for those prices over here are livers, kidneys and hearts!

Good luck with the budgeting! I'm sure the blog will still be great. :)

1:10 PM  
Blogger Lea said...

well catfish is local "trash" fish... it is about as cheap as it gets.. here at least ;-) I am sure the further away you get from warm murky waters (which Florida has in abundance) the more expensive they get =)

On the flip side... I was tickled pink to find chip-shops in London who sold meat pies and pasties for just a pound each... at the same time, we cant find them here for cheaper than about $4 EACH.. plus they have to be bought in bulk! And that is nasty frozen! =( They are considered such a specialty here. This drove me to just cook them at home from scratch.

Thanks for your vote of confidence!

1:59 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Ok, Lea, how are your gardening skills? I mean Florida is sunny and warm basically all the time. I like to buy things that are cheap and plentiful (seasonal vegetables, etc) and grow things that are either expensive or aren't sold here. I dunno, it's a thought.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Lea said...

hehe Susan I have thought about that... we are moving next week... i'm not sure exactly what kind of budget I'm gonna have to start a new garden... and by the time I get things cultivated... I'm sure the old house will have sold! This money crunch will (hopefully) be very temporary!

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Pamela said...

Looks and sounds great!!

4:23 PM  
Blogger lordjack said...

catfish collard green and cornbread
add buttermilk and your eating high on the hog umm good!

6:33 PM  

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