Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It's Okay Again

I am amazed by the effect of lighting candles and serving dinner at the end of a long day. No matter how tired, frazzled, frustrated or overwhelmed a person is, a hot meal and time at a candle lit table seems to set things right, if only for a moment.

In an effort to get out of debt and buy a ramshackle house with a big porch, I am doubling down on our finances. This means I am working overtime trying to get super affordable, no-nonsense homemade meals on our table every night. (Super affordable because.... hello. And no-nonsense because the old guy does not do pumpkin ravioli or roasted butternut squash thingies, no matter how hard I try. Ahem.) I'm learning that as long as I treat meat as an ingredient- not the star of the show- I can stretch our meal budget much farther... and not hear him in the kitchen two hours later fishing crackers out of the cabinet. Oh yeah. I got this.

Last night I made Cheesy Ham and Scalloped Potatoes in the crock pot. Turkey ham ran $4.50 at the store, and I used half of it. By making my own soup/sauce and using the ends of random cheese in the fridge, I figured this cost about $8 to make four large servings. Very large servings. Although I wouldn't call this health food, I would call it It's-30-degrees-outside-and-this-was-warm-and-cheap-and-filling-and-the-crock-pot-did-it! food. 

To avoid the gray, Campbell's blob in a can, I made my own cream of mushroom. Yay! Creamed soup is okay again! Usually I use fresh mushrooms, but today I used canned organic ones like these in water. Fraction of the price, and comes with mushroom "broth". Takes just a few minutes and we control the ingredients. Win! Try it if you have the time or inclination:

Love this. Especially since every good holiday recipe has cream of something in it. Green bean casserole, anyone? 

I tell you: we girls at home are powerful. We put the home in a house. We turn straw into gold. (Or stuff in the fridge into dinner.) We are amazing. Let's light our candles and fire up our crock pots and show the world that family, home and love are alive and well and matter.

We got this, girls.  -Brin


Sarah said...

Thank you for your encouragement & words of confidence. That was exactly what I needed to hear today! We got this!!

Joy said...

I agree... we're watching the pennies also and I'm surprised what I can come up with when I put my mind to it. I was so used to grabbing a ready-made this or that in a box, that I'm surprised that I can actually make my own food items from scratch--and they're better too, with fresh ingredients. Your mushroom soup looks awesome! Home makers rule!

Rebecca said...

Yes, it matters. Yes it does!

Brin said...

Sarah- We got this! :) Thanks for encouraging me. Let's stick together!

Joy- Thank you! I'm with you... I'm really trying to re-think what I buy vs. what I can make cheaper at home. I don't see myself making homemade crackers right now, but cream of mushroom is fast and easy. Home makers rule! ;)

Rebecca- Yes, it does. I'm glad to "see" you around. Thanks for sharing part of your day with me. :)

vintage girl at heart said...

yummy! love it and pinned it for later!

Terri Steffes said...

Oh yeah, this sounds amazing for a winter night. Or, fall, if it happens to be freezing cold where you live. I love that you are enthusiastic about watching your pennies. Bob and I are retired now, and we don't have to do this as much, but, we both agree that those days we were much more involved and that we have happy memories from that time.

Unknown said...

We sure do got this!!!! I'm thrifty and proud of it!!

Betty said...

Sounds wonderful Brin..a little planning and thinking ahead and we can cook up fantastic meals. Your soup looks delicious. I like homemade mushroom soup, not the gray stuff from a can:)

Kristie @ Comfy Cozy said...

I love this post!!! My heart is at home and I love anything domestic!! I am definitely making this soup! Agreed...we got this!