Here’s the list of groceries participating bloggers received of items typifying a share of food provided recently by a local food pantry. This allotment represents a family’s one month allowance:
2 cans spaghetti sauce
4 cans veggies (choice of green beans and/or corn)
4 fruit cans (choice of sliced pears and/or mixed fruit)
1 meat selection: Anything and everything HEB has. Most of what was available was whole chickens, fryers and pork chops. But we really get everything from pig trotters to ham.
3 drink items: choice of large bottle of cranberry apple juice and/or powdered milk (shelf stable milk) boxes and/or apple juice boxes
1 bag spaghetti or bag of egg noodles
1 bag of pinto beans or white navy beans
1 bag of white rice
1 package of jalapeno slices
1 ready-made dinner (hamburger helper)
1 bag/container of rolled oats
1 bag of cheerios
5 lb bag of potatoes
I see potential here!
We already eat oatmeal almost every morning. I’ve come up with a method for cooking rolled oats that conveniently yields a less-sticky texture, with the individual oat groats nearly separate. For my two children and myself (my husband’s not on board for this breakfast), I measure a rounded cupful of oatmeal into my pan and turn the burner on to HIGH. I swirl in ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and let the oats toast a bit. Then I pour in just over ¾ cup water and swirl the pan to distribute the liquid (do NOT stir to achieve this texture). As soon as I can hear the water steaming, I turn the heat off and let the pan sit there for a couple minutes (my stove is electric). For the fluffiest texture, you can soak and steam the oats over boiling water, but I find my method a texturally-satisfactory compromise.
Lactating moms appreciate medium-chain fatty acids so in my normal life of luxury I dollop some coconut oil on top. The kindergartner enjoys honey on his share. A qualifying food pantry recipient’s food stamp benefits, which max out at $50 per week for one adult, may not leave room in the budget for such gilt, but the canned fruit off the list would complement the morning’s porridge.
I had stocked up on organic bulk rolled oats, quick oats and steel-cut oats when Newflower Market last had a great sale on those items. We had already eaten our way through the rolled and quick oats (the quick oats I buy for baking but I’ll cook them for breakfast when necessary), and now are working on the steel-cut. In the spirit of the challenge, and frankly, keeping within my own budget, I am trying to hold out on purchasing more oatmeal until another sale comes along. So, steel-cut it is!