Wednesday, May 6, 2015

6 May 2015-- Off to a Rousing Start

Or not.

Let's say not.

I went home Monday, after picking up a can of black beans, some el pato salsa in a can, a sweet potato (way over priced at $0.80/lb), and a pack of half-price tortillas. All for less than $5. I've got a receipt somewhere.

I had visions of black bean and sweet potato burritos with a bit of salsa and some fried onion and garlic, a bit of cheese for yum, and some sliced fresh cabbage for texture and healthiness.

Then I pulled out all the stuff for that. And then I went looking for a can opener.

There was no can opener.

So I put most of the stuff back and just made a quesadilla with some cheese and butter I had, the tortilla, and a couple cabbage leaves (shredded and tossed in after cooking, crunchy yum).

Then I went back out. Did some more work, left to go home, picking up a bag of chips and a 2 liter bottle of soda on the way (have a receipt for that too, about another $5).

Ate chips and granola bars for breakfast and lunch Tuesday, then picked up a can opener with a new bag of chips and another bottle of soda last night. Unfortunately, by the time I got home after 9, I no longer had any interest in cooking, so I ate some chips and a Lara bar and crawled into bed.

Today I've finished the chips, and am determined to actually cook. I want to eat the yummy stuff, I have things to use with them, I will eat of their flesh. Their yummy veggie flesh.

Receipts and maybe some food photos will show up later. Promise. :P

Monday, May 4, 2015


Maybe not forever, but I'm in the US (and have been since the start of the year, actually), in Charleston, and on a budget.

I make a lot more money than I used to. No, like, WHOA more money than I used to, but I'm still pretty broke. Partly because I don't make gobs of cash, just more than I used to. And partly because while I'm in Charleston I'm living downtown.

Which I'm tempted to start calling "overpriced hipster land". Srsly, places that were abandoned a year or two ago are split into three tiny three bedroom apartments (with the magical addition of electricity and a coat of paint...) and going for $2400 each. Or more. So people living in them are, every single month, paying about what their landlord spent for the whole freaking building.

Yay, profit?

Anyway, I'm in the US, and I have expenses that make my most expensive Mexico or Guatemala expenses look really not expensive at all. And people have been full of epic fail when it comes to feeding themselves on $29 a week...

So why not be back, right?

Zeee Plan

Turns out, with my income, even South Carolina would give me food stamps. The calculator says $170-190 a month, which sounds crazy. What on earth would I spend that much money on? Chips and sour cream every day?

Luckily I'm only planning to be in town for a couple months. Let's say until the end of June. Might be end of May, but I'm probably here for two months.

The time it would take to get the card and all that is.... more than I can be bothered investing, and I don't really have a lot of other expenses (housing, health insurance (yay!), Dr. co-pay, food, $20 a month to have someone else do my laundry...) so I'll just work with my own budget.

This month that looks like about what the seriously failed internet and media-types had. Not $29 for the whole month. Been there, done that, it's more fun in other countries. No, about $120 for the month. Maybe a teensy bit more.

I have $100 in the bank for food, and some stuff in the fridge. $10 of veggies and tofu and butter from the Veggie Bin, and $28.25 in stuff from Costco (used my sister's membership). Oh, and a $0.70 ataulfo mango from the store we do not name. Costco stuff is 2lbs of colby-jack, a monster pack of granola bars (choco chip) and a box of 18 Lara Bars (now greatly reduced in number). Oh, and about nine billion cheap tea packets. Um, and a small left-over bag of tortilla chips from a local taco place.

I might talk my sister into giving me a pound or two of rice from her Epic Costco Bag of Rice Doom, and I'll take a couple bucks out for it (and even give them to her, aren't I a great sister?).

I'm going to use the $100 in the bank for all my food and snax and soda for the month, and we'll see if I starve to death. I probably won't. I mean, that's more than $3 a day, right?



Back tomorrow with some shopping and some food. :P

Thursday, January 24, 2013

100,000 Page Views

I think it reset somewhere during the last year and a half, but still.

I officially have over 100,000 page views here. Which isn't bad at all for a food blog with no new food blogging.

I'll try to get back into some kind of posting schedule. I might even try to do a step-by-step of how (I think) to make pupusas. Which are cheap, if you use the right ingredients, and healthy if you add the right stuff on top.

In the mean time, seriously, that's a lot of views. Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Still Not Dead

There have been earthquakes and food poisonings and (someone suggested) some Parvo, but I'm still not dead. I'm just not eating or cooking much.

Looks like Vegan MoFo was a total fail. And I'm stuck with pretty boring food at the moment, trying to get back to a healthy stomach--since it was food poisoning, or maybe parasites. Or perhaps parvo.... So no food here for a while.

I hope all of you are having fun all over the world, eating good cheap food, and staying warm and safe (in cold areas) and cool and safe (in warm ones).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Kitchen Of Doooooooom

So, the last "real" kitchen I had was... pretty scary. It was dirty, and infested with mice and smelly gamer boys, and all sorts of fun stuff like that. It was also that orange-y-yellow of 60's/70's decorating.

This new kitchen, paid for with $65 each from my roommate and I, is somehow both better and worse. Better because there are (to my knowledge) no mice. And because it can be moved into our spare room. Worse because it is both forever dirty, and because it rains inside when it rains.
Wood stove cooking was a fail.

It looks like it should be easy, right? Just make a fire and cook stuff on top of it. Unfortunately, I seem to fail at that first  bit.

After two hours of trying, a bunch of swearing, and the sacrifice of a candle (to get/ keep things going) I got something hot enough to almost cook onions, while warming water. Then it went out. See my magic fire in the rotting side of the stove. Local ladies really only use these if they can't afford gas, or for tortillas.

Yep, that's my kitchen. The floor isn't dirt, it's really old concrete, moss, and some dirt.

More kitchen. That's the sink on the right. It's just a big concrete basin with a drain hole (and pipe, to the yard...) in the bottom.

Even moar kitchen, complete with roommate's psychotic kitten.

And here is the stove, and the gas tank. Those things are cheaper right now.

Turns out the local gas companies are fighting, so prices dropped from a low of 130 to 65Q. Yep, big tank of propane for less than $10. You know you want to live someplace with kitchens and propane prices like this. Ignore the bit where my kitchen would be better on a sailboat, or where they regularly short people on tank weights.

You love it, right? Anyone wanna trade?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

No Cooking--Out Of Gas

A day or three ago I was all excited. I'd been to the market, spent about $5 and dragged home all sorts of tasty foods.

Tasty foods that need to be cooked over heat. Like dry beans and potatoes and onions and curry powder and rice.

I had soaked some chickpeas ($1.70-ish/lb) over night and was dreaming of Channa Masala. Dreaming, I tell you. I could taste it. In my brain was a wonderful world of curry-flavored, tender chickpeas in tomato-y onion-y sauce.

Got home, swapped out the soaking water for fresh (from the bottle, not the tap--heavy metals and all that), and popped it on the stove-thingy. Turned the gas on and whoosh, it lit and burned sooo bright.

By the time I'd put away the shopping stuff, taken the trash out of the kitchen, and turned on my computer, the flames were dimming. A minute later, they were out.

No gas.

Now, pretty much everything that gets cooked here is heated in one of two ways (some people have and use microwaves, but it isn't common). Either they are cooked over gas flame (with or without a large, flat metal surface) or over wood fire.

No electric, no coal, no whatever. Just gas of some sort--propane, maybe?

It comes in these 20lb or something cylinders. They are heavy. And ugly. And tough to judge when it comes to fullness. So you never know quite when you're going to run out. I ran out at about 6pm on a Tuesday. After paying tabs (which always happens for me on Tuesdays, for some strange reason...), I had just enough for a cheap week of eating in and maybe a soda or beer somewhere once a day.

A new bottle of gas costs about, oh... $20? Less or more depending on the company. And they deliver, so that's not so bad. But they don't deliver at 6pm. Or to people who don't have cash.

So I gave upon that for the day and had leftover beans and fresh tomato and onion with some hot sauce. Then some bread and butter and tomato and onion. And then I really gave up and went to sleep.

Yesterday, though, I was determined to salvage the beans. There's a wood stove in the yard (and a wood oven, but I haven't even really looked at that yet). There's wood in the yard, and dried leaves, and stuff.

Tried making a fire. After two hours I had something that would warm water or soften (barely) some chopped onions. Both of which I did. Then I gave up again, put the onions and a tomato on some more random, cheap bread from the tienda, and gave up again.

Today I've decided. No more trying to cook until I get gas. It just isn't working for me.

Photos of the kitchen, wood stove, and random other stuff... when I get to it. Tomorrow, maybe?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Feeling Pukey

So sorry, not cooking today. Also seeing sparkly lights and been fighting off a headache all day. These are not good signs. I may be going home to bed early.

Also, it's cold.