Saturday, 16 May 2009 by kinakoJam
After the bank wrote a polite letter asking me not to use my credit card until my balance was out of the red, we started scrounging around for change at the back of sofas, and examining the nutritional value of all those condiments stockpiled in the fridge. Is it possible to subsist off of plum sauce?
Probably not, but gladly our friend Carmen dropped by with coconut milk and cauliflower last night, which we combined with various fridge and pantry remnants to make a tasty cashew curry for four. Heidi Swanson's website 101 Cookbooks is very useful when you have just one or two vegetables lying around or half a block of tofu left over, & it's a good place to get inspiration for using up those way-too-healthy dried things in the pantry.
After pooling our loose change, today I took nine euros to the supermarket and was pretty amazed at how far it stretched.
Milk, broccoli and whole grain bread for 40 cents each, oats and tinned tomatoes for 30 cents each, a decent müsli with whole grains, hazelnuts and linseeds for 1.20, a bunch of radishes for ten cents, a head of lettuce for 20 cents, and white asparagus for 1.20. The most expensive thing was a kilo of organic short grain brown rice for two euros.
With the dried beans and aforementioned condiments at home, I think we almost have enough to get us through a nuclear winter – or at least until the end of the week. Tonight we're having rice with black beans and fried plantain (the plantain has been lying on our bench for a week); salsa with chile and coriander; coleslaw with basil, radish, shiso (from one of the plants we're growing) and sesame seeds. If we have to eat oats with plum sauce in a week or so, then so be it.
Seems that if you shop at the discount supermarket Lidl in Germany, even figuring in the occasional bottle of beer, mirin or tamari, you could definitely reduce the daily food budget to about two or three euros per person, and still eat like a king.
A spartan sort of king, anyway - the type who likes to go hiking.