End of the Month...or... Creativity isn't just for Artists

Here we are just a few days until November. In some ways it's my favorite time of the month (so to speak). The first weeks are easy, when I've gotten my hard-earned benefits such as Soc. Security and foodstamps for the month. (Hard-earned, you ask? Damn right! I worked for 40 years--I paid it forward out of a lot of paychecks!) Anyway, shortly after the first of each month I make my assault on Mejier's and/or Wal-Mart, getting my really inexpensive instant coffee and one of my guilty pleasures, flavored creamer. I've run the sale sheet for Mejiers with a lot of BOGOs (Buy One, Get One free) so it's pretty much in and out after swinging by the great veggie section for the big bags of lettuce and the little carton of salsa that goes on my scrambled eggs the next morning. Then I go to the W-M nearer my home, and go right over to the meat department where I find the least fatty of the huge beef briskets. That raises eyebrows as I use my food card...I guess it's assumed I'm going to toss it on the barbie and throw a party.

Actually, I take it home and whittle on it. If you're not familiar with this particular cut of beef, it looks like a flattened acorn. I take the big top part and into the slow-cooker it goes. The middle part gets partitioned and goes into the freezer. The last part gets sliced thickly on the diagonal and I pan-broil the slices now and again when I'm in the mood to pretend it's steak. Quite a lot of mileage out of a $30 piece of meat... at least 10 or so meals. I'll have big bags of chicken thighs, too, and a couple of pounds of turkey-burger.

No matter how I try, though, those last few days are an adventure. Out comes the big crockpot and the Uncle Ben's rice, and the big cans of chicken broth I never touch earlier in the month. Anything at hand goes into the pot with the broth, and when it's bubbling, in goes the rice and a few tablespoons of Clover Valley Soul seasoning and however many eggs I have left, up to 5. This lasts for at least 3 days, for each meal. I'm not whining... it's really very good! But what it REALLY does is make me genuinely appreciative of the comparative bounty of the earlier weeks.

This Saturday is going to be a particularly neat day for me - I not only get my monthly allotment of food credit ($132 for the month), but it's the day my beading buddies and I go to a great restaurant called "Crazy Buffet" and for $7.98 enjoy a terrific lunch/sushi bar, and spend about 2 1/2 hours admiring and bartering for each other's hand-crafted beads. Out of the 7 of us, only 2 are sushi freaks, and we enjoy enough for the whole group. Excellent quality, and given the amount of sushi and sashimi we gobble up, it'd be worth around $50 in any regular non-buffet restaurant. If fish is heart-healthy, I hope it still counts to eat it all in one sitting once a month..!

I'll be busy for the next two days making beads and pendants to, hopefully, sell during lunch, so I may not blog until afterwards -- I'll scan them first and post them here. Any of my beads and pendants, etc, are available for sale, BTW... just email me.

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