Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poverty is Delicious

You know, I think being poor gets a bad rap. Sometimes it’s downright hilarious, like how most of my classmates and I now only drink boxed wine because it’s cheaper than bottles. And like when my credit card gets declined as I’m buying a single can of tuna.

It’s an adventure being poor. I no longer fear the night now that I’m generally too cheap for cabs and have trekked all over the city in the moonlight, while drunk, usually wearing high heels. I’m like a beacon for rape. And yet I haven’t even been molested. Not even a little poke. I'm actually a little offended.

Most importantly, being too poor to eat normal meals has forced me to get really creative in the kitchen. You may recall the curry I made from a bag of carrots, a handful of craisins, an onion, and margarine. I lived off that dish for a week. Thank god I keep a lifelong supply of curry powder in the cupboard.

Who remembers the casserole I made out of frozen peas, minute rice, and can of cream of mushroom soup? Hearty.

Lately, I’ve been living off the same dish every single night. I call it lesbian stirfry, because it often contains tofu -when I can afford it. What I do is sauté any vegetable that I might have in olive oil, garlic, and soy sauce. If I have tofu, this goes in too. Next, I spoon some peanut butter into the dish and mix in some vegetable broth. Then I sprinkle with crushed peanuts and serve it over cheap asian noodles. You can buy an 8-pack of cheap asian noodles for like two dollah. Um, it’s delicious. And so cheap I could scream with joy. And I can literally cook it in 3 minutes. Thus I eat it for dinner every single night.

But today I was all out of vegetables. And noodles. All that was in my fridge was a teeny bit of onion, a can of icing and an empty Brita water filter. Tricky…tricky. I assembled any other various ingredients that I could scavenge out of my cupboards/freezer. Here is what I pieced together: rice, the onion, industrial size bag of frozen peas, soy sauce, garlic. Ten minutes later I had enough fried rice to eat until the weekend. And it was delicious.

For dessert I have a fine selection of canned icing. If that's not to your liking, perhaps I can interest you in a handful of dry, stale shreddies sprinkled with a packet of splenda?

In conclusion, do not pity me, oh friends with incomes. I live a rich life. A life of boxed wine, cardiovascular activity, and soy sauce on everything.

When I run out of condiments you can start worrying.



quackattack said...

You should write an entire series dedicated to the topic of poverty gastronomy ... or even a cook book! See, I'm MAKING you money now!

weeone said...

don't forget you can make tomato soup with ketchup.. though that would def. use up a lot of ketchup... and i can't have you running out of condiments. :)

The Peach said...

Quack: Genius.

WeeOne: Also genius.

Claire said...

I lived off a $15/week grocery budget for two years during my undergrad. I recommend: Cornmeal pancakes (you can substitute corn starch if you run out of eggs), potato-chickpea curry, lentil soup, and instant mashed potatoes (one box costs about $2 and makes a zillion servings). Oh, and frozen perogies.