Twenty weeks of food budgeting. This journey hasn’t been without bumps in the road, but I feel good about the progress we’ve made. This week was on the high side. With a $100 goal and a $150 cap, I spent $10 at the Farmers Market, $83 on grocery day, and $33 on a return trip to the store. So…(doing math in my head)…$126 for the week. We have some ingrdients left from last week, and I am very excited to use a beautiful head of organic cabbage from the Farmers Market. This week’s menu looks like this:
Monday: Barbecue Chicken in the Crock Pot with Cornbread and Green Beans
Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan over Spaghetti with Salad and Bread (co-cooked with my Valentine)
Wednesday: Pork Chops, Brown Rice, and Mixed Veggies
Thursdsay: Left Overs!
Friday: Cabbage Rolls (My first time to make them!)
Saturday: Mulligatawny Soup
Sunday: Roast, Carrots, and Potatoes in the Crock Pot
While I’m here, let me tell you about Mulligatawny. Oh yum. This is my favorite soup to make. No contest. My mom and my mom-in-law both make some great soups that I love to eat, but in my kitchen, Mulligatawny is number one. I did a quick Google search to check my spelling of this delicious Indian-inspired soup, and I found lots of different recipes. The one from Emeril Lagasse looks pretty amazing, but I love my recipe that doesn’t use a lot of unusual ingredients.
When Cory and I were dating, our poetry teacher and friend recommended The Joy of Cooking cookbook for its whole wheat bread recipe. We loved making the bread, and my Grandma Sunny purchased the cookbook for me shortly after our first bread-baking. (We ended up making tiny loaves of that bread for our wedding favors!) Immediately after our August 2001 wedding, we moved to Massachusetts to begin our graduate studies. When the chill of a New England autumn began, I started searching for a soup recipe, something different. I opened The Joy and found near the Oxtail Soup (a recipe I know that you will all want to whip up) a listing for Mulligatawny. I had most of the ingredients on hand, so I decided to try it.
As is common in many Indian dishes, the soup uses curry powder. Well, I was afraid of curry in any form. I thought it would hot and strange. It looked and smelled…different. I am not an adventurous eater or cook, so for years we had Mulligatawny without curry powder. You could fairly say that we were not really making Mulligatawny, but the soup was delicious. With the familiar flavors of chicken, carrots, and celery combined with the surprising sweetness of apples, this soup was perfect.
Thankfully, a few years ago, my slightly more adventurous husband encouraged me to use the curry powder. And you know what? We love it. Not only did the seasoning add a beautiful color, the soup took on a richness and depth of flavor that I didn’t even know was missing. The flavor was subtle enough to not scare me away but important enough to never be ignored again. I can’t wait until Saturday!
(If the name sounds familiar, there is a Mulligatawny reference in the “Soup Nazi” episode of Seinfeld.)
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