Still no Felted Tweed. I guess it’s to be expected.

The vest is going well and I’ve got the pattern memorized. I’m about nine inches in to the fifteen inch back. It will probably be set aside this weekend, however. We’re spending Thanksgiving with our families in Kitchener so I do believe I will bring the sock that has still not progressed beyond row one.

One hassle of being a vegetarian is you’re often expected to bring your own food when invited to other’s homes for meals. I will give my grandma a lot of credit, she apparently searched high and low for a prepared vegetarian entree for us but was unsuccessful. I offered to bring my favourite holiday main dish, this Nut Roast. It makes quite a lot so I will make two or three small loaves and freeze them. I’ll have one for my grandma’s dinner Saturday night, and one for Chris’s aunt’s dinner on Sunday.

This past weekend I went to the market and bought a huge squash. I really should have taken a picture because it really was a giant phallic thing, but this unimpressive picture of it cooking with have to suffice.

This doesn’t really give a good idea of scale but this is my biggest stock pot and it was about half full. I cooked it all up and put a large container of squash mush up in the freezer and with the rest I made this delicious Hubbard Squash Flan from Anna Thomas’s The New Vegetarian Epicure.

I had lots left over so that was also frozen for Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s to hoping it reheats well.

Thomas’s cookbook (which I got at a library booksale for like two bucks – go me!) is so great because it focuses on seasonal cooking. Buying produce that is in season is awesome because not only is it fresher, easier to find locally and therefore environmentally friendlier, but it’s also cheaper. Cooking on a budget is something I’m starting to know a lot about.

Out of the twenty seven years of my life I’ve only and a regular paycheque for the twelve months and two weeks I lived in Japan. Aside from that I’ve worked part time through school or had my current “job” as a supply teacher. I say “job” because I haven’t worked for over three months, and so I don’t believe it qualifies as much of a job.

Anyway, when your pay is sporadic you have some weeks where you can buy all the fancy cheeses and tropical fruit you want, and some weeks where you have laundry change to cover all of your groceries. During these lean times it’s often tempting to buy Kraft Dinner and ramen like it’s going out of style, but I’m coming to believe that these aren’t the most fiscally sound choices. Here are my tips for eating on a budget. These will obviously be vegetarian, but meat eaters would probably benefit from going veg when they’re broke because meat is expensive, and the cheap stuff isn’t worth eating.

General Tips:

-If you are more monetarily endowed for a certain period, stock up on pantry staples (more on that in a sec) and make a big pot of stock. Freeze the stock in measured servings or ice cube trays so you can easily throw them into soups and casseroles later.

-Soup is your buddy. Soup is cheap, goes a very long way and makes a good lunch and dinner. Make soups that are seasonably appropriate. Squash soup is awesome this time of year.

-Buy your produce at farmer’s markets when possible and all of your dry goods at discount or bulk food stores. For locals, Giant Tiger truly is your best bet.

-Make your own pizza, including crust from scratch. Cheese can be pricey but a little goes a long way.

-In fact, try to make as much stuff from scratch as you can, because in the long run it really saves money.

-Grate your own cheese, princess.

-Look for tofu and vegetables at Asian markets.

-Invite yourself over to friend’s houses for dinner but make sure you don’t have to drive or use bus tickets or you’re not saving that much money.

-You don’t need anything to drink but water. It might seem like utter poverty to go without coffee or orange juice in the morning but it will save you calories and money to just drink water. But make sure to keep it in the fridge. Tap water is for chumps.

-Bottled water is also for chumps.

-Buy herb plants at the farmer’s market and grow them on your windowsill. Just don’t expect dill to live more than an hour.

Pantry Staples:

-pinto beans

-tomato paste

-diced tomatoes

-canned corn

-chickpeas

-flour

-baking powder

-dried herbs

-dried pasta

-peanut butter

Most of this stuff costs less than a dollar at cheaper shops and is very versatile.

Cheap meals:

Tofu Parmigiana

-Pasta topped with pesto and a little olive oil

-Oven roasted, seasonal vegetables with olive oil and whatever seasoning you like, on pasta or rice.

-Soup

-Pancakes for dinner!  It’s not just for lazy dads anymore

-Baked beans

-hummus with grilled vegetables and pita

That’s all I can think of for now but if you have suggestions I’d love to hear them!

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