For quite a while the subject of eating good food on the cheap keeps coming up, often in quite unexpected places, like the cart corner, for example. The conversation usually starts with something about how *things* are going, a euphemism, I've learned to understand, for *are you as broke as I am?*.
photo: Marco del Grande
Of course, it depends what a person considers broke to be. I had a friend years ago in kid raising days tell me that things were looking grim: Bubba had lost clients, prices were going up, she might even have to give up her cleaning help and little J___ would not be able to take ballet this year. Instead, she'd have to face the shame of only having flute, gymnastics, language lessons, and tennis. I'm here to tell you, my sobs of sympathy could be heard for blocks. But in reality, this was her story, her truth. At the same time I had friends who wondered how they were going to get three meals a day for their kids without taking on a third menial paying job. Their truth, their story.
I can't teach ballet for free (or at all, more the pity) I have no employee positions to offer. But one thing I do know about is eating well* on the cheap, along with eating well on the high end. It's not hard to do both, with a little work. So with a nod to our availability issues here (and in other places!) I'm going to designate Friday as What's Your Recipe for That? day. using some of my own recipes as well as others from friends, family and the ever available online ideas. For all of those, credit will be given where credit is due. Unless, of course, you make something of mine and absolutely despise it to the point of...well, you know...in which case, it was someone else's recipe and I have no idea how it got here.
Munoz: "The National Ballet of Cuba: 2001"
I won't be trying to re-invent the wheel, hopefully, just adding to the chassis. People have been cooking well without a whole lot for far, far longer than I've been around (Moses did ask me for some tips on something *new* to do with manna, however; what a goofball he was).
*"well" = it tastes good and it's good for you too!
And because this is a Culebra blog, I'll end with a funny story that happened today. Ok, I think it's funny. There is this really nice guy who drives a taxi and often gives me a ride home without charging me. I try to trade with something extra I might have from the store, but it doesn't matter to him, he's just a nice guy.
So today when he drops me off, he calls me back to the taxi. He's taking beers out of a little cloth cooler. He said he'd taken some folks to the airport and they had, intentionally, left the cooler and contents with him. He wanted the beers, but not the VERY pink, Breast Cancer Awareness cooler, so he asked if I'd like it for myself or to give to someone. I said sure, and enjoy the beers!
There was a little side pocket on it...I thought, hey, wonder if there's something in here (hoping of course that the chain letter I passed on to 9571 *special friends* in nine minutes so something wonderful would happen to me at 2:37 today would mean there were a few crisp hundred dollar bills tucked away). Instead, I found a teeny tiny baggie of pot, no doubt for medicinal use. Enough, if I remember correctly, and there is no guarantee here, to roll enough to take half a hit. Of course I immediately took it to the police station, where it was opened and blew all over the office. Not really. The iguanas and chickens should be happy though.