Monday, January 07, 2008

2008: The year (so far) in review

I have done it! One whole week on my gruesome new budget!
Wednesday, January 2: Safeway, $29.44 (lots of lunches for the next two weeks)
Thursday, January 3: Safeway, $6.11 (pork stew ingredients, recipe to follow)
Friday, January 4: Chipotle, $10 (usual burrito plus I splurged on a soda and a tip)
Saturday, January 5: Kidd Valley, ~$9 (egg nog shake, sweet potato fries, and a cheeseburger)

So I went a little over on grocery, but figured it would be OK because 1) it covered lunches for two weeks and therefore kept me from eating out and 2) I shared the aromatic and fabulous pork stew with the roomies and may receive reciprocal meals. In fact, I've already received a reciprocal meal from Cassie: Wild Rice soup...recipe up soon, but I need the card for it.

One week down, 51 weeks to go! So doable when you think in those terms. Week two so far is a winner, as I spent no money yesterday at all and knitted stash like a fiend. A fiend!

Golden Pork Stew
1 pork blade steak, about 3/4 of a pound, fat & bone trimmed & reserved and the rest cubed*
1 large onion, diced
1 sprig rosemary
1 handful of fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped.
1 incredibly ginormous Russett potato, peeled and cubed (a pound and a bit? Sucker was BIG)
Half a butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 Granny Smith apple, seeded and cubed
3 carrots, peeled and cubed
2 cans fat free low sodium chicken broth
1 bottle of pumpkin ale or other amber ale (I used the cheap-ass TJ's Kennebunkport Pumpkin Ale, which is undrinkable but cooked very well)

Medium heat: melt fat and 1 T olive oil in a large pot. When fat chunks begin to sizzle and stick too much, remove and discard. Add pork and onion. Brown for 2 minutes--get crispy browned bits on the meat for added flavorful goodness, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, remove rosemary, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are done. Add fresh ground pepper and serve.

*By cubed I mean cut into one inch chunks, approximately

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