Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Frugal Fodder ~20~ Substitutions, Food for Thought"

Do you ever find yourself thinking about how things are NOW compared to how things USED TO BE? Then wondering if we're really better off for it?  I do that a LOT! 

For example, I've talked with my brother about it. Since having my cell phone, I can't remember peoples numbers anymore. I'd have no way to contact someone without my phone. Substitute Smart phone for address book, better or worse? 
In trying to be prepared I've pinned Sustainable Ideas to my Pinterest board 'If this were a Real Emergency...' I'd be up Salt Creek,  the reason I've started 'Notebooking'  and List Making again!

Back in February,our NO-SPEND MONTH, I wanted to get by without buying unnecessary food items. When going over my checklists, I decided Velveeta ™(processed cheese food) would be something I'd try to do without. 

I came up with an alternative for Macaroni and Cheese made with processed cheese food. 
Well... I didn't come up with it...but I searched until I found a recipe for Mac and Cheese that used real cheese and not the over processed stuff.  I wanted REAL CHEESE.  It didn't matter to me if it was Cheddar or Monterrey Jack ...I just wanted it without processed cheese food. 
Incidentally, did you know that processed cheese first came about in the late 1800?  I was surprised to know that, until now, I honestly thought it was a Mid-Century Modern invention. 

Velveeta Cheese.JPG

So I searched recipes and experimented with them until I found one we really like. I found this recipe and like it pretty well, though I'm not regularly making my own pasta--T.H. would love it if I did!  I have been using this recipe from Heavenly Homemakers. The secret to making it creamy is boiling the pasta in the milk! 
I can say, we've not bought Velveeta or any other processed cheese food since before February. I was spending an additional $6-12 a month on this stuff.  I still buy blocks of cheese; Sharp Cheddar, Jack, Mozzarella, etc., all cheeses that can be used in mac and cheese. :)  
For lunch today I ate leftovers. Home Cooking the original FAST FOOD,another substitution?
There was just enough for another serving of everything I made for supper last night. 
The Menu: 
  • Chicken Fried Backstrap (Venison) vegetarians look away
  • Mac and Cheese
  • Cream Peas

Back to my question, wondering if we're really better off or not with some of the SUBSTITUTIONS WE'VE MADE, that got me thinking...
How backward is that really?
Hmmm... it's almost like we've Substituted our Smarts for smart phones, our Independence for Dependence and we've EVEN SUBSTITUTED real cheese for fake cheese food; which STARTED OUT being a substitution for real cheese
The things we do in the name of PROGRESS! 
What else are we substituting that REALLY IS NO SUBSTITUTION? 

Therefore be careful how you walk not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil. ~Ephesians 5:15-16~


Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

We are also sacrificing our liberty for "safety". Bad idea. That looks so good right now, that meal on the plate. I'm sick today and haven't eaten. I'm afraid to right now. I'll just sit here and imagine I'm having some of your delicious fresh and homemade mac and cheese. Yum!

Brenda Pruitt said...

I have a cheap cell phone, and I can't even remember the number. I hate those things. You go out in public and everyone's having a separate one-side conversation. Drives me nuts!

shannon i olson said...

Great points, I am a big cell phone user...
It is odd how we have taken everything out of food and put in stuff to make it last longer, have more color, more "taste" etc. You can't pronounce a single thing...that can't be good. Simple is better but I am afraid we have indeed forgotten what simple is. In fact if most of us were to start simplifying we would feel oh so deprived!!

camp and cottage living said...

All I know is that I got more done before we had all of these modern conveniences than I do now!

The Boston Lady said...

I don't even know any of my family's cell phone numbers! I just realized this while reading your post. I need to write them down somewhere. I am also out of luck regarding passwords since I have those stored in my computer. Sheesh.

I'm not a fan of processed cheese so it's never in the house, and I've also never made mac n cheese! Not even the boxed kind! I must try this recipe at some point to prove to myself that I can make macaroni and cheese.

Of course, I am glad I have the tech stuff so I can read your blog. Even on my phone if I want!


Cindy said...

Oh my, I think you are absolutely right! I must say that I do have all of my important phone numbers in a little book. I wrote them out with my own little hand and a pen. :)
I have never liked velvet cheese, I can remember when as a very little girl my mother got some free cheese from the government, I can't remember what it's called. We done have it in Canada, anyways it was velvet and I didn't like it even then. I probably ate it because we were pretty good at eating what we had.
Have a good day! HUgs, cindy

Ivy, Phyllis and Me! said...

Good Morning to you, I have a mobile phone, I have all my friends and family listed.....BUT, I also have a filo fax (I know very 80's) with all my family and friends phone numbers written down. The only phone number I actually remember though is my mum's because it has not changed in 40 years, so I remember it from the days before we had mobile phones.
I try very hard not to buy processed anything, I cook from what nowadays is called "scratch", but in my day it was just known as cooking. I can add the flavours that we need by adding spices and herbs. I visited a friend, who shall remain nameless, and we had a lasagne for lunch which she had cooked beautifully. She told me it was made with packet ingredients, and sauces out of jars and that she did not see the point in going to all the fuss of cooking when these items were at hand....yes it tasted beautiful, but do you know that afternoon I drank, glasses and glasses of water....there was so much salt in the pre-packed ingredients that it made me thirsty. So I think you can tell, I am a strong advocate of home cooking.
Have a wonderful weekend.
Best Wishes

Melanie said...

Some dangerous substitutions that we are making in the anme of progress aren't we? I am guilty of no longer remembering numbers either! Cell phones seem to have made us disconnected and connected at the same time. We can text or call so easily, that we don't have face to face conversations anymore. Good post Pat!! Thought provoking! said...

As always Pat, your post has given me "fodder for thought." I am a great fan of email, but think sometimes it can become too much of a substitution for a handwritten note on pretty paper or notecards that can be savored and saved for the future. Then how about digital books that are frugal and convenient, but do not smell like paper or to me, provide the same reading experience.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

HUm, you have me thinking. I have to say cell phones are pretty cool. for years I did sales, on the road all day and every night when I came home I hoped all was fine, the was still standing, my son had not been hurt at school, etc. I know I would have been so much more relaxed if I had a phone. Now, the flip side, you are never really away, always that stupid cell phone LOl!


Revi said...

I don't know anyone's number either - I just speed dial. It's NOT good.

My Repurposed Life said...

You are so right, I don't even know jamie's phone #. I think I could remember it if I try real hard. how sad. I've known this for awhile, but I attribute it to age. lol
don't buy velveta, but I do buy Kraft singles because they make such great grilled cheese sandwiches. I do buy blocks of cheese, but not totally sure they're real. lol
happy Sunday to you Patricia!