Eat It: A Day in the Life of the Broke-Ass Kitchen

Stardate: October 26, 2010. Broke-Ass cooking log:

6:45am: Wake up. Make bodega espresso. Boil water in tea kettle; then, toss the following herbs right into the pot: nettle, echinacea, peppermint, lemongrass, a wee bit of ginkgo, a ton of honey. Let steep.

6:55am: Set oven to 425 and make granola thusly: Pour a lot of non-instant oatmeal into bowl, toss with a little olive oil and a ton of honey (to the extent that the oats stick together in clumps). Throw in a little coarse sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, and rosemary; two handfuls apiece of walnuts and raw almonds. Stick in oven until brown (about 25 minutes or so). Remove and toss with chopped dried fruit (today, happens to be apricots but could just as easily have been cranberries, mangoes–whatever).

Boil water for penne pasta. Mix up pesto of dandelion leaves, basil, garlic, sea salt, and olive oil; combine with done penne and spoon into children’s thermoses for lunch. Add bananas and apples to lunch boxes. Feel as though lunch is a little lacking today, but nothing else in kitchen, so could be worse.

7:25am: Serve granola and tea to sleepy children and self.

7:45am: Children supposed to get dressed and brush teeth; nag eight times until yelling.

8:10am: Drive children to school; go to Brooklyn Writers Space; work ass off all day long. Ingest nothing but an old bar of dark chocolate at bottom of purse and 20 ounces of Diet Coke. Not balanced, but “balanced” is a ludicrous, untenable bourgeois ideal. Work, work, work.

3:45pm: Pick up children from school; get told that today’s lunch was embarrassing because pasta was covered in “green stuff” and other kids get chips and pastrami; say “too bad” and “chips and pastrami will give you heart disease” but at same time empathize because Mom used to give you embarrassing lunches, too. Feel bad.

4:15pm: Get home; make snack of “power balls.” Dump in ancient Cuisinart: peanut butter; almonds; honey; cocoa powder; dark chocolate chips; dried apricots. Press “on” until everything rolling around like asteroid in jerky orbit. Remove and form into balls. Feed to kids with milk and tea.

5:00pm: Start making dinner. Nothing left in kitchen but cream cheese, lasagna noodles, chunk of parmesan. Despair. Start boiling water for lasagna; pre-heat oven to 425. Go to garden and collect what’s left: basil, sage, some chard, two iffy yellow bell peppers, four tomatoes. Stick all but tomatoes in Cuisinart with cream cheese, garlic, olive oil, sea salt. Not bad.

Oil and line pan with first layer of lasagna; scoop and spread cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle top with walnuts. Next layer of noodles. Top with thinly sliced tomatoes, dried oregano, olive oil, grated parmesan.

6:15pm: Tell husband (Big Daddy) to take out when cheese is browning and bubbly. Kiss kids and drive to home of darling friend Nan Doyle, who has organized fancy dinner party because, she says, she wants “to feed you.” Cry on the drive because no one ever feeds you. Revel in the kindness of other mothers.

7pm: Arrive at lovely Nan’s and get treated to unbelievable meal of braised beef, cauliflower mousse, carmelized brussles sprouts; for dessert, baked pears with candied almonds. Dinner guests all moms: hilarious, smart, compassionate. Cry again. Hug everyone.

10pm: Come home. Make oatmeal bread. Plan on making decent sandwiches for kids’ lunches tomorrow. Egg salad. A regular lunch without green stuff.

12:39am: Still waiting for bread to finish baking. Kiss husband. Write this. House smells good. Broke-Ass signing off.

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About brokeassgrouch

I'm goddamned broke and grouchy. I live in the middle of the damned ghetto and raise chickens for eggs; grow all my own vegetables and fruit; bake the bread and make the cleaning products. Why? Because I fucking have to, that's why! That's what you do when you're fucking poor! You have to make the shit yourself, dumb-ass! Broke-Ass Grouch is sick of all you Bennington and RISD trustafarians yapping about your "urban farming co-ops" and your "carbon conscious lifestyle" and your "green choices" in the Times Styles section and every alternapress periodical that you can pick up for free in every eye-wateringly expensive, edgy bakery or green-market. Maybe when you have a trust fund, you can make "choices" or have a "lifestyle" or "decide" how to "spend" your "money." Excuse me, but Mama is just trying to feed her kids over here, you little shits. And stop spraying your art-school graffiti on the fence of the vacant lot across the street from my house. I know who you are, and I'm telling my friend Keith (who lives in the projects) that it was you who painted that cartoon of the African mask. So what can I tell you? I don't fucking know. I know a lot about being broke, sure as Bob's your fucking uncle. I know about how useless an Ivy League degree is when you're flat-ass broke. I know how to unclog a drain with baking soda and vinegar, and I know how to make my own CHEESE, for fuck's sake. You tell me.
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2 Responses to Eat It: A Day in the Life of the Broke-Ass Kitchen

  1. maria LeClair says:

    I her ya sister!!!! love reading your blogs!!!

  2. Nan says:

    And I will feed you again, dear miss grouch!
    Oh, and speaking of legumes, just made a big batch of “falafel” with garbanzos, froz peas, onion, crushed cumin and coriander seeds, turmeric, chopped fresh mint (all finely chopped in cuisinart). Roll the little mounds on a plate in a few spoons of flour with sesame seeds. Fry ’em right up in a few spoons of cheap olive oil, or freeze a bunch of them for a fast food dinner on another day. Serve with yogurt/radish/cucumber/mint salad, or for even more legume love, with a spicy lentil salad.

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