So, before I get into the blast from my past, lemme show you what I had for breakfast yesterday morning.
Drop biscuits and Gimme Lean sausage crumble gravy.
You see, my friends, my husband is finally back to working 50 hour weeks. His work is completely dependent on the economy, so this has been a rough year for us. My getting laid off in May (and not finding a job) only increased the stress. We had one month where absolutely no money was coming in and I was scared to death. In my 10 years of being on my own, I've never had that happen. Luckily, unemployment FINALLY kicked in and we did a massive landscaping job for my mother in law and were able to pay our rent. What does this have to do with biscuits and gravy? Well, the downside of his working so much is he isn't able to claim unemployment and his last check paid our rent so we've got measly dollars on us until Thursday. We did one last grocery run while we could and picked up the sausage so we could have biscuits and gravy. Oh, yum. The sauce was (freaky) meaty and it really filled me up. I'm seriously glad I only used half the package!
We also spent a paltry $8.50 to pick up leeks, carrots, potatoes, garlic, thyme, corn and an onion so I could make the Leek and Bean Cassoulet for dinner.
I made some interesting changes to the original version...instead of Yukon gold potatoes I used reds (cheaper), instead of frozen peas I used a fresh ear of corn (also cheaper). I didn't have vegetable stock so I bagged up the ends of the veggies, boiled them in water and soy sauce and used that. I was out of soymilk so I "curdled" 1/4 cup soy vanilla creamer mixed with a 1/2 cup of water with apple cider vinegar...lucky for me this made a ton for lunches and such.
This dish was special to me. Growing up my little family was waaaaay under the poverty line. Not homeless, but definitely not able to make it on our own. My dad left when I was 4 and by the time I was in third grade we had no choice but to move in with my grandparents, who were also struggling, but they owned their house outright and had acreage. My grandmother cooked every meal from scratch and we truly lived off of the land. We had enormous summer harvests of every veggie you could think of, plus more! One of my grandmother's go to meals was chicken and dumplings and it was my favorite dish. I haven't tried to recreate it until tonight and just thinking about everything she and my mother sacrificed for us brings me to tears even now. Sadly my grandmother passed 3 days before our wedding last year so I'm unable to make her my version of her dish, but I know she's with me in spirit.
I just want to add to everyone that's struggling out there, I'm with you. Hold on as tight as you can and smile. I don't when this shit storm economy will pass, but I definitely won't let it get me down. As long as I have flour and oatmeal, we'll be fine.