Tuesday, January 22, 2013

MLK Day: 21 Diabetic Food Stamp Project

Impossible not to wake with thoughts of what Martin Luther King might make of our present world. I won't pretend to know how he thought or what he thought but I think today we should be mindful of how far we have strayed from the vision he communicated to us. Maybe we can strive to take hands and push forward in a more loving manner.

Living in Harlem gives you a perspective that is to be celebrated. I am surrounded by living history, people who marched with Mr. King, who wrote about him, who attended churches and organized civil rights marches. I am so fortunate.

Will work for food: Speaking of good fortune a friend got two deer today. They are being driven in from Long Island and I am going to help butcher in exchange for meat. My query was do I use any of this bounty while on the food stamp challenge?

Do I wait til it is over?

Do I allow myself free venison?

Since I worked for it, is it really free?

Readers....you can let me know what you think in the comments section.

I begin with 5.73

Cream in my coffee...without question it is one of the things I long for every morning. Yesterday I made the trek to Trader Joe's and got a few deals.

Half and Half pint for 1.69 I can get a minimum of 32 servings out of this so my price is about 5 cents a serving. 

Yogurt 2.49 for the Greek whole milk. I eat it by the tablespoon so my average serving will be .15. 

Organic Chicken legs; Yes, I paid more than I would in the neighborhood for standard legs but the per leg price is .56, and it is much better for me.

7 oz of salad; Pre bagged and pre washed. I paid 1.99 for this extravagant mix, but I can get at least 4 servings out of it and it has all the greens I love Arugula, Radicchio, Endive that separately would have cost me more.

So on this holiday I have thus far had..

Coffee with cream .15
Pomegranate with yogurt .65

I took as long a break as I could then had two servings of the cabbage soup with 4 dumplings.

Dumplings .80
Soup .18
Total 1.78 Wow...I went overboard.
Carbs 56 grams...

I still wonder how I can do that so unconsciously. Fruit and vegetable in the same meal drove me over. Not dangerous, but again pushing it.

As much as I know, as much as I track and I still find it hard to get the carb counts fully right. How hard is this for folks who live with it every single day?

...it is not even noon and I am already hungry. I could eat another 8 dumplings, but of course I can't afford to.

...and 1:30 came I decided to have a hearty lunch that was not hearty at all. Spaghetti Carbonara is a go to dish when you are hungry, yet the vast pit of my stomach refuses to be tamed today.

1.5 ounce of pasta .12
1 egg .21
A few spoons of the hard cheese grated .10
2 slices of American bacon .34
Iced tea .03
Total .80
Carbs 32 grams

In the refrigerator I found a remnant of the forgotten liver, the cost already calculated I scraped it out of the container and had it on top of one Ak Mak Cracker. Hopefully this bite will contain enough fat to shut up my lack of satisfaction today.

One Ak Mak .07
Carbs 4 grams. 

I have been in and out of the house today dropping into presidential events and MLK day parties. So far none with real food.

A lot of soda, and one had some Cheetos and other deadly foods, but as ravenous as I seem to be I have not succumbed to soda or Cheetos.

...at last dried fruit. I downed two large slices of dried mango. I then looked up the carbs and resisted the urge to eat the entire plate of them. However they did do the trick, I finally feel sated.

Before heading out to butcher the elk I had a few of the dried cranberries, a raw carrot and some cheese.

Cranberries (free)
Carrot .12
Cheese .10
Total .22
Carbs .13

Butchering two entire deer is hard work. I did not even break them down all the way. I cut roasts that can be turned into chops and sections that can be cut into steaks. We froze it as whole muscle pieces, the burger trimmings to be ground at another date. It was still several hours with the knife and saw.

Surrounded by body bags and newspaper I worked on the floor and those cuts requiring more finesse got moved to the counter.

At one point we took a break and seared a couple of steaks. Brilliant meat, not in the least gamey, very much like Elk.

Today I am going to process some into jerky and put a bit into my freezer.

After I got home I continued watching Forks over Knives (great documentary, especially meaningful after breaking down two deer) and had a bean quesadilla from the freezer made at the beginning of the month.

Quessadilla .35
Carbs 32 grams

Calories 1,619
Total 3.22

Leaving me with a fortune. 2.51 for the morrow.


da bitch in 23 said...

Eat the damn deer. I don't have a taste for it but if someone offered me free pork if I help cut it I would not be the dummy who waited until March to eat something.

Anonymous said...

My family was on assistance for about two years.

I saw a sign that needed a dishwasher weekends at a restaurant near the house. I got the job, the pay was awful, but I got fed twice on Saturday and Sunday. I did it so my boys could have more food.

You gotta do something on stamps because the money is so little it hurts if you got a family.

I say eat any free food.

missdemilo said...

Normally I would say eat it. I agree that on food stamps you do whatever you can to stretch a buck (no pun intended) and free food is great food. It makes it all go further. The thing is, I think with the point you are trying to make and the reality that most people living where you live do not have that sort of luxury, it shows a rare opportunity and not a true to life event. It is not every day that someone living in Harlem is given beautiful fresh game and you are trying to present a "typical experience." Being fed at your job is one thing, bringing home a luxury such as that is not going to happen on a regular basis.

Karl Wilder, Chef said...

Miss Demilo,

You make an excellent point.

I have Fred Flinstone sized racks of ribs that won't fit in either freezer so I am going to prepare them and share them with my neighbors and let them enjoy this luxury.

The rest goes in the freezer.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Miss Demilo.

Hunting is actually pretty expensive -- the equipment, the lisence, the gas for travel... by the time you tally everything, you can buy meat cheaper. (At least where I live.)


Karl Wilder, Chef said...

Other than the ribs which I am giving to folks in my building I have decided to wait to eat it.

However just as a note...these were shot by a friend who took the train to Long Island, has an old rifle and Venison here in NY would cost about 20 a pound.

His costs were less than 100 for the 3 dear (we have more coming) and with me butchering it comes to about two cents a pound.

Anonymous said...

If you giving ribs away you should eat some for yourself. And if you do them on the stove don't throw out that rib water. I do the pork and simmer for a while, keep the water for soup. You can make it cold and get all the fat off, if Bambi got any fat.

I would say eat every free bite you can get, but I understand what you trying to do.

Anonymous said...

have you considered making bone broth for extra nutrition?

beef bones can be had for less than $1 lb. garlic, celery and carrots are cheap, i realize i'm not in harlem, but i can get 5 heads of garlic for $1, celery for $.49 each bunch, a 5 lb bag of carrots for $2 and onions for as little as $.20 lb at the hispanic markets.

if you're buying a whole chicken to part out for other meals you can use the bones cooked or raw and make it chicken broth. same goes for Turkey, even some of the venison bones.

i drink a cup (coffee mug 16 oz) every day with my lunch. each batch CAN be continuous, only replacing the bones and veggies about once a week, or in individual batches it makes 3/4 of a gallon of broth.

2 lbs of bones (with marrow and cartilage), 1 onion, 2 or 3 carrots, 2 or 3 ribs of celery, one head of garlic, salt and pepper to taste (i use 20 whole peppercorns). some folks like bay leaves, i don't. and let it simmer till the bones break by hand.

it's good for what ails you and it's only pennies per cup. a lot of nutrition. not sure of the calories though..

Karl Wilder, Chef said...

I assume you are addressing me..?

Yes I have made broth, each time I get bones. I did it with the cornish game hen and with the ribs I simmered to give away.

However to purchase beef bones at present prices is 2.99 a lb. With their weight the average package of beef bones is about 6.00.

Carrots are cheap here, celery pretty high most of the time.

Beef broth is great tasting but by itself not very nutritious and has about 15 calories per cup.