Well it was bound to happen. Both boys are sick and cranky and bored. Too sick to start back to school. Too bored and cranky to be left to their own devices. I’m escaping from them for the moment except for the occasional question about the difference between alternating current and direct current, which I’m not real up on, so inevitably they need the computer to find out.
I had my oldest (Tom) climb up on the counter and pull all the packages of snacks and bread from our corner cupboard. I wanted to start the new year with a clean kitchen, or at least close to it, so getting this cupboard cleaned out was a major step. I had several bags of bread with one or 2 slices in them that had molded into penicillin farms. It was nice to get them into the garbage. I offered them to Tom for medicinal purposes but he politely declined.
I salvaged what food I could. There was a half full bag of store-brand doritos that I had no idea was in there. They were frightfully stale so I put them in a baking pan and baked them at 300* for 15 to 20 minutes to crisp them up. A few of them are a little brown now, but quite edible and taste as good as fresh. I think if I had kept the temperature lower, say 250* they wouldn’t have browned at all.
I found a lot of bread heels that I had forgotten about, many of which had escaped mold, so I put them in the oven along with the Doritos, in a different pan of course, and let them dry out completely so I can turn them into bread crumbs. We only use whole wheat bread or homemade 50/50 bread, so I know all the bread crumbs are 100% whole grain, or half whole grain and extra wholesome.
For lunch we had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. I used a store brand Velveeta type cheese, which the guys love in grilled cheese sandwiches. Fred and I prefer real American Cheese, but we’re completely out of that, so we fall back on velveeta which keeps in the pantry for about a year when unopened.
Which got me to thinking about Processed Cheese, which is what Velveeta is. And then I pondered the rising cost of real cheese, and how cheap processed cheese is by comparison. I can get a 2-pound block of store-brand Velveeta for as low as $3.59, which makes it about $1.80 per pound. I am currently paying $3.25 per pound for shredded cheddar, shredded mozarella and shredded Mexican blend in 2-pound bags. American cheese is almost $15 for a 5-pound block, or a little under $3 per pound. At these prices, $1.80 per pound looks pretty good. Processed cheese has less fat and fewer calories per ounce than regular cheese and it melts better too. In soups, sauces and casseroles processed cheese performs better than natural cheddar.
The only problem is that I don’t especially like it. I’ve found it more palatable when I combine it half and half with shredded cheddar, which still reduces the cost, while improving the flavor. Sort of like combining fresh milk and reconstituted milk 50-50. You get the flavor of fresh and the savings from reconstituted.
I’m not saying everyone should run out and buy a block of velveeta. It is very much a processed food which is a big strike against it right there. Still as cheap as it is, especially when compred to natural cheese, it seemed like an idea worth sharing.
Reminds me of the dreaded margarine vs. butter controversy which plagued me for nearly a decade. 😉 Y’all finally won me over by the sheer volume of letters I recieved on the subject. Sheesh! Y’all are a determined bunch. 🙂
Pray for the boys to heal quickly and for me to have strength and patience to care for them until they do.
Affectionaly, Maggie 🙂