2 Sick Kids

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 🙂



Filed under Low Cost Foods

22 responses to “2 Sick Kids

  1. djac99

    Congratulations on your lowest-weight milestone! 200.5 looks pretty good on those of us who are on the tall side.

  2. Sadly, I am closer to short than tall. 🙂 Fred says I’m shrinking and if I keep it up he won’t hardly recognize me. hee! now that sounds good to me.

  3. I think that the mold would have been good for them! 🙂 I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  4. Hey, the feed works! Yippee!

    It always feels good to start with a fresh pantry.

    Lucky for us, our library is trading donated food for late fees this week, so I get to start out with a clean slate on both counts.

  5. Yay! What a relief. I wish our library would do that, I owe about $7 today and if I don’t get 9 books back tomorrow, I’ll owe for them too. Ugh!

  6. Gilana

    Hi, Maggie!
    I’m with you on the whole cheese thing. It IS too expensive right now. At least processed cheese does a great job texture-wise, if not in flavor. And the flavor can be helped. In that department, 50/50 processed cheese and store-brand salsa melted together improves both the processed cheese and the salsa. That also makes a good base for soup, with the addition of broth/water, veggies, etc. I live in Manhattan and I am currently dining on ramen noodles and store brand frozen veggies that were on sale. Dairy products have gone up astronomically in the last few years, but now you’ve reminded me that I can buy an orange block of processed stuff for “emergencies.”

  7. Mrs Maggie have you thought of a message board for your fans? 🙂

  8. Cheaper or not, I don’t think I could use processed cheese. Guess it’s good we don’t usually use a lot of cheese! 🙂

    I am praying that the boys get better soon, and that you and Fred stay healthy!

  9. Prayed for your boys. Hugs to you.

  10. THanks Mama Maggie. Hugs & Love right back at ‘cha. :)M

  11. I have Amanda, 🙂 it’s called Prairie Homemaker. It’s my official message board, only I haven’t been there much with all the new website chores. Mel ownes PH and she is a lovely woman with a great deal of wisdom under her belt.

    Years ago I tried doing a message board on my own, but it’s too hard for me to maintain. I gave my board to Mel and she’s been doing it ever since. PH and FA are sister sites, ’cause Mama Mel and Miss Maggie are sister chicks.

  12. Hi Gilana, I’m right there with you. Cost is pretty significant to us and the cheapness of Processed Cheese is tempting and relatively nutritious. Not too bad a bagain, especially when times are tight.

  13. Oh how wonderful! thank you! I will go sign up now! 🙂

  14. Hope the boys are getting better, babe! I am missing you all but Gramps is terrified that he will get a germ and be sick on the job. Please call your mother when you get the chance. I miss hearing you but enjoy the computer updates. I can just see you all cleaning out the cabinet in my mind’s eye. cyber hugs all around, your very own mama.

  15. Roxanna Meiske

    Sorry the boys are sick. Hope both are better soon and that you do not catch the germ.
    I too use Velveeta cheese for the day care children. The cost can not be matched with ‘real’ cheese. I feed 8-10 children a day. It has to be cost effective; yet something children will eat.
    I have really enjoyed the new site. Hillbilly Housewife is nice too, but different as it should be. I am just glad I found you again. Take care and may God bless. Roxie

  16. julie

    Every time I go to the store and look for american cheese slices, all I can find is pasturized cheese product so that’s all I get. Even name brands, like Kraft and the one with the indian girl on the packaging! I guess I don’t even know what real american cheese tastes like! I do 99% of my shopping at Aldi and will occassionally stop at the Super Wal-Mart but it’s too far away from me for reference.

  17. Ok, you have yet once again Inspired me! I today will go through my cupboards lol (after dh and I go over our New Years Budget goals).

    I hope the boys feel better sooner than later, it’s no fun to be sick that is sure.

    Cheese here where I live is really expensive. Last year we could buy 600 g regularly for $5.99, for the exact same cheese they have made the block smaller, 520 g for $6.99. Crazy.

    Same with pasta noodles, last year we could get 900 g for$1.19 and now it is 750 g. for $1.69. Same brand, same color packaging etc…

    I think I will do a post about this on my blog lol.

    As always, you are such a wonderful asset to so many of us.

    Hugs to you and your family :).

  18. Cammie

    I hope your boys get better, sick children break their mother hearts.
    As for the cheese matter, we buy Tillamook because it is rennet free and – at Costco, is less than $3.50/lb.
    The story that I’ve heard behind Velveeta (and I hope this doesn’t deter you from it) is that it was originally made as a plastic explosive back in the ’50’s and then marketed as fish bait.
    And fish do love Velveeta.
    I still eat it though, they have had almost 60 years to improve their recipe.
    Well, thanks for putting out such fantastic websites and I hope that everything is back to normal soon.

  19. Lindsey

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your website, which I found today through stumbleupon. I haven’t really looked at your blog yet, and I plan to.

    I don’t share your faith, though I appreciate your approach to life and thought I’d mention my appreciation.

    Keep writing! 🙂

  20. Michelle

    Hope the clan is feeling better. Had a couple things to mention. First, my crew loves your maple nut bars. I made them as written & they were delicious (and gone within hours). I really like the font of this site, and the way things print is very nice.

    On Velveeta: For starters, I find that no generic brands are comparable. The generic Velveetas I’ve tried are rubbery and don’t taste right. I do agree that Velveeta’s cheaper than cheddar, though, and more practical in many uses. I’ve also found that the Velveeta “shreds” sold with the natural cheeses is less expensive than natural cheddar, too. It’s not the cheapest option, but certainly worth looking into in a pinch. =)

  21. Wow, didn’t know you had a blog. I went on your Old fashioned eduction to re-find where we got some information for my sons Rome report and noticed the link! What a treat.
    I agree on the cheese, it’s ridiculous! Wasn’t that long ago I could most of the time find 2 cups shredded for 1.25 or less now I can’t even find it for $2! I had a question maybe you could answer on TVP’s? Or maybe you’ve blogged on that already and I missed it. Question is, how healthy? I’ve recently read that they are terribly high in sodium and can raise blood sugar levels? Have you heard that? We’ve been eating them for years and especially love the taco flavored! If you know anything I’d appreciate the info. Thanks.

  22. Tammy

    About powdered milk. If you have lactose intolerance will it effect you the same way as the fresh milk. Also,
    has the flavor improved over the years?

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