Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Food prices are going to rise…”ma nish ta na”…a Jewish sarcastic expression that is short for “Why is this night different from all other nights?”  Stop and Shop has a big ad going about “stocking up” with numerous items at 10 for $10, etc.   Is it really a bargain?  Are any of them fresh? What is worth purchasing other than Friskies 5.5 ounce cans at 24 for $10…for my cats?!

Tomatoes, for instance, are out of season and canned are best for cooking.   Plain frozen vegetables may be a better choice than fresh.   I avoid that ones in boxes as it is hard to use just the amount that you need.   There is a brand called Today’s Harvest (at Fairway) which sells them in 2-lb see through plastic bags.  Sweet yellow kernel corn was about $4 per bag.  

Fairway, although noted for high quality foods, can be a bit pricey.   Skinless, boneless chicken breasts were on sale at $1.99 lb.   My thought was that it is the least expensive for a meat or fish protein.  I can portion it out and freeze.   That really healthy stuff chicken…they had chicken backs and chicken bones, (with meat on them) each at $.99 lb.  Chicken stock, chicken soup.   Use the chicken fat from the backs for “schmaltz”.  I like frying the backs and eating the meat off the bones. 
Fresh cod fillets were going at about $4 per pound.   The least expensive fish (not much of a fish eater) and mild.   Great for making fish cakes.  Eggland’s Best were going for 2 for $3.  The price of eggs certainly vary on brands, size and whether the chickens are out exercising in the yard.  

Rice is a great staple.  Ordinary white rice may fill you up but about as good for you as white bread.  Buy a good grain or substitute grain and a small amount will serve you well.  

Bob’s Red Mill had a package of garbanzo bean flour.  A can of tahini and lemons…now I can make my own hummus.  Cook up the flour with water to make a paste.   I skipped the garlic and sprinkled it with sumac. 

Lemons…wow are they pricey.  No reconstituted lemon juice for me, though.   You’re not getting a bargain with large lemons that have thick skins.  As it turned out, Meyer lemons were almost the same price.  They are sweeter with a thin skin.   Utilize the outer skin as a zest.   Make your own lemonade. 

Think of cheese as milk that something has been done to it to produce a different texture and taste.   I know that you can’t poor milk of chicken to make it “parm” or “enjoy” Velveeta “milk”.  Will experiment to get a good and inexpensive substitute.  

Thoughts now turn to television and the big hype with this program called Downton Abbey.   When I began watching All My Children, it was already years into the soap.   It didn’t take long before I got the stories of the main characters and just kept watching.   Season 4 of DA recently started.   I looked up a guide to the characters and viewed for the first time. 

A few reasons will keep my being a fan.   There are no commercials.  It looks more “movie” and not with a camera that makes it look as if you think you’re dizzy.   The accent of England isn’t annoying…more upper class.   FYI the time period is just after WWI.   If you miss it on channel 13, you have two other PBS stations to catch them and on another night.   A rest from realty and “victim” shows. 

Just got back from seeing Diane Schuur at Birdland’s Jazz Club.  It was her first show of the 4 nights there.  I’m not sure…no pun intended…if she’s doing the rest of the performances with her All Star Band from her recent recording session.   Except for the last number, she sang seated on stools in the front.  At the other performances she will be seated at the piano. 

Schuur has been blindly singing jazz for many years and with an extremely wide vocal range.   Lots of skatting and vocal imitations of the saxophone, almost like “dueling”.   

Here are the numbers that she sang:  It’s Wonderful! ‘S Marvelous; Nice and Easy; Watch What Happens; I’ve Got You Under My Skin; How Insensitive; Here’s That Rainy Day; Didn’t We; I Remember You; I Get Along Without You Very Well; The Second Time Around; For Once In My Life; I’m In A New York State of Mind.  

You can still catch her show on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week.   Check it all out on www.birdlandjazz.com   

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