Monday, November 10, 2008

Shove it in Your Face! No frozen food edition

La Cucina Povera?

Money's been a little tight and time has been all too short these last few weeks. My bookstore has been cutting payroll and Tiffany's was without a job for a few weeks, so money is tight. On top of that I'm working an unpaid internship at a prestigious scholarly press and Tiffany is in school full-time. The new time and budget constraints have made cooking very hard and challenged my creativity.

So looked to La Cucina Povera, the Italian cuisine of the poor. Now, "Cucina Povera" is hard to to define. I suppose it's more a style cooking than a set of recipes, but in Italy it means getting the absolute most out of almost nothing. (Check out what Apartment Therapy and Food & Wine have to say about it here.) This week it means buying less meat from cheaper cuts and making it last longer, drinking less wine, getting vegetables from the cheap end of the farmers market, and using what you already have rather than buying something new. It also means eating a lot of chickpeas.

Monday: Beef shin stew, with polenta and wilted mustard greens. Red Chuck.
Tuesday: Leftover stew risotto and salad. White Chuck.
Wednesday Sicilian-style chickpeas and greens. Pabst!
Thursday: Deep-fried leftover-stew risotto leftovers. Pabst!
Friday: Simple pizza. Turley "Juvenile" Zinfandel, 2006. (A very kind gift from my father.)
Saturday: Fresh, seasonal, whatever.

Breakfast: Toast (homemade bread!) and jam (homemade from backyard plums!)
Lunches: Homemade hummus and homemade bread.