Monday, January 12, 2009

I am... a very thrifty broad

I've been back in New York for exactly a week after the holidays, which were passed in Norway, and I've spent most of that time answering phones for Corporate America.

"Thank you for calling [insert Company Name here]!"

I say that sentence a lot. I'm really glad I went to college.

Being unemployed (or I guess at least not steadily employed, since I'm temping) has made my penny-pinching muscles super flexible, and I've already come up with a ton of ways to enjoy the city without having to enjoy it too much in the form of ending up living on the streets. During the past week I've done the following low-cost, or free things:

1. Saw an amazing production of "Women Beware Women" by Thomas Middleton. (FREE, thanks to my aunt, who set me up to usher with her at the Red Bull Theater)

2. Ate an amazing greek sampler meal in Astoria (cheap, thanks to my great friend Alex, who took pity on my predicament and picked up most of the bill, but who also just really loves food pretty much about as much as I do...mmmm, tahini!)

3. Went to the Museum of the City of New York (cheap! they have a "suggested" admission price, meaning you can pay as little as you want as long as it's a penny at least. They have a great exhibit on what New York's doing to green up the city, and also an awesome video spanning all of New York's history. Did you know Canal street was actually a canal and Wall street actually a wall at one point in time!?)

4. Borrwed a book from the wonderful New York Public Library (I'm reading the New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. It's a great book, a kind of existential detective story about a guy who lives in, you guessed it, New York and sort of stumbles upon becoming a strange variety of detective).

All of this penny-pinching, of course, extends to everyday eating as well. Being the thrifty girl that I am, I pack my lunch to bring with me to work every time I go in (thank the heavens for red pepper flavored hummus for sandwiches), and then I head back to my apartment after to make dinner at home as often as I can.

Today was a dinner-at-home kind of evening.

I had some zucchini in the fridge, which inspired me to make up a new recipe and it turned out yummy!

*****
Zucchini Cream Sauce over Spaghetti
(serves 1 really hungry person, or two kind of hungry people)

1 small zucchini
1 carrot
1/2 sweet italian pepper
1 pork chop
vegetable oil
1/4 ts dried chili powder
1/2 ts dried sage
1/4 ts paprika

1 Ts butter/margerine
1 garlic clove
1 Ts flour
1-2 cups milk
1/2 buljong cube
1 ts basil
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the zucchini, carrots, italian pepper, and pork chop into pieces. Put some oil in a pan, add sage, chili, paprika. Add the meat, then the veggies, sprinkle salt and pepper over. Stir until pork is cooked through. Transfer to a bowl.

Melt the butter in the same pan, squish the garlic clove into the butter with a garlic press. Add the flour, and stir vigourously over medium heat. Add a little milk at a time, stirring til mixture is smooth and all the bumps are gone between each time. Once you have a good consistency, add basil, buljong cube, salt and pepper to taste. Add more chili powder, sage and paprika if it's boring. If it's too salty, add a little more water. Put the veggies and pork back in and boil down til the sauce is a good texture.

Serve over whole wheat spahetti!
*****

That computer in the background is for watching tv on my computer while eating. Hooray for hulu.com and free watch-anytime-you-want-tv!

Happy eating!

1 comment:

corey said...

Sounds good. I had one of those nights too, made split pea soup and watched 30 rock on Netflix. Drinking 2.99 Shiraz from Trader Joes :)