Everyone in this house has a schedule. The kids all attend school or college, plus work part-time jobs, and then have homework or activities which crisscross with my work schedule, travel time, exercise breaks, and errand running. It’s a treat when we all sit down together to eat. Even that is a rare event.
Sometimes I don’t feel like cooking a big meal, especially when it’s just me at the table and a bunch of neatly boxed dinner plates in the fridge waiting for teens to stagger home and pop them into the microwave. There are just some things that taste better fresh and even my new microwave still has issues with reheating meals evenly. I’ll blame it on the different density and moisture content of beef, sweet potato casserole, and green beans. I needed to find something that would keep warm for a long time without overcooking. Maybe something I could keep in a slow cooker or on a very low simmer on the stove.
My plan is to make more soup.
Yesterday I dug into the depths of the dry goods cabinet and pulled out a package of Frontier Soups Corn Chowder I bought at Whole Foods about a year ago. I don’t know why these things collect in my cabinet but when I need some inspiration I can usually find something hiding behind the jars of spaghetti sauce, containers of black olives, and cans of crushed pineapple. As I’ve said before, the kids and I could survive for a while if society suddenly imploded.
Side note: You may be wondering why a single mom on a budget is trolling the aisles in Whole Foods, a store not known for bargain pricing. Every once in a while they will surprise me with a great weekly sale item. I recently picked up a container of raspberries for $1. Normally I would hit up Costco for my big bin of bargain berries but this time I only needed a handful of raspberries for a potluck dessert. I’m lucky enough to have a Whole Foods close by and in a shopping center where I usually stop for some other errands.
Getting back to my Corn Chowder….
Yes, I had potatoes. Yes, I had enough chicken broth. Yes, I even had (super yummy) heavy cream (go to Costco for this!) so I broke out the big pot and made a batch. For those of you wondering if $7 a bag for soup is worth it, I say yes.
Another side note: The Frontier Soups website lists the cost at $7 per bag but I got my bag under $6. Maybe it was on sale? I don’t remember but I see that I wrote $5.95 on the bag label for some reason. I could have been picking this up for someone else… who knows. I’m getting older and the mind is the first thing to go.
Those of you looking for a budget breakdown, here it is:
- $6 – Corn Chowder soup mix
- $1 – for 1lb of potatoes (2-3 small- to regular-sized)
- $2 – for 2 cups of heavy cream (I’m rounding up. I think the Qt. container cost me less than $4)
Total cost for 12 one cup servings? $9. Or 75₵ per serving. Pretty good for a fall meal. I guess if I was feeling especially loving, I could have thrown in a cup or so of diced chicken or a bit of mixed vegetables, but why mess with perfection? I did make up a quick batch of buttermilk biscuits to go along side, but even those were courtesy of Pillsbury.
The great thing? That chowder simmered away for 3 hours without any loss of quality or taste.
And there are leftovers for lunch today.