Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Family SNAP Hunger Challenge: Day 3

I didn't wake up thinking about food today. I knew what I'd be making for breakfast, and the leftovers from last night were going to be a more than adequate lunch for all 3 of us. The relief I feel in just saying that is a bit of a surprise to me. But it makes a huge difference.

I decided, after a pretty lengthy internal debate, to make waffles this morning. On the one hand, the ingredients are mostly things I've already used since Day 1; but on the other hand, I'm fortunate enough to have an electric waffle maker. So, my rationale went something like this...if I didn't have a waffle maker, but I did have kids, I still would want to be able to make them waffles once in a while. So, maybe, I might even try to find a waffle iron at a thrift shop. I know I've seen them there before. And I don't think it's at all too far fetched of an assumption.

Of course, I recognize as I write these words, that at least half of you are thinking how very useless, in the grand scheme of things, a waffle iron is. But I would counter that it's precisely in the grand scheme of things where something as small as a waffle iron, which changes the entire face and feel of an everyday meal, and makes my kids smile and maybe feel as though they're getting something a little special that morning, is where it counts most. And maybe especially under these circumstances.

That being said, the ingredients I'm using could just as easily make flat pancakes. So there you go.


BREAKFAST: Waffles with Pork Sausage Links

  • 3 c flour
  • 4 tbsp margarine
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1.5 c milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (generic brand)
  • ½ packet of self-rising yeast
  • 4 maple sausage links (generic brand)
  • 2 tsp drizzled honey
Total for Breakfast: $2.89

Surprisingly satisfying leftovers for lunch
LUNCH: Leftover Chicken and Rice Bowl

  • 3 servings of chicken and rice from last night’s dinner
  • 1 apple, sliced and sprinkled with cinnamon for each
Total for Lunch: $0.30

SNACKS: Morning and After School
  • 2 hardboiled eggs for each of the monsters
  • small snack bag of red grapes for each of them
  • 4 graham crackers for each of the 3 of us
  • 6 cashews for mama
  • 1 small cup of bad work coffee in the afternoon for mama (YAY!!!)
Total for Snacks: $1.98

DINNER: Quesadillas
  • 4 slices of turkey lunchmeat (generic brand)
  • 1 dz flour tortillas -- homemade: so…
  • 3 cups of unbleached flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 c shortening (didn't have lard available)
  • 3/4 c warm water
  • 2 c shredded cheddar cheese
Total for Dinner for 3: $7.27

DESSERT: 2 Scoops Vanilla Ice Cream Each: $0.28

1 Flintstone Vitamin each: $0.20


  • As I work to change my perception of what I'm actually doing, I'm realizing that it's not completely different from things I do normally with regard to the children. I already cook and bake for them daily. I already make every single one of their lunches so that they don't ever have to ingest that sorry excuse for sustenance at their school's cafeteria. But it's definitely more structured, and requires so much more careful planning, and the variety of fresh fruit and vegetables has certainly suffered. I can't be as creative and spontaneous with what I feed them, but their overall diet and caloric intake hasn't actually changed too much, except for the elimination of all store-bought snacks. Which, really, was solely for convenience, and, truthfully, something I'm glad to see make it's way out of our daily routine.

  •'s me who's feeling the effects most. My usual -- nearly daily -- runs to Starbucks. My grabbing a quick lunch in the cafe at work, or splurging at the farmer's market on Wednesdays, or anytime I want to go out to eat sushi or Thai or Vietnamese or tapas. Gone. My afterwork drinks. My cheeses and salsas and chips. Gone. My midnight munching on chocolate covered pomegranate seeds. My glass of wine while making dinner. Gone. Gone. Gone. And that, as selfish and self-centered as it all sounds, is what's taking its toll the most.

  • I feel like I'm being punished for something, even though I should be grateful we have enough to fill our bellies. I feel like I'm being cheated out of something, even though there's nothing actually wrong. I feel angry and frustrated, and think about the vending machine up on the 4th floor way more than I should. And trust me when I say that I realize how horrible this all sounds when there are actually families who are struggling just to maintain some basic level of nourishment. But if I don't acknowledge how this is truly affecting me, then I'm not doing myself or this project any real good.

  • And this part. THIS PART. Was definitely unexpected.

For more details, to join the challenge, or to follow other participants' posts, please visit Project Open Hand SNAP Hunger Challenge.

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