Monday, September 19, 2011

Meatless Monday: How We Met the Challenge

Well, we did it! My friend Pam and I successfully prepared four items for four people with a total estimated cost of $20.

For those who are new to the blog or catching up on the news, Pam and I had signed the pledge to host such a meal in Slow Food USA’s $5 Challenge on Saturday night.

The menu — salad, soup, cornbread, peach pie — had taken careful planning. Pam’s fresh tomato, cucumber and green salad was a little pricey, so she balanced the cost with a less expensive curried zucchini soup. 

Since the meal was at Pam’s, it was easiest for me to be responsible for the carbs. My blue Danish mixing bowl got quite a workout over the course of the afternoon. The fresh peach pie was over budget with the fruit alone about $4.50. And when I opted to use butter for the crust, it was closer to a $7.00 pie. I did better with the cornbread, using about $3.00 worth of ingredients, including a politically correct egg, a cup of buttermilk, and 1/4 cup of local honey. 

On Saturday evening it was far too cold to sit outside. We dined indoors by candlelight and used the Fall placemats. We ate slowly and talked for hours about politics, religion, and life in general. We didn’t solve the world’s problems, but we had a delicious meal and a good time.

We were so excited that we forgot all about taking photos until most of the main course was gone! So you will have to settle for a photo of the pie with the ceramic black bird baked inside (to let out the steam).

Is it legal to deduct the cost of the leftovers from the total I wonder? With half a pie and 1/3 of the cornbread left, maybe we could have splurged for a little vanilla ice cream to turn naked pie into à la mode… 

I often blog on food or food issues on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal  health and the health of our planet.”

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