Frugality trumps snobbiness

When you write about food, you often end up eating your words.

So, here I am, eating crow.

I have previously denigrated cooking with canned soup. Visions of gloppy, ersatz chicken divan from my college days drove me to it.

And, huge confession, I have never liked that green been casserole made with canned onion rings.

There, said and done.

Now, on to the crow.

The other night, as I was reorganizing kitchen cabinets and doing inventory for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I came upon the last three items inherited from my late mother’s overstocked kitchen. Two cans of cream of mushroom soup and one can of cheddar cheese soup.

She would come back with a vengeance if those cans weren’t used. And it was the night before payday.

So, frugality won out.

Had: three pieces of bacon, two tiny homegrown tomatoes, chives growing in the windowbox, a pack of sour cream from a fast food restaurant, cheddar soup.

Bought: two Russet potatoes, a carton of vegetable broth and a bag of pre-washed, pre-cut collards.

We had a fine dinner of cheese-covered loaded potatoes with a side of greens in a healthy broth.

Frugality is a tough, but fair mistress.

Crow Potatoes

2 small Russet potatoes, baked

1 can cheddar cheese soup

1/4 cup vegetable broth

2-3 slices bacon

1 large or two small tomatoes, diced

sour cream


Cook bacon and crumble.

Heat the soup and broth to boiling, lower heat and simmer 1-2 minutes.

Split potatoes and top with cheese, bacon, tomatoes, chives and sour cream.

For collards: bring to a boil – 1 cup of vegetable broth, 1/4 cup water, 1 Tbsp. sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

Add well-washed greens, cover, lower heat and simmer 20 minutes. Pour greens and broth into bowls. Splash with a generous dash of rice vinegar. The broth is so good, it’s drinkable.





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