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Frugal Stories
Town Woman's Harvest

Living in the suburbs on land that is definitely not that productive pushes me to do my "harvest" at Walmart.  Of course, this necessitates a careful watching for bargains in food and other articles and also, requires a great amount of self-control to buy only those things.  Otherwise, a well meaning practice of saving can go out the window, so to speak.  I am especially vigilant before and after the holidays.  A service to the customer is given before the holiday and sales after the holiday, I suppose, are to get rid of what didn't sell.

Yesterday there was a sale on field corn.  It is my guess some farmer must have brought it in.  It wasn't  the classy, packaged corn on the cob sold in the frozen food refrigerators. This was with the husks. The sale was 10 ears for a dollar. After the ears are shucked and broken in half this makes a serving of corn on the cob to cost only five cents.  Quite a lot cheaper than the already cleaned frozen ears. If you wish you can blanche the corn in hot water for a few minutes to kill bacteria.  I don't because we usually eat it before any bacteria has time to grow.  :)

Saving the husks is a habit of mine because I make my own version of tamales with them by simply putting them in a pan, speading a thin corn meal mixture over, a layer of partially cooked ground meat, another layer of corn meal mixture.  On top goes another layer of husks and then baked in the oven until the meat and cornmeal is done. Like tamales the husk isn't eaten but it does give flavor and nutrients to the dish.

The silk in the picture doesn't show up much but I save this, too, in the freezer.  Corn silk is a good herb and adds to a vegetable soup.  I take scissors and cut it up in to very short pieces. No one wants "hair" in their food, so be sure to cut it thoroughly into very short pieces.

Pow-Wow will be coming up and saving these bargains comes in handy for feeding a crowd. I'm always looking forward to this and sometimes I get over exuberant with my savings on food.  One year we had a huge crowd of visitors so I made frybread in very small pieces. My brother kidded me by saying, "Tell sister I shore (sure) enjoyed the popcorn frybread." There was enough to go around,  though.

If you look closely you can see a jar of pickles my daughter canned from her garden. I'm as proud of that as if it were a diamond ring.  She watched, learned and is practicing good, frugal habits and if I die tomorrow I will have left her something, just as my Mom and Grandmother left me these practices.  Just an observation, the fun of matching wits with giants makes a housewife's life better than going to bingo or the casino.

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