Saturday, April 3, 2010

What's in Store for April

Ahh, April. Springlike, full of unpredictable weather, and the month when I help celebrate the most birthdays of the year. Seriously! Almost everyone I know has a birthday in the first 2 weeks of April including my mom and two of my best friends (even StuKitty celebrates his kitty birthday this month!). Needless to say, I'm very grateful that my friends and family are understanding of my situation and know I can't afford gifts for everyone; they're usually content with me cooking something special for them or doing some other homemade crafty type thing.

But aside from all this birthday hullabaloo, April is also the month that brings us all sorts of wonderful new produce in this region, particularly asparagus. Every April, the city of Stockton offers the only reason I find to go there besides visiting some old friends: the Stockton Asparagus Festival. From gourmet dishes to everyone's favorite, the deep fried asparagus spears, this 3 day festival celebrates all things asparagus related and offers many fun family activities for everyone to enjoy. I haven't been to one in awhile because I can't really get there sans vehicle, but that doesn't mean I can't have my own asparagus fest here at Chez Poor Girl!

Here's what else is coming to PGEW this month:

~ As I mentioned in the Gnocchi Salad post, my food stamp cushion is no longer and I'm so behind on all bills & rent that I won't be able to go food shopping for at least 3 weeks (hopefully sooner if I can sell a few things!), so expect plenty of bare bones recipes! In a way, I'm looking forward to the challenge, as it really forces me to get as creative and resourceful as I possibly can. Though I could use some more legumes, I'm pretty well-stocked on most grains, so that'll help me stretch things a bit. Everyone could use a whole grain boost every now & then, so it'll be fun to experiment with these for sure. And come to think of it, I haven't had one of my favorite bare bones recipes in a long time - the Farro & Red Beans with Caramelized Onions - so I may have to bring that back into regular rotation as it's a good one.

~ Speaking of food stamps, my post on that experience will finally be posted, now that I've finally done enough research to get some true stats & figures for everyone. One thing is posting my own rant about how I feel the system sometimes fails us, another is to show some facts & numbers to back all that up. Don't worry, it's not all a rant! I'm supremely grateful for the help I was able to get for the past couple of months and was able to do wonders with the aid I was given; I just wish certain things about the system could be streamlined a bit so that those who need the aid can actually get it.

~ I'm hoping to bring back the $25 Shopping Cart towards the latter half of this month! It's been awhile since I've done one of these, mainly because of the bad weather & my poor health. Makes it kinda hard to head to different stores that are far away when it's all stormy and gross. I have 3 very different places in mind for this month's feature, so we'll see which one I end up choosing!

~ From the feedback I got in last month's What's In Store, I've decided I'll incorporate potential recipes into my $25 Shopping Cart features from now on. I feel it's the best way for me to show what I buy and what I do with it without being totally redundant. I think I did this in my very first $25 Shopping Cart post, and I might expand on what I did there to give some more specific examples of what one can do with what one buys (and has on hand). Should be fun!

~ Easter's tomorrow and though it'll be much more low key than last year (I was singing in the choir for an entire weekend last year, but sadly the pneumonia, bronchitis, and different work schedule forced me to take this season off), I still plan to treat myself to a nice brunch and that bottle of wine I've been staring at ALL LENT! It'll be nice to enjoy some vino again after such a long hiatus.

That's about it for now! I'd love to hear what all of you will be doing/having for Easter brunch and/or dinner, so please feel free to share the love! Have a fabulous April!


  1. Wow! Wishing you an upswing in health and finances!

    When I was with my son's dad and we lived in Oregon, we were literally $100 over the maximum income limit for food stamps. It was awful...not enough money to feed my family but too much to qualify for help. :( Sigh...

  2. EXACTLY!!! That's where I stand right now! They decided to cut me off instantly because I now have the temp assignment, but they're not taking into account my actual finances and the fact that I don't get to take home my GROSS pay, which is what they focus on. Not cool, considering no one ever gets to keep their gross amount! *sigh* indeed...

  3. I literally live off of frozen tostinos pizzas( the ones that are 1.25), mac and cheese, and those lipton packets of flavored rice or noodles-actually, i think they are knorr now) for half the month because i can't afford to get better things. I make too much for food stamps as well and don't have a problem with it, but it would definitely help me eat healthier when i can't even afford to buy salad.

  4. Sarah, you can totally spend that money on REAL food instead! I swear you can do wonders if you follow some of my tips, especially with the $25 Shopping Cart feature. Buy whole ingredients v. premade stuff and you can do a lot more with healthier ingredients. If you have a discount grocery store in your area (or a Trader Joe's), you can eat a lot better than Tostino's!

    Do I need to come over there and make over your shopping cart? ;)

  5. I'm excited for the $25 Shopping Cart again! the Bravo Supermarket near where I live does a "spend $100, get free delivery" deal that unfortunately I have to go for -- I live almost two miles away and don't have a car. but it helps me stock up for a month, and it's great to have some advice in mind as I shop. I'm just sad they don't sell all these lovely grains you make a staple of your diet...



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