Of course. Sigh. What happened soon after I announced on last week's menu post that:
"I think I'm going to try to stock up on butter, oils and cheeses over the next few weeks in the hopes that we can have enough ration points one week for a nice ham."
Our scenarios this week:
Butter - none available for purchase
Chicken - only substandard quality available
Murphy's Law about the butter, I guess. I'll get back to that later. And the chicken was a bit of a disappointment since I've been craving fried chicken since last week (well, I pretty much perpetually crave fried chicken) and was determined to put it on the menu. Normally when I fry it at home I use boneless skinless chicken breasts but I interpreted "substandard quality" as bone-in chicken legs, which leads us to this week's menu:
Saturday: Fried chicken legs, coleslaw and mashed potatoes
Sunday: Vegetable burgers and crunchy salad (historic recipes)
Monday: Out to eat (mini-vacay - woot!)
Tuesday: Bean tostadas and (canned) corn
Wednesday: Grilled corned beef sandwiches and chips (in honor of St. Patrick's day)
Thursday: Ale-and-cheese soup with bread and baked cabbage
Friday: French toast casserole and (canned) fruit
Since butter was not an option this week I bought some stick margarine. Now, I pretty much never buy stick margarine - we usually have real butter and then a spreadable, heart-healthy blend for smearing on things (Smart Balance). Stick margarine is a bit of a mystery to me and I was thoroughly disappointed once I got the groceries home and read the nutritional information on the back of the box of margarine. Egads, all that trans fat!
And then I used some of the margarine in a meal - it soooo looked like fake butter. I mean, I know that's what it is, but the color was inconsistent throughout the bar and it gleamed in a way that real butter doesn't. It reminded me of the pretend food Sissy and Eowyn used to play with when they were younger ("What did you make me? Oh, a butter and pepper pizza with cornflakes? Yum!").
This is all very disappointing as I had already decided that baking with shortening is pretty much out because of a) all the trans fats, and b) it apparently gives TMOTH a special kind of intestinal distress that causes him to mimic the horrific gastric outbursts of the Minotaur after devouring a young Athenian offering. I had replaced some of the butter in baking recipes with canola oil but with limited success; said baked items dried out very very quickly. So I was really hoping that stick margarine would be my ace since it costs less red ration points than butter (butter is 16 points per pound whereas margarine is only 6 points per pound).
And today I was reminded of another reason to stay away from the trans fats...the cholesterol report from last week's blood donation arrived. Ugh. It's creeping up to the line that if you get over it the doctors raise an eyebrow and start talking to you about statins if you don't change your diet. So change my diet I must. I'm pretty happy with near-vegetarian fare, and so is Eowyn. But TMOTH and Sissy? They'd be happy to live on a meat-heavy diet. Somehow we have to strike a compromise.
Either way, it looks like I'm stuck needing trans-fat free butter (in moderate quantities, of course), even if it does cost 16 points per pound.
Knowledge is power. But sometimes it just a real pain in the ass.