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Have you heard the one about the homeschooling family that lives on less than $22K a year in an area that costs above 100% (116%) of the National CoL Index?

I haven't quite figured out why so many people still persist in perpetuating the myth that living on a single income and homeschooling on a dime aren't possible. I can only suppose these are people who can't imagine life without a daily trip to Starbucks and dinner out several times a week. The people who actually shop at malls (*shudder*) and think "Brand Name = Best". The people who really live by the "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality.

That? Would not be us!

Welcome to our world. We cook from scratch. Buy from thrift stores. Find 95% of our homeschool materials for free. This is my blog and this is how we do it.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Cheap Beans & Rice.

Cajun Beans and Rice
This recipe works well for kidney, red, or black beans.

1 lb. dried beans
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb. sausage, (kielbasa or other flavor of choice) cut into bite-size pieces
Cajun seasoning, such as Chachere's, or hot sauce to taste
Hot cooked rice

Wash the beans and put in a bowl. Cover with water and cover bowl. Leave to soak over night. In the morning, drain the beans and wash again.

Put the beans in a sturdy dutch-oven pot, add remaining ingredients, and add enough water to cover all. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. The beans will need to cook for several hours. Stir occasionally, and add more water, a cup at a time, as needed.

When the beans have cooked down to a very thick gravy-like consistency, they're ready to eat. Serve over the rice.

This is not a "pretty" meal. My kids call it Bean Glop, but they *love* it. We serve it with homemade cornbread for a very filling meal.

Just to note: The original recipe, which was for New Orleans style Red Beans and Rice, also called for "salt and pepper to taste". If you use the Cajun seasoning, as we do, you do not need salt, or pepper. In fact, you want to be careful how much seasoning you add because it has a high salt content. If, however, you use hot sauce, you can add salt and pepper too, if desired.

This recipe feeds my family of four, with enough left over to be lunch for 2 people. At 6 servings, this meal, including the cornbread, costs about .60 cents a serving.

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