photo credit: Mmm… pork tenderloin and mashed potatoes via photopin (license)
You know how being in love makes you try new things? How it makes difficult things seem possible? How it makes you a little stupid?
Sometimes I feel that way about frugality.
I’m always looking for new ways to shave cents off our bills. Our biggest hurdle is our grocery bill. Right now we spend $800 a month on food for two people. While this is still a lot of money (we’re working on it!), a year ago our costs were over $1,000 a month. Thanks to our new shopping and cooking habits, we were able to cut down our food expenses. We’re working on decreasing our costs even further, because, hey, $800 is no small sum.
Because of this, I try to get creative in the kitchen to save money.
Sometimes my little “experiments” become favorite new dishes. Other times they become horrific “oh god why” moments.
This is an “oh god why” moment and what I learned from it.
How We Made “Gwheyvy:” A Lesson
Mr. Picky Pincher and I decided to make good use of extra steaks by making fried steak fingers. We also made mashed potatoes and purple hull peas. For those of you who are steak finger fans, you know the dish isn’t complete without a good, home style Gravy.
But we were light on supplies and did not have any Milk. Milk is quite necessary to making gravy.
Mr. Picky Pincher and I put our hands on our chins and fretted about having a subpar set of steak fingers without gravy. We thought about making gravy with water, but it didn’t seem right. We reasoned that the water wouldn’t thicken the mixture, resulting in runny gravy.
Then a lightbulb came on in my head. That morning I had just strained yogurt and baked bread with the leftover Whey. Fortunately the yogurt produced quite a bit of whey and I had an entire container sitting in the fridge.
“Hey, could we try using the whey instead of the milk,” I offered.
Mr. Picky Pincher nodded and frowned, “I mean, I’m not sure how that’s going to taste.”
“Well, it’s a derivative of milk, so it’s gotta be nearly the same thing as putting milk in gravy,” I said.
We convinced ourselves of the science behind this decision, so we made a concoction now known as “Gwheyvy.”
Why You Should Never Make “Gwheyvy”
We did make the gravy. And by God, it looked like gravy.
Then we got out the tasting spoons and it all went to hell. We tasted the gravy. It looked like gravy, but it tasted like yogurt with salt and pepper. It took a few tastes for us to declare that it was horrifying.
As it turns out, whey and milk are not the same thing. Not even close. The whey has a very tangy taste from the fermentation process that makes gravy taste very, very weird.
The Lesson Here
We had a good laugh about our kitchen faux pas. Mistakes are bound to happen when you try anything new or experimental. The same holds true for unlearning lifelong habits of consumerism. Don’t be afraid to take chances on your own frugal journey. Consider mistakes as free lessons. After all, you’ll never know until you try.
As for me, “Gwheyvy” won’t be back on the menu again, but it gave us a lot of laughs.
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