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Sunday, April 17, 2016

More dining on a budget in retirement


As I have often said in the past, dining at home during retirement doesn't have to break the bank. Watch the sales and build the menus around these items. The little potatoes were not a dollar for enough for both my wife and me.

The small tomatoes were also on sale but I had to buy a big box of the things. I've been finding ways of including them in my dinners every night. I don't want to have to toss some because they were kept too long. Tonight I grilled all the vegetables after rolling the tomatoes and potatoes about in a little garlic flavoured olive oil.

The fish is sole purchased frozen at Costco packaged in a gigantic plastic bag of a size only Costco would carry. Each fillet is individually wrapped and none has any sign of frost-burn. We keep them frozen until needed and then let them thaw in a sink filled with cold water.

I put a layer of Sole fillets in a small baking dish, topped this with a tight row of asparagus and then finished off with another layer of Sole. I brushed all with olive oil combined with the zest from one lemon. I heated the oil mixture for a couple of minutes on the top of the stove before brushing on the sole and asparagus.

The romaine lettuce was, you guessed it, on sale. We bought a three pack and I cut one head in half tonight and grilled both halves after wiping each with a little oil and vinegar dressing. Before serving, I sprinkled grated Parmesan cheese on the fish and on the romaine plus I put a few chopped chives on the fish and added a squeeze of lemon juice. (My wife grows chives in her small garden. Chives grow like weeds. We will never run short when it comes to chives.)

And how did it taste? Good, very good. And like I said it didn't break the budge.

Thanks to the strong flavour of the Parmesan, the garlic and the asparagus, we decided our red house wine would go just fine. Recently, we got a few 4 litre boxes of Peller Estates French Cross blend on sale for $30.95. You may laugh but at that price we are only paying $5.80 for a 750ml of wine. That's the amount found in most bottles. Being old enough to recall the wines available in the '60s has its advantages. For us the wine quality bar is set awfully low.

That said, I do have a nice Chateauneuf Du Pape aging in the cellar. I'll crack it open when the time is right. And yes, I got it from the sale bin at the LCBO. It wasn't cheap but it wasn't all that expensive either. It had been knocked down in the double digits. It was the last bottle in the store and was being dumped to make room for more product. It will make a fine wine to serve guests.

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