Well, Tuesday came and went with no replenishment of our grocery account, which then held $2.67. So did Wednesday. I called The Agency and was told, in a less-than-compassionate tone, that since my review form was received late, things would be delayed. Also, we needed to send in proof of income, which involved finding pay stubs, a copier, and a fax machine. So, on Thursday morning, I called to check our account balance, and it was…$2.67. But it sounds so much better when the robo-gal on the telephone says it…“Two-dollars-and…sixty-seven cents.” Another phone call, and a more congenial person on the other end of the line, who actually took the necessary information down over the telephone! Amazing! (I think the guy who answered the day before was just there to clean or something. ) The account will be replenished…tomorrow.
Fortunately, we have a bit of a cushion in the pantry; unfortunately, it’s mostly stuff we don’t eat much, so it’s a little hard to make meals out of it. Black beans, gravy, and canned fruit cocktail…even I’m hard-pressed to pull that bunch together. Also, the stuff we eat the most of, we eat most often, and the Boys are running out of snack options. The Youngest One is taking it especially hard; he has a fairly narrow range of preferences, and we’re currently out of most of them. He had a hard time last night, trying to understand WHY HADN’T I GONE GROCERY SHOPPING? and WHY WASN’T THERE ANYTHING GOOD TO EAT? These are tough questions to try and answer anytime, let alone when standing in a messy kitchen after 6 p.m. on a school night trying to improvise a hot, tasty dinner for five out of a fairly random collection of leftovers and dry goods.
I wound up making a sort of chicken-noodle cream stew. I took the remains of a crock-pot chicken from a few nights before and pulled maybe two cups’ worth of meat and spicy sauce from it; made a basic butter/flour/milk white sauce, cooked all the elbow macaroni I could find, mixed them all together, and stirred in a cup or so of frozen peas. It actually came out pretty good. My Dear Wife found a box of cake mix on an upper shelf, and improvised a delicious chocolate-cream cheese frosting, and dessert was possibly even better than dinner.