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hello & welcome to my first blog post from Australia......the US economy and rising oil prices, along with our own depressed economy have had an effect on our pockets over here in Australia. Thankfully, just before Christmas, our gas prices dropped slightly and we had two small consecutive interest rate cuts. That put some extra jangle in our pockets for Christmas craziness (yay to shopping)!
Anyway, being a familY of fouR + puppy we've been watching our dollars so Mr K thought he was being thrifty husband by buying 'storebrand' spaghetti simmer sauce on his way home from work last night. I had usual migraine (yuk!) and just wanted to throw some mincemeat and sauce in a pot. Alas, when I added the 'sauce' it was but a watery tomato paste.....oh what to do??? Mr K looked sheepishly over my shoulder and said, "you might like to drain some of that water off the mincemeat." My look sent him scurrying back to his remote and Crown Lager beer, as I screeched in full migraine flight, "I HAVE DRAINED IT-YOU GRABBED THE CHEAP SAUCE!!"

My first instinct was to throw the lot into the garbage can and let every man (and puppy) fend for himself whilst I retreated to the peace and serenity of my airconditioned bedroom suite (also known as 'the cave'). But I dredged up my Mothering instinct through my migraine haze and rose to the challenge of somehow turning this 'slop' into an edible, delectable dish for my cubs and Mr K! Amazing what you can do under pressure, avec migraine, in 80% humidity (we live in a tropical Australian State called Queensland.....kind of a laidback Miami, Florida) with a few basic ingredients.

I knew I was onto a winner when, after about 10 minutes, Buddy, our Bison Frise pup, came dancing into the kitchen on his hind legs, nose in the air.....aha, I've passed the sniff must SMELL ok! Next the TASTE test....only one teen for this job, my 12 year old son, JK. The reason being that, as you know, teen boys don't actually EAT, they inhale their food, without it touching their insides, so I figured if it tasted bad, it really wouldn't harm him....well, not too much anyway! Yep, sure enough, INHALE, INHALE, SNORT, MORE, INHALE, GRUNT, YUP. And there it was, the passing of the INHALE test. Now I knew I could safely dish it up to our daughter Miss K and to Mr K (who would not DARE say it was anything other than great after his CHEAP SAUCE EFFORT!)

As we settled down, da 'K family' + puppy, to eat our spagbol conFUSED dish and to watch Tyra and America's Next Top Model (yes, ok we are addicted), I choke, not on my dinner, but on having to admit to Mr K, that in these tough economic times, he has forced me to come up with a tasty, delectable, ECONOMICAL dish with his CHEAP SAUCE!!

FYI, here are my ingredients and what it cost me in Australian dollars (US.70c=approx. AU$1):

'Da K Family' Spag Bol conFUSED Dinner:

*800 gms lean mincemeat AU$9.00, *Mr K's storebrand spaghetti simmer sauce AU$2.00

*stir in 400gm tin Heinz shaghetti in tomato sauce AU$1.89 *6 drops tabasco sauce *salt to taste

*grated tasty cheese grilled on top *serve on spaghetti, pasta or rice

*Cost per person: approx AU$ 4.25


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