California is getting to be a mighty expensive place to live. Yesterday I actually purchased a chuck roast and a dozen eggs and parted with $26.00 and change. When the butcher informed me that the 3 1/2 lb. roast would come to nearly $20.00, I asked if a vehicle came with it. I have to give it to him he laughed. Saying the dozen eggs in my cart were going to be nearly $5.00, he said, “well you voted for it”. What? What did I vote for? I’m Canadian, so I’m fairly sure I didn’t vote for it. However, I would be interested to understand why my eggs are now costing what my chuck roast used to and my chuck roast what I used to buy two filet mignons for. On to the next market where I usually purchase the bulk of my groceries. After an hour of poking and prodding and satisfying a handful of coupons I approached the checker. In my basket were two packages of pork chops, several types of cheese, 1/2 lb. of lunch meat, a loaf of bread, some soup makings, a few items from the produce department, a bunch of bananas and several frozen food items. The total was $118.00.
Curious about Proposition 2, once my groceries were put away I turned on my laptop. Sure enough it was overwhelmingly passed by California voters and had specifically to do with giving chickens plenty of leg room (or drumsticks in this case) in their cages. The butcher said it also required the fowl have toys. What that means I did not get answered in the piece I read about the bill. Bill, legs, the whole thing is custom made for chickens. At any rate it’s sort of a free range affair. Hence the hike in egg prices. I’m all for the chickens being comfortable but I hope this doesn’t mean spas and workout areas. Some of the birds I’ve gotten lately are already a bit tough.
A friend of mine called over the weekend. She recently downsized to a one bedroom apartment in Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County, a lovely place to be about an hour north of San Francisco. A one bedroom is her area is going for a minimum of $1,750 for a decent location. A single lady approaching retirement age, she told me she is looking at actually retiring about the same time the Neptune Society stops by to pick her up for her final flight over the Pacific. Even with her savings and Social Security if she wishes to enjoy her golden years work will definitely be included in the package.
If you drove the 55 miles south and decided to break camp in San Francisco the price for housing is much dearer. One bedroom apartments are leasing for around $3,000 and if you need that second bedroom add another $1,000 to the pot. Whew.
Minimum wage workers can’t make it in today’s economy. The problem with this is that as soon as they raise the hourly rate to help minimum wage workers survive prices go up accordingly making them once again unable to afford what they need. I’ve noticed too there are a lot of silver haired workers in fast food restaurants lately and other typically minimum wage careers. With baby boomers cresting the hill older workers are moving into these lower paying positions. People are living longer, and working far past their retirement age. While in a chain department store yesterday, I was waited on by a lady I’m sure was well into her 80’s. I think that’s great, mind you. People with nothing to keep them busy often fall into disrepair, but I can see where young people might finding it more difficult to find these positions.
Millennials, the 16-34 group are not purchasing homes or cars at the rate the previous generation did. Some of this sluggish purchasing is due, according to those who watch such things, to delayed maturation. Growing up seems to be less attractive than when I was trying to figure out how to do it. Certainly it is a more costly proposition. School loans are prohibitive, leaving kids in massive debt once they surface their college years. Housing, as mentioned before, leaves options such a group housing often the only alternative. Looking back I’m glad I achieved adulthood when I did. One granddaughter of mine has declared she plans on still living at home at forty. From what I’ve observed this may not be far beyond the realm of possibility. A beautiful young woman loaded with potential, the world outside of the front door seems too big for her at the moment. I hope this changes soon as time has a way of passing by before you’ve noticed it in life.
At any rate, I’m getting ready to put my $20.00 chuck roast in the pot along with the $12 and carrots. Once done, I’ll make a couple of $2 eggs and a piece of toast. McDonald’s is starting to look pretty good right now.
I love, love this cheese sauce, and not just on broccoli. Sometimes I make it and dip garlic bread in it. Yum.
Broccoli With Beer Cheese Sauce
1 lb. broccoli florets
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp. butter
Salt and pepper
Place florets in steamer. Sprinkle with lemon juice and garlic salt. Cook until tender. Drain. Toss with butter and season with salt and pepper.
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup beer
1 cup Mexican style cheese, shredded
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
Salt and pepper
1/2 Tbsp. lemon zest
Melt butter over medium heat in saucepan. Whisk in flour. Cook for 1 min. Whisk in broth and milk. Cook and stir until mixture is thick and smooth. Whisk in beer and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Add Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 10 mins. Remove from heat.
Serve over Broccoli sprinkled with lemon zest and paprika.