Christmas is almost here! Woohoo! But that doesn’t mean that meal planning goes out the door. It actually means that it is even more important to think ahead and make sure that amidst all the fun and chaos everyone gets fed without Mama turning into a wreck.
1. It’s a regular, full week of school and work this week, so we have all the regularly scheduled meetings and lessons. Dance Mon & Wed, Scouts on Wed, Pool on Wed–plus Yankee Bill has another meeting on Tuesday and the kiddos and I have pageant rehearsal on Saturday.
2. My Dad and my Mom are both coming into town for the holidays. Dad on Thurs, or maybe Fri (and staying with my brother) my Mom most likely on Sat and staying at her house here. Despite the fact that Dad & Bro will be 30 min away, we of course will all want to be spending time as a family hanging out and enjoying meals. After a quick phone pow-wow, we think we have the basics ironed out as far as when we’ll be planning on having meals together and when not.
3. We’ve got some special holiday activities to work in to our timeframe…like the pageant rehearsal and pageant, our annual gingerbread house decorating extravaganza, Christmas eve dinner. . . you get the idea.
4. The same vegetables I’ve been mentioning are out in the cold frames and winter garden: Chard. Kale. Carrots. Lettuce. Bok Choy. We’ve got several dozen eggs in the fridge, and plenty of pork and venison in the freezer.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Cream of Mushroom Soup and Roast Beef Sandwiches
Princess spent the night at a friends house this weekend. The Dad and I enjoy chatting–he’s into homestead-y kind of things as well as being a chef. At work they had accidentally had shitake mushrooms delivered instead of button mushrooms. The vendor fixed the issue, but left him the “mistake” mushrooms. He’s the only one in the family who eats them, so he asked if I wanted any. I told him sure and offered to dehydrate the rest for him so he could store them easily. Isn’t that a b0nus!
Anyway-when I was prepping the mushrooms for the dehydrator I ended up with a lot of stem pieces that were a bit tough that I cut off. I figured I can dice them up very very small, saute them in butter and use them for Cream of Mushroom Soup (along with a few lonely button mushrooms lurking in my crisper drawer). I will pair the soup with some roast beef sandwiches made of the lunch meat I picked up at the Mennonite market this weekend.
This is my soup meal for the week.
Tuesday: Venison Stirfry over Rice
I’ll just toss together a quick stirfry made of venison, carrots, mizuna and onions and serve it over rice.
This is my venison meal for the week.
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Pork Chops, Tossed Salad and Rice
The pork chops are from our 1/2 pig. I’ll probably pour something simple over the top–salsa, “cream of” or BBQ sauce–and just let it cook. I’ll pair it with some tossed salad including a bit of salad mix I bought this weekend, greens from the cold frame, carrots from the garden, and dried cherry tomatoes. The rice will be planned overs (as opposed to “left” overs) from Tue night.
This is my p0rk meal for the week.
Thursday: Old Fashioned Salmon Loaf with Cajun Hollandaise Sauce, Roasted Potatoes, and Steamed Radish Pods
It’s been a while since I’ve made my Old Fashioned Salmon Loaf. I like to pair it with a Mock Hollandaise Sauce spiced up with some Cajun spices. I’ve got a ton of potatoes left downstairs from our buddy who’s dad planted like 800 lbs of potatoes (don’t ask), so I’ll peel those (they are greening a bit, so can’t leave the skins on), quarter them, toss with some oil & spices and roast them in the oven while the rest of dinner is also cooking. The radish pods were steam blanched & frozen this summer-I just have to warm them up.
This is my fish meal for the week.
Friday: Butternut Stuffed Shells, Carrot & Jerusalem Artichoke Slaw and Stewed Greens
Buddy was just requesting my Butternut Stuffed Shells recipe over the weekend, so I thought I’d fit it in! I’ll grab the garden fork and dig up a few carrots from the main garden and a few Jerusalem Artichokes from their patch. Just shred and toss with some salt and dressing. The stewed greens will be either Kale from the garden or canned Lambsquarter from this summer.
This is my meatless meal for the week.
Saturday: Roast Chicken, Gravy, Timesaver Twice Baked Potatoes and Salad.
Since we’ve got family over a roast chicken just sounds nice. Plus it’s cheap–I know I can pick a good sized one up from the local grocery for much less than a dollar a pound. I’ll make homemade gravy from the drippings, pull some of the Time Saver Twice Baked Potatoes out of the freezer and then make another salad pretty much the same as the one from Wednesday.
Sunday: Wanna-be Wendy’s Chili with Sweet Northern Cornbread
We’ve got a lot going on Saturday–so I think a crockpot meal is the way to go. That way I can have it cooking without having to pay any attention to it, and it will be ready regardless of when we finish up our Saturday afternoon pre holiday activities. I settled on Wanna-be Wendy’s Chili since everyone likes it (and anyway, I needed a bean meal!) of course you can’t have chili without your Sweet Northern Cornbread!
This is my bean meal for the week.
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .