Welcome to December, and happy Advent everyone! The chaos of Thanksgiving week (kids home, family in, 2 Thanksgivings to attend but none to host thankfully) is over and it’s time to get organized for the holiday season. And being organized this week starts with having a meal plan!
Here’s what I’ve got to plan around this week:
1. We’ve got the regularly scheduled round of Odessey of the Mind for both kids 2 nights (but not the same nights), piano lessons, pool for Yankee Bill, our monthly American Legion Riders meeting, at least one doctors appointment, a work party and I’m taking a class one day.
2. I’ve got to get out to town for a full day somewhere for basic grocery shopping and some Christmas shopping. I’ve also got a TON of stuff to do at home and work. Just really really busy.
3. I’ve still got some leeks and kale in the garden under the snow somewhere that can be used. In the fridge I’ve got a bag of carrots I purchased, and some pickled beets from a neighbor. I buy a couple of dozen eggs each week–so there are lots of those. I’ve got plenty of potatoes and onions down in the cellar, and our freezer is filling up with the 1/2 of an organic pig and the 2 deer Yankee Bill got.
4. We are hoping to decorate the tree next weekend (even if it IS the closing weekend of deer season) and it’s a family tradition to have Potato Pancakes on that night.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Crock Pot Pork Chops with Sauerkraut, Pickled Beets and Homemade Bread
I’ve got a ton of writing and housework to do today, so even though I’m home all day I just know I’m going to look at the clock at 4:30 and say “dang! I haven’t started dinner!”. To avoid that I will do a crockpot meal. The pork chops are from the organic 1/2 pig we purchase each fall, and the sauerkraut is from my first time making my own! Our lovely neighbor from across the street game me a quart of pickled beets that she made (she’s so sweet!). I already opened the jar and ate some, so we probably should finish them up. Finally I’m going to bake some sourdough bread today (I’ve actually got to get it together and set it to rise once I’m done writing this) and that will be a good “carb” side for the meal.
This is my pork meal for the week.
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs with a Salad
Here’s another super easy meal that is also super family friendly. Everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs. And it’s even easier then usual because after one of my good friend’s “freezer full of beef thawing” fiasco I canned up about 8 quarts of meatballs in broth. So it’s literally open a jar of homemade sauce, toss in the meatballs, warm up, serve over noodles. Tada! Of course we need some sort of vegetable and salad just seems to be so natural with spaghetti.
Wednesday: Venison Steaks, Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans
I want to do a side by side comparison post on cooking venison vs cooking beef-so I am defrosting some venison steaks and purchased some beef steaks (which I haven’t done in FOREVER). Wednesday is the only day I feel like I’ll have time to cook while taking in process photos this week, so Wednesday it is for the venison & beef steaks! I’ll just pan fry them to show the differences. We’ve got a ton of potatoes in the basement from our friend’s father (who plants an acre of them–for fun) so I’ll do simple roasted potatoes–which my kids LOVE–and pair it with a jar of home canned beans, maybe with some bacon in it if I’m feeling special!
This is my venison meal for the week.
Thursday: Egg Drop Soup and Vegetable Fried Rice
When I made egg drop soup a couple of weeks ago the kids and I inhaled it! It’s warm, tasty, easy and very inexpensive to make (mostly bullion and egg–which are super cheap protein). Just because I feel like it’s a rather simple soup I feel like I need to have something additional to go with it–so I’m going to make a very easy vegetable fried rice–which I’ll make extra of for lunches and as a planned leftover to use for a side on Sunday.
This is my soup meal and my meatless meal.
Friday: Homemade Pizza Hut Crust Clone Pizza
Friday is pizza day, and it wouldn’t be pizza day without my Pizza Hut Crust Clone recipe!
Saturday: Potato Pancakes and Gluhwein
This might get swapped around with Sunday–but basically it’s our traditional family meal for tree decorating night. We always celebrate the fact that Yankee Bill and I met in Germany by having food that is traditional in German Christmas Street Fairs–Potato Pancakes and hot spiced red wine (Gluhwein)
Sunday: Ginger Soy Baked Fish with Vegetable Fried Rice
This is a recipe my mom used to make when I was a kid that I loved–you can even do it in the microwave if you want. It’s very Asian with ginger, soy, mushrooms etc–so you just have to pair it with rice. It’s also a pretty quick meal to put together (fish cooks fast) so it will be good on a busy weekend.
This is my fish meal for the week.
Hmmm—I didn’t manage to get a bean meal in this week-I’ll have to do better next week!
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .