It’s Meal Plan Time! I am so excited about this week–because there really isn’t much going on. Last week was just straight out, all day, every day, all week. I am exhausted. So a quiet calmer week is just what the doctor ordered. Especially if this blasted snow we got last night melts like it’s supposed to and we get up into the mid to high 50’s by the end of the week. (Welcome to spring in NY)
1. Piano lessons and scouts. No Olympics of the Mind, no play rehearsals, no doctors appointments. . . ahhhh. Of course Yankee Bill still has pool one night but I can deal with that. On Saturday Yankee Bill and I have a fancy dinner to attend and my Mom is watching the kids. Shaping up to be a nice week.
2. In the fridge I’ve got: Salad fixings, beef cracklings (from rendering tallow), eggs, rice, spinach, bacon, and hotdogs. In the basement I’ve got my home canned items, potatoes from our buddy’s father’s farm (still) and onions. In the freezer we’ve not only got pork, venison and beef, but also home frozen corn and snow peas.
3. I continue to work on teaching the kiddos to cook. Since this is a quieter week I should have some time to spend letting them muddle their way through a recipe each. I asked Buddy this morning what he’d like to try making this week and he chose spaghetti, which is pretty easy–even if we sautee up our own onion & sausage to add. Princess and I saw a recipe in a kids cookbook from the 1980’s that I found this weekend at the thriftstore that she wanted to try–it’s a meatloaf that you then “frost” with mashed potatoes and melt some cheese on. So we’ll see about adding that in as well. My goal really is to have them each proficient at a few meals. It’s not only a great life skill but it means that occasionally I can ask for help and have them start or completely make dinner.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Corndog Casserole, Green Beans and Home-canned Peaches
The last two times I’ve put hotdog related dishes on the menu things have happened to preempt the meals. So I’ve still got 9 hotdogs sitting in the fridge. I HATE wasting food (although I still do it more often then I’d like) so I WILL use the dang things up this week. I had planned on making the corndog casserole again so that I could photograph it and share the recipe, so that made the decision easy. I’ll use green beans and peaches (because corn dog casserole and just green beans somehow doesn’t seem like enough) as sides.
Tuesday: Venison Fried Rice with Snow Peas
This will use up the leftover rice and some of the veggies in the fridge. If there aren’t enough odds and ends I’ll rehydrate some mixed vegetables to use too. Although the meat, rice and veggies really make a one dish meal, I’ll saute some of my home frozen snow peas and toss them with a bit of soy & sesame oil too.
This is my venison meal for the week.
Wednesday: Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Green Salad and Garlic Bread
Buddy picked spaghetti for his meal. We’ll use home canned sauce but bump it up a notch by using some of the Italian sausage from our half pig and adding a bunch of onion (which I LOVE in my spaghetti sauce). That will be some very basic frying skills, along with just warming up the sauce on the stove and boiling the spaghetti. Either Princess or I will make the green salad, and if I get around to making bread today we’ll turn some of it into garlic bread. If not we’ll just skip that part-it isn’t as if the pasta doesn’t already provide plenty of carbs.
This is my pork meal for the week.
Thursday: “Frosted” Meatloaf with Sauteed Carrots
We found this recipe in the circa 1982 “Better Homes and Garden Cookbook for Kids” that I picked up this weekend. Looks like a basic meatloaf cooked, then spread with mashed potatoes and returned to the oven to sort of brown with some cheese on top. Princess can handle it with a tiny bit of supervision (mostly because I feel like I still need to supervise, not because she actually needs much in the way of help). That’s the starch and the protein already so we just need a vegetable. I always have carrots so I figure that would be a nice colorful side either sauteed or steamed.
This is my beef meal for the week.
Friday: Tuna Melts, 3 Bean Salad and French Fries
Here I am at Friday with no fish meal, no soup meal, no meatless meal and no bean meal on the plan yet. ACK. So trying to knock two things out without getting too complicated–I figure tuna melts (which are one of those things I always forget about and then always think “hmm, that was GOOD” when I eat them) and three bean salad (slipping my beans in as a side). Finally since I found my Fry Daddy the other day and have rendered beef tallow I’ll make fries. I promised the kids I’d make them REAL french fries done in beef fat–which while not the healthiest thing out there, is definitely one of the tastiest things out there!
This is my fish and bean meal.
Saturday: Out for Dinner
Bill and I are going out and Grandma is watching the kids.
Sunday: Breakfast for Dinner
Waffles most likely–but I could do omelets. Either way, it’s a meatless meal. I’m really stretching it this week and I didn’t even fit in a soup!
This is my meatless meal for the week.
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .