Welcome to a really, really short meal plan! As you read this (assuming you are reading this right after I publish it I guess) I am sitting in a hotel room in Bentonville Arkansas. That’s right, I’m on a blogging business trip down to the Walmart Headquarters to attend a sustainability event with 3 other members of the Walmart Moms blogging program. Should be a lot of fun–over the years these ladies have become good friends who I only get to see “in person” a few times a year. Plus you all know I really enjoy learning more about sustainability.
So how does that make it a short week for Meal Planning? Well I have learned over the years that when I’m out of town Yankee Bill will do what he will do for meals. I am so lucky to have a wonderful husband who will just pick up the slack and make things happen when I’m gone–and two grandma’s who both live less then a 1/2 mile from the house to help as well. But Yankee Bill doesn’t like to be tied down when it comes to the cooking–years ago I tried leaving detailed plans etc–and he just wound up taking the kids out for dinner a lot! Now I’ve bowed to reality–I know that at least one night when I’m gone he’ll just take them out to dinner, one night either my mom or his mom will wind up having them over to eat, and then the remainder of the time he is willing to toss a premade “family meal” like those that Banquet and Encore make into the oven for a hot meal. So that’s what I plan for.
With that in mind, these are the considerations for this week:
1. Obviously, I’m gone for several days. I get back (assuming no delays) on Wednesday afternoon. So as far as ME cooking, I only need to look at Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat & Sun.
2. I had some pork bones I had defrosted last week so I had to make them into stock over the weekend. I wound up freezing it so it wouldn’t go bad while I’m gone, but I really want to use it up this week. I’ve also got some beef stew meat I had defrosted, didn’t use and stuck back in the upstairs freezer. I want to use that as well before I forget that it’s already been defrosted once. I’ve got about a 1/4 head of cabbage left and some nice leaf lettuce that needs to be eaten before it wilts and becomes useless.
3. We wound up grilling the pork chops last week, so I’ve still got that applesauce and the apples in the fridge. I’d really rather use them up than throw them in the compost! I’ve also got about 5 open jars of various flavors of jams and fruit butters. They are taking up quite a bit of space (and I need that space for my 47 bottles of mustard!) so I’d like to use some of those, although I don’t tend to have a lot of savory recipes that include jam (although there are some)
4. In the next couple of weeks (although not this week) I’m going to have to play “iron chef” with the contents of the kitchen freezer. There is a lot of random stuff languishing in there and I need to use it up.
5. As always my goal is to have one venison meal, one fish meal, one pork meal, one bean meal, one meatless meal and one soup meal per week. I added in a “beef” meal now as well since we bought a 1/4 steer. With a short week all that isn’t likely to happen, but at least by keeping the goal in mind I’ll get some of it done.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday: Whatever Yankee Bill Does.
There is one frozen meal in the deep freeze. Cici says she has a “Texas Skillet” recipe my sister gave her that she wants to make for them, and I’m going to guess that they will be eating at the Pub at least once. If I get in on time and feel like it on Wednesday night I might cook. Or I might not.
Thursday: Split Pea Soup and Biscuits
The weather forecast looks like it will be gray and dreary on Thursday (although that always can change) so soup will be nice. Plus I know I’m always stressed with catching up on everything after a trip, so I can put the soup into a slow cooker (using the pork broth I need to use up) in the morning and not have to worry about stopping what I’m doing to start dinner mid afternoon. Biscuits are easy to whip up–I might even teach Princess or Buddy how to make them so that I can pass that task off to them occasionally.
This is my bean meal and my soup meal for the week.
Friday: Homemade Pizza and Salad
Cheese pizza and salad is always a hit. I’ve got my own personal “pizza dough kits” made up in the fridge downstairs (everything dry except the yeast needed for the breadmaker–so just dump in the liquids, the bag of “mix” and the yeast, hit start. Easy peasy).
This is my meatless meal for the week.
Saturday: Beef & Vegetable Stirfry over Rice
One pound of stew meat can be enough for four people (with a bit of leftovers) when you slice each piece up thin and use it stirfry style! Mix it in with onions, celery, carrots, that cabbage I want to use up. . . make a sauce from soy, ginger, garlic and stuff. . . serve over rice. It’s actually pretty easy and everyone at my house likes it.
This is my beef recipe for the week.
Sunday: Pork Roast with Apples, Greens and Baked Potatoes
I’ve got a nice pork roast down in the freezer from our 1/2 pig (which is almost used up–glad that my farmer has another set heading to the butcher in a few months!). I think I’ll find a recipe for roasting it with the apples/applesauce and some onions (which is basically what I had planned to do with the pork chops last week that didn’t happen). I’ll use some home canned greens as a side and make baked potatoes using the potatoes from our friend’s father (still have a big bag left!). Yankee Bill really likes baked potatoes and I always forget to make them! Plus I have some leftover sour cream in the fridge so that will be extra yummy.
This is my pork meal for the week.
Actually–I did pretty good considering the short week–got in beans, soup, meatless, pork and beef! Just missed out on the fish and venison.
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .