The heat has broken! Halleluiah! It’s been so dang hot here the last two weeks that it’s been a struggle to think about or do anything. For those of you down south who are scoffing–just remember, we don’t have AC in our house, so 90 means it’s like 86 inside. . .
Anyway, now that it’s cool enough to think, and I’ve dealt with returning from vacation, beating the garden back into control, children’s birthdays (yay–Buddy is now 10) and getting the eldest off to her first ever sleep away camp, I can actually get back into the groove of meal planning.
I’ve got several things to consider this week:
1. The weather is supposed to be nice this week–most days the temps are in the high 70′s. I can totally work with that! It means I can actually cook in my kitchen and run the oven without feeling like I’m going to die.
2. I’m down one kid–so I need to cook slightly less food.
3. I’ve got volunteering all morning on Tues & Thurs at the food pantry, at least 1 day I need to run into town for errands and shopping (which will take all day), I want to go blueberry picking at some point, Yankee Bill has pool one night and a car show on Saturday and I’ve got a kids bday party with 10 boys taking over the house all afternoon on Friday.
4. The garden is in production–I’ve got turnips, asian greens, lettuce (some bolted) snow peas (yeah–I know all that is cool weather stuff, which is why I need to either cook with it or preserve it), cucumbers, purslane, lambsquarter, and even a few tomatoes. My beans and squash are way behind.
5. I’ve got cooked turnip greens left over from last week. I’ve also got snow peas, cucumbers and turnips that have been in the fridge for a while and need to have something done with them. Oh, and I’ve got a store bought tomato and a pint of buttermilk that I hope is still good.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Chicken, Turnip Au Gratin, Turnip Greens and Biscuits
I’ve got to do a review of an electric pressure cooker–so I want to try cooking chicken breast starting with them totally frozen rock solid. I’ve read that you can have them completely defrosted and cooked in like 20 minutes–so I’m testing it out tonight! I’ll make more then I need so I have them for later in the week. Since it is cool enough to use the oven, I’ll bake both Turnip Au Gratin (a new recipe for me) and some biscuits–which I miss. There is a “mess” of turnip greens (cooked with onion and a ham hock!) leftover, so I’ll be warming those up and having them on the side.
Tuesday: Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad and Blueberry Muffins
I haven’t made my Crunchy Asian Chicken Salad yet this summer! The horror! Even though it’s a “salad” I like to think of it as if it’s a cold stirfry. It’s got chicken, nuts, ramen, cabbage and onion–so it can be used in small portions as a side dish, or like I am planning on for this week as a one dish meal. We are going blueberry picking this afternoon like we did last year, so I’ll make up some blueberry muffins that we can have as a side but will be eaten for a few days at breakfast, for snacks etc.
Wednesday: Waffles with Blackberry Syrup and Pork Sausage Patties
It’s just Buddy and I so we will do breakfast for dinner and cook up a slew of waffles. I’ve got black-caps from my backyard that are going to mold if I don’t do something with them soon–so I’ll cook them down to a syrup and use them over the waffles. I’ll just slice a tube of our organic pork sausage from my 1/2 pig and serve that as a protein. Even though Buddy and I will only eat a couple of slices I’ll cook it all up and use the rest later in the week.
This is my pork meal for the week.
Thursday: Chicken, Shrimp and Sausage Gumbo over Rice
This will incorporate any additional leftover chicken from Monday & Tues (if there isn’t any it will be “Sausage & Shrimp Gumbo”). I’ll add some purslane from the garden along with the traditional vegetables (purslane is sort of slimy when it’s cooked–which works well in gumbo) and serve it over rice.
This is my soup meal (basically a thick stew) and my fish meal for the week .
Friday: French Bread Pizza with Sauteed Cucumbers
We’ll have the birthday hooligans here until 5, so I don’t want a dinner that takes much time to make (trust me, I’ll be worn out!). French Bread Pizza is very quick, simple and tasty. I’ll cook up the end of the snow peas for a side.
This is my meatless meal for the week.
Saturday: Italian Subs with Hummus Dip and Veggies
I’ll make one big Italian Sub that can be sliced up family style and serve it with homemade hummus dip and cold veggies (from the garden like sliced raw turnips, snow peas, cucumbers etc).
This is my bean meal for the week.
Sunday: Grilled Venison, Grilled Potato Packets, and Fire and Ice Salad.
We’ll just do a simple grilling of some venison loin steaks–they are so good you really don’t need to do anything special to them. The potatoes will be cubed and cooked in foil packets with butter, onion, garlic and maybe a splash of beer. For a vegetable side I’ll make the classic southern Fire and Ice salad (cukes, onion & tomato)
This is my venison meal for the week.
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .