We are officially back to school and back to a routine here at the Frugal Upstate Village Homestead. While we always miss the fun and spontaneity of the summer, it is good, very good, to feel like there is SOME semblance of control over the schedule.
1. Back to school means back to activities. Both kids have games/matches (Volleyball & Golf) or practice every night of the week. So they are home either at about 5:30 from practice or between 6:30-8 from games, depending on where they are. So long story a bit shorter. . . I’ve got a variable number of folks home for dinner each night.
2. On top of the sports we’ve got Boy Scouts one night, piano lessons on the weekend, Karate that we’d like to start working back into the schedule, I’ve got an event on Tuesday that takes me away from the house right at dinner time, and Yankee Bill has both is monthly NY Guard meeting and his weekly pool game.
3. We are in production time for my garden. I’ve got some sauteed squash and beans that I did up last week that need to be used, about 2-3 cups of shelled beans I cooked (basically green beans that had been left too long and couldn’t be eaten as green beans any more, so I shelled the beans out of them and then boiled them) along with a head of broccoli, some greens, more purple beans, more yard long beans, more zuchetta and yellow squash and a bag of cucumbers a friend gave us. Oh, and the rest of the tomatoes ripening on trays in the front room. I’ve also got leftover pasta and leftover rice in the fridge. Otherwise I’m pretty caught up on the actual food leftovers.
4. I’ve got some items in the freezer and quite a few in the cupboard that I need to start using up–some polenta and couscous, frozen winter vegetable mix, frozen cooked bulk Italian sausage. . . I’m sure there is even more.
Taking all that into account here is my game plan:
Monday: Venison and Vegetable Stir Fry with Rice
The venison is from the freezer. The vegetables will be the leftover squash/greenbean mix, plus onion, carrot and the head of broccoli. The sauce is a recipe I’m trying out but don’t know if it’s good enough to share. I think there is enough rice that I can just heat up what I cooked over the weekend, if not, I’ll use both rice and noodles and get rid of them both.
This is my venison meal for the week.
Tuesday: Chicken Chili Blanco and Biscuits
I’ve got some ground chicken down in the freezer that I thought was good idea but have never used for anything, so I’ll use that in my regular Chicken Chili Blanco recipe. I’ll also use the cooked shelled beans instead of starting with dried white beans. The rest of the ingredients will either be canned or dehydrated for the most part. This is a good meal because it goes in the slowcooker so I don’t have to worry about leaving at dinner time–it will be all done and can just be served out whenever. I’ll make the biscuits in the early evening–probably just drop biscuits, they may not be as pretty but then you don’t have to knead and cut.
This is my soup meal and my bean meal for the week.
Wednesday: Ham with Roasted Green Beans, Sauteed Greens and Polenta
The ham is from the freezer and will go in the slow cooker for the day. The beans are from the garden and will be tossed with oil, salt & pepper and then roasted. The greens will be steamed or sauteed and spiced up with a bit of onion and garlic. The polenta is a new one for me, I’ve had it in the cupboard forever and its time to make it. I’ll probably make it using chicken bullion or stock, then serve it soft and thick “grits” style, and then pour the extra into a loaf pan and let it set to be fried later in the week.
This is my pork meal for the week.
Thursday: Breakfast for Dinner–Pancakes, Bacon and Peaches
Yankee Bill is not a fan of breakfast for dinner, but the kids and I love it. So we’ll make pancakes on Thursday night since he’s gone to pool. I have a bit of bacon that I’ll fry up, but I consider 2 slices of bacon a “garnish” rather than the real meat of a meal. I always feel like you need a fruit or vegetable for dinner, so we’ll have some home canned peaches on the side.
This is my meatless meal for the week.
Friday: Salmon Loaf, Mashed Potatoes (or Fried Polenta) and Sauteed Green Beans
The salmon loaf is usually made with canned salmon and I serve it with an Old Bay spiced Hollandaise sauce or a white sauce with peas, depending on my mood. If there is enough leftover polenta to let some set in a loaf pan then I’ll fry up squares of that for my starch. If not, I’ll make mashed potatoes. Finally I’ll saute the yard long beans that I picked from the garden.
This is my fish meal for the week.
I’ve got a box of shells in the cupboard, so why not? I can even cook up the ground beef (from the freezer) with the seasoning earlier in the day and dice up all the lettuce, tomato etc. That way at supper time I just have to pull it all out. Since Saturdays tend to be full of activity a meal I can just pull out is a great convenience.
This is my beef meal for the week.
Sunday: Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and a Green Salad
I’ll just use canned sauce and add the cooked sausage I have in the freezer. Boil up some pasta and dinner is almost done. All that’s left is to pull together a quick green salad with lettuce and all the various vegetables and herbs from the garden.
Yay! For the first time in a long time I’ve managed to hit all my goals!
Are you interested in learning more about menu planning? Check out my post “Why Plan a Weekly Menu” .