I have fallen so far off of the Meal Plan wagon, that I can't even see the dust. It's been that bad.
We've started football and Wednesday church activities. I've been canning like a crazy woman. Gardening like a hermit. Collecting eggs with joy and gratitude. Dreaming of living on a farm with solar power and lots of ducks. Not blogging. Not cleaning (enough). And definitely not meal planning. Or doing any kind of planning. Truly.
This week will be different. We will know what we are eating before we are eating it.
Monday: Chicken soup and sauteed veggies. I have a sick little boy who needs comfort food. The soup is for him. The veggies are actually going to be various squash and some chanterelles. Mostly for me.
Tuesday: Practice. We will have tuna wraps with lettuce from the garden. I just finished canning and a jar didn't seal. Yummers. When we get home, it will be peaches and applesauce.
Wednesday: Missionettes and Rangers. We eat at Grandma's house or at the church. This year, they started this amazing dinner on Wednesdays so I don't have to cook!! Yay!
Thursday: Practice. Which means we eat in the car on the way home again. Meat pockets with bbq sauce. I'll find a veggie of some kind somewhere.
Friday: More practice. But we can hold our hunger. Homemade bean burgers and veggies from the garden.
Saturday: I'm throwing a roast in the crockpot. With potatoes and carrots from the garden. It's going to be delicious. And when we get home from a long day watching football, it is going to hit the spot.
Sunday: This is a good weekend to make sausage. I will take out meat on Friday and grind and mix on Sunday afternoon. We are having breakfast for dinner, and I can make breakfast pockets for on-the-go dining next week.
One of the reasons I miss meal planning is that it helps me keep what we have in the freezer and the pantry all straightened out. This time of year, when I am preserving foods from the garden and trying to plan how to fit more food in the freezer come hunting season (we are truly blessed), it's really important that I know what we've got and don't let things go to waste.
The more I learn about growing and harvesting food, and storing and preserving, the more I want to do on my own and the less I want to buy from the store. Forget GMOs and food allergies and the general un-food like condition of the meals we buy off the shelves. I like the feeling of knowing we grew and harvested what we are eating. I like feeling self sufficient and independent. Now, don't get me wrong. I love me a little high fructose corn syrup every once in a while. MSG? Yeah, you know me. But, I don't want it to be a normal part of my diet. Truthfully, I shouldn't want it in my diet at all. I like making things from scratch. I like knowing what my kids are eating. I like it when Grady's tummy doesn't hurt... when he eats whole foods and healthy things and feels better.
So, over the years, I have gotten to where I buy fewer things off of the shelves. Some foods, I don't have to buy at all anymore.
We don't buy:
Dill (weed or seed) - I love my volunteer plants.
Pickles - I can all kinds now!
Yogurt - with the exception of the occasional starter pack.
Eggs - We have ducks, quails, bantam and regular chickens.
Jam or jelly
Apple pie filling
Mayonnaise - I felt like an Iron Chef the first time I made mayonnaise. I impress myself easily.
Seasoning Salt - I learned how to mix my own.
Laundry Soap ( I do have to buy separate ingredients....)
We rarely buy:
Meat - Right now, all we buy is chicken and lunch meat. We raise pigs and rabbits. We just added quail and sheep. My husband hunts and fishes, so we are blessed with a freezer full of deer and bear and salmon. We buy whole tuna and can our own (so much better!). I make sausage. We are learning how to make bacon and hams.
I'm not quite sure why I feel the urge to document this. More and more I feel a pull towards lessening my contribution towards processed foods and commercial farming. I want my children to know real food. To know that eggs come from chickens and carrots are a root. I want them to not be scared of a pressure cooker and to feel the satisfaction of foraging in the woods and coming home to a dinner that we grew and harvested. I want them to know that hard work tastes better and fills you fuller. I want them to never take food for granted, to mean grace when they say it, and to understand why salt and vinegar are for more than just potato chips.
This has kind of strayed from the actual menu plan... but there are other great recipe ideas and links at Orgjunkie.com