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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday: Thanksgiving Week

Thanksgiving week is upon us, which means that there is a lot of bustle and cooking and cleaning going on here. Meals this week will be either quick to make or cooked in the crock pot and will be short on leftovers, so as not to have too much extra in the refrigerator for Thursday.

Most of the recipes are or will be posted on the Thanksgiving menu post. I had a turkey in our freezer from the spring already, but picked up a free one from Fred Meyer on my last trip and bought two 20 pound turkeys from Safeway for $0.27 a pound for other meals. I may pick up another one if I can find another $20.00 to spend there. They had a deal where if your total bill was $25.00 or more, including the price of the turkey, you got a turkey at 16.01 pounds or above for $0.27 a pound, 16 pounds or lighter for $0.37 a pound. We like turkey here and it can certainly be used in all the same kinds of things that we normally use chicken for, and $0.27 a pound for meat can't be beat, even if it isn't pastured and has been injected with brine. One day we will be able to raise our own for our meat, but until then, this was a good deal.

Next Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent, the Church's new year, and with it comes the first fast of the year. Our menus will reflect a bit more simplicity and abstinence.

This has been a rough year, but we still have much for which to be thankful. We are in a new area which is a great place for children, which is fecund and abundant in good foods that are easily grown and readily available. I am thankful for my husband who loves without measure. He always puts our needs and desires before his own. I am thankful for a little more knitting time and for my new ballet class. Also, I am thankful that all of our family is doing well in the climate here, Dominic's eczema is almost gone, though it seems counter intuitive that such a dry place would help his dry, scaly skin. All of our health seems to be improved in the dry weather, though our skin needs lots more moisture here than it did in the damp of the west side. I am thankful for our well insulated house that barely lets any cold in, even on 20 degree mornings with the wind howling through the trees. I'm thankful for our little plot of land with its trees, in the midst of all the scrub brush and fields, and for a chance to try our hands at a small part of farm life.
What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. Starred recipes will follow separately.

Here is the list of foods from the freezer, fridge and pantry that I'm using this week. Anything from the freezer, pantry or fridge that was not bought specifically for this meal or this past week will be included in my lists.

Corned Beef
Ground Pork
Mixed Peppers
Frozen Roasted Corn

Milk (& Cream from the Top)
Leftover Taco Soup (thrown into the breakfast skillet)

All Herbs & Spices
Olive Oil
Wild Rice
Basmati Rice
Sushi Rice
Hard White Wheat Berries
Soft White Wheat Berries
Corn Meal
Rolled Oats
Pastry Flour
White Bread Flour
Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Vanilla Extract
All Sugars
Pine Nuts
Chocolate Chips
Dried Cherries
Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles

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How big of a freezer do you have? What a great deal on all of that turkey! My mother is bringing us a farm-raised turkey for Thanksgiving and I got a free turkey from my local grocery store that I have in the freezer for later on.

I like that you list everything in your pantry; how organized. I should do the same thing to keep better track of what we have to work with.
I so hear you about the rough year! We're so thankful for becoming closer during these difficult times. Our teen is even doing much better in school.

Your menu sounds delicious. Happy Thanksgiving!

Have you ever heard of shelf milk? If so, can you use it in a baking recipe?
We have a chest freezer as well as our fridge freezer. Actually we also have an extra fridge and another, stand up, freezer, but those aren't deployed yet. We used to have all four set up and running at our former home. We've been trying to eat more out of the freezers and pantry since we had a sense that we'd be moving and have continued that since the move, to make room for our steer and to save money. We get the steer next month, a hog (a whole one this time) in the spring and a couple lambs, too. We'll definitely have the second freezer in operation then. I want to have the stand up for fruit, vegetables, nuts, bread, chocolate, coffee, things like that and the chest freezer for meat, poultry and fish.
I've heard of shelf milk, and I assume you could bake with it, but it is not something I would buy. I prefer yogurt and cheese as a means of milk storage. We buy really fresh milk (that morning's milking) and get two week's worth at a time without any trouble keeping it fresh. Many cheeses, sour cream and even milk can be frozen and used to cook with, at least.

We are thankful for so many things this year, not least is all the friends and family who helped us pack up and move in less than three weeks so we could get out here. We could not have done it without them.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Jehovah provides, and His love is reflected in the lives of our families.

I have no doubt your tough year is all a setup to bring you into God's abundance.

Oh, and Rich is THE MAN!

God bless you all!

- Big Daddy Andy
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