Sunday, August 30, 2020
Menu Plan: August 31 - September 5
Last Monday, fall winds began, and we are full on in the autumn now. We even saw trees changing colors yesterday. It is a race against the winter now. This has been such a weird year with regards to everything, including the weather. So our normal hot spring and summer never really materialized. We had a few days above 100˚, but not the normal two weeks, and our spring and most of summer were pretty cool. Our first ripe tomato was yesterday. Normally, we are at the end of our tomatoes by now. Rich is trying to figure out how to set up hoops to extend our season so we can get more produce from our garden.
We are taking September to minimize our spending, and I have slashed our grocery budget for this month. Normally, we spend about $1500 or more each month on our food, pet food, paper products, cleaning products, toiletries, etc. This month, we are trying to spend only $300. Now, we have a well stocked pantry, fridge and freezers, including two stand alone freezers, and we still have our gleaning club and our CSA (which is already paid for), and we will be purchasing milk as we always do. However, we are trying to rotate our stock of stored foods and eating down what we have to put money toward debt. We are still paying for Rich's student loan, and we have some consumer debt (which we deliberately took on so we could have some once in a lifetime experiences) and we want to make a dent in them. Also, since we have always either paid our credit cards in full, or paid more than the minimum with no late payments, Rich called and asked them to lower our interest rate, which they did for six months, telling us we could call again at that point and see if it could be renewed. This means we can make these payments go a little farther. I will still be menu planning, and if we can extend our garden a little, that will be a blessing.
God takes care of big families especially, it seems. We have had so many people five us crates and crates of produce lately. The boys were still helping on a local farm last week, and he sent them home with two huge crates of bell peppers, a crate of jalapeños, five or six yellow watermelon, a crate of kohlrabi, a huge bucket of basil and purple basil, two crates of tomatoes, a few serranos, two spaghetti squash, plus we received about 20 eggplant, a box of lemon cucumbers and slicing cucumbers, a box of peaches, a dozen zucchini, and more from our gleaning club. They often set aside the damaged produce for us, too, because they know we have chickens, turkeys, and ducks which can eat it and make eggs and meat. It is a busy time of preserving because of this, but we were also able to bless others we know with the excess produce. We have felt an urgency to put more food up in jars and in our freezers to make sure that whatever craziness happens this fall and winter will not mean that we are at the mercy of what is in the stores. The peppers were a special blessing to us, because we spend probably between $125 and $200 each year on packaged frozen, sliced peppers, so we put ourselves to work seeding and slicing these peppers to put the equivalent of $40 worth of those peppers in our freezer, vacuum sealed, and still have about half a crate of peppers to finish today. The Lord is good to us.
Breakfast: Fried Egg, Tomato and Cheese Biscuit Sandwiches, Grapes, Milk and Coffee
Dinner: Thai Style Ramen with Chicken, Eggplant and Kohlrabi, Leftover Cake and Ice Cream
- Monday - Feast of Saint Aidan
Breakfast: Peanut Butter Toast, Nectarines and Peaches, Milk and Coffee
Dinner: Chile Verde Nachos with Spicy Cheese Sauce, Sliced Avocados, Sliced Watermelon
Breakfast: Apple Calvados Pancake with Ricotta, Milk and Coffee
Dinner: Scalloped Potatoes with Turkey Ham, Marinated Cucumber, Beet, Onion and Kohlrabi Salad, Sliced Watermelon
Breakfast: Cottage Cheese with Blueberry Preserves, Toast, Sliced Pears, Tea with Honey
Dinner: Potato and Poblano Stew, Lime Wedges and Fried Tortilla Strips, Cilantro Citrus Coleslaw, Apricots
Breakfast: Fruit and Nut Bread, Cottage Cheese, Sliced Apples, Milk and Coffee
Dinner: Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, Rice, Hot Pepper, Cabbage and Tomato Relish, Baba Ghanooj, Tamis, Sliced Watermelon
Breakfast: Steel Cut Oats with Raisins and Brown Sugar, Fruit Plate, Tea with Honey
Dinner: Slow Cooker Ratatouille, French Bread, Fruit Salad
Breakfast: Ratatouille Omelets, Nectarines, Milk and Coffee
Dinner: Grilled Pizzas Bar, Chopped Salad, Sliced Watermelon