Monday Musings: 11.11.2013 Edition November 11, 2013Posted by Toy Lady in Food, meal plan monday, Musings.
Well, mission accomplished.
Last Friday evening, I met one of the meat suppliers (a very nice couple from Romulus, New York) (I can’t help thinking of them as The Romulans, though) and bought a 30-pound box of turkey wings and a 40-pound box of “chicken frames.”
Basically, that’s the bony part of the chicken that’s left after they cut the leg quarters, boneless breasts, and wings off. Still plenty of meat, lots of bone, and necks. Since he’s eating the bones and all, I’m very glad to have found a source domestic, antibiotic-free chicken parts.
I guess I don’t need to tell you how happy Peeps was to have dug out his very heavy, very sharp meat cleaver! We bought this several years ago, at a kitchen outlet store (that may or may not exist anymore – it was a LONG time ago, and out of town) – mainly because we didn’t have one.
We’ve almost never used it in all these years, UNTIL.
Until we suddenly had a need to start whacking up hunks of chicken, bones and all.
I salvaged three volunteer butternut squashes from the garden last week – two were beautiful, and one was just not quite ripe.
We roasted about half of what I’d picked (guess who likes the roasted, not-quite-ripe bits?) and the other half, well some of that is going for dinner this weekend, and the rest went into a very nice, quick and easy soup, using a bunch of squash and the rest of the leeks that I keep forgetting about in the fridge.
Very simple: Saute a bunch of sliced leeks until soft, season with a bit of salt and herbs (or herb salt). Add the cubed squash, I don’t know, 4-6 cups? a small squash’s worth, anyway, and saute, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Then pour in a pint of chicken stock or broth, and about a cup of half-and-half – just enough to just barely cover the squash. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and partially cover pot until squash is tender, then puree the whole mess into soup. If it’s too thick (which it was) add a splash of apple cider, maybe half a cup, then add a couple of tablespoons of cider vinegar to brighten. You’re done.
And in the meantime, if you’ve planned ahead, you can be snacking on roasted butternut squash seeds – yum.
So do you remember last week’s nice, freshly defrosted, nearly empty freezer? Yeah, we divided up all that chicken into 2-pound containers, and that takes up a LOT of freezer space.
And underneath the pile of recycled yogurt containers (I knew they’d come in handy – eventually!) is 75 pounds of beef, in fifteen 5-pound packages. That should be enough beef for the Jar for about 2 months, and the chicken should last a good month. And, of course, we’ve got turkey wings in reserve, too.
I’d say I think I need a bigger freezer, but really, I just need to give over more of the one we have to the dog.
Speaking of the dog. I’m working very hard to understand what he’s saying sometimes.
Take this afternoon, for instance. He seems to think that every time I go to the basement, I should be coming back with a bone in my hand, and honestly, he gets downright pesky about it sometimes.
So I brought this small bone up for him and sent him out to the back yard with it. Where he promptly went down the steps from the deck, dropped the bone, and started barking. And he bark, bark, barked until the neighbors’ little dogs started barking, too, in that way that only little dogs do – yap yap yap yap yap yap! And then Jar stopped barking, lay down, and started chomping on the bone.
Clearly, what was Jar saying was: Hey, you guys! I’ve got a bone! You hear me? Who’s got a bone? I do! That’s right! Who’s got NO bone? You do! I’ve got a bone and you don’t! Neener neener neener!
Yup. Our dog is a jerk.
And once again, it’s time for the weekly menu plan. Even though we’ve sorted through (and defrosted!) both freezers, we’re continuing to observe No Shopping Week (which is just what it sounds like – once a month, we skip our weekly trip to the supermarket, live on what’s in the freezer/pantry/cupboards (with the exception of milk if we need it), and stash the grocery money). I think of it as working on mending our ways – our habit of over-buying, coupled with our loathing of waste, and added to a shift in our eating habits, well, it’s just gotten a little out of hand. This is a good way to hold myself accountable.
Monday – We ate about half the black bean soup last week, so we’ve got more black bean soup up this week. That should finish off the batch – and if it doesn’t, well, I won’t feel so bad about tossing whatever’s left.
Tuesday – Surprisingly enough, there was also about half of last week’s braciole left over, too. Rather than think of it “leftovers” though, I prefer to think of it as re-enjoyed. It was really good, and it’s nice to be able to have it again.
Wednesday – Of course, just because we’ve got leftover soup on Monday, that doesn’t mean we can’t have fresh, new soup on Wednesday, does it? Squash and leek soup – with fresh bread – it’s good for the soul.
Thursday – We defrosted a chicken last week, to roast this weekend, so we’ve got some leftover cooked chicken. We’ve also got a chunk of ham in the freezer, so Peeps suggested putting them together for a Monte Cristo casserole. Um, sure.
Friday – Now that we’re back to our normal routine, pizza night will continue as usual! However, I’m on the lookout for Kong-stuffing ideas for The Jar. Now that we’ve changed his diet, the kibble mix with Might Dog I’ve been using all along seems to be a littler harder on his delicate tummy. Any thoughts?
Be sure to click on over to The Organizing Junkie’s Monday Menu Plan post for loads and loads of other ideas.