Then we went on GAPS and became super strict about all our foods being 100% gluten-free. Lucky for me, TinyHands was in charge of the kitchen by then. She’s a planner by nature. Every week she’d sit down with her planner and figure out what cuts of meat to pull out of the freezer on which day, when to pick up buying club purchases all over town, and decide what to get on the next buying club purchase, trip to the farm stand, or bike ride to the store.
Once that was all figured out, she’d write in breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner on each day, and transfer the whole mess to a white board we keep on the fridge. The rest of us would get the snacks and quick meals that were listed, and she’d take care of the rest. Here’s the amazing part: generally, she’d make everything on the list on the days she’d planned!Now I’ve been in charge for a few weeks, and I don’t think I’ve stuck to the plan once. But I have been making a plan, and it does seem to help!
Two weeks ago was especially exciting, since I’d planned to bake all sorts of things, but the oven broke! My two chickens and make ahead meatloaf had to go in the crock pots, and I babysat the broiler to get my almond crusted salmon to turn out.
Here’s a little taste of plans vs reality at my house. Note: I didn’t include TinyHands’s lunches (she packs leftovers for every day). We also had sides of veggies like roasted cauliflower, homemade sauerkraut, steamed broccoli, and of course broth. Those didn’t make it onto my plan because they were pretty much ready to go.
Lunch: Taco salad
Snacks: Veggies, ranch & cheese
Dinner: Salmon Cakes
Make ahead: Beef Jerky, yogurt, soak almonds & walnuts, bake squash, boil eggs for lunches
I was doing fine until lunch, when I realized the meat was still frozen solid. Made salads with sardines instead. The salmon cakes were a big hit, and I did get a lot of prep done for the rest of the week. I got the beef jerky and yogurt going, put squash in the crock pot to bake, and soaked walnuts. Unfortunately we thought we had almonds in the freezer but we’re all out! That means my plans for nut butter later in the week were foiled. I also jarred up a bunch of stock I already had going.
Breakfast: Winter Squash Souffle
Lunch: Chicken soup
Snacks: Beef jerky, applesauce, veggies
Dinner: Beef Stew
It turns out that what we thought was a whole dozen eggs was actually about 2 eggs, and we wouldn’t have more until Tuesday night. That meant the cake I’d planned for Tuesday was not going to happen!
Instead of straight up chicken soup, I made a whole chicken in the crock pot with chili verde sauce from last summer and a jar of chicken stock from last week. The meat fell off the bone, it was wonderful. We added some veggies to call it a meal & of course ate it with the sauce/stock. It’s not on my list, but of course I started stock with the bones, back in the crock pot. I’ve been keeping it going and drinking it all week. The kids forgot about applesauce so we saved that for another day.
Beef stew was a bit of a disaster. I got sidetracked and was out of time. I thought I had rutabagas but didn’t and was nearly out of veggies. I made it with peeled broccoli stems for veggies out of desperation. I meant to add canned green beans from last summer but forgot. The kids liked it, though, and were happy to eat it as leftovers 🙂
Nothing on the make ahead list, but the walnuts did make it into the dehydrator.
Lunch: Fish soup
Snacks: Nut butter, veggies
Make ahead: Chocolate Cake, Meatloaf
We started off the day with those meringue cookies. The kids made smoothies! Yum! The yogurt turned out really good, btw. For lunch I didn’t make fish soup. I have salmon stock from the fins from last week’s almond crusted salmon, but no one seems to want to eat it. The kids had leftover beef stew (with added green beans) instead. Kid2 also snacked on boiled eggs.
I just had one big steak thawed for all of us so I sliced it thin and stir fried it with veggies and leftover rhubarbecue sauce.
The cake is waiting for next week. I did make ahead my meatloaf. Actually, half of one of the meatloaves got eaten and the rest was for lunches. I also made more beef jerky.
Lunch: Meatloaf, cake
Snacks: Yogurt, veggies, beef jerky
Dinner: Carrot soup
Since we still hadn’t picked up our eggs, pancakes were out. Instead we had pork sausage patties. We even thought to pull out the applesauce. Kid2 had to pack lunch, snacks and dinner, Kid1 and I just needed to pack lunch and snacks. Snacks went to plan, we brought meatloaf and salad, but the carrot soup didn’t get made. Dinner was all about leftover chicken soup! Kid2 had beef stew packed, because that’s what he liked better.
Sure enough, we had tons of leftovers. We also had our eggs by now. We made winter squash and egg crepes for breakfast, topped with apple butter. We each ate the leftovers we preferred, and had salad, too.
Again with the leftovers.
Dinner: Manhattan Clam Chowder
We had smoothies for breakfast, and snacks of boiled eggs and applesauce. Kid1 packed her lunch and snacks to take to her classes.
A coworker of TinyHands’s had given her a bunch of fresh clams, so I made them into a Manhattan chowder. I’d never done it before and wasn’t finding a GAPS legal recipe so I invented my own (coming soon). It was really good!
SaturdayBreakfast: Garlicky chicken soup
Lunch: Chicken salad
Snacks: veggies, smoothie
Dinner: Pork chops & roasted veggies
Make ahead: Beef Jerky, yogurt, chocolate cake batter, plan for next week.
So far so good 🙂
What Have I Learned?
I don’t think I’ll ever be great at following my own plans. Things happen. In the past couple weeks a bulk buy fell through, a farm direct delivery ran late, and our oven even broke! Some days I just don’t feel like cooking, or we have friends over at the last minute, or we decide to go on an adventure for the day. Yesterday I decided to forget about all housework and get some pruning done in the garden, since the sun was out! But having that plan out there gets me pulling the meat out of the freezer, gives the kids some idea of what they can get for themselves, and keeps me on track with prepping food for later. So I’m going to keep doing it. Who knows, maybe I’ll actually make it through a week according to plan someday!
This post is part of Sunday School, Make Your Own! Monday, Monday Mania, Made From Scratch Monday, Homestead Barn Hop, Fat Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Blog Hop, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Frugally Sustainable, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Freaky Friday, Living Well Blog Hop, Fight Back Friday.