Have you ever had one of those weeks? The kind where you are hit on every side by unexpected activities and situations, and have to maintain your “regular” life at the same time? I think we all have.
We had one of those weeks! Our pantry saved the day for me!
I did have time to run into the store once, while Rob stayed with Malcolm in the car on the way back from one of our many commitments. I spent around $6. Otherwise, I have been relying on my freezer and pantry shelves because I have been too busy to worry about organizing a big shop.
Rob cooked some of that 87c/lb chicken we got last week. He barbecued it with some home-canned plum sauce. That sauce has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while, and since we liked it a lot, I know what I’m going to do with the rest of it now.
I had him pick up a Costco chicken last week when he was with our niece. She loves, loves, loves to get a hot dog there, and they occasionally do that after her other activities. We ate that a few times, then I boiled the bones and now have about 3 quarts of broth and some bits of meat.
I made some home-made gluten-free Bisquick mix and made Impossible Gluten-free Cheeseburger Pie, right off the Betty Crocker website. I made three of these this past week, as we had lots of company at various times and also needed to take food to the college group yesterday. I used the same mix to make cheesy-garlic biscuits like the ones from Red Lobster. They were great! Now, I’m out of that mix and will need to mix up more if I want any of those again. I have a huge assortment of gluten-free flours in the garage that need to be used, so I’m purposefully looking for some recipes to use them.
I practiced making gluten-free angel food cake and fed it to my mom and aunt. I want to make one for Easter and haven’t made it for so long I wanted to practice. It came out great and also used some of those random flours in the garage.
I made up another bag of gluten-free bread crumbs from a loaf that was given to me a while back. We were given a few quite dry ones, and this is the second time I’ve made crumbs.
The schools handed out free lunches for spring break. They are doing it differently–handing out a large bag every few days, rather than one small bag each day. We managed to make it one time so far, and have one more chance today to hit their one-hour window. The kids have been enjoying some different foods from that source. I made tapioca pudding from some of the milk. I also made hot chocolate by mixing some chocolate and white milk and warming it. I cooked the broccoli and cauliflower and will put the celery in something I cook. I froze a few items and will feed them out over time. There were apples and oranges. My nephew and his friends ate apples Monday afternoon while they were playing, but there are still a few left.
Yesterday was the busiest day of all. I made muffins early in the morning, using frozen peaches and Pamela’s gf pancake mix. I doubled it so I could freeze some. I didn’t freeze any. We ended up with some unexpected company that stayed all day, so I served them up, along with sending some to the college group. I grabbed 2 quarts of home-canned broth because what I was making on the stove was not finished, canned carrots, a garden onion, rice, spices and some of the Costco chicken and quickly made some soup.
The pantry and freezers really came through for me this week. We even got out a packet of instant mashed potatoes (saved for desperately busy times), pulled soup from the freezer, and used some other odds and ends. Fresh produce is what I purchased, we have carrots, potatoes and onions, the eggs are holding out from some we got reasonably a while back, the milk was stretched by the school lunches so I still have plenty, so we are good to go for several more days. What a blessing! I’ve saved quite a bit of money this month from my grocery budget, due to how busy I’ve been. Perfect! I’ll just replace some of my pantry items if I need to and be ready for the next super crazy, busy time in my life.
Although this picture of the canning shelf is from last fall, while I was grabbing jars one day, I arranged the shelves and tidied them up a bit and noticed that we still have jars and jars and jars that are still filled. Amazing! I’m glad I filled so many.