Short version: Bunless cheeseburgers, fresh bread, raw radishes and tomatoes, baked apples with cream
Long version: I was actually planning on giving the kids leftover lentil soup, but I took pity on them at the last minute and made the cheeseburgers instead.
Dodged a bullet there, kids.
A. and Calvin were gone to the city for hunter education, so I made a dessert for the children left at home. Although baked apples are a sort of pseudo-dessert, since they're actually relatively healthy. Also easy, since I've been using the bags of pre-peeled and sliced apples that I froze in the fall when I had boxes of apples on hand.
Definitely need to do that again this fall.
Short version: Giant baked spaghetti, green salad with vinaigrette
Long version: There seem to be infinity boxes of spaghetti coming with the commodities deliveries, lately, many of which have been passed along to us. Last time I made spaghetti, I only made half a box, and it was not enough. This time I made the whole box, and filled an entire 9x13 Pyrex with it, plus a meat sauce.
I made it ahead of time because this was our one weekend a month where we have Saturday Mass and don't get home until after 5 p.m. It makes for a late start to preparing dinner, so I try to have something made ahead of time.
Not a problem this time, however, as we all got in the Honda to go to church and found it was dead as the proverbial doornail. And without A. or the van here, I was very disinclined to try to jump-start it myself using the school bus.
Pile out, kids! No church this weekend for us!
It made for plenty of time to bake the spaghetti, though. And the children were very pleased with the great quantity on hand.
Short version: Oven-fried chicken, roasted potatoes, cucumbers with salt and vinegar, very lazy chocolate fondue
Long version: The travelers weren't returning until after dinner, so I decided to use the bag of extra rooster legs in a yogurt marinade I had put in the freezer last time I made this. There were only six, which would definitely not be enough for the whole family, but was enough for the reduced family.
The chocolate "fondue" was chocolate chips melted in the microwave with a bit of coconut oil, and half a graham cracker and a marshmallow each for dipping. A very popular--and easy--dessert option.
Short version: Tacos, bacon and egg sandwiches, frozen peas
Long version: I didn't have quite enough leftover taco meat for everyone, so I made bacon and fried egg sandwiches for A. and Cubby.
Exciting? No. Tasty and filling? Definitely.
Short version: Pork, corn on the cob, steamed broccoli, roasted beets, oatmeal cookies
Long version: Pork butt, cooked slow then pulled apart and fried in the rendered lard. The best way to eat this cut, in my opinion, because then it's tender, but not wet.
The corn on the cob was courtesy of Calvin, who gave A. some suggestions when they stopped at the grocery store on their way home from hunter education.
Broccoli and beets courtesy of Misfits Market.
I had the beets in a cast-iron skillet in the oven (that is, the foil-wrapped beets, just so no juice would drip onto the oven floor), which I pulled out of the oven and put on the stovetop while I was checking on the pork. When I leaned down to pull the pork out of the oven, my cheek touched the handle of the skillet that was slightly sticking out from the stovetop. The cast-iron handle of the cast-iron skillet that had just been in the oven.
It only hurt for a couple of hours, and isn't bad enough to have blistered or anything, but I do have an inch-long mark on my face, right near my ear, that is pretty noticeable, and will likely be there awhile given how long burns take to heal completely.
So, yeah. I essentially branded myself.
In my long and varied history of cooking burns, this one takes the cake.
I made the cookies because the kids needed snacks to bring to school. I just used my standard chocolate chip recipe, except I substituted some whole wheat flour (I have about 20 pounds of it from secondary commodities that I'm trying to use up), oats (ditto commodities), peanut butter, and walnuts.
Actually, those last two were commodities items, as well. If I made these cookies with raisins instead of chocolate chips, I could just use all commodities items and call them Commodities Cookies.
Except not all my kids will eat raisins in cookies, so I guess not.
Short version: Leftover spaghetti for the kids, leftover pork and a potato for the adults, cucumbers with salt and vinegar for all
Long version: I had planned this meal of leftovers for Wednesday because that's a work day for me. When we ended up staying home for our snow/Zoom day, it made for a very easy meal anyway.
Short version: White chicken chile, cornbread
Long version: I had never actually had white chicken chile before, but I had some vague idea it included white beans, which I have a bag of thanks to (CAN YOU GUESS?) commodities.
When I looked up recipes, I found that it's one of those popular recipes that rely on cans of things and rotisserie chickens. Often in a slow cooker.
Those sounded good, and certainly quick, but who wants quick when it's 61 degrees in the kitchen and simmering chicken carcasses all day provides some much-needed warmth?
So I started with the saved carcasses of two meat chickens that I had roasted in the summer. When I had removed most of the meat from those after roasting them, I put the remaining bones in the freezer, labeled "chicken for stock." Those two carcasses went in a pot with onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, and peppercorns and simmered a couple of hours. After which I strained the stock off and returned it to the pot with some of the dried navy beans.
That cooked until the beans were soft. Meanwhile, I picked the remaining chicken off the bones and dumped that (about two cups) in with the beans, along with a sauteed diced onion and garlic cloves, three frozen cubes of the green chile sauce I made last Mother's Day, some cumin, oregano, and salt.
Simmer, simmer, simmer, add sour cream and milk at the end.
If I ever write a cookbook, I'll call it Fifteen-minute Recipes Ready in Seven Hours.
It was good, though. And the magic of soup is that you can start with two throw-away chicken carcasses and a cup of dried beans, feed everyone, and still end up with almost a gallon of soup left over:
Okay, your turn! What'd you eat this week?