We’re big fans of lists here in Northeast. Chores, long-term goals, shopping, what have you. We should buy stock in KnockKnock, really, as they offer lists for just about every occassion, including What To Eat (also, Rate That Beer, All Out Of… I could go on, but you should really just visit them).
It strikes me that we create a What To Eat every week (on Wednesdays, based on what is anticipated in Thursday’s CSA box, as well as what we have in our freezer inventory, what’s coming out of the garden, and what’s going on that week), and create our weekly grocery list based on that. And each week, at least two people ask how we do what we do — create delicious, simple meals from scratch with a vast majority of local/organic ingredients, on a shoestring budget (yes, it can be done). So why not just go ahead and write about the things we’re always talking about, anyway?
With that, allow me to begin the ceremonial unveiling of This Week’s Meal Plan:
ruebens & cole slaw (these will be made with corned beef left over from Tuesday’s meal)
butternut squash ravioli in cream sauce with craisins and walnuts
potato and leek soup with baguette (baguette made earlier this week, too)
ham and au gratin potatoes with steamed broccoli
roasted pepper and chevre quiche with spinach salads
ham salad and cheddar sandwiches on sourdough with rosemary olive oil oven fries
The trick to effectively planning our meals is knowing what’s coming in the CSA (this week: garlic, onions, leeks, lots of peppers, two squashes, greens, broccoli & potatoes), having a good handle on what’s leftover in the fridge, having an updated freezer inventory (where we store the sauces, fruits and vegetables we don’t can as well as the meats we tend to buy in bulk), and what, if anything, is coming out of the garden (planning is a lot different in July than it is in January). We’re at that place in the year where we’re finally not overrun with tomatoes or beans or fill-in-your-favorite-garden-produce here. We also like to plan around what the Farmer’s Market could fill in (most everything is covered between CSA and our garden, but we still tend to grab certain things at the Market), what the season calls for, and what the kiddoes will each (which, frankly, is pretty much everything, but I’d be kidding everyone if I said it didn’t come into play at all). We also try to incorporate one leftover cleanup day into the mix, so we don’t stack up too many one-serving wonders into the fridge (or, frankly, if we just feel like eating an apple and block of cheddar on a particularily busy evening after feeding the kids mac and cheese or something), and I try to plan one fish or vegetarian meal per week (for variety, and to blow through CSA veggies, and also because you know, healthy, all that jazz.)
My hope is to post recipes that work well, pictures of what we’re baking, cooking, canning, drinking… and talk about the places we eat, what we’re canning or freezing, planning the garden. I mean, we’re talking about it anyway. We may as well have a place to keep it all.