This Pantry Challenge is quickly screeching to a halt. Yesterday I emptied the freezer and unplugged it. Since we have mild weather and it wasn’t completely encrusted with ice, it loosened quickly, I scooped it out, wiped it down and fired it back up in a matter of hours.
We didn’t use up everything, but we made great progress. I still have a turkey, some chickens, and a roast, but all the weird stuff, some from many, many moons ago has either been used up or discarded.
If I had died before now, people would have really wondered why I had bags and bags of chicken bones in my freezer. Well, I was planning to make stock eventually and wanted to buy myself some time. Evidently, I overbought.
Note to self: just make the stock while you have the bones right there!
It has been a great month in many ways. But, this week has been really hard. I know that if push came to shove, we could have eaten from our pantry and fridge for another week or two. After all, there’s always quinoa….
The meals wouldn’t have been exciting, but we would have been well fed. However, I am just tired. I confess. Tonight, Day 27 I did go to the store and buy whatever I wanted (within reason – it was all sale stuff). But, we didn’t eat any of it tonight, except the shrimp. We could have had plain pasta, but I didn’t want to.
I am not sure what tomorrow’s meals hold, but they will be “mostly from the pantry” if that counts.
Here’s what I served my family
Breakfast – Ham and Fried Potatoes
Lunch – Smoothies, Toast
Scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of creativity, here. But since I had emptied the freezer, I knew what we had and that included frozen berries. So, I offered blueberries, strawberries, and pineapple as choices and opened the DIY Smoothie Bar.
Dinner – Red Robin with Gift Certificates
Hubs’ birthday is this weekend, so he had a free burger due him. Plus, we had gift cards from Christmas. So, we ate like kings for no money out of pocket.
Breakfast – Chocolate Cranberry Coffeecake, Apple Slices
Lunch – Grilled Cheese Pull Aparts, Tuna Sandwiches, Tuna Melts, Apples
I found something that my kids really liked: grilled cheese pull aparts. On Sunday when we had hot dogs, I could not find my bread paddle, so I couldn’t make the buns myself. When I went shopping, I found some store bakery hot dog buns marked down. I bought two packages. We ate one on Sunday and I froze the other.
I was planning to have BBQ pork sandwiches with them today, but I burned the lunch in the crockpot. Yes, there’s a first time for everything. How do you BURN something in the crockpot?
Anyway, I broke out the panini press and offered tuna melts, grilled cheese, and tuna sandwiches instead. For my little guys, I used one flat of hot dog buns. You know how they come stuck together? Well, I left the four buns stuck together and cut them in half horizontally. Then I made their grilled cheese that way.
When I cut them, I cut them across so that each kid had four sections of grilled cheese sandwich that they could pull apart. They were so happy and even the little girls ate them all.
Dinner – Lemon Pasta with Shrimp, Broccoli, and Garlic Bread
This pasta is super simple from Susan Branch’s Summer Book. I tweaked it a tad, using what I had. I added some shrimp sauteed in olive oil and garlic. The garlic bread was discount bread made yummy with garlic butter. Pull apart garlic bread, anyone?