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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A frugal supper for the last week of the month

I can't believe that I am still under budget for the month of March, and here we are in the very last week of the month!

This was dinner the other night.

I had roasted one of the turkeys from last November's purchases. My daughters helped me get every last bit of meat from the bones, after making stock with the skin and bones. Surprisingly, there was enough meat removed, after making the stock, for 3 pots of soup.

I made a very hearty turkey minestrone with canned tomato paste, carrots, onions, garlic, herbs, cooked garbanzo beans, pasta and turkey.

To go with the soup, I made garlic bread from one of the loaves of French bread I'd baked the week before, kept in the freezer. French bread is so economical to make, and very forgiving, for a yeast-raised bread. So, I make this a lot when I'm low on my regular sandwich bread, and know I won't have the time to do a big baking.

For dessert, slices of birthday cake, a scratch yellow cake, with plum jam between the layers, and cocoa powder buttercream frosting.



  1. I lovelovelove a soup and bread combo for dinner. Sounds yummy ... but my sweet tooth is clamoring for your birthday cake!

    1. Hi Kris,
      My favorite combo is soup, 1/2 sandwich and pie. My girls and I were talking about that just yesterday, and how we need to put that on the menu very soon!

    2. Have you ever made a lemon meringue? My mom used to make them and I loved them, but I haven't tried one myself ... it sounds really good to me, for some reason, so maybe I'll have to remedy that!

    3. Kris, yes, I've made lemon meringue many times (it's one of the pies for Easter dinner this year). I think you and live and learn and I have had this discussion before. For me, lemon meringue is fairly easy. I use bottled lemon juice (so no juicing or zesting of lemons), and cook the custard part in a skillet, using a metal spatula to stir, while it cooks(keeps it from scorching). The meringue part is just whipping the whites of eggs with sugar and lemon juice, till stiff, then bake the whole thing until golden on top. It's more time-consuming than making a pumpkin pie, but not that hard, I think.

      I think you'd do fine with baking a lemon meringue pie. Go for it!

  2. Nice wholesome meal, soup to dessert, on such a small food budget. I like it when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts!! The magic ingredient is your input. Give a paint can to Jackson Pollock!


    1. Hi YHF,
      It's kind of a humble meal, but very filling! And works for a family on a small grocery budget.

  3. Loved your post this morning! I mentioned to my husband yesterday evening after a very busy meeting day that I was drawing a blank for today's meal.
    I do meal plan and have the first part and the last part of the week planned. My original plans indicated I would be away today. Plans changed and I am assembling a similar soup from a chicken and the remaining stock after I mad a large vat of rice.
    I have sorry looking carrots simmering now, I have a bag of all ready cooked garbanzo beans going in later, some red pepper that has seen better days and about 2 cups of mashed yams. It may turn more stew like. We will use the left over hamburger buns from yesterday. My husband is always appreciative as are my kids of the bounty and leftovers produced for dinners and then lunches.
    My mother used to say she would anything without complaint if someone else would make it. I find I echo those words now:)
    Many times my kids do assemble and cook meals. I do love it:)

    1. "She would eat anything without complaint if someone else made it:)"

    2. Hi Teresa,
      Your soup for tonight sounds delicious and a great way to use some of your ingredients, especially the aging carrots, and red pepper.

      I can appreciate your mother's sentiments regarding just having someone else cook. I try to always respect a meal cooked by someone else, if for no other reason, that it gave me the night off.

      Enjoy your soup tonight!

  4. Your posts are still showing up later than any one else's--a day or two after they're posted. Not sure what's going on. Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, you can't go wrong with soup. That's what we had last night to use up some veggies.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I'm afraid I don't have any possible clue why my posts would show up a day or two late, in your feed, right? Not email. Wish I knew.
      Soup is such a great way to use up those lingering veggies!

  5. My husband would love this but with sausage instead of turkey ( he is such a nut). Could we have the recipe please? Cheryl

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      I'll make a stab at what I use. Start with onion and carrots in oil/fat (I had turkey fat, so used half turkey fat half oil). Then added, 2 cloves minced garlic, and about 1 cup of tomato paste and a quart of water/stock. Simmered for30-45 minutes. Added1 cup of cooked garbanzo beans, 1 1/2 cups diced turkey, 1 cup of dry macaroni, cooked 7 minutes or until macaroni done. Added dried oregano, basil, black pepper, a bit of vinegar, and salt to taste. Add shredded cabbage, cook 1 minute.

      I think that is a close approximation of what I did/used. For me, the flavor is in the tomato paste, herbs, garlic, black pepper and vinegar (vinegar sounds strange, but I love it in minestrone. I use whatever herb vinegar I have left. This time it was rosemary vinegar.)

      The veggies can vary with whatever I have. I sometimes add green beans or green limas, or fresh zucchini if that's what I have, in place of the cabbage.

      Your hubbies preferred version with sausage does sound delicious!

    2. Thank you. I have never used vinegar in a soup, can't wait to try it. He loves his meat, at least with sausage a half a lb. gives lots of flavor. There is a soup on food network by Gilda called spicy tomato soup that my family loves. Can't link with my kindle but it is very good. Doesn't call for meat but there is that sausage again in mine. I freeze it too. Cheryl

    3. Cheryl, I just use a dash of the vinegar. It adds flavor without sodium. Yum, spicy tomato soup sounds delicious!


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