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Friday, October 30, 2015

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for the last week of October

This supper (Wednesday) wins the prize,
 for tastiest dinner of the week -- full of flavor!

rice and bean burritos in homemade flour tortillas
*kale sauteed in bacon fat
* fresh pears and figs, with a melted jelly "dressing"
scratch chocolate pudding

*oven-roasted purple and white potatoes
*pickled beets
*tomato wedges
bread and butter
pumpkin soup
gingerbread cookies

pumpkin pie
peanut butter sandwiches for anyone still hungry

roasted acorn squash
corn souffle
*sauteed kale in bacon fat

*turkey and dumplings (with leftover rice, leftover refried beans, garden chard, beet greens, onion, and purchased carrots, peas and green beans)
pumpkin bread

Wednesday (hodgepodge night)
rice and black beans (had to use up some leftover rice)
deviled eggs
oven-roasted carrots
mustard-glazed onions
*fresh pears
*fresh tomatoes

black bean burger patties
*oven-roasted purple and white potatoes
*fresh tomatoes
*cole slaw
*blackberry-rhubarb crisp
^^^ too ambitious & too much work for this day, around noon, changed to:
*homemade pizza, with olives, sliced onions, frozen green pepper
*frozen applesauce

*indicates this meal item came from the garden/orchard, or was foraged

Do you know what the definition of hodgepodge is? A disorderly mixture. That's what Wednesday night's supper felt like to me. I was just trying to use as much of our garden produce as I could, followed by the most cheaply obtained foods (carrots, onions, rice, beans), and a few eggs for protein.

As you can see on the menu, there are far fewer asterisks next to meal items, meaning I am getting less and less from our garden. The upside to that, though, is without having to clean garden produce, making meals is a little bit quicker. I always appreciate that aspect of the garden coming to a close, and turning to frozen veggies or store-bought carrots and onions. Scrubbing garden produce is not one of my favorite chores. I think we wind up eating a fair amount of dirt (simply because I tire of scrubbing carrots or potatoes), and more than a few bugs (as picking them out of fruit and veggies takes time).

I am down to about a 10-day supply of fresh tomatoes. Sadly, they'll be gone after that. But then we get to eat oven-roasted canned whole tomatoes, again! We could get a frost early next week, with overnight lows for my area, now forecasted for about 39 degrees F, for Tuesday/Wednesday. So, later today, I'll put the plastic tunnel row cover over part of the garden. Hopefully this will "hold" the cabbage, kale, chard, mustard and radish greens, for another month.

What was on your menu this last week?


  1. Your meals sound tasty, Lili. Ham soup was the main thing on our menu this week, made with Easter ham leftovers from the freezer. We ate it for three meals, and it tasted delicious each time!

    1. Hi Mary,
      Yum, ham soup is very warming! Sounds delicious enough for 3 nights in a row, to me!

  2. Hi Lili,

    Your meals look delicious. I am, however, a little startled at how "lean" your menus are day to day. Maybe they aren't so lean but the plates and what's on them doesn't seem to be enough for adults. Maybe your family isn't so big on meats but I still think the portion size seems quite small. Maybe your budget doesn't allow for much more. Not trying to be critical and I'm not being cruel in my comment just caring. Maybe it is just a healthy serving.


    1. Hi Alice,
      Hmmm, the last photo doesn't include the bread and butter, pumpkin soup or cookies that we had with dinner that night. But the first two photos are pretty representative of the amount for dinners, here. These are always my plates, too, which isn't quite as much as 2 of the family members. About meat, we ate a lot of meat, for us, over the summer, as one daughter needed to gain weight, and meat is a great way to put on weight, as the food values are pretty dense in many meats. And now, I'm just more in a meatless mind-set, choosing beans a lot of the time.

      We do eat a fair amount throughout the day, too. But you're probably right in your assessment that we don't eat enormous amounts of calorie-dense foods, for suppers, in our family. We're all on the mostly lean side, in terms of body composition, but not skinny, by any means.

      Different people have different caloric needs, according to their genes, lifestyle, and size.

      I am just curious, if, as a for instance, say you made burritos for dinner, would you all have more than one burrito each? My husband could eat more than one, probably, but the rest of us would be too stuffed. And the day that I did serve burritos, this past week, we also had a pretty rich chocolate pudding (I use heavy cream, when I can, in my pudding recipe).

      I don't take offense, at all. So no worries, there. In fact, I sometimes find myself amazed when I see how little some other folks eat at meals.

      Thank you for caring, though.

  3. Well hodgepodge is usually what we eat...last night we took out some frozen luau leaves (cleaned, deveined and boiled for an hour before freezing) and made pork luau (pork was leftover "sweet meats" as husband calls it from his favorite chinese deli), the previous days must have been really "on your own" because I can't recall. I remember a few nights of bean patty burrito (using frozen bean patty and frozen tortilla wraps), Our veggies are usually from the freezer too, kang kong, okra. So easy to heat up only the portions we need. I like cleaning, blanching and freezing what's on sale at the farmer's market. For $5 we get quite a lot of different vegetables very cheap. Of course, the kang kong pot is still going strong giving us a full gallon size ziploc bag (after blanching) to freeze almost every week.

    My last egg purchase was medium size, 2.5 doz for $7.99 in the first week of October. Not a very good price, but it was an on the spur purchase because my husband needed eggs for his cooking. My husband always had said he cooks because he likes to eat...another way of saying he can't depend on me to cook for him what he likes to eat.


    1. Hi YHF,
      How do you like to prepare okra? I think I've only ever had it in gumbo, and even so, only a few times in my life.

      If you're getting a gal.size ziploc every week, you must be swimming in kang kong! That makes meal prep easier, in the veggie dept, at least.

      Every man should know how to cook for himself, so your hubby is doing a good job of it. My rule has always been, either eat what I make or fix yourself something else. I don't do short-order. So -- good for your husband!

    2. Especially during rainy season,, the kang kong literally grows over night. We have two pots and when harvested not much is inedible. We've found a way to grow it bugfree....harvest the entire pot rather than clip only the longer stems. So now we just clip across a couple inches above the soil like giving the plant a haircut lol. The plant self roots as it matures yielding more stems in time, like a weed. Such a nutritious vegetable too.

      I love okra sauteed in butter and garlic. We sometimes make a mayonnaise based dipping sauce. I can even eat it plain. The vegetable stand we frequent often sells okra since it is used in pinakbet, a Filipino dish. I haven't made it that way in a long time.


    3. Hi YHF,
      The okra sounds delicious. I often hear people complain about okra, but I think it is like with many other foods, you just have to find the right way to eat it. For us, that was kale. Many people think kale has a strong and bitter taste, but if you cook it in the right way, it's good. Or another one, for me personally, was beets. The first time I ever cooked them, I didn't like them. But now have found a couple of ways to prepare them that I do like.

      That kang kong sounds fabulous!

  4. I love these posts and how your suppers are based on what's available. Hodgepodge would be a good way to describe my eating style too.

    It finally cooled off enough to make soup, so I used one of the chicken carcasses in the freezer and made a big batch of chicken & veggie soup. So this week it's been soup & ____ (fill in the blank with whatever's convenient and available.)

    1. Thanks, Cat.
      Oh that does sound delicious, the chicken and veggie soup! I'm guessing with summer heat behind you, there will be many more weeks of soup at your house.

  5. Your meals sound yummy.:) I found canned pumpkin at my dollar tree. got a couple of cans. have great weekend.

    1. Hi Patti,
      Oh great! I hope the quality of the pumpkin from Dollar Tree is good. Have a great weekend, yourself!


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