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Friday, September 22, 2017

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers when the house feels cold!

Over the weekend we had rice and garbanzo beans, cooked carrots, chicken and cheese burritos and frozen peas.

I had simmered the carcass of a roasted chicken last week, and frozen the broth and scraps of meat for making soup. Monday was just the kind of day where soup would be appreciated -- the skies were dark, it looked like rain could begin at any moment, and the house did not warm much at all (63 F was the warmest it got in the main areas of the house).  The menu for Monday -- chicken soup to go with leftovers from my volunteer work over the weekend (tea sandwiches, potato chips, cookies and fruit).

Tuesday I roasted my last whole turkey. Roasting the turkey is a decision that no only affects the menu, but also impacts the household heat. The Friday before, I checked the weather forecasts and it looked to be rainy and cool this week. I had no idea how chilly it would feel in the house, though, so I was very appreciative of something so large that needed a long cooking period. Dinner on Tuesday was roasted turkey, gravy, cornbread stuffing, frozen green beans, cranberry sauce from last week.

With a roasted turkey this week, Wednesday would be a good day for easy leftover cooking. There was cooked rice in the fridge, from the weekend, turkey, gravy and cranberry sauce from the night before, and frozen peas done in the microwave to round out the meal. With the turkey carcass, at this point I had pulled enough meat off of some of the bones to start a crockpot of broth overnight, with leg, thigh, and wing bones. This will reduce my work on the main turkey stock-making day, on Friday, and maybe the rest of the turkey bones will actually fit in my small-ish crockpot, and cook overnight Friday into Saturday.

I forgot to use up the cranberry sauce yesterday, so that's a priority to use up. Lots of leftover turkey, and a bit of gravy. I made stock overnight, so I will make a bit more gravy with a cup of it. The rest of dinner will sound a bit odd, but it works, and uses leftovers. So, Thursday dinner menu -- turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, potato chips, steamed carrots, tossed salad that included lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and cooked green beans. It was all good, even it the combo sounds strange.

I baked bread today, which helped warm the kitchen in the late afternoon, opening the oven door to release all of the heat after baking.

I have the rest of the turkey carcass to cook up today. I think that I'll use whatever meat I can remove from it in a turkey curry, or a Moroccan wrap, using spices to help hide the heavy flavors of dark meat poultry.

What was on your menu this past week?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!


  1. We had all good meals this week made with foods that were needing to be used or easy for me to make.

    Not in any specific order we had:
    --baked chicken
    --spaghetti sauce with rigatoni noodles in the IP
    --beef and bean wet burritos (frozen enchilada sauce and homemade refried beans in the fridge)
    --taco salad using a head of lettuce that needed to be used up quickly

    Not sure what we're having yet tonight. It is very hot here (unusually hot, in fact 90 degrees or higher) and so I don't want to turn on the oven if I don't have to.

    I have no freezer room left so therefore I can't get any more groceries other than fresh stuff.


    1. Hi Alice,
      90 degrees is hard for me to imagine, right now. I thought I had enough blankets on the bed last night, but it still felt cold.
      A full freezer is one of the best reasons to not go grocery shopping, I think. At least the reason for which to be most grateful.
      Have a wonderful weekend, Alice.

  2. We are experiencing the same hot, humid weather as Alice. Yesterday the AC wasn't working at our house. I thought it was the programmable thermostat (new last year--I never had gotten really good at figuring it out) so during my in-and-out schedule, I kept trying to get it to work. Finally decided I had done everything right and it still wasn't working, so I called the furnace guys (we just had our furnace inspected for the season on Tuesday). They sent out a service guy--turns out we had blown a fuse. Thankful that we were able to get our AC back on, but boy was it hot ... and by the time things were fixed, it was dinner time ... so I did something I rarely do--we ordered pizza. I couldn't face heating up the house even more. Had I known earlier in the day that we would be without AC all day long, I would have prepared for it. On the bright side--we weren't charged for the service visit, and later in the evening my mom, son and I went to a free concert at the library, so I was at least somewhat frugal!

    Other meals ... tonight I will make some sort of Chinese chicken recipe (still deciding which one), earlier I tried a new Mexican pasta recipe; also had my chicken thighs in honey/soy sauce ... forgetting the other meal. Oh well.

  3. Looks like you made very good use of your turkey this week. The males in my family prefer the dark meat, so there's never any need to disguise its flavor. Me on the other hand would like most of my meat disguised.

  4. I know we did rice and beans for a couple of days and I made chili for over the weekend. We did a mystery shop for pizza on two different nights, and the other night I cannot recall. Looks like you did a bang up job on that turkey. Such a frugal meal. I'm glad it was good and you all enjoyed it. It's that time of year. I need to make some dressing soon, it's a family favorite. :)


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