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Thursday, October 7, 2021

Cheap & Cheerful Meals for an Early October Week



pepperoni pizza, sautéed grape leaves in yogurt-dill sauce, carrot sticks, chocolates


refried beans, homemade tortillas, tomato wedges, carrot sticks, cole slaw


lentil-vegetable soup, scratch biscuits, chocolates


root beer beans, sausage patties, roasted purple potatoes, stuffed grape leaves, tossed garden salad, preserved figs


Leftover beans, sausage, potatoes, grape leaves, plus blackberry pie


spaghetti with meat sauce, sautéed kale, cauliflower leaves and Brussels sprout leaves in cheese sauce, blackberry pie


chicken in gravy, roasted purple potatoes, kale, apple, cabbage, raisin, and almond salad

Breakfasts included cream of wheat type hot cereal, carrot-raisin muffins, banana bread, toast, oatmeal, homemade yogurt, frozen blackberries, the last of the fresh plums, fresh tomatoes, coffee and milk

Lunches were varied this week and included cheese, peanut butter, spicy pinto bean spread, French bread, whole wheat bread, saltine crackers, raisins, tomatoes, leftover soup, cabbage, lentil sprouts, apples, bananas, lettuce, celery, peanuts, almonds, and graham crackers. We all seemed to put the ingredients together differently, with some of us making soups, some sandwiches, and some snack-y items like “ants on a log”.

We continue to eat from the garden, but more and more grocery store produce is entering our meals and snacks, such as the cabbage, carrots, bananas, and celery. I tried to keep snack foods available to everyone, making a batch of banana bread, carrot-raisin muffins, a loaf of French bread, a container of bean spread (puréed cooked beans, salsa, salt and oil), and some roasted almonds on the day I baked sandwich bread and a pie. I am constantly amazed by the quantity of food we eat each week.

What was on your menu this past week?


  1. Your tomatoes look so good. We harvested 37 ripe ones a couple of days ago with more green ones on the vine. However, at this time of year, they are full of blemishes from stink bugs, splits, and rotting spots. But even after all of that that was enough for a tomato salad and tomato sauce for chili.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Blogger wouldn't let me add a comment here a few minutes ago. My reply is further down the comments. I'm sorry about that.

  2. I agree with Live and Learn re: the tomatoes. We are still harvesting them too, but they aren't very pretty and on the small side. I just cut off the bad looking spots and they are still delicious in tomato sandwiches and salads. Our peppers (bell and jalapenos) continue to produce. This weekend, I'm planning to candy some more of the jalapenos for Christmas and maybe make some pepper jelly as well for those who don't like spicy.

    My meals this week have been a bit lackluster and repetitive. With the pork specials I mentioned in an earlier comment, we've been eating it frequently this week since that's what we've got, with a bit of chicken mixed in. Ground beef is actually on sale so I may be picking up some of it for some chili if it ever gets to be chili weather here. The temps are moderating a bit in the forecast so maybe soon.

    Lynn from NC Outer Banks

    1. Hi Lynn,
      Candied jalapenos sound tasty will surely be well-appreciated at Christmas! Good plan to pick up some ground beef now. Chili season will return, even in your area, and then you'll be prepared. Although pork sounds delicious, too.
      Enjoy your weekend, Lynn!

  3. My Dh has been in Cabo all week for work-win/win for me. Not much cooking plus he brought me home 3 bottles of Mexican vanilla lol. For two nights I had hamburgers. I cooked them one night and then ate leftovers the next nite. I had two hotdogs in a package and frozen chili in the freezer so another nite I made chili dogs. Had to use hamburger buns because that’s what I had, but it worked. Another night my youngest treated me to kfc. It was much appreciated since I didn’t have to cook, pay for food, or even leave the house. Last nite I just snacked on random things I found. Dh is home now so tonite I am making elk steaks with mashed potatoes-one of his favorite meals, and I like it ok too.

    1. Hi Diane,
      Wow, what a bounty of vanilla. My mom would sometimes get someone to pick up Mexican vanilla for her and I think she really appreciated that. Lots of baking for you in your future!
      It sounds like you made the best of it with your meal cooking while your husband was away. I love how easy you made it for yourself. Everyone needs a break from time to time.
      Have a great weekend, Diane!

  4. Our meals have largely centered around my baking day earlier this week. My hairdresser and I have developed a friendship based on a mutual love of baking. We have had a few 'baking days' in which we each bring a recipe and we make it together, usually bread. She is of Greek heritage and her baking experiences are different from my Heinz 57 midwest woman background, so we both learn a lot. Anyway, we made naan and English muffin bread with everything-bagel seasoning on it, so one of my dinners was a Greek chicken sandwich on naan, and another (of which we will eat the leftovers tonight) was a beefy-tomato/veggie soup. We also had Mexican skillet supper one night, and on Wednesday we went to a neighborhood potluck--I took my mom's apple cake, which is a yummy recipe but not exactly, um, healthy, so it's best to make it for a situation where it's shared with lots of people. The weather here has been quite moderate, temperature-wise, so it doesn't seem like ideal soup weather, but we love soup and so there you have it!

    I also made a yogurt-dill sauce, Lili, but no grape leaves in mine! ;) If I think of it, I'll ask my hairdresser about cooking with grape leaves. She does it a lot and told me that she gleans them in the wild. If you shoot me a reminder on Tuesday, it might help, since that's when I get my hair trimmed.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I love your self-description -- Heinz 57 Midwest woman! Too funny! What a fun time you had with your hairdresser/friend. And thank you, I'll try to remember to ask for you to find out what else she does with grape leaves. Your meals sound delicious, and that apple cake recipe from your mom must be one of those treasures to pass down in your family. I hope your daughter or son enjoy baking and will learn the recipe too!
      Have a great weekend, Kris!

  5. Hi Live and Learn,
    I'm glad that you got many good tomatoes from your plants. It always feels like such a shame when some of them don't do well. Tomato salad and sauce for chili sounds yummy!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Live and Learn!

  6. Hi friends,
    I'm testing something on my comments. I've borrowed my daughters laptop to reply this morning. Phone's malfunctioning, too, now. Anyway, Grace's name may show as my reply, if I can get this fixed.

    1. Okay, so Grace's name only pops up if someone clicks on my name at the top of the comment. Shouldn't affect us, here. Have a great day, all!

    2. Oh no-now the phone too? When it rains it pours. That's the whole love-hate relationship with all our technology. Love it when it works, hate it when it doesn't. I echo the earlier comment thanking you for persisting and commenting this week, despite the many obstacles! Hope next week will be better!
      Lynn from NC Outer Banks


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