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Thursday, August 25, 2022

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers -- End of August

(Movie Night -- we watched African Queen, checked out from the local library)
sausage, mushroom and basil pizza
garden green beans
curried cabbage, sprouted lentil, and peanut slaw
microwave brownies

I'm still out of pepperoni. But we've been very satisfied with the sausage, mushroom and basil pizzas I've been making.

My heads of cabbage are still forming. So instead of harvesting a ball of cabbage for the slaw, I cut off one or two outer leaves from a few heads, then finely sliced those leaves.

Saturday (I don't remember what we had.)

garbanzo bean and kale soup
drop biscuits
blackberry cobbler

I had a bunch of different liquids to use up, some from steaming vegetables, some from rinsing a can of tomato puree, and pasta cooking water. These were used as the liquid in the soup.

The leftover blackberry cobbler became the next day's breakfast.

sorrel, squash blossom and sausage soup
stuffed grape leaves
Mexican baked beans with beef
tossed garden salad
fresh blackberries

The baked beans were absolutely delicious. If you're tiring of traditional baked beans and like Tex-Mex food, try a Mexican baked bean casserole. I use 4 oz of cooked ground beef, added to 2.5 to 3 cups of cooked pinto beans, a little salsa, some fresh cilantro, chili powder, cumin, salt, water, vegetable oil. I baked the casserole at about 325 F until the water was mostly gone. It tasted like the filling to a good beef and bean burrito. Extras like cheddar cheese, sliced olives, chopped green onions, diced tomato as toppings after baking would make this really tasty.

pancakes with garden blueberries
blackberry-rhubarb sauce


spaghetti and meat sauce
sautéed zucchini and patty pan squash
cucumber and pickled chive blossom salad
fresh blackberries

I doubled the batch of spaghetti sauce for a quick meal next week, using 1 lb. of ground beef, a small handful of TVP dehydrated, 12 oz. can tomato paste, oregano, celery, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and water (including some of the pasta cooking water at the end). I also saved the water from cooking the spaghetti to use in Thursday's dinner as part of the liquid in the curry.

The pickled chive blossoms were added to the sliced cucumber salad. After I strained my last bottle of chive blossom vinegar, I put the jar of blossoms into the fridge. I use a tablespoon of the pickled blossoms in a salad, pulling the individual blossoms apart slightly. They provide the vinegar flavor in salads that I'd normally add some vinegar. In this salad, I added a spoonful of mayo and a pinch of salt to the sliced cucumbers and chive blossoms.

chicken curry over rice
sautéed beet greens (we ate roasted beets with lunch on Wednesday)
leftover frozen chocolate cream pie and various ice creams

A couple of days this last week (those that 3 or more of us were at home), our lunches looked more like dinners. I've roasted and sautéed vegetables, made fried rice, baked desserts, etc. It just makes sense for our situation. I used the leafy green leaves from the carrots in a slaw and in fried rice. I used both fresh chive blossoms  (in soups and salads) and the pickled chive blossoms that are leftover from making chive blossom vinegar (in salads). I harvest the squash blossoms later in the day, using only male blossoms and only after the female blossoms have twisted themselves shut. We like the mellowness they add to sorrel soup. This was the first week that I've used our celery. And this is the first time I've grown celery. Our homegrown celery has a strong flavor compared to commercially-grown celery. I added some ribs to the fried rice and the spaghetti sauce, using both leaves and crunchy ribs. Instead of harvesting the entire plant, I cut off an outer rib here and there and am allowing the rest of the plant to continue to grow.

Our garden is producing really well, but most of what it's giving us needs someone to cook it into something. On the days that I'm cooking at least 2 full meals, I'm spending a lot of time in the kitchen. It's a season of my life. The positive part of all of this is a few more minutes with family each day. Opportunities like this will become fewer and further between shortly. 

what we've eaten from the garden this week
(I wanted to list this out just to see how much our garden is yielding right now. I feel very blessed.)

green beans
lentil sprouts (from the kitchen "garden")
kale -- two kinds
squash blossoms
grape leaves
dill weed
nasturtium leaves and flowers
Swiss chard
summer squash
chive blossoms
carrots and their greens
radish leaves
beets and their greens
green onions

still waiting for potatoes, Brussel sprouts, tomatoes, fall turnips, pumpkins.winter squash, peppers, corn, and figs

Those were our meals this past week. Anything special on your menus? Do you ever have your large meal in the middle of the day and a lighter one for supper?

Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. I grew celery last year, but it was very strongly flavored and bitter. Maybe it was the heat. I'm not sure, but I didn't try again this year. We had roasted brussel sprouts from the garden this week along with squash in different ways. Not sure what else we had.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Hmmm, I do think homegrown celery is stronger in flavor than grocery store celery. Ours doesn't seem bitter, just more celery-y. You may be on to something about the heat affecting the flavor. That's too bad about last year's celery. I am envious of your squash and Brussel sprouts. We won't have the sprouts until late October, if we're lucky.

  2. It's been yet another interesting week. For meals, we've had baked chicken with corn on the cob, Mexican skillet supper, grilled salmon (donated by a work friend of my husband's) with a cooked veggie pasta, and a ham/veggie/egg biscuit bake. We have a lot of green beans from our garden and are also enjoying tomatoes, chard, eggplant, beet greens, and undoubtedly others that I am forgetting.

    I found out I have covid so I'm in the quarantine stage right now. Fortunately I have a mild case. I'm finding that it actually seems nice to be "forced" to stay home--I've been really busy lately (hence the weakened immune system .... ) and having an official reason to slow down has its plusses.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I hope you are feeling better today than last week. A forced time to be at home might be just what you needed.
      I'm envious of your eggplant. I've tried that a couple of times without success. Your area probably has much warmer summers than we do here.
      Your meals sound delicious, especially the chicken with corn on the cob and Mexican skillet dish. Yum!


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