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Thursday, October 5, 2023

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers (with some random photos of my kitchen)

Another week of homecooked meals. Since I failed to take pictures of our meals most days of this week, I thought I'd intersperse some random glimpses of the kitchen's most used areas.

Snack central
homemade instant oatmeal and oatmeal packets
from the salvage store (10 cents/box)
a couple of packets of free pop-tarts (free with coupon)
nuts, sunflower seeds, and raisins

spaghetti with meaty tomato sauce (using fresh tomatoes, canned tomato paste, garden garlic, parsley, oregano)
steamed garden carrots

I just have to say this -- freshly dug carrots smell so wonderful when cooking. I only added a blob of butter to the finished carrots, no salt or anything else. So delicious.

I did remember to take a pic on Saturday

refried beans
homemade flour tortilla
tomato wedges
cheddar cheese

I asked my husband to make me an extra small tortilla, so I wouldn't have to grind my teeth down to chew. I was told to be very careful with the fractured tooth, because it could fracture further and cause some serious pain. So my husband obliged and made this cute little tortilla.

the fruit bowl area
The tomatoes on the counter are ones
that need peeling and using asap.
Small bowl of garlic cloves are pieces leftover from planting
garlic this week. I planted only the large cloves and
saved the smaller ones for cooking.
Avocados are great soft foods for minimal chewing.

tomato frittata
white rice
steamed garden carrots

One daughter is gone for the week cat-sitting. So dinner was much simpler. Fewer people to cook for means simple meals in my mind. 

I love most things about our stove.
It has an old-fashioned look to it.
However, it burned out 2 igniters way too fast.
The red pot in back is a Whirly-Pop for making popcorn.
My daughter bought this on ebay
and says it makes the best popcorn.
You have to turn the handle
the whole time the popcorn is popping.

spaghetti sauce over pasta for family, over soft and crustless bread for me
well-cooked garden mixed veggies

Tuesday's dinner

bean burgers, topped with homemade relish and mayo
mashed potatoes
more steamed carrots

Where we keep the flavored vinegars, cocoa mix,
sugar canister, right next to the mixing bowl.

homemade tomato soup
scrambled eggs
crustless soft bread for me, toasted homemade bread for family


ground beef cooked with onions, garlic, fresh tomatoes, garden herbs, and a slurry of cornstarch and water to make a bit of a sauce, so I could serve it over
mashed potatoes
pureed kale soup
homemade applesauce, using our blemished tree apples

As you can see, I'm on a rather soft diet. Trying not to create a larger crack in that tooth by chewing anything harder than steamed carrots. I find myself just swallowing a lot of stuff whole, like the ground beef in the spaghetti sauce. It works for me. I'm finding lots of soft things to eat -- smoothies, avocados, cream of wheat cereal, ripe bananas, soup, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes. I do eat a few other more firm foods, but in total, I've been very careful with eating.

What was on your menu this past week? Have you ever had to prepare mostly soft foods for yourself or others? What foods worked well for you?

Have a great weekend, friends!


  1. I had all 4 wisdom teeth out as a kid and my mom made me beef stew in the blender. That is the only thing I can remember eating.

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Mmmm, beef stew sound good, even if pureed. Very sweet of your mom to do this for your portion.

  2. It all looks delicious. If I need a soft diet, give me cooked carrots and mashed potatoes, and I'm a happy camper. Add a little gravy, and it's even better.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      Oh, I'm totally onboard with carrots, potatoes and gravy. It's now the beginning of potato season for my family. I see a lot of mashed potatoes and gravy in my future.

  3. Thanks for the tour of your kitchen, Lili! How fun!

    We've had to do soft food for a number of dental things over the decades. Biscuits and gravy and hot turkey/chicken sandwiches (gravy makes everything softer --and better -- thanks, L and L for reminding me of that!) Split pea soup. Milk-based soups, home-made pudding, yogurt and cottage cheese, for those without lactose problems. Coconut milk milkshakes and coconut milk custard for those who can't eat dairy. Scrambled eggs with melted cheese. Sweet potatoes are easy to chew, like mashed potatoes, and have some different nutrients. Various cooked cereal grains. It's hard, though, especially over a longer time period!

    I can never remember what I cooked when you ask. Isn't that funny? The only one that comes to mind from this week is that I marinated a tri-tip and was roasting it, but when I started to make the sides, we realized suddenly that we had no running water -- and less than usual back-up/emergency water in the house, for various reasons. We have trouble getting information from our (otherwise good) local water company; so rather than use up the water we had on pasta or potatoes, I made hot dog bun garlic breads for the rest of the family's starch. I ate cold leftover oatmeal for mine (which tastes actually pretty good with salt, and kept me from dirtying another pan I didn't know when I'd have water to wash-up, again.) Then, rather than try to wash produce, I opened some canned green beans and canned apricots, and hauled out some leftover raw carrots DS had cut for snacks the day before. It was a good meal. Thankfully, the water main was repaired the next morning, and when DH had leftover tri-tip last night, he got his (favorite) garlic pasta with it. :) Sara

    1. Hi Sara,
      What an ordeal with the water! I'm glad it was repaired the next day. You did well thinking through all of the ways to reserve the water you had.
      Thank you for your list of possible soft foods. Some of them I've been incorporating into our meals and snacks. I haven't made biscuits and gravy this time around, but I may do those tomorrow with some leftover roast and its gravy.

  4. You have done a good job of making tasty meals and sticking to your restrictions. Yesterday I made curried lentils over rice. I purposely made enough for tonight (well, the recipe makes a lot...) so I wouldn't have to cook after getting home from work. My daughter is working this evening so I packaged some up for her to eat before her shift. I was happy with tonight's easy meal.

    Lots of meals with rice this week. Cashew chicken, taco chicken bowls. I made other food, but don't remember what.

    I got my wisdom teeth out when I was 17. My memory is of a friend bringing me ice cream. Unfortunately she didn't realize there were nuts in it. Ouch!

    1. Hi Kris,
      Oh ouch on the nuts in the ice cream. But what a very sweet friend. I'm sure you were appreciative.

  5. Today I just told my daughter about the time I got my first wisdom teeth out, I was about the same age she is now. I got good medication, so good that I saw things. Or I thought I was hallusinating, but later it turned out that things I thought were not real actually were real ;-) I don't remember if I had to eat soft foods, most likely.
    But when I was expecting my twins, I had a horrible bout of mouth ulcers - I just couldn't eat anything, not even liquids, and of course I had 24/7 morning sickness, and only thing helping was constant eating... So I ate few spoonfuls of natural yoghurt or drank a mouthful of kind of buttermilk (made similar way to yoghurt) or just milk, because those were the only things that didn't make me cry for pain. I lost a lot of weight during those two weeks.
    I've been using up things in the fridge and freezers this week along all produce I have from garden (and forager mushrooms). But we will most likely have snow tonight, not fun at all. I did harvest most of my vegetables last week, but there's still pumpkins and corn on my plot.
    Someone/thing ate ALL my carrots! And I mean all of them :-(

    1. Hi Ulvmor,
      I'm sorry you had such painful mouth sores when pregnant. One of my daughters is prone to bad mouth sores. When they happen, she has to be very careful what she eats and is generally not thrilled to eat anything. I feel for you.

      That's a shame about the carrots. That's so frustrating and disappointing when a critter enjoys all of our hard gardening work. But it does sound like your garden has been very successful otherwise, if that's any consolation.


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