Sunday, September 12, 2010

LAWKI Fast Food, Meal Planning

LAWKI Day 22
September 10, 2010

Breakfast: Biscuits and Gravy
Lunch: Kids-school, M&S- leftovers
Dinner: Tater tots, Little Smokies, other junk food

I tried another kind of TVP today. I used a package mix for the sausage gravy and then used the sausage TVP. This one was pretty good. Michael and James like it, Ben and Katie preferred the gravy without the sausage. I would make that again, and maybe even use the TVP instead of cooking real sausage. Everyone likes the biscuits, and they are about the quickest baked thing to make in the morning. All told, this was less than 20 minutes start to finish. Not a bad breakfast.

I took James to the football game tonight and drove by about 250 fast food restaurants there and back. By the time I got home, I did not want a boring meal. We dug into the freezer and came up with Tater tots and Little Smokies. Not the healthiest meal, but boy was it nice to have some “fast” food for a change.

LAWKI Day 23
September 11, 2010

Breakfast: Hashbrowns, sausage, eggs
Lunch: Angel Hair Pasta and sauce
Dinner: M&S-Church Adult BBQ

Our family got to put up flags this morning. After the exercise in frustration that that was, and knowing we were facing a good day of housecleaning, we went to the freezer again and got the last bags of hashbrowns and a thing of sausage. We cooked that up and everyone got 1 fried egg with it. The eggs are past the use by date, but I assure you, they will not go in the garbage. We have about a dozen left and we are all dreaming of eating them.

I spent about 4 hours cleaning in the food storage room today. It has been about 6 months since I last went through it. After buying some things at the Smith’s case lot sale and Macey’s bulk food sale, I needed to get it all in and rotated. John was my helper, vacuuming out the spider’s webs and loading up cases of spaghetti sauce. It was satisfying work, and it helped me to check up on our stock of things.

About a year ago I made a spread sheet that listed all of the things I could think of that I would ever want to store. The list was based off of one that I had seen about 10 years ago. It has food, spices, baking supplies, cleaners, paper products, first aid, etc. I have columns for how much food I think we need, what we have, what we still need to get, and notes on it. More than being a 100% up to date catalog of what we have, it was the process of creating it that was most useful. It forced me to plan out how I would use the food we have.

I have modified an idea that I saw presented at a food storage something that was called the 19x19 plan. It suggested you plan 19 different daily menus, make sure you have enough food to make those meals 19 times, and you have a year’s supply of food. That idea made a lot of sense, and broke down the mystery of how much to store and then how do you use it. For me, I know there are really only about 7 breakfasts I can think of in terms of food storage and traditional breakfast foods: pancakes, waffles, oatmeal, cream of wheat cereal, cracked wheat cereal, muffins and biscuits. If I plan to make those 52 times, that is a year of breakfasts. After watching my general laziness in the morning, even this month when there is not a constant supply of easy breakfasts for the kids, I should probably include toast and fruit as breakfast options. That has been a staple.

I plan for lunch to be one of three things: leftovers, bread/tortillas/pita for sandwiches, and/or beans. That means at least a loaf of bread a day, maybe 2, depending on what other bread like foods we have around. One thing I have considered this month is whether I would need to move lunch and dinner around. Part of that is wondering if the “big” meal should be at lunch and part is thinking in terms of alternate energy sources. Using the sun oven means focusing on the part of the day with the strongest sun. Using any other source means trying to do all of your cooking at the same time, or at least one right after another in the case of charcoal.

That leaves dinner. I planned a list of 24 main dishes I thought I could make from food storage. Some are just soups, some are pasta or rice with sauce, and some are more meal-like. If I plan to do each one 12-13 times, that is my year’s supply. I also plan so that I can have a can of vegetables and a can of fruit at least once a day. That is pretty slim pickings for 6 adults, but that is what seems reasonable to me in terms of storage room and all.

And, because it is me after all, I have planned out what desserts I could make from food storage. I think that is almost as important as everything else. It’s back to the idea that a cookie with beans and bread is exponentially better than just beans and bread. I figure I can make cookies, cake, cobbler, crisp, brownies, pie, pudding, Jell-o and sweet quick breads. There are probably more, but these would give a great variety. One thing I have found I am lacking is in the whipped cream department. I remember using powdered whip cream when we lived in Saudi Arabia but I don’t think I have used it much since. That is one thing I would like to have a small bit of.

I am not exactly sure why I started rambling about this meal plan, but I have been checking things off of the list of meals as we use them. Because it is not soup weather, I have not done much in that department. And so far, I have put off making the tuna casserole. I have never in my life made that, and honestly, I am not happy thinking about it. It has much to do with eating it a lot as a kid, and the texture issues I have with other similar things, such as the canned chicken. The last time I ate it was when someone brought me a meal when I was on bed rest with the triplets. I remember liking it for the first few bites and then not being able to eat much more. I have a husband who love tuna casserole and 3 kids who love tuna, so I predict it will be a hit. In fact, I am slightly worried that they will like it enough to want it again and then where will I be? Ick. Anyway, I will be happy to be able to check that meal idea off of the list.

I have crossed a few things off the list, so I am hunting for ideas again. If you have a great “food storage meal” or can suggest something that can be modified to use easy-to-store foods, please share!

1 comment:

-A said...

In our last ward, our food storage specialist had a recipe (maybe more that I missed from being in nursery) that was broken down to say how much of each ingredient you would need to make that meal twice a month for an entire year.

I saw that and realized how manageable food storage becomes when viewed that way. Pick 15-20 dinners & build up the supplies needed to make them. And then I did nothing about it.

I guess it's time to once again attempt it.