I have made several attempts at meal planning and I am successful for a month or so at a time and then I fail miserably. This weekend is no exception to the latter. Most of my day was spent off the farm and while exceptionally productive, not much got done here. Once I returned, Little man and I spent an hour crossing one item off my ever growing to-do list and then he came over and said, "Mom, what's for dinner?"
"I don't know, buddy, but I will figure it out?"
Fortunately we have a wonderful problem - the freezers are full with both freshly frozen and leftover frozen meals, components, vegetables and other assorted combinations of the above. I manage to stock the basics - onions, potatoes, spices, celery - most of the time, this week was of course an exception. I had two potatoes, three onions - one of which I could use the tops for a salad, six mushrooms, and about three stalks of barely salvageable celery.
I opened the freezer and stared at various packages of un-identifiable frozen proteins. While I am pretty good at marking whatever I put in there, Little man's father isn't so diligent. He was playing cards with Little man at the kitchen table so a pop quiz ensued while five packages of unknown proteins (I am pretty sure they were proteins) were placed on the table in front of him. From those packages, a three ounce leftover grilled steak and a six ounce portion of roast beef were identified and placed in warm water to defrost.
The mushrooms, celery, and one onion were sliced and added to a pan with some butter. Minced garlic from the refrigerator and the two potatoes, diced were added. A 2-cup bag of stock was removed from the back freezer and added to another pan to return to liquid form. A little salt, pepper and some dried oregano were added to the simmering veggies. The beef, still semi-frozen, diced easily and was set aside. In the meantime I threw together a pie-crust, and after five minutes of looking for my rolling pin because I didn't put it back where it belonged, I lined the pie plate that my mother gave me when I moved into my first apartment now almost 25 years ago. The chicken stock, beef, a few ounces of mixed, frozen vegetables and some cornstarch were added to the mix. About that time, Little man's father came into the kitchen and asked me what smelled so good - I must have been doing something right.
We are working on organizing, cleaning out and pairing down for 2018. One of the items we have unearthed is a bottle of Dom Perignon that we were given for our wedding ten years ago. Tonight's dinner cost less than $5.00. Tomorrow night's adult beverages will be worth significantly more. Sharing both this meal and tomorrow night's beverages with a happy, healthy family - priceless!