Saturday, October 3, 2015

The first few days

It took a lot longer to put together an accurate shopping list than I anticipated, but I was able to get my shopping done by Oct 1st. I don't know that I'm actually saving money or time doing this, but it's an adventure already.

I purchased a lot of dairy - and hope that even after we run out of store bought milk, we can make these other dairy items work in our menu to satisfy everyone. Boy, we eat a lot of cheese. I don't know that I'll figure out how to make that from scratch, although I have looked at one method.

Two weeks ago I froze a gallon of whole milk. I took it out today and placed it in the fridge. If all goes well, I should be able to freeze three more gallons over the next 7-10 days. That should help get us through til the end of the month.

Friday was a busy baking day. I made two homemade white loaves of bread (Traditional White, takes 3 hours total - see post on July 31, 2014 for recipe). JF has been talking about learning how to make donuts. Wouldn't you know, we did it yesterday. I was helping with that for another two hours. There's a plus and minus to bread making. The plus is that it's not a continuous time commitment for all of those hours. The minus is that if you're not familiar with the recipe, it'll take a lot longer than when you are- and you need to know the timing well enough to make things work.

Every General Conference weekend I make Cinnamon Rolls, so I did that this morning. It only takes 1 hour and was rather easy, but there was the clean up. And I ate four today. Yum. Good thing I took a long fast walk. See my recipe for those on April 3, 2012.

Today I spent some time making some spinach drinks and freezing them. I call them Green delight and Tropical Slush. I also cooked some spinach and froze it to use later. This helped get through most of the large Costco bag of spinach I purchased. Even if no one else drinks it, I'll be glad to get my greens this way in three weeks. These are a twist on a recipe for Green Juice which I posted earlier (May 20, 2012).

Green Delight: 12 oz rasp guava juice
                       12 c fresh spinach
                      1- 29 oz can of pears or peaches
                       12 frozen strawberries
Place the juice and canned fruit in the bottom of the blender. Add 1/2 of spinach. Blend, then add the remaining spinach. Blend again and while running, drop the strawberries in one at a time. May be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

Tropical Slush: 12 oz raspberry guava juice
                        1 banana
                        5 c fresh spinach
                        5 frozen strawberries
                        2 tsp lemon concentrate
Place the juice and banana in the bottom of the blender. Add 1/2 of spinach. Blend, then add the remaining spinach. Blend again and while running, drop the strawberries in one at a time. Add lemon and blend again. May be frozen for up to 6 weeks.

By far, dinners are the easiest and I knew they would be. All three helpers in the kitchen have had ample practice and are mostly in the zone, getting things done with my assistance and not the other way around. That helps tremendously.

Next item to tackle: Although I have menus and know how many of each I can do during the month, I'll be working on a specific breakfast and lunch schedule so we know which day we'll be using which ingredients. And I'll need to think through anything that is frozen and needs to be thawed a lot better than I normally do. Freeing up freezer space gives me room to use for freezing baked goods.

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