Friday, January 14, 2011

The Great Pantry Challenge, Part 2

We started the New Year’s Pantry Challenge with a week of Woodstove Only cooking.  I reheated the leftover pork chops from New Year’s Eve dinner, baked three loaves of bread, baked potatoes, made two batches of soup, baked beans, and a few other easy things like canned veggies heated on the stove.   I even made two small batches of cookies. 
I took the cover off to see if the cookies were done....not quite.

Since the chickens are on their winter egg-strike, breakfasts usually consisted of oatmeal with apple butter and toast.  Cooking on the wood stove wasn’t rocket science, but it definitely took more thought & time than using our electric stove and range.  I was pretty happy with how the loaves of bread turned out so I may continue baking bread in the wood stove when the logs have burned down to coals.
I was going to start Part 2, Vegetarian cooking, on Monday, but we had to finish pork steaks from Sunday night and then Mom brought over homemade meatballs on Tuesday.  So I started our vegetarian week yesterday with oatmeal & fruit for breakfast and spaghetti & broccoli in a goat cheese sauce for supper.  I made extra spaghetti and had a lot of leftover sauce that I made for Mom’s meatballs so I also made a dish of “Polish Lasagna”.   It’s basically lasagna but instead of using lasagna noodles I used layers of spaghetti and my cheese layers were just goat cheese, mozzarella & parmesan (no egg).  I threw the casserole in the freezer for a meal later on this week. 
"Fast" food, Krazo Acres style.

Other things I’m planning on having are at least two soups, a batch of chili with cornbread, loaded baked potatoes, enchiladas with beans & rice, veggie stir fry and some sort of lentil dish.
After the Veggie Only week, we’ll have a How Cheap Can We Eat week and a Dry Storage Foods week (meaning nothing from the fridge or freezer).
We’re already half way through the month & with the exception of the bunch of grapes and the bananas Grandma bought for Rhiannon, nothing new has come from the grocery store.  I did, however stop at the store yesterday to return a Christmas gift.  Our Fire Department has a gift grab bag & I got a nice set of glasses.  Which doesn’t seem like anything special except that I was really wanting a new set since we haven’t had a matching set in several years.  One of the new glasses had a crack in it so I went to return it.  Since I was already at the store I picked up a few other things like kitty litter & windshield wiper fluid and not only managed to stay away from the grocery section, but didn’t even buy any of the kinda-unnecessary things that usually end up in the buggy.
Half a month of no grocery stores and I’m patting myself on the back.  How sad is that?  I suppose I really didn’t realize it until recently how often I went and really how unnecessary those trips were.  Was I having to go so often because I really needed something, or because I needed something to do?  I suspect the latter as I’m normally a very good list-maker and store trips never used to be for just one or two items. 
I think that my blog for tomorrow (or whenever I get to it) will be something along the lines of bulk buying and thrifty shopping.  Or something entirely different. Try not to let the suspense kill ya.

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