Friday, September 25, 2009
planning meals - day in & day out
Welcome to another Quiverful Friday. Today's post isn't so much about "why" we are quiverful - you can find that HERE. (this explanation is a year and a half old at this point though). No, today is about a practical aspect of being Quiverful. When you are QF, it is possible that you may have many children - not always, mind you. I have some WONDERFUL QF-minded friends that only have 2 or 3 children, yet they are just as accepting of the Lord's blessings as any other "large" QF family.
Anyway, today's post is about how to feed those many lil' blessings. I'm not talking about a grocery budget (although we do have one), nor am I talking about couponing (although we've begun that process as well) - I'm just talking about the day to day "what in the world am I going to feed all these people" dilemma.
Here's some things at my finger-tips each and every week to help me in this endeavor:
Here's my one Longaberger basket - my recipes! Here I have all my tried-n-true family recipe - ones I know are worth the effort and loved by....um...most everyone. If I'm having trouble coming up with a recipe for ground beef, or chicken breasts, or a side dish - this is where I look first!
After that, if I'm still looking for a recipe, I'll try one of two places. Maybe I'll pull out some back issues of Taste of Home magazine. I've been getting this magazine on and off (mostly on) for 10 years - ever since we got a year's subscription as a wedding gift. One of the best wedding gifts a new, inexperienced bride could get, imho!
If I can't find an interesting recipe there, or I need to find something really quick, I'll get on-line and click on over to RecipeZaar. Here you can search for recipes in many ways: by main ingredients, by cooking method, by seasons, by holidays.....oh, just any ol' way! I just set up my own account there, so I can finally start rating the recipes I try (although, if they are "keepers", I'll write 'em down and put 'em in my recipe basket eventually).
Then, once I've figured out what meats & ingredients we have for the week, once I've figured out most of the meals for that week, I'll click on over to the Meal Chart Maker, from LotsofKids.com. She has three options of charts, but I use the one with breakfasts & lunches listed too - that way I have a basic idea for EACH & EVERY meal during the week. There are plenty of times when meals sneak up on me - suddenly it's lunch time and I have no idea what we're going to have. Since I started making this list each week, I can simply send Isaac on over and he'll tell me what we're having. Each morning I can check the list and get dinner all prepped after breakfast if needed.
I'm telling you, this lil' system is a SANITY-SAVER!!
The last thing I do is remain flexible ~ somedays it just doesn't work to have a big ol' meal at the end of the day. We've done so much, we're so tired.....we'll just pull a frozen pizza out of the freezer or even just have PB&J's. Or maybe I'll switch tonight's dinner with Sunday's meal - whatever works!
This system really doesn't take that much prep time - just a bit of work on Sundays (or even Monday mornings before I get going with my day). Most of our meals are the regular family recipes we're used to - although I like to throw a new recipe in every once in a while, just to keep things interesting!
And that, my friends, is how I keep my sanity feeding all these wonderful, crazy, loud, HUNGRY children day in and day out - without losing my mind!!