Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First day of School

The first day of school went reasonably well. Everyone found their classes ok, no shoes were lost, and the kids all got on the right buses so that's good. We got kind of worried when the girls were a half hour late but they showed up eventually. The boys got the new runners they need and Steve and I had yet another disappointing experience at Zellers...but apart from that, it was a pretty good start to the school year.

The weather has cooled off and we had a day of pretty solid rain which will be good for gardeners getting their last crops ripened. The humidity is down which is good for me and I'm going to get stuck into some unpacking and sorting tomorrow after I do our weekly grocery shop. While enjoying a leisurely drive yesterday, Steve and I got some local apples and potatoes plus 50lbs of onions so our menu will definitely revolve around them for the next 2 weeks :) Tonight I used up a bunch of leftovers and make an Italian pork stew. Included were 2 leftover chops that I boned and cut into 1 inch cubes seared in the pan. Then I tossed in hot water and one beef bouillon cube. I used up some of the lovely skinny carrots we got from our friend Pam Muise. Kate scrubbed then clean with a plastic dish scrubber and instead of peeling them which would be tricky with skinny carrots they scrubbed up nicely and we just cut them into 1 inch lengths. We also chopped in a large onion and 6 potatoes. Half a head of cabbage diced and about 2 dozen very ripe cherry tomatoes. I think that's about it. Because we seared the meat first it made a nice stock when the water was added and I let the meat stew for 30 minutes before adding the vegetables. I made my infamous 'stuffing dumplings' and served it hot in bowls with no frills or toppings. It went down well with everyone, even the kids, and nobody had to add pepper or salt (the bouillon cube was salty enough) and the whole pot got emptied in short order with everyone having seconds. Not wanting to waste the fat trimmings and bones from the chops I've put them in to boil gently with water after searing them, the onion peelings and the stalk from the cabbage went in too. I'll take it off the boil tonight and cool it then skim the fat tomorrow, remove the veggies and take all the meat scraps off the bones. I'm going to pick up some split peas tomorrow to use with a ham bone I've got so I'll boil the bone in the pork broth until it's nice and rich then use it to make split pea and ham soup with fresh crusty white bread. Sound good and hearty? A meal for 7 and it'll have cost me about $4.50. Don't believe me? Here's the breakdown and usually it would be cheaper because I wouldn't buy a ham bone but use one left over from a previous dinner.

$1.25 Dried green split peas
$2.40 Smoked ham hock from a local farm stand
$ .35 One large yellow onion
$1.00 French Bread made from scratch

$5.00 Dinner for 7 with second helpings. Okay so I was off, it's actually $5 for the meal. But that's not bad for a high protein one pot meal you can cook on the woodstove don't you think? One thing... Steve and I love brown bread but there are some things that are just better with white and this soup is one of them. I think that grilled cheese is another and Steve likes hotdogs on white buns. But apart from that we like brown bread especially if it's from freshly ground wheat, Mmmmm.

Another use for the stock would be to add some veggies chopped fine and some pot barley and make a soup. Then your costs would be about $2 cheaper.

Ok, it's time for bed. I have to get kids up and lunches made so I've got to start going to bed before midnight.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    You put my culinary skills to shame. My husband would be most impressed if I was more frugal. Our grocery bill is high ... and there's only three of us. I do however buy organic whenever possible and that always costs more, and meat is expensive here. I paid a whopping $34.00 for three small filet steaks the other day ... they were good though. A treat once in awhile.

    It seems as though all is going well for you so far... I'm sure it must be a change from B.C. though. Any culture shock ? I watched the video you posted on the Fundy tides. Now that was something to see ! I'm still googling properties to see if anything strikes our fancy. I do however have a concern over well water. I'm reading stuff that's scary to say the least about arsenic and other contaminants seeping into the water. I suppose if the water system was up to date and checked regularly, there may not be a reason to panic. What do you think ? I have a lot to learn yet. Our realtor friend told me that another family just left Kamloops for Lunenburg last week. They want to retire by the sea, and just cruise around to eat as many lobster and scallops as they can. Sounds good to me.

    Take care,
    Helga :)