Monday, April 16, 2012
Meal Plan 4/16/12
Wait, what does that have to do with the meal plan?
Well, I'll be in the garden a lot this week, getting ready to get everything planted, and putting those precious little seeds in the ground. Our weather forecast at Accuweather says that it won't go below freezing again for the rest of the month, and it very rarely dips that low in May, although technically our date of last freeze is May 16. However, we don't have much of a Spring. By the end of May, we'll see temps in the high 90s, and last year we had 80 straight days, starting in early June, of temps over 100 degrees. My plants need to be well established before the temperatures get that high, so this week I'll be working my butt off. Which means a week of being sore, and pretty close to exhausted by dinner time. So this week, I've planned pretty easy dinners. By the end of the day today, I hope to actually have my garlic in the ground in the herb garden, and potatoes getting busy lengthening their sprouts to form viable plants. Plus I have to put together my new laundry sorting system, as my old one completely fell apart.
Gardens give us so much possibility. I look at it this way - my husband works his rear end off to provide for our family. He comes home some days hurting, exhausted, and barely able to keep his eyes open during dinner. I know many of you can relate to this! Part of my end of our marriage partnership is to be a good steward of the money he brings home, and to provide our family with the healthiest meals I can on the budget that we have. While that takes a lot of planning and work, it's not the end of what I can do for our family. By nurturing our garden, I can stretch that money even further. By end of the season, we're hoping for 400 ears of corn, 500 pounds of Roma tomatoes, and 225 pounds of pumpkins, just as an example. That means over 100 meals with corn as a vegetable-with the only cost being the $7.00 I spent on corn seed and the cost of the water for the garden. With the Roma tomatoes, I'll get approximately 150 quarts of tomato sauce and paste, for the $10.00 I put into seed, plus the water. And those pumpkins will yield pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin spice muffins, for about $5.00 plus the water.
In addition to the food yield, my children and I will tend our garden together. Watching plants grow, taking care of the garden by pulling out weeds, and enjoying the butterflies that will visit our herbs will bring many opportunities for learning and laughing. Plus the fun of late summer afternoons giggling over watermelon fresh from the garden!
Since I'll be so busy this week, here's the meal plan I designed to keep me mostly out of the kitchen
Monday: Sour Cream Pork Chops, Corn Stuffing, Salad, Whole-Wheat Bread (Crockpot)
Wednesday: Meatloaf, Parsley Potatoes, Corn, Whole-Wheat Bread
Thursday: Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Carrots, Whole-Wheat Bread (Crockpot)
Friday: Crockpot Lemon Dill Chicken, Rice, California Blend Veggies, Cornbread (Crockpot)
Saturday: Hamburgers, Hot Dogs on the grill, Pasta Salad
Menu Plan Monday over at OrgJunkie so you can find other ideas for your meal planning! Over 200 bloggers participate in Menu Plan Monday, so it's a great opportunity for you-there's a little something for everyone!