Friday, July 15, 2011
When my five children were little, Friday was our big shopping day! We would go to three different markets to get the best deals. When we got home, we had to process all that food!
First we put away all the canned goods. Then we started washing and cutting carrots and celery into sticks. These were stored in containers in the fridge.
Next, one of the girls would start making an easy lunch so all the younger children would be settled for the afternoon while we worked.
Once everything was put away and our menu was posted on the refrigerator, we were ready to rest for the afternoon.
We used to run a little take-out restaurant from our home. This was for family members only. My sister and Mother were our only customers. They both lived in nearby towns. This was an opportunity for them to enjoy homemade, healthy foods at their convenience.
We printed up a menu, listing things like:
1. Lasagna. $2.00
2. Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Muffins 1/2 dozen, $3.00
3. Mini-Loaf of Challah bread, $2.00
4. Amish Pretzel, $1.00
5. Pizza, $5.00 (This was prepared in a re-usable aluminum pan, for the customer to bake.)
6. Split Pea Soup. $2.00
7. Fettuccine Alfredo (made with a non-dairy, homemade creamy sauce using cashews.) $2.00
The girls and I would make extra batches of food throughout the week and freeze portions for our "customers." The Challah bread, pizza and pretzels were made fresh, from scratch, within 24 hours. We required weekly orders to be given a few days in advance so we could make sure we had the right items "in stock."
I still remember having my parents stop by on Friday nights for a visit and to pick up their order. It was wonderful!
Now that my children are mostly grown, I had forgetten all about the work we used to do on shopping day. It seems I have gotten lazy. (smiles)
Last week, I was reading The $5 Dinner Mom Breakfast and Lunch Cookbook by Erin Chase. The book is full of fabulous recipes. But it also includes sections on pre-cooking and freezing foods! Her methods are designed to encourage busy housewives of today. It inspired me and reminded me of "the old days" of my homemaking.
I got right to work, making spaghetti with meat sauce, calzones, double chocolate muffins, ravioli, and fettucinne to freeze. My family enjoyed easy and quick meals anytime they wanted. It worked out well for my teens and husband who are always on a diffent schedule than the normal 5:00 dinner hour!
I was also able to take a few days off from heavy work, which I greatly enjoyed!
Fridays are the adventure days. This is when the shopping and the gathering and the planning takes place. It is like a weekly, modern day harvest. Instead of picking and canning foods, I am bringing them home from the store. Either way, there has to be a time of processing in the kitchen.
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