The little Clay Pot

Lots of things can go in a little Clay Pot

Summer menus June 8, 2010

Summer is a hard menu time for me. Is it nice? Is it rainy? Did we decide at the last minute to invite company over? One better, did we get invited at the last minute to go someplace else?  Did I remember to order from the bounty?  Can’t we just eat s’mores for dinner?

Not to mention, I want to use every available minute to be outside or working on inside projects while I am not in school…I do not want to be in the kitchen any more than absolutely necessary! Feeding my family seems more a struggle, let alone feeding them healthy, local or organic!  And what ever happened to the budget!?

So you may notice a very picnic-y menu.  I intend to use the grill (or as my mother called it the “outdoor kitchen”) I got for my husband for his birthday every day it is not a torrential down pour…The newest menu posted for the week of 6.14.10–follows the old format…but I am thinking that I will have to come up with a more flexible template and still…my goal is to get a format that allows for cost analysis and user friendly recipes…I am working on it…promises, promises.

My secondary goal for the summer is to be diligent to post 2 posts a week…One on Monday with the menu that is food/grocery related and one later in the week that is a shameless rambling of the random thoughts that never cease to occupy my brain space.   As always your comments/questions/suggestions are always welcome.

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ACK! I missed my Bounty Order! March 31, 2010

Unfortunately yesterday I was focused on other tasks that had to be done, and I forgot about placing my bounty order until after it was to late! I have not missed a bounty order in a month or two, so I am very disappointed.  I am also into “CRunCH” time with my school work, so I need to be organized over the next couple of weeks to make sure that I am not making these silly time/money wasting mistakes!

The first step is going to be a thorough inventory of the kitchen.  Please hold, this may take a few moments, and I will probably get detoured by the needs of a human under 4ft tall. …………….

OK, now that is done, to create a grocery list and a menu.  I have decided that I am going to try to get through to next Thursday with the bare necessities and a few pantry items.  I need to restock on oatmeal (if anyone knows of a place to purchase non-plastic large food containers I would love to know!) and I will need milk, and a few produce items as well as a few things for dinner next week.  I am going to try to get the milk from a local farmer, and the oats and most everything else I will get from Troyer’s.   The menu for next week is very budget friendly, and so I should be able to maintain my $100.00 mark.

I am still trying to figure out the best way to post a grocery list or a break down of what I have purchased–that is not labor intensive.  I have considered scanning my notebook that I take with me and use to keep track of prices, and I think I will try to play with that this week.  I am also looking at some other blog themes that may allow me to organize a bit differently.

Also please take the time to read Mama Beth’s comment on the Breakfast on a Budget post…she is the amazing woman who shared the oatmeal/granola recipe and I greatly respect her experience, expertise and energy!

 

Our Daily Bread…. February 21, 2010

Bread is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 3:19 where we are told that we will have to work to eat our bread.  And isn’t that the truth!  While most of us do not grow our own wheat, harvest, thrash, and grind it, or even bake it…we work hard in our respective professions to buy bread.  Some bread is more expensive;  Artisan fresh from the bakery for example.  And some is cheap…the last time I looked I think you can buy a loaf of white sandwich-bread from Aldi’s for about $0.88.  But either way, you have to work for the money to buy your bread.

The new face of bread

So what about our daily bread?  I would love to expound here (Did you know that Bethlehem translates as “House of Bread?”  Hmm…Interesting.)  But I want to focus on the Bread recipe I have been using for about the last 8 weeks.  The why, the how and the HOW MUCH $$.

The WHY is easy:  I want to put good food into our bodies.  I know exactly what is in my bread.  It is WAY yummy and a lot easier than I thought.

The HOW:  I have posted the recipe on Recipe Zaar. You do not have to be a member to search the recipes.   This allows for nutritional data to be evaluated, (although please understand that the recipe says it makes 3 loaves, and the nutritional data is for 1 whole loaf, if you make larger/smaller loaves it will obviously vary…but it gives you an idea of what nutrients you are getting out of your bread)  and by providing a link…I do not have to double my work *Grin*  I typically make palm or hamburger size loaves for lunch.  They are just the right size to slice for the kids.  It doesn’t look like a wonder bread sandwich, but it tastes so good!  If we are having bread for dinner make a larger loaf…about the size of a small melon.

The How Much $$:  This cost analysis is approximate–But it should be pretty close.  Also it is PER BATCH.  Remember each batch makes 2-3 loaves, or somewhere around 20 palm size rolls….so the cost per loaf or serving will obviously be less.   I would be negligent not to point out that somehow you do have to calculate for the cost of the electricity/gas to bake it etc.  But assuming that you already keep a fridge running and a hot water heater going, then you should not see a dramatic increase in your utility bill just because you start making your own bread.  Also, if your time is valuable (which it is), then you have to put a value on your time.  But at about $1.28 per Batch–that’s $0.64 a loaf! –you are getting something worth a little extra time.

Ingredient Price Amount Unit Units per container Price per unit
Yeast 3.69 2 lbs 1 tbl 96 0.04
Wheat Flour 7.50 5 lbs 1 C 20 0.38
Wheat germ 2.12 1 lb 1/3 C 12 0.18
Flour 22.00 50 lb 5 C 32 0.69
TOTAL Per Batch 1.28

I was curious to see what the difference would be if I purchased the white Flour from Gianforte Farm (via CNY Bounty).  As you can see, It works out to be only about $3.00!  I am totally Impressed.

Ingredient Price Amount Unit Units per container Price per unit
Yeast 3.69 2 lbs 1 tbl 96 0.04
Wheat Flour 7.5 5 lbs 1 C 20 0.38
Wheat germ 2.12 1 lb 1/3 C 12 0.18
Flour 7.5 5 lbs 5 C 3.2 2.34
TOTAL Per Batch 2.93