May 18, 2009

A Kitchen Revolution


This morning I decided we needed a change. It all happened after something fell out of the freezer and smashed my foot. It was one of those 'aha!' moments... that required ice and restraint of my vocabulary. It grew into a huge plan of epic proportions as I dug through my freezer, pulling out pasty ice-cream, experimental pickle-pops, year-old brisket that never made it to the grill, and bag after bag of un-used bread flour.

"How in the world did tiny pieces of broccoli get all over my freezer bottom?" I asked the kids (who weren't listening). [Sounds better than saying I said it to myself.]

"I didn't know we had frozen ground turkey." The kids were still ignoring me.

"Look! Pecans!"

I found at least four items in the freezer I had no idea were in my kitchen. I got at least that many ideas for dinners while I was wiping down the base of the freezer and rearranging the items on the bottom shelf.

A lightbulb went on inside my head. What if I try to use up all the items in my freezers and pantry before we go to the store again for a long list of ingredients?! What if we really hunker down and start cooking every meal at home to save money?! I felt like the little engine that could... "I think I can!" I said to myself. "I can do this!"

So... I pulled out the sausage for tomorrow's lunch and put it in the fridge to thaw. I pulled out the frozen soup from January to cook for today's lunch (it was GREAT, by the way - my daughter even asked me to make it for her next birthday). The frozen soup gave me ideas about freezing meals for the future. Especially since it cooked up just like I had slaved over it all day (and saved me at least an hour and a half). I made notes about what was in the freezer so I could make a menu to use up our excess food. I didn't even stop there, though. I also added all the items in the fridge and pantry. I was on a roll.

Tonight, when I got ready to make my sesame chicken fingers and fried rice (a family favorite), I ground up the Italian wheat bread (that had been in the freezer - too stale to eat) and made bread crumbs for my chicken. It was the best chicken fingers I've made in a long time - the bread was crunchy and made a super coating!

I decided today that I really need to get my kitchen's act together if it is going to serve our family through this recession. I'm certain that eating at home can not only save me money, but it can be such a huge blessing to our family - bringing us back to a time that has nearly been erased from American history... a time when the family lingered at the dinner table... a time when our hearts were at home.

I want to save money. I want to cook more. I want to grow veggies. I want to teach my children how to make menus and omelets. I want to freeze more meals and save more time. I want my kids to have their WHOLE family at the dinner table eating WHOLESOME food each night. I dunno - maybe I'm a little nostalgic, but I'm pretty sure that the dinner table is a big part of raising kids up to be good Christian people.

If you want to join me in this kitchen revolution, you can pop over to Gathering Manna and sign the linky. You don't have to wait until a bag of frozen green beans falls out of your freezer.

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Raquel Gonzalez said...

I actually had the same revelation a couple of months ago and told my friend almost the exact same things you stated in this blog.

My family has truly been blessed by eating more at home, both economically and spiritually.

Thanks for sharing! You can and you WILL do it! :)

Tammy said...

What a novel idea....using up all those forgotten frozen foods in my freezer! It's a scary thought, but indeed a great recession fighter :-)

Tammy ~@`

Sprittibee said...

It's hard to resist the temptation to hit the fast food joints with a baby in the house. I'm so tired when I get a moment without him nursing that I would rather chew broken glass than cook. LOL

Anonymous said...

Cool, sounds like our Heather is back...

Actually, we try it too sometimes, use up as much stuff as we have in the house before we get out to the grocery store. It 's kind of fun, actually, to see what you can fix with a variety of unrelated items.


SchrefflerFamily said...

Hrms... I'm not sure Thrifty Kitchen is the right word. I just want to cook more meals at home. We've been getting by VERY cheaply, but eating a lot of quick, processed stuff (hot dogs are CHEAP. So are Little Ceasar's Neighborhood appreciation pizzas, Costco pizza, Pasta Roni, etc.)

I want to do more sit-down real meals that we do more cooking for (if not quite from scratch)

I've found a new site with great 5-ingredient or less recipes that is helping as well:

And here's a recent post on homemade ranch dressing!



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