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Friday, October 28, 2011

Thursday Eats, Parsimoniously

Sweet potatoes make me happy, like sunshine

When exbf arrived to give me a hand today (Thursday), I had not bathed or eaten. I had just sat here, hurting and drinking a regular Coke, my morning "coffee." Then, I became hungry after awhile.  Breakfast was two scrambled eggs and a glass of orange juice.

Snacks all day: pecans, dehydrated  apples, dehydrated tomatoes, glass of milk

Neither of us need to eat hotdogs. We love them but rarely eat them for our health's sake. So, for lunch we had two free hotdogs on free buns. Actually, I only ate one bun. I love hotdogs, so if you want to invite me over and offer hotdogs, I will eat them in order not to hurt your feelings....snicker.

On Thursday night a church here has a dinner for anyone who wants to come eat. Church members, mothers too tired to cook, and the hungry can come, anyone. I usually go. If I don't get a meal that I will finish, I can carry home lots of hen food. People bring their plates to me often, offering food for the hens.

The overwhelming majority of the people who attend these dinners are marginalized, horribly disadvantaged. Some have trouble even walking with aid. Many lack a hs diploma, some are not capable of even passing the GED test. They were in special ed. Many are elderly and do not drive. Many are hungry for company and food. (Church members deliver about 200 meals each Thursday, besides the meals served on site.)

On Tuesday I thawed two items for dinners for both of us on Thursday, but wanted to go to this dinner, also. He has never been because he rarely comes up on Thursday. I told him the plan and he agreed.

I put a three pound roast of some kind and six potatoes into an oven bag. Then, I seasoned with dehydrated green and red peppers and dehydrated onions. I could not afford carrots that I love with the roast, but, oh well.

There were four thawed chicken thighs, also free, in the freezer so that I could put nothing more in. They went into another cooking bag. Salt, pepper, and celery seeds went into this bag. I could not find the celery in the freezer and hurt too much to stand there, looking. The next excess celery will be dehydrated and wait quietly in a jar on a shelf, not hurling itself headlong from the freezer along with other disgruntled prisoners kept frozen.
Roast, chicken thighs, potatoes
Both cooking bags went into one pan. Both cooked at 350 degrees, so all was well.

I peeled seven largish sweet potatoes given to me at this dinner the week before. The outsides were sorry looking, not something I wanted to bake and then find out the sweet potato was bad. I peeled and sliced them and put them in a buttered Corning ware casserole that I have had since 1966. One cup of water went in the casserole dish. I used the glass lid. All those sweet potatoes were gnarly, not pretty, yet not one was rotten inside. You could have fooled me. All was done and refrigerated long before we left for the dinner.

Also, just before we left for the dinner, I made a Tupperware divided plate for his lunch tomorrow. He had a chicken thigh and sweet potatoes. He will add green beans he has open to fill the third part of the plate. Almost half the roast and three potatoes were put in another container for him to eat later in the week. Plus, he took home the three other thighs, frozen and another frozen thigh that hid from me another week as it sat in the freezer door.

Now, for the odd/coincidence part. We had hotdogs at the dinner tonight. PLUS, there were candied sweet potatoes and green beans! The coincidence of hot dogs for two meals today, sweet potatoes tonight and for tomorrow, plus green beans tonight and tomorrow stunned me. It's a good thing variety from meal to meal is not necessary for the two of us.

I have several of the thermal bags sold at stores to keep food cool or hot. He carried the frozen items home in that. He has one with his name on it. We have a

The half of the roast and white potatoes will last me another four days (two days if I eat a sandwich at lunch and heat it for dinner). The sweet potatoes (lunch)  left will probably last three. I could stretch them to four days. I don't ever cook two kinds of potatoes on one day. It just happened, and we both have non-starchy vegetables to eat with what I cooked. I never candy my sweet potatoes. The variety, Beauregard, needs no sugar or butter. The white potatoes will have no salt or butter on them.

Today, my oven stayed on for less than 2 hours and cooked vegetables for 12  meals and meat for about 12 meals. Those are my dollars I saved by cooking all in one oven. Exbf buys cooking bags once in awhile when I need them since his food is cooked in them also. Actually, if I cannot afford freezer bags, he willing pays for them. I use both sparingly and buy with coupons and sales.  He knows food will come his

Edit: Remember, he is taking about 9 meals home--five frozen thighs and however many meals he uses the roast for, dinners or lunches. Sometimes, he will cut the roast and freeze part. I, on the other hand said I had four meals of meat, more or less. If I eat roast beef, sliced thinly for lunch two days, and roast beef with potatoes for two nights, I have eaten my four meals at once. The whole shebang minus the frozen chicken could be gone in two days, maybe three days for the potatoes, maybe two days for the potatoes. So, I am not leaving meat in the refrigerator to sit for 12 days. No way.

About the cooking bags...Until I am free of pain on standing and scrubbing, I will use them to facilitate cleanup. We were rushing too much to take after-cooking pictures. Plus, nothing was actually plated.

Another huge red pepper met the dehydrator and fit into a small pimiento jar when finished. Exbf brought my heater back for me. I now have heat but don't want to use it because of the high electric bill I will have.

Your turn
Do you ever cook a dozen meals at one time? Do you ever use the dreaded plastic cooking bags? Raise your hand if you love sweet potatoes as much as I do.


  1. I love sweet potatoes as much as you do. Not crazy about hot dogs but I love the way they smell!
    I wonder if you can write a post sometime about how long cooked food can stay fresh in the refrigerator. I'm a bit paranoid about things like that so need facts.

  2. If I don't die, the food was Just kidding. Remember, his chicken was frozen, so the roast will be gone before the weekend is over. When I said four meals for my roast, I was talking about eating it within two or three days.

    Believe me, I am paranoid.

    However, I will eat chicken for a week. The key to being sure something is good is to refrigerate immediately. PLUS, the biggie--never use a utensil that has been used for anything else. Ex: don't use the knife you put mayo on the bread to slice the meat. Don't use the fork you ate with to get one more bite. Keep it in the refrigerator unless you have it out to slice more. Put it back immediately.

    Yes, I will write that post.

    The hotdogs I had here were not good.

  3. I put and edit in red to explain the meat lasting for 12 meals.

  4. i understand exactly what you are saying and we do the same thing here. if we get a frozen chicken from a farmer and then defrost and cook it - we eat it for all meals until it is gone. i have seen our thanksgiving meal get us through almost 2 weeks of dinners and suppers.

    i don't use those bags but you sure have me interested in finding some now.

    if you ever come for a visit - i will make you a proper hotdog. they are the "montreal" kind and are a bit hoity-toity. they are called "steamies"...and that is all that i will say so that i can entice you up here!

    your friend,

  5. kymber,
    Aha, you are people after my own heart. Thanksgiving Day food never gets boring to me. I'm really sad when the leftovers are gone. There is never a problem of thinking up new ways to serve it. Of course, I only buy or eat the breast because it is the only part I like. However, if I did like the rest and bought a whole turkey, I would be eating from it for six weeks, frozen of course.

    Reynolds Cooking Bags are from the company that make Reynolds Wrap, the foil. It costs about 50 cents for the bags for 8 lbs and under meat, 5 to a box. The turkey size are about $1 and come two to a box. However, those two fifty-cent bags I used, divided by the 12 meat meals in them, makes them cheap per serving.

    I ate some hotdogs when I was in Rochester, NY, visiting inlaws many times-red hots and white hots. Hope yours are better. Thanks for the offer. Now I am hungry. I went to bed for a nap about 7pm last night and awoke at 7am this morning, so talk of all this food has made me hungry.


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