We've been busy lately! July seems to be flying by; less than 1 month and summer is over (teacher training starts the first week of August). Here's a run down of what we've been doing:
-3 play dates last week
-"Celebrated" 4th of July on the 3rd with a picnic lunch in our back yard. Jeremiah finger-painted some nice red and blue pictures. :)
We finally turned on our deep freeze and are now trying to fill it!
-Really stretching a chicken: Saturday we bought 17 pounds of chicken (4 large chickens), at about $1/lb from a place that sells fresh, farm raised chickens. It's nice to support local business and know our chickens have some freedom! I used the necks, wings, feet, and skin for broth (yield=9 cups). After cooling it, I skimmed off the fat and saved it to use for cooking. I saved 1 chicken whole to roast (which will go towards at least 2 meals). I have 2 freezer bags of half chickens (also more than 1 meal each unless we have company) and 2 bags each of 2 thighs and 2 breasts. So, the chicken meat itself will give us at least 10 meals, and the broth chicken fat will go towards other meals.
-We also bought 4 pounds of ground beef (also about $1/lb here). I used this recipe (more or less, but added some bell peppers and garlic) to make a "ground beef mix" and divided it into 6- 1 pint bags for 6 different meals. I can use it for quick sloppy Joes, chili, rice casserole, pasta casserole, stuffed peppers, etc.
-After all that I did some weeding and trimming in our back yard. Daniel made a "square foot" garden that I'll transplant my seedlings to after they've started to grow.
-Sunday: after church, we drove with a team here from Minnesota (they're here with our church) to a little neighborhood/town further up in the mountains. We parked our cars on the side of the road and then hiked down the "stairs" into the valley (the only access to the town). We played in the river, and looked at the cabins that they rent out (we're staying there this Friday, for Daniel's birthday). Then we hiked back up to the car. I crashed for the rest of the day.
-Yesterday (Monday) I mostly crashed, but managed to make Mangu for breakfast, cook 7 jars of pasta sauce to freeze and visit Daniel for lunch. Then I crashed some more, went on a walk with my family, and had a light supper.
So, that's been our past week. I'm continuing to fill the freezer little by little. I want to have it well stocked for when baby comes (only 2 months now)! Jeremiah enjoys helping me cook and bake. I didn't really take any pictures last week; I'll try to do better this week! :-D
P.S. If you have any great freezer-cooking recipes, please share them with me!