Sunday, September 4, 2011

MPM--Suddenly September

Well. Boy howdy, that was some storm last week, and I don't even live in Vermont. (If you do, I hope you are recovering.) We lost power from Saturday to Tuesday, and let me tell you--it was enough. "Camping in our own home" was not quite the cheery adventure I hoped to convince the kids it would be. And having the roving band of cranky boys from our street (9 in elementary school alone) with no access to electric entertainment--well, let's say that swordfighting has never been so popular on our street. There was lots of annoyed energy to go around.

It also threw off my meal plans in a big way. I could use the burners but not the stove, and we could grill. So we used a ton of things from the freezer, sent some off to kind friends around town with freezer space, and, in a teeny silver lining, cleaned and defrosted the freezer downstairs. So that's over. And while I totally admired my friends who went camping *after* the power was back, I am really feeling it for those who are still without. In a very first-world problem, our pool was shut down for the summer prematurely by the storm, which was sad, so soon after both boys got their blue ribbons (ie, passed the highest swim test). We were so proud, and I know they were too.

This week: school starts. Soccer gets serious. And we all try to get in the swing. So...

Monday: Labor Day. Last night before school starts. No CSA, but I am trying to use what we have. I will probably make the cabbage and white bean dish again, and I am hoping to try the Smitten Kitchen zucchini fritters because oy, the zucchini. We'll also have leftover tri-tip steaks from the freezer; see below.

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday, of course.

Wednesday: First day of kindergarten! I'm so excited. Noodles, little Mr. Picky's favorite, to celebrate his first day of the next 13 years of school.

Thursday: Leftovers & freezer meals.

Friday: Football game. I am hoping this week they bring back the walking tacos.

Not really much to report from last week. We grilled the frozen pizzas on the grill and while I prefer the toaster oven, it worked in a pinch. The baby eggplant were still delicious on the grill. One of the defrosted dishes was a chick pea curry I was happy to see again, and the Trader Joe's fettucini Alfredo were well received by the cheese-eating boy. My older one begged me to make peas when he saw them in the freezer, and I was happy to oblige. And I had a Kashi frozen meal--Lemongrass Chicken--that I will definitely purchase again. It was awesome.

One of the things that was defrosted was tri-tip steaks from Omaha. I got antsy reading all the websites that said how it can be tough if it's not marinated for 24 hours. So, we experimented, even though once it was out of the wrap, they seemed really tender. Two, we cut up in to kebab's with DALS's Tony's Steak dressing, then stuck 'em on skewers with cherry tomatoes. And two, we tried with this dry rub, despite a name that made me cringe. It was easy, and I had all the stuff, though I think I used too much of it. I would definitely use less next time, though when slices in to thin strips, it was easier to take. The kebabs were really dry, though, which was a bummer. Our grill has been fussy, so I don't blame the meat. For a steak dinner, it was easy and good.

If you aren't reading me in a reader (why not?)--and you are in the thick of school lunch prep--there is a challenge over here that I'm joining. It's not much of a "challenge" for me (my older son, the "good" eater, actually doesn't like most of the school lunches, woohoo!), but the giveaway is awesome, especially as my kids snarf Revolution Foods like the candy bars we save for desserts. I haven't found YoDrops anywhere but am intrigued.

And that's about all. For those who celebrate, Happy Labor Day! (My grandmother and her sisters were all in the ILGWU, so I still hum "look for the union label" on Labor Day.) And check out I'm an Organizing Junkie! for more menu plans!


Mom24 said...

That's some giveaway! Thanks for the head's up.

So glad you have your power back. One did you use things from your freezer? When we lose power we're always loathe top open ours because we're so intent on preserving the cold, it leaves us without many cooking choices.

Hope you all get into the swing of things soon.

MemeGRL said...

Great point. I skimmed over that about the freezer. We knew (from pre-storm research) that if we left the freezer shut, we'd have about 48 hours until things started going bad. So we waited, lined up friends with freezers, and hoped. By 36 hours, it was clear that there was no hope of power coming back, so we triaged. The stuff in our kitchen freezer was solid--even the popsicles and ice cubes were still 100% fine. But the big freezer had some casualties. So I purged some (hello, puff pastry, what was I thinking?) and ran to friends with power with stuff for their freezers. And we kept bags of ice in the fridge, which we had also mostly emptied before the storm just in case. And by day 3, we had moved the milk and OJ to the cooler with new ice. Manageable, but a bummer.