I realize that the above pictures may not make much sense alone, but by the time I finish this post, it should all come together 🙂 First, I’d like to share the reason for this post, and what my plans are for this series.
This morning a very dear friend of mine told me about something her son had said in reference to me. Now this is one of the ladies that when I was a young wife and young mommy she was one of several ladies in our church that came along side of me and prayed for me, encouraged me, hugged me when I was having bad days, helped with the kids when I needed help, gave me advice, etc. She is one of my friends that had kids that were just a few years older than mine, but she was enough in the trenches of parenting that she was able to help me and encourage me. We also sang together in choir and a small group ensemble and she also encouraged me in my singing. Anyhow, this friend told me that her son (one of 3 sons, and this one and his wife just had a baby a few weeks ago….first baby, first grandchild) had told her recently while they were discussing the challenges of young families today, that he wished I lived closer (we moved away 9 years ago) so that I could help them learn. Well, while I am not able to walk through this with them in person, I realized that so many young moms and dads that I talk to today are in the exact position that D and I were in 20 years ago. And we lived on a shoestring budget that fluctuated from time to time (from low to lower), so we learned to make due! Tonight’s dinner is one of those things that I learned all those years ago…..as well as in my mom’s kitchen.
Tip #1, if your recipe calls for boneless skinless chicken breasts, DON’T USE THEM! 🙂 They are expensive, they don’t have a whole lot of flavor, and did I mention, they are expensive? 🙂 I bought a large package of chicken thighs (bone in, skin on) for .99/# earlier this week. We ate dinner one night of just roasted thighs. Today I wanted to make chicken tacos, and I knew that those thighs needed to be dealt with today or they were going to go bad. SO, with 20 chicken thighs, we will get 4 meals….here’s how!
I deboned the chicken (very fast and easy) and marinated it in a mixture of chipotle chili powder, salt, paprika, regular chili powder, cumin, and a little oil to make it into a thin paste, I marinated it for several hours in the fridge. Then this evening my hubby grilled the chicken and we ate half of it in our chicken tacos, the other half I will use on Monday to make some chicken and veggie enchiladas. That is 2 meals. Here’s where the other two meals come into play….those bones that I removed? They went into the crockpot with a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, an onion that I cut up, a carrot that I cut up, the root end and the leaf end of a celery head/bunch? , a few cloves of garlic, some salt and pepper and will simmer away for 24 hours. Tomorrow I will have a beautiful rich chicken stock that I will strain and cool and package up for 2 more meals of soup.
Tip #2 I have a helpful tip, and now wish that I had taken a picture while I was doing it…..but if you use fresh ginger for anything, I know how easy it is to purchase a big root, use just a tiny bit and then have the rest of it become a science experiment in the veggie drawer of the fridge. I learned this tip several years ago, and LOVE IT! once or twice a year I buy a good sized ginger root, and peel it with a spoon….yes, a spoon. You scrape a spoon across the skin and it peels it right off and goes easily in and out of all of the ridges and crevices. Then wrap the peeled root in a dry paper towel, put it into a ziplock bag and stick it in the freezer (I keep it in the door so that it’s easier to find). When you need fresh ginger, simply get out your microplane grater (if you don’t have one, get one!…..just kidding, you can easily use a cheese grater and then chop it up finer if you need to) and grate it frozen…..grates VERY VERY easily while frozen, then you stick the rest of it right back into it’s paper towel and plastic bag and back into the freezer. When I get down to the last inch sized nob or so, I buy a new root. I never run out of fresh ginger this way, and ginger is SO GOOD FOR YOU! And it tastes great!
Tip #3 Those easy convenient cans of beans in your pantry? They are easily 4-6 times the cost of if you were to buy the same dry beans and cook them up yourself. I have many posts that talk about cooking dried beans.
Later this week I will post another installment of this series…I think I’m going to make this a Thursday thing. 🙂
And Happy Mother’s Day to all of my mommy friends!