Monday, September 24, 2007

A Ration-al Revelation

Our daily rations are simple fare. We are always making changes, but many of our tastes remain constant, so we have created a menu which allows for flexibility. For instance, on Wednesday night we have Mexican food, so instead of getting bored with just tacos eaten a little too frequently, we sometimes have taco soup, burritos or just chips and cheese. But it's always on Wednesday. My favorite thing in the world to have is tacos, because I feel so healthy when I eat a taco salad with fresh guacamole, black beans (sometimes with rice), onions, cheese and fresh salsa (at least, this week we have fresh :-) ). Mmmmmm. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

Here is our current menu:


Breakfast: Porridge - this is usually a mix of oats & 7-grain rolled oats mixed with grass-fed butter (if we are so fortunate to have this rarity) and real maple syrup. I will sometimes remember to grind up the golden flax in my freezer to sprinkle on top, but the kids don't like the flavor as much when I do - and Banana Kefir Smoothie. Today we shared a grapefruit, complements of Becky. Everybody loved it except the baby.

Lunch: This varies on a day-to-day basis. We will sometimes have peanut butter & honey sandwiches, with a carrot or an apple on the side. Sometimes if our bread is all gone we will have chips and cheese or crackers and cheese with a little fruit, nuts, seeds or veggies. And sometimes we scrounge for whatever leftovers we can find in the fridge ;-).

Supper: Pasta! My girls love to eat pasta, and I am so thankful that hubby likes it too. I am especially thankful that he still likes it when we don't have time to cook meatballs. Sometimes we have something else Italian, such as lasagna, but mostly we just have spaghetti.


Breakfast: Toast and eggs is typical. Sometimes a little later, for we often end up making bread on Tuesday mornings. If you check out the link on my sidebar, you'll see how we have made bread in the past. However, recently I have started using a new bread recipe which is soooo delicious that I hope to share it with you soon. We drizzle raw honey on the bread fresh from the oven and then smear butter over the top to make a divinely delicious breakfast (just as good as doughnuts!).

Lunch: With the bready breakfast, we will often just have fruits and veggies or maybe a little cheese & crackers for lunch.

Supper: Salad is supposed to be our Tuesday supper. If we happen to have lettuce on hand. If we don't, we just have baked potatoes (presently from our garden :-) ). Right now I have a fall garden of spinach, lettuce and radishes, so if the deer don't find our greens first, I hope to have some delicious Tuesday salads soon. When we have company over the weekend, we often will feed them wild salmon (Nathan cooks it perfectly on the grill) with pesto (made from crispy pine nuts from Nourishing Traditions & my basil plant on the veranda). Anyway, when there is some leftover Salmon, it makes a to-die-for salad when combined with cherry tomatoes & honey-mustard dressing! We had this recently with some surprize cherry tomatoes from the neighbors, and believe me, it was a Tuesday to remember!


Breakfast: Nathan leads the men's Bible study at Bob Evans or Cracker Barrel or some such place for breakfast, so to compensate for us "poor" homebodies, I make pancakes. Well, Rebekah and I do. She is on the schedule for meal helping on Wednesday mornings. They are always different, for I am in search of the perfect pancake. But they usually contain freshly ground Prairie Gold wheat with about a quarter buckwheat (my friend Becky swears that buckwheat has almost completely healed her spider veins), some buttermilk powder & occasionally a little leftover kefir or some ground flax. We use whatever oil is the most plentiful - sometimes coconut oil, sometimes butter, sometimes a little olive oil mixed in. We serve them with butter and real maple syrup.

Lunch: If we are out, sometimes it is a McDonald's hamburger (I know, I have to close my eyes and not think about it). Occasionally I will pack a lunch and we will eat by a pond in town and feed the ducks. A snack of whatever is handy is what we eat if we are at home on Wednesdays, but this is rare because we usually run out to get goat's milk and run to the library.

Supper: Mexican night. Mmm mmm. Everybody's favorite. Sometimes we will have Walmart's beef & bean burritos (no hydrogenated oils). This kids love 'em. Sometimes we will have tacos with all the fixin's (black beans, guacamole, onions, tomatoes....etc). And sometimes in the winter I make taco soup. Either way, it's good.


Breakfast: I hope to soon perfect my granola and have this every Thursday for breakfast, but presently we have either oatmeal, or kefir smoothies with apples & peanut butter.

Lunch: Flexible, as usual. Dried fruit, cheese, carrots & sometimes our special crunchy/salty grain mixture. We soak grain berries (wheat, spelt, buckwheat), sunflower seeds and whatever nut is handy in saltwater for several hours, then dry it out in the oven on the lowest setting overnight. It really satisfies salty cravings.

Supper: Chicken in the crockpot is our preferred Thursday dinner. We buy chickens from a local family, so that we can be sure to avoid hormones and antibiotics. They are amazingly delicious with just a little onion, carrot, potato & lots of salt and pepper. The meat just falls right off the bone after simmering on low in the crock pot all day, and we serve this simple dish over rice. The baby loves it :-). Sometimes we have garden baked potatoes (if it's 4:30 and the forgotten chicken lies frozen in the freezer). They are really much moister than what you get from the store.


Breakfast: Eggs and toast. We buy eggs from various nearby chicken-raisers. I will often send Nathan off to work with a raw egg-banana-goat's milk-kefir smoothie. He is going out with the guys presently, so I'm off the hook for his lunch right now.

Lunch: The baby toddles over to the pantry and fishes some apple chips out of the bin at the bottom. When I step on chewed apple chips or see a trail of them, I know it is time to get out the leftovers :-). Sometimes I'll send them outside to swing on the homemade firewood swings in the backyard with apples while I make phone calls or take care of business.

Supper: Generally it's either hotdogs or hamburgers. Last Friday we had a special taco night with company and watched Lord of the Rings. Occasionally we have make-your-own-pizza night. Usually on Fridays we will make some cookies also.

Breakfast: French toast is one of our favorite Saturday breakfasts. Deborah is pretty good at making it now. Recently, since the purchase of some Prairie Gold all-natural white flour we have been making some to-die-for! biscuits with coconut oil. We purchase nitrate-free bacon and enjoy biscuits and bacon-grease gravy. Then we sit around for awhile and think of all the things we could do if we had eaten a lighter breakfast :-).

Lunch: No thanks, that's all for me, I'm full [unmentionable noise]! If you're not, then you may get a handful of raisins or a carrot (or something).

Supper: Stir fry. Or Salmon. Or leftover Friday night fare. We are having stir fry this Saturday and continuing the watching of the Lord of the Rings with friends.

Breakfast: Some cheesy scrambled eggs, cooked light and fluffy, complements of Daddy Tippy. This is traditional. However, when we are running late, leftovers or bags of dried fruit, cheese and crackers is not out of the ordinary. We have a family van :-).

Lunch: Out to eat about every other Sunday. O'Charleys has 2 kids meals free with the purchase of one adult meal, so the kids eat free. It's hard to pass this up on Sunday. I have it as a personal goal to begin making the big Sunday meals and have people over on Sundays, but right now because we drive 30 minutes to church on Sunday, it is easier this way.
Supper: Chips and cheese. Daddy is gracious to usually take care of this so that I can work on homeschooling preparations.

One of the best things about having a menu is that the kids get into the habit of doing certain things every week. For instance, my second daughter always washes the potatoes and wraps them in foil on Tuesday nights. And my oldest daughter is nearly ready to be responsible for breadmaking on her own. I would be remiss if I did not also mention that my son David learned to make guacamole this last week, and he is now frying and scrambling eggs on Tuesdays (which means mom has less scrambling to do, if you know what I mean ;-) ). And cooking is home economics, which is definitely school time (as oppposed to cleaning). I think Mrs. Pearl had it correct when she had her kids doing all of the interesting things while she took care of the cleanup :-). Who says work has to be boring?


  1. Loved this post! :-) I hope you'll put up your bread recipe soon, I'd love to see it. :-)

  2. Oh, I can't tell you how good I feel after reading this post! It makes me happy - I've been striving for a regular menu for a long time now, and we almost have the kinks worked out. I love it that the kids know what's coming - there's no debate! And they'll say, "What day is it? Tuesday? Hooray! Mexican night!" (That's our Mexican food evening!)
    Thanks for this - lots of good tips I can glean! Can't wait till my kiddos can handle even more of the responsibilities like yours!

  3. I tried a crockpot chicken recipe yesterday that, although the first time, the kids hated it, (me too) yesterday, every bite was eaten up. It was simple -- chicken, onions, garlic, turnips, carrots, and chicken broth. After simmering in the crockpot all day, I put butter and flour and half and half (you could use your goat milk), and cooked it for 5 minutes. I poured the sauce over the chicken and vegetables. The first time, it tasted like turnips. Yesterday, it was fabulous. I wonder if the salt content changed it.

  4. I know you find that a regular menu helps to keep the house running smoothly, and with five kids, I'm sure it's a big help. Speaking for myself, however, I would get bored so very fast with little or no variation in my menu. And with the same things at the same time every week... Yeah, I would go crazy very quickly. I love Mexican food, but having it every week the same thing, I'd get tired of it. And spaghetti every week would get old VERY fast with me.

  5. You are definitely your father's daughter Samantha!

  6. You inspired me with your planning a few years ago...I tried to plan a 2 week menu and it went well for a while..then I totally got off track. I think I need to simplify it. It doesnt take long for me to pull out the cookbooks to try something new..I dont now if I am just getting bored with it or what? Maybe its just that I am realizing lifes short and there are only so many I am always changing something...I will try again..I like the chips and cheese,mexican night and I need to but more dried fruit..We all love eggs exept eggs, no tomatoes..and she's stickin too it.