Menu Plan Week of July 28 & a Challenge for August

wyomingI’m very happy to be back home in Wyoming!

Little Boy and I were gone for just under two weeks. The first week we went to Oregon for my work. I’m happy to say that the work went well. On Friday of that week my oldest girl and my youngest girl both joined us at the apartment I was staying.  Lulu (my youngest girl) had been visiting in Oregon since July 2. My oldest girl lives there.  On Sunday, Little Boy, Lulu and I headed south to visit family in California. On the way down we were very fortunate to be able to meet Wardee from GNOWFGLINS.  It was great to finally meet her after being ‘online friends’ for several years.  She (and her family) are absolutely wonderful.  We had wonderful visits with our family in California. We even went to the state fair while we were there. It was terrific to be able to see everyone and catch up.  Our long drive home (two days) seemed much shorter since Lulu shared the driving duties with me.  She did great and I enjoyed reading a book through the very straight roads in Nevada (I wouldn’t be able to read while in a car if the road was curved).  We arrived home around 5 on Friday evening.Sourdough Sandwich Bread

As soon I was home Joe mentioned that I should make bread. I haven’t made bread but once all summer. Partly because of the busyness of summer but mainly because of the heat. Sunday I made up four loaves of bread and put it to back right before bed hoping that the house would be cooled off well by morning. I milled a fair amount of flour to accommodate for the bread and maybe a few other baked goods. We have an assortment of wheat for grinding.  I usually use hard red wheat for making our sourdough bread. It is especially good to use for No-Knead Sourdough Bread.  I use hard white for things like tortillas or if I want to make bread that looks less like whole wheat (not as brown).  We also have soft white for making cakes and cookies. I milled some of each of those.  We also have rye and spelt that I use on occasion but didn’t feel the need to mill any of that this week.

Challenge

While I was on the road I listened to a few podcasts that I downloaded before leaving home.  One podcast that I listened to was Sylvia Britton (21st Century Homekeeper) interviewing Rachel from Dog Island Farm.  They mentioned that Rachel and her husband had went two years with only going to the grocery store a couple of times.  When I got home I checked out their corresponding blog for their Year Without Groceries.  The year without groceries did allow them to purchase from the farmers market, road side stands, CSA’s, and similar but they did not go to regular stores or big box stores.  You can read the rules they followed here.

You might remember last month when I posted about how we are on a mission to grow, raise or forage as much of our own food as possible.

Realistically it is unlikely that we could ever produce all of what we eat. It is unlikely we could even produce most of what we eat.  Even though we have a well stocked pantry, I don’t think we could do a year without groceries challenge like Rachel and her family did.

BUT I do think we could do one month.

August would be a great month to not step foot in the grocery store.  Our farmers markets, which only operated six weeks out of the year, is now open.  Produce there is hit or miss but might be just enough when combined with our garden.  Our garden is the best we’ve had since we moved to Wyoming. That said by many standards it is pitiful but we are pretty happy about it.

No Grocery Store Challenge 300 x214

No Grocery Store Challenge Rules

Our rules will be very simple.

We will not go to any of the supermarkets, grocery stores, or big box stores to purchase food for the month of August.

Where we will get our food from;

  • Farmers markets (we have one downtown on Tuesday evening and another at the fairgrounds on Saturday morning),
  • local farmers (we get a monthly beef CSA and once in a while make purchases from other farmers)
  • Azure Standard (this is kind of like a co-op. I’m not sure I need many food items this month but do need some animal related items. It would be possible to do most of our shopping through Azure but would take planning since it is a once a month deal.)
  • Our pantry & freezer
  • Anything we produce or forage ourselves (our cow share is included in this and the foraging includes hunting and fishing)
  • Also allowed is ‘real food’ given to us by people. I specifically am adding this because one of my friends already asked me if we would like the ‘weird cuts’ from the whole beef they are getting. I think they are picking it up this month. I’m also adding this just in case my neighbor is reading this and has too much squash or something in her garden. 😉 Happy to help you out with that J!.
  • We will also eat at friends or families homes if we are invited.

I’m not going to ‘stock up’ on things before the 1st of August but I am going to buy a few things that we are either out of or running low on that I would have purchased anyway. I also think it is important to note that we have a very well stocked pantry but our freezer supply is running low. We’re happy that hunting season is almost here and we’ll also soon be butchering chickens and ducks.

Sharing the Menu

Because of this challenge for August I’m planning to share my menu’s in a slightly different style.  Hopefully it will work out the way I want it to and not be too confusing for you (and me).

I’ll share a loose plan for our evening meal for the upcoming week.  Below that I’ll recap what was actually prepared from the previous week. If I can stay organized enough I’ll share not just suppers but also breakfast, lunch and snacks.  This weekend we’ll be going up to our new property to camp so are planning on picnic/camping style foods.  I’m harvesting beet greens, turnips and carrots from the garden that we’ll be eating this week. I think we’ll have a couple of zucchini ready in the near future and maybe a few tomatoes. Not sure if there is much else ready to harvest yet. I’m thinking that things had better hurry up.  Frost comes early in Wyoming!

Menu

Sunday- Antelope roast, mashed turnips and sauteed beet greens

Monday- Chicken Caccatori, polenta, cooked beet greens

Tuesday- Frittata

Wednesday- Majadarah

Thursday (No Grocery Store Challenge Begins)- Sprouted Lentil Tacos

Friday (going up to new property)- Lentil Salad

Saturday (at property)- Salmon salad, crackers (affiliate link) and cheese

 

Could you avoid the supermarket for a month? How about a year?

 

Shared at Menu Plan Monday

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3 comments to Menu Plan Week of July 28 & a Challenge for August

  • Karen

    Except for milk, which we cannot find a non-grocery source for, I could stay out for about three months, almost at any point in time. DH’s work is very weather dependent, so I always keep the freezer and pantry full. When there is no income I cut back to just dairy and minimal fresh produce. We get eggs and honey from local producers and have a garden and berry patch in summer. When I do go to the grocery store, it is usually to cherry-pick the sales and very rarely to buy things other than milk, to consume right away. I actually go quite often, as I have to take DD to her volunteer work at a local food pantry, so I can check out the discount racks first thing in the morning. Sometimes I don’t get anything, other times I come home with half a dozen jars of natural peanut butter on clearance because they are changing the packaging and a big bag of half price mushrooms because the new stock arrived. I make yogurt and have begun making cheese, so that takes a few more things off the list that need to be replenished frequently and expensively from the store.

  • We are trying to get set up so that next year we will not need to shop grocery stores either. Right now we have dairy goats so we are overflowing with fresh milk. I make yogurt, ice cream and cheese from the milk. We raise poultry so we also have a ton of eggs. We just added pigs (that we will raise on the milk and eggs with a little grain to keep costs down) so come spring we will have home raised pork. I grew a garden this year and hope to improve and double it next year. My husband hunts so in the winter we usually get fresh venison. I can the garden surplus and preserve as much as possible. I am trying to find a local co-op where we could buy staples like flour, sugar, etc. When we do go to the grocery store I always shop the clearance section first. We just bought a few bottles of bbq sauce for over half off. Ideally next year we would make all our own condiments, but until then the clearance section works just great!

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