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As wonderful days tend to do, they end.  I’m left looking at the areas where our rhythm failed us after our near perfect day on Monday.  I’m left looking at the windows of time lost to Ivy being cranky.  The joy falling from Deladis’s face as Ivy climbs my back and tries to take the book from my hands during our story time.  Wondering endlessly whether or not I have the girls going to bed too late or not.  I’m contemplating how one simple thing like an unplanned, but necessary trip to the chiropractor can throw things off for days.  Work left undone.  Like a bridge in a song, where the music floats off into a tangent… but the notes always come back around into the previous arrangement.

I am not frustrated, only bemused.  I didn’t expect magic.  In all things there are flaws, and the flaws in our rhythm can be made better.  I’m going to press onward with what I have down a few more days.  As I see more of what is working and what isn’t, I can make changes.  I know I am not feeling as pressured even when our rhythm goes asunder.  I’m finding myself a more patient mother because even I need to know that there are other hours in the day and right now is the only right now we have.  Deladis seems more content.  She sleeps now beside me, us having to forgo the bedtime routine because Wednesday night church had us out too late.  I left church early without feeling guilty because Ivy needed to go and the good Lord understands babies, and mamas, and life – even when they interrupt prayer time.  To nurture and provide a comforting foundation for my children is my job right now, and I am determined to do well at it, as I am determined to be well-rounded and fulfilled in my personal life.

There is too much food in the refrigerator because I overcooked using our little menu… somehow.  It’s weird.  So, I only have to cook breakfast tomorrow.  Lunch and dinner are covered with our lovely leftovers.  I served Deladis two runny eggs this morning and she ate every last bite as did John and I.  Yes, I made six eggs.  I didn’t want to make us make do with just eating one.  Again, things to figure out and work to be done.  There are far worse things than an evening where it isn’t necessary to cook, though it has become one of the joys of my life.

I’m researching more into our way of eating, and trying my best to fit our dietary needs into our budget.  I believe I can do it.  As old habits are hard to break, food ruts are too.  I’m stuck wanting nuts and cheese at lunch eventhough those are two of the most expensive things on my store list.  I’m eating my leftovers, which are yummy too and looking forward to a week or so from now when leftovers become my new lunch habit.

Today, I don’t have all the answers, but I have a start and the will to try.  Another thing I have is time to get it right, and well, if time is up for me tomorrow then I did my best and someone else can pick up where I left off.  That’s what counts.  We may be a little off balance, but we can always recover if we are willing to try.

Planning a menu for John and I is easy.  We aren’t picky eaters in most areas.  John has a fairly plain palate when it comes to breakfast – for instance, no veggie omelets.  However, I’m becoming increasingly worried about how my girls will fair with these adjustments.  I know it’s going to take some major trial and error.  Deladis will be an especially hard one to please.  Breakfast being more grain heavy will be hard for her.  She so loves her morning over easy eggs.  I hope she will eat what we have before she lets herself get too hungry and I have to feed her cheap food from the standard American diet just to get her to eat.

Menu for the week of May 4th – 10th: (This menu was planned based on my Sat. shopping trip and what I already had on hand.)

Monday -

  • Breakfast – Banana Bread/Sausage (Using very ripe bananas left over from last month’s budget.  The goal is no waste.)
  • Lunch – Nuts/Cheese…  Chicken Nuggets/Carrots for Deladis (I am buying some non-traditional foods for Deladis as she has become very picky since her stay in the hospital in February.  She has a short list of what she will eat consistently.  This bothers me and I want to improve her diet so much.)
  • Dinner – Pork Chops/ Fried Potatoes and Onions/ Appalachian  Soupbeans (Pinto)/ Cornbread
  • Special Preparations – Make chicken bone broth.

Tuesday -

  • Breakfast – Leftover Banana Bread/Sausage
  • Lunch – Leftover Soupbeans/Cornbread… Leftover Pork Chops or Bologna/ Corn for Deladis
  • Dinner – Roast Chicken w/ Potatoes, Carrots, Celery/Peas
  • Special Preparations – soak kidney beans for baked beans

Wednesday -

  • Breakfast – Eggs/Bacon/Yogurt… Oranges for Deladis (she’s dairy allergic)
  • Lunch – Chicken Salad (leftover chicken on baby greens)… Chili Mac or Spaghetti for Deladis
  • Dinner – Split Pea Patties/Cauliflower Rice/Baked Beans
  • Special Preparations – soak oats, soak black beans

Thursday –

  • Breakfast – Oatmeal/Sausage/Banana and Raisins
  • Lunch – Leftovers or Nuts/Cheese… Noodles w/ Earth Balance Margarine for Deladis
  • Dinner – Black Bean Soup/Cornbread
  • Special Preparations – soak whole wheat flour for pancakes, soak rice

Friday -

  • Breakfast – Pancakes/Sausage/ Yogurt and Maple Syrup
  • Lunch/Dinner – Leftover Soup… John has an art opening that evening so we are combining this meal.  Eat good.
  • Special Preparations – thaw salmon

Saturday –

  • Breakfast – Rice Pudding/Sausage
  • Lunch/Dinner – Leftovers and Finger Foods (We’ll be spending the day out and about mostly.)

Sunday -

  • Breakfast – Eggs/Sausage/Banana or Pineapples
  • Lunch/Dinner – Salmon Fillets/Fried Sweet Potatoes/Salad (We eat dinner after church so the rest of the day will be snacks.)

My main concern is the grains.  It certainly is after reading this on Nourished Kitchen, but I don’t see any way around it right now.  I’m debating on what is a more crucial choice to make about our egg situation – keep the current menu style or switch to purchasing conventional eggs so we can cut back on the grains for breakfast.  What is the lesser evil?  And poor Deladis…  I so hope we get our chickens soon.

If anyone sees anything I’m missing, or has any suggestions on how to feed Deladis better foods, or our overall dietary health as a family, please feel free to comment.  I appreciate advice.

I’ve got $269 a month to work with, and it has become necessary to plan a menu and stick to a grocery list.  I will have to cut back on certain food stuffs we purchase, and I will have to spend a bit more time in food preparation.  See my posts on food to learn more about the Traditional/Whole Foods way of eating.

I’ve made the following adjustments to my food choices:

  • Purchase organic fresh fruits and veggies only from the Dirty Dozen list.  Frozen veggies will suffice in place of fresh ones to save money.
  • Make my own sausage out of ground turkey, chicken, pork, or lamb, whichever I can find at the time.  With sausage $2.29 a pound and bacon $4.99 for 12 slices, I have to cut back there.  We eat meat every morning for breakfast.
  • Cut back on egg use.  (Ultimate goal is to get our own chickens.) Organic eggs are $3.49 a dozen.  We easily use 6 a day.  I will be adding more grains in our breakfasts and more potatoes.  I worry about Deladis here as she loves eggs, but I hope her tastes will warm to the new menu as we go.
  • Use more potatoes and rice to try to avoid using too much wheat.  Limit grains when I can.
  • Use more beans and lentils.
  • Buy more whole chickens and ground meats.  They go further, and you can make bone broths for soups.
  • Buy local honey instead of organic.  Should have been doing that anyway.  Local benefits allergies more.
  • Make Deladis’s rice and/or nut milks myself.
  • Do not buy outside of the store list.
  • Purchase a yogurt starter culture to make my own yogurt.
  • Purchase a sourdough or attempt to make a sourdough starter culture for bread making.  I will be making our bread from here on out as we will be eating more breads.
  • Purchase grains, nuts, spices from the Mennonite Bulk Foods store.
  • Do not buy baby food purees or pre-made snacks for Ivy.  I will make my own purees for her, or she will eat from what we are eating.

I went grocery shopping Saturday and spent $105.33.  With what I already have in the freezer and cupboards, I’m hoping to make what I purchased last most of the month.  I know I will have to replenish dairy products and breakfast meats.  I did find that I cannot make sausage any cheaper than I can buy it.  I can actually buy Swaggerty’s MSG free sausage for cheaper than making my own.  The bacon we have to cut back on.  One or two packages a month will have to be enough.  It’s too bad, because I so love cooking with bacon fat.  I have not bought my oats, nuts or spices yet as the bulk food store was closed.

I also bought a few things that were not on my list.  They were on sale and I rationalized the purchases.  I hope those decisions don’t come back to get me.  My goal was to stick to my list.

Saturday’s Purchases and Prices: Things crossed out will be purchased later.

  • organic whole milk (1 gallon) – $3.85
  • organic half and half (2 pints) – $1.49 (The organic wasn’t in stock.  I bought only 1 pint of regular.)
  • organic eggs (2 dozen) – $6.98 (I have six more left over in the fridge.  I’m going to try to stretch that to cover the whole month.)
  • organic raisins – $2.79
  • oats
  • nuts
  • honey
  • Babybel cheese – $2.99
  • Bacon – $4.99
  • Whole Chickens (2) – $12.23
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • old bay” seasoning, rosemary, fennel, tarragon, coriander, cardamon, fenugreek, green peppercorns, file powder
  • organic green peppers (2) – $1.46 (organic wasn’t in stock. :( )
  • red peppers (2) – organic is not available here – $4.38
  • onions – $1.88
  • juice for the girls – $6.33
  • 2 lbs. ground beef – $8.50 (I have one pound in the freezer to add to this amount.)
  • pork chops (optional as we have plenty of rabbit in the freezer) – $3.02
  • expeller pressed flax oil
  • organic salad greens – $3.49
  • organic petite carrots – $1.50
  • mandarin oranges – $2.00 (4 cans)
  • brussel sprouts (frozen) – $1.79
  • lemons (6) – $1.98 (organic wasn’t in stock.)
  • 4 tomatoes – $5.81 (organic not available in fresh tomatoes)
  • cilantro (fresh) – $.99
  • rice milk for Deladis until I figure out how to make it – $7.00 (1 gallon)
  • sour cream – $2.73
  • ketchup for Deladis until I figure out how to make it – $2.49

Purchases not on my list.

Salsa (2 jars) – $5.98, Anchovys – $1.45, Sardines $1.00

I’m happy with this list and how much I purchased for the price.  Maybe I’m kidding myself in thinking we won’t run out of food or money to buy more before the end of this month, but it doesn’t seem that way so far.  I will post my menu for this week on Thursday, and tell you how food preparation is fitting into our rhythm.

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About Me

An Appalachian woman born and raised, mothering two little girls in a place that is non-existent to AT&T or UPS. Happily working toward a sustainable lifestyle and writing on the demand of a loud muse.

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