So we're in a pretty destitute place financially right now, I ain't gonna lie. Things are not good. We're out of milk - again - but at least Rob gets paid tonight or tomorrow night, and if I was really desperate, I could pour them the condensed or evaporated milk that's in the pantry for baking, right?
And so I've been wondering how I'm going to feed my kids, at least through the end of the month (which I realize now is tomorrow, thank goodness), when it seems like there's nothing to eat.
For dinner tonight, I made pierogies for the kids and Rob. There were only 9 left, to split amongst the four of them. That's not a lot. The girls each took one to start, and Jack took three, leaving four for Rob. In the end, the girls each swiped one more off Rob's plate and split the last one of Jack's. Here I am, watching all this food-swapping going on, thinking, "Well, this is a poor man's feast, isn't it?" I made sugar snap peas as well, but the kids refused to eat them. And we had the last four chicken strips from last night, of which I ate one and Rob ate the rest.
So everyone was fed, and there was ice cream for dessert, and no one starved. But still, I worried.
And then, I decided to go through the deep freezer and take stock. See exactly what's what in there, so I don't have to spend too much money buying things we already have. And I was surprised to find, between the freezers and the pantry, three pages in my little notebook filled with meals to eat.
For starters, there's the whole turkey, which I got for free-after-rebate, that we never ate for Thanksgiving or Christmas. That'll feed the lot of us for days! And there's a fat whole chicken, too, and bags and bags of chicken parts. There's packages of pork ribs and sausages and what-not for Rob, a box of grilled salmon fillets, and even fish sticks and chicken nuggets for the kids.
And I was stressing about tomorrow night, since it's our New Year's Eve tradition to have lots of little appetizers and yummy things at midnight. What then, what about that?
For one thing, our lovely neighbor, for whom I baked Christmas cookies and whom the kids brought over flowers as an Advent activity, and whom we sent a Christmas card of course, brought over a nice bottle of sparkling cider to drink. Whee!
For another, at the way-down-bottom of the deep freezer, there was a box of spanikopita (hello, yum) and another box of crabcakes, from our long-forgotten trip to Trader Joe's this past summer! And there are little apple dumpling bites and fried cheese balls from Schwan's, to boot. So that will take care of that and be more than plenty, I am sure.
And there are tons of canned veggies and frozen veggies and rice mixes and boxes of stuffing and all manner of things to round out our dinners in the next fortnight, to be sure. Plus I can always manage to bake a nice loaf of bread or two, right? I have a jillion packets of yeast, since Rob was teasing me for a while there about buying some every time I bought groceries and I kept buying more to tease him back...
But what about breakfast and lunch?
I scored lots of good deals on cereal lately, so as soon as I can pick up a gallon of milk, we'll be set there. And I found a giant bag of French toast sticks in the deep freezer, also from Schwan's, which I don't remember buying. The kids begged to have it tomorrow for breakfast. And there's pancake mixes in the pantry, and oatmeal, too.
Lastly, in the deep freezer, I found loaves of bread (and can always bake more!) and frozen lunch meat I'd stocked up on back when there was a sale while I worked at Harris Teeter.
We're all set!! All I really need is a couple gallons of milk, a carton of eggs, and some fruit. And if I was really worried about the fruit, we do have frozen bags of cranberries, strawberries and blueberries in there, too.
Thank God for small miracles.