December Angel Food Meal Plan & Recipes

So, I had great plans of publishing this weeks ago–it was complete in the particulars–but I wanted to finish/polish a few things and life has not exactly cooperated!  Hopefully this will be better (and earlier) in future months.

Here’s the plan (DOC), based on two Bountiful Blessing boxes and one fresh fruit and veggie box:

Download a PDF.
The main thing I had hoped to accomplish before publishing it was to come up with a good ordering to the meal plan in order to use the fresh ingredients (celery, onions, potatoes) before they went bad.  Instead, just keep that in mind and pick the meals off in the order that makes your family happy!  I’ll try to get this all straightened out by next month. Edit: just FYI, I’m beginning with the chicken fried rice tonight and the slow-cooker black-eyed pea soup tomorrow to use up a good chunk of the produce without going to the grocery store yet.

Unlinked recipes:

  • Mom’s Sausage Stovetop Casserole — this is my mom’s recipe. Basically… if the sausage/hamburger is raw (it’s supposed to be, but I’m using cooked this month because that’s what’s in the AF box, just going to dice it and toss it in), then you cook it, drain it, and mix all the ingredients together on the stove. (It’s also supposed to be made with noodles and Velveeta, not mac-n-cheese packages, but I think this will turn out to be quite good and use lots of the mac-n-cheese which is otherwise a bit of a mammoth on this month’s menu.) Adjust proportions according to whimsy; the recipe also handles substitutions well. Onions are good too.
  • Chicken de Provence — My recipe. Rip up / dice the chicken, season quite heavily with herbs de provence, cook it on the stove in lots of olive oil, then add alfredo sauce (1/2 a jar or so), a dash (1/3 c) of tomato sauce, and maybe 3 oz of cream cheese. Stir till all melty and bubbly, serve over rice. This is not a giant recipe, but it’s very easy and yummy and we almost always have all the ingredients on hand–this is one of my what-am-I-going-to-make-in-10-minutes recipes.

January Angel Food boxes:

I’m very excited about next month’s boxes; they look like they rely even less on pre-prepared food and are generally healthier.  My current plan is to order:

  • 2 Bountiful Blessing boxes ($41)
  • 1 S2 box (steak and chicken, $23)
  • 1 S3 box (fruit and veggie, $23)

That’s probably more than we can eat in a month, but the S2 box is too much in line with what we like to have on hand in the freezer to pass up!  Maybe I’ll shift some of that to dinners and use some of the more lunch-like items in the Bountiful Blessing boxes for lunch and extras!

Just pretend this is a baby book.

I am a poor record-keeper.  Which is a bit odd, since I enjoy writing, but somehow these things–the days of first steps, first words, trials and triumphs–they escape my notice.  This attitude was quite solidified the first time E got into some “precious” item of my own past and did it some damage, and I realized that the here-and-now reality of my little daughter was more important to me than the memory of times and people past.  Things burn and turn to dust.  And I struggle, likewise, with finding events particularly important in the context of eternity: far too much, I think; there is surely some value in baby books and memorials, and it is my own fault for having trouble finding it.

At any rate, E’s life has been more chronicled than R’s, in no small part because people bugged me about it more.  Did you write it down?  Did you get her footprints stamped?  Did you send off for her birth certificate? (Yes, we do have R’s birth certificate, but it was literally months later in arriving than E’s was!)  But there is one thing that has really struck me lately about R, and so I thought it was perhaps worth a post: I do believe the child talks more now, at 14 months, than E did even on her second birthday.  It’s probably E’s “fault,” because she talks to R from sunup to sundown and R’s vocabulary is clearly reflective of her elder sister’s more than my own.  And I’m not implying a difference in intelligence, either: I frankly don’t really follow milestones at all anymore, but I’m pretty sure there’s a wide range of “normal” in speech development and the girls’ personalities could easily put them at opposite ends of the spectrum even without their own interactions.  That said; R’s words, as nearly as I can recall them all; words she says spontaneously/unprompted, consistently, and clearly:

  • names: Ellie, Mommy, Daddy, Mammaw, Grandad
  • bye, hi, night night, mmm-wee, up, me, I (love you), awwww, whee, please, no, baby, milk, eat, boo, uh-oh, ice, eyes
  • she sings, semi-recognizably (you can tell which one she’s trying for): ring around the rosie, the alphabet song, twinkle twinkle, itsy bitsy spider, and old macdonald

I also want to remember something that is incredibly special to me to watch: while the girls have long played with each other–and nicely–lately they’ve actually been moving into a stage of being actively affectionate with each other.  It astounds me to see how patient E is with R’s physically clumsy attempts to hug, tickle, tackle, and give her kisses, and it’s also unfathomably neat to see R initiating said hugs and playfulness instead of just being on the receiving end all the time.  There are few moments in my entire life that have made me as happy and almost giddy as walking into a room and finding them sitting next to each other playing, “reading” a book together, or just plain hanging out.  They have their small moments of disgruntledness, but they’re much less than I’d expect given that they’re both still pretty clumsy (prone to flatly knocking each other down by accident!) and that the lines of communication are distinctly limited.