Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Garden Update

Growing up, my whole family grew awesome gardens.  I suppose the South Louisiana soil is perfect for such things.  Ever since I moved to Texas, I have been trying my hand at gardening, without a whole lot of success.   I will have good luck with one type of plant in particular during one season, and not be able to get it to grow a bit the next year.   This year hardly any of the seeds that I planted came up.  I am having better luck with some plants that I bought, however.

I still have my container garden in pots along my side fence (which I always plant in early spring and forget that the tree above them will grow its leaves back...so it's a little more shady than would be ideal.)

A month or so ago, I drove up into my driveway from somewhere one night and noticed the neighbors across the street were throwing away two wooden pallets.  I had seen several ideas for pallet gardens on pinterest, so I made my husband go grab them.

I laid them out in my backyard along my old garden plot.  He filled them up with soil before I was able to tell him that I wanted to line them with newspapers, however, so I am having some trouble with grass and ivy (someone had English Ivy growing on our back fence and we have been battling it for 7 years now!) growing up from underneath.

I grew the leeks and lettuces from bases of produce from our Bountiful Baskets.  The leeks are still doing ok, but I am currently battling roly polys.   They've killed a lettuce, a couple celery, and my bok choy.  I'm not happy.    I did some reading up on natural ways to keep insects away and garlic, onions, and hot peppers seemed to be the key.   I planted garlic all around throughout the pallet and today i mixed up a concoction and spread all around and watered it down good, so *crosses fingers*.

I did have one garden highlight this morning:

I've got a tomato peeking out!  And it looks like my basil seeds are finally sprouting (that was one plant that did WELL last year, so I'm excited about that).

Did you plant anything this year?


Monday, May 6, 2013

May Menu Plan Update

I told you last week about how I was trying to plan out the menu for the entire month of May.

Here was the original plan, in no particular order (crossed out the one's we've eaten):

To Cook:
Red Beans and Rice x2 (plus freeze)
Spaghetti x2 (plus freeze)
Cheddar Chicken x2 (plus freeze)
Chicken & Broccoli x2 (plus freeze)
Shrimp Alfredo
Chicken Pot Pie (plus freeze)
Tacos x2 (plus freeze)
Hamburgers (plus freeze)
Pork steak  (I will likely cook in bulk and freeze)
Potato Soup (plus freeze)
Pancakes x4 (we have this about once a week)
Eggs x2 (we usually do this on busy nights, and hubby doesn't eat eggs, so he finishes off some leftovers)

To Pull From Freezer:
Taco Quiche
Pork Chops
Cabbage Soup
Ham Soup
Italian Sausage Soup
Beef StewCabbage Casserole
Potato Soup

So here's how last week went:

Monday--had the tacos according to plan (also mixed up and seasoned more of the 15lbs of ground beef I'd bought and made burger patties and meatballs to freeze)
Wednesday--Spaghetti again (and froze 5 more meals of sauce)
Thursday-stew from the freezer
Friday--Daughter's school showed Wreck-It Ralph and sold pizza/cookies/drinks for $2 per person so we did that
Saturday--Noticed El Rio Grande had T-Bones on sale for $2.99 per pound.  After the movie we were right there by the store and hubby wanted to see how they looked.  They looked good so we purchased enough for three family meals, grilled some on saturday (and made potato salad, so probably won't be making potato soup) and froze the rest.
Sunday--AWANA awards night at church and picnic afterward--church provided hotdogs.

10 burgers (2 meals), 2 bags of meatballs, 4 taco, and 5 spaghetti.  Including the 3 meals we ate from this already, thats 16 meals made in 2 days.

I'd not been remembering those two nights of eating away from home last week, and we will probably do at least one meal out with family visiting for my daughter's birthday next week.

But, this week should be pretty normal, so here are the meals from the list I plan to make this week:

Monday:  Red beans and rice  (put them on in the crock pot early this morning)
Tuesday:  Leftovers  (and freeze)
Wednesday:  Thawing large amount of chicken breast--Cheddar chicken (and freeze some)
Thursday:  Chicken Broccoli (and freeze some)
Friday:  Pork Steaks
Saturday:  Tilapia
Sunday:  Pancakes

Wow.   I just realized that I'm only putting stuff in the freezer this week, and not taking anything out.  I guess that's good to do on a pretty normal week.  And I'll probably be pulling out meals in duplicates with extra people here next week, so we will have to just see how the menu goes then.

What's your plan for the week?


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