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Saturday, 21 March 2015

Making Life Simpler-Meal planning

I have said it before, and I will say it again, as it is astounding the number of people who do not plan their meals.
Having a large family makes everything that little bit more challenging, and meals are no exception. Soooo, if you really want to make life easier, plan.
I didn't always plan, and that meant that it was a struggle sometimes when having to prepare dinner, and procrastinating about what to cook. This takes away valuable time, especially if you are anything like me. I will outline what has helped me over the years:
1) Plan meals a week, or a month ahead-
Now I like variety, so I make sure we don't have the same meals every week. I like to ensure we have 4 red meat meals, at least one non meat meal, fish, then chicken once a fortnight. Here is my plan for march:
sunday 1st-Beef casserole
Monday 2nd-Pasta bake (with salmon)
Tues 3rd-Chicken
Weds 4th- Chicken stew
Thurs 5th- Takeaway
Fri 6th- Bolognaise
Sat 7th- Fish battered with oven chips
Sun 8th- Roast lamb
Mon 9th- lentil soup and garlic bread (home made)
Tues 10th- meat loaf
Weds 11th- Egg, chips, and beans
Thurs 12th- Beef curry and rice
Fri 13th- Mexican tortillas
Sat 14th- Fish in butter sauce with potatoes
Sun 15th- Beef casserole
Mon 16th- Beef sausages and mash
Tues 17th- Roast chicken
Weds 18th-Chicken stew
Thurs 19th-Beef pie, and mash
Fri 20th- Home made pizza
Sat 21st-Shepherd's pie
Sun 22nd-Roast lamb
Mon 23rd- Quiche with savoury rice.
Tues 24th-Lasagne
Weds 25th- Lentil soup, and garlic bread. (Home made)
Thurs 26th Beef stir fry with noodles
Fri 27th- Fish pie (home made)
Sat 28th- Beef ghoulash
Sun 29th- Beef casserole
Mon 30th- Wild salmon and rice
Tues 31st- Beef curry

Once I have my basic plan, I then know what I have to buy. However, I leave flexibility to plan for offers, and I check the offers online. January was good for stocking up on good quality mince, February had a lot of fish offers. This month it is flours. Once you have your menu plan, you can form a shopping list. I rarely waste any food, as I make sure I plan well, and what we know we can't use we freeze. Also buy frozen veg/fruit for cooking, and it won't be wasted.
Milk can be a tricky one, however, I calculate we use 8 pints a day, so I times that by the number of days till my next shop. I then add an extra 4-6 pints in just in case!
When I didn't plan, I remember having spaghetti bolognaise twice in one week, without even realising! Needless to say we have it once every 3 weeks, now.
A very helpful tip, I have found, is to make sure you have a few emergency quick meals, so you can prepare very quickly. As life doesn't always go to plan! I find bolognaise is a very easy meal to whip up quick, no peeling, just make sure you have the cook from frozen mince. I always buy the leanest, as it is lower in fat, tastier, and contains more protein. Please feel free to leave any comments, tips, ideas you have found helpful.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Reflections From Gurnall

''This is indeed makes it easy for Christ's sheep to be infected with the scab of error, because that weed which breeds the rot is so like the grass that nourisheth them.'' William Gurnall-The Christian in Complete Armour.

Interesting quote, and highlights how we can so easily be lead astray! I confess to at times being overly zealous, and maybe misconstruing things. However, no complacency. Sheep don't seem to know what is good for them, and will even eat poisonous weeds, which is why as farmers we have to be especially dilligent, and watch for them. I have found, once they are allowed to take root, they spread like wildfire! Deadly too, if the sheep eat them.
Gurnall talks about people being lead astray by sincere folks, they even say, and preach a whole barrel of truth. However, pepper it with an error, and you have poisoned the lot. I have heard of hay being contaminated with just a little poison, and killing cattle. All it takes!
Probably the most disturbing part of all, Satan will use our close family, friends to get to us. He cites Abraham tempting his wife to lie. Watch!!
Watch also for those things we are inclined to, whatever they may be. Often, they will be areas of complacency, and Satan will seek to get in. '' Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:'' 1 pet 5:8

Monday, 16 March 2015

Spring again!
I love the colours, the extra warmth, the extra light.......

New life!

''Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.'' Jam 1:17