Solar Production 2016 and 2018

Solar Production 2016 and 2018

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Dinner Lists

        Once again, I was rescued by the Dinner List. At 5:30, I was in the library, picking up a book on hold. I’d been at work from 7:45 until 4:45, talked with dozens of kids, taught three classes, graded a pile of papers, attended a staff meeting, mailed postcards for the CLC, and I was hungry.  “What’s for dinner?” I wondered as I tucked the books into my bag—and I had no idea. Then I remembered—I had the Dinner List. Whatever it was, it was on the list pinned to the fridge and we had the ingredients. I pulled on my hat, walked out into the dark Oregon mist, and headed home, free to contemplate other things.
            The weekly meals list saves us constantly. On Sunday, I sit down with my recipe box and list all of the produce in the house—right now, squash (lots), onions, most of a cabbage, potatoes, some beets and carrots from the garden, a few collards still standing after the deep freeze, canned tomatoes and green beans, frozen peas and corn.  Then I consider the household obligations, like singing practice, meetings, and dentist’s appointments. Between the two, the dinner list forms. Some nights, we have time for a long baked meal, others, we’re in and out again in an hour. Menus have to be adjusted for preparation time. Once the list is finished, we grocery shop for the week, I do some prep work, like cooking beans or making a lunch soup, and we’re good to go.  I also list breakfast and lunch, so I know when we are eating oatmeal and when I need to make a new batch of yogurt.
            The List is essential to our well-being in the Winter time. Without it, we would eat out far more often, which is expensive and not as healthy. We would also waste more food, especially produce. I used to just keep a variety of veggies on hand and wing dinner for myself every night, but a lot more rotten food went into the compost. But, most importantly, it is a stress-reducer. I do not have to think about dinner until I walk in the house, wash my hands, and haul out the onions and cast-iron frying pan. 


A few years ago, I had half a cabbage and three beets in the fridge…dinner? Borsht. It is much tastier than I thought it would be. Now it is a staple food—just watch out for Beet Pee.

Sautee a medium onion in oil and butter until soft.

Peel and chop a couple of cups of beets.
Chop up half a head of cabbage.

Toss both into the pan with the onion and cook briefly. Barely cover with water and simmer until the beets are soft. Season with some chicken or veggie bullion, dill, and pepper.

Add yogurt or sour cream to the bowl and eat with new whole wheat bread.


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