Sunday, March 8, 2009

There Was an Old Woman That Lived in a Shoe...

...she had so many children, she didn't know what to do.

Five boys and one girl with two parents all in one shoe house for the summer. With so many mouths to feed, I often didn't know what to do. I found it much easier to plan out the eight weeks of summer meals for "Eight is Enough" or "The Brady Bunch". It is called "Survivor".

I am not sure if my mother ever made a menu for the week much less for eight weeks. She could go into any kitchen and come out with a meal to feed many. Now I am not saying that it would have pleased the eye of a home economics teacher, but it was always good. My mother could cook. I say could....she still can, just out of practice. All of this to say, I had no example of meal planning, so I was on my own to discover how to feed the 5,000, well, not really 5,000, but it felt like it.

I set out to make menus by relying on my trusty recipe card file started when I was in high school home economics...thank you, Miss Parrish. I searched through the many church cookbooks on the shelf....thank you ladies! I wrote every activity for the children on a calendar and planned meals to fit the schedule. I even went so far as to make a shopping list for each week. With spiral notebook in hand containing my menus, recipes, and shopping lists for the entire summer, I was ready when summer arrived.

I found that spiral notebook not too long ago. My kids thought that it was so funny that I put in so much effort and kept it. They even found the grocery store receipts that proved it could be done...I fed our family of 8 for about $100 a week. All I can say is that my life was easier in our shoe house.

You might expect that today's Sunday Dinner recipes would come from my summer menus of 1997, but no! That summer was full of hot dogs, hamburgers, spaghetti and lots of repeats, but it kept me from going wacky! These are better anyway...and still feed the 5,000 many....

More Please!

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
2 onions, chopped
1 1/2 c. spaghetti, broken
1 large can tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 small can ripe olives, drained and chopped
1 1/2 lb. Cheddar or Monterrey Jack Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400.

Cook 1 1/2 c. spaghetti according to package directions. Brown meat and onion. Mix spaghetti, meat, onion, tomatoes, olives and cheese together. Pour into 9X13 lightly greased baking dish. Bake uncovered 30 minutes. additional cheese can be added on top the last 5 minutes of baking.

Country Style Pork Ribs

Large package of Country Style Pork Ribs
Your favorite BBQ sauce

Place ribs in a crockpot. Cover with water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on low overnight until tender (falling off the bone or fork tender if you have boneless)
Remove ribs (discard liquid) from the crock pot and place in 9X13 baking dish. Cover with BBQ sauce and foil. Heat in oven until sauce is hot and has penetrated ribs.

How about an easy treat? You probably have the ingredients right in your kitchen! No planning needed and you won't go wacky!

Wacky Cake

In a 9X13 cake pan, put:

1 1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar
3 T. cocoa
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix together with spatula. Make 3 holes in the mixture. In the first hole put 1 tsp. vanilla. In the second hole, put 6 T. vegetable oil, In the third hole, put 1 T. vinegar. Pour 1 cup of water over all ingredients and mix well. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Wacky Cake Icing

5 minutes before cake is done, bring to a boil 2 tsp. vanilla, 1 stick of butter, 6 T. milk, and 4 T. cocoa. Pour over 1 box (16oz.) of powdered sugar. Mix and pour over hot cake. Serve with vanilla or pumpkin ice cream (if you can find it).

If the shoe fits, wear it well!