This Week’s Menu: Rustling Through the Cupboards

Love making our own kalua pork "plate lunch" at home
Love making our own kalua pork “plate lunch” at home

It’s getting to be time for Brett and I to do our big monthly shop, but with WenYu and I leaving next week Brett and I have decided to postpone the shop-athon until after I get back at the end of the month. This next week, and while Brett and YaYu are holding down the fort the week after, we’ll be using up more of what we have on hand, which at first glance didn’t seem like very much, but as usual turns out to be more than enough to put some tasty and healthy meals on the table.

It’s humbling to realize that when I’m thinking “there’s nothing here to make a meal” the truth is we have so much, sort of like walking into a giant closet full of clothes and telling oneself, “there’s nothing to wear!” Millions of people around the world, and right here in the U.S., feed their families with far less than we currently have, and many in the world would consider what we have in our pantry, fridge and freezer to be an embarrassment of riches. Add in not having to worry over our steady supply of clean water right from the tap, and uninterrupted electricity to run a big refrigerator and a freezer, and we really do live a very privileged life.

I also want to sit down with YaYu before I leave and listen to what she wants to eat and cook before making a shopping list. With her being our “only” at the dinner table from now on, I feel she should have a greater say in what we buy and fix.

Here’s what’s on the menu this week:

  • Tuesday (this evening): Chicken yakisoba (no chicken for me)
  • Wednesday: Vegetable lo mein; potstickers; steamed rice (vegetable potstickers for me)
  • Thursday: Spaghetti with classic marinara; grilled Italian sausages (vegan for me); grilled zucchini; garlic bread
  • Friday: Chicken fried rice (no chicken for me)
  • Saturday: Slow cooker Kalua pork; macaroni salad; steamed rice; cucumber salad (everything but the pork for me)
  • Sunday: Leftovers
  • Monday: Eating out somewhere

We really do have plenty on hand, and won’t need to make any trips to the store until after I get back. There’s also more than enough for Brett and YaYu to fix while I’m gone.

As I said, an embarrassment of riches. I’m really wondering why I ever thought we didn’t have enough to get through this week or the next.

2 thoughts on “This Week’s Menu: Rustling Through the Cupboards

  1. We are really trying to cut back on eating out. I have been guilty of thinking “there’s nothing to eat in the house so lets go out for dinner.” The truth is that we have plenty to eat, I just don’t feel like cooking. I’ve started buying some super easy foods to cook so I can throw something together. They aren’t as healthy or as cheap as what I would normally cook but it is better than going out. We are so lucky to have fresh clean water with the flip of a handle. I need to remind myself how we are lucky that we don’t have to walk a mile to get water when we need to bathe, cook and clean. And not complain when the dishwasher is full and I have to wash something by hand!


    1. No wanting to cook is my biggest problem here as well. Dinnertime seems to be when the trades stop blowing and the kitchen heats up, and it’s a struggle sometimes to get myself into the kitchen to cook. It doesn’t help either that I know I’ll be the one washing the dishes later too! But, all it takes is a reminder of how much it costs to eat out and I’m at it (or at least asking the girls to cook). I’ve changed the type of ingredients we have on hand and the types of meals we have so that I don’t have to spend so much time in the kitchen. We’re having more things where I can get things ready earlier in the day so that I can put the meal together quickly in the evening.


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