The three year old sat on the work island handing me potatoes as I diced them for potato chowder. He felt part of a team and looked up to say, "Mommy, I like you." I smiled, "I love you too, son." We browned onion, added water to boil the potatoes, corn, salt and lemon pepper, diced celery, and bacon from the freezer (purchased on sale, cooked and frozen in small baggies). It would be two hours later after errands and extra curricular events we would finish the chowder by thickening the broth with instant potatoes and adding fresh whole cream. (I have a lot of cream that is not being used in the milk we are not drinking!) Despite the time and patience required of children and parents, in our home we know fixing food is a labor of love.
Breakfast: Hash Browns made with dehydrated diced potatoes. These reconstitute with twice the amount of water as potatoes, then I heat them with meat and spices. The children loved them. I do not often fix them because they are the second most expensive way to have potatoes. The most expensive is a box of Augratin Potatoes that yields the equivalent of 2 potatoes for over $1.00. Fresh potatoes are 8 cents each. So I have guarded my expensive "Food Storage." My parents did the same thing. They invested in freeze dried fruits and vegetables then saved their precious food storage. Ten years later they threw it all away. Most of it was black and inedible. (So much for the never ending shelf life of those freeze dried items.) I don't like throwing money in the garbage can even if it does buy a few years of peace of mind. It is better to use what one stores if even a little at a time. It is called diversifying the home management portfolio to minimize risk and maximise investment. There are three ways to store food at home - one the shelf, in the freezer and in cold storage (like a refrigerator or cellar). A balance between all three areas is needed to minimize risk if the freezer dies, the power goes out, canned goods are too expensive and boring, and storing more than 3 months of produce is impractical . These potatoes are ten years old and it is high time I use them.
Lunch: Chicken Salad on tortillas made last Saturday. To the bottled chicken we added chopped celery, mayonnaise, and lemon pepper. It was a delicious lunch fixed and served 5 minutes before piano lessons.
Snack: Dilly Casserole Bread made with cottage cheese that is past the "use by" date. Delicious after I trimmed off the over brown crust. It did not need to bake for 40-50 minutes, 25 would have been just fine.