There are some things we learn in our young adult years that translate in to our settled adult years. For me today it was poverty. Before and during college I would often find myself with near empty cupboards. Independence has a price which doesn't always have a happy marriage with the price of food. I would sift through the random ingredients I had on hand and create dishes palatable enough for me to welcome guests or at least stave off hunger.
Today my day was carefully planned and very full. Part of the plan was to venture out into food land and restock but just around dinner time I found myself rooting around my kitchen for the "I didn't get to the store dinner". This is not the same situation as years past because I have the makings for a lame "sorry family we can cook together another day" dinner. I really needed to have a family dinner complete with the team helping so I quickly assessed and this is what I came up with.
While the frozen fat pork chops were thawing (got them on sale for $2.43 and quickly forgot I froze them) I chopped up the almost ready to toss veggies I found and sautéed the liquid off. The day old half baguette was toasted as bread crumbs, seasoned and tossed with the veggies. They looked a wee bit dry so butter and that left over chicken stock was added to the mix.
The pork chops thawed quickly and were browned, split and stuffed. So I tossed them in the oven and steamed the last of the carrots which were lightly seasoned. OK, a grain, veggies and protein.
30 minutes from start to finish and dinner was ready. While the kids set the table I grabbed a sauce pan to which I added butter, brown sugar, vanilla, frozen peaches from my smoothie stash and orange juice. I left it over low heat while we ate.
Dinner was a success and Stella noted it was so delicious! While we did the dishes we brought the peach sauce to a boil for a reduction and toasted up some angel food cake. My kids have never had this kind of cake and I am not sure why I brought it into the house. Redemption perhaps? By the time the dishes were done the sauce and cake was ready. The kids cleaned their plates.
The entire meal for four people cost me around around $4.30 max. It was nice to use the skills I had learned when I was in a culinary pinch.