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What Makes a Handful?

"You sure have your hands full!" said the older woman in Target, watching me try to corral four independent-thinking and adventur...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Will Make-Believe Ever Really Do?

Miriam keeps telling me that she wants a kitchen for Christmas.

I was thinking of something along the lines of this:




But today, I find her and Jill doing this:






Makes me wonder if what I had in mind will do at all.




Feed 6 on $5 part 2


Another example of a satisfying, albeit very simple, meal put together to feed 6 people on $5, with leftovers for the next day!

Our Reformation celebration dinner (see post below) was just scrumptious: a Scottish shepherd's pie with some trimmings (bread, crudites, relish plate, shortbread cookies). I've been craving that shepherd's pie ever since. So I thought I'd give it a shot at home, and even without the recipe to go by, it turned out quite well. Here are the basic instructions, followed by the cost breakdown.

Brown a pound of ground beef in a heavy skillet and drain it well. Season with thyme, sage, and Worcestershire sauce.
Add 1 cup diced carrots and 1 cup frozen peas. (I steamed both in the microwave first to soften a little.) Cook together until carrots are tender enough to put a fork into, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, roughly peel and then cube about 4 medium sized white potatoes. Boil in salted water until soft. Drain and mash with 1/3 cup milk.



Spread the meat and vegetables evenly in the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish.



Top with the mashed potatoes, and sprinkle with about 3 ounces of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or other strongly flavored cheese).
Bake in a 375 degree oven just until cheese is well melted. Serve immediately.

We got 6 very hearty servings from this dish with enough leftovers for a solid side dish for the girls and me at lunch the next day.

Here's the cost breakdown (tax included):

1 lb. ground beef on sale at Ingles for $1.88/lb: $1.92
4 medium carrots, Aldi 2 lb for 99 cents: $0.26
1 cup peas from 6-cup bag for $2.29: $0.39
3 oz cheddar cheese, on sale at Ingles for $3.99/lb: $0.76
1/3 cup milk, Aldi $1.99/gallon: $0.04
seasonings--salt, thyme, sage, Worce. sauce: $0.25
4 medium potatoes (free for us from FIL's garden, but
at Grocery Outlet for $0.78/lb loose) $1.19

Grand total: $4.81
(And for us, since the potatoes were free this time, it was really just $3.62 so even when we add in milk for the girls to drink, the total was just $3.87. Again, nothing fancy, but not too bad! And we were NOT hungry at all afterward.)










Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My first blog giveaway


Just FYI, if anyone is interested. I'm holding my first blog giveaway this week over on my "Sideshow" site. Follow the link at the left to check it out.

Reformation Faire 2008



Here are some images from the CRPC 2008 Reformation Faire. Each year, we celebrate Reformation Day with a church-wide dinner, a play based on some aspect of the Reformation, and games and activities for the kids.

This year, we took a Scottish focus, celebrating our Scottish Presbyterian roots and the work of John Knox. Everyone was invited to dress up as either Bible or Reformation characters, or in traditional Scottish garb. We enjoyed a delicious meal of herb-seasoned shepherd's pie and shortbread. Very family friendly, very filling, totally yummy!

This might have been our biggest turnout ever. We had about 175 people sign up for dinner, and more turned up for the play and other festivities. Here are some more details:


Lovely Queen Esther in her carriage on her way to the Faire.
(I can see why Artaxerxes was so smitten!)


And here's Ruth, blushing and bashful.



I was so pleased that some of our adult congregants were willing to participate in the fun!


The play: John Knox addresses Mary, Queen of Scots.



Our wonderful Troubadours!




Miriam as Miriam at the Fishing Booth.



RRrrrahr!
Children learned the Scottish words "brae," "moor," and "loch" as they looked for their missing sheep in the Scottish countryside.


"Ruth" plays a medieval game called 9 Pins.


The evening was lots of fun, and also included balloon animals, a Scottish Reformation archery game, a Good Form Golf at the St. Andrews' Golf Course game, a cookie walk, Scottish lawn bowling, and even an indoor version of Highland caber tossing--and lots and lots of plaids and tartans.