I haven't been eating from the pantry like many here on SA, but I have been making meals stretch. We stopped at Aldi on our way home the other day (not our normal shopping day) and bought a whole chicken so I could put it in the Crockpot. We have gotten 4 meals from it. The first night I just served some of the chicken and put cous cous, green beans, homemade bread, cottage cheese, and a fruit salad as sides. We had chicken salad one day for lunch. Then I used some of the broth as well as the chicken to make a decent pot of chicken and noodles. One time for a supper and one will be a lunch. I still have some broth leftover which I put in the freezer. I figured that was a good use of that chicken!
I had found a pan that you make 6 small Bundt cakes at a thrift store. I washed it up and found a recipe on Pinterest. They turned out pretty well. DH has enjoyed them, and I gave two to a friend at church for her birthday since I figured she shouldn't have to make her own birthday treat and gave two to another friend as a way to support her since her sister is being in Hospice. I know the cakes aren't a solution, but just wanted her to know she is being thought of. I had everything I needed for these cakes in the fridge and pantry so no grocery shopping needed.
Since we have been eating at home so much due to no indoor dining, I have tried to make different things and stretch our food budget as much as possible. I canned as much as I could this summer and fall and as glad as I am to have these items, I'm seeing so much of it dwindling. I guess that is good; it isn't going to waste, but then being the worry wart that I am, I hope I don't run out of stuff before the next gardening season. One good thing about DH is he never says no when I have purchased something for the kitchen. Our kitchen isn't huge by any means, but it is far larger than the one in the house we bought when we first married. Some of the items like pans I have to hand wash and he's been good about helping me dry dishes and pans. He has discovered that I have stacked and nested things a certain way to make sure things fit in the cabinets. He's learning my system which is a good thing.
For Christmas I gave away a lot of the jams and jellies I made over the summer and fall. I also made fudge and cookies to give away. I have a single friend who doesn't like to cook, so every so often, I make extra as far as our meal and take it over so she has a hot meal. She eats some of those frozen dinners and sometimes she just eats cereal. I would invite her over, but with the Pandemic, need I say more? I wear a mask when I do the drop off.
I pulled some vegetable soup I made a couple of weeks ago from the freezer. We had two meals off of it before I froze the remainder. It will be our supper tonight. I baked herb biscuits while the bundt cakes were baking; figured if I was going to have the oven on, might as well make it work for me. DH was pleased because he likes lots of rolls, biscuits, and breads. Fortunately he has the metabolism that he can eat these and not gain weight.
Well, that basically sums up my frolics in the kitchen the last few days. I guess it is good that I like to cook and bake. Hopefully my friends agree.