Thursday, March 17, 2011

One Ham, Three Yummy Meals

At least once a week, I hear the comment related
to feeding a family our size.

"WOW!  Must cost a fortune to feed all those boys!"

"I would hate to have your grocery bill!"

"How long is that food going to last?"
and on and on.

Yes, boys DO eat a ton!
Yes, it does cost alot!
and no, the food does not last long in our home!

Because my fella has always been in ministry work,
we've had to spend our money carefully.
We've never been without but we do have to spend our money wisely.

I have tried to live by certain tips that have helped our
money stretch.  One area has been with our food menu.

I only grocery shop once a week.  This is while the boys are taking
music lessons.  So I need to have a plan for each day and do
some preparing the night before.  This also saves
on gas, which is very costly when you drive a 12 passenger van!

I try to stretch food as much as I can.

Here is an example of how I did this with a ham I bought last week.
I don't often buy hams.  Probably three times a year.
But the boys so enjoy ham!
I also try to have our Sunday meal be a bit of a feast for us.
I want everything about Sunday to be a joyful memory for them
Getting up earlier, wearing our best, meeting
with other Christians, serving together and then coming home together
as a family and sharing a special meal together.
This is also the only day I try to always have a dessert. 
We all look forward to that!

So last week I got a ham while out doing the grocery shopping.
The ham was a little over $13.
I secretly hid it in the back of the frig.
I wanted the fun meal to be a surprise.

Saturday night, I peeled the potatoes and got them ready
to be boiled.  I also made a blueberry cake for dessert.
Ugh, the next morning we lost an hour of sleep.
That was hard, I had to get up a bit earlier to boil and mash the potatoes.
But I drug myself down the stairs, turned the burner on and
climbed back into bed for 15 more minutes of sleep.

The mashed potatoes were put in one crock pot.
The ham with some cabbage was put into another crock pot.
So that meal was ham, mashed potatoes, and cabbage in the crocks.
I boiled some broccoli and also served
some chopped, spiced apples I had frozen from the fall.

Monday's meal.

I used my potato slicer and sliced up some potatoes.

Let me explain about the potatoes.
I bought two 50 pound bags of potatoes in the fall.
They were $15 each.
We also grew another 50 pounds.  I try to use them very sparingly.
Once these are gone, that's it until next fall!
Alot of meals we have during the winter months are with brown rice
and that helps stretch the potato supply.
I store them on the top of the cellar stairs.
It's very cool in the cellar.
When I open the door to get them, I do it with much fear!
I'm scared to death of our basement!
It's very creepy. 
There are snakes, spiders, mice, and probably huge
monsters too waiting to attack, I just know it!

 I try to get one of the boys to do this job
but they don't know why.  I know they would truly think I'm a wimp!

I used the leftover meat from the ham,
chunked it,made a white sauce  and added it to the sliced potatoes.
This was a yummy dish of scalloped potatoes.
We used two 9x13's. 
I also had some pickled beets and a green salad with it.

Meal Three

I took the ham bone and boiled it all morning.
It smelt so yummy!
Once that was done, I took the bone out and strained the broth.
I added  chopped potatoes, onions and broccoli.
Once that was well cooked, I added milk. 
I know it would of been alot thicker if I had used cream
but I don't like to make it real fattening. 
  So I just used our 1 percent milk.  I did cut up some chunks
of cheese and melted that in.

I made home made biscuits to go with this meal.
I got HUGE raves and applause from this!
It was a  success with the gang!

Of course, almost each meal gets such praise.
I've learned, men act the way with food as females
act with new shoes, a dozen roses or a new outfit!

Totally excited and much anticipation with each hour that passes
closer to sitting down and putting that first bite into the hatch.
As each dish is carried over to the already set table,
you can almost begin to see the drool running from their lips.
Eyes big with excitement!
Hands loaded with their pronged tool, ready to begin!
Lids lifted, steam rises and so do the cheers!
Again, I feel like a hero!


  1. You are quite the cook! I can almost taste those biscuits. YUMMM!!
    Your boys are so much fun to eat with. They sure do LOVE your cookin!!!

  2. By the way, I LOVE your cookin too!!!

  3. Those biscuits look yummy, pretty lady. But! I can't believe you have 8 boys did you say?! What age range are they? No, girls?! Well, dear God bless your wonderful and full house. Thank you for sharing the old pic., love it!

  4. wonderful way to stretch the groceries and I don't dare let my hubby see this or that's what he'll want for dinner. Very nice post. Happy St Patrick's Day.

  5. Thanks friends! Yes, Fabby, we do have 8 boys! The oldest is 17 and our youngest is 4. They are so much fun. They keep life very interesting! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I found your post from BNOTP and am so happy I did! I'm now your newest follower. :)

    What a beautiful family you have and SO blessed with all those boys!


  7. Way to stretch the ham!!! :) You made me sooo hungry reading this!!! :)

  8. Oh man, I'm Hungry! Did you say snakes??!!!

  9. Now I want ham & Bean soup from that soup bone and a biscuit please!!

  10. I have an aunt who had 8 boys then a girl and then a boy and then a girl! They were an appreciative group at the dinner table too. I love how you stretched that ham - it all sound delicious.

  11. Love this, Pop. One complaint-"NO PICTURES" of the boys eating! Or at least sitting at the table like in the picture you posted.
    And I'd rather eat that food than get new shoes! I love ham too. and your cooking. What was blueberry cake? That sounds delicious.

  12. Sounds, lovely meal. I would love the biscuit.
    Happy TS and enjoy your w/end.

    Greetings from the snowy Stockholm,

  13. It sounds like fun cooking for 9 appreciative guys...they probably aren't as picky as girls would be. Your meals sound delicious.

  14. That is wonderful meal planning. Thanks for joining my newbie party. I look forward to seeing you again.

  15. Wow...looks like you are an amazing cook/planner! I found you at Debbiedoo's and am now a follower!