Just over a month ago I wrote a post about putting away your groceries. As part of my new shopping strategy I am trying to take more control over my food budget by buying all the meat I need for the months meals all at once.
Yesterday I made my monthly trek to St. Paul to go to my butcher. I had my list prepared and stocked up on what I would need for the month. I should mention at this point of the story that for the last few weeks I have been fighting a cold of some sort and it’s been no fun making me less focused than normal. Well, after what I thought had been a successful day of shopping, my husband and I got home. It had been a longer than usual day with lots of extra stops and all I wanted to do was crash on the sofa with a dog curled up with me.
Sadly, groceries had to be put away and dinner still had to be made. Thankfully dinner had been planned in advance and was going to be fairly straightforward to make. That left putting away groceries. It started off going well since we’re family good at eating what we buy so when we go shopping the fridge has plenty of room. The challenge facing me was breaking down all the meat for all the months meals.
I got the Braised Lamb with Jujubes started on the stove and turned my attention to the massive pile of meat. What made this an even larger than normal amount of meat is that this was the shopping that also covers Passover. The meals I have planned are a large array of lamb or chicken dishes. I started with writing the recipe titles on individual ziplock freezer bags and then started filling them up with what was called out for on my grocery list.
When I was at my butcher I asked if they could bone my leg of lamb. They happily obliged. I didn’t think anything of it since I had asked them to do this in the past and they helped me out. However, this time they were training another employee and I happened to overhear that this isn’t something they normally do but being that I was a regular and I buy a lot from them, they take care of me. I both felt bad and valued. Once the girl boning the leg was done she asked me if I wanted the fat trimmed. I did and she went right to work on it getting it beautifully cleaned up.
While the team at the butcher was putting together my order my husband and I had lunch there. Lunch at the butcher shop is ALWAYS amazing. I knew that part of my order was so that I could make lamb stock so when I saw this lovely pile of lamb bone when she was done with leg of lamb it dawned on me that I should ask if I could get the bone too. I did and they said sure, wrapped it up, and put it in my bag. It wasn’t till I got home that I realized that they didn’t charge me for the bone or the trimming. I felt a little guilty about this as the lamb bones were about 2 pounds. Had I just purchased the entire leg as is I would have had to pay for that weight. Because they trimmed the fat and removed the leg the entire thing was about 25% cheaper than had I bought the leg as is. I wasn’t trying to get a bargain but it was just something I noticed when packaging up all the meat.
After sorting through the leg of lamb, lamb shanks, lamb brisket, lamb shoulder, lamb bones, and ground lamb it was time to move on to chicken. I sorted out all the pieces and began weighing out what I would need per recipe. It was quickly becoming apparent that something wasn’t right. My pile of chicken was whittling down and I still had too many bags empty. What I realized was I missed one recipes worth of chicken. It also occured to me that I was missing some of the veggies that went with the chicken I missed.
Normally this would have lead to a bit of a meltdown but maybe because I was so beat or sick, it didn’t last night. Instead I had the thought that prompted this post. My thought was how happy I was that I take the time to break it all down by recipe not only to make it easy to make the meal but it lets me quickly identify if I forgot anything. Sure I wasn’t thrilled I forgot one recipe but I rather know that now than to go to make it and realize then leaving me with nothing to make for one of the meals.
I shuffled around what I was going to make when so that I could just shift that whole meal till after the next time I do one of my runs to the city.
With groceries put away, meat broken out by repine, and dinner braising on the stove it just so happened that by the time I was done the Lamb with Jujubes was done so we could enjoy dinner and relax for the rest of the evening.