Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It’s fall. Maybe it’s not technically fall, but school has started and temperatures at night here are hitting the upper 60’s. We had the windows open last night, at least until I realized the humidity was defeating the purpose of the cool temps and the house was actually getting hotter. Fall means apples, soups, squashes, and savory flavors. It means more food cooked in the oven than on the grill (though we do grill year-round). It means football and chili, and wishes every week for our games to be broadcasted at home so things like chili can be made while the game is on. It means cooking dinner as it gets dark outside, instead of finishing dinner then sitting on the porch as the sun sets. It means the return of favorite cooler-weather meals, like the chicken pot pie we had last week for the first time in months.

(I just did a search, and it turns out that fall does officially start this week, on Wednesday, so this post isn’t too far off. I think I felt that way because in my mind, it is hard to believe it is 2010, let alone nearing the end of September.)

And no, the leaves do not look like the picture above here yet. And may never. We tend to go from the brown of summer to the green of early fall to the brown of winter. This is much closer to what fall looks like here.

Part of fall for us this year means time to save a little more money than usual. The summer of weddings and travel has exhausted us, and not just physically.

A substantial portion of 

our budget goes towards food. Therefore, saving money means making meals using as many things as are already in the kitchen as possible. I’m not good at planning meals this way. Part of my favorite part of the week is planning the menu, then grocery shopping for the ingredients we don’t have, with little regard for whatever we might already have. Saturday mornings are spent pouring over magazines and cookbooks, discussing recipes and pairings, and generally having a lovely breakfast filled with thoughts of other meals. Sadly, such dreaming will have to change for awhile. The meal planning for this month will involve a careful study and consideration of foods already in the pantry, fridge, and freezer (and there’s a lot of it). New creativity will come not with selecting recipes (or inventing recipes) to complement one another, but with combining ingredients in ways that minimize the weekly shopping list.

Pantry meal #1, dinner last night (and a post shortly), came from a little online searching with certain ingredients in mind, and then some tweaking of several recipes I encountered in my searching. It's Roasted Red Pepper and Fontina Grilled Cheese with Tomato-Lentil Soup.

1 comment:

Leo said...

I'm very bad at using up what's in my pantry, too! I'm going to have to get cracking at it, though, because I'm not taking the majority of my pantry with me when we move next year.
Luckily, fall's a great time to use up any dried beans or flours you might have stashed away! I think I'm going to make a lot of bread this fall, and I'm looking forward to making chili or stew again after long last.