Meal Plan; 15 – 19 November

40 more days until Christmas! You better start planning and buying presents as we don’t know how long the delivery will be, and if some goods are taken off the market. Thankfully our kids have provided 30+ suggestions on their Santa list, so we should be able to get some items.

Black Friday will be interesting this year and I can only predict an even bigger rush on shops and malls, as people scramble to get gifts with a limited inventory.

Thanks to the wintertime, the mornings are still a little lighter, but it gets dark around 6 pm. It is very difficult to walk out to the bus stop with my son when it is dark. We will enjoy a few more days (perhaps weeks) of brighter mornings before we enter the darkness of winter.

It sucks getting old

Yesterday morning I experienced a truly elderly moment. Not that I forgot where I was, but that my body is more fragile than even a decade ago. For the record, I’m not 50 years old yet, and still young at heart and mind.

The apron my wonderful wife gave me for my birthday.

Despite my positive mental attitude to life and most days, I had a very shitty beginning to my Sunday.

Our six-month-old Great Pyrenees is, at times, not the brightest puppy in the hood. When he is out, we hook him up to a chain/wire and keep an eye on him. He loves being outside and has this odd idea that running around the tress multiple times is awesome. This goes on until he can no longer move and is literally leaning against the ree.

He fails to understand that he needs to reverse his movement to untangle himself. Instead, he just starts whining because of his own failings. As a result, I need to run out to help him, which he absolutely loves. He takes the opportunity to start playing as I attempt to rewind the chain/wire.

Well, Sunday morning I went out to untangle him. I stepped on an old deck board which was covered in the early morning first. My legs literally disappeared underneath me, and I did a full-body slam onto the pile of boards.

There was no point attempting to get up. I decided to lay there for a few minutes while the pain ran through my legs and back, and “enjoyed” the beautiful morning sky. Our dog was rather confused, but still in a playful mood.

Once I made it up and freed my dog, I calmly sat down inside and felt the pain travel around various parts of my body. Everything was aching. Clearly, a strong sign that I’m no longer 20 years old.

Cooking for the Marines

Very cool memorabilia I was given by the Major who had organized the training. An awesome bottle opener.

Saturday I had the awesome pleasure of cooking and serving for the Marines. It’s part of the volunteering organization I’m involved with called Towns 4 Troops.

We support the active military and their families, by hosting events. It involves cooking for large groups of people if they have training exercises, promotions, socializing while watching the West Point game, etc. Anything to help the troops have a great time.

Saturday was an event for 350 Marines as they were enjoying a full week of training and exercises. Their commander wanted to give them a nice day with food and desserts, so we jumped into action.

We had 12-15 volunteers who prepared sandwiches, mixed salads, grilled dogs ‘n burgers, sliced meats, grilled potatoes, glazing carrots, and grilling turkeys.

We offered three different turkeys that had been prepared; grilled, smoked, and spatchcocked.

I proudly prepared two of the three options, and the smoked turkey was hands down the best with a huge amount of praise by the Marines.

I brined one 26lbs turkey for 24 hours and subsequently smoked it at 265F for approx. 4+ hours until the internal temp reached 165F.

The event was a great success and the Marines clearly enjoyed the entire event.

Cooking for the family … again

Despite my ear cancer and an early morning bodyslam I had a very good and productive day preparing meals for the family in the kitchen, and the Traeger.

To my utter surprise and happiness, my kids are getting a little more involved. At least with the meal planning. Some would even classify it as emotional, but I did not shed tears in case you wondered. But, it was a proud moment when my non-verbal son pointed to a few meals he wants.

Two dinners are with Danish roots and several Italian-inspired meals. It’ll be a nice week of healthy eating.

Fire up the Traeger. Ready your Dutch oven. Go shopping, and let’s start cooking—another Sunday in the Kitchen with music on the magical Demerbox and wonderful aromas filling the room.

WeekdaySnacks n’ BreakfastsLunchDinner
MondayChocolate croissantsHomemade pepperoni pizzaHunter beef patties in mushroom gravy served with rice
TuesdayFruit CupsThree cheese tortelliniGrilled chicken in spinach, garlic, and mushroom sauce, served with egg noodles
WednesdayChocolate croissantsPesto & mozzarella sandwich (homemade bread of course)Chicken meatloaf, wrapped in bacon, with mashed potatoes
ThursdayPotato chips or popcornEgg salad sandwichBaked rigatoni and tomato sauce pit
FridayGrapesGrilled chicken with black beans, tomato, and cucumberMid-November Traeger feast

One day, I might get so organized that I will link the meals below to my recipes. We can only live in hope!

Have a fantastic week, my friends. I hope you enjoy these meal plans. It is so much easier to make food in advance, although you need to invest several hours during the weekend to prepare the meals.

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