What do you cook for your family when the heat index creeps up to 110?! Big salads with leftover chicken breast or thin-sliced steak. “Cold plate” with fruit, maybe. If you have some free meal coupons (from the library reading program?) you might go out to eat.
How about pulling out that Crock Pot? Crock meals don’t have to be creamy, starchy, heavy dishes (although those are nice in the dead of winter). Here’s what I’m making for dinner tonight, while the temps hover around 95 with HX around 105.
Monday: Crock Pot Barbecued Pork: A week ago or so, I picked up a beautiful pork shoulder butt roast for 1.68/pound. I rewrapped it (Foodsaver), and put it in the freezer for such a day as this. After thawing, I will brown this, add S&P, then put it in the Crock Pot to cook up really well. I’ll put this out on the shaded back patio, on the grill counter, so that we don’t have any more heat in the house. After it’s cooked, I’ll cut off enough meat and store it for a stir-fry later on Wednesday, then shred the remaining, and add our favorite barbecue sauce (imported from Georgia). Later, I’ll mix up some cole slaw from cabbage I shredded late last week (squirt with lemon juice to keep from browning, and get all the air out of the bag) and mix in some prepared dressing. And I’ll microwave some corn spiffed-up with whatever herbs/spices I feel like adding.
Aside from the heat-reduction qualities of this meal, it’s a Cheap Thrill, too!
- about 1 1/2 pounds pork = 2.52
- buns, pulled from the freezer = .40
- The sauce is worth more than gold to us, but cost about .20 per 4 sandwiches
- slaw = .35
- corn = .44.
- pickles = FREE (gift)
- milk x 4 = .60
So, for about 4.50 I will feed four hungry diners a delicious barbecue dinner, WHILE keeping the kitchen cool. That beats the local “dollar menu” dinner by far! BONUSES: pre-cooked pork for stir-fry, PLUS another two meals’ worth of bbq goes in the freezer for crazy fall schedule days.
Thrilled? You bet! I get to shrug at the SUVs wasting gas in the drive-thru, and shake my head at the droves of minivans cramming restaurant parking lots. I know we’re making the most of our food dollars, getting meals we really love, and beating the heat.