Monday, November 05, 2012

Frugal large family meals -- Pot pie

The best frugal meals in my opinion are the ones where you use ingredients which might otherwise have been thrown out. Occasionally, we will have little bits of things left over from dinner such as a small serving of vegetables or a little bit of meat. Not enough to turn into something else for a meal, but also too much to feel good about tossing. My solution is to keep two bags in my freezer, one for meat and one for vegetables, into which I continue to add these little bits and pieces. Then, when the bags are fairly full, I turn them into pot pie filling. I love pot pie, but it is very time consuming to make if you have to prepare the filling, white sauce, and pie crust all at once. This way, I'm making use of leftovers and saving myself a step as well.

Since this is what we had for dinner last night, the recipe, such as it is, is still fresh in my mind. (In full disclosure, it was an unpleasant afternoon and J. made dinner for us. Bless him.) Don't let things such as pie crust and white sauce scare you off, it's not really difficult and tastes great.

Pot Pie using leftovers - This will make two 9-inch pies. You could halve it, but go ahead and make two and invite friends for dinner if you can't eat them both.

Step 1 - White sauce

In a fairly large pot (because all of your filling ingredients will eventually go into it), begin your white sauce. Melt 6 TBSP of butter and then stir in (using a whisk) 6 TBSP of flour (I use whole wheat, but you can also use white). Cook this mixture for a couple of minutes, stirring until it is smooth. Slowly add 3 cups of broth, either beef, chicken or vegetable (we actually used turkey last night because I had some frozen), into the roux (that's the butter and flour mixture) while you are stirring using a whisk. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture thickens. Keep your heat to medium because if your white sauce gets too hot, it will separate and look particularly unattractive. I've done that, so you don't have to. Once your sauce thickens a bit, stir in all of your saved filling ingredients and turn your heat down to low. Now you're going to leave this (remembering to give it a stir every so often) while you make the pie crusts.

Step 2 - Pie crust

Use any pie crust recipe you wish, but for two pot pies, you will need two double (that would be four single) pie crusts. If you must, use frozen ones, but pie crusts from scratch aren't difficult and they taste so much better. Here is my pie crust tutorial if you need some pointers. (You will need to double the amounts if you are using it.)

Step 3 - Assemble and bake

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line the bottom of both pie plates each with a crust. Divide your filling between them, and cover each with the remaining crusts. Crimp around the edges with your fingers to seal the crusts together and cut slits in the top of each pie to let out the steam. Bake the pies for 10 minutes at 425 and then turn down the oven to 350 and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes or until the crusts are golden brown.... or just lightly brown if you can't wait. Let them cool for a few minutes so they are easier to serve, and then slice and enjoy.

So that's the main part of the post. The other thing I wanted to do was to solicit your prayers. On Wednesday, J. and I will be heading to Washington D. C. for two days where J. will be presenting a paper at a conference. I'm just tagging along and seeing the sites since I've never been there. This will be the first time that J. and I have been away by ourselves in the six years since TM has been home. As you can imagine, this is very, very difficult for him. Our leaving together is dredging up a whole host of abandonment issues and he spends some moments being absolutely terrified. My gut tells me that we need to do this, but boy, is it hard on all of us. Would you please keep my sweet, terrified boy in your prayers? We'll be back on Friday at dinner time. (Also, I'm not taking a computer, so I probably won't be blogging those three days.)
One other item of interest. Tomorrow morning at 10am (CDT), I will be back on Moody Radio's This is the Day show talking about the realities of adoption. You can listen online by clicking on the Moody Radio link and choosing the 'listen online' tab.

Continuing to advocate for the children in Bulgaria. Their files were sent back which means that they cannot be advocated for on Reese's Rainbow or have any funds donated towards their adoptions. It means they are essentially invisible and unwanted. It tells the government and the agencies that yes, indeed, their initial assumptions were correct. No one wants a child like these. They are not worth it.

But they are! They are created by God in His image and we are called to care for them. They are truly the least of these. I cannot let them go; I think about them in nearly every free moment that I have. I'm going to post one of their pictures here at the bottom of each of my posts each day. Would you join me in praying for each of these children? Pray that a family would come forward who is willing to adopt them. Love them. Pray that they will know they are not forgotten? There is still hope for these little ones as their files can be specially asked for, it just adds time to the process.

This is Chad. He is 9 years old and has always lived in an institution. An institution with severe neglect. No one has ever even asked to look at his file and now it looks as though they never will. Pray that God will not let this little one become invisible. Pray that his parents will find him and show him what it means to be loved.


asian~treasures said...

Praying your time away is refreshing for you & J. And, that TM's heart learns that he no longer needs to fear.

Also, for our leftovers, we do something similar, but call it "leftover casserole." I have an orange tupperware bowl in the freezer & little bit of this & that go in that bowl. Then, the bowl goes into a 9x13 pan mixed with some cheese & cream of mushroom (or whatever type) soup. Bake for 45 minutes @ 350. Top with a bit of crunched up chips & some cheese.
My son always tells me it's SO YUMMY!

Amy said...

I will be praying for you and TM. What a neat opportunity for you have some time with J. Glad you will be able to share about adoption tomorrow- we'll try and tune in.

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