My Dear Heather and friends,
The vacation is going nicely. There is so much to say about traveling with small children, I really must give that thought some words one of these days, but as for the crock pot meals, they are working beautifully. I did some figuring to day and believe that our normal method of eating at home works out to around $8 or $9.00 per dinner for the family. Lunches and breakfasts are much cheaper. So, our crock pot meal today of Sloppy Joes, buns, and packaged coleslaw is pretty close to a homemade budget, we brought our own burger and I think spent about $9.00 on the meal ingredients. It literally took less than 10 minutes to put it together. We ate on paper plates, and just had to toss the forks and cups into the dishwasher. So nice! If we had eaten out, the best we could do for the 10 of us, (John stayed home to work), is over $30.00 for a cheap meal at Taco Bell.
I made "Survival Bars" for our on the go breakfast. I got this recipe, or something like it, from my uncle years ago, and use it for backpacking every year. It worked great in the van for a non-messy meal. We also had bananas to complete our breakfast. The bars are very dense and should be eaten with a full glass of water. I cut them and wrapped them individually, then stored them in the frig. We will definitely do that again! Here is the recipe:
4 cups rolled oats
4 cups peanut butter
1, or is it 2? cups honey (try 1 if that doesn't stick right, add another) :-)
and 1 can of chocolate slim fast powder
mix ingredients well, press into baking pan, cut into bars, wrap and refrigerate. I made 20 bars out of it, they are probably 1 1/2 inches wide and 5 inches long, maybe a 1/4 inch thick.
For our on-the-road lunch, we made (ahead of time), rolls with chopped ham and grated cheddar inside. They are wonderful warm, but fine eaten cold.
Then for dinner I had a bag of 10 boneless chicken breasts, which I dumped into the crock pot, turned on high at lunchtime, and cooked until dinner. I made a mayo-mustard mixture and put it into a squeeze bottle before the trip. This I could squeeze onto the bun, add the meat, wrap in a paper towel,and call it dinner. I am not sure of the cost of this, we got a deal on the breasts for buying a 40# case, but none the less, it sure beats fast food and it's prices.
The house where we are staying has lush green grass, and lots of it, which is unlike our muddy front "yard" at home. The grass is delightful, and the children... actually all of us, are enthralled with sticking our bare toes in it.
These first few days before the conference are just for unwinding, relaxing and rest. Brian, myself and the two littlest ones all had naps this afternoon. Oh the joy!! Thank you for your questions about the food. You know I adore food, and am happy to chat about the ways we have found work well for us. I do hope that this is helpful to you as well.
Blessings to each of you this wondrful day that the Lord has made: Grace and Peace be upon you!