No-Shopping November Day Eighteen

Day Eighteen. Each day is an exciting challenge, it really is. What can we make or make do with, only with what we have on hand? A good plan is key and I’ve been keeping tabs on what we have on hand and revising and updating the menu plan and strategies to reflect the dwindling supplies and breaking out the backups.

If you missed the previous posts in this series, you can catch up here. The oldest posts are on the bottom, newest on top. You’ll find all the recipes for No-Shopping November on this page.

Today the plan was to liven it up a bit and make grass-fed beef, potatoes and broccoli for supper, along with something sweet. I had transferred the ground beef from the freezer to the fridge to defrost and I was going over my plans for using the beef and veggies in a meal that would stretch, since this is almost the last of the ground beef. My children don’t care for stir-frys or even casseroles with their veggies mixed in, otherwise I was thinking Shepherd’s Pie, or Beef Stew with rice, quinoa or noodles and veggies.

However, as often happens, plans take a back seat to real life. The surgeon’s office called this morning and wanted to see our son regarding his fractured shoulder and possible surgery. That meant, cooking would have to wait. (We don’t leave appliances running while we are not home, even slow cookers.) So, we grabbed something to eat and we all went to the office, about 45 minutes away. After more xrays and examinations, we had to go right to the hospital for an MRI and we were there for quite awhile. We had not thought ahead to bring food with us, so by the time it was all over, we had some very cranky, tired and in our son’s case, very much in pain, people. Our son offered to pay for supper, if we could eat right away, so we broke the rules (or bent them) and we had a meal out and brought home leftovers. Since we’re looking at his surgery sooner rather than later, we’ll have to come up with a plan to have food with us.


one does not simply


Talking about maple syrup yesterday, my friend Pat Flynn offered these suggestions and gave her permission to share her name and great ideas.

 “I noticed you are running low on maple syrup. Back in the day, maple syrup used to be thicker and could be stored for a lot longer. Boiling it down more is one way of making it thicker and more shelf stable..basically removing more water. But when you are running low, adding both a thick honey and water will make it the same pourable consistency as the original male syrup with an added boost from the (preferably raw) honey. It will not be shelf stable anymore due to the addition of water but works well for extending the maple syrup. Just keep adding more honey and water as you use it up. With the slow change over, you family probably won’t notice. Make sure you mix the honey with warm water first, then add to the maple syrup. “

When I asked to share her info she replied…”Sure, if you want, but there is really no need! …..We’re all in this together!”  Thank you Pat!  I appreciate the feedback and suggestions!

If you, dear readers, want to ask questions, or add some suggestions, please email me at and let me know if I can use your info and name. Thank you!

Day Eighteen

Beauty / Health


Toast as we ran out the door

Pizza and sandwiches on the way home

I knew there would be challenges and I really didn’t want to share how we didn’t handle this one well by not having food prepared ahead, but this is another “ugly” of the “Good, Bad and Ugly” of what happens when you cannot shop, AND are faced with circumstances beyond your control. We can only do our best and pray for wisdom and grace to do it better next time.




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About Vickilynn Parnes

A student of health and nutrition for 40+ years, Vickilynn Parnes has over 30 years of actual hands-on experience reviewing and personally using different tools of the homemaking vocation, focusing on the areas of health and nutrition. Vickilynn is a magazine columnist, product reviewer, cookbook author and radio talk show host, as well as being full-time mom to 5 children.