Housekeeping, Menu Monday and The Kitchen Sink...
Good Morning! And it is morning yet, though I've accomplished a bit thus far. Why so industrious? I have had a terrible case lately of "What's the least I can do to get through?" and "I just don't feel like it..." well for longer than I care to own up to. I realized the other day that this pseudo malaise began in my vacation month of October when I left my schedule open.
Well it's been wide open ever since. It really came down to daily doing only what I felt like doing and not minding the rest. Well I'm minding now. I had one of those 'new eyes' moments this past week and my home just irritated me no end as I saw a hot spot forming here and dirt there and neglect yonder...
Then I really was too busy for two days, not up to par healthwise a third day, kept Shabat which means no work, and right back to the 'I don't really feel like it," frame of mind yesterday. Did I 'feel like it' this morning? Not on your life, despite the fact I'd rested well, felt good and had nothing at all to do this day to distract me from keeping house!
Oh I've done the minimum routines and every now and then I'd swipe half heartedly at a spot that was fast becoming a hot spot. That's kept it looking nice enough. But nice enough isn't nearly good enough, not when you're supposed to be a home maker and housekeeping is a major part of that job. So, this morning, following Bible study and one task that had to be attended to regardless of others, I was sort of slowly moseying over to that comfy chair of mine (oh I know!) and pulled myself up short. That's when I gave myself a good talking to.
"Look here now, you've nearly wasted three, three, whole months of this year doing just enough to get by. What might you have accomplished of the things you dream if you'd done what you could have? Is that shed getting straightened out whilst you sit in that chair? Hmmm? And the raised garden beds you meant to begin... money was too short to buy material but remember the materials you do have that you meant to put in place to just start that dream vegetable garden? What about the runner you meant to make for Thanksgiving? Oh those fabrics were tucked away out of sight so you wouldn't remember that delayed project weren't they? And the ornaments you'd meant to make, what about those? You never even tried the experimental set...
Well get on with it! This year isn't over yet! What needs to be done this morning? Name off three jobs quick!"
And I did: clean the refrigerator, unload the dishwasher and mop the floors. Well I did the first two tasks but instead of mopping (it began to rain and is below 40F out there which means the floors will stay damp forever), I then scrubbed down half the cabinets in the kitchen which was a pretty good piece of work right there. Am I done for the day? No...No plans to work myself into the ground, but there are a couple of jobs yet I mean to tackle. I have to clip and sort coupons and get my shopping list ready for tomorrow. I need to make John's work lunch and my dinner and work on a set of menus to carry us through the end of this month.
In the meantime, here's this week's menus I planned yesterday. There's some 'planned ahead' items to sort of ease my way along the week's path.
I will make a full batch of biscuits. I'll only eat one for my dinner, likely the 'baby' as we call that little bit of dough left after you've cut all the full sized biscuits you can. There will be enough steak and biscuits for breakfast tomorrow morning. I'll even see if I can't make a bit extra gravy, just in case it's as cold in the morning as it was this morning. Stick to ribs foods make the cold dark morning seem less cold if not any less dark.
There will still be biscuits left of course, so some will be filled with sausage patties that have been cooked and two will be set aside for John to have for a snack tonight when he comes in. Warm and full of grape jelly that ought to just set that cup of coffee off to perfection. And give the man the energy he needs to write out checks. It's Harvest Night in our home.
Tuesday: Tacos, Orange and Onion Salad, Coconut Creme Pie
I don't know if I'll make chicken tacos or beef. It really depends on what I find at market today. I know I usually plan on deli but I just don't want to eat out this week. Oranges are in season and there is no prettier salad than sliced oranges with red onion rings in my opinion. A sprinkling of chopped black olives doesn't hurt appearances or flavor either. A drizzle of dressing (French perhaps or a homemade citrus vinaigrette) is nice. I'll have my lettuce on my taco. The pie will likely be bought frozen and thawed. I've had such a hankering for coconut cream pie and John doesn't care for it. I'm going to try to find the single slice packs while I'm out. It seems silly to make a whole pie just for me...and a bit dangerous, too!
Wednesday: Chicken and Dumplings, Ambrosia
I always add peas and onions and carrots and potatoes to my chicken dumplings. This is not the dish Granny made. The dumplings here are fluffy and soft and biscuit-y and soak up the chicken gravy that forms around the stew. Perfect for a cold day's meal. And it's a one dish meal, so all we'll need is dessert. Ambrosia (orange segments and sweet coconut with a few maraschino cherries diced atop) will suit the need.
Thursday: Red Beans and Rice, Coleslaw, Corn Muffins, Broiler Cake
A hearty meatless menu for the day. If beans are well seasoned (and these are) then the combination of rice with beans makes for a very satisfying meal. Meatless, yes, but I will use about an ounce or two of diced smoked sausage to give the beans flavor (as well as a bit of bell pepper and onion and garlic and a pinch of cayenne for heat). I find the crisp cold coleslaw is the perfect counterpoint to the beans and rice dish. Just your every day yellow cake (a single layer) with a coconut pecan broiler frosting atop for dessert and snacks as the week goes on. I'll bake the rest of the batter into cupcakes for later in the week.
Friday: Pizza, Green Salad, Cake with ice cream
Think I'll make an old favorite pizza with a cornmeal crust and turkey sausage baked atop today. Haven't made one of those in quite a long while and it's basically a pour and bake sort of recipe. I'll have my hands full doing housework, readying my home for Shabat.
Saturday: BBQ Pot Roast with Root Vegetables, Coleslaw, Corn Muffins, Lemon Cream Cupcakes
Roast and vegetables will cook in the crock pot on low heat while we're gone. Coleslaw will be leftovers from Thursday, ditto on the corn muffins. I find they reheat nicely in the microwave if allowed to sit at room temperature first, then are heated for just 20 seconds. The cupcakes will be the extras from the cake made on Thursday. I'll fill with lemon curd then frost tops. I think lemon desserts complement a tomato bbq meal nicely.
Sunday: Warm Pot Roast Sandwiches, Chips, Crisp Apple Wedges
I know Shabbat is supposed to be restful for us, but on these weeks when John leads worship, it's work for both of us. We're usually ready for a quiet easy day of doing little at home come Sunday. That includes cooking! I'll make a special breakfast and keep dinner an easy to prepare/easy to clean up after meal.
I'd meant to tag on a lot more chatter this afternoon, but it's getting late. I need to make John's work lunch, work on my shopping list, gather coupons, and rest a few minutes in there somewhere so I'll be ready to participate when John comes in tonight to work on our Harvest. So forgive me for not writing more this evening.