Shabat Thoughts: Learning the Roots of Our Faith


Following my recent Coffee Chat  mention of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Breads, Sarah asked me a series of questions about resources, reasons,  and such  of how to begin discovering the Jewish roots of the Christian faith.  She said she felt she had to do so.  And that is what makes me attempt this post.   This is not the first time these questions have come to me over the last few weeks.   There's a quote from a Richard Bach book that I've remembered all these years:  We teach best what we most need to learn.

Honestly, when I am asked these questions I feel so overwhelmed with my lack of knowledge that I struggle for words.    And yet, I continue to practice the things I've attempted to learn and so I will try to share what I know, give answers where I can, and help.

Weekly Menu and Job Plans



I feel under the weather.  Not a thing I can put my finger on, but I've decided to take it easy until I start to feel more energetic.  There's plenty I want to do and plenty more than needs to be done, but I have learned the hard way that pushing often leads to a lingering illness rather than a day or two of just not feeling well.  Fortunately the house has held up very well over the last few days and requires only minute attention.

This week's menus will start with the meal we had today, Monday.  I will be shopping for groceries on Thursday and not a day too soon.  I am still struggling with this short pay period at the end of each month and the reduced grocery funds.  I am so grateful for my pantry as that has helped a good bit, and it surely a good indicator that  a pantry's important in a household.

Turkey Fricassee, Salad, Broccoli rice Casserole, Biscuits
When I cooked the turkey breast Saturday, I put a whole apple and whole onion in the cavity of the breast, then poured over about 1 cup of apple juice.  It adds a different taste to the turkey  meat and a rich color to the broth and is a nice change.  I used some of the broth to make the gravy today.

My Frugal Week - April 19 - 25



Saturday:    I had menus for the weekend all worked out. The best laid plans of mice and women who think they should have a plan...Before Friday evening had finished up my husband announced his desire to have steak.  Which was not part of my planned menu.  So I rearranged my menu and settled happily back thinking I had a great alternate plan.  And then I got a text from my youngest son saying he would be down to visit on Sunday which changed my plan for that day.  Never mind.  I rose to that challenge, too.

Breakfast was easy and simple.  Warm coffee cake, cubes of cheddar cheese, and half a banana.  John brought the banana home Friday.  He said he'd bought two Thursday while he was at work and ate only one.   I considered it a happy bonus addition to my foodstuffs this week.

The Housewife





The Housewife

My days are days of small affairs,
Of trifling worries, little cares-----
A lunch to pack, a bed to make,
A room to sweep, a pie to bake,
A hurt to kiss, a tear to dry,
A head to brush, a bow to tie,
A face to wash, a rent to mend,
A meal to plan, a fuss to end,
A hungry husband to be fed-----
A sleepy child to put to bed.
I, who had hoped some day to gain
Success-----perhaps a bit of fame,
Must give my life to small affairs,
Of trifling worries, little cares.
But, should tomorrow bring a change,
My little house grow still and strange-----
Should all the cares I know today
Be swept, quite suddenly, away,
Where now a hundred duties press
Be but an ache of loneliness;
No child's gay ribbons to be tied,
No wayward little feet to guide:
To Heaven then would rise my prayers:
"Oh God, give back my little cares!"

by Tramp Star

Coffee Chat - I Said I Would






Oh Hello!  Do come on in.  I'm a bit ready for company so I'm glad you could stop by.  There's some gingersnaps with a bit of lemon curd filling.  Sounds tasty, doesn't it?  I made a cocoa ripple coffeecake Friday before the weekend, but it's all gone now.  I'd suggest we go outdoors but it's quite warm out there which  is nice but isn't if you've been working all morning and a good portion of the afternoon, too.  We had quite a cool spell end of week  and weekend.  I didn't expect that and was quite shocked to read the weather reports and even denied they could possibly be right.  Well for once they were right. 

I had all day last Sunday alone here at home and I spent it cleaning, getting ready for Passover, planning how to use the last of the products that contained yeast.  I decided to have toast for supper that night and to make French toast for breakfast, which took care of half the loaf of bread that we had on hand.  In the end, I threw out the other half loaf and 1 packet of dried soup mix I'd bought to make a dip for chips.  I was very proud that I'd managed to use so many things and that I'd kept a watchful eye on my pantry and hadn't overstocked those items.

The cleaning was a little more detailed than usual but that was because I just felt I needed to be thorough.  The cleaning reaped far more dirt and crumbs than I might have imagined it might considering I do housework daily.  I was surprised, but then again, I shouldn't be.  I did say I was being very thorough, so I cleaned under the stove top and under the oven, dishwasher and fridge, places I normally swipe out about once every few months, not daily.

Meal and Jobs Plan for April 20-27


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Spring, spring, you're so lovely, and so very fickle...It keeps us on our toes.  Shall we need heat today or Air Conditioning?  A little of both?  None of either?  It has been lovely, really and there's the bonus of getting to wear both some of my favorite winter things and some of my favorite summer things.  We had inches upon inches of rain earlier last week and then finished the week off with a few more inches, as well.

Planning meals has taken on a whole new twist.  I plan to make salads for supper and the temperature drops so I dig about in the freezer for frozen soup to heat.  I plan to grill and it pours rain so we pan roast.  Apparently spring this year is all about being open to change.  I need the practice, so I'm trying to go right along with it all.  

Adding to my planning woes: my freezer stock of meats is very low.  I hope we get to restock this next pay period.  I have set some money aside to use for this.  I have no idea what the prices will look like this time around.  Needless to say, I've already planned unnecessary items to be cut out of that usual purchase budget.  And then there's the new normal of one short pay period each month, there's the added challenge of not stocking up and decreasing the grocery budget for that pay period by half what we'd normally spend.  And no, we don't get to make it up on the healthier pay period.  Nothing quite like forced cooperation in lowering an already tight budget is there?

Lena asked last week about Red Black and Blue salad: Tomatoes and lettuce, slices of cooked roast or steak, blue cheese crumbles.  With sour dough croutons this is a tasty warm weather dish.  We didn't have warm weather this past week, nor the roast I'd meant to make, so this dish got bumped from our menu as well.

Just five meal plans this week.  I'll be on my own two days this coming week.

My Frugal Week: April 12-18



Saturday:  I didn't have time to prep foods for today due to our commitments yesterday.  No matter.  I did have an easily prepared meal in the freezer.  I thawed and heated spaghetti sauce.  It took a minimum of preparation to make our dinner.

We had our supper this evening on the back porch.  It was so nice to sit there in the shade, listening to the birds, catching the slight breeze and eat our meal.  It was what we dreamed of when we sat on the covered patio at the sandwich shop early last Spring.

In the interest of being nearer the temperature we expect to keep the house this summer we bumped the thermostat on the AC up by 2 degrees today.    We also did not turn on the heat at all this morning, choosing instead to put on sweaters until the sun warmed the house.

Harvest Day - Pay Day



I've been asked to share our Harvest Day.  I thought I'd done so already but it must have been over on the old Xanga blog.  So I will explain our process to you.  First let me say that we didn't always refer to it as Harvest Day.  It was pay day, just like it is for almost everyone else, but it occurred to us one evening that John sows the seed of time and labor into his job, I sow the same into our home and what money comes into this house is a harvest of our efforts.  Hence we renamed it Harvest Day.  It's been a great reminder of why we do all that we do and of the importance of our roles.

John works as a paramedic.  He puts in some long hours. Our goal has been that he will work only regular hours.  Many of the folks he works with in his unit also work 2nd and 3rd jobs.  That is not what either of us want.  Believe me, during our early married years he put in plenty of hours and we made a lot of sacrifices as a family for this job.  Now that he's nearer an age to think of retiring in the next 5 or so years we're not nearly so interested in amassing hours as we are in learning to live on what we might reasonably expect our retirement income to be.  

Weekly Meal Plan

There's a green world outside my windows and it's a lovely warm world as well.  Bees are buzzing, birds are chirping and the brief glimpses we caught of neighbors' homes between the trees can no longer be seen.  It's Spring, well and truly.  Now is the time for warmer weather menus.  I've been going through cookbooks looking for new recipes to tempt us.  I attempted one this past week.  I look forward to experimenting further.  John's just made a meal request which happily falls in with my menu planning.  I have a small challenge ahead of me this week as we observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  I'll be creative with breakfasts and suppers this week, more so than with dinners.  What a privilege it is to observe God's word even within my kitchen.

Sunday:  I'm on my own
I have to run to the grocery store this morning to pick up a few things to observe Passover tomorrow evening.  I'll grab something for my dinner from either deli or freezer case.  It is my plans to go out extra early and return home to work on cleaning my kitchen really, really well.

My Frugal Week: April 5-11

Saturday:  Shabat at home this week.  I prepped dinner on Friday, needed only to cook today.  Quiet, easy day at home, getting much needed rest.

John walked down to get mail.  We got our latest dvd from Netflix.  Watched that and will send back tomorrow.

Washed a full load of dishes.

Turned on fan instead of turning AC down.

Rinsed out a soap bottle to make enough soapy water for hand-washing.

Filled the lid to the pie keeper with soapy water and washed the dishes in that instead of filling the sink.

Sunday:  Packed John's lunch, made his breakfast.

Coffee Chat - April Showers and Sunshine






Come in, come in.  So glad to see you stop by.  I'd thought we'd have our chat on the back porch today but alas, all this pollen only makes me itchy and sneezy and hoarse.  But before you rush in, do look at that heart shaped puddle... It's still there, showing up each time we have rain.

It amuses me that it's there.  No clue why it's there because the area where it forms is not heartshaped at all.  But isn't it fun?

An uneventful weekend just behind us, and for one, I am deeply glad.  I needed to rest up since we've run pretty hard lately on our weekends.  Saturday we mostly just relaxed, rested and ate.  I worked on Sunday, but intermittently.  It was a relaxing day overall.  I looked at genealogy stuff until I felt light headed and cross-eyed to boot.  Even with breaks to actually do some real work, I was at the history stuff entirely too long.  But it was worthwhile with more bits of information to add here and there.  I've found it to be true that if I look for something else, nine times out of ten I stumble upon information related to my own ancestors.  If I actively seek information, it's like walking about in the dark.  The moment I look for information related to someone else or the history of a town, boom!  There's a fairly big piece of information.

Weekly Meal and Work Plan


Another new week.  We greeted it with April showers.  In our case the flowers have already come along...the world outside my windows already transformed into tender green leaves, grass that must soon be mown and pollen. It hasn't been as tough as in some years but there is a film of yellow powder on everything.  Welcome to Spring.

I find, as we're getting more and more accustomed to the new work schedule that for the most part, I need to plan only about 4-5 meals per week.  I tend to eat leftovers or am going out to dinner with Mama on John's work days, so I've started planning 5 meals most weeks instead of 7.  It just makes more sense.

This week I am focused on using as many of the products we have in house with yeast, powdered yeast or yeast extract in them.  I've been especially careful not to stock up on those foods over the last few months.  I can buy 'kosher' foods that are yeast free but they are so pricey that it seems to me wiser to just buy limited quantities of foods that might have yeast in them.  I have started a list which I'm keeping on my desk of foods that I know I shall have to use or throw away.  It has helped tremendously with menu planning this week.

The Modern Home Economist - Cooking Lessons: Cheese Souffle and Baked Ham



As a new homemaker many, many years ago, I came to my new home with a hope chest of sorts.  In it were most the items I'd use to set up my first kitchen.  Plates, silverware, glasses, a crock pot ($12 and 3 purchase seals from Premium saltines), a set of pots and pans.  No linens for beds, nor towels for the bathroom closets.  Only items meant to prepare food and serve it.  That's a telling thing, I realize.  I even had a collection of recipes carefully saved from several magazines.

One of the saved recipes was from Seventeen magazine for Cheese Souffle. I'd read an account in a Peg Bracken article in one of the women's magazines of a dinner she had to prepare on the fly.  Her husband had a business meeting with a man whom he'd invited home for dinner.  He called her at noon to give her notice and she went into a dead panic.  Peg Bracken's whole line was that she 'hated housework' which she wrote a book about with tongue in cheek.  Imagine the declared clutz of housework having a dinner guest by the name of James Beard...Well she pulled together a meal at day's end.  On her menu was a baked ham and a Cheese Souffle.

Questions, Answers and Comments, Oh My!


Hello there!  Thought I'd answer questions, make replies to your comments from March.  I'm going to do this a wee bit differently.  I'll answer or reply to all comments  on regular posts together.  Meaning I'll answer all on Menu Plans and all on Frugal Friday in a lump.  I thought it might be a little less confusing and link heavy that way.

Menu/Job Plans
Mar 2-8  Lena, the recipe for Tuna Roly Poly is simple enough...but I never got it made...The can of tuna is still sitting in my pantry.  It's a biscuit dough base with tuna but you can substitute salmon or chicken either one.  The recipe I've linked to is online.  Mine is an old cookbook and similar.  I'd leave out green olives entirely if your kids dislike them.

My Frugal Week: Mar 29 - Apr 4


Saturday:  Lori brought food from home for the children.   I made waffles for the adults breakfast this morning.  I had sausages as well but knew that John, coming in from work, would be extra hungry so instead of making more sausages, I decided to scramble eggs to go with the meal.

The kids made peanut butter sandwiches for the children and gave them apples with a yogurt dip.  Then they went off to enjoy some alone time.  John and I had sandwiches when he woke up from his nap.

Funny what kids will enjoy.  The 'new' toys this time to the toy box was a cardboard box big enough to sit in, an old aluminum coffee pot that poured out blocks all weekend long.  Neither one of those items cost me a single thing but they were sure enjoyed.  In the music room there was the new drum with cymbal.  It cost a whole dollar and the kids enjoyed it, too.

Living Frugally and Well: Sizzling Savings

Saturday:  I didn't prep food ahead yesterday for today's meal because it wasn't necessary.  I put meat in the crockpot ear...