Showing posts from July, 2014

This Week's Menu and Job Plans

The weather is hot and humid.  The air conditioning runs all day and most all the night.  I've enjoyed our mild and pleasant summer, but right now it FEELS like summer.  I like weather to be seasonal.  Cold when it should be cold.  Hot when it should be hot.  That's just me.  There are nice things about the warmth of summer, although I readily admit I am not a fan of humidity.

Summer finds me stumped when it comes meals and cookery.  Truth is, I like pot roasts and chilis and stews, hearty main dishes and warm desserts.  In summer...well those things just don't go, they sit too heavily upon the tummy and make me uncomfortable and leave me feeling dissatisfied.  And because my brain is often hot as the rest of me when I sit down to relax and do quiet work, when I plan my meals I find myself locked into a sort of formula that involves a hot meat dish, cold salad, cool dessert and seldom employ all those fresh vegetables and fruits that are available just now.

Shabat Thoughts: Passing the Baton

A few years ago a friend came to me with tears in her eyes.  She told me she'd been in prayer over a situation in her life for a long time and hadn't seen any results at all.  "I'm asking if you'll take over and pray for me about this," she said.  I agreed.  It was the beginning days of my becoming a prayer warrior and I was just feeling my way along.  I realized that something momentous was going on with this request but it took several weeks for me to understand it more thoroughly.

John had a situation at work that had become difficult and consuming. He told me wearily one morning that he'd been praying over it for months and it just wasn't getting any better.  "I'm tired," he said and I knew he meant his spirit was weary.  "So stop praying.  Let me pray for this for you.  Pass the baton to me."  He looked puzzled. I explained to him what our friend had done, asking me to pray for her situation.  "She needed to step ba…

My Frugal Week/Living Well: July 19-25

Back to our little canning gal for summer time savings...

Saturday:  Mama, Ashley, and I were traveling today to Katie's bridal shower. I had breakfast here at home.  I took along a bottle of water with me.  I knew I'd want something to drink at some point along the way and I didn't really want to have to stop unless it was necessary.

It rained all the way up...glad we brought along umbrellas!

We had a lovely time at the shower and Katie got some nice practical things (all she asked for were practical things).

We stopped in the next town on our way home and Mama went into grocery to buy a treat for herself that is a specialty of that grocery.  She also bought some of the pastry for Ashley and I and a rotisserie chicken each for our suppers.  I had already planned mine and John's dinner but was happy to have the chicken for Sunday dinner.

It was awfully nice to get home and put on my pajamas and rest after all that rainy drive!  John had coffee made and a pizza in the ov…

This Week's Meal and Job Plans: July 20-25

Oh what a lovely weekend!  Well it wasn't weather-wise but it was all around.  Mama, my niece Ashley and I drove to Athens Saturday to join in Katie's bridal shower.  It was an intimate group of folks.  I've met her soon to be in-laws before but there were new faces to acquaint myself with, and then I had my lovely family about me.  Bess came and brought the baby who is growing rapidly and I mean that sincerely.  He started out at 6pounds 6 ounces, but he now weighs about 8pounds 13 ounces in just five short weeks.  He's a nursing baby but tolerated, sort of, the bottle his Mama brought along so that I could feed him.  I did laugh at the look on his face as he clamped his lips and cut his eyes at me.  And when Bess nursed him later, oh so discreetly, the little man smacked his lips loudly and 'Mmmmmm'-ed so much that he made us all giggle and brought full attention on his Mama, lol.

We passed the baby about from one set of arms to the other and he was just fin…

Shabat Thoughts: Why Wait?

There are two trees outside my kitchen sitting area window, turkey foot oaks that are native to the land.  Over the past 18 years it's been my pleasure to watch them in every season, noticing how unique they are and how similar as well.  They are hardly more than 25 feet apart, one slightly downhill from the other, but they have been affected differently by seasons.  One changes color before the other, the other blooms before the one.

This past winter the lower tree had budded, which is normal for these trees.  I love to see the trees in bud.  As the winter sun shines down upon them, the twigs lift up their buds to the sky.  One morning, several years ago, I noted how they seemed to be raising each twig in a form of praise to God.   As the winter passed, and the freezing temperatures were late upon us this year, we realized that the lower tree was not progressing in the bud stage and as Spring and early Summer came on the tree has had every appearance of being dead.  We've d…

My Frugal Week/Living Well July 12-18

Saturday:  We packed up and drove off to see the most Southern grandchildren this morning.   It was easy to pack for, as it was a flying trip: drive down today/drive back tomorrow.  I packed an insulated bag with water and sodas and snacks.

We knew we'd have to stop for a couple of meals over the weekend.  We had breakfast here at home, I packed fruit, crackers, and a little snack for us to have at the hotel later if we were still hungry.  We knew there would be a single cup coffeemaker in our room.

We went down to celebrate an early birthday for our soon to be five year old grandson.  I figured the twins were about the age to notice that Dan was getting a gift...I tried to solve this by bringing along something for each of the three.  I gave Dan a small bag to carry toys in on roadtrips.  This was something we'd bought for John and it proved to be the wrong size..and non-returnable.  Z got a hat that John got free with a purchase.  He is a hat fiend.  H got one of those doll…

Tried and True: Fried Green Tomatoes

It's been a little while since I've done a Tried and True post.  Fried Green Tomatoes.  Good book, good movie and in the South, it's a summer time food favorite.  I suspect, given the way my family preserved their summer produce, this began as a Fall menu item, to use up the last of the tomato crop when it was time for frost.  Big Mama also made a green tomato relish but I haven't got her recipe for that.  I usually do it the easy way and just buy a jar when I see it in a Farmer's Market shop since I'm the only one who enjoys it.

Fried Green Tomatoes.  Every household does them just a little differently.  I should know.  I am fourth generation cooking these and I don't do as Big Mama, Granny nor Mama did.  I do them my way.  I like my way better than any other but I don't turn my nose up at these tomatoes if someone else cooks them.  I just eat 'em anyway!

Years ago, a friend from the MidWest came to visit. I was cooking fried green tomatoes.  I ha…

This Week's Meal and Job Plans

Chicken Biscuits
Bananas, Peanut Butter Crackers, Cheese Cubes
Steak, Corn on cob, Tossed Salad, Birthday Cake
Chicken biscuits are what we enjoy at least one morning of any roadtrip.  This was our morning.  They tasted really good, too.

Eggs, Hash-browns, Toast
Chicken Tortellini Salad
BLTs, Chips

My Frugal Week: July 5 -11

July 5:  We had an easy  breakfast of bagels with cream cheese this morning.  I knew we would have a nice meal at dinner and since we were eating late, the lighter meal seemed more than sufficient.

Baked Chicken and reheated Peach Berry Crisp in the oven alongside to save electricity usage.

I wanted something different for a salad. I mixed up a batch of counter-top pasta sauce yesterday and tossed a few tablespoons of that with a can of drained chickpeas.  That was it, super simple and equally tasted if heated or served at room temperature.

We went nowhere at all today, so we spent Nothing Extra...a great way to stay on challenge!

July 6:  Ran a full load of dishes this morning.  I heated the water for the dishwasher start up when I was rinsing dishes to put in the machine.

Afternoon Refresher - Fire and Ice

Hello hello, and do come in!  You're just in time.  I've been trying to get time out for an afternoon refresher all week long.  Tea is exactly what I wanted this afternoon.  As I told John, on these hot days when I drink so very much water, I start wanting something a little more substantial after awhile.  Tea suits me perfectly.

I haven't baked a thing.  It's been far too warm to cook overmuch, though I did end up cooking quite a lot on July 4.  I broke down and bought a packet of chocolate covered grahams at the store.  Gee those things taste good.  I can't make up my mind if it's because we've had so few sweets of late or if they really are as tasty as I think them!

I mentioned cooking on July 4th.  Katie came down to visit. I hadn't expected her and there was a wee bit of a scramble, but then I sat down with John and we talked over meals and the man, clever one that he is, came up with an idea for a pizza that turned out really, really good.  He wa…

Menu and Job Plans: July 7 - 12

I'm a little late this week.  I do have good reason.  I went out with Mama yesterday.  We'd meant to go out earlier in the week but she had some minor surgery and didn't want to leave home.  I couldn't blame her a bit. I sat down on Friday to plan out meals for the month and got through about ten days worth without a trip to the grocery store needed!  I was going to work things out a bit further but about then John called from the living room, "Did you know Katie was coming down today?"  No....Suddenly we were busy trying to get housework done and replan our meals for the day to include two more.  It all worked out beautifully.  I had time to rest before she arrived and we had food enough with leftovers for John to take in his work lunch on Sunday.  Just right.

I will be going to the grocery this week.  I may not need food so much (a few produce items, milk, bread) but I do need all that other stuff that gets tossed in the grocery budget: Comet, vitamins, pa…

My Frugal Week - June 28 to July 4

Saturday:  I made our dinner in the oven today, even the vegetables. It seemed the most economical and easy way to proceed.  I made sure to use the exhaust vent from the beginning to cut down on how much the house heated up.

I used up a dab of sour cream, adding to the scalloped potato dish I made to go with our dinner. I'm going to do that next time I make scalloped potatoes even if I don't need to use up sour cream.  It added such a nice richness and creaminess to the dish.  I only used about 1 1/2 tablespoons in my two potato dish.

Of late we've been leaving the AC set at one temperature day and night, never moving it up nor down.  This has meant the nights are a bit warmer but we're finding that bearable.

Our public libraries are seldom open on the days and times when I'd normally be out of the house.  I've been very frustrated lately, wanting to find books to read.  I've settled that by choosing a stack of books from my own home shelves to read in the …

July's Nothing Extra Spending Plan

June is always a birthday heavy month for us (and this year we've added two more in June, ack!) but we hit one of those little seasons where we also had to pay for repairs and maintenance and we purchased a wedding gift as well as baby gifts and birthday gifts.  We nearly emptied every sub account we have.  
Well I can't justify a no spend month at the moment.  We've still got a couple of birthdays and a planned trip to see grandchildren, and  a few needed maintenance items to tend to.  It will take months to build up our sub accounts once more.  What we can do this month though, is to stop and think and agree to spend Nothing Extra.
Officially this began July 1, but due to a family need I wasn't able to post about it.   What I propose is that we simply try hard to stick to our budgets and NOT spend those little extra amounts.  For instance, yesterday I started the new month by  making out  list of things I felt I had to buy this week: garlic, soda, , another loaf of …

Questions and Answers and Comments, Oh My!

Hard to believe another month is at an end.  That's six of them gone already. I had bigger plans than I got around to this past month but I stayed busy enough just the same.

Meal and Job Plans: June 1- 6  It was so nice to be welcomed back home after our vacation.  I have a list of things I mean to write about that I learned while on vacation, but haven't quite gotten caught up with myself yet.  I'll be posting a few of those this month.

Rhonda thanked me also for mentioning how much we like the Turkey bacon from Aldi.  I buy the Fit and Active brand in the refrigerator case.  I like it better than any other brand of turkey bacon we've tried.

June 8-14  Hmmm... I seemed to have lost a day between the last meal post and this one.  No wonder the days seemed to go by more quickly than usual, lol.  Melanie commented on how organized I am...and I am. It's all the fault of my memory which is prone to forget where very important things are stored.  So I decided to take ser…