Friday, August 25, 2023

Living on a Little by Caroline French Benton.

 I am not sure which blogger mentioned reading this but it sounded interesting so I got it on my kindle... then ordered the paperback. I took it in the car while we were running errands and going to visit his parents. Good conversation for us. I usually use my leftovers for lunch the next day, she remade her leftovers for another supper and used what bits were in the frig for her lunches. Even though she only spent $1 a day TOTAL for their food (her, hubby and maid or in this case her maid was her sister)... the line of planning is even correct for this day and age.  

The other day we went to check on Hubby's parents. His mom who has mild polio insisted we come for lunch. His Dad went in to surgery today to remove cancerous tumor in colon. He did fine. We usually go to take them out or visit at non eating times.

His mom had bought three times the amount of groceries as she doesn't drive much and wanted to just tell one of the family she just needed eggs and milk, maybe bread while FIL recovered.  The costs worried her as they haven't really stocked anything even during the pandemic as the store is around the corner maybe a half mile away. She is going to stock up some more because she doesn't think he is going to want to go out if it's really bad outside this winter. Stocking up she got away from while working in town. Just stop at the store on the way home. 

 She got a boneless whole ham that was on sale. She cut it into half slices so they could either eat it as a sandwich or as the main meal. Bagged most of it for freezer. Said it came out at $1 for meat at one meal.

 She took the slices that she kind of messed up (her words)while slicing it with an electric knife and used the best ones for our meal. She took the end pieces, diced them in her small food processor. She pan fried the ham with a little oil (yes she knows it's cooked but FIL wants it fried) and put it in the microwave on  6 minutes on level 1 to keep warm while she finished the meal ...

Now I am thinking it's going to take more than 6 minutes to get this meal together. 

She put the frozen veggies with a good splash of water in the pan and turned it on high. Turned the water for the instant mashed potatoes on high also. 

She put the diced ham in the skillet she fried the other ham in, tossed it around a bit then mixed up flour and a bit of water to make a paste and put it in, lowered that heat on that pan while waiting until the veggies were boiling. Turned the potato water down to simmer. Turned veggies off, drained the water into the pan with the ham bits and rue to make gravy, stirred it, decided she wanted it thicker, added more rue paste and then a splash of milk, a healthy pinch of ground black pepper and had me stirring it while she finished the potatoes. Turned off the microwave that had a 30 seconds left. Put everything in serving dishes and sat down to lunch. 

This 87 year old woman that could only make hamburger gravy and mashed potatoes at the age of 21 when she got married, now kicks butt in the kitchen. I made sure she knew it also and told FIL she was great in the kitchen.

Lesson, She didn't buy anything special for our meal, she used "scraps" to make the main dish, used veggie water (never have I thought to use that) for the gravy. She added cottage cheese and grape jam and a jar of pickles along with bread and butter to the table.  Something I grew up with (well not cottage cheese or jam) but don't do myself. I always had bread and butter on the table when the kids were growing up but neither Hubby or I are much of bread eaters even though our doctor just told us to increase our grains (he knows I bake or we get our bread from the Amish)

She texted me the next day and told me they had ham sandwiches with apple slices and baby carrots for supper and she diced what was left of ham, added it to the bit of diced ham she didn't put in gravy, chopped up the leftover veggies  and tossed it in water and when it got warm enough, she added the leftover mashed potatoes and leftover gravy and a splash of milk to make a cream soup to go with their  grilled cheese sandwiches for their lunch the next day and sent the leftover soup home with her one grandson that is single.  She told me she still struggles to not cook too much and toss it away as they don't have a compost pile like she did out on the farm. 

I looked at Hubby and told him what she did. He said he noticed she used smaller pans for the 4 of us that we do for the 2 of us. I texted her to find out what size pans she used.  I use 10 to 12 inch fry pans and 2-3 quart sauce pans. She uses 8 to 10 inch fry pans and 1 qtr. to 1 1/2 qrts  sauce pans. UNLESS she is making spaghetti, then she uses the 3 qrts. sauce pan.

I call my 8 inch fry pan the egg skillet as that's the only I use it for. Going to be changing that.

Have a good week, stay safe

Prayers for peace

Blessed Be 

Butt dragging.

 window casement windows protected

Still allows air so no mold when I open those windows to air out the basement.

A friend gave me her curtains as she bought new. I will be putting them up after I get done with the fall cleaning. I am thinking front room.

Hubby paid off the work truck (now called 350) and cancelled his DOT numbers. When they terminated he cancelled the business insurance. He has a refund coming and when it comes in , he can close the business checking acct. Taking longer to close it down than it did to get it up and running. 

Hubby bartered wood at Sawmill, their Englisher that runs the loader got his hours changed at work so he can't move wood during the day. He okayed Hubby running his loader especially since the sawmill pays all costs and maintenance of  it. It's not very often but every stick of wood for winter helps. We need 12 more cords of wood. E said there is about 1 back in the woods he needs Hubby to bring out and can have.

Daughter 4 is coming up to help clean out the garden shed. Hubby is going to fix the floor and then use it for a wood shed as N and E said if we fill it, we would have enough for the winter as it's what they used it for. She might get sucked into cleaning the front bay of the barn also since she just changed jobs(got laid off as they can't get supplies in) and is short on pay. BUT she already has another job that starts Monday.

We harvested all kinds of tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, zucchini, Roma green beans, mini bell peppers, kale, thyme, basil, oregano, cabbages, cantaloupe, watermelon, tan pumpkins and golden raspberries.  Hubby asked me to not plant anything except the garlic next month. He's tired of eating "garden" as he put it. NOW if I plant something that will grow into late fall... that's okay. 

I spent $49 at grocery store, saved 47 %. I got very small (think they were cut from a small tenderloin) porkchops marked down to $3.98. I used them that night and the next day for lunch.  We will only need milk the later part of the month.

Hubby built braces for the two rose trellises at the deck for the climbing roses from scrap wood in the barn.

Since I had to clean up the mess in the basement, I got rid of 4 large boxes of stuff that we donated, had some things to go to recycling tomorrow and quite a few boxes that Hubby is drying out to burn later. 

Charlotte's allergies kicked up and she was bloody raw from itching. We got her into the vet for her shot. Twenty four hours later she is a lot better. I had ran out of eggs so she wasn't getting her daily egg... that won't happen again because within a few days her allergies went nuts. Hasn't had that problem all summer since I put her on egg daily. Vet doesn't understand what ever is in the eggs that stops her allergies but is glad we found out it did as the shots are $150 on top of office call.

Daughter's 4 daughter had her baby at 29 weeks at 3lbs. 15 1/2 inches . She had to have shunt surgery yesterday due to brain bleeds. Doing okay

Hubby's dad  is having surgery today to remove cancerous tumor plus 12 inches of his colon. 

Our primary doctor has referred Hubby to ENT (regretfully it's a 1 1/2 hrs. from us for this specialist as our regular ENT won't touch it) to find out why he keeps losing his voice mid afternoon to evening. Doesn't matter if he doesn't talk much or what ever. He had throat surgery in 2006/2007 due to polyps. Since he chewed tobacco, cancer could happen. Daddy lost his voice due to smoking even though he had quit years before he got the cancer. He feels like all he does is go from one doctor and test to the next... both his parents said YEP old age does that as both his brothers and sister already are doing the same. 

Prayers for peace

Blessed be