Thursday, June 28, 2012

New Reality Show

We're leaving tomorrow for a two week vacation to Utah and California; so this week I've been using up leftovers and attempting to leave an empty fridge. Last night I looked in the fridge and found very little, but there were some leftover meatballs from a recent church activity so I set about to make something with them. I remembered that my family likes Glazed Meatballs and checking the fridge again I found a bottle of barbecue sauce with less than an inch remaining, also the tail end of a jar of plum jelly.  The recipe calls for grape jelly but hey, we'll use what we have. I put water on to boil for some rice and dumped the sauce and jelly in another pan for the meatballs. There wasn't much sauce so I limited the number of meatballs I put in. Got the rice going, the meatballs glazing, and them cut up most of the broccoli to steam, leaving just enough to "stretch a can of tuna" today for lunch.

TopDad was astonished at what a delicious supper I came up with with as he put it "no discernible ingredients."

So I propose filming a new reality cooking show called "What's for Dinner?"  A chef wannabe (and crew) goes into various neighborhoods across the country knocks on any door and makes dinner using just what there is in that kitchen, with the tools available in that kitchen. THAT would show who's a good cook. I believe that almost anybody can make something wonderful with a pantry full of everything you can imagine, and a kitchen with every tool you'd ever need. BUT! What happens when you have little or nothing to work with?

As missionaries, my companion and I once made a meal out of some bite-sized shredded wheat cereal, butter, and cheese. Being poor and/or frugal has stretched more than a can of tuna at my house. My imagination regularly gets a work out.

What meals have you made out of "nothing"?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pictures, as promised

See the old color here.
See my pretty pink room, with a sparkling white ceiling!

The view from the window; such gorgeous pink walls!
Later this evening, with the help of Topdad and PW, we'll pull up the yucky carpet, scrape off the pad, (which has fused to the wood floor) wash the floor and voila! All finished. More pictures tomorrow.

By the way, I was very blessed to have just enough paint to put on two coats with no leftovers. I prayed mightily for that tender mercy and was granted my request. Thank you Heavenly Father.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Just a note to say I'm making progress on the transformation, but I don't have any pictures. I've done two coats of bright white on the ceiling and the first coat of pale pink on the walls in the master bedroom and it looks almost lovely. (It definitely needs a second coat.) And the old "if it's not one thing, it's another" is in operation. I left the windows open over the weekend which was not the best choice when it rained! The carpet is wet. . .but who cares as it is coming out tomorrow, after I get the second coat of paint on the walls.

In other news, our oven is dying. I made roast vegetables for lunch yesterday and after an hour and a half they still weren't completely done, at 425 degrees! Dr. Hair made cookies later in the evening and each batch took about 20 minutes. So. We'll look into it when we get back from vacation but I'm not doing anything now. This will be another episode of making do. My sister lived without an oven for how many years was it, D? Lots, at least it seemed like it. I know it is doable.

Tomorrow after the second coat of paint in on I'll take some pictures. Patience.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How to Stretch a Can of Tuna Fish

I'm old enough to remember when cans of tuna fish were 7 ounces. Today they are five ounces. Some years ago I devised a way to stretch a can to make it go further.

Here's my method:

Gather whatever vegetables you have on hand; my standards are onion, carrot, celery, bell peppers (whatever color) and broccoli.

Chop each veggie as fine as you can:

Mix them in a bowl:

Add the tuna and some mayonnaise (or your choice of white salad dressing stuff):

Mix it all together and serve on bread for sandwiches or with crackers (when you forgot to get the bread out of the freezer that morning).

This batch made 2 cups (500 ml), so at 1/4 cup per sandwich, this would make 8 sandwiches; six sandwiches if you spread it a little thicker. Way better than one or two sandwiches per can; plus all those tasty, healthful veggies!

Thanks to Dandylion for helping with the Photo Booth effects shots.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What's Happening in Our Town

An imposing old school, built in about 1916, is being torn down. In addition to tearing down the school a lovely old fir tree was cut down to accommodate the demolition equipment. To my frugal mindset it seems an abominable waste of resources, but what do I know.

Tall building behind tree is the middle school

It in being demolished from east to west.
Crane to the left is sitting where the tree once was.

Three floors of memories

A horrible waste of materials (to my mind)

I love old brick buildings!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Daily Decluttering Mission

I follow the Blog 365 Less Things and finally decided to do what is suggested each week as a daily mini-mission. Sort of a search and weed out (rather than destroy) mission.

This week's emphasis is on reducing multiples. I'm swapping Tuesday for Monday as I was already going through my boxes of curio cabinet treasures and dishes today. The travel souvenir stuff is not accessible presently.

Tuesday  Glass items ~ Vases, plates, bowls, drinking glasses…

Here's the results for me:

An assortment of things that I no longer want, either because my tastes or needs have changed. These items will be added to our yard sale. Which, as you can see below, is getting bigger each day, and still doesn't include all the large appliances and furniture, not to mention all the clothes. I will be glad to get rid of it all. What doesn't sell will be taken to a thrift store.

And thus we begin the transformation

This move affords us the rare opportunity to paint and make upgrades BEFORE we move in. Amazing!
Today Dr. Hair, Dandylion and I washed the ceiling and walls of the master bedroom as part of the prep before painting. The house hasn't been lived in for more than two years and the elderly woman who lived there couldn't keep up with all the cleaning and repairs needed so while it is a fairly solid house it is really dirty and needs lots of upgrades and redecorating.

Here are the first of the BEFORE pictures:
Master Bedroom - as seen from the door into it

Master Bedroom - moving to the left of the previous view,
 it has double closets, with drawers

Master Bedroom - view towards door to hallway, second closet door on right.
Pink splotch on wall is where I tested the new paint color.

Light fixture and vertical blinds - the finest in Dentist Office living!

Moving on to another room:

Our glorious 50's pink and aqua Bathroom
This is the second home we've lived in with this particular
bathroom color scheme. YUCK!

View of the sink and mirror with florescent fixtures.
The ceiling fixture is the same style as the bedroom.

I won't complain about all the cupboards and drawers.
This is the part I like!

"Shelves in a closet; happy thought!"
Elizabeth Bennett
One other feature we're changing:

This is the current front door knob.

This is what we put on our current house
And what we'll put on our new one.
We like this style!

I think a lever is so much more convenient and attractive.
(Someday I'll get around to refinishing the door and make it look nice.)
We'll be painting all the ceilings a brilliant white semi-gloss, which reflects light and makes a room sparkle. The Master Bedroom will be a pale pink (Glidden Barely Blush); we'll remove the ugly brown carpet to reveal some lovely oak floors; the vertical blinds will be replaced with a pink floral valance and white curtains.  The bathroom will be an even paler pink, really a white with a pink tone to it. 

Topdad is working on installing the tub, and rebuilding the wall between the tub and toilet. The former occupant had a step in tub (for elderly and handicapped) which we removed (and sold) and now are replacing with a regular tub and fiberglass surround.