Thursday, September 26, 2013

Miss Alaineus

Miss Alaineus is a delightful children's book about a missed vocabulary assignment. (I love children's books.) Anyway, today's post is a bunch of stuff.

A friend gave me a bag of plum tomatoes from her garden. I ate as many as I could in salads (tomato, garbanzo beans, feta cheese) and then made the rest into some delicious soup. I made up the recipe and it turned out fabulous. I chopped up some onion and slowly cooked it in some olive oil (I don't use exact measurements) while I chopped up the tomatoes. Then I added them along with some basil and simmered it for an hour. I mashed it with a potato masher but that wasn't fine enough and I couldn't find my "ricer" so I put it by cupfuls through the blender and that worked great. It was DELICIOUS! Sprinkled a bit of Parmesan cheese on top, dipped in toasted homemade french bread and was in heaven.

The other day I cooked up some chicken quarters, de-boned it all, and put it into containers for the freezer, except one portion for dinner. After some pondering I decided to make a soup. This time Cream of Chicken and Vegetables. I chopped up a carrot, onion, two ribs of celery, and a few potatoes, added some frozen peas, a little bit of thyme and parsley, covered it all with water, brought it to a boil, turned the heat down and simmered it while I made the cream sauce (flour, butter, milk). When the veggies were done along with the sauce I added the chopped chicken, and the white sauce to the veggies, stirred it up and set the table while it was heating through. HEAVENLY! Even Dandylion liked it. Autumn and soup just go together.

We are moved into our new-to-us house. It has many advantages, one of which is the spacious kitchen and working oven. It has fewer rooms but they are larger. Still some work to be done but it's good to be in here before the snow flies. Next projects will be new curtains for my bedroom, the kitchen, and living room.

I began this blog as a way to document my weight loss, but that didn't work and I didn't lose any. In June of this year I joined T.O.P.S. (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly) after reading a piece in the local newspaper about a man who had lost close to 100 pounds. TOPS was touted as encouragement and accountability, which is what I needed. I joined and have lost 15 lbs. so far. There is value in having to weigh in and report each week; not to mention the great women I've met there. I notice a difference in my body, but as I wear loose clothes anyway no one else has noticed. My first goal is another 15 lbs. (Doctor wouldn't approve any more than that) and when I reach that goal I'll set another, 20 lbs. lighter. When I was 42, after having had five children I weighed that much (or little) and looked and felt great. I want to get there again.

I haven't hit the thrift stores for a while, keeping my eyes on the goal of spending less. I did make Noble a cute skirt for her birthday this summer, which she really liked. I promised to make another one in wool for winter. (Still have to set up my sewing room.)

I know I've done some other frugal things, but my mind has gone blank and I don't remember what they were. You understand I'm sure!

Lastly, this Saturday I'm teaching a class at a church women's conference. The class is Cooking with Basic Commodities. I teach three sessions, each 25 minutes long. How am I supposed to cram 30 years of cooking knowledge and experience into 25 minutes? Not going to happen. What I will do is go over reasons why we (well not me) don't cook from scratch, good reasons for doing so, overcoming the obstacles, starting to cook from scratch (The Principles), and then give some resources and recipes to help them on their way. I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Everybody Needs a Good Laugh

On Saturday I was Skyping with Noble (I really miss her!). Behind her on the wall of her dorm room are pictures of Korean Boy Bands and Singers. They are all very lovely to look at. In the course of our conversation Noble mentioned that she has gained weight, but not inches as her clothes still fit. She was trying to figure out what was going on. Our of my mouth popped "You've had too much eye candy and it's making you fat!" She almost fell off her chair laughing.

 It feels so good to laugh!