Recipes, memories and random thoughts from my kitchen
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Simply random mid-March thoughts
Just a few random thoughts and happenings from the week ..
Snow is probably the big story here. Big storm on Wednesday, lots of snow, cold, ice, and wind. Sometimes it seems as if this winter is going on forever. (And there *was* once a time in our state's history, sometime in the 1800s, when there was a frost every month of the year, so I guess it's not impossible.) On the other hand, as my husband says, if it all melts at once, we are in for a lot of flooding.
I do enjoy watching the snow fall, as long as I don't have to drive in it. And it is pretty to see a clean layer of white, looking like meringue or 7-minute icing, covering everything once again.
It's also nice to see the longer daylight, even though daylight saving time in mid-March still seems a bit odd. And the higher, brighter winter sun feels good, although I'd rather not see all of the cobwebs, dust and crumbs it tends to reveal indoors.
Does anyone else have those strange little spiders that look like miniature daddy long-legs and leave drifts of webs everywhere? The webs look sort of like cotton batting to me. They are dense and white. I've seen a few of these at church, so I can't blame it on the wood in our cellar which might be the natural guess as to why we have them. They seem able to spin these webs very quickly and it's impossible to stay ahead of them.
This is Zone 3 week in FlyLady's system ... the bathrooms. Yesterday I scrubbed the tub and shower using my favorite homemade Tub and Shower Magic. It works great on bathroom sinks and countertops, too. If you've never tried this, you might like to give it a try. I find that by using this once a month, and maintaining by use of Tilex Fresh Shower every day, the tub and shower stay looking fairly decent in spite of our hard water.
I've been working at trying to reduce our grocery bill, and this week I actually succeeded. It's still not low, but we spent about $15 less than the previous week. I've made a number of meatless meals from some of my favorite basic cookbooks -- More-With-Less Cookbook; Jane Brody's Good Food Book
(Lentil Soup; Rice, Corn and Cheese Casserole); and Jane Brody's Good Food Gourmet (from which I plan to make Lentils Ole this week, to serve over baked potatoes with taco toppings. Any of these books will give you some good ideas for inexpensive, nutritious meals that taste good.
Another thing I do to save money is to make a lot of my own spice blends, onion soup mix, taco seasoning mix and so on. Many of these recipes I've found in More Make Your Own Groceries by Daphne Metaxas Hartwig, and its predecessor, Make Your Own Groceries, which is hard to find at a reasonable price. Check in local used bookstores, thrift shops, etc. and I hope you will find one! More great recipes for this type of thing can be found here: 100-plus Recipes for Homemade Mixes and Seasoning Blends.
If you are interested in more homemade ideas, check out the "homemade life" label in the label cloud to the right. There are quite a few of them there, from bagels to swiffer refills!
Today I have corned beef in the slow cooker, along with carrots and potatoes, to serve with homemade baked beans for supper tonight. This is my go-to recipe for making corned beef in the crock pot: Glazed Corned Beef Dinner. At the end of the cooking time, one transfers the meat and veggies to a baking dish and adds the glaze, cooking it in the oven for the last half hour. I recommend it!
I probably had much more to say, but this is our day to clean the church and so I had better have lunch and get ready to go, since Mr. T is now home from work. Enjoy the randomness! ** This post contains affiliate links.**
I live in scenic northern New England with my handsome husband. We're empty-nesters with a bunch of adorable grandchildren. We love (tent) camping and traveling, but don't get away as often as we'd like to.