Put It Away
Monday, June 28th. Today I made green eggs and ham for breakfast. We call fried potatoes mixed with scrambled eggs: "green eggs and ham" because my dad used to make it, but no one would eat it. Finally, one Sunday afternoon he got my oldest sister Shannon, to try it and she exclaimed that it was fantastic! The rest of us tried it and liked it, too. For years, it was what Dad cooked on a Sunday evening.
We have our first potatoes and tomatoes from the garden! The green eggs and ham came from our garden and our animals!! Talk about self reliance!
Later, I went to a job interview, that went really well, then I went to Wal-mart. This was the first time in 4 weeks! It has been one month and boy has it been a hard month. Being self reliant is well...satisfying, good for your soul...but inconvenient. I guess that's why we call them convenience foods.
I bought fruit. Yea! We have only had nectarines from our tree and the peaches we got when Fito went to mow.
I bought bread, meat, (I only had rabbit left), juice. We haven't had any juice the whole month. And of course, I bought cereal. But only the healthy kinds.
We are on a modified experiment as of today. We could have gone another month, but it is summer and we have several trips planned...yes...I can rationalize...
The main thing, to be honest; it is tiring. There are things like grinding wheat that is okay and really isn't that hard. And yes, there are other things to eat for breakfast besides cereal, BUT cereal is faster and more convenient than making pancakes, eggs, and so on.
I learned that I do not have enough juice, canned milk, sweetened condensed milk, fruits, gelatin, flavorings in my food storage.
You can have all the major foods like wheat, oil, sugar, powdered milk, and water (rice and beans for us, too). However, if you do not have something "sweet" or flavorful to supplement the basic you will get bored very quickly.
I will make a more complete list and report later this week.
We agreed, Fito and I, to go ahead and buy "basics" like fruit, juice, veggies, but still no convenience foods. No ready made foods, no frozen foods. I even bought watermelon and corn today. Two foods I had been craving.
Another note is that some of the children had started to get sores in their mouths. I realized that without the fruits or fruit juice that their diet wasn't what it should be. Another lesson about food storage: to store a fruit drink mix that is high in vitamin C.
Tuesday, June 29th. Today I let everyone eat cereal for breakfast...yea for me, except Fito, who is anti-cereal, is still mad at me for buying it. He is right, though (don't anyone of you tell him). It is cheaper to make pancake, waffles, etc.
I made Pupusas for dinner as Benjamin is home for the week. Also, 5 cousins are here, so I am cooking for 16 people. The house is full and no one is bored. My husband has plans for all this free labor and they have already weeded all the gardens.
We also got more onions and potatoes from the garden and we are getting tomatoes and bell peppers daily now. We also picked some strawberries. I guess it was the rain and coolness from a few weeks ago, because usually you wouldn't have strawberries this late.
People have been asking what are Pupusas. They are a food from El Salvador, and I make the best in the world (am I conceited or what)! They are a home made corn tortilla with meat, cheese, and sauce inside. They are more complicated to make so I plan to make a video of how to make them and put it and the recipe on the site at the same time.
I also made Poppy Seed Bread on Monday and I made it with whole wheat flour I had ground. It was the first time I had made it with whole wheat and it came out just as good tasting, and of course, it is healthier that way.
Wednesday, June 30th. Today I made more Pupusas as I had left over meat and cheese from Tuesday. Then I made Spaghetti for supper. I still had one home made French loaf left so I cut it into thin slices, spread butter on them, sprinkled garlic salt on them and then toasted them in the oven on a cookie sheet.
Later, I was craving something chewy and sweet so I made PB Chews. The first batch...I had to give to the chickens...something was wrong with the PB...I guess it was rancid. You couldn't smell it or taste it until I started to heat it up and then Whew! It had to go. I made a second batch and yummy!
I have spent the last 2 days reading. there was a book I wanted to read. Why not just do it quickly? I have done this many times...usually when I need a break, have a day, and then I just ignore the world and read! I highly recommend it, but only once every four months or so...or we won't get anything done.
Today is Thursday, July 1st. I went to the Industrial and Business Breakfast. I guess this group had cereal. I haven't decided what to cook, yet. That is why I am always having to cook with frozen meat...I never plan ahead. I am getting ready to leave again to go do some errands with Fito. maybe, I will let them just make pizza or PB sandwiches?
Tonight after we came home, I was hungry, but not really hungry. There was some corn on the cob that the children had shucked, but not cooked. I took it and put it in my largest canning pot, then added some of the new potatoes and onions from the garden. I cooked that with salt and pepper until the potatoes were soft.
I ate it with sliced tomatoes from the garden and, of course, butter on the potatoes and corn. It was so good that several ate it for breakfast on Friday, July 2nd. Others ate it for lunch. I did not cook today so they ate whatever. We do have a rule, though, that you can have cereal only once a day so they have to eat leftovers, make sandwiches, etc. Not just eat cereal all day long which is what some of them would do if you let them.
Today, July 3rd. We invited friends over today for fajitas and fireworks, but it has been raining hard all morning. We will see how many show up. We are leaving right now to buy the meat at a Spanish meat shop. Fito was working yesterday with the boys building a carport and I spent the day, getting lumber, putting tires on trailer, then taking the trailer to help a friend buy a lawn mower.
Well, we bought the meat. And I was so happy we went to the new meat market. Actually, it is not new, just new to us. A Mexican friend had told me about this place so we decided to try it out. It is great! Clean and inexpensive. We bought marinated chicken fajitas already with the cut veggies for $1.29 per pound. They also had boneless pork for $1.59 per pound. They were friendly and the store also had the Spanish Breads that are so good.
We came back home and Matthew said he had invited people, too. We got to work and made a double batch of Spanish rice. I put more of the Knorr Tomato with Chicken Bullion in it than I usually do and it came out rally well. I made the quick and easy refried beans using bacon and onion with the beans from the cans. I did two #5 cans of beans.
We cooked the chicken we bought on the grill and it was awesome as my children say. I also made Guatemalan Guacamole and Cabbage and Cucumber Salad. I took some of my canned homemade salsa and added fresh cilantro to it.
Oh, my goodness! We ate like kings! And only 3 families came...that's okay...we ate like kings on Sunday, too!
Today is Sunday, July 4th. We went to church and then came home. I was in a baking mood which was good as the children wanted cookies, but I wanted bread.
I knew we could have leftovers and I didn't have to cook so baking extra was fine.
Now what I do when I want to bake a large amount or two or three different items, for example: at Christmas, Thanksgiving, a fund raiser, etc. Is:
I use my big metal bowels or my large crock mixing bowl. Set the bowls side by side and put the corresponding recipe in front of the bowl.
Since I was making Tammy's Oatmeal Cookies and Hummingbird Bread, I had 2 large bowls with each recipe in front of one of the bowls.
Now go the pantry and get the large buckets of sugar and flour. Then as you measure the flour for one recipe...then just get the flour for the second recipe.
I also use the 4 cup glass measuring cups and I have 2. One for dry ingredients and one for liquids.
For example, most of my recipes are so large I use 12 cups of flour in each one so I would need to dip the glass measuring cup into the bucket 3 times. That is a lot easier than using 1 cup and having to scoop it 12 times.
I measure all the dry ingredients, mix them, then add the liquids. This is assembly line style...
At Christmas or when you are doing a fund raiser you can have 4 or 5 bowls and make brownies, cookies, and breads, all at the same time. If you don't have time to bake it all at the same time it is okay.
Just go ahead and make all the different doughs and then freeze in freezer bags what you can't bake that day!
After I had the cookie dough ready, I took 1/3 of it and put it in another bowl. The smaller portion we added raisens and the larger portion received chocolate chips.
This oatmeal cookie recipe can be used many different ways. I have added orange flavoring and coconut. Nuts, dates, chopped chocolate peices, PB pieces, brickle pieces.