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Archive for June, 2012

I’ll give you three guesses:  Who may or may not have harvested a cayenne today and scolded her daughter about BEING SURE TO WASH HER HANDS after handling it, and proceeded to de-seed the cayenne and then take a quick run to the bathroom before finishing the meatloaf tonight and discovered that maybe she hadn’t washed her own hands well enough?  The person in question might or might not have wondered why her girly goods were on fire all of a sudden, and she might or might not have gone through several mental files of known maladies that could cause flaming nether regions before she remembered that she was an idiot.  It is possible that this person then rinsed with some diluted lavender oil and put on airier garments to allow cooling in the area, and later, after the skin between her fingers also began to melt off, she wondered if the meatloaf might end up being a little too spicy.

I hope you didn’t guess “J!” because I have no idea what you are talking about.

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Monday

  • banana muffins; broth
  • quiche (in sun oven)? with smoked salmon and oranges
  • ground beef/banana squash/garden peppers/potatoes/onions/turnip greens hash; fresh cucumbers

Tuesday

  • shortcakes with baked peaches; broth
  • leftover quiche?
  • leftover ribs; cauliflower; garden veggies of some sort

Wednesday

  • leftover shortcakes; broth
  • leftover turnip hash
  • brown bag – tuna salad w/Bubbie’s pickles; fuji apples; salad from garden; dilly carrots

Thursday

  • eggs; oranges; broth
  • leftover tuna salad w/pickles; apples; salad
  • meatloaf; potatoes; green beans

Friday

  • ?
  • leftover meatloaf
  • ?

Saturday

  • ?

Sunday

  • ?

As you can see, I wasn’t very motivated to finish this menu plan.  Lately I’ve been veering from the plan by the end of the week, so I don’t feel like the effort is worth it.   Plus, I’ve not been able to predict what fresh produce we’ll have on any given day.  That makes planning harder.  Then there’s that Thing About Opening The Freezer In Warm Weather that keeps me from digging around to see what I could work with during the week.  And we are waiting to turn on our air conditioning until after July 4th, so pretty much all thought processes cease once it gets that sticky humidity in here.  Those are my excuses, which look pretty convincing when they are all typed out like that.

No budget this week because I’m tired.

I MUST make mayo this week  Tomorrow.  I must do it tomorrow.

I picked our first ripe tomato today, which is a miracle considering the amount of shade over the garden.  The summer squashes are finally starting to do something, too.  I hope the green beans will do better before it gets too hot!

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Jello shots

I attempted to get caught up on email today and saw this video in my inbox.  Josh Rubin is hard to keep up with (in that I’m usually at least a sentence or two behind due to brain processing issues) but I find his videos helpful.  This particular video briefly touches on using nutrition (specifically carbs and noninflammatory proteins) to prevent muscle catabolism following exercise.  I’ve always struggled with being able to keep on weight if I exercise; in order to prevent weight loss I have to increase my caloric intake so drastically that it exceeds our budget.   In addition, no matter how much I exercised, I rarely saw any muscle mass increase.  So…that begs the question, what is the point?  And I don’t like that question.

After watching this video, I thought I would experiment a little.  Mr. Rubin states that he drinks a mixture of 12 oz orange juice, 12 oz water, and 3 Tblsp gelatin after workouts to prevent muscle catabolism.  I’m not sure how he prepares it, but if the gelatin isn’t heated it is probably grainy.  Grainy=yuck in J’s world, so I knew I’d want to heat the gelatin to dissolve it.  That takes time though, and if I only have 30 minutes or so following exertion to get my carb/protein into my system I would need something ready to pull out of the fridge.  Fridge=full in J’s world, so that meant compacting the carb/protein for storage purposes.  I checked the bottle of gelatin, and it said that one tablespoon gelatin would gel one pint of liquid…and then I remembered that you use less liquid for jello jigglers…and then I was too lazy to look up the liquid:gelatin ratio for jigglers…so I just guessed.  What I ended up doing was

  • 1 cup water, brought to a boil
  • 3 Tblsp gelatin, whisked into the boiling water until dissolved
  • juice of 2 oranges (2/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup honey

I added the orange juice and honey after the gelatin mixture had cooled a little, and then I divided the 16 oz that this recipe yields into silicone mini-muffin molds.  Then I noticed that I hadn’t put a cookie sheet under the wobbly molds before I poured in the jello stuff and so I just left them on the counter to gel for now.  I’ll try to move them to the refrigerator in a little while, but I’ve got to work up my nerve first.

Originally, I planned to add some pureed mango to this recipe to bring it closer to a 1 Tblsp gelatin:1 cup liquid ratio (effectively halving the liquid in a typical jello recipe) but due to my Thing About Opening The Freezer During Warm Weather I couldn’t find my mango puree before I panicked and slammed the freezer door shut.  So.  We’ll see how this turns out and maybe next time I will find my mango puree and give it a whirl, too.

So how am I going to use these jello shots (assuming I can get them out of the molds later)??  Since these are concentrated, I would drink plenty of water when I eat these.  I am probably half the size of Josh Rubin, so for right now I’ll start at half the above recipe after workouts (which will probably be limited to yard work until it cools off a little or we turn on the air conditioner!) and I’ll drink 12-16oz water with the shots.

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Yes, we watched Madagascar 3 today.  :)  We loved that line in the movie – my daughter especially, as she often feels digestive distresses keenly.  We were all a little stressed today…me, because I decided to confront the kids’ father about cohabiting again; and the kids, because they knew I was going to talk to their dad.  I was trying to get them to eat quickly and I was having trouble choking down my food as the clock neared 6pm.  Suddenly my daughter put her hand to her stomach and said, “My tummy is talking to me!” and for a moment I wasn’t sure if we’d be seeing her supper reappearing or not!  Luckily she kept it down.  :)  But this episode caused me to think about her digestive issues.  I thought a lot of it was food related but now I’m not sure.  Most of the time she complains is when she is getting ready to head to her dad’s or someone is talking about her dad or she is just worrying in general.  Her chronic congestion has improved a LOT in the past few months, but she still struggles with her tummy.  I haven’t gotten a good description of the problem from her; it’s usually just a “my tummy doesn’t feel good” and sometimes she gags as if she’s having a hard time getting it to stay down.  Distraction usually solves the issue so I’m not sure it’s purely physical, but she does tend to have more gas when she is complaining.  However, when she says her tummy doesn’t feel good, she usually has her hand at her stomach and not down on her abdomen.  I had thought that some of the issue might be mucus draining into her tummy and making it upset, but now that the congestion is clearing I can’t say that is the cause.

At this point, she doesn’t want to see a counselor.  I’m going to see whether she improves after her dad’s summer visitation (I think that is a big factor in how she’s felt lately) and then if things don’t ease for her we’ll have to consider our next steps.

In unrelated news, I don’t think my dog likes sauerkraut.

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  • make mayonnaise
  • whip those abs, buns, and thighs into shape
  • respond to the gazillion emails waiting in my inbox
  • avoid those Trader Joe’s peppermint creams and peanut butter cups hiding in the freezer
  • stick to the menu plan beyond Tuesday
  • get my kefir grains back on track after hibernation
  • hang all laundry outside on non-rainy days
  • get around to that pedicure that I’ve been meaning to do for over a month now
  • figure out where those ants are coming in
  • go to bed before 11pm

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I saw this recipe for a blackberry jam that does not require pectin, and it made me wonder if I could do something similar with honey.  I wonder how that would affect the safety when canning?

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Monday

Tuesday

  • cheesy eggs and toast; milk; fresh blueberries and peaches or quartered oranges
  • leftover chicken & veggies
  • slow-cooked ribs with apples from our backyard; garden cucumbers and green beans; cauliflower

Wednesday

  • granola; broth
  • beef steak and garden veggies; sauerkraut
  • brown bag – tuna salad w/Bubbie’s pickles; fuji apples; salad from garden; dilly carrots

Thursday

  • steak and eggs; oranges; broth
  • leftover tuna salad w/pickles; apples; salad
  • bbq chicken? with garden veggies

Friday

  • baked peaches (maybe with shortcakes?)
  • chicken salad (make mayo and use up chicken breast from Monday)
  • leftover ribs?

Saturday and Sunday

  • leftovers (just me)

My son will be having his best friend over Monday and part of Tuesday, so I tried to plan GAPS food that he would like to eat.  I’ll probably use regular bread for his grilled cheese and toast, since I have it in the freezer and he might get a little freaked out by the GAPS stuff.  But everything else I think he will be cool with!  I need to think of a yummy dessert that is easy to make since we’ll be running around a lot that day.  I though about ice cream, but if we pick up milk that day the cream won’t rise to the top quickly enough.  Hmm.  Maybe popsicles?  Except I think my mom took all my popsicle molds.  Hmm.

The weather has gotten hot quickly.  That means no more inside cooking if I can help it.  We won’t turn on the air conditioning until after July 4th and every little bit of extra heat is felt in here!  I’ll be relying on the slow cooker, the Sun Oven if it’s not too cloudy outside, and the toaster oven (set out on the back porch) if necessary.  I’m not sure how much propane is left in our grill tank, but we might attempt the bbq chicken on the grill this time as well.

Budgetwise, our meals and snacks should cost around $70 this week, which is close to budget.  I’m starting to freak out a little about the amount of money I’ll need to pay for our half-beef but I know it will save us a lot in the long run.  I’m going to skip our monthly Azure Standard order this time, since the kids will probably not be here later in the month to help me eat the fresh fruits & veggies I normally buy.  I just don’t have the refrigerator space to store extras!  I’ve been thinking about getting a freezerless refrigerator instead of our little standard refrigerator but I’m not sure I could find a used one that I could afford.  I’ll put that on my prayer list and see what turns up.

Out-of pocket expenses this week were about $30 at the health food store, $10 at the farmer’s market, $13 for a half-bushel of local peaches, and I might spend $15 for milk and eggs.  We are getting enough veggies from our garden and from friends’ gardens that I doubt I’ll be heading to the store much over the next couple of months.  I need to start socking away about $30/week for my meat fund so I’ll be ready for my next bulk purchase; if I can drop out-of-pocket costs to less than $40/week I shouldn’t feel it too much when I take it out of my account.

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