Thursday, June 30, 2011

Bringing Back an Old Fashioned Summer - Water Fun

Going to the pool was great fun, but Granny could only take all seven of us grandkids for about 2 weeks maximum.  I'm sure she was quite insane to hold out that long, lol...

And so we'd return home.  We missed the water fun we'd been having, and though Daddy kept at least one or two rooms cool in our home, we were kids.  We wanted to be outside.  Outside was hot.  We learned to 'make do' as so many other kids did: the sprinkler to the rescue.

I can't find an image that is like the sprinkler we had.  We hooked the water hose to it, and the water moved from side to side, unlike the one above which rotates water, but it was effective in allowing us to get good and soaking wet.  Our water was well water and plenty cold, guaranteed to cool us off to the point of feeling shivery.  We played games: race the water meant we ran from one side of the sprinkler to the other to insure we were in the water each time it moved to a new location.  We also played 'jump the sprinkler' and it was always a matter of great laughter when one of us jumped just as the water was coming straight up from the sprinkler. 

We kept a sprinkler all through the growing up years for the children, not to water the lawn.  For less than $5 we provided an hour of fun on those days when the temperature peaked above 100F and the kids (and the lawn) seemed to appreciate the watering they all got.

I love the sprinkler that friend Tammy's husband made for the children to play under...You can see it here:

Honestly, I'm tempted to go out and get a sprinkler and one of these hot days just go out and play for awhile...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Homemaking 101: Home Economics

While I shared the economies I employed  furnishing my home in our last post, the truth is that home economics is far, far more detailed than simply furnishing the home.  People live in the home and must be fed and clothed and cared for.  Furnishings and appliances must be bought and maintained.  Food must be prepared and preserved.  The economics of home reaches far.  It extends to our vehicles, gardens, yards.  How well we manage our income and use it to increase the quality of life in the home is truly the economy of the home.

The Bible is a great instruction manual in many ways and I find it especially so in Proverbs where mention is often made of good stewardship of the things we own.  Just this morning I read a passage from Proverbs 27:23-27:
Take care to know the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds.  For wealth doesn't last forever, neither does a crown through all generations.  When the hay has been mown, and the new grass appears, and the mountain greens have been gathered; the lambs will provide your clothing, the goats will sell for enough to buy a field, and there will be enough goat's milk to {buy} food for you and your household and maintenance for your servant-girls.

Certainly this passage is meant for the farmer/shepherd but it applies to the home as well, for if we take good care of what we have, we might well increase it's value, save money and reap the benefits of ownership.

A few years ago I began to avidly read appliance manuals for different items in my home.  What an eye opener!  Even though the label on the dishwasher told me one thing, the manual made it quite plain that someone had not been paying attention when that label was printed!  The drying agent needed to be replaced about once a month, not once a year as the label directed. 

I learned to clean my washing machine, discovered another appliance had multiple uses besides the only one I thought it had, and more about all my appliances than I thought possible.  So find the manuals for your appliances and read them.  You'll be surprised how many little problems you can solve on your own with the troubleshooting guides, how to properly clean them and just good general tips that will save you money.

Learning basic skills can increase the economy of the home.  Gardening will extend your fresh food supply. If you don't have the room to garden (and even the smallest plot may indeed produce a bit of food), foraging might be something you'd want to look into.  Growing up there were large gardens owned by most of the family and nearly all had fruit trees as well.  That did not however keep my family from foraging.  Grandmama often foraged for greens in the spring months and she enjoyed a Poke Salad made from a common weed, as well as Dandelion greens, sorrel and a few others.  Granny foraged for wild blueberries, plums, blackberries, scuppernongs, muscadines...Canning and freezing the surplus whether from a garden or an in season special from the grocery can give you savings all year round.    Baking goodies for your family will help the grocery budget and if you care to really work at it might become an occasional earning outlet as well. 

Learning to sew a basic straight seam and hand mending can be very helpful for maintaining soft furnishings and clothes. Learning to sew more extensively can not only beautify your home, but help you to make your own wardrobe and perhaps bring in a little extra income. Basic upholstery skills can transform yard sale and thrift store furniture into beautiful unique finds for your home. 

Caring for the sick in your family is home economy, too.  Recognizing when to call a doctor and when to doctor at home is a huge budget help.  Learn to use over the counter medicines properly or choose to learn all about herbal and holistic methods of dealing with illness.  Either will be beneficial to the family.  Basic first aid skills can save a huge ER bill for a minor injury.  When I worked at the hospital the basic cost of items was marked up 200%.  That meant that a patient paid as much for a single band aid as he could have spent buying a box of 100 at the drugstore and applying it himself!   It also meant a common cold could cost as much as $400 for the ER visit and a dose of cough medicine that might have been bought over the counter for a mere $6.

Often the woman of the house is the main economist in the home.  She should know how to effectively run and maintain most of the items within it, especially if she is a full time homemaker.  Laundry, food preparation, storage and preservation, maintaining appliances, cleaning upholstery and carpets, gardening, basic nursing, basic cleaning...Well it's a lot of work!  However, a wise economist plays on the strengths of the family at large to keep things going.  We used to joke about how each child in our household fulfilled a need.  Doug was a whiz at repairing electronic items.  Alan is the best shade tree mechanic we know.  Susan had a real knack for knowing how and when to nurse an ailing pet.  Kay was our go to person for pinch hitting when the head chef ailed (that would have been me, lol), and she was most definitely the head Tech geek in our household. The truth is that simply by paying attention to the strengths of each family member we were able to benefit the whole family and the economy of the household remained intact.  I was a whiz at pinching pennies, but Chance had the head for stretching the dollars, so we played on each other's strengths to make sure our money went as far as possible. 

The wonderful thing about home economy is that every one living in the home has the opportunity to learn by example.  Chance taught Doug to do basic locksmith work, Kay learned to cook by standing at my side in the kitchen and how to do maintenance on her car from sticking close to Alan's side when he changed oil and such.  I've learned more about how to maintain cash flow from Chance than I learned in the 35 years before I met him.

In my early homemaking days most of my knowledge was gleaned from books borrowed from the library but these days with internet we have opportunity to literally have knowledge at our fingertips.  I am continually amazed and blessed by the internet and the information I can find.  "How to:" instructions abound, as do photo tutorials, YouTube demonstrations etc.  There are product reviews, recipes, money saving tips, repair manuals and so much more available to help the home owner and the Homemaker to become more proficient.  I can't name the number of times in the past year Chance has used the internet to discover the underlying mechanical problem with one of our vehicles, bought parts, and then replaced it himself simply because he'd watched the video showing how to do it. 

One of the better economies is recognizing when expert help is needed. I've known many who failed to be good stewards because they insisted on doing jobs themselves that were too far out of their realm of knowledge. Oh my! By all means, know your limitations. It's all fine and well to continue to grow your knowledge but for goodness sake, don't try to do jobs that are far beyond your skill. You may find that the final cost for a repair is doubled or even tripled.  And sometimes we can learn a thing or two just by standing near as these experts make a repair.  When Alan broke the door off the new dryer, I didn't have a clue how to fix it.  Watching the repairman was well worth the $65 it cost to have him fix it, because the next time the door was broken, I repaired it myself!

Home Economics...It's all about learning to run our homes as efficiently and well as possible while creating the cozy comforts of home.

Bringing Back an Old Fashioned Summer - Water Fun

Water fun and summer just go hand in hand.  Nothing feels better than a lovely swim on a hot summer's day does it?    Growing up we had a funny sort of relationship with water.  You see Daddy was afraid of water and worried incessantly over us.  Granny and Grandaddy thought nothing of spending entire weekends camping at the river and letting us paddle about in shallow water off the sandbar where they camped, but Daddy's nervousness soon ended that. 

Granny got around Daddy's fear by enrolling all 7 of us grandkids (my four cousins were included) in swimming lessons.  She'd spend hours on end at the pool watching us swim.  There was  a sheltered area and Granny sat in the shade with her book in hand, scanning over the pool periodically to see where each of us was (usually we were all pretty near one another). 

I think Daddy reconciled himself to the idea of us in water after the lessons though he never completely lost his fear.  One of my last teen memories of swimming took place in a rather nicely built pond.  It had a nice sandy bottom and was only about five and half feet deep.  Daddy went with us into the water that particular time, which is why it's so memorable. 

I remember paddling away and suddenly hearing a high pitched little scream...Turns out the pond also had fish and Daddy standing still in the water made them curious so they'd swim up to him and test this still item by touching their mouths to his legs, lol.  Oh we had the best fun with Daddy and he finally was completely unnerved by fishy curiosity and got out of the water.

When I was living in the old railroad foreman's cottage with my first husband, we had no air conditioning and few of the ancient windows could be opened, so it was hot hot hot.  Daytime the children and I lived for noon when the private pool club opened in the next small town.  It was a small pool fed by an artesian well and oh that water was icy cold, so cold it burned the skin when you first slipped in.  I suspect the 100F temperatures is the only thing that made that water bearable at all.  Had we lived in a milder climate we'd never have been able to get into the water at all. 

The children and I thoroughly enjoyed that water and often passed the evening in our stuffy hot house quite comfortably because our bodies were so thoroughly chilled by the hours spent in the water.

Fond memories of summers in the water...and that's just the beginning of the memories.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Coffee Chat - Rain, glorious rain

Come on in!  There's coffee, cookies, iced water, strawberries...something for everyone this evening, I think.

I've been so busy my head spins thinking of it all.    It's hard to believe it's been nearly two weeks since our last visit.  The days have flown by, really they have, and I've flown right along with them.  I can't imagine how I'd have kept up with a garden this year, too, so I suppose the dry weather we've had is a blessing in one way.  Oh but it isn't so terribly dry at the moment.  We've had a whole day nearly of rain this week and it was glorious.  Went to sleep with the sound of raindrops on our metal roof Sunday evening....but I'm ahead of myself.

We survived the birth month of June, thank goodness.  Kay got her card and gift on Thursday and that was the last of the June legion.  Now we've two in July and two in August and then we get a reprieve for a good bit.  The July gifts are pretty much taken care of.  I found something lovely for my oldest step grand daughter and we've picked out our youngest grandson's gift and just need to order it.  So July will be a breeze compared to the end of May and all through June business of birthdays.

Let's see.  I don't think I can remember all I've done.  I do recall that Alan came to visit the day after I last wrote, and then returned again on Father's Day.  And I spent at least one morning in the yard raking up limbs and leaves and putting down mulch and finished painting the glider.  Oh yes...That's the day a big blow came along and blew down more limbs and leaves and flipped the glider before the paint was dry and blew Maddie's wading pool away over the propane tank where it lodged between the house and the tank and filled with water.  The following Sabbath day was an especially long one and it was suppertime when we got in, starving we were that day.

We cooked out Father's Day and visited with Alan.  Kay's present for her dad arrived which pleased him no end as she sent more pajama pants, the soundtrack to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and guitar strings.  I've heard the "Augustus Gloop" song a million times since then, lol.

We went out on the following Tuesday and I got buttons at the thrift shop, which I still haven't put on my pillow shams but fully mean to do so this week.  Oh and the most beautiful glasses for just $.49 each.  Here, look at how pretty they are:
I think they have a sort of art deco era look to them.  I don't know just what drink should go in them but I thought they'd make nice ice cream sundae dishes for us.  Fancy that on the table!

Wednesday I was out with Mama and shopped very carefully.  I bought a new drying rack, some cotton flour sack towels, a 1 cup glass measuring cup.  Nothing fancy and nothing impulsive.

Thursday I cooked until I felt right faint between the heat and the number of recipes being made.  I put three meals into the freezer that day, most of which will appear on this week's table for meals, I think.  I've got a nice stash of leftovers just today from lunch and the frozen pizza, so we'll see how that goes.  And Friday came along and I worked hard in the yard picking up limbs and raking the lawn.  With the dry weather we've got a lot of limbs and leaves on the lawn.  I worked until I couldn't stand working any longer, then came indoors to cool off and tackle the house hard.  I gave it a real good clean and then went about the kitchen decluttering the counter tops. Now it looks neat and pretty and I am enjoying the free space.
The breakfast area all ready for a nice cup of coffee...

I put the dish drainer under the cabinet because, honestly, I only use it for a couple hours of each day.  I think I want to remove the cup rack from this wall.  My brother gave me a tin sign that looks vintage and I think I'd like to have it hanging here on this wall where we make and serve coffee most often.

I hung Grandmama's old rooster cutting board.  I've loved that silly cutting board for more years than I can count and she gave it to me many many years ago.  It took some battering and abuse for a few years, but I cleaned it up really good and found paints that matched the original and went over it.  Now it's all for show and not for use.  And doesn't it look right at home with my paper dispenser?

I know the crock pot looks odd atop the microwave, but there's a plug there and it never has to be unplugged so it works for me.  In an ideal world, I'd wall mount the microwave, but I've yet to have the ideal world in my home, lol.  I suppose I should move the big container of rice, too.  It won't fit in the cabinet, but it's awfully handy.  I'll move that into the pantry cupboard.  And it's high time to go through my utensils once more.  The toaster could go under the cabinet but I left it handy for Chance... These of course, are little things that I see in the photo now of course.   I think I want to paint the tea stand a bright shiny red...What do you think? By the way, in that tea stand note that the first ring holds a bowl...It's perfectly handy for nuts and a nutcracker. 

Not a good shot of this area...It's so hard to take photos near windows this time of year.  The little shelf had a whole row of tea cups, salt cellars, cuttings I was rooting.  I neatened that space up considerably.

Now I also cleaned the baking center, but there's no place to put all the stuff I keep on that counter at the moment.  It just has to stay as is, but it's clean, if not neat.  So no photos of that today.

These two days, Thursday and Friday of working hard back to back wore me out.  I was quite happy to come into Shabbat rest Friday at sundown and I didn't do much at all beyond going to synagogue.  I'd meant to go to the library and turned down not one but two invitations just so I could go, but the silly county changed their hours for the summer months and are now closed on Saturdays.  I came right home, though I was terribly tempted to stop here and there and everywhere for a bite to eat.  I had food aplenty in the fridge from my marathon session on Thursday.  I did make some homemade biscuits.  I felt the strong need of comfort food that day and biscuits are a 'safe' treat for me.  One or two and I'm done, unlike say Oreos or BBQ potato chips!  We just don't do those two except on rare occasions.

I was still feeling pretty drained Sunday, but got up and went outdoors to the yard because if I do don't it, it's not ever going to get done.  Oh that was HOT work!  I came indoors and did some light housework, and then I went back outdoors and painted the cafe table and one chair.  I ran out of paint, didn't much like the color and still don't.  It's just this side of the color it was, which isn't the color it was supposed to turn out to be.  I'll be looking for new paint this week and I'll get two cans this time. 

I did remember to stay out of the wind direction that day, but Maddie...Well Maddie got a good snoutful of paint.  I heard her make a funny sound, looked up just in time to see her eyes cross and she dropped to the ground and rubbed her face and rubbed her face and stood up and looked dizzy and dropped to the ground and rubbed her face on the other side.  She wasn't in deep distress, but she was definitely NOT liking the paint.  After she stood up and sneezed mightily four or five times she went off somewhere well out of the way.  I couldn't help but laugh at her and how silly she looked.

I went indoors and got all cleaned up and ready to go into town.  I'd planned to visit Granny, get a paper, perhaps buy peaches at the peach shed.  However, as I put my hand on the doorknob, someone knocked on the other side.  Mama had come by to invite me to go to lunch with her.  She told me she'd just left Granny and she'd been sound asleep.  I was tired, and oh I so wanted to say no thanks, but somehow I felt I ought to go with Mama.  We had a nice, but quiet lunch.  We talked a bit on the ride over to the restaurant and Mama said the Assisted Living Center has suggested calling in hospice for Granny.  I wasn't shocked or upset at the news.  I've been expecting it really, but I think Mama needed to be with someone while she absorbed the news.  By the time I was back home again, I was wiped out physically.  I put on my Netflix movie, Nanny McPhee Returns, and lost myself in the lovely setting for an hour and half.  It was a rather good sequel to Nanny McPhee really with a surprise at the very end.

And so Sunday slipped away from me.  I guess much as I might have expected the news the reality of it really hit me once I was away from Mama.  No weeping or gnashing of teeth but I found myself reading July blog entries from years ago and Granny was very much a part of most of my mornings.  I really miss her a great deal, as she was...

That evening the wind picked up and the clouds gathered and the wind blew for all it was worth.  I sat at the window and watched the storm come in until I heard Chance coming up the drive.  We had rain when he came in and it was raining still when we went to bed that night and it was sprinkling when we said goodbye Monday morning. It rained all morning long and into the afternoon yesterday. 

The rain was most welcome, truly it was, but I worried just a bit.  You see my friend V took off to Texas to meet up with her husband B.  He's coming home from Afghanistan and her excitement was so great it got me all excited too, lol. 

 I went to work on various tasks including a marathon baking session, and a marathon grocery list making session.  Keeping busy was needed this day.   I wore myself out and that's the truth. I should've worked on a portion of my lists over the latter part of last week but I didn't and so I paid for it yesterday.  We had Harvest Night in our home yesterday evening and shortly after Chance practiced his songs for Saturday service, then I crept quietly off to bed to read.  I don't think I read two words and I was so nearly finished with the book, the same one I mentioned two weeks ago, Austen in Boca. 

So here we are at today.  I shopped, I stopped before I was finished because it was getting hot, I was hungry and frustrated at how quickly the money seemed to be going out of my hands, so I came home.  I have enough money left to buy more milk,bread,produce before next pay period and perhaps anything else we find we need.  I did have the pleasure of a 'find' today and I'm adding it to my project list for July/August...I can't wait to see how it turns out.  But that is a story for another day...I should wind up here and have my evening cup of milk.  Time for early rising girls to start the bedtime routine.

I promise, I promise to try really hard not to let but one week go by before we have coffee again, okay?  I have a Homemaking 101 post in the works and an idea for this week's Bringing Back An Old Fashioned Summer posts, so stay tuned and good night!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Make Do and Mend Mondays

Welcome to another Make do and Mend Monday!  Heidi has her post up over on her blog,  (and one of these days I'll really take time to learn to do tinyurls).  Heidi's make do is super fun this week and she used a forum that I hadn't thought to consider as a 'make do' area.  has a post that wowed me today, too, and inspired me to change something in my kitchen.  Go on over to Heidi's and see who all links up and by all means feel free to link here or to Heidi, but leave us a comment so we can see what you did for Make do and Mend.

My project was done last week but I saved it to show until today.  I was cleaning out the dresser last week when I came across this little notebook.  I bought it at the dollar store several years ago but never used it due to the seasonal nature of the cover.  Check out the photos of how I transformed it into a pretty 'new' notebook, using what I had on hand. 
I had the idea to use scrapbook paper to recover the hard covers of the notebook.
Didn't much care that the inside clashed so with the scrap paper....

That's the inside of the front cover...don't seem to have a photo of the inside back cover but it's just as pretty.
But the front should be the prettiest of all, right?
Now I have a lovely notebook to use for sermon notes or as a journal and won't be staring at Christmas wreaths year round!

Grocery Challenge - $25 week per person Week II

Week II started out nicely.  Let's see how well I've done.

Monday: Chance made breakfast: Fried Eggs, Hashbrown potatoes, *Turkey sausage
                                       lunch:  Steak Salad, shared a *candy bar
                                       supper: Chicken Rice, Watermelon

Chance used the leftover baked potato from Sunday dinner to make hashbrown potatoes.  We discovered two broken eggs in this carton, too.  I'm thinking of taking bubble wrap with me next time I market!

The steak was leftover from Sunday dinner.  My salad used Romaine, tomato, *cucumber, sweet onion, radishes, homemade croutons and feta cheese.  We used the last of two different jars Blue Cheese dressing.  I took one candy bar and halved it between us.

Our supper was very economical.  Two chicken carcasses boiled with onion tops and root ends, celery leaves and root ends I'd saved in the freezer.  After picking over the carcasses and straining the broth, I added rice and 2 cups chicken pieces, setting one cup aside for another recipe.  I'd meant this for Tuesday dinner, but Chance thought this smelled so good cooking that I served it Monday evening.

Tuesday:  Breakfast:  Peanut butter *toast.

We were out this morning running errands.  I'd planned a quick fix meal but Chance stopped in town to purchase burgers at the local diner.  I paid for these from my allowance, not my grocery budget.  I added chips and drinks when we got home to round out the meal. 

We had a honey bun and coffee mid afternoon.

Supper:  Egg Salad Sandwiches, Ice cream 
The eggs were cooked last week and included in that week's budget.

Wednesday:  *Eggs and Toast for breakfast
                     I ate out with Mama.  Chance had chicken salad sandwiches, chips, lemonade for his lunch.  The chicken salad was made last Friday and leftover from our Saturday lunch.  The lemonade and chips also were leftovers from Friday, so no expense for this meal.
                     My supper was soda crackers and peanut butter.  These items were already on hand.  I had a small bowl of watermelon chunks.

Thursday:  Breakfast: Turkey sausage and waffles, homemade maple syrup
                   Dinner:  *Chicken Parmigiana with Spaghetti
                   Supper:  Nachoes with lettuce, *avocado, salsa, sour cream
                   Chance's lunch:  Grilled burger, peanut butter and crackers, cottage cheese pineapple

Friday:  Breakfast:  Peach smoothie for me, waffles/sausage for Chance
              Lunch: (Chance) Turkey and *Provolone sandwiches, applesauce, celery stuffed with cream cheese
              I had the sandwich with the last of the water melon and a honey bun
              Supper: Cheese toast, Brownie and coffee

Saturday:  Breakfast:  Peanut Butter Toast, Coffee
Chance had: Tuna Salad Boats, chips, peanut butter crackers, brownies
                  Dinner:  Breast Fillet, Potato Salad, homemade biscuits
Last of the chicken I cooked earlier this week...This was a late late dinner for me, so I had no supper.

Sunday:  Toasted Cheese Biscuits
                Dinner:  Out with Mama
Skipped Supper again this day.  I hadn't planned to eat out, but I ran into Mama and she wanted to have company.

*Items bought for this week.  Everything else was from food storage, freezer, or leftover from last week. 
Groceries bought for this week:  Ice cream            $2.00
                                                     peaches               $3.71
                                                     18 eggs                $2.25
                                                     2 loaves bread     $4
                                                     1 pkg bnls chkn   $4.48
                                                     Parm/Rom blend  $2.84
                                                      Turkey sausage   $1.99
                                                      Tortilla Chips     $1.99
                                                      1 cucumber           $.35
                                                      Nestle candy bar   $.26
                                                      Soda                    $1.20
                                                      yogurt as starter  $1
                                                      Swiss cheese       $4.89
                                                      Cheddar cheese   $2.75/16 ounces
                                                       1/2 1/2                  $.80
                                                      Avocado              $1.99
                                                      1 can coffee         $3.79

YES!  I think that helps pull the balance back in my favor don't you?  I should thank Mama as well because taking me out to eat on Sunday was a nice bonus for the week and I brought home enough leftovers to make a meal for Chance's work lunch today.

Menu Monday: The All You Grocery Challenge

Gracious!  I am here to tell you that being a bona fide member of The Bonbon Club is very hard work!  Here it is time for supper and I'm still plugging away at housework and making work lunch and writing and wishing I could do it all at once.  Where IS that Good Housekeeping Fairy when you need her?!

Yes, it has been a busy day.  One reason why I'm so behind is my sheer determination to stay within budget this pay period with groceries and stay within the challenge limits as well.  I'm not quite sure how my figures for this week stack up.  I've been working on that post but haven't quite finished it. I have worked on my grocery list for the coming pay period but the majority of what is on there is for pantry stock-up per Chance's request.    Let's see what I can cook up this week...

Monday:  Burgers with Homemade Buns, Potato Salad, Sliced Tomatoes, Lemonade
I hope some Prairie Housewife is paying attention to the fact that I made my own buns for this meal.  I used Rhonda's Grandpa's bread recipe, got two nice loaves and 6 lovely rolls.  I had the runt for snack this afternoon, two lovely buns went into Chance's work lunch for tomorrow (he has the same menu as above), 1 bun for my burger and two leftover to make a nice sandwich with for our supper later in the week.

Tuesday:  Pizza, Wings, Salad
Frozen pizza/wings combo for supper, along with a homemade salad.  If I hadn't been so busy today I could've made pizza dough and topped it today, but I just didn't.  There's a rather good sale on pizza and I have a coupon so I'll take advantage of that sale and bring home my supper.  It will cost less than my usual deli selections for supper and I'll count it as part of this week's grocery budget.

Wednesday: Corn Cheese Enchiladas, Salad, Brownies
I made these the other day and put in the freezer.  I need only to make the enchilada sauce to go over them.  Brownies were a treat baked for this past weekend and I saved a few back.

Thursday:  Spaghetti Diable, Sauteed Zucchini, Garlic Bread, Tiramisu for two
Another of my 'make ahead' meals that incorporated leftovers from last week.  I've only to put the food in a casserole dish, top with grated cheese and slip into the oven. 

Friday:  Dinner out
Chance is working and I plan to take my allowance out and do some returns, errands and thrift shop hops.

Saturday: BBQ chicken, Coleslaw, Corn on Cob, Mexican Corn Muffins
Think I'd never cook my own meal this week? lol...That's the luxury of having the freezer full and needing to empty it out.

Sunday:  Steak, Hash Brown Casserole, Sliced Tomatoes, Bread and Butter
Meat and Potatoes for the man of the house, who is, blissfully, home this day.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Frugal Friday/Living Well

Frugal Friday

Saturday:  Long day with our regular service followed by a teleconference call with our director. It was almost 4pm before we got home.  I made chicken salad yesterday from the last portions of a rotisserie chicken I'd bought on Tuesday (yes, the chicken was included in my weekly challenge total).

No supper for us after eating such a late lunch.

Wore a pair of jeans I bought from the clearance rack for $14.

Sunday:  Chance wanted cereal for breakfast.  Even though it wasn't on my menu I figured my savings over the past week would more than offset today's meal, a change up from the menu plans I'd made.  This is the first Sunday Chance hasn't worked in six months and it's Father's Day.  How could I not celebrate it?  My breakfast:  a smoothie using a frozen slice of pineapple, half a banana and a cup of yogurt blended with ice cubes.

Ran into town to pick up a steak for Alan.  I dropped off trash on my way to town.

Stopped to pick up newspaper.  Checked coupons and decided two papers were in order this week.

Went into grocery.  I scanned sales paper and discovered the best sale this week was sirloin tip roasts.  I bought five pounds of sirloin tip roast ground and one 3 pound roast.  I got five packages of ground sirloin and two roasts from these purchases.  I put all the meat in the freezer to save for later use.Who can beat ground sirloin for $2.49 a pound?

Had Alan grill a couple of burgers when he put the steaks on to cook.  Might as well get a future meal from the coals while they are hot.

Ran a full load of dishes this afternoon in the dishwasher.

Monday:  All day at home.  Great way to save money, staying home.  Chance was up earlier than I. He very sweetly made breakfast for me after I woke.  Menu?  He fried eggs (his eggs are well known as "The Best Fried Eggs"), used the leftover baked potato from the day before to make hash browns and cooked turkey sausage links.  We opted out of the toast we'd normally have, as I wasn't ravenous this morning, nor was he.  I sipped coffee in the breakfast area listening to him chatter and thoroughly enjoying the time to wake slowly from a very good night's sleep.

Chance went off to work in the music room and I piddled about doing housekeeping.  I put two deli chicken carcasses on to boil with tops and root ends of onions, celery leaves and a whole carrot from the fridge, plus a bay leaf.  I'd planned to make chicken rice for tomorrow's dinner since Chance wanted to get out and run a few errands. 

The aroma of the simmering chicken bones brought the man of the house out of his music room earlier than expected.  Seems his breakfast had worn off hours ago.  Was that dinner he smelled?  Since it wasn't, I hurried into the kitchen to make up a big steak salad and a pan of fresh homemade croutons.  I used end pieces of breads I'd saved in the freezer cut into cubes and toasted them in a skillet atop the stove. I reheated the grilled steak left from yesterday's meal in the microwave, then sliced tomatoes, cucumber, sweet onion, radishes and romaine.  I brought out a carton of feta cheese that had been partially used and two jars of blue cheese dressing which had a bit in each jar for dressing.  Quite a lunch and Mr. ate two big plates of salad.

Sorted out the house clothes and jewelry drawer in my bedroom dresser during the afternoon.  I organized both.  Now I can see what I have there's no need to keep several items on my list of must buy items.  Scratched those off...

Pulled recipes to try over the next few weeks.  Several use items I have on hand right now, so those went to the top of the pile to be used right away.

The poor AC ran and ran and ran.  And why not?  At 9am when I went out to feed the pets it was already 90F in the shade.  A quick check of the thermometer revealed it was 102F.  I'd pulled shades and curtains all over the house to keep the heat from coming in, turned on the fans...I'll confess I was tempted to try turning the AC down so the house would be a wee bit cooler, but instead I turned it up so the thing would cut off a bit and rest itself and the electric meter.

Dinner salads were good, but we wanted something with more stick to your ribs power for our supper.  I went ahead and picked the chicken from the carcasses, strained the broth and made up chicken rice for our supper.  We had a big gallon bag of chicken/rice leftover.  I put in the freezer for a future meal.

Tuesday:  Errand day.  I made a simple breakfast here at home of peanut butter toast.  I had a sliced rather ripe peach atop mine.  Trying to use up the fruit before it all goes bad.

Chance said he had no specific destination in mind, but I knew he had specific items he wished to buy.  I suggested we head to WR and asked if, on the way, we might stop by the big well organized thrift store so I could check for buttons.  Chance asked if I was sure I could buy buttons there.  "Oh yes, they have everything very well organized and there's a whole section of sewing notions and patterns and craft items."  Found my buttons, two different sizes, for $4 which beats the $14 I thought I might pay at Walmart.   So happy with my savings, I looked about and found a few more items to bring home.

Napkin rings...I've bemoaned forever how high priced napkin rings are.  Two sets for $1.59.

1 Jane Austen's Emma $.50

4 lovely art deco champagne glasses I'll use for desserts, $2.

1 basket to organize fridge items, $.50

Chance purchased the items he wanted in the city and then we headed home.  He decided I needed a break from all the cooking I'd been doing (ha!) and stopped at the local diner for burgers.  They are about the size of a slider and we only eat two each so not an expensive meal to bring home.  We had cold drinks and chips at the house.

Supper:  Egg salad sandwiches.

Packed Chance's work lunch for the next day. 

Wednesday:  Shopping day with Mama.  I had a strict list and nothing but items from that list might be purchased.  I'm happy to say I stuck tight and did not pick up any impulse items at all.

At the first store I spent about $20.  I bought 1 wire plate rack, 1 package of flour sack towels and 1 1-cup Pyrex measuring cup.  The plate rack went into the baking cupboard to extend the storage space there.  The flour sacks will be cut into smaller towels (these are HUGE) and one half towel will be sewn into a sack to keep lettuce after it's been washed.

Second store: 1 metal drying rack and 1 bottle of vitamins.  Shopping done, I headed to checkout and sat in the food court and watched people until Mama was done with her shopping.

Back home, I went right to the baking cabinet and organized it anew with the plate rack in place.  I have these in the dish cupboard, one in the island cabinet, one in the freezer and plan to buy one or two more to maximize storage in the bathroom cabinet as well.  For under $5 they are a great organizational tool.

Satisfied with that completed job, I took one look at the sun pouring through the closed blinds and curtains and decided to put up the summer shades.  These are aluminum coated bubble wrap and I place them in the upper half of the windows, taped in place, to block the majority of the sun and heat from coming in those windows.  I promise it felt at least 5 degrees cooler and it's no story that the thermostat reading dropped at least 2 degrees within an hour.

A big dinner calls for a very light supper. I had soda crackers and peanut butter, watermelon cubes and water.

Thursday:  A Kitchen day.  Not a zone cleaning day but a cooking day.  Made 3 pints of yogurt, 3 meals for the freezer, my dinner, two breakfasts for the next couple of days, packed one lunch,  and prepped for one more meal.  Why all the busyness?  Leftovers and items that just plain needed to be used up or go to waste.  2 meals were Leftover Makeover meals and I'll share those in coming days.

I cut 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts so that they were thinner, making 6 pieces of breast meat.  I sauteed them all at once.  Three became Chicken Parmigiana, 1 serving for my dinner and 2 servings for a freezer meal. The rest of the breast meat will be served as sandwiches over the weekend. I cooked spaghetti to go with the chicken dish and went ahead and used the whole pound of pasta.  I used 1/4 for the parmigiana dish, 1/2 for a casserole of Spaghetti Diable, and 1/4 was set aside to make another dish with later.  All foods were frozen except the single serving of spaghetti and chicken I had for lunch.

What generated the cooking fest?  Mushrooms and corn on the cob.  I had both in the fridge and new I needed to use them up.  I'd set aside two recipes earlier in the week which would use up these ingredients.  The corn became an Corn Enchiladas.  I didn't take time to make enchilada sauce today but I did make the corn filling for the corn tortillas, using those three ears of corn.  I froze the filled tortillas in a casserole dish.  I'll make enchilada sauce soon and will pour a portion over the frozen dish and put back in the freezer.

Mushrooms were sliced and cooked with garlic.  1 cup was used in the Spaghetti Diable casserole and the rest were frozen to be used in a sirloin/tomato sauce that goes over cooked Lasagna noodles for a rather elegant looking pasta dish.  It's a new recipe to me, but I have all ingredients on hand to make it in the next week so a little prep ahead will be a help.

I cut up potatoes to make potato salad with and boiled two eggs in the same pot (after washing the eggs very carefully.  I grew up on a farm and learned to do that...).  I set aside a portion of the potatoes to use as hash browns and the rest were made into potato salad using one of the eggs.  The remaining egg was used in tuna salad for work lunches.

Cleaned the bathroom cabinet and discovered free shampoo and hair care samples.  Used some of those today and I think I like this particular product.  Now I'll need to price it to see if I can afford it, lol.

Went through my nail polishes and determined that one of the colors I looked at yesterday is the same as one I have already.  No need to purchase that one I teased myself into thinking I wanted.

It took some playing with the switch but got the paper shredder working again and managed to shred the junk mail.

Was too tired following the cooking session to make cookies as planned.  I went to the pantry and discovered we had a couple of honey buns and another packaged snack on hand, so put those in the cookie jar to tide us over until I do feel up to baking.

Made up a nice bouquet from the remnants of last pay day's flowers.  I used an old painted tomato paste tin as a vase and tucked in some ivy I've been rooting in the kitchen window to soften the edges.

Friday:  Turned up AC as soon as I got up this morning. 

Housework, housework, housework.  Savings here has been to start at the back door and work my way through the house from there.  I needed all the time savers I could get today, because I was a bit behind on zone cleaning and housekeeping in general.  I'm almost done now.  I need to work on the bookcase by my chair, clean the baths and run the vacuum. 

The cleaning I've done has incorporated decluttering.  I've grown awfully tired of all the things sitting about in our home on display and so I simplified.  I figure I can always bring some of these items back later but for summer, I'd rather see more surface and less stuff.  I have a big box of things to tote out to the shed.

Pulled the last of the Challah from the freezer to thaw for tonight's Shabat.  I typically buy one big loaf at the beginning of the month and then we use a little of it each weekend.

The electric bill came in yesterday.  The expected big jump didn't come.  It seems we're using far less electricity this year than last.  I am grateful for that.  I am sure that keeping lights off and turning off TV has helped tremendously.

While I was straightening up the living room, decided to pull the July issues of vintage magazines to look through.  I've been itching for something new to read.  Nice to have these old things on hand to enjoy all over again.

Nail polish.  Ever since I looked at those new colors on Wednesday I've been longing for new nail polish.  This morning it occurred to me to mix two colors I have on hand and sort of replicate one of the polishes I tried the other day.  I used to do this all of the time as a teen, mixing my own custom colors.  So glad I thought of it this morning. 

Living Well

Susan called again last night with another prayer request.  She does that more and more often lately, asking us to pray for this friend or that and I'm happy to comply.  Her concerns this time were for friends whose homes were being flooded in Minot.  Thankfully Susan's own home is in a different town, at a higher point than Minot.  Her only trouble has been figuring out what streets are open and will carry her to and from work safely.  But her heart aches for those who are losing their homes.

There's been an awful lot of loss this year it seems, between floods and tornadoes.  I can't recall a time in the past when so many were homeless due to natural disasters since Hurricane Katrina.  It makes me awfully sad for those who must endure through such a trial. And it makes me doubly aware of my own attitude about our home and property. 

This morning as I went about the housekeeping and rearranging, etc, I found myself humming happily, excited at the way my old things looked new again just because I moved them to a new location.  But underneath it all, I've also been aware that these are just things.  True, some of them are precious.  They were once my great grandmother's or given to me by my children.  I would regret the loss of any one of them and have been known to mourn temporarily over a broken item.  For the most part, however, I think I have my priorities straight.  I have my faith, my husband and children and those are the most important things of all.  The house is just a shell without them.  The things are just common place stuff without them.

Prayers indeed for those who are losing so much, and heartfelt ones at that.  But Lord, most of all, let them find those that are the most important of all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bringing Back an Old Fashioned Summer - Watermelon

I am so happy that others are as excited about this series of posts as I am.  Here's a few comments left on the blog:

Kathy in Illinois said...

What a wonderful post, Terri!! I was thinking the same thing when I read your previous post of what summer means to you. We do grill alot in the summer- every Sunday- weather permitting- and usually in between too. In fact we had t-bone steaks on the grill for Father's Day today! Yum!! We had lots of fresh fruits- water melon, cantalope,cherries, "Georgia"peaches and grapes. A favorite summer memory is in the summer evenings my 2 sisters and I would put on a circus for our mom and dad. Then we would sit out in the metal lawn chairs and watch the sky and catch fireflies! We would swing on the huge tree swing and play croquet. I wish I could go back to those carefree days again. I hope you get lots of feedback on this one. I will be reading. Thanks for the memories.
God bless, Kathy in Illinois

Now doesn't a circus sound like fun?!  We often 'put on a show' for Granny in the evenings after supper, entertaining her with songs we'd learned from the radio or Vacation Bible School.  Our parents were far less interested in such things but Granny was always a great audience.

Michele said...

Funny, I was just sharing stories from my childhood summers with my "bored" children.
I used to tell my children of our fun summers here too when they were bored.  Kay probably had the most fun of all the children living here because she listened and attempted to make her own fun.  She tells me that she's proud I taught her to use her imagination.  Gracious but imagination is the most fun thing of all!

Kay said...

I decided to do this (enjoy summer) a few years ago, as my children grew up and moved away. My Farmer is busy with long hours during this season, & I used to resent that he wouldn't stop and just sit on the patio or enclosed porch with me. Then I decided to just do it myself and enjoy my own company. (and God's.) I furnished my porch with chairs and a table and some fun decorating pieces. I made our patio more user friendly with chairs, a bench and sweet smelling herbs. Now when I have some free time, and the heat isn't too bad, you'll find me in one of those two places, reading or just watching nature.

I'm right there with you, Kay.  I try to replicate what was best about summers in the past.  Sitting outdoors under a shade tree or on the porch sipping a glass of ice water, pots of pretty flowers blooming all about me.  Often I'm alone too, but only just at first.  Before fifteen minutes are up I've often been joined by the cat, the dogs, and husband and any kids who happen to be home as well, lol.

Heidi said...

I never buy watermelon since it is only Jos and I. I do however buy other types of melons and we love to eat them. As a child, we used to believe my parents when they said a watermelon would grow in your belly if you swallowed a Did your parents ever tell you that too?

Hugs from Holland ~

Oh Heidi!  There's a memory I'd forgotten.  We were told some tall tales about watermelon seed.  After a day in the fields playing, we were urged to wash up.  Granny always inspected our ears and assured us she could grow watermelon in the dirt she found behind them, lol.  

Mama and Daddy were like your parents in telling us the seeds would sprout in our belly if we swallowed them, but my cousins assured us solemnly that they had it on good authority that watermelon seeds caused appendicitis.  Needless to say with such dire warnings we didn't attempt to eat watermelon seeds on purpose!

Let's have a bit of melon fun...

I remember this dessert from summers when my oldest children were little.  It looks like watermelon, right?  But it's yummy ice cream and sherbets.

Infused waters being all the rage just now, why not watermelon infused water?
This picture is from the blog listed below.

Why not try a watermelon smoothies?  Again the picture is from the blog, which tells you all about how to make this treat.

And this photo of watermelon pops is from the blog spot listed below.  Don't they look great?  I love that she used real melon to make them.

Mind you all, we only ever watermelon as it came from the rind, but why not try it as a salad?

What about grilled?

Oh let's have a little watermelon fun today, shall we?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bringing Back an Old Fashioned Summer - Chilled Melon

Growing up as I did in the country, a watermelon right from the field was a common snack, especially when Granny had all seven of us grand kids at once.   Now there's a lot to be said for a juicy sun warmed watermelon, but I always thought it was extra special when we had one in the fridge and it came out sugary, juicy, and COLD.  How refreshing it was!  Especially on one of our hot Georgia summer days that had topped out at 100F.  Granny never had air conditioning and so we spent the majority of our time outdoors where it was at least a little cooler than indoors.  We'd sit under the old oak trees in the back yard and Granny would upturn a big galvanized tub to use as a table.  She'd bring out the watermelon and a sharp butcher knife.  I can still hear the 'crack' of the rind as she'd slice through it and then push the pieces apart.

One of our favorite things to do was to have a curved section of the end.  We'd scoop out a hollow in the middle of the flesh, then a small trough and drink the juices that the flesh exuded. 

One summer when money was particularly tight, Granny had rented a field to a cousin, who planted it full of melons.  We kids were sent out each morning to choose two melons, one to eat after lunch and another to eat after dinner.  After a week of eating watermelon twice  a day we groaned at the idea of eating anymore of it, lol.  But it served it's purpose in keeping our bellies filled and giving us a 'treat' at the end of the day.

Because there are only two of us at home, I tend to buy the tiny round watermelons, often seedless which is better suited to our needs.  Not at all the sort of melons we grew up eating, but tasty.  The one thing that hasn't changed: a chilled melon on a hot summer's day is always refreshing.  Let's chill a melon and have an old fashioned summer treat.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Make Do and Mend Mondays

I wanted to share my drapes I made for the guest room but the photos are not the best quality.  I started with a $2 thrift store purchased Queen sized white sheet, and 2 spools each of orange and bright green ribbon.  I have ribbon leftover and am debating trimming along the hem with the layered ribbon just as I did down the inside edge.  I apologize for the poor photo quality.  Nothing I did seemed to make it better so what I have will have to suffice.
Ignore the date on my photo.  Everytime the batteries are removed the camera reverts back to that date.  Crazy, huh?  The ribbon here doesn't look very pretty but it is a fresh citrus color.  A nice bright orange and almost lime green.

 I think the lighting outside was part of the problem with the shots indoors.  The white lines on the curtains is the shade behind the drapes showing through.  I had nothing but trouble getting these shots.  The edges wouldn't stay nice and straight for the photo even, lol.  However, the curtains look nice in person and I am pleased as punch to have so little in my pretty new drapes.

Grocery Challenge - $25 per week per person

While not planning to enter the official contest at All You magazine, I did think it would be fun to participate and try to follow their guidelines.  The rules: For foodstuffs only, $25/week per person in the household.  There's just the two of us and so my budget is $50/week.

This is what we ate last week:
Monday: I ate leftovers just as planned.  Chicken Curry, Yellow Rice and Carrot Salad.  I put half the curry and rice in the freezer for a single meal for myself in the future.  Chance's lunch also was made up of leftovers on this particular day.  He'd had such a busy work weekend he hadn't finished the foods in his lunch so there were sandwiches that were still good since his lunch stays refrigerated each day.

Tuesday: I shopped for groceries this day.  I bought a $.99 Nathan's hot dog at the deli and had that as my lunch.  For supper I ate a chicken leg and made a tomato sandwich.  The deli chicken wasn't a planned purchase but I just couldn't make myself want the leftover salmon.  Chance had a cubed steak sandwich and a mini sub sandwich in his lunch, more leftovers from the weekend.

Wednesday:  Breakfast was peanut butter toast.  We were out running errands and Chance wanted fried Chicken at lunch time.   I agreed, paid for it out of my allowance.  That cost us $7 for two breasts, two wings and 1 order of fries.  Our supper that night was chicken sandwiches using one sliced half breast from the deli chicken and sliced cheese Chance requested as part of this week's purchases.  We had chips on the side and had ice cream for dessert.

Thursday:  Chance asked for cereal this morning as breakfast.  I didn't realize we had so much cereal left in the box from the pantry, so we didn't open the box bought with this week's budget.  We each had a whole banana with the cereal. Lunch:  I made hamburgers from a pound of ground chuck.  I made up four burgers and set two aside for Chance's work lunch on Friday.  We had corn on the cob to go with our burgers.  I bought the corn last pay period and forgot it.  Thankfully it was still fresh and moist.   Supper this evening was a cheese sandwich.

Friday:  Breakfast: eggs and toast  Lunch: I had a big salad using a boiled egg and one boccini (fresh mozzarella ball) as the protein on the salad.  The lettuce used was bought last pay period.  Supper:  I had a half banana and half a peanut butter sandwich.

Saturday:  Breakfast:  Peanut butter toast and hot grits.  Lunch/Supper: one meal as we were out so late this day.  Chicken Salad sandwiches, made up yesterday using one boiled egg and two thighs from the deli roasted chicken.  I noticed yesterday that Alan ate most of the second breast half when he made a sandwich.  The carcass was put in the freezer in a bag with a second deli chicken carcass.

Sunday:  Breakfast: Cereal for Chance who opened the newly bought box of cereal. I opted to have a smoothie made with one cup homemade yogurt, 1/2 banana and a single slice of frozen pineapple from freezer.  Dinner:  Steaks, baked potatoes and salad, chocolate cake with yellow frosting.  I'd bought two steaks on grocery day but had to run to town to buy another since Alan was coming.  I opted to buy a packet of baking size potatoes after all my potatoes proved to be very small.  The cake mix and frosting were in the cupboard.  I did use three of the eggs I bought this week to make the cake.  Supper: we had a burger each and a slice of cake with coffee.

Foods I bought and used this week: $3.99 deli roasted chicken
                                                          $1.69 1 pound Roma tomatoes
                                                          $1.38  bananas
                                                          $1.00  1 dozen eggs bought with a coupon
                                                          $3.00  deli Provolone cheese
                                                          $18.00. 3 steaks
                                                          $3.89 4 baking potatoes
                                                          $2.48 1 gal. milk
                                                          $4.00 2 loaves of bread
                                                          $3.69 1 pound ground round
                                                          $2.00 1 bag of chips
                                                          $2.49 1 bag cookies (Dutch windmills, my choice)
                                                          $2.70 1 pound decaf coffee
                                                          $.70 1/2 1/2 for coffee
                                                          $1.20 1/2 pound ground sirloin
                                                          $1.00 1/2 gal limeade
                                                          $.99  Nathan's hot dog
                                                          $1.99 1 box Life cereal
                                                          $.60 1 Boccini ball
                                                          $.84 1 apricot
                                                          $.69 1 peach
                                                          $1.68 1 pound grapes
                                                          $1.00  ice cream
We have 1/2 pound decaf, most of a box of cereal, 1 steak and 1 baking potato to carry over to this week's meals.  I also have 1 mug of milk, 1/2 the container of limeade, 1 grilled burger, 1 chicken carcass and 1/3 loaf of bread, 1/4 pound grapes, 3 Roma tomatoes and 2 bananas left to use.  2 of the dozen eggs were badly cracked so I fed them to the dog.  I didn't adjust my budget to reflect the cost of the eggs I didn't use.

While my purchases were a bit over my budget this week I am hopeful that I shall find myself in line this coming week.  I am surprised at my total, because I truly thought we were below budget not over, but that is why I posted what we ate and what I used, so I'd know where I stood. 

Are you following the challenge?  How did you did?  Leave me a comment and if you're blogging about it let us know so we can follow your progress in this challenge as well.

Menu Monday: Sigh

Here I was so worried about managing our food budget on the challenge limits and felt a wee bit upset over the $6 extra I'd spent.  Do you know, we've probably eaten only half the planned meals.  We've been busy, busy, busy and that has affected our meals.  I used a pound of the ground meat I bought at one store to make burgers for supper one night and leftovers went into Chance's work lunch.  That used about $3.00 of the foods I'd bought.  I bought a deli chicken and that has made up the rest of our meals.  Today instead of beef ribs, we had steaks.  That meal cost us about $10.  My expenses for this past week have come in at around $25 total.  Much less than I'd anticipated, and that includes the steak dinner. 

So we're starting week two with a bonus amount of food.  At present, I don't plan to buy anything at all for the rest of the week. I've milk, bread, and some produce on hand.  At best I might have to buy bread and milk this week. 

On to menu plans for the week ahead.

Monday:  Steak Salad, Stuffed Baked Potato Halves, Garlic Toast, Grapes
We had an extra steak and baked potato from Sunday's Father Day meal.  Chance will enjoy this encore presentation of his favorite meal.

Tuesday:   Chicken Rice, Carrot Slaw, Corn Muffins, Melon Cubes
Chicken carcasses from the freezer are boiled and the meat removed from the bones.  Chicken rice is a favorite meal in any season. Chance likes it less soupy and thicker, so it makes a hearty entree. 

Wednesday:  Tuna Salad Plates, Crackers, Frozen Lemonade
Tuna salad on lettuce lined plates with sliced tomatoes, carrot curls and cucumber slices will be light and refreshing.  I have both saltines and buttery round crackers on hand, but if I didn't I'd probably make cheese straws to go with this meal.  Bought lemonade ($1 for a half gallon) is blended with ice to make a frozen lemonade treat.  Top with a dollop of whipped cream and a cherry for a dessert presentation.

Thursday:  Summer Vegetables plate, Corn Muffin, Peach cobbler
Squash Casserole, Green Beans with Potatoes, Fried Green Tomatoes, Corn on Cob...That's my produce and what I'll prepare for my plate.

Friday:  Chicken Parmesan, Spaghetti, Green Salad, Garlic Bread, Frozen Blueberries and cream
I'll make the chicken dish on the stove top, simply pan frying the breasts (I have three in the package and will set one aside for sandwiches), then adding a little tomato sauce and topping with cheese.  I'll cover with a lid to melt the cheese.  If you haven't tried frozen blueberries, take my suggestion and do so.  They are incredibly delicious and refreshing when served frozen.  A dollop of whipped cream, no need of sugar, will bring the dish up a notch.

Saturday:  Leftovers
With Chance working this week, I'm sure to have plenty of leftovers, so today's meal will clean out the fridge.

Sunday:  Corn and Cheese Enchiladas, Tomato and Avocado Salad, Banana Sorbet
A new recipe that uses corn tortillas...I priced these at the grocery for just $.77.  I have an excellent homemade enchilada sauce I'll use instead of buying the recommended can of sauce.  Banana sorbet is so simple to make.  Frozen bananas blended until smooth and creamy like ice cream.  One recipe calls for maple syrup as sweetener, another calls for plain bananas.  I'll taste test and go from there.