Friday, April 19, 2024

Friday Food: Not a Lot of Cooking


Short version: Popcorn and a cocktail, plus leftover soup, for me

Long version: The first night the rest of the family was camping in Arizona. I had my cocktail and popcorn, and then later the last bit of chicken soup from the night before. 

I'm not sure what the campers ate this night. I think the pork and bean burritos. This might have been s'mores night, too.


Short version: Pork fried rice for me

Long version: There was leftover meatless fried rice still, plus some of the pork I hadn't used to make burrito filling for the campers, so I combined the two to make pork fried rice. 

I think the campers had the hot dogs and hamburgers brought by A.'s brother.

Please enjoy this photo of Poppy's requested hairstyle. I took the photo so she could see what it looked like in the back.

I am so far from a skilled hairstylist. Sorry, Poppy.


Short version: Spiral ham, cornbread, green salad with vinaigrette, baked fruit with cream

Long version: This was the night A. and kids got home, but I wasn't sure when they might be getting back. Also, my brother and dad were driving an RV from Iowa to Arizona for my brother's friend, and stopped here for the night. 

I decided to cook the big spiral ham I had in the freezer, figuring that give me enough food for eight people and also would hold well if A. didn't get back until late. They arrived about 8 p.m., and everyone was very hungry. They appreciated the ham and cornbread.

The baked fruit was just frozen strawberries and blueberries, with the last half-pint of overly sweet peach jam from a couple of summers ago, some more sugar, and vanilla. I was going to add some rhubarb, but the plants aren't quite big enough yet to start cutting.

Moody fruit.

Soon, though, I will have enough rhubarb for rhubarb pudding. That will be an exciting day, indeed.


Short version: Tuna melt quesadillas, creamy chicken soup, raw produce, leftover baked fruit and pudding soup

Long version: Between what A. brought home from their trip, the soup I made on Saturday, and other leftovers, there was a LOT of food in the refrigerator. Starting with the most-perishable first, I used up the tuna salad from the trip in quesadillas. Those quesadillas also used up the leftover sliced cheese from the trip that had gotten warm and then cold again, and so was sort of fused into an unappealing lump. It worked well in the quesadillas, though.

I had made the chicken soup on Saturday just because the carcass from the rotisserie chicken I had bought a few weeks ago was taking up way too much room in my smaller freezer, but I knew if I put it in the big chest freezer, it would get forgotten. So, soup. This worked out well, as I had been meaning to bring some food to a lady from our church who had a stroke a couple of months ago and recently got home from the hospital. 

Even after giving her a quart jar on Sunday, and also some to our priest, there was still enough for everyone who wanted it to have a bowl with their quesadillas. A good combination, in fact.

The pudding was soup because, well, it didn't thicken. Not sure why. This was the pudding I had made on the Thursday before A. left on his trip, to use up the gallon of milk that was starting to sour. I had sent two pint jars of the pudding, with cream mixed in, on their trip. Those jars came back home, since they had so many other treats over the weekend. We had no trouble finishing them this night, even though the consistency was thin enough to drink.

It was actually really good. Sort of like melted ice cream.


Short version: Green chile hamburger stew, bread and butter, yogurt with strawberry jam

Long version: Our neighbor Ms. Amelia's daughter showed up on Sunday night with a big container of green chile hamburger stew she had made for us. It was too spicy for the one member of the family who is very spice-averse, but I did have one serving left of the creamy chicken soup. So that worked out.


Short version: Ham sandwiches, carrot sticks, cottage cheese with pineapple, oatmeal cookies

Long version: Sandwiches sound like a good fast option on a night when I get home after 5:30 p.m. from First Communion class, but they actually take awhile to make for five people (I didn't have a sandwich). They were good, though, and quite popular. 

It wasn't really quite enough food, however, which is why those who needed to topped off with the cottage cheese and cookies.

It was 80 degrees this day, and my tulips pretty much gave up the ghost in the heat.

This one on the table was the last survivor.


Short version: Lamb chops or ham, rice, more carrot sticks, this time with curry dip

Long version: About half the family went to a school crafting party in the late afternoon at which there were many snacks. I had made the rice ahead of time, and A., who was home with one child, made the lamb chops. The ham was for those who aren't wild about lamb. Also because there weren't enough lamb chops for everyone.

Refrigerator check!

A bit echoey in there.

Okay, your turn! What'd you eat this week?

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Built Different

I freely admit that my attitude towards food and its preparation is not what most would consider normal. Mostly because I will do so much more work in the kitchen than most.

This is why when A. asked me to provide all the food the rest of the family would need for the three days they would be traveling, I said okay. He wasn't sure if they would be camping or if the wind would force them into a motel, so anything I packed for them had to be able to be heated in either a campfire or a microwave in a motel room.

My original plan had been to go to the grocery store in conjunction with a track meet, so I could buy some snacks and lunch meat and so on.

However, I didn't go to the track meet. So I didn't go to the grocery store. So I had to get a little bit creative.

I spent three hours in the kitchen Thursday morning, cooking, prepping, and packing. 

Here's what I came up with:

--A foil packet of potatoes and sausage (this could be heated on paper plates in a microwave if needed)

--A foil packet of pork, beans, and grated cheese for burrito filling (ditto)

--Two disposable foil pans of bacon and scrambled eggs

--Tuna salad made with three big cans of tuna

--Two loaves of sliced bread

--Corn and flour tortillas

--A gallon bag of carrot sticks, celery sticks, and mini bell peppers

--Peanut butter and jelly

--Homemade crackers

--Big bag of sliced cheese

--Pistachios in the shell

--Peanuts in the shell


--Chocolate bunnies from Easter (we ended up with double what we needed, for reasons, so I sent these along for s'mores)



--Dried mango

--One quart jar of rice pudding

--Two pint jars of (accidentally) runny chocolate pudding with cream

It seemed like a lot of food.

It looks like a lot of food, too.

Almost all of it was eaten, though, which is why I always pack more food than seems reasonable.

I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to travel and eat at restaurants instead of out of coolers, but that's not how I operate. Clearly.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Snapshots: A Solo Weekend

First, lookit all the pretty flowers!

Showy tulips, mostly.

And the little peach tree in a corner of the garden has lots of blossoms on it. It remains to be seen if they will ever result in peaches, but we have hope.

Second, the big news this weekend is that A. took all the kids to Arizona to meet up with his family in the Chiricahua Mountains. I stayed here to take care of the animals.

That meant I was by myself for three days.

So what, you may ask, did I do with myself?

I went for a run every morning.

I planted some more things in the garden (onions! yay!) and watered the plants that are in the garden every day.

I went to church on Friday to rearrange the Easter flowers.

Those daisies might actually make it to Pentecost Sunday, which is the last day of the Easter season.

I watched a couple of movies, including the Barbie movie that came out last year that was so popular.*

I had popcorn and a cocktail for dinner one night.

Brandy+lemon juice+maple syrup+water=thumbs up.

I did useful things like clean out the cabinet that houses my baking supplies.

Such an awkward shape and depth.

I even read a book I found that someone had left at the post office. The whole book, because I had so much time to read. It's a contemporary Christian romance novel--the title is "Love and the Silver Lining," ahem--that I would never have bought, but it wasn't bad. It wasn't great, either, but it was better than the Barbie movie, anyway.

It was a very relaxing few days, but my family will be home today, and I'm happy about that.

There you have it! My life, snapshotted.

* I am sorry if you liked it and this offends you, but I found it so incredibly stupid, I almost couldn't watch the whole thing. The only reason I did is because I actually paid to rent it. Boo.