Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘COOKING’

AWARE

Depending on the season, “my friends in high places” may be more active. I’ve noticed more activity around birthday’s (mine and theirs), anniversaries of passing’s, Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Let’s not forget New Year’s Day. Hopefully you have gotten the idea. It really doesn’t matter what is going on. Either I need “help” and they are more than willing to lend a hand or they are moved by the “spirit” and like to play.

If I’m aware I catch onto what is going on. If I’m not, if I’m asleep, it might take a couple of actions before I wake up. Yesterday was an ABSOLUTLEY LOVELY DAY. For winter, the temperature was warmer than normal. I have to admit that I spent more time outside. Any “work” I had scheduled for the day disappeared. At the store, I bought a new issue of FIRST FOR WOMEN. My husband needed to get his driver’s license renewed which because of his age, entailed a driving test. I figured the magazine would make good reading while I waited.

I had looked at the schedule for TV programs and decided I would like to watch a cooking program on Vietnamese cuisine — I liked the chef. At the time of the broadcast, although it said it was Vietnamese Cooking, I watched a chef learn how Italian tomato sauce was made, then proceeded to show how to “put up” a jar of tomato sauce without additional ingredients. BACK IN THE DAY — I used to can tomato sauce. Although I still have all my canning equipment and jars — it has been many years since I have used them. Canning one pint of tomato sauce intrigued me. He followed that up with a guest who specializes in stress free cooking using fresh ingredients. Since my husband is diabetic, and I have sodium issues, healthy cooking is ALWAYS interesting to me. They gave her website but I haven’t had a chance to investigate it yet.

The new magazine came in handy. I read parts of it while I waited for my husband at the driver’s license bureau. Dr. Oz is suggesting that soup might play a big role in weight loss. (My yelling knees say I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT.) He provide guidelines for the soup. While waiting INSIDE for my husband –(where it was warmer,) one of the clerks told her co-worker that her Doctor wants her to drink wine. When I took the opportunity to talk to her, she confirmed that BOTH her old doctor and her new doctor both had the same advice. (Red Wine is in my glass on a regular basis.)

We stopped at Target on the way home. I found myself at the display case for fresh vegetables. I really don’t know what I was looking for but I spied bagged stir fry vegetables marked down two dollars. Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, carrots already cut up — perfect for soup. On the way home I realized I needed more low sodium chicken broth. My husband was SO HAPPY that we needed to make another stop. Getting back in the car, I found a SHINY new penny and a shiny dime. “THANKS” was all I could say. One — Two — or more, does it matter?

The Election results — the violence in our world — all worry me. I’M VERY GLAD TO HAVE FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES. Daily prayers for our world, country and city — All I can do! What about you?

NEW YEAR

NEW YEAR

A person whose blog I read doesn’t use titles for her blog — she uses numbers. Since I have written more than 250 thought rambles and have a very hard time coming up with a new title — I admire her forethought.

So Christmas is right around the corner and evidently I’m receiving more “help-“. I know than I AM NEVER ALONE, but usually my “helper’s” remain behind the scene, not actually visible to others. Whatever is going on with the formation of this thought ramble IS NOT OF MY DOING!

I planned to bake cookies, my husband and my son suggested that I should save my energy for other tasks. We are trying to reduce our weight — good cookies wouldn’t help. My daughter also agreed. I guess I have listened. Don’t mark your calendars since it doesn’t happen often.

There are many new books published to help with weight loss. I guess I’m with many others who have tried and tried, Weight Watchers, Fast Metabolism and others. Since I eat healthy, don’t guzzle soda, or snacks — their programs don’t produce the desired results. Not that I’m giving up — I’m trying to find something that will work for me. I’ve learned that diet programs DO NOT. If anything surfaces that actually works — I’ll share. I have good motivation — my knees hurt or yell depending on the day.

Since my family thought I shouldn’t make cookies, I decided to bake bread pudding. Looking through my cookbook — the first book I actually put together — I found so many recipes that reminded me of friends, and parties of by gone years. Many of the recipes have a footnote — who the recipe is from or the occasion.

I was looking for a recipe for bread pudding and I actually found one that referenced my father’s mother. She didn’t like to share her recipes so I’m not sure where the recipe was from. It also had a note that it was too sweet, so I cut the sugar and it was still too sweet. But the first batch was very small, big enough so that I could sample. My son liked it too so I doubled the batch. Fast — easy — worked for me.

I’m not making New Year resolutions. They NEVER seem to work for me. I’ll resurrect ones that I have made in the past — this year I might succeed. New this year — DAILY PRAYERS FOR OUR WORLD, COUNTRY AND CITY. Sadly the trouble and violence is growing.

My wish for you — safe and healthy 2017.

Just so you don’t think I have completely lost my mind — the spacing I saw as I wrote my thought ramble, completely turned to normal when I posted it on Wandering. I guess they like to “play” too.

ENERGIZER BUNNY

I hate to admit it! I really hate to admit it but I’ve gotten OLD. Now I know that we have had an extremely busy couple of months. We were home a total of FOUR DAYS after we closed the camper for the winter. During that time I needed to put away all of the food that we didn’t eat during the summer, catch up on the mail, change summer clothes for winter and prepare for our next trip.

We were back home a total of five days before our grandchildren came for the weekend. The weekend was lovely — we took advantage of the good weather and went to the zoo. Next, after the kids went home –taking advantage of the good weather, I went to the Garden. Then we had a couple of back to back doctor visits. No rest for the weary!

Still switching clothes and getting ready for our granddaughter’s and great grand’s visit for Thanksgiving.
And COOKING in advance for the feast. Taking a break, getting off my feet — I watched a cooking show on Thanksgiving. Now I will admit that I have cooked turkey for many, many, many years. BUT I learned something new. The chef I watched recommended taking out the wishbone for easier cutting and removing the breast from the skeleton. I’ve deboned many chicken breasts so I TRIED IT! I couldn’t get the wishbone out BUT filleting the breast, cutting the meat when it was off the bone was EASY! I didn’t have to wrestle with the whole turkey. Hopefully I will remember this trick.

Granddaughter and great grand (3 years old) arrived. The visit was LOVELY — even Robin liked both of them. More family staying at the house — more out and about. I wanted some of the energy from the children. They DIDN’T SHARE! Our granddaughter had a bucket list of things she wanted to do. During the time span that they were in town I got more than 40,000 steps on my Fitbit. My daughter told me I was the energizer bunny — just keep going and going. She is right! I took more than 500 photos on my camera. Every day I prayed for ENERGY. The day that they were leaving we stopped at the Conservatory before heading for the airport. In the room that had a slide, a four year old girl was with her family. The two girls had a lovely time, the adults were able to enjoy their energy from ground level. I had to say “Thank You”. Now I know that many things just naturally occur in life, but I have had many years of receiving “help” from “my friends” and I DON’T TAKE that “help” for granted.

The “Grand’s are safely home and I’m charging my batteries. Oh, did you just say that Christmas is coming?

COFFEE ON THE PORCH

The weatherman warned that the day would be the last 60 day temperature of the season. It was 60 degrees at 7:30 AM. I couldn’t resist. I put on a light jacket and heated a cup of coffee and spent a very relaxing 1/2 hour on the porch. I tried to meditate. It didn’t happen. Instead I watched a plane fly overhead, listened to the wind in the trees and a siren — ambulance or fire engine, I didn’t know. A large bird flew by — big sea gull or ??. In short I took a break from the day. I will admit that after a half hour passed, I made a cup of hot tea. I was chilled. 60 degrees, even with a light jacket was still not warm enough for me.

We all have different talents. Some people are very good cooks or comics or artists. Some people are very good at organizing, writing or planning. We all have our individual talents — the trick is to recognize them and use them well. One of my daughters is in the habit of having coffee with God. She tells Him her concerns and listens for advice. I storm heaven on a regular basis, problems and concerns personal to me or my concerns about the world or our country. I don’t hear with a voice in my ear, God’s response to me. But I know that I am listened to and often the answer will come through. If I’m paying attention.

Part of my heritage is Irish. Andrew Greeley, author, has referred to the Irish gift with the heroin Nuala Anne McGrail in many of his Irish novels. Does my gift come from my mother, who happens to be on the other side? I don’t think I will ever have the answer to that particular question and does it matter? My German grandmother’s birthday was on a Monday. I took Robin for a walk and met a friend of mine. I told her of the approaching gathering with my granddaughter and great grand. She had many items that would have made their visit easier. Although searching our house and talking to my daughter I learned I didn’t have to take advantage of her offer, I thanked my grandmother for her help.

Does it really matter where my gifts come from? Does it really matter if the gift is cooking, or writing or art? Does it really matter that I receive “help” from the other side. I recently picked up the book Waking Up In Heaven and read a few pages. I will admit that the book didn’t come home with me. I’m aware that many of my family, friends and four footed companions are on the other side. I’m also aware that I am seldom alone. I left the book for a person who really needs to read it.

PRACTICING

It wasn’t that long ago when I answered a question that asked me to list the 10 most important people in my life. The answer/question that made me pause was when I was asked where on the list I was. OF COURSE, I WASN’T THERE AT ALL. And I will have to admit that most of the time, if I am planning meals — I don’t stop to think of what I am going to eat. Since I’m sodium restricted, I CAN’T eat many of the foods that are my husband’s favorites: hot dogs, bratwurst, ham, biscuits and gravy, etc. At the same time he doesn’t care for fresh vegetables or salads.

But I’M PRACTICING. We had two of our younger grandchildren at the camper for a week. I actually made a list of the meals I thought I would make. I was proud of myself when I asked myself what I was going to eat and actually bought the foods I needed. It is a step in the right direction. And since that week, I’ve noticed that I’m including myself more often.

UPDATE:
WEIGHT — sadly no progress, but I haven’t added anymore that has stuck for more than a few days. And I’m not giving up.
PAIN — I’m glad to acknowledge that apple cider vinegar and honey, twice a day seems to be working.
Although I still have some pain, it is not as constant or severe as it was. Hopefully this will continue. I will admit that if I forget and only have the mixture once during the day, or forget completely, pain reminds me of my forgetfulness.
EXERCISE — at the camper I did a complete set of Aging Backwards only once, Water aerobics 3 times. Back home I did a complete set of Aging Backwards, both muscles and bones. I noticed that I didn’t have pain in my shoulders that night and the pain in my left knee seems to be improving. I don’t know if I’m more flexible but I’ve decided to keep practicing.

The synchronicities in my life often make me smile. This week, I remembered I used to make a tuna macaroni salad when my kids were small. I thought it would be a healthy meal for me with the high temperatures, I wouldn’t have to cook for myself. I didn’t find the recipe I used to make, but I improvised, and it is tasty. The tuna salad is NOT on my husband’s menu. When we have been out of town, it takes me a period of time before I’m caught up. During that time, I don’t take time to read my e-mails. Tonight I was trying to catch up. Over the week, if I had been checking, I would have seen tuna fish macaroni salad recipes on line at least two different times. And I smiled.

TIME PASSES

TIME PASSES

Once again I’m trying to find our house. Time spent at the camper last summer didn’t allow me the time or the energy to keep up with many things. When we came home, I did the necessary things — paid bills, washed clothes, shopped for food. Most of the mail stayed on the table unless it was important. Don’t laugh when I write that I think I left my energy and possibly my mind in the country.

Recently I have taken the time to look at my cookbooks. They have overflowed their shelves and are piled in many places. I’m trying to shift through, eliminate some and make room for the new. I’m reminded at how much has changed. I found two books that where covered in dust — evidently not used in many years. They were both French cooking. I don’t ever remember making a recipe from either — they are going on to new homes. Not that I’m getting rid of my French style cookbooks — I still have two Julia Child, one Jacques Pepin and a huge, table sized book starring both chefs. Going through the books, I’m reminded of many changes in my life. Once upon a time I used to preserve food — I have many books on canning. I don’t know if I will ever use them again but I’m not ready to part with them either.

Weight loss is another subject that is well represented. Then I find all the books that are concerned with sodium and cholesterol. Nutritional information became an issue. I started adding more vegetables to my diet. We purchased a microwave and I had to learn a new style of cooking. More equipment joined our kitchen — a food processor, a wok, a clay pot, a crockpot, an electric grill, and a bread machine. Of course, there are cookbooks for each among my stash.

Recently I’ve been able to part with the electric grill, seldom used — they have grill pans now — much easier to clean. I still have my George Forman grill but seldom use it. Cleaning is the issue. I have sent my wok onto a new home — I use a large fry pan that fits beautifully on our stove without my upsetting its balance.

I have just begun the search through the books. Who knows what else I will find.

Time passes quickly — my father has been gone over twenty years. Today is his birthday. I recently bought a Fitbit Charger Hr. My old pedometer kept falling off. I was afraid I would lose it, then it stopped working. The Fitbit vibrates when I have walked over ten thousand steps. It also tracks the amount of sleep I get. Last night was only 5 hours — no wonder I’m tired.

About 9:30 PM, I glanced at the number of steps I had walked. The total was 9,930. The gauntlet was thrown down. Would I stay at that number of steps or reach 10,000? What do you think? Happy birthday Dad!

NO ICE

I am EXTREMELY THANKFUL this morning. I will admit that I was very stressed yesterday. The forecast was for rain, snow, than dropping temperatures — into the teens with below zero wind chills. Two weeks ago, we had rain, sleet and temperatures that dropped into the twenties. After two weeks, we still have remnants of that mess on sidewalks, streets and alleys. I was grounded for a day — (advised to stay inside) pavements were very icy and restricted for a few more days. I was very worried that we were repeating that mess. And when I am stressed I nibble continually.

I’ve written how I must be extremely needy since I receive HELP on a regular basis. Yesterday was a good example. In the morning I opened the bible to Psalm 146 — Trust in God the Creator and Redeemer. Queen of Angels reading was titled From Sickness to Health. Did that stop me from worrying? NOPE! It wasn’t only the weather, family matters were also causing their own concerns. But looking back on the day, I have to admit that I wasn’t nibbling from morning to night. I made a pot of chili, I took Robin for two walks while the pavement was wet but not icy. I walked to the store to get something I needed.

Today, the wind chill was below zero. I dug out my heavier coat and put on my boots. Robin got to wear a coat too. My husband had put salt on our outside steps the night before. I didn’t know how far I would be able to walk — staying upright, not falling was a concern. As soon as I stepped onto out sidewalk, “THANK YOU!” exploded from my mouth. NO ICE! The storm went further north so we didn’t get as much snow as forecast. The wind must have dried the streets, sidewalks, and alleys. There was still some ice, but not as much as I feared. Robin and I were able to take our normal walk.

This morning when I opened the bible I read from Psalm 84: “happy are those who trust in the Lord.” Queen Of Angels — repeated the theme “to trust God totally.” AND I DO but I also know that it is God’s plan, not mine! He/She could easily have planned that I would wake to a city covered in ice. And I would TRUST that I would survive the mess — hopefully not falling and causing damage to body parts.

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