Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘COOKING’

SHAVED

I’ll admit that I knew better. I knew if you are using a mandolin for slicing vegetables, it was VERY IMPORTANT to use the food guard. I knew my daughter had severely cut her finger because she didn’t use the guard. I TRIED! I really did. I couldn’t fit the potato into the guard. I couldn’t make it stay attached. I thought if I was VERY CAREFUL I would be able to safely slice the potatoes. I WAS WRONG!

The first thing that alerted me to the problem was BLOOD! LOTS OF BLOOD! I couldn’t make it stop. I wound a paper towel around my finger and used a rubberband to keep it in place. That didn’t work very well. I tried to put a band aid on it. I raised my hand over my head and kept it there. I ran it under cold water. It kept bleeding. Finally my husband woke and came to my aid. We wrapped my finger in lots of gauze and tape.

Perhaps I should mention that I cut my right thumb, just under the tip. Do you know how often you use your thumb? Since I’m right handed, I use my right thumb a lot. It wasn’t very long before the bandage was completely soaked with blood. I wondered if I needed stitches to stop the bleeding. I finished cutting the potatoes manually and finished assembling the meal in the crock pot. I managed to keep any traces of blood out of the food.

My husband replaced the wrapping on my finger a second time. It almost stayed on for the rest of the day. It looked like my finger was wearing an armor. Since the cut was at the top, my husband wrapped the entire finger in bandaging. Doing dishes that evening, the wrapping fell off and the bleeding continued or started again. I thought I had a deep cut. I didn’t know that I had sliced off a layer.

I went to the store and bought more supplies. He wrapped my finger up again. This time I was more carefully and the armor stayed on until evening. This time when it came off, I found a bandage to cover it. Then I found a plastic glove to cover my whole hand. Thankfully the bleeding had stopped for the most part. I will admit that I replaced bandage and glove for the next few days. I went shopping for food and was careless. Not only did I forget bandaids, I forgot a plastic glove. I asked a woman sampling food if I could have one of hers. Thankfully she had one I could use.

That is when I learned I had shaved off a few layers of skin. We went to the camper and I wanted to go in the water. I had to keep the water out of the injured area. I tried a liquid bandage. IT WORKED!

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BITS AND PIECES

BITS AND PIECES

I have learned that it is helpful if I write myself notes. During the summer when we travel back and forth from the city to the country I never remember what supplies I have on hand at either place. I have to admit that I’m better at noting the food and supplies at the camper than at home. It helps for packing.

Since I’m determined to do more cooking at the camper this summer, I brought many of the spices that were called for in the recipes I planned to try. Finding a container to store the spices in and making TWO lists has been helpful. One list is in the container, the other travels with me. I also have to admit that spices hid, and I now have extras.

After the winter, I discovered that some changes I made during the last summer have skipped my memory. I brought painting supplies out to the camper, but it was only AFTER I bought new sketch books for my grandchildren that I found a container with colored pencils, water color pencils and sketch books hiding in a closet.

I recently pulled down a box that contained a cooking appliance that completely slipped my memory. I must have bought it when we traveled in the motor home. It is designed for cooking for two — omelets, steaks, sandwiches, even pizza. It not only has directions, cooking pans and a cook book. I must admit that it is repacked. Will I use it this year? Will I donate it? Good questions — no answers.

I remembered that we had a motorized air pump. I knew where it had rested, I didn’t know where it had moved. UNTIL I decided to pack afghans away in a tub. Surprise — the tub contained not only the missing pump but also the missing inflatable mattress.

When I moved a cookie sheet and a wooden cutting board that I use for cleaning fish, I wrote a note and put it on the frig. That was a few years ago. The note is still there but every Spring I look for the cookie sheet and find my note.

Our house is much bigger than the camper. Just think of all the things that are waiting to be discovered. It doesn’t help that over the years I have been involved in many crafts and have the supplies needed for each. Maybe this Fall and Winter I will explore the nooks and crannies in the house.

NORMAL DAY

It started early, too early. Sadly I have not been able to sleep more than five, six hours each night. I used to be able to sleep for eight hours, wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day. But that seems to be a long time ago. Why it changed, I don’t know. Some of it was because I listened for my father when he had Alzheimer’s disease but that was 25 years ago. Has it really been that long since I was able to sleep deeply? And time passes.

I usually open the Bible and Queen of Angels in the morning. The Bible opened to the introduction of Sirach,, Queen of Angels opened to the empty page after Angels as Playmates and Confidants. Interesting!

After spending many days in the country we were back in town. Besides laundry, our plans included shopping — the temperature was predicted to be in the 90’s for too many days. I needed supplies in the house so I could cook, AVOID the heat, the crowds, the stores.

First stop — Half Price Books. Our son had books to donate — we were happy to help. My husband found three books from an author he enjoys. I found FROM JUNK FOOD TO JOY FOOD by Joy Bauer. Hopefully the recipes will help my never ending battle to lose a few pounds. Paging through the book, I found many recipes that might help. I have a couple of her other books and have found the recipes flavorful.

On ward and up ward, store after store after store. We ended at Wal-Mart. I have found the super store carries many of the food supplies that I use. While I picked up food supplies, my husband wandered through electronics and automotive. Heading for the bathroom at the back of the store, I saw my husband talking to an employee. He was glad I came by so he could leave.

The woman he was talking to shared her recent experiences. Her house had been on fire and it took more than three months before they were able to get back inside. Water damage had caused mold, requiring massive repairs. My husband shared the information that I had been in a fire when I was young. And the conversation jumped from topic to topic. She was amazed at the number of similarities we shared. Not only the experience with fire, but also a parent with Alzheimer’s and my writing of three books and a blog. She planned to write but many of her notebooks had been destroyed by the fire.

When we returned home, I shared our day with our daughter. It was from her that I got the title of this thought ramble. She told me, “Mom, you had a “normal day”. Most of your days are like that. Thinking about it — she’s right.

CLIPPED WINGS

I had plans. They weren’t big plans or expensive plans. We were going to the country for almost a month. I planned to try to lose weight. I planned to exercise in the water almost every day. I planned to increase the number of steps — walk the short nature trail, add the trails I used to walk before my knees became a problem. I planned to do many meals in our crock pot — not only to save money but to control the amount of sodium I was eating.

God must have laughed. MY PLAN — did I consult to make sure my plans were agreeable? NO! I DID NOT! My plans quickly disappeared. Our first week, Robin and I walked the short version of the nature trail. I planned to increase the length the next week. I went to water exercise and maybe worked my legs too much. I made a pot of ham and beans in the slow cooker. My husband invited friends to help us eat it. Too high in sodium for me because of the ham but it was delicious! The temperature forecast was for 90. We went out for breakfast but I only ordered one egg, potatoes and rye toast. NOT WHAT I WANTED — I was watching sodium.

Returning to the car from shopping at the store — I pulled the hamstring at the back of my right knee. I don’t know what I did. I only know it HURT! ALL OF MY PLANS QUICKLY CHANGED. It hurt to sit down. In order to get back up — I had to have support to pull myself up. Thankfully supper was ready — in the crock pot. Even going to the bathroom was interesting. I couldn’t sit down. Thankfully the next day the swelling decreased enough so that I could sit in the bathroom.

I DO NOT MAKE A GOOD INVALID. My grandkids were at the campground — they were going to the pool. Sadly I decided to stay put, keep the leg up. It was hard to ice the leg since the pulled muscle was behind the knee. I finally put a bag of frozen vegetables on the chair and placed my leg on top. SUCCESS!

Having planned meals for the slow cooker — meal preparation was easier. I had the ingredients on hand. Thankfully my husband liked all the new recipes. So did our friends.

After almost two weeks — my leg is better — I have only gone to water exercise once. Doing too much — stressed the muscle. I have finally driven the car — but not the scooter. I have to remember to put my butt in the car, then add the legs. I still CAN NOT get up unaided. Our oldest daughter suggested I do Tia Chi — It is gentle stretching. Is it helping? I don’t know. But not hurting! I have walked the short nature trail — picked ripe blackcaps on the way.

IN THE WEEDS

Once upon a time, I thought I had a good, working memory. I seldom wrote notes. I knew I would remember. Then something unexpected happened. I AGED. Although I still have a working memory — sometimes. I often forget what I’ve done the day before or the week before. Just for giggles, I write down the things I do each day. It helps when I’m trying to track stuff I’ve done. Then I get busy and don’t write things down. Then it is a memory test. I don’t win often enough.

Two things occurred recently that has brought this into my attention. Since I’m no longer working, and we are living a quieter life, I don’t bake except for cookies at Christmas. A couple of weeks ago I remembered a pineapple angel food cake that I had eaten years ago. At our younger daughters house, my grandson and I made the cake. I didn’t have good directions and although the cake wasn’t a flop, it wasn’t a success either.
I found the recipe for the cake on the internet and made it at home. This time it was a success — but my husband didn’t like it. It has a cool whip topping — not to his liking. I decided that I would make a chocolate cake with bought frosting for his birthday. Many years ago I remember a hint I was given that would improve a packaged cake. But I didn’t write the hint down, why? I would remember. Then the few people I called didn’t remember the hint either. I made the cake following the packaged directions. It was a success.

Then my second memory test of the week — I remembered making balsamic potatoes with pork that my family really liked. I knew I had made it in the winter but I couldn’t find a note as to what I had used or when I had made it. I finally found a date — November 26. But I hadn’t jotted down a note as to where I had found the recipe. I hadn’t jotted down a note as to what was in it or how long to cook it. Was I hoping I would remember. I was WRONG!

Late at night, I pulled out my huge white cookbook that I had compiled years ago. I keep adding recipes I find that I like to it and thankfully, I had written down the recipe and put it where I had a good chance to find it. The pork and potatoes were a success.

NUMBERS

Until my body parts started acting up, I never paid attention to my age. Sadly problems with my knees, and getting up out of a chair or out of the car brought my age into my attention. Then I fell — twice within a very short time. Going up or coming down the stairs. Thankfully I didn’t do major damage to any of my body parts. Now I go up or down rather carefully — paying attention to what I am carrying. I also hold on to the railings more often. I think the first fall was caused by carrying to much weight in both hands. I’ve determined the second fall was caused by the surface of my slippers being worn. I’m not sure they were the real reason. I haven’t regained my confidence or my speed navigating the stairs. Most days my knees are working better depending on the weather.

Then I got sick and lost more of my balance and energy. I’m still surprised that walking up to our church was too far of a walk for me. I determined that I was going to take Robin for at least one walk every day. Then the weather shifted, the snow came and the ice. Safety became a factor. Each day brings us closer to Spring. I’m hopeful that while I won’t be able to run up and down the stairs like in previous years — they won’t become a major handicap. In order to remain in our house, I have to be able to do the stairs.

Age isn’t the only number I haven’t been paying attention too. I don’t remember the ages of my children or grandchildren but I have solved that problem. I have their age and birth date on strips in my daily calendar.
I have strips for the birthdays of some of my friends so I remember to send a card.

The last anniversary of my blog came and I underestimated the number of years I had been writing. Because of my daily calendar, I usually know what the date and day of the week is. When we are in the country it is easy to lose track. Especially when we don’t have any specific plans.

So by now you must be wondering why I’m going on and on about numbers. Recently I was at the store, getting ready to check out. The elderly woman behind me had a cart piled with one brand, one flavor of frozen dinners. I stared at the cart — I was amazed to see so many of the same kind in a cart. I didn’t count the exact number she had. When I asked if that dinner was really good — she replied that she didn’t cook any more. I answered that I still did. Even if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to eat the same thing night after night. I can’t even eat the same foods week after week. I have a good friend, who is now on the other side — Thursday was pork chops and Friday was take out pizza. If I knew what the rest of the week was I don’t remember.

I mentioned that experience to my husband. He calculated that I have cooked over 20,000 meals in my lifetime. And I’m still cooking!

AVALANCHE

I hope my title didn’t give you cause for concern. The descending of stuff wasn’t outside — snow or rocks or mud. The slides occurred in our freezers. ALL OF THEM — the upstairs refrigerator, the downstairs refrigerator and the upright freezer. Normally I feel the freedom to get rid of stuff when our cash flow is on the positive side. Sadly, at the moment, I’m watching our pennies. BUT being in danger every time I opened a freezer door had the desired effect. I searched through each shelf and discarded items that were really old.

I hate to admit it, but I found one item from 2010. Thankfully it was only one item — most were of more recent dates. I didn’t list everything I tossed, nor did I list everything that I saved. I promised myself that I wouldn’t stock pile as much stuff again. I found many of my favorite proteins that thankfully were still new enough to eat. I found bag after bag of individual bags of soup. TWENTY FOUR servings in all — most were beef lentil or minestrone all from 2017. I vowed that I wouldn’t make any more soup until my stock was down. EXCEPT I don’t have any chicken soup. Evidently, that is my go to when I’m feeling a cold coming on. I found fish — salmon, tilipia, shrimp and cat fish. We are eating more fish, so everything I found was current. Two bags were hidden behind other stuff. I’m glad that they surfaced. I also found fish burgers that I had forgotten about. They were on sale, buy one, get one free. I had good intentions, not great follow through.

I didn’t find any pot roast, nor a stock pile of ground beef. Evidently I use the beef quickly. I found a lot of chicken — whole bird, chicken breasts and thighs except for the whole bird, the rest were boneless and skinless and current. Evidently I also use a lot of chicken.

Now I have room to freeze leftovers from the holidays. I have room to freeze cookies. I have room to add more to my stockpile. I won’t have a landslide each time I open a freezer drawer. Hopefully I will REMEMBER to only buy the supplies I’ve run out of — until Spring comes again and we head out to the camper. Then, unless I have a list — I’ll forget AGAIN!

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