Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘COOKING’

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.

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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!

EAT TO LIVE

It is no secret — I’m always trying to lose weight. It has every thing to do with my knees hurting and my desire to get some of my weight off of them. I continue to try new things that might help. Since I’m no longer young and eat a healthy diet, it is not as easy as giving up soda and snacks. Because of various body parts, I can’t do the exercises I did was I was younger and more flexible. I’m always looking for a new diet plan or cookbook that will help me attain my goal.

Before we went to the camper the last time, I saw EAT TO LIVE, by Joel Fuhrman at Costco. When I picked the book up, I was impressed by the nutritional information. The recipes were quick to prepare, high on protein and low on sodium. Everything I need in a cookbook.

So far I have made four recipes from the book of 141 — one was a soup, two were salads. The only one that didn’t work to my expectation, was my fault. the soup and the salads were filling. I wasn’t hungry after lunch, looking for other stuff to eat. Did I lose any weight? I’m not sure. When we are at the camper, we eat out regularly and I consume more sodium than I should. The temperature has been in the 80’s. Do I drink enough water? Many questions — no good answers.

I enjoyed everything that I made. I found it helpful to have a salad in the fridge, ready to eat when I came home from the pool. I have planned not only to make the same recipes again, but I have looked through the book looking for more.

I have been going to aquacize on a regular basis. As long as I pay attention to the exercises, make sure I’m not stressing my shoulder or my knee, it seems to be good for my shoulder and for my knee. I’m having an easier time walking.

I tried on a dress I bought in Aruba last year, I couldn’t wear it, my tummy got in the way. I tried it on last night, it is now a possibility. That is PROGRESS!

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?

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