Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘COOKING’

MEMORY LANE

We came home from the camper on Tuesday. We weren’t home very long — maybe a half hour when our phone rang. It was a person that I have known for many years but don’t speak to often. I was happy that I was at home to talk to her.

Wednesday morning, I found a cookbook published in 2004 at our campground. A new one is being compiled this year and I was curious what recipes I had shared before. Looking through the cookbook, I found four recipes that I had submitted. One recipe for chocolate frosting I had forgotten. One recipe I had resubmitted. I also found many recipes submitted by friends who no longer camp there. One written for a rum cake brought laughter.

Back in the city, I had shopping to do. While I was at the store I overheard a woman mention she wanted to wait for the mother of a child that she had taught in school many years ago. She recognized the child. When I asked how she knew the child, she mentioned she had a good memory, the mother had posted pictures on Facebook.

Leaving the store, I passed a younger gentleman who asked me how I was, addressing me by name. He used my name two more times. Evidently he knew me. His face was vaguely familiar but I couldn’t place him. I mentioned that he looked familiar but I didn’t know where I knew him. He told me that he knew me from Unique, a clothing store that has been gone for more than 10 years. I did not work at the store, although I probably shopped there often. My memory is not what it used to be. I was surprised that he remembered me.

Later that evening, I found an exercise DVD that I had searched for at the camper and at home unsuccessfully. I also found two books that I had forgotten. Both books will go out to the camper for reading when the temperature climbs again.

While we were still at the camper, I realized I had NOT planned meals. The summer before, I had used our slow cooker often, keeping the heat outside. Making the supper when I had energy in the morning, having supper ready at night when I was tired.

AIR FRYER

I just have to share. I am having the BEST TIME! I have been cooking for more years than I care to count. I have developed many recipes that are staples in our house. Saying that, I must confess that I have gotten bored with many of the recipes I make. I have heard of two different cooking programs that two of our daughters are enrolled in. If I was working, IF I had more money, I might be tempted to enroll in one of the programs. They give you a list of meals that are available for the week. You pick out the meals that you want delivered, and the complete meal is delivered to your house. Most of the items needed are included with instructions for preparation.

So why am I writing such a glowing report on these programs? I looked at our daughter’s menu book and realized that although many of the meals looked DELICIOUS, my husband WOULD NOT want to eat any of them. Maybe it is a good thing that I don’t have extra money to spend.

On the other hand, I really like to cook. I just need inspiration. Enter a cookbook I found last summer for the slow cooker. Everything I made from the recipes was delicious. The slow cooker allows me to prepare the food in the morning when I have energy and finish it in the evening when the energy is gone.

Next appliance in our house was the instant pot — along with five (5) new cookbooks. Paging through the recipes, looking for ideas. MANY have been successful. The problems come when I don’t really read the ingredients or interpret the instructions. I have doubled ingredients or used apple cider vinegar instead of apple juice. I bought an Air Fryer in October. It sat in it’s box until March. I didn’t make anything in it until April. I made roasted chicken breast. It was fantastic! I was hooked. The appliance is easy to use and even easier to clean.

When we visited our daughter in Central Illinois, we visited Barnes and Noble. I came home with TWO (2) new cookbooks for the Instant Pot. One its the Healthy Air Fryer. It had a recipe for Blooming Onion. I remember having the onion when I was young at a joint that had peanut shells on the floor. It was delicious.

I made it last night. I had a couple of issues in the preparation but considering I was tired, I’m ready to make and eat it AGAIN. There are many more new recipes to try in my newer cook books. It is not one of the home chefs programs, doesn’t come delivered with ingredients ready to cook, but new ideas — hopefully ones my husband will enjoy. I promised I would only experiment with his tummy one night a week.

REWIND

I can’t count the number of times that I have started over . Weight up — new diet. Some with success for a short time but the weight came back — again and again. The problem is that for the most part I eat a healthy diet. Because of sodium restrictions I don’t eat a lot of processed foods. I don’t drink pop — regular or diet. I don’t eat a lot of bread or cookies or candy. In other words I don’t have a lot of food to give up in order to quickly lose weight. I learned that limiting meat doesn’t work for my body so vegetarian isn’t an option. I’ve been reading that some people have been successful by increasing their vegetable intake and decreasing the amount of protein. Still open to new ideas but treading cautiously. I prefer chicken thighs to chicken breasts. A recent article mentioned that chicken drumsticks and thighs were packed with vitamin K-2, a tough to find nutrient that blocks plaque buildup inside arteries.

I acquired an Instant Pot in the Fall. My plans to use it more often hasn’t worked out as I had planned. I have enough cookbooks. I just haven’t taken the time to develop enough recipes. I also have an older pressure cooker. I have used it for years when I’m cooking dried beans. Recently I used it to make turkey bone broth. A recipe in a new instant pot cookbook suggested it cook for an hour and a half. One and one made two. I realized I could use my older pressure cooker for the purpose. I was comfortable using it, and an hour and a half on the stove — adding heat to the house, seemed worthwhile. The result was fantastic. I’ve also learned that chicken feet are available for purchase at Wal-Mart, an ingredient mentioned for bone broth.

Because of the weather — January, February — I have limited my walking outside. We have a treadmill but I don’t like to use it. When we had our daughter’s dogs as guests, I stopped exercising. All three wanted to help me and I must admit, their help wasn’t needed. When the dogs left, I continued to be lazy. Any benefit I had gotten from exercise was soon lost. My neck became more stiff, hurt to turn when driving. Although I had continued with bone broth, my knees were rebelling. Lack of exercise, weight or weather — it is hard to tell.

I decided that I was going to increase the number of steps I walked each day. I wasn’t going to settle with 2,000. I aimed for 5,000. It is easy to get that number of steps when I’m shopping or walking outside. It is harder to get them when I’m restricted inside. Still stretching– I’m trying to increase the number of steps to 6,000.

Weight is down slightly, not enough to jump up and down and rave about, but my wrist is smaller. I’ve had to tighten the band on my watch. I’m hoping that reduced weight and increased steps will improve not only my weight but my walking ability. `

CHALLENGES

Often I can tell what kind of day it is going to be when I first get up. Sometimes the events of the day run very smoothly. My fingers don’t drop everything I touch. I don’t burn myself on the stove. My morning readings are encouraging. If I have to drive, the traffic is light. I find parking places and can get out of the car. Sometimes there are even bargains or sales of items I need.

Then there are the other days. I have trouble finding or putting on my clothes. My knees protest more. I drop too many things or my fingers forget how to work.

This morning I woke to challenges. It had snowed yesterday, we weren’t buried but I knew that I didn’t want to drive to church. Walking was out of the question. Ice? Distance? I planned to increase the distance that I walk each day, but it is still in the planning stage. I went back to bed.

Descending the staircase, my knees protested. Opening the back door, snow covered the stairs. Have broom, will sweep. Some of the stairs were very icy. I was very glad I decided NOT to go to church. Success! Stairs swept, salt poured down and I stayed upright.

I planned to make a pork roast in the slow cooker. Luckily my husband brought the cooker up from the basement and I had the pork roast in the refrigerator upstairs. Planning ahead, I made a low sodium soy sauce from a recipe in a cookbook from our first trip to Hawaii. I hadn’t read through the recipe, it required more steps than I planned, the challenges continued. Oops! Brown the roast — it almost fell on the floor.

I turned on my I-pad only to learn the internet was down. I asked my son for “help”. He said he didn’t have any problems. The internet was on. I was just BLOCKED.

I know I’m not the only one who has these kind of days. When they start like this, I pay more attention and SLOW down! I did. After breakfast which my husband cooked. I laid down to watch a couple of favorite cooking shows. I fell asleep.

I knew I had to write a couple of thought rambles. I had just read a story of the importance of telling your family stories. Although many of our stories have already been written and published, life goes on and so do my experiences.

I ordered new snow boots. They arrived yesterday — BEFORE the SNOW! I put on my boots and the rest of cold weather gear. I got Robin’s leash. She NEVER does her business in the backyard unless it is in the middle of night. I planned to take her for a walk. I was surprised when I noticed that she squatted and took care of business. I guess she didn’t want me to go for a walk!

As I searched for a title for this thought ramble, I opened a couple who shared the title I was thinking of. When I read them, I noticed most were written near the anniversary of the fire which sent my mother and brother home. SURPRISE– the anniversary is this week –FRIDAY!

BACKWARD MORNING

Morning — what a lovely word if I have gotten a good nights sleep. Not so lovely when I am tired, want to stay in bed but know I have to get up. Or tired, but can’t go back to sleep. I have learned it makes no sense to lie in bed when the body is hurting. I don’t turn on the light when I get up. I always choose what I am wearing the night before. This morning everything I put on was put on backward. HOW? Clothes didn’t feel right. Took off and tried a different direction. Now often I’ll put on something backward or inside out but EVERYTHING? I was tempted to go back to bed.

If you have read my thought rambles for any length of time, you understand that my “job” is too share the happenings in my life, hopefully involving “spirit”. If I don’t write on a timely basis sleeping and life become more interesting. I often get hit on the head like I did this morning. I tried a couple of days ago but all I saw was a blank screen. I could NOT come up with a title. The title was given to me this morning when getting dressed became a challenge.

Since the morning was challenging — I hit my head on a hanging cabinet. I forgot the door was open. Oops! Oww! Rain was expected, arriving momentarily, I took Robin for a morning walk. Had a cup of coffee. Delayed starting the day — Bible, Queen of Angels. I usually plan the evening meal before getting out of bed in the morning. NO IDEA! I knew I’m in trouble. Have to write — no inspiration.

I acquired NINE (9) cookbooks since September — Instant pot, hot pot. I opened each one at random looking for an idea. The very first one showed a lovely picture of Apple Balsamic Chicken. but I continued looking through the rest. I found two more recipes that might work for our family — one a soup, the other meat I don’t have in the house. I’ll need to cook many more days. I was dragging my feet, delaying opening the computer.

Looking for a notebook to write the suggestions in, I found a notebook that I used in 2017. It had a few notes from 2018 also. I had wondered what was going on last Christmas. Why had I not baked cookies? Why had I not bought Christmas cards or lights on sale? Some of the answers were there. I would have gladly read through all of the written pages but that would not have solved the problem of needing a thought ramble to publish.

I received two gifts for Christmas that I didn’t mention. The first was laughter — I don’t know where it came from or who was responsible but I found a 2″ plastic minnow on the sink in our upstairs bathroom. ??
Christmas morning, Facebook picked, just for me, a lovely story about a little girl who wrote a letter to God about her Lab that went to heaven. A response arrived, along with a Mr. Rogers book. I don’t know who shared it with me, but I shared it with my family. My daughter’s golden retriever went home in October, her cancer had progressed.

DEBATE

This morning I had to laugh when I opened the bible to Job 40:25 “Can you lead about Leviathan with a hook.” I DON’T like opening the bible to Job. It usually is not good. This chapter Job had been arguing with God and God was responding with questions for Job to answer. I was reminded that I had been questioning the need for me to continue to write. Yesterday I opened a cookbook that I put together. It not only contain recipes that I make often, but verses of songs and poems that are meaningful to me. First I opened to a poem that was given to me when I sent To Pap, With Love to a publisher. “Never forget — Your presence is a gift to the world.” Next I opened to the Song THE SUMMONS. “Will you come and follow me if I but call your name.”

Okay, I understand. I’m being reminded to write. BUT I NEED SOMETHING TO WRITE ABOUT! It is not like I’m ignored by spirit — on the contrary — my life IS ALWAYS interesting. But I’ve grown accustomed to receiving help. I don’t get into the car without asking for “help” with my driving. As a matter of fact I’m usually asking for “help” many times during the day. It’s not that it is commonplace, except for me it probably is and I don’t note all the occasions.

Since the concept of my rambles is interaction with spirit I try to keep that the theme of my rambles.Since we spent the summer and part of the Fall in the country, I’m still trying to get caught up. No writing ideas, and I need three ramblers for the next three weeks. So I argue and receive “directions.”

I was reminded that many years ago I wrote The Voice. I was still learning the ways that spirit interacts with my life. Taking a writing class, our instructor asked us to write something different. I did, I LOVED IT and he wasn’t impressed. This mornings events reminded me.

Next week — for your enjoyment I will republish THE VOICES. It is in my book Journey With Me.

TOYS

This summer I acquired a cookbook for my slow cooker which made planning meals an adventure. We were at the camper. The big question “Would my husband not only eat it but enjoy it?” Every new recipe I tried, he invited friends to eat it with him. Thankfully, each recipe was a success.

Now we are home, in the city. Lately the temperature is COLD. It is only November but the air feels like winter. Although I still use my slow cooker, it is more tempting to use the oven. My winter recipes I have made for YEARS. At first, it was like visiting with old friends — so happy to see them again. I hate to admit that I’m bored — wondering what I should cook for supper. In my defense — I have cooked for more years than I care to count.

To the rescue — a new toy — an instant pot. I have used pressure cookers over the years — for canning and also cooking dry beans. I never gave it a prominent spot on my stove. I debated getting an instant pot for over a year. I even bought a cookbook and looked at the recipes available. I successfully left the pot in the store. Until Aldi’s featured the pot at a more affordable price. Now it is MINE! I’m still learning how to use it.

I have successfully burned myself with the steam. I thought I was being careful! Not careful enough. I wasn’t sure how to set the pot for pressure. I couldn’t reset the time. The last time I used it I was successful. I learned that you can not set the timing lower than the regulated time for that item. Needless to say, I don’t have one of the more expensive models.

Still looking for a new recipe to try, I have acquired two new cookbooks. The recipes are outside of my normal range. I would like to eat the food of the world — my husband is content with the food of the United States — not spicy. The new cookbooks contain recipes from South America, Italy, India, Korea — the world. I can reduce the sodium, I’m not sure how I can substitute ingredients by I’m willing to try.

Since I got the new pot, we haven’t been home enough to try it. I made my recipe for chili — dry kidney beans, finished in an hour. LOVELY! I recently made a macaroni, beef and cheese dish. The entire dish cooked in less than an hour. Both the “boys” liked it. I have received the go ahead to make it again. I made a note to add more seasoning to the sauce.

Tag Cloud