Monthly Archives: December 2011

So true!

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Sustainable FAMILY!!!

The revolution starts at home…with you.

We’re starting a new tradition in our family….to celebrate all 12 days of Christmas, from December 26th to January 6th. I’d like to create something special to do each day with the hubby and kids but at this point nothing is rollin’ in the ol’ hamster wheel, so this year it might just be as simple as, understanding…

Understanding that Christmas is not about…

-being ‘Super’ parent
-buying CRAP
-1 up’ing your friends
OR…
-bitching, whining and feeling sorry for yourself
-anger, frustration, judgment and control

It’s not about you. It’s about everyone else…..anyone else…but YOU!

I encourage you to start something new this Christmas to bring your family closer together.

Maybe a day free of texting and social media?? I know…. It’s sacrilege!! But I swear it won’t kill you, I promise.

Write down all the numbers you’ll need now, then on Christmas morning turn off all the cellphones, tablets and computers, so there is no temptation to be tethered to that damn BEEP and TRULY engage with the people around you. Wether that’s family, a friend or a complete stranger it doesn’t matter….people need people.

Wish someone a happy holiday by actually making a phone call. Reconnect!! It’s a start to rebuilding a foundation.

-I’m off like a crazy woman :o)

Do me a favor….learn to cook something.

As I see it, our economy is only going to recover once we’ve hit bottom and swim around in the muck for a bit. Considering we’re in a half gainer, with the ground is coming up fast, I worry. Most people seem to have blinders on and have turned off the news. I wonder, how do you breathe with your head in the sand?

 

This evening, between the beeps of the timer and reading a few SHTF blogs, again the thought tumbled back into my head, “What will we do with everyone else?” It frustrates me…

 

My husband and I disagree here, his solution…lots of ammo, mine…knowledge. If I have the knowledge then I can share.

 

Sometimes I have my moments of “prepare” panic…But I can only do what I can, no sense in worrying about it til later.

 

So, I learn. Experiment with something potentially useful…something simple…like pita bread.

 

Flour – olive oil – yeast – salt and water…REAL SIMPLE.

 

Its flat bread, you cannot screw it up! It doesn’t even require an oven, only a hot flat surface; say the hood of a burning car? **hee hee**

(insert flash of the Zombie Apocalypse here)

 

Speaking of things to cook on…

Are current pots and pans going to be useful when SHTF? I personally don’t think they’ll hold up to the inconsistent temperature fluctuations of natural flame. I’m thinking long term; you and your BOB bag are going to have to settle eventually, and when you do….then what? Find a use for Gramma’s old cast iron skillet collecting dust in your pantry. Pull it out, oil it up and practice. They’re nothing like cooking on Teflon or stainless steel AND they make the best bread pudding in the WORLD!

 

I can take my cast iron griddle, currently toasting those pitas in my oven, throw it over an open flame, and produce the same pita…crispy, golden brown and bubbly.

 

Serve it with a slab of squirrel and we’re GOOD!  Ok, maybe not squirrel, but you get my point.

 

I was discussing a bit of this with our boys while dunking grilled cheese in tomato soup the other night. ***Mom’s can have bad manners too, once and a while, when no one’s looking*** 😀

 

My middle son asks “Mom, why do you teach us how to cook?” and I replied, “Because when you grow up I don’t want you to starve to death.”

 

That got a big chuckle from the rugrats, but it’s the truth. If they know how to make a meal from basic ingredients, it’s CHEAPER now, and more adaptable in a future emergency.

Have fun.

–          I’m off like a crazy woman

Sometimes storms are cozy

I know… I promised a pictorial review of snuffing my favorite garden vegetable but….
In Alaska, we’re having a hurricane outside, well not really, but it is blowing a gale and raining. With that, I’m moved to write about my evening comfort food.
All it took was a simple Facebook post and an “Oo, oo, oo that sounds good!!!” and I’m off like a crazy woman…dubbing it “Not-So-Tomato Soup and gooey grilled cheese”.
Channeling a little Rachel Ray, I grab all of my crap out of the fridge at once and pile it on the counter.
Then dig an 8 oz frozen bag of my own veggie stock out of the freezer…. (aka “juice a whole bunch of veggies you’re tired of dealing with and cook it until you all most forget about it” the idea was stolen from Michele at b organic)
***sigh***
I’ll start here.
In the bottom of the stockpot, olive oil and half a large onion chopped and sweating.
In goes about ¾ of a cup of grated carrot… and about the same amount of diced red bell pepper. I’m just guessing here, I’m working with fixings from our baked potato bar night.
Garlic….three cloves…no need to dirty the press, just a rough chop to expose the garlicky goodness.
A few minutes for everyone to get to know each other, this is where the beautiful dance of flavors begins.
I am the girl that believes medium high heat for EVERYTHING is a nice balance between “getting the job done in a timely manner” and racing to keep things from burning. 🙂

See, it’s a game, if I turned down the heat I would lose…and I hate losing. 😀 ***Yes, I am a dork***
One can of chicken stock….POOF it’s a hot tub party!! Whoo Hoo!!!
Pop the frosty stock out the zippy bag and bloop….into the pot.
And of course….It’s a party killer… like the cops just showed up and you don’t know what you did with your pants. 😀   ***snicker***
On to the bland and boring:
One can of diced tomatoes and one can of tomato sauce
Simmer… taste…and a LITTLE on the acidic side and not sweet enough. I am going for  Campbell’s…..but with REAL food. So how do I sweeten it up without adding sugar? Another half of a sweet bell pepper, yellow this time to change it up a bit; rough chop.
While simmering to soften the pepper, in goes a tablespoon of chili powder and a teaspoon of salt.
I can hear it now…” I don’t need to put salt in my food” Well….blah, blah, BLAH! I cry BS!
If you don’t put salt in your food then you’re either eating bland CRAP, in denial by not paying attention to your seasonings, using a hell of a lot of high sodium sauces OR you’re addicted to celery. Either way, we need a certain amount of salt in food in order to discern from one flavor from another…I swear. I made this seafood chowder once……………Oh, never mind.
Off the heat …and the soapbox……maybe.
Once all has cooled down (stopped boiling), pour the whole kit and caboodle into the blender.
***WAIT…….STOP***
Now, PLEASE DO NOT make the same dumb ass mistake I’ve seen so many of those high dollar chiefs make by putting hot liquid in a blender and lettin’ her rip. Let this little house wife from ALASKA explain; when you put steaming hot liquid in a container, under a lid, and agitate it, pressure builds…..and IT FREAKING EXPLODES!!!! HELLLOOOOO???!!!
Crack the lid away from you and hold it down, better to be safe than sorry. 😮 No need to be cleaning soup off the ceiling. Then… low and slow, gently add speed until the veggies are well-blended and silky smooth.
Return to the stockpot over low flame to keep warm until the sandwiches are ready to plate.
Buttering one side of the wheat bread, add two slices of ham to the dry side with a slice and a half of cheddar. For a little extra kick, also add a thin slice of Wasabi infused Gouda; oh, it’s just delish I tell ya. Flip another bread slice on top, butter side up, and slip the whole thing on to a hot grill pan.

I LOVE my cast iron griddle, its perfect for making cheese sandwiches.
…and this is where I need more practice, or need someone else to take over, I am notorious for burning grilled cheese sandwiches…ya, I know, turn the freakin’ heat down. I know, I KNOW! It’s just a thing…

🙂  The morning after…

…sticking my finger in the refrigerated container of soup this morning, I would leave out the teaspoon of salt. Yes, I can admit it… It was a mistake. I have a tendency to forget about the stock, or in some cases, it’s been when cooking with bacon too. However, I still stand by my salt rant.

Oh, and I would thin the soup out a tad with a little water. You play with it and let me know.

That dizzle of cheese was completely by accident but it looks delicious

 

Hide your Thanksgiving leftovers inside 30 mins!!!

This couldn’t be shorter or sweeter….

In a stock pot I threw:

– olive oil as the pan heated on medium high

– chopped one medium onion and dumped it in the bottom

– half a serving bowl of leftover shredded turkey

– two heaping teaspoons of minced garlic….probably more like tablespoons 😮

– pulled out the bag of veggies….roughly chopped up the cauliflower, broccoli and celery

– sliced up four new carrots (There is no such thing as a leftover carrot in my house….someone will dip it in something and eat it)

– dug out one of those CHEAP paper cartons of chicken broth (32 oz) and dumped it in.

***taste?………….nothing***

***Note to Self: cheap chicken broth has no taste….***

– grab a can of Swanson’s (14oz) I think….and add to the growing pot of veggies.

– about a tablespoon of some kind of poultry-friendly herb blend. I used Herbs de Provence

– Pour in 2-4 cups of water …..I can’t remember.

– Salt & Pepper to taste

Let simmer til carrots are crisp tender…………..OR “Granny grade” which ever you prefer.

Scooped into a large soup bowl with a butter bread teetering on the edge  is how we roll…but you can take it from here. 😀

 

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I’m BAAAAAACK!!!!!

It all started with sustainability on the brain and following that damn white rabbit again. 😮 October 14th I was driving home from taking my son to check-up thinking about how I can afford to buy fruit and nut trees … Continue reading