Happy Birthday To Me!!!


Dear God,

Thank you for another year.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to you.

Let me fight the good fight.

Let me serve you with excellence.

And please let me lose 50 pounds.


CSA – Week ‘Who Cares?"

I hate being wrong.

But here’s the deal.  This CSA was a mistake.  For lots of reasons.  To begin, I think our weather has had a huge effect on the harvest.  That’s my way of giving this particular farm the benefit of the doubt because I cannot imagine that they have repeat customers if this is their normal share.  The quality of the produce was great.  But the variety was disappointing.  I just expected more weird stuff.  The kids are interested in foods they have ever eaten so I have a better chance of getting them to try it.  I can’t excite them with my weekly onion.

The other problem is that my family is large and they eat a lot.  I did purchase an additional fruit share but the volume just wasn’t enough.  One week we got peaches and a pint of blackberries.  Katie and Ava can eat a pint of blackberries on the ride home from the CSA pick-up site.
On two different weeks we got corn.  I honestly assumed we would be getting corn all the time.  And four ears of corn won’t feed my family.  Neither will the four potatoes I received each week.
Granted I did purchase the ‘mini’ share but I don’t think I could have handled the amount of zucchini and squash a full share would have offered.

So, just like my grass-fed beef purchase, I have to admit that this CSA was a ‘Fail” for us.  That doesn’t mean I have given up trying to find and purchase good organic food for my family.  It just means I am going to have to investigate some other ways to do so.

Not that you asked…

but I am gonna tell you anyway.

I love to save money.  But I am not gonna clip coupons for twenty hours a week or go dumpster diving.  Here are some reasonable ways to save a few bucks. 

      1.   Use Tide. 
      Why are you still messing with other detergents?  There are copious coupons and I find it at bargain prices on Amazon all the time.  But here is the penny pinching part. USE THE AMOUNT YOU NEED.  I used to just throw a cap full  in willy nilly every time I washed a load of clothes.  There is no telling how much I wasted.  If you have a newer machine (anything less than 10 years old) you are probably using too much detergent.  Just fill it to the bottom mark and the cap.  Trust me .  I have been doing this for months.  The clothes get just as clean and a bottle will last you twice as long.
      2.   If you really want to save money in the laundry room, then take the time to sort your dang clothes. Clothes cost money (I never buy anything unless Kohl’s gives me 30% off but they still ain’t free.) If you wash blue jeans and light colored blouses, they are all gonna come out looking like crap. This doesn’t have to be difficult. Make a load of whites (use Clorox and hot water), a load of towels and washclothes (anything you wash with towels will end up covered in fuzz. Unless you want your kid lookin like the cookie monster, do them separately.) then a load of darks (jeans, etc) and a load of light colored clothes.  4 Loads.  That’s it.  Repeat twice a week for the rest of your stinkin life. 

      3.   Use Windex, Pledge, Dawn and Downey.  I know they are more expensive.  But, in this case, you get what you pay for.  Find coupons and use them but do not make the mistake of buying generic.  Your windows will be streaky, your dishes will be greasy and your furniture will look like you polished it with a piece of bologna.  These products have been used for 100 years for one simple reason.  They work. (The only exception to this rule is Costco’s store brand called Kirkland Signature.  Everything Costco makes is as good or better than the name brand.)

      4.  Ditch the Swiffer.  I know I am attacking a sacred cow here but seriously these things are a waste of time and money.  Kevin had housekeepers before we got married.  He spent more on their Swiffer cloths, solutions and refills than he did for the actual housecleaning.  And you know what, his  floors were still filthy.  NOTE TO ALL PEOPLE:  Just because you got the floor wet doesn’t mean it’s clean.  Get a good floor vac and a steam mop.  Twice a year, you have to get down on your hands and knees and scrub it.  I know you don’t want to.  Pretend you’re Cinderella.  It works for me.

      5.  Barkeeper’s friend.  Buy some…now.  It’s less than two bucks and you will be able to put your makeup on in the reflection in your sink.. You shouldn’t but you could.  That plus your Dawn dishwashing liquid is all you need to clean your kitchen.  Stop making it hard. 
      6.  Let’s talk about toilets.  No, really.  I am going to try to be as nice as I can here.  If you love any member of your family, you will keep your toilets clean.  First, make sure every bathroom in your house has a dedicated toilet brush.  Get one that sits in container and leave it there.  (Not everyone agrees with this advice.  I suppose if you want to walk around your house dripping toilet water everywhere from your ONE brush, that’s your perogative.) Next, buy a few cans of Comet.  It costs less than a buck.  You don’t even need a coupon.  Sprinkle liberally into the bowl and scrub it.  Like, really scrub it.  Let it soak for a bit and then flush it.  Wipe the seat with Windex and some paper towels.  Done.  The next time you get a stomach virus and you are puking your guts out, you will thank me for this.  (Note : DO NOT use Comet on anything else unless you plan to spend the rest of your life trying to rinse it off.)
NOTE:  Just because I have this knowledge does not mean that my house is clean even 70% of the time.  So don’t be poppin’ in just to prove a point.

CSA – Week 7

This week we got our first tomatoes!  I’d like to tell you I made some gourmet treat but get real.  We cut them up for taco night.  Fresh corn, squash, carrots and bell peppers and cucumbers were part of our share this week too.

Our fruit share included peaches (which Anna ate in the bathtub…don’t ask), blueberries and blackberries.  I love blackberries so ridiculously much.

In fact, the whole family loves them so much that we supplemented our share with some hand picked berries from a local farm.

If, for some reason, you actually have blackberries that do not get gobbled up by your kids, try this cobbler recipe.  You won’t be sorry.

CSA Week 6

This week’s box included carrots, green beans, potatoes, cucumbers, squash, and onions.

I cooked the green beans with bacon…for a really long time.  Kevin seemed to like them but the kids disagreed.  Maybe I will deep fry them next week?

Pretty sure this is an eggplant.  What the heck do I do with eggplant?

We got a huge load of peaches.  The kids were at camp so I needed a way to preserve all this fruit.  Most of the recipes I found for freezing peaches involved copious amounts of sugar.  Ya’ll, I can buy peaches drenched in syrup at the grocery store.  Instead I improvised.  I cut an ‘X’ in the bottom. Dunked them in a boiling water bath for about 45 seconds.  Then submerged them in a bowl of ice water.  The skins came off pretty easy after that process.  Then I sliced them up.  (Caution:  Peaches are as slippery as snot without the skins.  DO NOT use a really sharp knife unless you just enjoy the emergency room.)  I drizzled the slices with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown, scattered them on a cookie sheet and popped them in the freezer.  Two hours later, I dumped them into freezer bags.  The Klines will be enjoying peach smoothies in January.  Yay us!!!

This was our cheese selection for the week.  It’s a spreadable goat cheese/honey mixture.  I have no picture because I ate it too fast.

Finally, Does anyone know what this is?  Is it a squash?  Zucchini?  Squashini?