Frugal Friday

I was going to go down to the Rec center( aka as the gym) today but decided not to being it is Black Friday and HWY65 where I turn on to is right on the way to The Galleria shopping mall and big stores like Walmart. I will go swimming tomorrow. It’ll be early enough that I should miss the shoppers although I might get some traffic heading up to the Sierras on the way home.

We don’t go out to shop on Black Friday but I did find a 25% off deal on Bombas and bought a couple of T-shirts for B and a pair of socks for me. Then Amazon had a good B F deal on a comforter and we need a new one so I got that. It was $20. I think that was 50% off.

I put away the pumpkin and fall things from the table and will decorate with a few Christmas-themed things later. I have some red candles and a few other things to put out. I won’t do a lot yet as it’s a bit early for me.

We all had a good Thanksgiving with lots of good food. I don’t know why eating dinner at 2 pm sets me off but it does and then I don’t feel like eating at all later. I did have some homemade pumpkin pie around 7:30 though.

I’ve been somewhat depressed at my kappa light chains going up 4 points. Even though Dr. Laptalo said, it’s just a small increase, don’t worry, I do worry that now things will start doubling. I mean I know intellectually that my cancer will come back and I’ll need treatment again but maybe it’s just so tiring to think about it all. Anyway, in a few days, I’ll feel better once I process it. There’s nothing I can do about it so…

I’m going to look up a pressure canning recipe for turkey broth or soup and see what it looks like. I may do that tomorrow. I think I’ll make the broth today. and then if I want to do some pressure canning it’ll be ready to do. I might put up our small Ikea Christmas tree this weekend too.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Fall Season GIF

I am thankful for my family.

I am thankful for my husband who does so much and is healthy now.

I am thankful my children are healthy and have excellent jobs with benefits.

I am thankful for our humble home that gives us a roof over our heads and keeps us dry, warm, and safe within.

I am thankful for being able to walk every day in our beautiful park with a paved trail.

I am thankful to be able to swim and have a car that can get me there.

I am thankful that my myeloma numbers are still low even though they are out of range and increasing. The increase of my Kappa light chains to 26.0 is a jump but still not worrisome. I am thankful I still have a number of months before treatment would need to start again. I am grateful for a hematologist/medical oncologist whom I trust and know will do the right thing when the time comes.

I am thankful each and every day just to be aware of the beauty around me and to live the best life I can.

Simple Sunday

I received the email that our Azure order is to be picked up today. I’m pretty excited to see how it goes. I’m not sure how many people will be there but I imagine quite a few. B is quite excited as this is like the old Mountain Peoples Warehouse days when we would go to the warehouse and pick up bulk orders. Of course, that was 1978!

Our walk was lovely again this morning with lots of pink gold and yellows and reds around. The park was frosty and even the trees had frost. Tomorrow I will not walk as I have to go get my labs and then Tuesday I’ll swim. It’ll be a short week for going to the gym or the pool but that’s ok, it is what it is.

I’m planning out the menu for Thanksgiving and when to defrost what. I think I’ll take out the petite Diestal turkey today and put it in the barn fridge and then take out the nut loaf muffins on Wednesday to defrost.

They popped out pretty easily but next time if I do it this way, I’ll use a small square of parchment paper.

This is the recipe I have used for years. I don’t always add green peppers and I don’t use cashews just walnuts and sometimes pecans.

I’ll prep everything on Wednesday and then just have the dishes in the fridge or the ingredients chopped. I have mashed potatoes in the freezer but I may make another batch for Thanksgiving and leave those in there for another meal. I plan on doing a few yams since I’m the only one that likes them. I just use store-bought rolls. I haven’t decided on the vegetable sides but probably have green beans and maybe some corn from this summer.

Here’s the crepe-making from the other day.

The sauce is a bechamel with gruyere. They were delicious. If you’re making crepes you need that little tool you see in the picture as it moves the batter into a circle. That’s the thing about cooking. Having the right tool makes it work. I made a stir fry the other day from NYT recipes ( check it out) called Everything Stir fry, which basically was leftovers in the fridge. It was delicious but I realized maybe I want a carbon steel wok. I checked Amazon and found one for $60 so I’ll think about it for a while. My large cast iron works fine but again a wok is a specific tool used for a specific type of cooking.

If I don’t blog this week, Have a Happy Thanksgiving. We always have so much to be thankful for and just being here is a gift.

Friday Things

I’m in the middle of making spinach and mushroom crepes. I had to go down to the Holiday Market for gruyere and ended up spending $77.00. Food is really expensive and it seems every time I’m in the store it’s almost $100. I haven’t totaled this month up but I’m sure it’s going to be VERY high. Both Costco and the Azure order(which will be here next week) were around $300. So right there that’s $600. Oh well, I’ll just blame it on the holidays and inflation. sigh^^>>^^.

The kids took off in the Santa Fe for Hollywood this morning. Hopefully, it’s a good trip for them and fun too. My daughter, whose an author of Gay/lesbian Vampires, Werewolves, and other unworldly beings books, is there for the Whatpad convention for paid writers. I think there are awards being given and she is up for one. Her books are read worldwide and she has a big following. My son and his friend are going to the world tour concert by Elton John at Dodger stadium.

I won’t be going to the gym or pool unless I have B drive me in the truck. I could use my daughter’s Honda Fit but it’s such a small car it makes me nervous. So that’s ok, I can wait til next week if necessary.

Our days continue to be beautiful. There are still leaves on the trees so probably in the next storm they’ll all come down. We had a tree person look at the snags on the bottom of the property and he quoted $1500. I just laughed and said they can fall. I would prefer they don’t fall on the neighbor’s fence again but I’m not paying that kind of money for 2 snags. I’m hoping we can find someone who’s a logger( and needs work) to drop them for $100.

Next week is Thanksgiving and I plan on having most of our simple meal prepped and done by Wednesday except for the turkey, I made the nut loaf yesterday and froze that. I’ll use the canned cranberry sauce I made and then make mashed potatoes, green beans and, stuffing. I’m sure my sister’s family,which is quite large as she had 5 kids and they all have kids, will miss her. We never spent Thanksgiving together but I’ll miss talking to her. We were never really close but in these last 15 years she has been there for me and my family. So I’ll raise a glass to her. 🙂

Simple Sunday

Another beautiful walk this morning although chilly at 37 degrees. No one at the park but us. It’s always a thrill ( okay that may be an exaggeration)to get there and walk by ourselves. The trees are lovely fall colors and the geese have been around too.

The pie came out really terrific. I might tweak the recipe some and use heavy cream instead of evaporated milk but overall it was delicious. It was soft but after refrigerating it firmed up nicely. I think I will make another next week or maybe pumpkin cheesecake.

This week we are in the Bathroom zone and 1 other room so I’ll probably tidy my office area.

We had one of our dead snags fall over the neighbor’s fence down in the woods so B has been chainsawing that up. We have 2 other dead snags that we’ll need someone to drop. We hadn’t planned on that as they are down on the very lower edge of the property but the neighbor indicated he’d like them down. As long as it is very little $, I’ll do it. If it’s more than $100 no, they can just fall. These trees have been dead for about 7 years from bark beetle so it’s natural that they would eventually fall. Our other 2 neighbors have lost about 12 large trees and supposedly PGE will take them but who knows when? PGE is so backed up with keeping lines clear of trees that it could be a while. These trees are not near any lines so I’m surprised PGE said they’d do it.

I’m not planning any extra cooking today. I’ve pulled a bunch of things from the freezer for the week. Some chicken, frozen lentil soup, spaghetti sauce, and frozen eggs. So I’ll plan some dinners from that.

Tomorrow I plan to go to the gym and Tuesday I have a dental appt. That’s it for this week with probably a swim day Thursday.

Here’s Friday’s pizza. I’m using Tony Gemignani 00 flour and it’s a game-changer for pizza dough. Plus I’m making 1 large batch and dividing it into 4 balls and then freezing it. It’s working great.

Good news for Democrats holding the Senate. At least something positive is happening.

Frugal Friday

All things considered, it was a frugal week. I didn’t need to go to the store at all but B went to Safeway for a few things so I had him spend over $25 to get a turkey for $7.00. I might give this to the food bank since I plan on getting a Diestal from our market. They have a coupon for $15.00 off a Diestal so I put an order in for one of the petite turkeys which are 10-12 lbs. I did this last year and it worked out great for us.

The pumpkin puree ended up at 6 Qts which I thought was pretty good. I’m going to make a pie tomorrow to test it out. I also saw a recipe in NYT cooking for a pumpkin bisque that looked good. And I want to make pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I still have the other green pumpkin to bake and will do that this week. ( I’m assuming the insides are orange):)

The chickens haven’t been laying much so B put a light in their coop and now they are producing more. This time of year I use a lot of eggs in cooking.

Our freezer is pretty packed especially after going to Costco so I’m planning on doing some freezer meals for the week. So far I have shrimp scampi with pasta, bean burritos, and something with chicken, and I need to check what soups I have frozen too. I am going to put the sauerkraut I made in the refrigerator and I probably will do a Rueben-type sandwich this week( minus the meat).

With the extra Azure order, I’ll definitely be over our $800 food budget. But that’s okay as most of the order is pantry stuff and long-term food items.

All the monthly bills are in and I just submitted my LLS for November so that’ll be $175 for covering my UHC coverage.

I swam this morning and didn’t realize the pool was just opening at 7am so it was PACKED!! Not the way I like it at all but I shared a lane with a swimmer who wasn’t splashing and kicking wildly.:)

Tonight is pizza night and it’s just the 3 of us as our son is headed up to Mt Shasta City. We have the second half of the last Vera to watch on Brit Box. This is season 11. It’s good although predicatible.

Less anxiety about the elections but still…

Well, at least it was somewhat better than expected but if the GOP controls both House and Senate, I think we’re screwed. sigh^^

I made 2 versions of Tortilla Soup on Tuesday. One with chicken and now vegetarian. What was so great was I made most of it with our own pantry supplies. I used our own onions, garlic, corn from the freezer, my canned tomato sauce, and one jar of the pressure canned black beans. Wow was it good! I used a vegetarian bullion to give the broth a little more depth. Then I fried up some corn tortillas to make crispy strips on top. It was delicious.

This morning I cut up the giant pumpkin I bought at Apple Hill and have that baking. I’m going to puree it and freeze it for pies and pumpkin bread. It’s a very large pumpkin but I’m not sure once it’s baked and pureed how much it will make. Next, I’m cooking the last of the russet potatoes for mashed potatoes which I’ll freeze. Yesterday I made double-stuffed potatoes I baked 14 potatoes and ended up with 14 halves. I mound the potatoes with the filling and that’s why I only end up with 14 halves.

Today is a home day and tomorrow I’ll swim. My son is taking the Santa Fe for the weekend so I won’t go down to the pool on Saturday.

A couple of the Youtubers I watch had just put in Azure orders and showed what they got. Azure is like a buying club that you order from and it’s brought to a drop off place and then you show up and help unload the truck and get your order. I’ve wanted to try it for a few years now so it seemed timely to do it. I prefer always to buy in bulk because 1. I hate stores, and 2. I hate thinking about what I need and would rather have 10 lbs of oats or whatever so I don’t need to think about it for 6 months. So I’ll see how the drop off goes. Any readers out there that use Azure?

Simple Sunday

The clocks turned back so that means we walked later than our usual time. We got out there at 5:50 am which would have been 6:50. It’s just getting light at that time so it ended up quite nice and no one was there. Just as we left ‘Mercedes Lady'( who has been there almost every day walking with no flashlight( one of my pet peeves), arrived and it was already light out. It was a really nice walk though, kind of misty fog. The trees in the park are shades of reds, oranges, and yellows, as most of these trees are maples and liquid ambers. We’ll see how the rest of the week goes. We’re expecting rain so that can change things.

When I got back I did the kitchen zone and tidied a few things. This week is pretty open with only Costco on the to-do list. I’m thinking Wednesday but we’ll see if we can plan a non-rainy day. My son will be using the Santa Fe on Friday and Saturday as he’s going up to Mt Shasta so I’ll need to figure out my swimming schedule. Yesterday the pool was really busy which is a bit unusual for Saturday.

I have most of Thanksgiving planned. A simple menu with just basics and a nut loaf. We rarely eat dessert so I may skip trying to figure out a pie/dessert. I plan on making the nut loaf in the next week and just freeze. I do like Costco’s pumpkin pie but we never finish it.

A picture of the sunroom and you can see the golden leaves out the windows.

Tomorrow I plan to can cranberry sauce. It’s an easy recipe to make.

Friday things

Frugal things included shopping at Grocery Outlet for a few items we needed and to take advantage of their semi-annual wine sale. 20% off everything is a good deal. I bought 6 different bottles to try. None of the wineries are familiar to me but that doesn’t matter. Then we also stopped at Safeway to check on turkey breasts but they didn’t have any( nor Target or Walmart)?? So I added in a 10lb turkey (their brand) and when I was checking out it rang up as $7.00 so that was a good deal. I’m not sure I’ll use it for Thanksgiving but it’ll be in the freezer.

The black beans looked like they came out good in the pressure canner. I soaked 3 lbs overnight and then cooked for 30 minutes. I ended up with 5 Qts and 1 pint. So that’s quite a bit. I’ll use the pint jar next week and test it out.

I had my annual mammogram this morning and was in and out in 20 minutes. Then I headed down to Roseville to the Rec center. It was too early for the library so I’ll go next week. After that, I just came straight home and had a poached egg and toast instead of stopping at Panera.

I’m cooking up a banana bread right now as I type this blog because it wasn’t quite done. The bananas were in the freezer and I’m really trying to use things that need using up.

Tonight is pizza night and I have that all prepped. My son leaves for Las Vegas tomorrow with his friend. Their seeing Elton John. I think this is his 20th time seeing him. One time in LV at an Elton show, Elton’s rep came up to Zephyr and his friend and gave them VIP tickets to move up to the front row. That was a thrill for him.

We’re in for lots of rain next week so it’ll be an inside week for sure. There’s supposed to be snow in the mountains. Hurray!