Project : Cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

I forgot to add this one the other day. This is Nigella’s newest book. It’s a good cookbook but again I think her British cooking and use of ingredients just isn’t my style.

So this one is going to the pet bookstore. I’ll put a note on it so they know it’s brand new because they will sell new stuff for $3.00.

In other news for the week:

Barclay is off for his MRI this morning. I’m not sure what they will find. Maybe a pinched nerve?? Hard to tell but at least it’ll give him more information.

Today,I’m just puttering around the house. I went out to the barn to organize the prepper pantry and got a good idea of what we need; pasta sauces, salsas, a few canned beans, and maybe some other condiment stuff. We need some non food things like dishwasher pods so I’ll put that on the Costco list. Other than that it looks good and it’s not too much stuff.

I’ve got August’s budget almost done except for what extra we want to spend on home stuff. We want to get the garden gate done, and I’d like to get the window in the sunroom in. Also, my son wants to get the posts in for the back fence so I’ll budget that too. I think that’ll be about $100. Once the post are in( or at least most of them), we can take our time buying the fence boards.

Project:Cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

I’m getting close to the end of my cookbooks.

Tartine Bread is one of the best sourdough bread books out there, BUT, it is not easy to read the instructions. He’s all about the science of bread making with the hydration, dry ratio, etc. What I finally did was just went straight to the initial bread instructions and just highlighted that. If you follow his instructions to the letter and weigh everything you will have a glorious loaf of sourdough, 2 actually. I usually cut the recipe in half as 2 big loaves is a lot to handle.

The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by America’s test kitchen is a great cookbook and I’ve made lots of recipes. I think anything by ATC is outstanding.

Anyone who has cooked vegetarian for a while will know Mollie Katzen. She was doing on the East Coast in the 1970’s what Alice Waters was doing in Berkeley. Although Moosewood was much more casual than Chez Panisse. But Moosewood was also all vegetarian. Always excellent recipes.

I would definitely buy this is you saw it in the thrift store. I got my copy at the pet bookstore for $1.00

Back in the 70’s there was also the big macrobiotic movement. We did that for a while and in fact sometime @ 1978 we ate miso soup EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. for a year, either for breakfast or dinner. Funny though, we never got bored of it. I guess because I made it different everyday, sometimes with tofu and veggies, sometimes just plain. I still make miso soup occasionally but usually I just go for a bowl of ramen for breakfast which I’m eating as I write this!!! 🙂

Simple Sunday

It’s been a long week for no other reason than the unrelenting heat. Now we have smoke in the air from the fires so the air quality is lousy. It looks next week is a repeat.

I haven’t seen any lab results since my doctor is in Europe for 2 weeks. th forgot to call Friday to talk to the nurse so I’ll do that Monday.

We went to marijuana dispensary to get B some gummies and the THC patch that Donna over at Retirement Confidential mentioned. He put one on yesterday and didn’t think it helped much. Maybe today he can add another piece. He cut it in half so maybe use the whole one?? I don’t do the marijuana stuff even though I’d probably like it. I think the last time I ever smoked pot was the late 70’s. My drug choice is wine. i’ve never had hard liquor either maybe gin like 50 years ago. Wait , in college I did like Tequila sunrises.

I’m doing some cooking this week end. I cooked up some sourdough bread cubes for a panzanella salad I plan to make, I put some bacon in the oven to cook, and I plan on making a peach blackberry pie.

My new heavy duty pie pan from King Arthur showed up so that’s why I’m into doing the pie. I’ll let you know if it does crisp the bottom better than the glass one. It’s supposed to so we’ll see.

Not the prettiest crust but it tasted good!!

On the Frugal Friday note, I’ve failed on the grocery front. I think I’m going to be at $800 so that’s $200 over budget. Probably the Costco trip tipped the scale so I’ll just try and adjust next month. I bought a new pair of Birkies so that was a clothing item. I don’t budget clothes as we spend so little on them. My guess is between the two of us less than $200 a year. The last time I bought Birkies was 5 years ago, so they do last. My Merrills I’ve had for almost 2 years. So I just figure it goes in the monthly budget when needed. I have tried having categories for things and it doesn’t work for me so I keep whatever extra money for those is things in our ‘other’ savings which is different from our EF.

I paid the next installment of UCD and that leaves only $450 left. I was going to pay the full amount but figured this way we can use that money I would have spent on a project. I’d like to get a gate to put near our carport so we can walk in thru the garden. That would be @ $75. I also want to order a window for the sun porch and take out one of the french windows so we can open the window up and down to let the breeze in and eventually add another window cooler next summer.

This week is Flylady’s LR zone. I’ll do that tomorrow although I already did the ceiling fan. I’m going to have my daughter help move my Karastan in and lay it down so I can decide if it’s going or I’m keeping it. This is an antique wool rug. The edges are pretty worn and has lost quite a bit of carpet. Weirdly, this happened after I had it professionally cleaned. I think the guy didnt know what he was doing and ruined it. It was even still damp after he returned it and it was after that the edges started pulling out. The colors are beautiful( to me). My kids really dislike it mostly because it has been a dust catcher for years when it was on the floor. Even with constant vacuuming there is dust probably in the fibers. I wouldn’t pay to have it cleaned again as it’s not worth it. But I thought it might be fun to have it down in the summer as the colors are summery.

Update:

After opening it up I realized it doesn’t fit at all anything in my house, plus it was making me sneeze, so I listed it on Market place. If no one is interested I’ll give to goodwill if they will take it.

The kitties had fun running around on it.

Project: Cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

Of course, most anything by Ree Drummond is delicious. I’ve made lots of her recipes and they are all good to excellent. I’d recommend any of her cookbooks. I know recently she lost a lot of weight and I’m not sure if she’s doing low fat or just keto or whatever but these are the two I have and they are both good with lots of cheese and fat. Just eat smaller portions.

But the book I’d recommend everyone buy is “Midnight Chicken”. The book starts with her trying to step in front of a bus but then she doesn’t. From there she describes her depression and how cooking saved her. It is a remarkable book and the recipes are straightforward just as she is. The ending is sad but not because of her. I also know she has published a book of poetry but I haven’t read it. Buying the book of course would help support her efforts but maybe she doesn’t need it anymore.

Finally, Kinfolk is a collaboration of food people. Most of the food isn’t anything I’d make but the stories are lovely. The photos are exceptional as well.

Simple Sunday

I had a nice walk starting at 5:30 am. Of course, HE was there, but no matter, I just ignore him and carry on. Although I will say, since I’ve been using my walking pole( for added stability) he stays to the right on the path, so that’s a good thing. I’m still debating my timing. Sunrise is 5:53 am so getting there at 5:30 is fine. But soon it will be getting darker as sunrise gets later. Not sure what I’ll do but I think thru July this will work out ok.

Today the big missionis to go to Costco. I’m hoping it’s not insane like the one Sunday we tried. Perhaps the hoarders are done with their hoarding food and non food and it’ll be a regular Sunday which is usually pretty mellow especially since all the church christians are not there. It looks like our last trip/shopping there was June 8th. So that’s about right with trying to go every 6-8 weeks. Coffee is on sale so we’ll get enough for 2 months. I don’t need any meat so really it’s the basics like bread, cheese, coffee, butter, bagels ,cereal, and that kind of stuff.

I used some of the veggies from the farm stand to make a summer ratatouille. I used the zucchini, onions, our bell peppers and tomatoes. I served it over some cheese tortellini I had in the freezer. It was pretty tasty. So far on the Ooni pizza oven, I’ve made 22 pizzas. So I need 8 more and the Ooni will have paid for it self in how much take out pizza would have been for a comparable 12″ wood fired pizza.

the radishes were quite excellent and so were the cherry tomatoes.

This week Flylady is in the bedroom. Sunday is sheet day so I’m putting those in the washer and then we will line dry them. I am still loving linen sheets and don’t think I would ever go back to cotton. I may need to buy another set though as my winter ones are in the RV. I suppose I could just take them off for the winter but I’ll wait and see.

I have my monthly labs tomorrow. I’m not too concerned yet as it’s only been a month or so since I finished Velcade but who knows? right? My doctor is in Europe for 2 weeks so I won’t even be able to get my results although I may call down and talk to the nurse. Then I also am picking up my new glasses which is really not new since I’m using my old frames. I love the Lindberg frames and they are uber expensive so I thought since they are exactly what I want rimless and a lovely color I’d use them. I was planning on getting my other pair done too but that would add on another $500 to my bill. The one’s I’m picking up are partly covered by our vision plan but the second pair wouldn’t be . It would just be OP.

It has been so great not to have weekly appts at the infusion center. Not that it was that much trouble but it’s still nice. Plus, overall I’m feeling better with the drugs coming out of my system. So a win-win.

Here’s a fun blast from the past. I have this print on our living room wall.

And here’s Barclay in front of his 1967 VW( that I wish we had never sold)

This was probably 1980. That’s Jason our first child. We loved that dog and he lived to be 15 and was the sweetest dog ever. The print is from a photo and then my son had it done that way with California on the print.

Those were the good ole days:)

Frugal Friday

With the price of groceries right now and gas and just about everything, I’m not sure there is a point to frugal friday. But regardless, there probably were a few things.

I stopped and got gas at Costco because it’s the cheapest around. So that’s one thing.

I had stopped at Michaels for a budget notebook and my favorite Rhodia was discontinued so the cashier suggested to go online and see if they were discounted, and they were. Half off. So I bought 2 small and 2 medium. Regularly $10 and I got them for $5.00. So they will last me another year. I do all my budget with a notebook. Plus, I do my daily to do list on the same page and I keep notes about how I feel, my IBS issues, food issues etc.

I went to the local farm stand and bought peaches and made a pie instead of buying a $20 pie. It was $10 for the peaches which to me is crazy expensive. I’ve been making Magnolia’s pie crust recipe and it’s easy and makes a great crust. The recipe is for a single crust but I use the rolling pin and get it fairly thin and use the extra for a lattice over the top.

I filled out my LLS reimbursement for our UHC health care premium and my prescription plan. It usually takes them a couple of weeks to process. If I didn’t get LLS, our budget would be shot. We do not bring in enough SS to cover the health care costs. So cancer is a blessing and a curse , I guess:) 😦

We ended up with a dentist bill after the copay. $160, I’m not sure how economical it is to have the Delta dental but I guess it did pay some of the visit.

I think I will take an Amazon break and not order anything unless it is necessary. We still have a few RV things that we need before our Tahoe trip in September so that will need to be budgeted in. Otherwise, no miscellaneous which I’m good at rationalizing.

Other than that same ole, same ole.

Project: Cooking thru my cookbooks or else…

I think ina garten is one of my favorite chefs. Most all of her recipes are things I would make.

I like looking at her books for inspiration not just in food but how to serve food and often she adds a directory of where to get items.

The Paris one is really nice as she has a list of where to go in Paris for certain things. Not that I’m going to Paris but I still like reading about it. I got most of the these at the pet bookstore for a $1.00 so an inexpensive form of entertainment.

Our weather has turned and it’s much cooler today with a high around 91. I can live with that.

Barclay went to his PC yesterday and he gave him a shot of some sort of anti inflammatory( not cortisone) and I guess it seems to have helped. He also got an xray but it only showed some arthritis, so that’s not the issue. It’s still the sciatica. Hopefully it will improve all week. It’s hard to be in pain.

Simple Sunday …and so glad that the Robert E Lee statue is gone.

Yes, these civil war statues of monumental size ( very big, towering) do represent the what the south was trying to perpetuate: the SLAVERY of BLACK people. No matter how you look at it the civil war was about trying to PRESERVE a way of life and livelihood. Keeping BLACK people slaves did just that. No matter about the idea of taxation or that the North was somehow complicit. What matters and why taking down these statues matters is that they REPRESENT that slavery and that conscious of WHITE supremacy.

I’m glad that both the Lee and Stonewall Jackson are gone and good riddance. Hopefully, with all the protests since George Floyd’s murder we have move forward a little.

The heat is unrelenting here in Northern CA. Last night we didn’t get below 80 degrees. Very tough and can’t really do a whole lot. We should drop back down to the 90’s this week sometime.

I went to Safeway early and then the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for B. Apparently, while doing TOO much, he pulled a muscle or it’s sciatica is stressed and he’s in pretty bad shape. He went to see a PA but that was a waste so I want him to go back and see his PC on Monday or Tuesday. All he’s doing is taking pain meds and laying on the couch. Not good. Plus pain is the way the body says something’s wrong, do something. Well, Fuck this, it’s always something!!

The Flylady zone is the bathroom and I’ll do that in it a bit. I actually did most of it yesterday but I didn’t do the shelves.

I haven’t been cooking at all. It’s too hot so we’ve been having sandwiches and cold pasta salad and whatever we can put together. Today is the same. I have no motivation to cook, so probably some sort of sandwich or salad again.

I walked this morning and it was warm but not overpowering. AH showed up after I had done one round so at least I had one without him. It was nice.

This week I’ll go to the pool once or twice. It’s a ways to go but the swimming is so great that it’s worth driving 20-25 minutes. I don’t go do anything else even though I ‘m right near Winco etc. I decided early on, when I’m swimming that’s all I’m doing. No stacking errands on top. So far that has worked out.

I sold another book on Ebay. For now that’s all I’m going to list. It’s kind of a pain for a $10. sale. Still a few bucks is a few bucks that goes in the travel fund.

Well, better get a move on then.

Project: Cooking thru my cookbooks or else..

The Minimalist Kitchen is by the blogger Melissa Coleman. I like the book and her approach. I do think it’s a somewhat entitled woman’s approach to minimalism. I mean, whose kitchen looks like that? But I still like her honesty and have used several recipes from the book. For now it will stay.

Simplicity at Home is a book I bought this spring as the Japanese stuff caught my attention. The book is by the woman who started Fog Linen. I adore linen but all of the stuff on the website is beyond my reach. Still, I like the book probably for the ascetics. I’ll keep for now as it is a good book to look thru on rainy days.

I’ve used Date Night In for a couple of years and her pizza dough recipe is the one I use the most and always works. I’ve made a number of other recipes too. I liked her before fame. Now her last book I bought new and promptly gave away as it wasn’t at all interesting. I think something must happen to bloggers and Youtubers that get noticed and offered book deals etc. I’ve seen it over and over. There’s one You tuber Shannon Torres that I really enjoyed but now it’s all the same content and all the same lingo to get subscribers to get money.( clean with me, declutter with me, why I am minimal, I understand that but something is lost in translation.

The same thing happened with Scandish home. I liked her originality to start( actually a couple of years) but then it all changed when she was clearly out for the subscribers and money. She’s very wholesome but clearly now wears makeup, has her hair done and on and on. She was a minimalist but since they moved into a house twice as big almost every vlog is about what she has just bought on Amazon and of course there’s the link.( that’s where you get a small % if someone buys from your link.) I don’t even bother watching her anymore. Everyone does evolve but sometimes the almighty $ is behind it.

Magnolia Table is a useful book and I’ve made a number of recipes. Her Chocolate chip cookie recipe is good. I’ll keep for now. I have room on my shelf so no problem there.

These four books are all very nice and if you find them in a thrift store get them but I wouldn’t go buy them retail( as I did). Just my two cents.

update: I looked thru Date Night In more closely, and I don’t think there’s anything else I would make from it so it’s going. It’s a nice book but if I’m not going to make her ‘ salmon cakes with chile and fresh herbs ‘ then it’s probably best to pass it on. I’ll take a photo of the pizza dough recipe and call it good.

Further minimizing…

So, as you know I’ve been going thru more things and getting rid of more things. Sometimes hidden or just in a box or vintage suitcase in my case. I’ve also sold some Waldorf toys.

First off, a few miscellaneous.

So random things in the Heywood, nobody has used. The two candle holders are Hearth and Home and they were cute but they take a small candle and I generally never have them. The glass is probably my son’s but it hasn’t been used so it’s going. ( update, B said it was his from some trip to LOng beach and he didnt care).The hurricane top was because I bought 2 for when power went out and then I bought a spare top. Who knows when I’ll need that so it’s going. The pyrex is going because I have too many.

The Waldorf things include:

Goose girl, oak tree and pond with bridge.

That kangaroo and baby retail for $40.

Both of these sets I sold for $100. Ostheimer toys are all out of stock everywhere and very desirable. But they only took up room in my Heywood drawer so I’m glad that they are going to a good home with young children.

So what have I discovered? Getting rid of things and clearing any space feels great and opens up that space. Even if it’s only one or two things. I love space more than things.

Minimalism is certainly a journey as is decluttering. I think there is a point where it feels just right but I still have things to get rid of. It’s really layers of things and when I get to the next layer, things I didn’t see before, are more visible and I don’t care about them anymore.

Case in point. I bought an Instant Pot airfryer about 2 years ago, maybe 18 months. We had lots of fun with it the first 6 months and then slowly nobody wanted to get it out and use it. If we had a choice we used our toaster oven, which we love. ( Breville). So I decided to donate it and now it’s in the pile to get dropped off at Goodwill. That opens up that whole area under the Heywood. I don’t have anything in there at the moment and plan to only put something there if it fits and the space works.

The thing about decluttering is just start and then just keep going. Little by little, inch by inch, row by row….