Archive | January 2022

I might be different

Have you ever heard a news story or seen a product advertised and think, “I might be different than everyone else.” First of all I didn’t see a product advertised, a hear it on the radio. I dont watch TV so that might be the first clue that I am different. The product I heard about was a smart toilet and other smart bathroom fixtures that link to your cell phone. I am so dumbfounded that I cant even wrap my brain around it.

Where we live, we loose power more than we would like. We have a well, so water becomes a problem sometimes when we dont have power. We have learned to adjust. We have drinking and cooking water always on hand and we keep flushing water available for when we need to flush to toilet. Now, add the complexity of a smart toilet. I would have to have power, water and my cell phone to flush the toilet? Really? How is this easier? I think I just might be different.

We are having our kitchen stove converted to propane. One, because of the power problem and two I like cooking with gas better. While everything is getting hooked up and inspected we do not have a kitchen stove. Our solution:

We are heating water for coffee and cooking eggs on the wood stove. No power and no kitchen stove needed. However, there are electric kitchen gadgets that would make this easier. A coffee maker for example. I prefer the french press. I’m high maintenance and different.

There is also something called an breakfast maker. It will cook the eggs, toppings and toast for a breakfast sandwich. Again, sounds cool for two seconds, till I dont have power or I have to try and clean this gadget. A cast iron skillet and make a breakfast sandwich too, all in one pan. I am different.

Now dont get me wrong, there are some electric gadgets that I love and really save me time and sanity. I love my instapot. However, I do own a stove top pressure cooker for when we dont have power. Being gluten free, we also use a rice cooker, a lot. But, I can use my pan. These things are great in the summer when we dont want to heat up the house. Or it I want to set it up and forget about it on a busy day. I also use these devices when we travel and have to cook gluten free meals in the hotel. We even have an electric ice cream maker. When you make everything from scratch you need some help sometimes. That was a gift after spending several summers with a really big left arm from cranking the ice cream churn. We do still use the churn for large batches. However, we do not have a cake pop maker, a tortilla heater, a hot dog warmer, George Forman grill, electric bread maker, espresso machine, panini maker, etc. The list goes on and on.

Part of simplifying our house was eliminating a lot of our one use items. Especially in the kitchen. If a skillet can do the job just as well, I dont need something I have to plug in. We are simplifying and unplugging. Again, I think I am different!

Sunday: Prep day!

Being in the kitchen is something that brings me joy. I love creating and sampling my creations. On Sunday I get to be in the kitchen and let the rest of the world kinda drift away. I get to turn up music and sing while preparing for the week ahead.

For Christmas my daughter received a calendar with all the “National and World” Holidays on it. Today is National Pie day. Of course this is a holiday we must observe. We will have pot pie for lunch, which I made earlier this week and I will make small hand apple pies today with the left over pie crust in the freezer.

This week for breakfast we are going to be having sausage patties and bagels. Today I will cook the patties and bake the bagels. This makes mornings simple for everyone. I will be following a modified bagel recipe from www. I am still working out the kinks, when I get it to a good place, I will share the recipe here.

Lunches this week are going to be chicken salad and pulled pork. I have enough bread in the freezer so I dont have to bake that today. I roasted the chickens already, so I will shred it, add mayo, celery or radish, onion, and pepper. This will go in the fridge and be gone before I know it! Making chicken salad or other lunches ahead of time prevents us from having to buy lunch meat. The kids do not get much time for lunch and it has to be ready to go.

Dinner tonight will be pork roast. That will go in the instapot and the leftovers will become pulled pork for lunches. By making a “large” supper on Sunday, I can use the leftovers later in the week.

Since today is a light kitchen day, I will also spend time at the sewing machine. Also a very relaxing thing for me. I dont view it as a chores and Sunday is my day to do things I enjoy not just things on my to-do list. I have some clothing to mend and a gift to make for a friend.

Wednesday Windup

The ground in the north east is covered with snow and the air has a bite to it. I am not a winter person, but it has its purpose. It is a time to focus on other things. A time for planning. Our whole year gets planned out in January / February time. I have taken inventory of our seeds and have ordered what we will need for the upcoming season. Trying to stay inside a tighter budget, I have ordered everything we will need for the next 12 months, including fall garlic. To resist the temptation of ordering more seeds, I am recycling the seed catalogs and they come in the mail. Which is so difficult. A seed catalog is like a romance novel for me. It is full of emotion and lust, dreams if things just out of reach. I did keep one, the PlayBoy of seed catalog, in my opinion. I just like to look at it and dream.

This week we have been focused on Menu Planning and rotating food in the cellar. We maintain a root cellar, a canning pantry, dry goods pantry and multiple freezers. Our basement is a grocery store. We have been so blessed with abundant harvests and blessings. For the most part all we have is raw ingredients. You are not going to find a frozen pot pie or pizza in my freezer. However, I have all the ingredients on hand to make either one of those. All things are possible with God and good planning. Our current challenge for ourselves, is how long can we go between store trips. We are hopefully going to make it till April.

Another focus we have right now is splitting firewood. I know this should be a summer task, but my boys hate splitting wood in the heat. So it is a winter family warm up activity. We are blessed to get lots of logs from the tree companies in the area. Allowing us to heat our house with our labor. We are very thankful.

All the goats are in with the buck, hopefully this will mean babies at the end of the school year. I work in a school and struggle managing school and kidding. We will have them ultrasound the first week of March to get a baby head count and rough due date.

I hope you are having a productive winter on the homestead. Stay warm. God Bless.