Showing posts from July, 2013

Food Storage: Transporting hot & cold foods

For our vacation, we rented a hotel room with a kitchenette. It did legitimately save us money on breakfasts and lunches and even a couple dinners, as we were able to do a picnic dinner the night we went sailing, and supply foods for a backyard BBQ another night. (And as the room was the same price as some of the other local hotels without kitchenettes, it didn't cost us any extra there either!)

Of course, Seattle being about 30-50% more expensive for groceries than Portland/Vancouver, and seeing as we wouldn't be getting into town until after our first wedding of the trip, I didn't want to have to buy much food up there.

Enter the cooler.

Place food, insert ice, seems pretty simple. But what about if you have cardboard foods that could get soggy in the melted ice? I put a couple items in small garbage bags with good results! Unfortunately, there aren't many plastic-conscious ways of handling that, unless you want to transfer to glass containers.

Menu: July 29-August 4; using leftovers and restocking the freezer

With all the leftover food from the wedding on Saturday, and specifically the veggies we forgot to take for the salad and veggie trays, we have a LOT of produce. Produce purchased in plastic packages (oh dear, way that 5 times fast!). It has struck me how these packages involve so many chemicals that I can smell and taste them. It has been so long since I used pre-packaged broccoli and carrots that I forgot what that tasted like. It gave me a headache. But I can't bring myself just to throw it away! And it isn't as obvious when you don't eat them raw. Still, in the future I think it is worth the effort to chop up some broccoli and romaine!

We had a bit of a mishap right before we left on vacation. An impulse buy of ice cream bars got shoved haphazardly into the big freezer, and kept the door from sealing properly. Mr. Moon found the issue the next morning, but not before we lost quite a bit of our stores. Mostly vegetables, bread products, and our homemade food items. We t…

Returning from vacation in 3... 2... 1...

Mr. Moon and I had a fabulous time on vacation! We got to see four beautiful souls get married, reacquainted with some old friends, met some new ones, exhausted ourselves, ate too much junk food, and all-in-all had a marvelous time.

Before moving down here, we spent two months driving back and forth, 3 hours at a trip, multiple times a week. It was a wonderful time to reconnect, discuss our goals and dreams and giggles and hopes and sorrows and concerns about anything that came to mind. It was helpful, because it gave us both time to process and strategize. Even the next two months we had plenty of time in the car together, with his job a half-hour or more commute each way.

Lately our car trips have become shorter as have our tempers. Our time with just the two of us for company and no chores to be doing has become less frequent, and less time on each trip. I noticed it slipping away and thought it was a blessing, more time to Be Productive. But productivity is not the end-all, be-all…

Menu: July 8-14

Whew! Almost 100 pounds of plums came off that tree! I'll post about the canning process later this week, but suffice it to say, the first day of preserving went very well. Not perfect, but I didn't expect it to be. I'm proud of all we accomplished.

This week we have more plums to get processed, and start working toward getting ready for a trip we are taking to Seattle for a week. I have no expectations that we will accomplish anything beyond finishing these plums, but it's a hope!

Pops has his first round of chemo therapy on Monday, so we wanted to make sure he had food available that would be appealing but easy to manage for the first few days. The fact that these menu items require little cooking helps since we will be doing lots of canning this week and don't have time for a lot of food prep.

Oh! I wanted to share how last week's Salad Menu worked out! I have to call it a raving success. Pops was a bit hesitant about the idea of taco salad (I've never m…

Garden Update: Lack of water = lack of seeds sprouting, & plum tree explodes!

I know I promised a garden update ages ago. I even took pictures! On June 22. Let's see what we have here...

Yes, let's start with an epic fail. I have no idea what was supposed to be in this planter. Badly cropped in the original photo, you can see a scrap of the plastic wrap I put over these to try to get some greenhouse effect on my seeds. Fabulous! All nice and warm and cozy inside there. Problem is, there were apparently no drainage holes in these herb planters. Oops. So no drainage + no ability to evaporate + a gap for watering that allowed the rain in = SWAMP BUCKET!

We since took a drill to the bottoms of these buckets and added a few drainage holes. Having mud fling out at you from the drill bit? Not as delicious as one might expect. Actually it probably is, if you expect it to be kind of gross.

So here in this little failure, you can see again the swampiness, the label that is half washed off from the condensation of the greenhouse canopy, AND the scraggly chives fro…

Happy Independence Day, America!

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, our victories and failures, our blessings and our faults. Today we celebrate the good things our country has accomplished, take a break for a moment to appreciate the freedoms we are afforded by our citizenship, and renew our promise of stewardship of the American Dream. 
Today we are thankful. 
Tomorrow we wake up, alive another day, rested and free to roll up our sleeves to get back to the work at hand of bettering ourselves and our nation. Some people say we should be this patriotic every day. I say if we did this every day, we wouldn't appreciate it as much because it would be the new normal. Heck, some days I don't want to live in this country, let alone claim it as my own. Take a moment to appreciate the good parts, because we still have a lot of work to do on the parts that are still a bit broken.

Menu: July 1-7

I know I promised y'all a garden update last week, but I unapologetically spent my week having fun outside, and recovering from my cold. I'm feeling much better now, thanks for asking! (And I know you did! Because my readers are pretty awesome and caring like that.)

The heat last week was murder. Cooking in that heat was even worse. So this week we made a point of creating a menu that is all salad, all the time! But rather than getting stuck with the same dinner every day for a week, we still switched it up a bit. During our meeting I made the joke, "How many ways can we make pasta salad?" It's not quite that bad, but let me show you what I mean.

What's on the menu?

Breakfasts: Yogurt and honey sprinkles (AKA bee pollen, great for allergies and really seems to help); yogurt and granola; eggs.

Lunches: Leftovers; pizzadilla; cold cut sandwiches.

Snacks: Yogurt; hard boiled eggs; fruit.

Monday: Sunny, 92 degrees! Mr. Moon works the early shift, then we have …