More thoughts on Simplified eating

img_0165 My home made bread.

Simple Foods

I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking about what it is I’m trying to do with Simple Eating. So far I’ve come up with

  • Eating the same foods for meals simplifies meal time and allows me to have what I need on hand. For instance, breakfast. We have chickens, therefore lots of eggs. My go to breakfast is: 1 egg either fried or scrambled and since I make my own bread, a slice of toast. I also make my own granola, granola with yogurt is a go to. I was making my own yogurt but then buying the organic at Costco for 6.49 seemed like a  no-brainer. Making yogurt is pretty easy  to make so that maybe something to try.
  • so, decide what breakfast works for you and that you have ingredients available. Perhaps you do smoothies. Then be sure that’s what you do almost daily and it simplifies the process.
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    Our girls lay pretty colored eggs!

    Having what you need on hand makes the difference in a stressful morning or a calm one.

    Bulk buying

  • Buying in bulk such as black beans, pintos, rice, cheese, coffee, meat, butter, let’s me put meals together easily. If you don’t want to make your own beans, buying the organic cans at Costco is a great option too. I keep canned beans as well since once in awhile it’s nice to open black beans and then just cook up some rice.

       Right equipment

  • Having the right kitchen equipment makes some of this easier. A crockpot is essential. You can throw together chicken, veggies, sauce and then 6 hours later it’s done. I do all my beans in the crockpot. I put in @ 2 cups of beans, rinse, and then cook on high for 7-8 hours. The last hour I add garlic cloves and salt. Next is a rice maker.  This is a must if you eat rice once a week. I use to make rice using the Tassajara recipe book. It was fun until you forgot about it and it burnt. With a rice maker, it is fool proof.

 

        Menus

  • Having a menu is essential even if it is just variations of what you do every week.  such as Taco Tuesday can be tacos, but also bean and rice bowls or pizza night might be homemade but once in awhile it’s take- out. So plan for the week wth your menu.
  • Have a theme for each night for dinner ie; the taco Tuesday etc.
  • cook once and then use leftovers. I try and do roast chicken once a week or week and a half. Then I make up menus based on leftovers. Chicken tacos, chicken soup in the winter, chicken salad.

Planning ahead to shop also allows you to figure out what you need and if you buy what in season that makes meal planning easier too.

I think also, simple food eating has a lot to do with what season you are in your life too. Do you have young kids, retired, teenagers? That will certainly make a difference in how you try and simplify meal planning.

 

Fun reviewing books!

If you’re an avid reader as I am, this is a great option to read new books.

Netgalley books are all e-readers so you need a Kindle or the kindle app. It’s lots of fun. My reviews are honest and there have been a few books I gave not so great reviews on.  But I enjoy reading most of them.

Try this out if you’re like me and love reading.

Simple Eating

In this journey of minimalism, I’ve wanted to expand past the decluttering and streamlining things to food as well. Not so much decluttering that area but eating simpler and eating the same foods weekly to simplify menus etc. We do eat pretty simple but for some reason, I want to even more.

I’ve always bought bulk foods, rice, beans, etc since the 1970’s. Even soaps, detergents, canned goods etc because it’s easier for me and simpler to buy bulk and then not have to think about those things for 6 months. Back in the 1970’s we’d go out to a place called Mother Truckers by Ananda. Mother Truckers is still there and does a brisk business. Ananda is still there although many changes have occurred. It’s still a spiritual community based on Yogananda Paramahansa’s teachings. Anyway, we’d go out there, which was about a 2-hour drive for us, and get bulk shampoo, honey, etc.

Now co-ops are everywhere or Whole Foods and you can great bulk items.  I can even get Lundberg organic brown rice at Costco in a 12 lb bag. I can get a 10lb bag of sugar and there’s honey in large jars. I don’t use as much honey anymore so we just get a smaller jar.

I still get 10 lb bags of rice and beans and store in glass jars.  I use to buy the 25 lb bags but that was more than we’d use in a reasonable amount to time. I even have some of my original gallon jars I had from the 70’s. I use to go around to the restaurants and ask for their old pickle jars, mayonnaise because you couldn’t really buy the gallon jars anywhere.

I use a weekly menu that’s simplified to some extent but I’d like it to be more so. Maybe as I get older or further in this minimalist journey, I just don’t want to think about things like what extravagant meal do I want to cook. I want my food choices to be simple.

I like wearing the same clothes and keep my colors to black, white, gray and occasionally deep purple or navy blue.  So with food, I want to have fewer choices so I don’t have to think about it.

Our weekly menu looks like this

Sunday- BBQ or roast something ( need to refine this)

Monday- pasta something ( this can be mac and cheese,or lemon spaghetti, or ?

Tuesday- Taco Tuesday ( really anything Mexican)

Wednesday- Sorta whatever day ( this is the one I need to work on)

Thursday- crockpot something,  usually pinto beans or black beans Then we add tortillas, avocado, salsa,. If its soup in the winter fall, bread along side.

Friday- homemade pizza

Saturday- This turned into sammie Saturday. A simple sandwich of some sort.

I want to work on what foods we’re eating. We like and eat a lot of beans and then I usually use the rice cooker to make organic long grain rice for the week.

Some chicken, tofu, a little beef and a little fish (not too often).

Breakfast is always eggs/toast or bagel/yogurt/fruit

Lunch is a salad or leftovers or 1/2 sandwich

I just don’t want to cook extra fancy stuff too much anymore. I do love cooking and trying new recipes, but I still want a base to work from.

Macular Pucker

That’s the diagnosis of my right eye. It’s not from the steroids the Dr. said, just happens. ( maybe she meant as we get older?? but was being nice). So, it’s basically a wrinkle on the back of the eye and that’s causing the blurred vision. I can cope with it ok but still.

I did have a horrible drive home as I could barely see and had to keep squinting. But I made it. Then it took most of the day for my eyes to stop bothering me. The dye they injected looked radioactive and so did my urine. Well, at least the good news is, if I can live with the blurred vision in my right eye, surgery isn’t necessary unless it gets worse. So, I’ll keep checking every 6 months and hope for the best.

We had the night of the killer raccoon again.  it was around 3:30 am and I had just gone to the bathroom( my usual 2 a night) and climbed in bed and then all of a sudden squawking and screaming from the chicken coop. B hadn’t closed te back gate. Now, here’s the story. EVERY SINGLE NIGHT I say did you close the chickens in. EXCEPT for last night. So there’s a raccoon climbing over the fence and chickens still squawking.   We see the poor chicken in the bushes with blood on her feathers.  We get her in and hope she makes it thru the night. Well, she did and her comb is bloodied but she’s alive. We’re keeping them in this morning to recuperate and then will let them out later.

So, I never really got back to sleep so I feel kinda worn out. But today is gym day so I’ll go do that and then over to the Koffee klatch and see who shows up.

I’ve been working on a sourdough starter and it doesn’t seem to be activating. I bought it from Amazon from a good company. They have been helping me troubleshoot what could be wrong. This is day 6 and still not a lot of bubbles. I asked Amazon for a refund which they did and then bought another starter from the store.It’s the same brand so I hope it works otherwise I’ll order a totally different one. I’ll start the bread recipe tomorrow regardless and see how it goes.

last night we had a nice lentil curry and naan bread and a salad with greens from the garden. yummy!!

Tonight I’m going to do some chicken kabobs /tofu kabobs with salad.

‘Braving it’ by James Campbell

This is an extraordinary account of a father and daughter’s journey to Alaska.  The daughter is just fifteen but wants to go on this adventure with her father to help the father’s cousin build a cabin. It has wonderful descriptions of Alaska and the wildness that goes with it.

I had some mixed emotional feelings about this book especially when they return to Alaska to canoe the river Hulahula in the very remote  Artic.  It was extremely dangerous and life threatening in a number of instances.  The author and his daughter both seem to love the danger aspect. I respect their love of the wild and especially Alaska.

The book is well written and allows the reader to come along on some incredible adventures that otherwise wouldn’t ever experience.

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Five Frugal Things Friday

It’s been a good week overall. I’m happy with the reorganizing and decluttering I did.

  1. Ate our meals at home and shopped at Grocery Outlet for things to get us through till I shop Costco next week.
  2. I’m trying to do only 2 very small loads of laundry a day,( white and dark). Although that may not seem frugal, it’s frugal with my time as I keep up on it and it’s not huge loads.
  3. Read 4 books this week free from Netgalley. They’re e- books but fun. Most were  cookbooks but one was a self-help called 30 days to Joy ( or something like that). What I liked about it was her take on just do what brings you joy.  I thought that was very simple and yet we need to read or hear that.
  4. We want to update our kitchen someday( when we have money) Ha….. Ha… but in the meanwhile, I decided to paint the cabinets again so at least they look better.  So, instead of groaning we can’t afford to remodel, I bought a high gloss white paint and voila!  It’ll do for now.
  5. All the bills are in for the month and budget done. Unfortunately, we will have a very expensive auto repair on my son’s Subaru.  He needed the head gaskets done to the tune of $2500. Plus an accelerator problem. We offered to put it on our CC so he at least has a car. The other option was to sell it as is but then he wouldn’t have a car. So it’s cheaper to fix a car than buy a new used car. So, that won’t be frugal to charge it but it will be cheaper in the long run as hisSubaru will run for a good long while.

Tomorrow we’re going to Home Depot to get the boards for the last garden bed.  I budgeted a small amount for this since it’s now or not plant. In the long run, it’ll be frugal when we have lettuce, etc.

Tonight is Friday night Pizza!

Reorganizing

I’ve wanted to get rid of the bin cubby (6 bins) for a while. They were useful but I wanted to empty that space. so I kept 2 of the Martha Stewart bins for house rags, my vintage cloth, and new white bathroom washcloths, hand towels, and bath towels. I get these at Costco once a year and it’s a great bargain. White Hotel towels. The washcloths are a bundle of 24 for about 18.00 and the bath towels are 6 or 8 to a pack for @ $20. When there done they all become rags for things. It’s a great bargain if you’re after white towels for the bathroom.

So back to the little cubby thing. I reorganized the closet some and got rid of a few things. This is the only built-in closet in this house. For my daughters’ room, we have a floor to ceiling Ikea closet system. So we always need to maximize this space.  One shelf is my overflow pantry stuff. This has actually worked out great. One shelf is the bins with my workout stuff, seasonal stuff( swim suits) and then the above mentioned. On the floor under the last shelf are plastic bins with sheets( we have 2 pairs, one on the bed, one in the bin). Office stuff and one other.

I’m slowing getting it to where it’s pretty organized and labels.

Today, I’m heading over to the Humane Society thrift store to drop off a load some of which includes a few vintage tablecloths I don’t want anymore. Then to the Pet bookstore to drop off some old antique books that were my husband’s mothers.  They are really falling apart and event hough they are quite antique I don’t want them anymore. Then next to Goodwill to drop some clothes and miscellaneous stuff.  I’m going to start a pile in the barn for my son to sell at the flea market including some vintage games( Lone Ranger) and Clue.

It’s pasta night so I’m thinking penne pasta with tomatoes, basil, and smoked mozzarella.

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Eureka, Ca

It’s been a fun trip ( work for him, fun for me) to this area. I haven’t been here for many years and I’m guessing not a lot has changed. It is a fairly depressed area and I’m guessing that fishing and logging used to be the economy booster. There’s quite a few homeless and Not sure why as it’s not that warm or desirable but there are a lot of them hanging around.  But we’ve had lots of walking, good food and fun all around.

We found 2 used bookstores but there’s no Goodwill. I didn’t feel like hitting up the other thrift stores.  Eureka natural Foods and North Coast co-op are incredible stores. The one in Arcata has Humbolt State nearby so must do pretty well with that.

After B works this morning we will head to Chico and spend the night since it’s a 4-5 hour drive today.  Then home Saturday.  We may hit up the FArmersmarket on Saturday of not.

I bought a murder mystery book by a local author but after starting realized I had already read it but I’ll reread it and then pass on to the library. It’s a signed copy so that will be nice.

It’s rainy and windy here but once we’re inland it’ll be 79 degrees in Chico. Go figure, it’s California!!

Update, he’s alive!!!!

Okay, we were getting ready to leave for the coast(a 7-hour drive), and we saw our neighbor come out his front door and he had his little dog too. So all is good. I tell you I was pretty concerned as this was not the first time he has fallen.  But this was the bloodiest so far.  But as the 2 commenters noted next time I will call the Sheriff to do a well- check. I mean he is 92. ?