Food Waste and Thankfulness

Today I was lucky to find only three small chunks of pineapple, tucked into the back of my refrigerator, in a large pyrex that needed to be thrown away. Why was there three bite-sized pieces of pineapple left in that container? I haven’t the slightest. Three bites. Ugg.
With that gone, I have more room for my ever-growing collection of pureed pumpkin, which is up to about 5 gallons at the moment, with another gallon-sized bag of chunks left to bake and puree.
**Please do not judge how long this process takes. Turning pumpkin into pumpkin puree is labor intensive, and sometimes I just need a break!

FoodWasteFriday

Finally, I wanted to share what I am thankful for today: my (mostly) free education. Because Beard is employed by a local university that offers free education to any of his dependents, I am able to work on my Masters in Teaching without adding anything to our debt. We do, however have to pay a small fee (less than $200 per semester) for online fees, but that is small potatoes compared to how much a private college education can cost. That being said, I sometimes tend to complain and moan about my husband’s job because his hours are so strange, but if it wasn’t for this job, I wouldn’t be able to be in this course.
Why Masters in Teaching? First, because I already hold a bachelors degree, and I thought it would be silly to make a lateral move rather than a step up. Second, I intend to homeschool our children. Hopefully. If I find the patience for it. Learning how to teach and educational theory would be very helpful for this.
And if my girls end up going to a school outside the home, being a crazy physics teacher is a pretty awesome fall back plan if I do say so myself.

Food Waste and Life

**I must preface this post by saying there are a lot of things I want to share with you all today. That means this will be one of my more “schizophrenic” posts. I apologize in advance. This is truly how my brain works.**

In an effort to really focus more and more of my day on the Lord, I have been listening to mostly Christian music while in the car or at home. When I’m not listening to Christian music the girls and I are listening to Adventures in Odyssey, a radio show from the last few decades that Madeline has grown very attached to.

Today while driving home from a busy morning (think two babies, one dog, three errands) I had Spirit FM playing. The fill-in d.j. was sharing a bit about how we can use our words to either build people up or break them down. She followed this by playing “Words” by Hawk Nelson.
I have probably heard this song a million times on this station, and although I have heard the lyrics, I have apparently never really heard and understood them before. By the time I heard the chorus: “Let my words me life. Let my words be truth. I don’t want to say a word unless it points the world back to You”; I was in tears.
I have what some people affectionately term “verbal diarrhea”; I say things without necessarily thinking about them first or considering how they may affect those who hear them.
God really used that moment, those 3 minutes of that particular song to really speak to me.
Isn’t it funny how He reaches out and speaks to everyone in ways that He knows they will listen?
He spoke to me in a song I’d heard countless times before. The Lord told me that my words have the power to speak Truth, life, and love into someone else’s heart. And if I am not doing that, I may be cutting them down, hurting them, or offending them without knowing it.
So today I prayed the refrain of Hawk Nelson’s song:
Lord,
Let me words be life. Let my words be truth. I don’t want to say a word unless it points the world back to you.

Simply Being Mum

Since today is Friday, friends, I also get to share with you my food waste.
Somewhere in the back annals of my refrigerator I found a small container of watermelon that must have come home with my husband from his lunch at work. Considering it is October, I felt safe throwing said watermelon away; I’m not sure I remember the last watermelon I brought home from the grocery store.
I also had to throw away almost a quart of grapes. Last week I received a coupon from a grocery delivery service for a free half share of what they call “Local Bounty”, a collection of local fresh produce. I can’t turn down free groceries, so I signed up and picked up our free produce. We loved everything else that came in our box of goodies except the grapes. These were Niagara Slip Skin grapes. Literally, the skins slipped off the grapes as you bit into them. Definitely not my thing. Poor Clara couldn’t get one in her mouth with out squeezing the flesh right out of the skin. I wish I could have thought of something to do with these, but instead they were composted.

Oh well, better luck next week!

Nifty Way to Store Mixed Greens

100_2801Friends, let me explain to you my disdain for slimey lettuce.  It could possibly be the most offensive thing ever.  It not only is slippery and wet, but also tends to smell bad, and if one is not careful, consumption of slimey lettuce could lead to gagging.

Ew.

That is why I usually do not buy large containers of mixed greens.  They tend to get slimey too quickly for us to eat it all.  Granted, we compost the lettuce we don’t eat, but I still end up having to buy more for salads.

During the spring and early fall, we eat lettuce from our garden, but the particular lettuce we grow does not like the Virginia heat.  So it goes to seed in summer, then reappears as the temperatures drop.

Perhaps it’s time to invest in a heat-loving lettuce.

Regardless.

We are in the heat of summer, and I am forced to buy lettuce.  Sometimes spinach.  But let’s be honest, folks.  Those tasty tasty mixed greens are way better than baby spinach on your everyday salad.

I brought home my fairly large container of mixed greens with high hopes that the internet would produce for me a good way to store these until our family could finish them all.  After researching several different sites, I found one way (given by several sources) that seemed easy enough.

100_2800Lay out the greens on a bath towel to dry completely.  Most consumers don’t realize that when they buy packaged, pre-washed greens they may not be completely dry.  And this is really not great for keeping them from getting slimey and wilty.

Next, roll the short end of one of the towels until you make what looks like a very large, but strangely healthy Yodel:

100_2803*Note* The towel is not edible in this Yodel scenario.

100_2802Tie string or place rubber bands around the rolled up towel and place in your fridge.  Internet lore says my greens will last a week this way.  We shall see, readers.  We shall see.

 

 

 

 

Local Booty

I should warn you guys:

Sometimes, I crack myself up.

When I was driving home this morning I thought of the title for this post and literally laughed out loud.

At my own joke.

It’s almost as bad as the inside joke I have with myself about t-rexes having dinner together but can’t pass the dishes to one another because their arms are so puny and short.

Yes, you read that correctly.  An inside joke with myself.

You should really pray for Ryan.  His wife is crazy.

Anyway, this morning, my little Clara and I ventured to our local farmer’s market.  I am so glad that in the last few months, the DP household has been using more and more local foods.  Here is the bulk of my farmer’s market purchase:

100_2461From left to right:

a bag of kale, local eggs, a head of cabbage, freshly ground (while I waited!) hard red wheat flour, milk, buttermilk, yellow onions, and a mix of pink lady, fuji, and winesap apples.

(Not pictured:  my giant quart of local honey and two more milk half-gallons which have already been made into yogurt. :-D)

Not only is eating locally grown and produced foods often healthier for our family, it is healthier for our economy.  Ryan and I love supporting small businesses and putting our money back into the local economy.

Buying locally also means more of our food uses less fossil fuels than average to get to our kitchen.

What kids of local foods do you like to buy?

 

 

Looong Overdue

100_2396

During our church’s premarital counseling, Beard and I were encouraged to come up with a list of “non-negotiables”, certain statutes that we would stick by in our marriage no matter what. These vary and include things like “We will always maintain a unified front”, and “We will not host house guests for more than two weeks consecutively.” We also came up with a list of “fight rules”, or what some would call “rules of engagement”. We listed out things we didn’t want to disrespect each other with, such as silent treatment, eye-rolling, sarcasm, etc.
As newlyweds, Beard and I were super excite about these non-negotiables and fight rules; we were starting our marriage right! We purchased a large frame from our nearest Hobby Lobby to frame these statements and hang them proudly in our home. It was my job to frame them.
Well.
I had tried several times and never came up with anything that looked nice. Handwritten looked too informal, just the fight rules and non-negotiables looked too “text-y”, and I just didn’t have an eye for what I wanted to do with it.
THREE YEARS LATER, and I still hadn’t put this together. So today I did. Finally. I included our wedding invitation, a few pictures of us, and a wedding card we received that had 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a on it. Today, I proudly hung it over our bed.
And procrastination over that project was put to rest.
What do you procrastinate and put off? What if you did it TODAY?

In other, unrelated but fun news, I have no food waste to report this week. I am on the ball about the greens in our fridge (which is kale, to be fair, and doesn’t go bad nearly as quickly as other greens), and I haven’t been keeping anything super perishable. Either way, it’s a win in my book!

Simply Being Mum

Still Just a Momma of Two..

Hey there readers. I bring you some good news today: we have no food waste to report.  We have really had a good few weeks as far as good waste goes; I’m not sure if that has more to do with us using better strategies or us eating more food (ok, me eating more food) as the arrival of our youngest approaches.
In other positive news: both Beard and I are tackling our Christmas list head on. Since he spends more time on the internet than I do, Beard is taking care of the online shopping. I am so grateful to him for this since I get very distracted shopping online.
I, on the other hand, have started to tackle the kids on our list at a local children’s consignment shop. I find some awesome toys and adorable clothes for great deals there! It makes our Christmas budget go further.
(Of course I made sure with the parents involved that second hand gifts are acceptable.)
But my final piece of news today is frustrating: I am still pregnant. Despite contractions and regular doses of evening primrose oil, we have no second child in our arms yet. Only two weeks and two days left!