Monday, December 24, 2018

Happy Holidays & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  Though our plan was to decorate our tree Sunday evening, the limbs had not relaxed downward by then, so we had to wait.  It hadn't changed much by Tuesday, but we decided to hang the lights, to see if the weight would help the limbs come down.  It did, and we decorated it on Thursday.  I've really been enjoying watching the This Is Us series.  I made colcannon using our potatoes.  The hens have been laying again, and I've been collecting from 3 to 6 eggs a day, which is wonderful.  My gray hair continues to grow out, saving me about $100 a month in hair coloring.  I'm embracing my inner grandmother :o).  It's a bit odd looking right now, but a nice compliment last week encouraged me.  Though not frugal for us, a neighbor had me buy he and a friend tickets for a concert we were attending, and he ended up not being able to go.  It was very last minute, not to mention the holidays, and we contacted a number of people before we found someone who could use the tickets, which he said to just pass on to someone.  The concert was wonderful, and we found a place right across the street to have a good and inexpensive dinner beforehand.  It was a lovely date night.

Our kale was used in a gnocchi dish, which we enjoyed.  Vegi reubens were made for lunch from tempeh and sauerkraut that was given to me, and homemade Thousand Island.  I ground whole wheat, in anticipation of holiday baking.  I've been trying to figure out how to abide by the no sugar suggestion, and still have cookies, as I'm a firm believer that life should have some sweetness.  My usual sucanat didn't make the cut, but raw honey and stevia are acceptable.  I didn't, however, have any recipes that use them.  I remembered a molasses cookie recipe given to me years ago.  I'm not sure if molasses is acceptable, and the office is closed through the holidays, so I just went with it.  They will be OK with a cup of tea, but they seemed better in the 80's :o).  Thankfully, J is a big molasses fan, and will help eat them.

During the week, I made yogurt, and hung laundry on the line.  A few presents were wrapped on Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Thursday, it was my main focus.  It was a very rainy day, which made it easy.  I finished all the ribbons on Friday, and joined a friend for lunch to celebrate the solstice.  That night, I enjoyed free streaming of Paul Winter's Winter Solstice Celebration.  It's on my bucket list to someday attend a live event of his at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC.  I donated several books to a little free library.  I gathered chickweed and lettuce from the garden, and we enjoyed a salad with vegetable soup, which used our okra, corn and squash, along with pantry items.  The weekend was full of celebrations, first my family, then J's.  We picked up our GD early Sunday, so she could attend the family gathering, and brought her home with us for the night.  There wasn't much time, but she made a friendship bracelet while here, besides our usual walk and egg collecting.  Wishing you holidays filled with peace and joy, friends. 


Debdeb said...

Lovely blog post! I'd not thought about vegan Reubens and just looked online at recipes, as I used to use tempeh with some regularity but not of late. It sounds delish and I'll be trying it soon, hopefully. Happy New Year!

Laurie said...

I hadn't used tempeh in a while either. I saw a recipe last night for BBQ tempeh strips that I want to try. I hope you like the Reuben! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019!

Jeannie said...

I wish you strength in learning how to avoid sugar. I haven't eaten sugar for... 35 years...I think. It has been so long I can't remember. I do know when I realized it made me sick, there were no options except saccharine (the cancer causer). Stevia is all I can use and most brands have sugar hidden as a filler (maltodextrin) which bothers me.

Keep trying and I will continue to encourage you.


Laurie said...

I so appreciate your comment, Jeannie. I know it would be awesome to sit and talk with you about your journey. I don't know anyone else who is doing it. I've used stevia a little bit over the years. When I researched recently, it was kind of scary, if what they're saying is true about all the additional stuff in it. I've only used the liquid form, which I think may be a bit purer?? Thank you so much for your encouragement. If you have any tricks or recipes for healthy baked goods, I'd love to hear.

Jeannie said...

I don't think there is anything I haven't tried over the years. I gave up on baking treats because I couldn't stop eating them. A whole pan would disappear before it was cooled. Right now my diet is so restricted by my doctor, my food choices are impossible (absolutely no grains, dairy, or nuts). At present, I have found smoothies satisfying.

I use the liquid form also because it is purer and have had great success growing my own stevia plants. They don't taste like the processed liquid but instead have a "green" flavor. Hard to explain.

Hopefully, you will be feeling better soon after your body adjusts. Being healthy is everything.

Laurie said...

I've grown stevia a few times, and earlier this year, threw out the dried stevia, because I hadn't used it :o(. The last one didn't come back this year, but I plan to get more in the spring. Thanks, Jeannie!

Jeannie said...

If you are able to buy the stevia plants in person, take a tiny nibble from a leaf of the plants you are wanting to buy. The nursery might not appreciate you eating their inventory, but the plants will have different flavors.

cookingwithgas said...

Happy New year to you and J