daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 187: Sandwiches & Chili

This morning I went to the farm stand in Kingsville, dropped off a package, bought some Coke Zero at Giant and dropped off my library books.

Then I came home and made a tomato-leftover pork chop sandwich for my lunch.

I made beef chili in the slow cooker with beans and tomatoes my dad insisted we take with us last week. Matt made cornbread with this weird buttermilk self rising cornmeal mix I bought with our Amazon Fresh delivery to bump us up to free delivery. It was good! He didn’t quite follow the suggested recipe but it turned out well.

We watched the new PBS show Van der Valk. It was pretty good.

I’m really getting through some You’re Wrong About episodes lately. Today was acid rain. I miss the days when both republicans and democrats were concerned about the environment.

daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 181: Noodles & Costco Chicken

Today was exhausting. I kept getting calls and texts the state organization that my mom kept applying for help from and didn’t get approved for (after nearly a year with brain cancer) until this month asking about her death. Then I got a call from somewhere tonight asking about her death again that I thought was them but maybe it was the crematorium? I was upset (annoyed) and tired of the calls and she said she was sorry they took so long to help with her care but then they asked what my mom’s mother’s maiden name was which seemed odd? I don’t know who it was. I guess if they need anything else they will call my dad or call back? Or the hospice if it was the crematorium? People need to identify themselves more clearly on the phone and it use acronyms. I was in the middle of dinner and starving and it was from a area I get a lot of spam calls from some and a number that had never called me before so I thought it was spam and was going to answer and then hang up on them.

Anyway! Sorry if it was the crematorium people but I filled out the form completely and gave it to them. If it was them, wouldn’t she just say I must be confusing them with someone else? If it wasn’t, why are they asking about her mom’s maiden name?

In the morning Matt took Mitzi to the vet and it was somehow $200 for shots, ear drops and to insert the microchip we gave them. Then he went to Rheb’s to pick up the candy I order for my parents and us before my mom died.

THEN we went to my dad’s house and picked up my mom’s beloved sewing machine. It was a 1941 home ec machine Grandpop bought her used when she was in high school. My dad also gave me a bunch of other things of hers like a quilt she made and some other small items. My parents are/were minimalists so she didn’t have much. My dad is really packing it all up and giving it away to women’s shelters.

I’m excited about the sewing machine because its one I’ve always been able to use successfully and have made a ton of things on it. The leg is a little wobbly now but I’m assuming it’s our old floors or a felt pad fell off? I can’t image it got injured surrounded by bread, pillows and blankets in the car.

We don’t live near Costco but my dad does so we went in and bought a bunch of stuff we needed. It’s still been hit or miss with toilet paper and dish soap so I wanted to get that. We got a rotisserie chicken and some bread for dinner. We barely made it all fit in the car. Matt insisted taking his car instead of my roomier Matrix for some unknown reason.

I actually put some pork country style ribs in the slow cooker in the morning with soy sauce, Korean pear, sesame oil, onion and gochugaru just in case we didn’t get to Costco so we can have that another day. It might even been better later!

For a super early lunch I had some leftover turkey breast from Saturday with a fried egg and mi goreng and Matt had leftover bison sloppy joe on rice when he got back from Rheb’s.

We watched the new McDonald & Dobbs on Britbox. The woman main character needs some work but it’s a cute show.

daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 168: leftovers & quesadillas

Today I planned leftover red rice and squash for lunch and put up pork for quesadillas in the slow cooker before I went to Aldi for the big grocery shop.

Good thing I did because the hospital called while I was there and I was able to see my mom in the hospital today and we set up hospice. It looks like she might be home tomorrow!

I had a few bites of lunch and had to leave.

I spent the day setting everything up and Matt made quesadillas with portobello mushrooms and the pork. Then we finished Mr Robot.

I’m exhausted, just grocery shopping is a lot right now and then it was the hospital (the only one in the area that allows visitors!) and calls to get a hospital bed delivered and a long meeting at the hospital.

I’m not sure what we are doing for food tomorrow at all. There is a tiny bit of pork left and I’m going to my parents’ for her arrival so I don’t know when I’d be home.

planning · what we ate

Day 158: Leftovers & Ravioli

For lunch I had four different leftovers— a chicken burger, hummus, broccoli and naan. Matt had leftover chicken tenders with leftover spinach/mushroom wild rice pilaf.

Friday I had roasted some cherry tomatoes that were looking rough so we heated them up with onion, garlic and capers and tossed them with some smoked salmon ravioli from Costco and some Aldi smoked salmon.

I made some boneless pork country ribs in the slow cooker for Tuesday’s dinner with sesame oil, onions and chile-garlic sauce. I want to prep food for my birthday (Wednesday) on Tuesday so this will be one thing done. Plus they were sell by the 18th so now they are cooked and will keep a little longer. Our freezer is so full. I think I can fit a pound of ground chicken in there but that’s it.

Non-food related activities:

Mostly cleaning and puppy training.

We watched some more Kingdom on Netflix.

Laundry!! I ordered more masks because I realized we really don’t have enough. One of Matt’s straps snapped while we were waiting for our eye appointment last week and he ended up using two yesterday because he unexpectedly had to pick up his prescription in person (the one they delivered was wrong) and when he picked up the puppy pool from the neighbors’ house, they were on the lawn, unmasked. Since we had only been going out once every few weeks until now it hasn’t been an issue. But I know this week we have to take Mitzi to the vet for a round of puppy shots, the fish market and the produce stand since the produce boxes have been 50% things we don’t like lately and it’s our “vacation” and my birthday this week so we’d like something special. Then our glasses/my contacts should in next week and it will be time for another trip to Aldi. Time passes so oddly. Since we are only too people we don’t do laundry that frequently!

daily recap · planning · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 150: Noodles & Pork & Butter Mochi

Somehow I managed to make chocolate-butterscotch butter mochi while discussing my mom’s unchanging condition at the hospital and how I told them not to do any heroic measures (which the PA said was best) with my dad. And the butter mochi turned out just fine. Perfectly even. Even though I ended up having to whisk it though a sieve after noticing a bit of cooked egg after I put it in the pan—all while talking on the phone. I am a modern marvel.

Right now, they’ve put her on some more medicine to help with the seizures and apparently she has been awake a tiny bit and talking but they don’t know what tomorrow’s EKG will bring. The doctor is calling me first and I’m the one who has to make all of the decisions so that’s unpleasant. My dad was like “it’s so nerve-wracking waiting for them to call and trying to figure out what they mean, it’s better and less stressful they call you and then you tell me.” Not better for me! But he is hard of hearing and has a hard time following conversations sometimes so it makes sense. My brother doesn’t seem to want to be very involved in it? Oy.

Anyway! We can’t visit her thanks to the pandemic and they are only calling us once a day so we are just going about the day as usual. We finished off the Costco chicken with some A-sha Tainan-style Noodles that Matt brought at Costco (2 boxes of 10, good thing we liked them) and green onions.

Matt smoked a small (4 lb?) pork butt most of the day and then finished it off in the oven but it still wasn’t pull apart texture. We sliced some for sandwiches because we were hungry, turned up the oven and roasted it some more. Now it’s pull apart texture like 3 hrs late. The leftover will be good though. We used this rub/method which we’ve done tons of time. I don’t understand what happened! Matt was upset about it but I was mostly happy for food I didn’t have to make. We had chips (Utz, obvi) and bagged salad with it.

Non-food related activities:

Puppy proofing! Our house is small and old with no pantry. I got some big plastic totes to put some things in that would normally be on low, open shelves. It’s not pretty but it’s not like we are entertaining anyway!

We watched some Kingdom and the last episode of Damnation on Netflix.

daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 140: Shrimp & German Potato Salad

For lunch I had some frozen breaded shrimp. I spent most of the morning talking to my mom and sort of ran out of time to think of anything.

For dinner I made these German sausages I got from Aldi, marinated some beets and made the other kind of German potato salad, the kind with apple. It was surprisingly tasty!

Next week Aldi has dog supplies on sale so I think I will do our grocery shopping then. It would only be three weeks but we are a little low on some items (carrots!) and we need a new container for dog food. Our freezer is still very full and I’m a little hesitant to use too much in it because I think things will get worse in the fall so it will be nice to get some fresh food.

I’ve really been stretching out the meat and other ingredients the last couple weeks so I actually ended up freezing more from the shop on June 17th than I expected. Aldi ads come out on Wednesday so that is my preferred shopping day and the following Wednesday is our eye appointment so I can’t shop then (dilated eyes) and the week after that is my birthday and Matt’s off the whole week so I don’t want to shop then either. My guess is I will either do a online order to fill in or we will go to a specialty store at some point around then.

Non-food related activities:

We’ve been talking about getting a second dog after Pippi suddenly died. I saw one that looks nice at a rescue and put in an application. Fingers crossed! It’s a bit of a drive but we’d only have to do it once.

I really spent most of the day talking to my mom about her medical care and books.

I listened to more You’re Wrong About. I can’t wait for Candace Opper’s memoir to come out. I find her fascinating. I had read an essay of hers about her fixation on a classmates suicide so I was excited to see she was the guest on the Kurt Cobain episode.

Trying to knock out at least one more book before the end of July!

We watched Popeye on Netflix DVD. What a weird movie. Oooooh. Ooooooh.

daily recap · planning · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 124: Mi Goreng w/Chicken and Squash & Shrimp and Wax Beans in Black Bean Sauce

For lunch I sautéd some golden rod squash and leftover chicken and tossed it with packets of mi goreng.

For dinner I made shrimp and wax beans in black bean sauce. It turned out a little salty so I’ll use less soy sauce next time but the black bean flavor was good.

We had some Rice Krispies treats for dessert.

I made egg salad to have for tomorrow’s lunch after I get back from the grocery store. I haven’t made it since the winter and it finished off the last of a dozen eggs but I’m assuming I’ll be able to pick some up tomorrow. We have some watercress to add to it too!

I rearranged the refrigerator to make room for groceries tomorrow. I can’t believe it’s been a whole month! I’m getting better about using up any leftovers before shopping for optimum free space. Now all we have in there is some prepped beets, cottage cheese, butter, cheddar and dozens of condiments and pickles.

Tomorrow I am going to start some chili before I leave so I won’t have to do any cooking for the rest of the day! Grocery shopping is exhausting and I have made so much food and done so much work over the last couple of days. I’m exhausted.

Tomorrow is also one of those days when it seems like everything we’ve ordered over the last few weeks is arriving at once. Long delayed Costco orders, prescriptions, contact lens supplies, new masks etc

Non-food related activities:

I am giving up on Faded Out. I can’t take it anymore. I also deleted Sticky Beak, the follow up.

I listened to an episode of You’re Wrong About which I like but so far I already knew a lot about the topics they talk about. It’s entertaining but nothing new. I think I have similar interests to the woman host.

I wrote a ton of reviews for Netgalley.

Worked on C&L a lot.

We watched another episode of Babylon Berlin and Father Brown (quite a combo!).

daily recap · planning · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 123: Chicken, Mac and Cheese & Fish Sticks

I made our “big meal” at lunch again. I defrosted four thighs over the weekend to help with my goal of rotating food in and out of our freezer. I made what we call Grandpop fried chicken which is pan-fried chicken made like this but with a tiny bit of granulated bouillon sprinkled into the flour. My grandpop made it that way all the time and it’s so good! I tossed the leftover green beans with the leftover marinated julienned carrot and cucumber from making gimbap and added a dressing for the vegetable. I made mac and cheese with the rest of the shredded cheddar, leftover ricotta and the cooked plain pasta we had from Friday. We are out of milk but the ricotta melted well and helped coat the noodles. Lots of repurposing leftovers today!

I made Rice Krispies treats after lunch.

For our evening meal we finished off the fish sticks (highly recommend the Aldi wild caught fish sticks) with homemade tartar sauce and I had some chips and salsa and Matt had some peaches and yogurt. We already had such a filling meal in the afternoon we didn’t need much but I wanted to finish those fish sticks and get them out of the freezer.

After dinner we prepped the wax beans and the beets we had from last week’s produce box so they will be easier to use in other meals later in the week. This way they are ready for any use.

I placed an Amazon pantry order for Wednesday. There are a few items we just haven’t been able to find in person since February that they had in stock. Matt wants to take this week off of grocery shopping (I’m going Wednesday) since he did the vet visit and grocery shopped at the Italian grocery last week but we have a few things we need and Aldi doesn’t sell.

Non-food related activities:

We started season 3 of Babylon Berlin on Netflix (only one episode, I can’t wait to see what happens next!) and watched a little more Father Brown on Britbox.

I caught up on Gee, Thanks Just Bought It. Caroline is so enthusiastic about everything. It’s interesting to see a slow pivot to more sustainable shopping.

I did a lot of work on Coconut & Lime today.

I started an ARC of the new Caroline Leavitt book. I’ve been reading her books since college so I was excited to get a copy of this!

I thought a lot about how grateful I am no longer teaching and don’t have children during all this.

I organized our enclosed porch. We have very little storage space in the house. The porch isn’t insulated but it doesn’t get below freezing or as hot as the outdoors does. We use it for our recycling bins and cases of soda normally but we have a cart in there I’m now using to store some nonperishables like pasta, instant noodles, extra soy sauce, the case of sleepy time tea we ordered etc. It looks so much better now! In the colder weather I left root vegetables out there but it too hot for that now.

We have been storing yeast and cheese in the tiny mini fridge on the porch but today I noticed it was a little warm inside. I’m going to have to keep an eye on it. I don’t know if it can’t keep up with the heat (I adjusted the temperature down) or if it was left slightly open after Matt made the pizza dough or what. It isn’t essential but it is nice to have! The couple pounds of yeast and shredded cheese take up a lot of space in our regular fridge which is pretty small.

daily recap · planning · what we ate

Day 115: Tuna Melts & Cornish Game Hens

For lunch Matt made us tuna melts (on rye swirl) to use up the tiny bit of tuna salad we had left.

For dinner Matt made Cornish Game Hens (that I had frozen a couple months ago) with za’atar, and couscous with kale and chickpeas. Everything was fine but it oddly came out bland despite being well-seasoned. We have a good amount of the couscous left so I have to think of a way to jazz it up.

It’s been almost three weeks since our last grocery shop(s) and I’m trying to make it to next week to help rotate some stuff we already have in the freezer out to make room for new food.

Non-food activities:

More Dark and Babysitters Club on Netflix. It has been so hot and humid. I really want to play cards outside again! It’s just so gross out. Matt’s working so much that it’s hard to get the energy to do a lot in the evenings after dinner.

Matt’s tai chi classes have been doing virtual lessons and recording them but now they are moving to in person and we are not really comfortable about that. I guess the exercise bike might get some more use!

daily recap · planning · repurposing leftovers · what we ate

Day 110: Jjajangmyeon

For lunch I made some frozen shrimp for me and finished the potato salad from Saturday. Matt had some rice and half of the leftover meatballs/zucchini from yesterday since he still didn’t feel great.

I had put up some beef country style ribs I marinated last night in the slow cooker. Matt didn’t feel up to much so he had a tiny bit, eggs and rice and I sautéd up some spinach from today’s produce delivery and served it on some instant jjajangmyeon. The ribs were quite tasty! I had never bought or tried them before but Aldi had them when I went (almost 2 weeks ago) and I’ve been making an effort to try different meat offerings there since I never know what is going to be in stock. The store has always been well stocked but it has varied a bit—one week they only had dark meat chicken, the next white etc.

We have a few packs of tofu from H Mart I need to figure out what to do with too. I should have put their expiration dates on my list with the meat.

Tomorrow will be July already. It’s hard to think we have basically been home 24/7 since min-March. No end in sight as cases have really surged. Maryland seems to be holding pretty steady though.

I did place a Costco order for some basic supplies like dish soap, sponges, laundry detergent and honey (Matt goes through a truly massive amount of honey in his tea, I think it must be more honey than tea) that we aren’t desperate for but will need. They were all items that had been out of stock a for many weeks I thought it better to get them now then when things might shut down again or get worse.

Non-Food related activities:

We watched Ganja and Hess (a classic) on Prime. I always wonder what happens to these extras in movies like this. Like the children in the church choir. They must be over 50 now. I wonder what they remember, being so young during the filming.

Started an ARC of Sally Hepworth’s new book.