Monday, April 22, 2013

Eating Down the Pantry

It's a funny Monday.  For the last few weeks when the weather was predicted to have a high probability of rain, nothing.  This week when the probability was lower, nice thunderstorms!

My scheduled work days are at a minimum because my leg has to heal, seemingly in its own good time (hmmmm).

I was supposed to go grocery shopping last Friday for this week's groceries, but it turned out we couldn't and I knew we had plenty of things to get us through the weekend till today.  Today I looked at the freezer and pantry and decided it might be just fine to see if we can go the rest of the week with what we have, and other than needing to buy more water (yes, we have to buy water, ours is not drinkable) I think we'll be just fine.  How cool is that!

The bulk buying, doing it little by little, has paid off.  So has freezing portions of soup stock and soups when I make bigger batches.  There are also banana breads and a meatloaf in there, and smaller packages of meat frozen when portioned off from bigger purchases.

I actually enjoy the feeling (right now, at least) of being back home with enough time to do things s-l-o-w-l-y.  I have no choice, so why not embrace it?  In one hour today, I put together the ingredients for fish cakes (to fry up later just before serving), boiled a pan of Basmati rice, made 3 quarts. of chicken and veggie soup, and got a batch of brownies into the oven.  I grabbed a handful of tree collard leaves from a couple of heroic plants outside the back door, and chopped those and added a handful of dried stinging nettle leaves from my medicinal herb stash...those went into the veggie soup, too.  Yum!  You have to love greens and herbs for ramping up the nutrition!

That's about all the time standing my knee can handle at a time between rests.  It was all possible because I had the bulk ingredients on hand, and those things in the freezer.

With the exception of a dozen eggs and some water and such, I wonder how long we could go eating down our pantry and freezer?

Here's to the slower version of fast food, and homemade soup on a stormy day!  I'm stoked about skipping an entire week's grocery bill!

What's cooking in your kitchen?  Got any tips to share?


Anonymous said...

20/20 Hindsight: I went back to work too soon after my knee surgery. It woud swell to 3-4+ once or twice a week, often including my foot, which occasionally swelled so much that the bottom of my foot rocked back and forth because it couldn't stay flat. My boss had "a talk" with me about how I couldn't help a patient walk to the bathroom, coincidentally a day after I'd fallen in the backyard since bum knee wouldn't hold my weight, so the universe told me to turn in my notice before a patient fell and I couldn't hold them up, or worse, fell on them.

After about 3-4 months of mostly elevating my leg, except cooking, dishes, laundry, the swelling finally started to subside. I slowly but gradually increased how far I rode the bike, which really helped the knee, as did the weight-loss.

Looking back, I'm guessing had I not returned to work so soon, I could have avoided most of the above. That's what I get for trusting Drs & RTs instead of listening to my body.

BTW, I did call into report my 4+ swelling, but the Dr's PA blew it off, until I took pics and started documenting it, including when I'd call in to report it!

Slightly off-topic moral: If you ask nurses what Dr is good at _____, if that Dr turns out to be smoking-hot in the looks dept, do more research. Apparently female nurses think with their pants too.


Good that you're emptying your freezer this time of year. I need to as well, until Sept, after hurricane season passes.

When you're better: requesting pics of Collards tree. I'm thinking you might consider selling cuttings on ebay. Every time I search them, people are asking where they can get them. I hope to be among your first customers!
~Sherri aka Shreela

Robbyn said...

Sherri, your advice is really timely...especially in the guilt department. My husband keeps telling me to STOP and REST. When I'm busy, I dream of having a few days off to do just that, but when it's not a matter of choice and the $$ dip way down, I feel responsible...arggghh :-) I do need to lose a lot of weight, too. Was the bicycling you did stationary or a standard bicycle? I'd like to strengthen those knees plus get some non-jarring exercise. It's also good to hear that you were able to get around the house enough to get some basic things done. That's how this seems to be playing out this week, too...being very careful but getting some movement and also getting some things done, just with lots of rest in-between. If I didn't feel so guilty for cutting back my paid workdays, I'd be thoroughly enjoying this time! On the subject of the tree collards, we ordered it from a private individual in CA who had some info on an online message board. They are survivors, but they must be staked at the young stage or the stems prostrate themselves along the ground and the tops grow at average plant level instead of really tall...though the stems are the same length, just not trained to stand up straight. We have let ours lapse into prostrate stems, but Jack has learned how to propagate them and when we have some going the next time around I'll let you know and put your name on them! They truly love hot weather and also make it well through the winter in our climate. Are you in Florida? you mentioned hurricane season! Thanks for your encouragement!

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have got on a real bicycle at first out of fear I'd fall onto my weaker side, so it was stationary at first. I'm guessing 4-6 months before me & hubby started riding (again scared, so made him babysit me for 3 weeks LOL). But then it felt so good to be doing something even slightly physical, as opposed to sitting/gimping all day, so I rode almost everyday.

My cousin had her 2nd knee replacement, and was over-productive in the kitchen, slipped and had to catch herself with her surgical leg! because something was slightly out of reach while preparing dinner, so she didn't want to bother with crutches. She had to stay seated almost 3 days after that. But she finally recovered too, saw her last month singing on stage with mid-sized heels!

I live in Houston, which is probably comparable to N.Fla winter-wise. You guys get more hurricanes and trop storms, but even though we only get them every once in a while, sometimes even strong t-storms knocks out our power for at least a few hours, one time almost 3 days! Hence the freezer emptying!

Looking forward to you and Jack's tree collards ebay/craigslist business ^_^
~Sherri aka Shreela

donna baker said...

Hi, I missed what happened to your leg. I had my knee replace a year and a half ago, my other one needs it and my hip is going too. How lucky those are whom don't have injured or arthritic joints. Hope you are healing. Was reading your blog and thought you must live south of here. It is a noble and very hard road to farm. It has taken us 30 years to get our farm done and I don't really mean done. We are going to fence off some of our acreage this summer and get two pregnant cows. We have never grown livestock before except as pets. I am an animal lover and don't like to make money off the backs of them. Mainly, we are getting them because of the tax write offs for fencing, and farm equipment. I'd rather grow fields of flowers. I emailed you about the chinese checkers gameboard. Let me know when you find one. Donna

Robbyn said...

Thanks, Donna! Wow, you sure have been down the bad joints road yourself. I'm at a loss to know how folks like myself with no insurance manage to get knee surgery without donating a kidney or putting a second mortgage on the house, etc. I live in SW Florida, Sarasota county and below-ish. How did you go about finding out about the tax writeoffs for animals and it the Ag exemption? We want to get the facts on that, too, and sort of don't know where to begin. did you guys have a lot of saw palmetto on your property you had to clear at any point? I have so many questions for Floridians who have already done these things before...I don't want to try re-inventing the wheel :) Thanks for your encouragement!

Robbyn said...

Sherri, do you have any experience selling things on EBay or craigslist? Thanks for the commisseration about the knee. Y'know, I might just need to ride a bike! I used to live in Plano for a couple years the end of high school. I think your area and maybe south of you is similar enough a climate that we have some overlapping types of plants that do well. Cool!! (well, actually pretty hot, ha)