Wednesday October 10, 2007

Fall off the deep end? Amy (mambeanof4) is that what you asked me? Did I fall off the Menu Plan Monday deep end?  Oh, Sister!  If you only knew the half of it! The truth of the matter is that I did not get my menu plan for this week made up.  I try to do it on a piece of notebook paper during the day Saturday, and then print up the pretty copy for my fridge on Sunday evening.  While I’m at the computer doing that, I type up a copy for a Menu Plan Monday blog post.  My Saturday was crazy.  I didn’t get home Sunday until almost bedtime.  The menu plan was never done!

I have told you often of the many benefits of menu planning – no last minute deciding what to make for dinner, well-balanced meals, more variety for your family, the ability to better stay within a grocery budget, no running out for fast food because the chicken didn’t thaw.  Guess what?  We ran out for fast food because I didn’t remember to take the chicken out of the freezer until 3:00! I thought about it a hundred times today, but I never did it. Having that menu plan on the front of my fridge every week really does make a huge difference!!!  Having it ever before me means that I don’t forget, and serves as a constant reminder to do any advance planning (like getting meat out of the freezer!) for our meals.  It was completely my husband’s idea to go out tonight, God bless him.

I did, however, spend a lot of time in the kitchen today!  Both of my wheat flour containers in the freezer were quite low.  As it turns out, both of my jars of wheat berries in the house were empty, too, so I couldn’t even grind more wheat!  I solicited Aaron’s help and all of the containers are full now.  The big buckets of wheat berries really are too heavy for me to lift.  If I had done the job on my own, it would have taken far longer as I would have had to scoop the wheat from the buckets into my jars scoop by scoop, and then bring the jars into the house to put into the grain mill to grind and then head back out to re-fill the jars for next time.  When Aaron helps, he can just pick those heavy buckets up and pour them into the grain mill for me!

I ground about 10 lbs. each of hard wheat (for bread) and soft wheat (pastry flour for everything else), and then Aaron re-filled my jars full of wheat berries for the next time I run out of flour.  I surely do like this system of grinding quite a bit at once and keeping the freshly ground wheat flour in the freezer.  I can clean everything up just once, and then I’m done for a week or so.  Having the wheat already ground and ready means that making bread for my family is quick and easy.  I have a loaf in the machine even now!

I also made up a batch of my homemade Buttermilk Baking Mix.  It’s been awhile since I’ve made this for my family, and it certainly was a joy to do it again.  It’s been way too easy for me to just pick up that big box of Bisquick at Costco on our mega-shop day.  No more.  I walked right on by that stuff on Friday, and now we have a better for us product in the cupboard in its place.  No preservatives.  No refined sugar.  Very little in the way of white flour.  I’ve posted the recipe for the Homemade Buttermilk Baking Mix for you just below this post.  My family has always liked this mix, and it substitutes cup for cup for Bisquick in any recipe you might have that uses it.

The last thing I made up today was a batch of Poppy Seed Muffins.  Our freezer muffin stash has run out, and Aaron has been asking ever so sweetly for Poppy Seed Muffins.  He’s been working so hard with and for his Dad that I surprised him with them late this afternoon.  I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for the white flour and evaporated cane juice for the white sugar to help them out a bit nutritionally.  We’ll have one dozen for breakfast in the morning, with scrambled eggs; and the second dozen are already in the freezer.

It’s been too long since I’ve cooked and prepared like that.  It was such a treat!  I have the stove repairman coming again tomorrow to put in the parts he ordered, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to make up a batch of my Health Nut Muffins for the freezer before he comes.  I’d also like to mix up some of the freezer cookies I used to make. We’ll see how the day goes.

My husband and sons worked so hard all day on the porch.  Lots of concrete mixing and setting of piers and such.

 

 

Aaron spent some time this morning painting the sealer onto the tops of the porch piers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My little guy slung 60 pound sacks of concrete around for a few hours.   He was also in charge of removing the bag from around the concrete after placing it in the wheelbarrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aaron mixed and helped pour concrete.  He also mowed the orchard for my husband this afternoon, which  was a huge blessing.  My husband does not like for the orchard grass to get too tall, and he’d been fretting about getting out there to mow it. Aaron’s doing it blessed us all!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of the afternoon, the piers were all in place!  My husband allowed each of the kids to write their name into the cement on one side of the same pier.  He carefully inscribed our last name and the year on another, with his and my first names on the back of the same pier!  How romantic!!!

 

 

 

 

 

At one point today, a very excited Will was calling to me  from the front window.  He had found a caterpillar and was enjoying it so much!  It was all curled up in his little hand for quite awhile playing dead, but then it stretched back out and began crawling on Will’s palm. Oh, my son was so excited seeing its legs and watching it.  After a bit he released it in a safe place in the front yard.  I enjoy experiencing these things with a little one.  They have such wonder and amazement at God’s creation.

It was a busy day….cooking, baking, laundry (of course!), extra dishes from the extra kitchen projects, tending to little things here and there around my home, and going out every little bit to check on the guys and admire their progress.  It was a delightful day!

I really can say, quite honestly, that I do not feel that anything I do in my home is dull or boring.  If you’d asked me that same question in years past, I would likely have told you a different story.  The Lord has made all the difference, you see.  Once I fully understood that being a wife, a mom, and a keeper at home were my calling, once I realized from His Word that I was doing exactly what He would have me do, that is when my heart was changed.  I want to please Him.  I want to be in His will.  Doing what I do does please Him, when it is done in a spirit of service and done as though I were doing it for Him.  In His will…..It’s such a wonderful place to be!  How can it not be joyful?

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households!
Proverbs 31:27

Be Sociable, Share!

14 comments to Wednesday October 10, 2007

  • For future reference, frozen boneless chicken breasts are fully cooked in 1 hour at 350 degrees Pour on a little tomato sauce, and sprinkle italian seasonings on top, some pasta underneath, and you’re set!

  • Wow! Look at all the baking and food prep you did! Amazing! I love it when I make time to cook and bake ahead/freeze meals & goodies!

    Thank you, also, for sharing your testimony and for being a blessing to those who come here to read about your day. You are special and the Lord is using you to point others to Him. Thanks.

    Blessings
    Denise

  • You put it perfectly into words. I have noticed a difference in my attitude daily since I first came upon this concept that being a wife, mother and homemaker were my CALLING from God. Society tells us that unless we have a profession outside the home, we are nothing,so I have always had my eyes on the future to when I could go back to work or school. When I have worked outside the home, I always felt liked I belonged home and when I was home, I felt like I should be working to help financially! Then, this CALLING hit me. I needed to start taking my “job” seriously as a homemaker, and thank-you Cheryl for opening up my eyes!!!! Thank-you God for finally giving me peace about it.

    Have a wonderful day and I can’t wait to try your “Bisquick” mix.

    ~Amy

  • Nothing in my life, including my career, has given me the same fulfillment and satisfaction as my life at home.  20 years ago I never would have believed I would have said that!! I love being at home, and of course I enjoy doing some things more than others, but all of them, once accomplished make me feel so blessed.  I also love seeing the blessing my “work” brings to my family.  They are more comfortable, feel more “loved” and are happier more productive people because of a solid home and family life. 

    Thank you for reminding us of that, Cheryl!

    Blessings,

    Niki

  • Oooh I can’t wait to try your bisquick mix too. I need to find some evaporated cane juice too. I buy cereal using this, but I would love it for my baking.

    The deck is progressing nicely. You’ll be sitting out front in no time! My kids have a caterpiller also, though they were not as kind as Will…they put it in a coffee can with leaves and sticks. It is now safely wrapped in a cocoon.

    Blessings, Bren

  • You know, I’ve always wanted to try that homemade baking mix and never have! You have inspired me to get it done! Care to share more recipes that you use it in?? I’m also looking for a recipe you mentioned back in June (I saw while browsing your archives), sour cream coffee cake?? Do you have that listed somewhere?

    What a calling we have as keepers at home! Who’d have dreamed even 6 or 7 years ago that I could be content and joyful in this postition??!! Praise the Lord for changing hearts!

  • That is romantic…. what exactly is wheat berries? Are they dry? I can’t wait until we get a house so I have more room for stuff. Have a great day.

  • Starbeamdust – Wheat berries are just the hard, ripened wheat kernels after harvest and threshing,  ready for use.  Yes, they are hard and dry.  They can be ground for flour (the most common use), but some folks cook them as they would any whole grain for a main or side dish.

    Jengi33 – I’m sorry that I’m so far behind getting things, including recipes, into the drop down boxes in the side bar.  The Sour Cream Coffee Cake is here:  http://www.xanga.com/copperswife/616201130/sour-cream-coffee-cake.html   In the near future, Lord willing,  I’ll try to edit the baking mix recipe post by adding links for other recipes that use the mix, and I’ll try to add a few extras then, too.  I’ll be sure to mention it in my current post when I do. 

    Bren – Believe it or not, my Costco carried the Evaporated Cane Juice in a 10 lb. bag for awhile.  It was a C & H product even!  I’m hoping that they’ll carry it again for the holiday baking season.  If they do, I’ll certainly stock up!  We’ve been using it, more and more, in all recipes that call for sugar, as well as on hot cereals, etc. 

  • Another delightful post, and refreshing visit to your blog!

    I’ve been wanting to save for a grain mill for awhile now, and wonder if you’d mind sharing what kind you have?

    Thank you.

    Enjoy your day!

  • I was wondering what happened to your Monday Menu!   😆     Thank you so much for this post.   You are such a great encouragement to me.

    Jenn 

  • :sunny:  What a blessing your posts are!  I have had a hard, tiring week away from home and I am looking forward to tomorrow…loving and caring for my little cottage and getting some of my freezer items replenished!

    Have a blessed evening!

  • Dear Cheryl,

    I just wanted to take the time to thank you for visiting me at my “HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs” blog and for your very sweet comment to me regarding my powder room redecorating….you are too kind!

    What a great porch you’re going to have!

    Love, Kim

  • Momma Cheryl,

    What kind of bread machine do you have? Would you buy the same one again, or would you buy a different one, given the $ and opportunity?

    I love making bread by hand kneading and punching out my frustrations as I breathe in the yeastiness of the dough. Alas, I am not physically able to stand and do it any longer. I tried sitting, but that just doesn’t work (except for my biscuit dough in my breadbowl). I wear more than my share.

    I have pondered a bread machine for many years, but I want a really good one, performance-wise, if I am going to buy one.

    My husband and step-daughters have NEVER had homemade bread! I made a comment about us making bread one day, and the youngest one said “You have to buy bread at the store.” Her mother teaches them no homekeeping skills, and they are not allowed to cook or mess in the kitchen! These girls are 10 and 14 *GASPS*

    My Mama (Maternal grandmother and best friend til she went to Heaven) had me in the kitchen before I could stand, in my highchair, ‘helping.’ She had me making biscuits and cakes from scratch since I was about 5. Mama gave me my love of cooking, and she never discouraged my culinary adventures. Even as young as 6 or 7, she would give me the kitchen, helping if I asked, and I could cook or do anything I wanted in there. The only rule was, whatever mess I made, I had to clean up.

    Lawd have mercy on me. Sometimes there would be flour EVERYWHERE, and it would take forever for me to clean it up.

    Mama was a 5’2″ prison guard…sweetest one those girls ever had. Many of the girls kept in touch with Mama even after they were released. She had to work all three different shifts.

    My Poor Grandaddy! My Mother said that he must have an iron stomach, because he dutifully ate every cooking mistake I ever made.

    (OOPS I got sidetracked! Now you see what happens to MY blog LOL Maybe this ramble will reappear there in part :laugh: )

    Anyway, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. I also subscribe to Dani and Corin’s blogs, although just this week, I connected the dots and figured out the kinship there LOL Dani will tell you I get all sidetracked sometimes I told her that I felt like one of ya’lls family, as well as some of my other blogger friends’ families.

    What a WONDERFUL way to make new friends!

    XXX/OOO
    Tamara

  • Tamara – My bread machine is a Breadman Ultimate http://www.amazon.com/Breadman-TR2200C-Ultimate-Bread-Machine/dp/B00004R93S/ref=sr_1_3/103-3882773-4299018?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1192157134&sr=8-3   Sorry about the long link!  I bought the machine in May, 2006 and have been more than happy with it.  It has enough cycles to cover every bread baking need.  There is a delay setting on it, as well, so that I can put in my ingredients and tell the machine to wait to bake the bread until several hours later.  It’s not a feature I use often, but it’s nice just the same.  The machine makes either a 1 lb, 1.5 lb. or 2 lb. loaf, but I usually make the 1.5 lb loaves as the two lb. loaves are just too tall.  I can’t take the credit for finding this machine, as Corin did the research and actually bought this brand before I did.  My old one was a Target special, but it served me well for many years, too.  Hope that helps!