a little update on life stuff

It’s beginning to look a lot like Taxmas. My favorite holiday.  We filed our income taxes and should get our moolah back around the end of the month. This is a huge relief and again, we wouldn’t have made it through this month without the help of donations. It still irks me that a utility company and landlord can’t wait 3 weeks for their money. It’s just three weeks. Come on.

I’m currently making the list of things to throw money at (the car right now is #1) and formulating a strategy to make the most of all the monies , preferably in such a way that lends to some resemblance of economic stability. I’ll let you know how that turns out. Meh.

My husband is having a hard time managing his diabetes lately. He had to go to diabetic counseling this week and lemme tell you, I am not at all pleased with anything  he came out of that appointment with. He handed me all the literature because as the person who cooks the meals, this is now my responsibility.”Give this to your wife”
I remember this well from when my Grandpa had diabetes and it fell on my Grandma to be the person in charge of his illness.  One detail diabetic counselors and doctors seem to miss here is that I can plan and cook our meals right but that doesn’t mean he’ll exercise self-control over portion sizes or follow advice on exercise or not basically sneak food when he’s not home.
Are female diabetic patients told to hand over all their dietary instructions to their husbands?

When he was diagnosed years ago, I took it upon myself to research the way he should be eating. I adjusted how we eat accordingly. When things are good financially, I’m able to buy better food. When the grocery budget is scarce, I still do ok but not great  as far as making sure it fits what he should eat. He has problems no matter how I cook because *see above last paragraph*

And also,also,also….they suggested not just specific food but products/brands that he should eat. They’re really expensive. Surprise! No, not at all a surprise. Nope.

Healthcare reform should allow food to be covered by your insurance plan, ok? Write that in the replacement.

Other than THAT, everything else is ok. I mean, I still hate winter but besides that.

A few people asked about this picture of forsythia I posted on Instagram last week. Here’s how I did it:
1. Cut forsythia branches.
2. Brought them inside and stuck them in water.

That’s it. Originally when I learned to do this eons ago, I was taught to hammer the ends of the branches before putting them in water but I really don’t know why. This is the third time I’ve “forced” them without hammering  and they’ve still bloomed fine.

I think I might go wade through the snow to get some lilac branches this weekend. The touch of Spring does help me deal with the winter blahs a little bit.

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Whenever I say I “forced them to bloom” , my husband cracks a 50 Shades of Greener joke. He’s hilarious.

Oh,hey…the Song of the Day

“Blossom” by Nick Drake. I can’t think of any other music other than Nick Drake’s that has the unique ability to fit gray, gloomy, melancholy days while also being blue mood lifting.

 

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Pantry Anarchy: Hot Dog & Cabbage Soup (plus how to make veggie stock or broth)

Because recipes were made to be broken when you’re broke.

 

You have no idea how much I hate hot dogs. Ask anyone,especially my boys. When they get to have hot dogs, it’s like a holiday. And of course, they love hot dogs. Lucky for them, the food pantry has hot dogs. Hooray.

One of my favorite soups is Cabbage & Sausage, so I decided to pretend hot dogs are a really lovely chorizo and make soup with them.

For this soup, I only needed onion,cabbage,potatoes,tomatoes,and hot dogs. Oh,and soup stock.

I didn’t have any pre-made broth or stock or even homemade in the freezer, so I had to make a batch of veggie stock. Veggie stock is easy to make but you just have to have a little bit of extra time to make it. I usually make a large batch at once and freeze what I’m not going to use right away. You can also can it with a pressure canner.

Instead of composting all my veggie scraps, I will add them to my veggie scrap bag in the freezer. I try not to add too many brassicas (broccoli,cabbage,etc) because they tend to overwhelm the flavoring but everything else is fair game. Potato skins,carrot peels, stems,leaves…..whatever. When the bag is full, it’s time to make stock. To make stock, you just throw all your scraps into a pot,add enough water to cover the veg, and simmer for about 45 minutes. Honestly, it’s that simple.

If you want to make broth instead of stock, saute onions,carrots,herbs in oil FIRST, and then add your veggies and water.

Broth is seasoned , stock is not. That’s the difference.

Ok, back to my Pretend Chorizo and Cabbage Soup.

To make the soup, I sauteed onions, then put 4 or 5 cups of stock in a pot with the onions. Added ¼ head of cabbage,chopped and 3-4 potatoes,diced and not peeled. Tossed in a can of crushed tomatoes and a smattering of whatever herbs I had on hand . Basil and garlic,mostly. (I am running extremely low on herbs and spices). Next, I added the hot dogs. I boiled them ahead of time to….get the nitrates out? Is this a myth that actually works? I have no idea (and can’t google right this second) but it made me feel better to do it.

And this is why I love making soup. You just throw things in a pot and pretend you know what you’re doing.

All the ingredients I used except herbs were from the food pantry but this would be a low cost meal if you’re buying ingredients. I wish there was an app that told me if I’ve mentioned something multiple times already elsewhere on the blog because I’ve probably said this a million times but during a usual shopping trip, I always buy a cabbage because they’re usually inexpensive and I can stretch it through several meals plus they dont go bad quickly. (obviously,not going to be a good tip for those in food deserts w/ little or expensive produce. Apologies.)


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