Today I have more sewing on my list. I spent my weekend sewing Christmas gifts and made great progress. So today I hope to make even more! Leanne and Sierra plan to bake cookies this afternoon when they finish chores and school. The two of them made a bunch of cookies over the weekend and actually got them into the freezer before they were eaten up! LOL… Leanne made gingerbread men (and ladies ). Isaac helped her cut those out. Then she made strawberry bar cookies and finally topped the afternoon off by making peanut butter kiss cookies (the one where you put a Hershey kiss in the center of each cookie). Yesterday Sierra made sugar cookies. Today they want to make more sugar cookies and decorate them and Leanne wants to make Russian Tea Cakes. I need to make fudge this week and try and get that in the freezer and then we may just be done with our Christmas cookie baking.
I have been working hard to really cut the grocery budget lately. I want to sit down and work on the numbers.. the cost of my meals to see how much I am saving. We are eating a lot more beans and brown rice lately and no one is complaining . In the afternoon I cooked up a big pot of black beans to use in making cuban black bean patties (the recipe is in my bean cooking ebook). Then I took some boneless chicken thighs out of the freezer and let them defrost. I also had some leftover brown rice that I had frozen last week and I defrosted that too. Near dinner time I cut up the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces and sautéed that up some onions and peppers. I added about 1t cumin, garlic and salt and pepper and then added the cooked brown rice to this. When the beans were done cooking I mixed up a double batch of the bean patties. It made about 30 patties. I served the chicken rice, Cuban bean patties and a green salad (with homemade ranch dressing) for dinner. Everyone loved it and I have leftover bean patties that I will freeze unless the kids eat them up for lunch this afternoon. I am mentally calculating the cost of this meal and figure it could not have had more than about $5 worth of ingredients.. but I really need to do the math (I am one of those people who need to know the actual numbers! LOL).. In any case it fed the 7 of us and there are still a few leftovers for lunch.
Other bean meals I made this last week were bean soups. I made some spicy beef and beans over rice, split pea soup (I served grilled cheese sandwiches with this) and yummy pinto beans and with each of these meals we had leftovers either for the next meal or for lunch the next day or both. The only non bean meal I had was spaghetti on Friday night. Today I am thinking of making some navy bean soup as I have about a 1/2 package of bacon I need to use up and maybe if I can find room in the kitchen (with the girls baking cookies) I will make some dinner rolls to go with the soup. If I find the time to do some calculations on these meals I will and post my results.
The weather has been wet, wet and now snow is in the forecast for next week.. I am so NOT looking forward to that. It is always pretty to look at but yucky to deal with. My biggest concern will be my daughter Emily who will have to do some driving in it. I think dad (who grew up in the Midwest and has no problems with the snow) will need to give her a few driving in the snow lesson!
Speaking of daughters driving… Leanne got her drivers permit and she has already been out with dad. He gets the kids going and then I take over with giving them the necessary hours to get their license. So a few more hours with dad and then it will be my turn…
Learning Lessons in Responsibility.… well my son Jacob has the responsibility to bring in the firewood each night. I get up much earlier than the rest of the household and get the fire going to warm the house by the time the kids are up and Tobin is home from work. I was constantly nagging him each evening to bring in the wood. I finally decided that a 14 nearly 15 year old boy should not be nagged and he should have NO problem remembering such a repetitive responsibility on his own. So I told him one day that I was not going to remind him any more to bring in the wood. I expected to see the wood brought in and ready for the morning fire each day. If I went to make the morning fire (which I do at about 4am) and there was no wood I would wake him up at 4am to get the wood for me. Now one thing to keep in mind is that he is a night owl and hates getting up in the morning so having to get up at 4am and hike outside to the wood shelter, to him is like torture! LOL.. so the mere threat of this worked for about a week and a half and then one morning I got up and there was no wood.. so true to my word I got him up at 4am and he had to bring in the wood. He did NOT appreciate this (which is the idea here.. LOL).. and after that there was wood ready for the morning fire for the next couple of weeks.. and guess what, I went to make the fire this morning and no wood! LOL.. So again.. true to my word, I got him up and he grumbled his way out to the wood shelter and brought the wood in.. couldn’t grumble too much because he knew it was his own fault.. so now my question is, how long will this last? Haa.. haaa.. and more importantly how many times will this have to happen before he firmly makes it a habit to bring in the wood each night. In any case I am willing to just sit back and smile and watch the learning process. And the best part to me is that I no longer nag him about (I am not a nagging type person so I detest it when it feels like I am doing just that). I will keep you posted on this little “training youth in responsibility” exercise!
That is all from my homestead this morning.. time to get the sewing machine out!