I like a soft boiled egg on Friday; this is my feeling free day since I mostly retired a year ago. I actually have to schedule time to do nothing – a tip from Headspace, a very good site featuring guided relaxation and meditation on a myriad of subjects and situations. Also recommended by the Dutch, who seem to have perfected the art. The productivity addiction for me was unfortunate function of working for the man all these years. Have to get it done at work, then come home and do it some more.

My weekday routine has been to start the day with a protein shake; it’s an expeditious way to get the digestive system rolling and ensures that I will consume a certain amount of fruit each day. I wish I liked fruit more but since my taste buds are jenky due to them being radiated, eating fruit is a challenge. The sensation I get is like sucking on a lemon, no matter what fruit I try (except maybe a perfectly ripe peach or fig).

I usually have a cooked breakfast on Sunday consisting of leftover meal scraps, lots of veggies and greens formed into a frittata. Also, a serving of the ever popular avocado toast.

I love carbs so much. I made a gorgeous no-knead harvest bread for tonight’s Sunday dinner offerings. Also on the menu, a Southwest-style chopped salad with extra kale & spinach and vegetarian stuffed peppers.

I have been trying to use what’s in my pantries and both refrigerator/freezers; I don’t know if I lived through the Depression in a past life but I acknowledge the fact that I’m a food hoarder. Included in that issue are spices, herbs and kitchen tool. In my defense I use them all (except the food, I keep buying more).

My family joins us on Sunday so that clears out a certain amount of product but I also hoard recipes so I usually have to augment my stock. First world problems, eh?

This is my anxiety medication – lucky since none of the real stuff worked. Nothing tragic, just dark clouds all the time. I managed to go through the motions of life (work, keeping up the household & finances) but stopped socializing or wanting to do anything happy. There were a number of burdensome people and issues in my life at the time.

When I started this blog in 2017 I was trying to show myself that my life was good by writing about it. I think I described what precipitated my digitizing my life but it caused a spark. Also, I enjoy technology.

I had a cancer, which is in remission; I didn’t play into it but had a scare during the removal of it and lived to tell the tale. I unfortunately didn’t come away with a new zest for living, but decided I better act like it and start appreciating all my luck and some of the goodness in my life regardless of the bad bits.

I love my photographs and due to the aforementioned OCD tendencies, they were already organized and living in albums. Every day I see or hear about tragic catastrophes where people are still alive but have lost all their possessions. They always mention their pictures and photos. Most of my stuff I could live without but not my photo memories. I set about digitizing them all; I used a flatbed scanner for the albums, page by page titling and dating them. I scanned all the framed photos as well. This project took about three months as I chipped away at it a bit at a time. It actually was less tedious than I would have thought (since I didn’t have a personal deadline) and mostly fun looking at them all.

Next came the recipes, that was a labor of love. I had a ton in an old data binder (from family, friends, neighbors, potlucks etc.), a bunch of the little Pillsbury and Gooseberry Patch books, newspaper clippings and, of course numerous cookbooks with a zillion post-it notes stuck in them – cooked and liked, wanted to cook, bleah; time to thin the herd; I have no room for cookbooks nor could I find anything in them if I wanted to. I spent a fair amount of time editing and eliminating, then proceeded to copy the survivors into word documents. I was often able to find them online as so many came from Better Homes, Bon Appétit  and the many ‘Living’ mags i.e. Midwest, Southern and Sunset.

Unfortunately, each time I found one, another rabbit hole opened up lol! I did cross reference a lot of them e.g. chicken stew was filed under chicken and stew. They number almost 12,000, in 80 folders and sub-folders. They take up almost 4gb and are stored in Google Drive and redundantly on a thumb drive.

I love Google’s speedy and efficient search; put in the word ‘celery’ and it quickly will first list recipes with the name ‘celery’ in them and then begin diving deeper to any recipe with the ingredient. Great for using up little bits of things I refuse to throw away. I’ll find something that will use it.

Case in point – tonight’s dinner, as mentioned, uses an assortment of fresh and frozen (for too long) veggies and miscellaneous grains, plant-based meatish items and frozen grated cheese. Dessert is a Kentucky jam cake but more like an Oregonian as I had to use up some lovely Loganberry jam my daughter brought me from her trip west. Also some pretty old buttermilk but, like yogurt, who would know if it was bad? I think it will all complement.


Time to Make the Donuts

I can’t open anything these days..the packaging makes me freakin’ crazy(ier)!!!  Sunday mornings I usually make a batch of muffins.  I believe in the power of dietary fiber – these Cereal Muffins are loaded! You soak  a cup of cereal in buttermilk for 15 minutes or so then add the rest of the players.  Uncle Sam has 10g of fiber! I always have Saco Buttermilk Blend in the fridge as I don’t use buttermilk enough to buy a container of it.

 I add dried fruit – Aldi has great choices and prices – I always stock cranberries, apricots, dates, figs & currants.  Aldi  nuts as well – walnuts, almonds, peanuts or pecans.  I made another batch of snack mix too – more fiber yipee!  All of this required the opening of various cereal bags, foil lid liners, blister packs and the like.   My cucumber was shrink-wrapped and further struggles ensued while trying to open my bag of chopped nuts as zip lock bags now have double zippers!  Think I mentioned doing fish in the clay baker tonite – I know each fillet will be encased in its own personal vacuum-packed pouch.  I’ll soldier on with the help of my box cutter, ice pick or circular saw.

I love my clay bakers –  my Mother introduced me to one decades ago while we were visiting her and my step-father in Myrtle Beach; she had bought one at Waccamaw Pottery, which I recently read is supposed to undergo a revival.  Mom had prepared a simple medley of layered vegetables and potatoes seasoned with a bit of salt, pepper and butter and baked at 425° for half an hour.   The pot lids are soaked in water for 15 minutes prior to cooking, which keeps food from drying out.  High heat enhances the flavors and nutrients are preserved.   This model, also called a Romertopf Clay Baker, can be found at Williams-Sonoma.  Here’s the Sunday dinner lineup – served with a brown rice pilaf and Aldi’s  tangy and not-too-sloppy coleslaw.

Clay Pot Fish

Cucumber Onion Salad

Back to where I started….

Snack Mix

7 Grain Cereal Muffins

A recipe for oven-baked donuts using baking mix – I prefer Trader Joe’s or Hodgson Mill Insta-Bake.

Chocolate Oven Doughnut