Frugalmom's blog

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Zen and the art of homemaking

Lately I am finding myself struggling to get it all done. I've been a loyal Kerflop reader for years, and while it makes me sound like some crazed Internet stalker, I enjoy getting a glimpse into her life because in some ways we are similar. Jessica's post earlier last week hit close to home for me because I also try to do everything. Most things I try, I do well. Unfortunately, as my family has gotten larger, the menagerie of pets has grown, and our home life has gotten a little crazy, I have come to the sad realization that I can't do everything. I can't make all our meals from scratch off of a month-long preplanned menu, sew all the kids pajamas and the majority of their clothes, knit all of our socks, hats, and scarves, keep a picture-perfect spotlessly clean home, stay skinny, be a blogging rock star, study my scriptures daily and actually learn something, and get a good nights' sleep. I just can't do it all.

I usually figure that the main reason I can't get it all done is I don't have my priorities right yet. When I was a teenager, I was very consistent in my scripture reading. Getting married through a wrench in my consistency, but it was having kids that really sent me over the edge. All of a sudden, I was very sleep deprived, and rising early in the morning to read was not an option for me. Staying up late to read wasn't an option either, since often I will fall asleep if I sit still for any amount of time.

I know that by giving the Lord a few minutes each day in scripture study I'll be blessed with patience, motivation, and the ability to get more things done. But taking that first step is so hard! It's the proverbial "sand in my shoes."

One of the ladies in Relief Society mentioned a few months ago that she didn't read anything until she had read her scriptures that day. I like to read a magazine while I eat lunch, so I decided that I can read my scriptures instead. Oh my word, the opposition is great. I am interrupted so many times every time I sit to read, though I try to get the little girls everything they need before I sit down. I'm only getting a chapter read each day, but something is better than nothing, and it alleviates a little of my guilt.

2008/02/04 Dinner: Pork Loin

I got this recipe from Lena at The Morgan Follies and it is a winner. (paranthetical notes are hers)

1 1/2-2lb pork shoulder or sirloin roast (I use the tenderloin packages andI think they are a bout 3lbs)
2tbs cooking oil
1 1/4 c apple cider or apple juice
2 tsp beef bouillon granules
1/4 tsp dry mustard (I've even used regular mustard when I was out of dry)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 med potatoes quartered (however many you want)
2 large carrots cut in 2 inch pieces (again, however many you want, if you want them)
2 medium cooking apples cored and cut into wedges(same as above and we usually use Granny Smith- thicker wedges stay together better too, but they all turn out good)
1 med onion cut into wedges
1/3 c cold water
1/4 c flour

Brown meat in your big pot in hot oil. Stir together apple cider or juice, bouillon granules, dry mustard, and pepper (I usually double all of those for the juices just because I like a lot of juice). Pour over meat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.
Addd veggies, apple and onion. Simmer covered, for 30-40 minutes more or until meat and veggies are tender.
(Here it say to take the the meat, apples and veggies out and keep warm. I just keep it in the pot and take out what juices I need)
Gravy:
If necessary, add water to juices to equal 1 1/2 cups. Put in saucepan. Stir together cold water and flour. Stir into juices. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Cook and stir for 1 minute more.

2008/02/02 Lunch: Navajo tacos

Today was bread-baking day. Usually when I bake bread, I try to time it so that we can have warm bread either for lunch or dinner. I didn't have any lunch meat to make sandwiches, but I did have ground beef in the freezer, so I decided to make Navajo fry bread with some of the dough. I had never done it before so I consulted a few websites to double-check my method. Instead of deep-frying, I shallow-fried them in about 1/4" or less of oil. I served the fry breads with taco fixings, and the fry bread was definitely a winner. The girls ate their tacos better than they eat tacos made on tortillas, and both Frugaldad and I thought it was fabulous. Despite the fact that the dough was about 2/3 whole wheat, they were still delicious. Often whole-wheat bread products aren't as tender or tasty as their white counterparts, but as fry bread, the whole wheat dough was definitely usable. The fry bread is almost as much work as tortillas, but will make it into our regular menu rotation.

2008/02/01 Creamy goat cheese pasta

I saw this recipe on Everyday Food and thought it sounded really good. Except for the asparagus, which I hate. I thought frozen peas would be really good instead! The goat cheese I bought tasted really "grassy" to me so I didn't love the finished dish. It was all right, and Frugaldad and Frugalboy ate it, but the girls didn't like it. In fact, Frugalbaby (who shall be hereafter known as Frugalgirl3 since she is 2, and potty trained, and no longer a baby) ran straight to the trash can so she could spit it out. Better there than into my hand, I guess. I won't be making this one again.

2008/01/31 Dinner: Chicken Stir Fry

Chicken stir-fry with noodles, red bell pepper, onion, and broccoli


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