It has been one of those weeks when nothing of any great value gets done, but lots of little chores are accomplished.
First off, Bella the Rat Terrier stayed with me for three extra days, not that I'm complaining, mind you! Apparently the restaurant where Duane is working was so happy to have him back at work that they scheduled him for more days than he thought they would. So Vicki's Doggie Day Care Service was called upon to help out. And when there is a pup to pet and belly rub and spoil, not much else gets done, especially when said dog is afraid of the thunder when a storm rolled through on Wednesday morning. If I sat at my desk, she was under it with her chin on my foot. If I sat in my recliner, she was on my lap, snuggling and trembling. I don't think she got more than two feet away from me all morning. But once the storm passed, she laid claim to my green fuzzy blanket and snoozed until Duane picked her up later in the day. She went home Wednesday evening in order to be there when her owner arrived on Thursday. I miss her.
I have four large jars of bread and butter pickles in my pantry. I can not eat an entire jar of pickles and chances are pretty good that if I put a large opened jar of pickles in the fridge, I will either lose it or forget about it. So I re-can them into half pint jars. This was the plan until I discovered I am low on canning lids. Canning lids are not in the catalog I use for ordering groceries, but I have found a couple of places where I can order them in bulk, so that is on my 'to do' list for next month.
I re-can several food items that I buy in bulk - usually in #10 cans - that are cheaper to buy than individual cans. There was a time when I would get 25 lb. boxes of tomatoes from the Farmer's Market and make my own pasta sauce, tomato sauce and ketchup, but these days, age and arthritis have slowed down that process. Re-canning makes it possible to get some foods at a good price and put them up in smaller batches that work better for a single person living alone. I have done the same thing with cheese sauce and nacho cheese sauce, both of which turn out just fine. Pickles turn out just a wee bit softer than the original, but that doesn't bother me at all.
Most grocery stores have a shelf of bulk foods. Mine includes instant mashed potatoes in a 3.5 lb. carton. I will buy two or three cartons and divide the contents into single servings, stored in zip lock bags. If I want flavored mashed potatoes, I just add a little garlic powder or onion powder or parsley flakes when I make it.
There was a time when I thought it was a sin to serve anything that wasn't totally made from scratch. But that was when I had a huge garden and when I milked my own cow and raised my own chickens. And when I was decades younger. I have since changed my mind.
I know how to make chocolate or butterscotch pudding from scratch, but I prefer to add milk to a mix and whisk it for a couple of minutes instead of standing at my stove and cooking the pudding. Sometimes I would rather use a Hamburger Helper mix for a quick meal rather than making a casserole from scratch. Same with stuffing or the mashed potatoes. Those of us with mobility issues often look for methods of doing things that don't hurt. But it seems we need permission to use convenience foods because our mothers and grandmother cooked everything from scratch. Sometimes I use store bought mixes and sometimes I make my own. But if they will make life a little bit more bearable, it is OK.
And that is enough rambling for one day.
This is me...wishing all of you a blessed Easter.
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