Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sanity on the wall

on the wall - literally... a good thing, not bad LOL

My new FLYLADY calendar arrived last week after not using one from the start of this year. It was a mistake to not continue on! I'd been using a smaller calendar. A very nice one. But smaller. Too small, it turns out. Much easier when you can see what's going on in life, from a few metres away vs needing to be within 1 metre. It wasn't getting used and we have not been as organised as we would like to have been.

Problem Solved!

A bonus with the Flylady calendar is that it is a 17month calendar - allowing plenty of overlap time... useful for those that are slack in re-ordering or for those that like to plan out the next year in advance. A bit of both for me this time!

Our colour coding is: Blue for Family; Yellow for Kids i.e. Piano, Boys Brigade, Girl's Brigade, Co-Op etc; Green is for Church activities and Pink for other appointments.

I also like the big spaces to plot it out as the day happens. Something in the morning goes at the top of the space. Evening at the bottom. Something all day, goes all over the space and so on.

I won't be making the mistake of trying a different calendar again!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

French Onion Soup Mix

The end result!

We have 2 recipes I love to use dehydrated french onion soup mix in... and I recently read the back of the package and as expected, it's full of nasties. Even just 621 and 635 are enough to make me change something. Do some serious research on what you're putting into your body with these numbers. 635 in particular changes children's behaviour around here, so I'm sure it changes mine too!... and from the diets most kids have these days, it's something many are consuming multiple times a week :-(  It's toxic. It's not legal in some countries yet our  government still allows it here. YOU don't have to allow it though. It's not something God ever meant for us to have in our bodies. Junk in, Junk out.

Sooo.... I made up a HUGE batch of French Onion Soup, with 4kgs of onions. I also used about a table spoon of Celtic Sea Salt in it. I kept the liquid low by using already concentrated beef broth & stock (and thus reducing time needed in the dehydrator), and, at the end of the process I have a 1.3L container filled with home made 'powdered' French Onion Soup mix to use as I normally would the toxic packets. It took about 48hours-ish to dehydrate the 'thick French Onion Soup Slop'

I like to do French Onion Lamb Chops in the slow cooker... 2kg or more of cheap lamb chops with French onion soup mix sprinkled over them. About 2tb for the first 2kg and then 3tsp for each extra kilo of chops. Some like to add in some tomato passata with theirs. I prefer it without. Cook on low for 'about that long' (sorry I can't be more specific - I'd say 8 hours-ish?)

The other main recipe I'll be using this mix for is Apricot Chicken. 1.6-2kg chicken thighs, 2 tins Apricot Nectar, 4tb french onion soup mix, 1/2 cup dried apricots or a 400g-ish tin of pie apricots, and one sliced onion. That's the recipe I start with... now I also add in about 800g-1kg of carrots peeled and sliced, and also 2 cups of green beans. Again, probably about 8 hours on low in the slow cooker?

And yes, I have large slow cookers / crock pots... 6L!

Crunchy on the dehydrator tray

Broken pieces ready to 'powder' in the food processor

A Lazy Sunday Arvo

A rarity. These days, anyway.

Birthday breakfast (Melinda is 10 today), Church fellowship, birthday lunch, nap, a chance to sit and breathe. Needed. So very much needed.

Listening to The Olympics Opening Ceremony in the background (hubby watching over a week late)

The relaxing scent of a Lemongrass Zest candle (a treat to myself from Dusk on our Friday night shopping trip)

Pondering the days and weeks ahead. The clock ticking FAST. Faster than I'd like. 5 weeks out from due date.

A chest freezer bought but yet to arrive - this week hopefully?? Had thought it would be here by now. Then some cooking to do.

Much spending has been happening around here actually. Rather Nutty. I usually say to Pete "Money In, Money Out". This last month it has felt more like Money Out, Money In, Money Out and Money Out Again. A Tandem Pram. A new baby car seat. Car air conditioning. Car servicing. Sports Doctor Appointments, MRI for Pete's knee, Doona Covers for the boys.

Much illness has been here too... Gastro for all except Charlotte (Her avoiding it was a very specific answer to prayer - Thank You God!)... Followed on by a dose of flu for most of us. The rest escaped with barely any... maybe 24 hours... I 'scored' about 3 days. Gone now.

Looking ahead for quiet days and weeks.

Oh, and I had a birthday in there too.
37 blessed years.
Mid family gastro - aah the timing.
NEVER regret a year being added to your life. Don't complain, even in jest about the approach of old age - be it another whole life time away or where you are right now. Too many have passed on that would delight in more years. More years with loved ones. Don't wish your years to stop adding up.
I was blessed with some lovely surprises... but I'll show and tell about them, in another post :-)

A funny from Timothy to close on... had his usual call out from the loo this morning "I need someone to wipe my bottom!!!" to which he got the now standard answer of "Yes! You can do it". I also tacked on at the end "You're 4 years old!!" to which he replied, rather indignant "I'm NOT 4 years old, I'm 4!!"
Such fun as little ones gain understanding of the ins and outs of speech.