The middle daughter is home. The presents have been received by the other two daughters. Everything is ready for the holidays – I think.
Friday night will be video holiday with all of my family. I’m looking forward to seeing their faces when they open their gifts. I’m sure I’ll hear corny jokes, laughter, and all the other things which go with family gatherings.
I miss the times we would spend together playing games, watching movies and so on. However, they are in Georgia and we are in Wisconsin. Ken can’t get off around a holiday and Virginia is working every day except Friday. We will adjust and adapt while we make the most of the time we do have together.
Saturday Ken will go to his family. I don’t know whether I will go or not yet. It depends on my sinus issues and the weather.
Sunday is my family gathering. I’m not sure whether we are going or not – for the same reasons above.
Tonight Vicki and I will be clipping coupons, checking the rebates, and making a list for batch cooking. At some point we are going to make some large batches of food for the freezer. I’ll have to pay bills in order to figure out how much we will have to spend on groceries. We’re going to make a list of where we’re going and what we need to pick up. It will be a busy day on Friday.
Since I have off, Vicki and I will spend the day running errands, shopping, and getting ready for the family thing Friday night. It will be a very busy day.
Next week will be full of cooking, crocheting, and spending time with Vicki. I’m hoping to finish a few projects for her (writing up the patterns of course). However, we’ll see what trouble we get into.
A former co-worker told me about batch cooking and how she does it with her sisters. This got me thinking about how we could do it and from there it led to Vicki investigating it. Now we are in full-fledged mode of batch cooking.
Yesterday, I spent my day chopping veggies, making my garbage soup, making meatballs and mini meatloaf, assembling lasagna, and cutting up meats. We chop up veggies like onions, mushrooms, and celery (and a whole lot more) in volume for all the dishes we want to make. The chopped up items go into bowls so that when Vicki is cooking a dish all she has to do is grab the appropriate amount.
The first dish to go in the oven was my garbage soup. As I chopped up all the veggies, a portion of them went in to my big roaster pan. Vicki also picked up a large can of the cream of mushroom soup I use to make this. Buying larger is usually more economical. In most cases the larger isn’t worthwhile for us but when we batch cook it is.
Vicki started with making the sauce for the lasagna and boiling the noodles. Once the two were done, she handed them off to me and had me assemble. The thing about this is she doesn’t like to assemble and we made three pans of lasagna. We switch off doing things like this to stay out of each other’s way in the kitchen but also to play to our strengths.
I am not able to stand at the stove and cook. My legs just won’t tolerate it yet. Vicki is but she has issues with her thumbs so cutting things up is hard on her hands. We play off each our strengths but dividing the tasks up according to whom is good at what and what causes the least pain for each of us.
We spent all day cooking. At the end of the day, we had three pans of lasagna, three pans of chicken carbonara – one of which was gluten free, Mexican stew, garbage soup, turkey meatballs, beef meatloaf, and finished baking the chocolate chip cookies Vicki stirred up on Friday. We used up all our freezer containers – Ken even had to go buy more. The freezer now is full of food for lunches for the next month. The thing is these lunches are healthier and better than the frozen stuff you get in the store. they are also more cost effective because we made them in bulk. All the way around there are benefits – the only downside is at the end of the day we are damn tired and don’t want to look at food anymore.
Yesterday Vicki and I were particularly productive. She got the kitchen and dining room floors cleaned. She cleaned up in those two rooms and the two bathrooms. She even cleaned up a bit in the living room which was sort of her thing because she crafted on Saturday and had stuff sprawled out.
In addition to all of Vicki’s productiveness in cleaning, she and I cooked a lot of stuff. She made two types of pudding and blackberry crisp and chicken carbonara. I made meatloaf and turkey meatballs. On Saturday, Vicki made two pans of lasagna. We put in the freezer eight containers of meatloaf, six bags of turkey meatballs, and a dozen containers of carbonara. We also shared food with a friend who came and picked up.
Vicki and I also made two containers of shampoo for her. Vicki put my lotion back on the stove to melt to see if she could get the turmeric to mix in better. It did a bit but still settled to the bottom. We will have to try oil.
In addition to the cooking, I got an eleven page paper edited and a three page paper for school written. I also did some reading for school though I didn’t finish that. In the evening I made two gifts. It was a busy and productive day.
At the end of the day, I gave Vicki a back, arm, and leg rub because she was wore out and sore from all the work. I used the lotion she made and gave her a thorough rub down – her skin should be in lovely shape now. I’m pretty sure she is still sore though.