Thursday, June 30, 2016

Things I Have Learned This Summer

This is one of those lazy blog entries in which I combine the dozen or so posts that have been wandering around my head but I haven't had the time nor energy to write them and make them clever.  So here goes.

Yes, emeals, not emails.  It's shopping and recipe service that, once a week, sends to your phone meal ideas, the grocery list, and the recipes to make these meals.  It's $50/year and the best thing I've ever done in my life.  Now, every Wednesday, I open the app, decide what we're going to eat all week, buy the groceries, and then don't worry about it until 5 pm when I turn on my phone and figure out what I'm supposed to do for dinner.  Worry free, delicious, healthy, EASY to make dinner.  We're doing "clean eating" which is all from scratch meals.  In the last week, we've had Chicken Cordon Bleu, Shrimp Salad Rolls, Rosemary Chicken with Watermelon salad, Steak with tapenade topping, and a variety of other really good, really easy meals.  I no longer have to worry about dinners.  Somebody else has done the worrying for me, including making the shopping list.  There are a whole bunch of meal plans (family friendly, fast, paleo, vegetarian, economical).  GO!  TRY THIS NOW!!

Our 4 year old plum tree finally made some plums.  And by made some plums, I mean produced a couple of thousand plums.  I've made about 50 pints of plum jelly (7 different batches with different recipes), frozen plums for Thanksgiving pies, learned how to make cobblers (huge hit in the family now), and basically become a plum expert.  I really hope this wasn't a once in a lifetime plum event.  Those plums were delicious and I would love for June to become DEAL WITH ALL THE PLUMS month in our family's life.

Apparently, for one's "garden to grow," one needs to "water it."  This sounds like some sort of euphemism or maybe a proverb, but no.  I mean this literally.  We have been very sparing with water usage for our last 12 years of gardening. This explains why most of our gardening fails.  This year, I've been much more regular at watering young seedlings, making sure the garden gets its 1" of rain a week, and actually watering our fruit trees.  Um, Wow.  Water helps!  Who knew?  Apparently, everyone else knows this but me.

Roku and Sling.
We have not had Cable TV for 6 years or so.  We have not really missed it.  Except for DIY and HGTV.  Seriously, we go to a hotel or a relative's house who has cable, and Dave and I immediately turn to these channels and stare slack-jawed for hours.  For Father's day this year, I bought Dave a Roku (a plug in for the TV) and we subscribed to Sling (essentially basic cable for $20/month).  We are so happy.  The whole family now sits together after dinner and criticize people's home purchases, cake decorating decisions, and flea market flips. It is wonderful.

Banana Ice Cream.
Blend or food process the hell out of frozen bananas and you end up with fluffy, delicious banana "ice cream."  Add nut butter if you'd like.  It's an amazing, healthy, sweet treat.

If you do not live in or near South Carolina, I am very sorry for you.  South Carolina peaches from the farmer's market are the best fruit you will ever eat.  The kids are eating three and four a day.  They are begging for more of them. Grocery store peaches are nothing compared to real South Carolina peaches.  Plus, peaches and plums are best buddies in jams and cobblers.

So, um, there!  I have more.  But the talk of peaches, plums, banana ice cream, cobblers, and watermelon salad has made me hungry.  I am not one to deny myself food lately, so I need to check out what snacks I can have for breakfast.

Nice to see you again on the blog and I hope to be back soon(er)!