Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Use it Up!

It has been a very busy couple of months here.  One project I took on was to pull every single can off of my pantry shelves, date it, and put it all back in an organized fashion.  I also inventoried it all.   That was a pretty time-consuming project, but it is nice to have it done.

When I say, "put it all back," though, I don't actually mean all of it.  I tossed four or five cans out as they looked scary.  And everything with a best-by date any earlier than 2018, I put on the freezer. 

There were a few things, obviously.  And I also grabbed a couple of dessert mixes with old dates and added it to my on-the-freezer stash.

Having spent a lot of time working in food pantries, I've been trained repeatedly in what is okay to use past dates and what isn't.  Scary stuff is things like milk (two of the cans I tossed were sweetened condensed milk) and mayonnaise.  Tomatoes and other high-acid food shouldn't be older than 12-18 months.  But a lot of the other canned goods are supposed to be good for five years.

I don't like stuff to be five years past dates though.  So I want to use it all up.

I've used most of the items in the above picture at this point.  I'm mostly down to things that are a bit harder to use in cooking for a family of six.  Like one little can of crabmeat.  Seriously, how do I stretch that to feed us all?

(I'm planning to either do stuffed mushrooms, or stuffed something else.)

Or things I just don't use and am not entirely sure why I have, such as canned/jarred gravy. 

Or strange stuff my husband bought, like a can of squid.  (I know what I want to do with that!  I want to feed it to either the cats or the chickens.)

Some of the items are really easy to use.  This was breakfast this morning -- cinnamon rolls with apple pie filling.

I made a cake with a can of blueberry pie filling. 

I cooked up the can of roast beef, the mushrooms, beef gravy, and probably something else and we had it over mashed potatoes.  That was excellent, and it is probably what I'll do with the remaining beef gravy too.

Stuff like pineapple, jalepeños, and soup just needed to be front and center and those got used up.

It's starting to be harder to use what I have left though.  My goal is to have used it all by the end of May.  I probably could use some ideas.


What I have left:
  • 1 can chicken, which will probably be chicken salad sandwiches for lunch soon.
  • 1 can clams
  • 1 can crab
  • 1 can squid
  • 1 can French onion soup
  • 1 can chipotle peppers
  • 1 can baked beans, which will probably be used over Memorial Day weekend
  • 2 cans beef gravy
  • 1 can turkey gravy
  • 1 box of no bake cheesecake
  • 1 box of pumpkin cheesecake
What would you make?

Sunday, March 31, 2019

A super mom vs SuperMom

Facebook memories are so much fun sometimes.  Today, I saw this one, which I did dutifully share on my wall:

 
I could undoubtedly turn that into a whole post too.

But earlier this week, there was a memory where I started reading the comments.  I don't even remember what the post was about, but from the first line below, I'm pretty sure it was the new Sonlight catalog.  Someone was commenting on how whatever it was made them feel totally inadequate.  And this is someone I really respect and admire, someone doing a LOT with her kids.  I wrote back:
I totally understand what you mean. The pictures, the little quotes and testimonials, they all sound so perfect. And then the lack of book descriptions leaves me feeling, I don't know, incomplete. So combined, I feel inadequate too.

But remember when you look at those pictures that you are only seeing one brief narrowly focused snapshot. If it is anything like most of the photos I put on my blog, there is a mountain of clutter just outside the frame, and undoubtedly there is a child throwing a tantrum that you can't hear over the sound of my "forced to appear calm" voice describing the scene.

You are a super mom. But you can't be SuperMom. None of us in this thread are either... and none of the people in the catalog is either. You have your SuperMomMoments. I know you do. But this side of heaven, it will never be more than a few scattered perfect moments...

Don't beat yourself up. Really. You are amazing and wonderful. And flawed. Don't measure your reality against the projected external perfection of anyone else...
 Don't we all need reminders like that?

"Don't measure your reality against the projected external perfection of anyone else..."


Wednesday, February 20, 2019

The Restoration Series

One subject that has never come up on my blog before today:  prisons.

It is a subject that occasionally comes up in my life though.  Not that I plan to go into a lot of detail on my blog, but there have been a couple of individuals in my life who I met after they got out of prison, while they were trying to get back into life on the outside.

That isn't easy, usually for a whole lot of reasons.  Lots of reasons that most of us don't think about.  Prison Fellowship has put out a fascinating documentary, The Restoration Series: Jonathan's Walk

You can watch the first part below.  It's not quite five minutes.  Come on, you have five minutes.

Watch it.





One of the ministries that my church supports is helping women to get integrated back into society after they have been released from prison.  Listening to Marilyn, who runs this ministry, speak about these women -- and meeting some of them, too -- has been eye-opening for me as well.



About the series:


For years, Jonathan has been in prison. As a result, he has missed milestone
moments with his family. He wasn’t there for his daughter’s first day of school or a thousand little experiences with his wife and as a father, he is devastated to be separated from those he loves most.

Jonathan has been looking forward to his release from prison for over a decade. So many life events have been missed and he is now ready to be with his wife and kids again. Of course, this transition isn't going to be easy. The odds are against him: with over half of prisoners returning to prison within two years, Jonathan is aware of the challenge set before him.

Still, he is determined to take the skills he has learned into the world outside of incarceration and stay there, helping build the community that he is part of for years to come.

Prison Fellowship presents The Restoration Series: Jonathan’s Walk, a 5-part documentary film series following one man as he re-enters his community after 15 years in prison. It demonstrates in imagery, powerful storytelling and social interaction what it means to be human and the shared need of all people to see communities restored.

Though America is home to only 4% of the world's population, we house more than 20% of its prisoners. Recidivism–the tendency of a criminal to reoffend—is out of control. The Restoration Series tells the story of men and women who have experienced The Academy, a revolutionary in-prison program that is combatting incarceration and recidivism head on.


Go check it out.  The Restoration Series.



“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.