Trisha’s Note: Welcome to a new (probably) bimonthly series where I blatantly talk about the successes — minimalism, zero waste, cats, kids, coffee, whatever — that make me say “Hell yeah!” I’m not going to lie — this feels SUPER weird right now and is not my style at all. I’m not really saying “Hell yeah!” but you know what? Practice makes perfect. We’re going to embrace the good and not kick ourselves over what we perceive as “bad.” And maybe learn how to keep track of the right things (whatever that means).
I’ve never been one for designated meal nights — I remember the early years of our marriage and women talking about Taco Tuesday and Pot Roast Thursday and thinking that was weird — but we’re on a roll right now with Pizza Friday in the Walker household. I keep balls of naan in the freezer and let the dough thaw and rise all day on the counter, and then we can come home and crank out a pizza in no time. It’s also a great way to use up the odds and ends in the fridge before my Saturday shopping trip. This Friday’s pizza: summer squash from a co-worker’s garden, Walla Walla Sweet onion, some leftover sauce from another meal, olives from the pantry, and cheese I whirled around in the food processor instead of taking the time to grate. Eh, it worked. Anyway, I absolutely nailed it — the crust was crisp, the leftover sauce (which technically had taco-ish herbs and spices in it) was fantastic, and the whole thing went down very well as I sat on our patio and decompressed from a very Friday-ish Friday.
This week’s menu plan has been: Whatever Happened To Be At The Farmers’ Market. This has actually worked out pretty well. Monday’s dinner was chicken salad (well, chicken on salad), and Tuesday’s was that plus zucchini pancakes, watermelon (Hermiston melons are out now! This is a good day in Oregon) and green beans (I don’t like them soggy, so I stick them in a pan with a little water, bring that to a boil, then take them off. They’re not really cooked, but they’re a little more tender). For today, I roasted fennel, new potatoes and eggplant last night when the kitchen was slightly cooler (we’re in the 100ºs this week but I’m not complaining after our super snowy winter) to go with the leftover chicken and never-ending salad.
Mostly local, fairly zero waste, and oh yeah, the kid who filled my jar with chicken — which I then tossed in the crock pot to cook — was extremely helpful and awesome and nonchalant about the whole ordeal.
Can I get a “Hell yeah!”
The boys — aka Bean and Goose — are settling in just fine. Well, Bean had no problem with that at all; I think it took him all of a day and a half before he was marching around the joint, tail straight up, like he knew he was home. It’s taken Goosey a little longer, but this weekend we seemed to turn a corner. He’s still looking up at us with those big eyes, and sometimes I can see him quaking a little, but he’s actually letting us pick him up, or stay in the room when we walk by instead of scurrying under the nearest hidey-hole.
(Bonus: Both boys seem to love being under the hutch, which I haven’t dusted under in, like, 14 years. They’re dusting it for me, bless their hearts.)
On Saturday night, Bean was sprawled out on our bed completely knocked out, and we decided to let him stay. (Usually we keep the door closed because kids, cats — we just want to sleep.) About a half-hour after the light went off, Goose found us. He must have felt braver in the dark, because all of a sudden, we’re under attack. Or Bean was under attack, and they were rolling around all over us. Can we be done with this now? Eric finally asked, and I was like, yep. So the kittens got tossed. But it was kind of nice to know that they’re THAT comfortable with us.
Heck yeah! (That’s for those of you who don’t like swearing. Hi, Mom!)
We’re at that magical time of year when we have more blueberries than we know what to do with. I’ve already got three gallons in the freezer — used my new half-gallon jars and I’m really pleased how that is working out — so I decided to try drying them.
I mean, I make a no-bake granola bar every week that takes 2 cups of dried fruit. Dried fruit is expensive. I thought maybe this would be a nice local alternative.
Uh, I think I dried them too long because they are, shall we say, slightly crunchy with a taste reminiscent of charcoal. I’m pretty sure that’s not how they’re supposed to be. But I’m kind of scared to try again.
Yeah, I’ll still use them. What could happen?
Uh, maybe a partial Hell yeah! because … fearlessness in experimentation? 😉
Abby and her boyfriend hit Portland last weekend (and only got horribly lost once!) and she packed a lunch for them to take. We have a lot of containers and she’s used to that, but I had to laugh when she pulled out linen napkins to wrap their sandwiches. She was like, I need a rubber band to keep this closed, and I was all, how have I not shown you this yet? and then taught her how to wrap it so you can tie off the ends. (Basically: Lay the napkin out flat. Put the thing you’re wrapping in one corner, diagonally, and then start folding it, cinnamon roll style, until you come to the end piece. Then tie the two “handle” pieces together and tuck the end piece under. I’m sorry — I tried to find a tutorial but couldn’t.)
She was amazed at my skillz. I am pretty amazing sometimes. Anyway, lunch was a success and no rubber bands were harmed in the packing of said lunch.
(I do sort of wonder what her boyfriend thinks of our lifestyle. The first time he ate dinner with us and Eric tossed cloth napkins on the table — which were really just random dish towels — I was like, uh, has Abby told you about our zero waste and minimalist tendencies? And he just looked at me and said, that’s awesome. And that was that. But does he think we’re weird? I mean, we are weird, but I don’t want him to think that we’re weird.)
Now: What “Hell yeah!” moments have you had this week? Remember, we’re focusing on the positive and how great we are instead of worrying about what we could have done better. 🙂