Friday, June 13, 2008

Of floods and freezers...

It is another dreary looking day outside and I am having a difficult time coming awake, even though I have been up for hours! Believe me, I had two cups of coffee and then two cups of tea just to keep my eyes open. I'm certain it is the weather.

As our local weatherman said on the news last night, "It is Friday so that means another round of severe weather". It has been that way so often this Spring, although there was a little over a week where we were under a tornado watch (or warning) just about every day. It looks like another one will be issued later this afternoon. Next week looks good, I think I'll plan on having lunch out on the deck one day.

We continue to be flooded in our area but nothing like what Eastern Iowa is experiencing. How my heart goes out to those people, what a feeling of deja vu many of them must be experiencing. We lived near Muscatine for almost four years and were there during the huge "one hundred year" floods of 1993. They are calling this a "five hundred year" flood. I remember hearing people say silly things like "they shouldn't have built so close to the river if they didn't want to be flooded". Well, our house was two or three miles from the river and we would have been flooded if one of the dikes broke (as many did).

All of this severe weather does not look good for future food prices. I've mentioned before that corn crops have been wiped out around here and now on the national news, I heard much of what is flooding in other Midwest states are areas where corn is grown. Add that to gasoline prices rising to $4.19 a gallon and well... it looks like we are a long way from returning to any sense of normal. How happy I am that I am a "tested and true" believer that my God shall supply. :)

Christopher asked me this morning how I plan to have food for the Open House next weekend. I reminded him of his sister's wedding Open House (although he was only about ten years old at the time, he does remember there was plenty food). Stephanie's wedding took place during one of our "years with no income" (and when I was dreadfully ill and "homeschooling" from the sofa) but together we did a lot of baking, served inexpensive sandwiches... beautifully, and I can't quite remember what we had for liquid refreshments but I'm thinking it may have been lemonade and coffee. I plan to serve lemonade next week.

I wish she were here with me. She helped me a great deal when Mamaw's (my mom) funeral lunch was served in our home. Our church provided the food but Steph took over the hostess duties since I was busy with out of town guests, as well as my brothers and sisters. One of my nephews commented about how good she was at the job considering she was still a teenager at the time. He asked me how she did it and I commented with a smart alec (but true) answer... "training". :)

One premium I had then, which I don't have now, was space... lots and lots of big rooms. That is why I am praying for good weather! Our deck will be just what we need for additional space. Although, I'm not expecting nearly the amount of people we had for the wedding Open House (there were over one hundred come and go throughout the day).

If God has blessed you with a big house and a firm financial foundation, enjoy using it to bless others. What a gift it is to be able to open your doors and be hospitable to others. Of course, there are different seasons in life. Right now I couldn't host a Mothers of Preschooler Bible Study due to lack of a play space, too many breakables around, and a complete lack of energy to run after little ones. I could do so when I had young children and the house was set up for kids. :)

I can handle teenagers and college students, though. I loved it when Christopher's Hindu friend came over one evening and was looking at all of the books in our house. Believe me, some of the titles made for interesting conversation. I truly love to be around teenagers. A lot of the people coming to this Open House will be Christopher's friends.

As for the remainder of the day, I'm going to spend the afternoon doing some more baking for the freezer. Of course, I have to make certain there is something in the "there and now" for the guys. It is quite disappointing to have the aroma of something baking in the oven, only to find it is not for you to enjoy.

I'm finding having a deep freeze again is well worth the price paid (a little over a week of working at the bookstore last year... after taxes). Yesterday I took out a bag of frozen chicken breasts I had purchased on sale during the Winter, layered them in the Crock Pot (still frozen), sprinkled some Mrs. Dash and salt on top, and then poured a box of MSG free chicken broth on them (from the pantry). Later in the day, I let them cool on a plate and then transferred them to three separate Zip Lock bags, one to go in the kitchen freezer (in the frig) and two others to be used in recipes today and over the weekend.

Which reminds me, I'd better make certain the butter is coming to room temperature (also frozen after purchasing on sale). I think I'm going to make another pound cake and perhaps some pecan bars (the pecans purchased on sale a few weeks ago... are we seeing a pattern here?). Since I can't get outside to do any weeding or make an attempt at planting those last clearance perennials, I'm going to enjoy reading in between baking and cooking. Sounds like a good day to me, as long as tornadoes stay away (yikes!).

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brenda,

We have just graduated our first from our homeschooled and are having an open house June 28th and I'd love to hear more of what you are planning especially the food and if you don't mind including recipes. We are planning sandwiches, salads, cookies, cakes ect. It sounds like simular things to which you are planning. I am thinking of making stuff early and putting in the freezer as you have mentioned but mine is already kind of full of on sale meat any suggestions. I'm thinking of asking my sister to borrow her freezer since she doesn't keep her's as full as I do. And asking her to help me with the cooking as my daughter now has a full time job, of course my 16 year old daughter will be helping alot. My boys will be on trash and dishes duty (and for any thing else I need them)for the week leading up to the party because they don't like to cook so much.

Thanks,
Jennie

lady jane said...

Lovely and wonderful plans for your upcoming celebration. :o) Congratulations to Christopher!

I'm curious about the 'wedding open house'. Could you share a little more about it? Did the open house serve as the reception rather than a reception right after the ceremony?

Maggie Ann said...

Congratulations to your son....and I'm sure you 'Open House' will be a wonderful occasion! You are a gracious and talented lady....

Sandy said...

I was thinking of you today as I did my pantry shopping. Canola oil, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder. Today was mostly about staples. I loved the feeling of building my pantry a little at a time that way. I also picked up some Seventh Generation dish soap on your suggestion. My daughter and I loved the smell, and I thought the price was good too. I also loved the natural ingredients. I'm praying for you to have EXTRA food for your open house. The flooding certainly won't help the food prices and my heart goes out to those farmers. So much work lost. Thankfully farmers are usually a hardy bunch. I will be praying for them as well. Blessings on your week!

cheri said...

I fondly remember each of our 3boys' homeschool graduation parties. We fed 75-100 on a shoestring budget.

I started baking weeks ahead of time, making home made rolls for tiny sandwiches to stretch our dollar (notice I didn't say dollars LOL).

When friends offered to bring things, I took them up on it. I made punch and used the punch bowl and 50 punch cups that I got for $5 at a garage sale in the late '70's. Best purchase I ever made at a garage sale.

I also asked for and received permission to use our church freezer and church dishes. That saved money and space. The dishes are a light weight Corelle, so I was not worried about breakage and it sured saved on garbage.

Have fun as you plan your party and I hope things dry out for you soon, but not too much. We are very hot and dry here in southeast TN.

Linda said...

I've been shopping for my pantry this week. I've pretty much run out of room so now I think I need to reorg. to find some more space. It feels good to have a full pantry. Thanks for inspiring us. My main reason for doing it is to cut back on using the car. I do all my shopping in one day and then I'm thru unless I'm up to walking.

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

It's a joy to read the positive thinking despite the news, which I have stopped watching. Call me an ostrich, but I feel better for giving up the evening news.

I don't have a freezer, but I do need to "deepen" the drawer freezer that I have. I'm thinking that old ice cubes are just taking up prime real estate.

Abounding Treasures said...

Congratulations to Christopher on his graduation!

The Open House will be a wonderful time for all and you baking a little every day will make things so much easier.

You sound busy and happy and I appreciate you taking the time to visit my blog today and leave such a lovely and encouraging comment.

May you and your family have a wonderful weekend :o)

Blessings,
Dallas

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

What a fun event it is going to be! Please take pics so we can feel like we are there with you. I know your house must smell so good all the time. It's very smart to do all those things ahead of time. I hope you get some rest and enjoy your reading too.

Anonymous said...

< gasoline prices rising to $4.19 a gallon >

Last time I checked, they had risen to $4.52 here in no. Ca.
jo

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

I'm so sorry about your continued severe weather. I'm thankful that you and your family are still just fine!

Filled up in town today and paid $4.49/gallon at the lowest priced station in our area....Yikes!!! Praising the Lord, though, because milk has come down some in our area!