Monday, July 07, 2008

Packing a lot into a Monday

I awoke to thunder, lightening, and heavy rain outside (again) this morning. It is just that kind of weather that causes me to turn off the alarm and sleep for "just a few more minutes". One hour later I wake up again! Yikes! The only other sound of nature that can cause such a deep sleep is the wind beating ice or snow against the window in winter.

I had planned to take the nicer car today, anyway, but Christopher was certainly happy he didn't have to walk the blocks to work from where he can park the car. As it is, he told me later that he had to take the store's recycling in their pickup truck in the pouring rain.

Monday is usually my biggest laundry and cleaning day, always has been... probably because the family tends to mess up more over the weekend and I don't do any but the necessary decluttering on Sunday. Although, I did make a big summer meal of burgers, potato salad, iced brownies, and melon for the guys on Sunday afternoon since I didn't do anything for the 4th this year (although Christopher did have fun with friends).

You know that pretty, red dish drainer I have? Well, it got used four times yesterday! That's more typical of Thanksgiving or Christmas but I certainly did use up a lot of dishes. I try not to be messy but if that old adage that "a good cook is a messy cook" is true... I am a very good cook. :)

I did a bit of mega cooking this morning, too, since I had defrosted meat that had to be used today. I used the ground beef for burgers yesterday and cooked it all up at one time. Today I baked all three packages of the chicken thighs (purchased at an amazingly low price and frozen for later use) in two different 9 x 13 dishes. I also threw in another dish that held defrosted soup bones, a whole onion, and carrots. They baked nicely together for an hour. When finished, I transferred the chicken to plates (after eating two pieces for lunch) and placed quartered red potatoes in one of the dishes which still had lovely chicken "juices" in it. They baked in the juices to be warmed for tonight's dinner. If I felt like it, I'd have baked some kind of a dessert while the oven was hot. :)

I added a little water to the other dishes and scraped up all the browned chicken stuff at the bottom (there is a gastronomical term for it but I forget). All of that went into a saucepan to become a sauce later. Most of the meat came off the chicken to be used for dinner and the remaining baked chicken, bones, skin, etc. is now freezing nicely to be used for a soup stock later.

I would have used the chicken for stock now but the browned bones and veggies are simmering away in the ancient Le' Cruset dutch oven along with a package of defrosted meat (hmmm... either round or chuck). After simmering two or three hours, I will let that cool and put "as is" in the frig until I finish that soup tomorrow. I'll be very happy tomorrow to have little to do for dinner. I know soup for dinner is usually a winter meal but with the damp weather outside, we have to keep the air conditioning going to keep out the mold (which has been terrible with all of this rain the past two months) so it is quite cool in the house.

I'm working on a couple of pantry posts, hopefully the first one will be ready tomorrow. They require more... thinking... than I have time for today. Once the laundry is finished (I won't try to do all of it today), the dishes are soaking in hot and soapy water, and everything is ready to assemble for dinner... I will reward myself with tea, reading, and some letter writing. I must write my sister since she has now spent more than a week alone since Uncle Gibby passed on.

Speaking of which, my prayers go out to my dear blog friend, Kimberly (of Kimberly's Cup). We were all so excited about her pregnancy so it was very sad to read that the wee baby had gone straight from the safety of his/her mother's womb to the safety of Heaven. I still get tears in my eyes when I think of Kimberly. Please click on the link and send to her thoughts and prayers.


Anonymous said...

I do not even remember how I found your blog, but I am so glad that I did - it is delightful!
God's blessings.

lady jane said...

I loved reading this post, Brenda. You've inspired me to do "just a bit more" in planning and carrying out my day(s).

I look forward to your pantry series. I've been "deepening my pantry" lately and have noticed an increase in my desire to choose even more wisely, always purchasing items that we actually consume rather than purchasing just because the item's on sale. Today I'll tip-toe over to Longs and take advantage of some canned goods for excellent (waaay below typical price) prices.

How very bittersweet to learn Kimberly's sweet babe is with the Lord. I've been there, the pain is so real. Praying <><

I had a Shabby Junque sale at my home recently. Pictures are up on my blog. You'll perhaps recognize at least a couple of the ladies. :o) (If you can't log on, let me know and I'll reinvite you)

ladyjanesjournal at gmail dot com

Bless you.

Mrs. Darling said...

Praying for your friend. I cant imagine how hard that would be!

Looks like youve been in cooking mode. Ah, how I love cooking!

Cheryl (Copper's Wife) said...

So much goodness happening in and about your kitchen!!!

Kimberly said...

Dearest Brenda,
Thank you ever so much for your sweet words and prayers. The comments from your readers have helped to brighten a difficult time. I am planning to print out the sweet comments and put them in a little memory book with the cards I've received for our little boy. Thank you again.