Tuesday, September 27, 2011
A return to the real world
It has now been a week since we arrived back home from our vacation, which was in many ways a peek into the outside world (albeit partly the world of 1775-ish). With many happy memories all stored up for years to come (God willing)... life has returned to the "new normal".
Hubby and I went to one of the food pantries yesterday and my friends... it was an alarming sight. We were first in line (he learned long ago to be at least fifteen minutes early) but as we waited, the line formed further until it went out the door of the long room. As we peaked into the area where you were given food, the shelves were almost empty.
We came away with a few items we could really use, especially a chuck roast that could become soup (this is the government sponsored food pantry where grocery stores freeze their unsold meat and send it to be given away). This food pantry lets you choose a certain number of items from each shelf (usually one or two) so I told hubby not to take anything we didn't need (for instance, we have canned veggies and cereal).
It made me think of an interview on TV I heard last week. An economic expert was asked where we should invest our money and he said... food. The same answer given by a few other "experts" the past few years. Yes, deepening the pantry is a good thing!
I'm also very glad I had to develop frugal shopping and cooking skills. On the way home from the pantry, we stopped by Kroger for essentials such as milk (and off brand coffee, I do have my addictions). As usual, I stopped by the area where they have packaged "sell by" fresh veggies and found numerous packages had been clearanced.
I came away with sliced squash, chopped red onions, and even organic broccoli florets... all at a fraction of original cost. Another grocery chain in the area marks down its' meat close to the "sell by" date in the early morning hours. These are all still in perfect condition.
Last Monday I made chicken soup from a rotisserie chicken purchased on sale at Kroger. Over the weekend, we enjoyed vegetable beef soup (the recipe I made my mother show me how to make as a bride) from a small chuck roast and a package of soup bones I had put back in the freezer.
Even though Christopher is living near campus, I make as much soup as I always have. We can have it for two meals and perhaps even a lunch or we can share it with him. I love serving soup at least a couple times a week in colder weather.
I also made a cherry chocolate cake as I had everything I needed for the cake in the pantry. I didn't have chocolate chips to make the original "glaze-icing" but it was easy to whip up a chocolate butter cream frosting, which I think is actually better if the cake is not being served within twenty-four hours (the glaze-icing makes it so moist that it gets soggy over time).
I shared some of it with friends and Christopher was happy to find it available when he stopped by yesterday. We don't see him often, he is so busy combining school-work-fiance and his responsibilities as president of a computer science organization. But right now his place of work is not far from our house so he can drop by when time permits on his way there or back.
Hopefully we will soon return to the old normal. Our settlement check arrived from the insurance company yesterday. After taking off the large deductible, we are holding our breath (not literally) to see if it enough to get all the repairs made. But it is good to have the process behind us. We may have to set priorities for getting the electrical fixed (the kitchen first... the doorbell last).
The DVD player the insurance company ordered for us arrived yesterday and Christopher hooked it up. (It was financially better for us to have them order the replacement DVD player and TV and take a cash settlement for the rest).
Christopher glanced at the instructions and used one enclosed cable but then looked behind the TV for a special cable we already owned and used it instead of the second one they sent. Within a few minutes he had it ready to go and I must admit standing there with astonishment on my face. I have only a few tekkie skills with the computer (hubby has almost none). Christopher thinks in a technical language, as his dad's mind worked in numbers as an engineer. As for me? I see words... lovely words.
Hopefully very soon we will have light in the kitchen and the other repairs made (can you tell what I've really missed?). I have been using a flashlight to make coffee in the morning. :)
Thank you to everyone who has prayed us and helped us through this time.
Posted by Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks at 11:46 AM