That Harvest Bag Life

I’ve mentioned here in the blog about my delivery of vegetables and fruits that I receive weekly from a local farm and how much I’ve enjoyed my bounty which I have dubbed The Harvest Bag (that’s not actually what the farm place calls them, but it sounds like it should be called that, right?)

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But I have learned something…there is something a bit dark that you’re not told when you order your first delivery…and it’s this: The Harvest Bag is a commitment. The Harvest Bag is a LIFESTYLE. The Harvest Bag requires attention, otherwise its contents will wither and die, not unlike those tiny digital animal keychains from the 90s (Tamagotchi, anyone?). I hate to admit that some of the produce from my first 2 bags ended up in the trash because I just didn’t understand that I needed to take care of things right away (or at least within the first couple of  days). What can I say? I was unschooled in the ways of vegetation and did not know what I did not know.

BUT when I got my bag last Friday, I was prepared with a plan. After work that evening, almost as soon as I walked in the door, I started taking care of business. I washed, I salad-spun, I chopped, I diced, I roasted, I steamed…I did everything humanly possible that I could to ensure that my produce would not go unused this week, and that it would not suffer the same fate as its Sister Bags had in the weeks before. All told, I spent about 3 hours of my Friday night tending to my little Tamagotchi vegetables. Such triumph! Such a dopamine rush! This morning I thanked my Friday Night Self for taking the time to prepare it all  – making my lunch salad was a breeze because the ingredients were already prepped and chopped and ready to go. It also makes throwing a balanced dinner together a snap.

And now that I know what I need to do, I’m confident that it won’t take me as long to prep the next bag’s contents on Friday night. Although it might help if I were to buy a bigger salad spinner.

 

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Food Notes

Status

Quick tidbit on food: I’m realizing that the more satisfying my food is, the less I need to finish off a meal with dessert or just a little something sweet. A salad can be good, but it becomes 1000% more delicious and satisfying if I have a boiled egg on it. So satisfying, in fact, that I didn’t even *think* of wanting anything sweet afterwards. That’s a big deal for me.

Hippie Granola FTW!!!

THANK YOU SHELLEY!!!!  Your granola recipe was EXCELLENT!! I feel like I should send you a prize or something for this recipe!

Heaven in a bowl

After dinner was over and the kitchen was cleaned, I pulled out my ingredients and started my final attempt at homemade granola. I had hope, but I kept that hope stuffed deep down inside in case things didn’t work out. This was my last chance at homemade happiness. My son came into the kitchen and watched me without saying a word. I looked at him and said “third time’s a charm” and he nodded knowingly and walked out (he’s the strong, silent type). Then my daughter Sarah came in and started peppering me with questions “You’re making granola AGAIN? What’s in this one? How is this different from the last times? Why did you burn the last one?” and on and on and on (she is the polar opposite of her brother). I told her that I was going to give it one more shot, because I believe in granola. She stole a couple of almonds and happily skipped out of the kitchen. I mixed it all up, put it in the oven, set the timer and then went to fold some clothes in the laundry room, which has a direct line of sight to my oven. I watched for smoke. I sniffed the air for that too-familiar odor of burning bread. So far, all was well. After 15 minutes, the timer dinged, and I IMMEDIATELY stirred the granola – so far so good. I set the timer for another 10 minutes, finished folding the clothes in the laundry room and was giddy with anticipation. The timer dinged again and I IMMEDIATELY got the pan out of the oven, gave it another stir, and then couldn’t decide if I should put in a for a couple more minutes or if I should just let it sit and hope it would get crisp – I decided to go against my instinct of cooking it longer, so I just let it sit where it magically and perfectly crisped up to granola standard.  That was it! I was done!

I HAD MADE GRANOLA!!

This is how I felt:

 

I finally got that cinnamon-y scent wafting through my kitchen, not a burnt toast odor to be found anywhere!  The only changes I made were that I left out the coconut (I didn’t have any on hand, but will add it next time) and I had to swap almonds for the pecans, but other than that I stuck to the recipe as written. I foresee myself making this stuff at least once a week from now until I die.

Yay! I have a new addiction!!  🙂

 

 

I just binged.

I did. I totally binged a few minutes ago. I didn’t mean for it to happen, but it was only after I wiped my face that I realized: “wow, that was like a binge“.

I got a little hungry so I pulled my snacks from my lunch bag. I opened the ziplock bag and from the first bite, I knew this was going to be fun. And it was, oh it was lovely.

Fresh, crisp, red pepper strips, a sliced zuchini, and small container of hummus.  

It. Was. Glorious!!!!!

I licked the last of hummus off my fingers after I had scraped the bottom of the container to get the final bit of creamy smoothness. That’s when I thought to myself, “This is what I used to do with a can of frosting.”

And I remember thinking, “Dang. I wish I had some more pepper strips because those were gooo-oood!”

I don’t believe I’ve ever attacked veggies and hummus with such passion before. And don’t get me started on what I did to an orange a few minutes ago. California oranges = Yummy Sweetness. That’s the way, uh huh, I like it.

So is it still a binge if the food is super good and good for you?  Honestly at this point I don’t really care. I’m still licking the juice that trickled down my forearm.   🙂

Just one more post before I go…

Okay I know I said I wouldn’t post anymore until I got back, but I just had this one thought in my head I needed to get out:  I’ve been eating a lot of crud lately. Food that I used to adore, like KFC and Doritos (and lots of other stuff I can’t think of right now) has been finding its way into my mouth, and much to my surprise – it just doesn’t taste good.  Food that used to make me melt with delight no longer even makes me moan. At all.  So I think I’m done. Really. It’s taken about two weeks of eating like this to make me realize that I don’t want to eat like this (I’m a slow learner).  Shawn and I had to go buy groceries for the trip last night and he wanted to stop in to KFC and get something to eat.  I swear, the food had no taste. It tasted so bland – totally not worth the calories.  When we got home I popped a cherry tomato from our garden in my mouth and WOW! the flavor and juice and pure awesomeness that flowed forth from said tomato was simply amazing.  So I think I’m just going to stop giving the crud food second (and third and fourth) chances in hopes it will taste better this time, and stick to the foods that I know are going to be full of flavor and be good for me as well.  We bought lots of good food for the trip last night – nuts, yogurt, fruit, cheese – so I’m ready to give crapfoods the boot.

Okay, that’s all. Just wanted to put that one out there.  Dangit the buzzer on the dryer just sounded, so it’s back to work. Almost done with laundry, and then the joy of packing begins. Oh joy.

Later gang!

A new hobby and a new recipe

Hey kids!!!
I gotta tell ya, this whole eating-dinner-earlier-in-the-evening-thing is really working out for me. Suddenly it seems I have oodles of extra time in the evening for things like laundry and cleaning and oh yeah, working out. Okay well last night I didn’t work out but that’s because we had church and I don’t like getting all sweaty before hand and then being worried about whether it’s me or the pre-pubescent boys who smell the worst.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, extra time in the evenings…anyway, with all this extra time (having even just one extra hour feels like having three) I’ve decided that now is a good time to pick up a hobby. What’s that you say? Why don’t I already have a hobby? Because I have spent the last 13 years raising kids and a husband and working and cooking and cleaning and feeling guilty when I spend any amount of time or money on myself, but I say NO MORE!! Now is the time to liberate the once-creative person who lives inside me. MizFit had a link to this site a few days ago and I decided I would ask it what hobby I should take up. The answer is: knitting. Which is funny because I was already thinking the maybe knitting would be a good fit for me, but I wasn’t sure, so this just validates what I kind of already knew.

I’ve never knitted anything in my life, but I love to sew – I just don’t have room to keep a sewing machine set up at all times. When I do sew, I have to set up my 30 year old, garage sale sewing machine on the kitchen table until I’m finished with whatever project I happen to be working on (the last one was the Jedi costume for Matthew at Halloween). I asked the wonderfully talented Debby to give me some advice on what I need to get started knitting and she gave me a beginner’s list of items that I am going to purchase today after work. Does anyone else out there knit? Feel free to throw some advice/suggestions/warnings/websites my way if you happen to be feeling generous!

So really you may be asking why knitting and why now? Or you may not be asking and really couldn’t care less, but I’ll tell you anyway: because my hobby for the last few years has been Obsessing About My Weight, and I would really like to be able to talk about something else for a change. Also, I think that if I have something to look forward to doing that I won’t think about the vanilla sandwich cookies in the pantry that Shawn always seems to buy. It’s kinda hard to eat cookies and knit at the same time, isn’t it? Please tell me it is!

So yeah, anyway that’s what’s going on with me these days. I’m still on track with my caloriess and working out, so when I weigh in on Saturday morning, I really hope there will be a small drop on the scale. Or maybe I’ll be so busy knitting, that I’ll forget to weigh in – wouldn’t that be a nice change?! 🙂

OH!! I also wanted to tell you all about the pork chops I made for dinner last night – they were so freakin easy that I had to share this:

Autumn Pork Chops
6 boneless pork chops
2 cups apple juice
1 tsp cinnamon (I’m pretty sure I used more than 1 tsp, put in however much you like)

Lay pork chops in slow cooker
Pour apple juice over chops
Sprinkle with cinnamon
Cook on low 10 hours

That’s it! They smelled so good and were so tender you just would not believe it. I served potatoes, black eyed peas, corn, and applesauce with them and it was a really satisfying meal for not a lot of calories (I kept my portions pretty small). It would be a great way to make bbq sandwiches too – just shred the pork chops and pour bbq sauce on them. You could also probably use the meat in a stir fry as well – so many possibilities!! I got the recipe out of the Fix It and Forget Recipes for Entertaining cookbook that my MIL got me for Christmas – there are some good recipes in there if you are looking for slow cooker recipes.

 That’s all I got for today.  Peace out!

Happy SPAM Day, Y’all!!

I can’t believe I forgot to wish everyone a Happy SPAM Day yesterday! No, not the kind of spam that informs you have won the Nigerian Lottery, or invites you to try a free 30 day trial of Viagra; the kind of spam that comes in handy pop top can, silly!! Of course in my defense, I didn’t know it was SPAM day until I got home and smelled the SPiced hAM aroma wafting from the kitchen. I was late getting home due to the hour and a half long Parent/Teacher conferences (total face time with 5 different teachers: 20 minutes. Total wait time to see teachers: 70 minutes), so the hubs went ahead and started dinner, God love him. He somehow managed to find the can o’ SPAM in the very back corner of the cabinet where I had it hidden, and so the 13th Annual SPAM Dinner began at the SassyPear household. And of course he cooked the usual accompaniments: fried potatoes and homemade mac n cheese. Yes it was a real Grease Fest at our home last night and cause for much celebration for my husband! He loves SPAM, and the kids love SPAM, I however, loathe it, which is why we only have it once a year – seriously. It makes me gag and the only way I can eat it is to SLATHER ketchup on it, but I was starving by the time I got home and so I ate it, not a lot of it, but still I ate the chunky mess. I will admit that the fried potatoes were awesome (the hubs is a whiz with fried foods) and I ate more of those than I should have. And what, you may ask, is the dessert that always follows the Annual SPAM Dinner? Why, Pepto Bismol, of course!! A good time was had by all (except me, but that’s okay, I was just happy that I didn’t have to cook).So after all that grease you better believe I wanted to workout and sweat all that Spiced Ham out of my system. Yes I sure did want to…a good workout would have been wonderful…however, I, um… didn’t work out. Instead I fell asleep on the couch at 7:30 and woke up only long enough to get the kids in bed before I got myself into bed. I was just.so.tired. and could not make myself do anything except go to bed. I’d like to tell you that I will for sure get in a work out tonight, but tonight we have Soup Supper at my daughter’s preschool: the kids help make the soup and it’s a big deal for everyone to go and eat The Soup, so we have that on the agenda for tonight. We should get back early enough that I’ll have time to workout – I hope. This is going to be a busy week, so I’ll really have to work hard at fitting in the 30DS. Send me all your good organizational vibes, would you? Thanks, that’d be great.

Okay, well I’m going to go hunt down some more Pepto Bismol because my stomach still hurts from ingesting so much grease. Thank goodness SPAM day only comes around once a year. 😉