30 November 2006

When I go to bed at 1 am

I am not such a nice mom the next day.

That is all.

23 November 2006

The Thanksgiving Virgin

Before today, I had never cooked a Thanksgiving feast. We've always visited family or had an invitation to go somewhere else. This year, though, we didn't go anywhere and didn't have anyone over. So I cooked. And man, did I cook. Everything turned out perfectly. I was so full by the end of dinner. (You'll note that there is no silverware on the table. We did not, much to your dismay, eat with our hands, I just snapped the picture before I grabbed the flatware.)I don't have any fancy schmancy dishes, and I didn't even use a tablecloth. But I let the kids drink from glass glasses and everyone got a napkin folded by their plate.

The Menu

Turkey, before and after. It was so flavorful and juicy.
Mashed potatoes (the real kind, made with cream and butter)
Gravy (strained because it did get a few floury lumps)
Sausage Dressing (tradition in the family dictates that the men cook this one, so Frugaldad made it and it was delicious)
Cranberry Sauce (freshly made) and Cranberry Jelly (from a can, because you have to have both kinds)
Green Beans (home canned from the garden)
Green Bean Casserole*
Olives (because everyone needs olives on their fingers at Thanksgiving)
And for dessert, pumpkin pie with whipped cream. I am still full.

*The Green Bean Casserole was actually leftover from Tuesday night. I found a recipe in the November/December issue of Cooks Illustrated and it looked good. I had never in my life eaten green bean casserole but thought I'd try it for T-day. Then I realized it would be a lot of work for something my kids probably wouldn't eat because of the mushrooms. I had already purchased all the ingredients so I made it on Tuesday night. It makes such a big pan that we (Frugaldad and I, the kids wouldn't touch it) ate half and I warmed the other half today. It is so good, I will never eat any other green bean casserole. I don't want to type up the recipe but if you can, find yourself a copy of the magazine or sign up for a free trial at Cooks Illustrated and try it out.

Not to throw my elbow out patting myself on the back, but my Thanksgiving dinner turned out awesome.

20 November 2006

Frugal Farm Mysteries of Life

How Frugalboy can wake up the instant his nose starts to bleed during the night, often keeping his bedding completely clean, but is unable to wake up before he vomits all over his bedding and carpet.

Why I have to apply anti-acne cream to parts of my face immediately before I apply anti-aging cream to other parts.

Why Frugalbaby is going to have to be sleep-trained again, darn molars.

17 November 2006

Almost a Booga Bag

This bag was knit from this yarn.

It's almost a Booga Bag but I cast on a few more stitches, and did some seed stitch at the top to keep it from rolling.

It's all in the presentation

That's what all the top chefs say, isn't it?

Every kid likes pasta, right? Not the oldest Frugalgirl. She'll eat macaroni and cheese but if you put any other kind of pasta on her plate, no matter the sauce, she complains.

But last night, it was different. With regular spaghetti sauce, I served Campanelle instead of spaghetti. I advertised it by saying, "Look at these pretty noodles. They kind of look like flowers, or bells. Aren't they pretty?"

And since my girls love all things pretty, she ate 3, or even 4 servings. And she asked if I would serve the pretty noodles every time we had spaghetti.

15 November 2006

A juggling act

Emily's post the other day got me thinking about juggling. (Speaking of juggling, I got a really cute juggling set from Stacy and Jessica over at Nurturing Threads. Go buy something there!)This afternoon as I cut out washcloths and wipes for the ladies I know who are having babies soon, I thought about it some more. As I spent an hour cutting out squares of fabric, there were so many more things I could have been doing. The carpets need vacuuming. The floor needs to be swept. I have a sewing table piled high with fabric waiting to be sewn, some of it all cut and ready for the machine (my living room windows have been naked for too long, and quit yelling at me to cover them long ago, though the panels are cut, just not seamed. Someone came to visit or something and I never finished the project). I have an ever-growing stash of yarn and an even longer list of things I'd like to knit. I haven't cleaned up the last of the dead plants in my garden yet (but I did do some, give me a little credit--the frost hadn't killed the last of them at the time) I am so behind in filing paperwork around here it's not even funny. I got the 13th book in the Series of Unfortunate Events from the library the other day and I have only read 2 chapters. I can get through one of those books in an afternoon with nothing else to do! I continue to bake all my family's bread, mix powdered milk, cook mostly from scratch, and sew my own cloth diapers despite the laundry list of things I have to do. And let's not even talk about laundry! It never ends, because as soon as you have it all folded and put away, the day ends and everyone has dirty clothes again.

Sometimes I wonder why I do all the things I do, and why I make the choices I make, because I seem to be the only person around here with more things to do than time. My kids so some basic chores but I am still too uptight to let them do certain things, and I'm certainly not going to wait around while they are at school before the dishes get done, I'll do them myself.

I make all these choices because I feel like they are the best ones for my family, for myself, and for the environment. I just need to learn how to juggle more balls.

13 November 2006

Off the needles

This has got to be one of my fastest projects ever. I cast on the evening of Sunday the 5th and I was finished with the body of the soaker by the night of Wednesday the 8th. Then it took me forever to get the leg cuffs done because I had some time to work on it and forgot to take two of my dpns with me and then life got crazy. I finished yesterday (Sunday the 12th) so that was only a week total time. Not bad, not bad. It's the Punk Knitters soaker in a size large, knit in Plymouth Outback wool. It took less than 100g to do. I am still knitting the i-cord drawstring but she doesn't actually need it. The ribbing is snug on her belly, but I did the eyelet row so I'll put the drawstring in for looks.

I am not actually that excited about how the colors pooled up. I wish the vertical stripes weren't there. But oh well. The wool is nice and soft and I think I will like this soaker.

I think I have decided against a couple of hand-knits for Christmas presents, but I still need to do some, plus get some longies done.

New Version of Blogger

Have you switched yet? I am kind of chicken. I am afraid I will lose something in the process and haven't backed anything up here. Anyone, anyone?

07 November 2006

Lest I forget...

We've had the last birthday of the calendar year, the first Frugalkid, Frugalboy. He has turned the magical age of 8. We had spice cake with caramel frosting again (it's a family favorite, and though I pushed hard for pumpkin pie, he wanted cake) and it turned out fantastic again. (yes, we forgot the candles before we cut the cake...we had already sung before the presents so he just got 1 instead of 8)

I've been doing a lot of thinking about his birth lately and sometime soon I'll post his birth story and the things I've been thinking about. Happy birthday, Frugalboy.


One of my knitting/cloth diapering friends suggested we do another knitalong and she even made flip books for the pattern so we wouldn't get lost. It's the Lily of the Valley pattern from Perdita. (Click on the picture so you can see the detail in the lace--I still can't believe it's just knit on straight needles) It was fun to do something different, with beading even, even though I don't know who I'll give it to.
On the needles now is the Punk Knitters Soaker in Plymouth Outback wool. It's going pretty fast; I am more than halfway done.

01 November 2006

Halloween Costumes

I apologize for the poor picture quality.