Kitchen Therapy and a Happy Home Day

Hello readers!  Yesterday was what I have started declaring “happy home day”.  This is a day where we stay home, and Happy Mommy gets to do everything she needs and wants to do around the house on her own time frame.   Yesterday was cleaning and cooking.  It was one of those happiest of days when you manage to get the Whole. House. Clean.  At once!  I know, I know, it’s like Christmas come early!   Come to think of it, it’s not like Christmas at all, because Christmas in our house is never, ever clean.

I did manage to sneak out of the house for a quick run to Publix before the boys got up, so I surprised them with doughnuts!  Doughnuts are a fairly rare treat around here, not because we don’t eat them, but because we’re rarely up and about at a time when one eats them as a meal.

Cleaning was the next step, I pumped up the jams and got to work.  I typically like to start at one end of the house and move toward the other, tossing things in a laundry basket as I go.   Once that was finished I was able to get to work on my Kitchen Therapy.    Remember I mentioned I was getting a produce order from a local organic co-op?  Well, yeah…. that was a LOT of produce.  And some of it stuff we don’t normally eat, other things we eat but not enough of to go through before it goes bad.   Our Co-Op is Green Olive Organic for any locals that are interested.

We got:
Crisp Pink Apples 3 pounds
Pears 3 pounds
Nectarines 5 count
Banana 5-6 count
Plums 1.25 pounds
Roma Tomatoes 1.25 pounds
Red Butter Lettuce 1 Bunch
Red Potatoes 2 pounds
Avocado 1 count
Celery 1 count
2 pounds of black seedless grapes

Happy Daddy delivered my produce when he got home from work on Thursday night/Friday morning.  I spent Friday plotting what I was going to do with it all.  I decided on making salsa, apple pear crisp, and plum preserves.  The grapes, celery,  and bananas will take care of themselves, and well, just about the only thing to do with lettuce is salads right?  Still looking for suggestions on the nectarines, and what to do with the giant avocado.

Making the plum preserves was my first foray into actual canning where I use mason jars for their intended purpose, rather than to hold chalk and beads, or as glorified tupperware.  I’m really bad at following directions, and even worse at giving them, so I will NOT be giving any canning advice on this blog pretty much ever.  Canning is serious business, and you should definitely find a trusted source to learn how to do it. I have a few I use on my Kitchen Therapy page  My jars will be staying refrigerated, mostly I just wanted to prolong the life of them.  I’ll share my recipes of what I put in the jars if you’re interested, but know that I’m a freestyle cook.  I don’t measure accurately, I rarely time things, and well, it somehow works out for me, but it’s not always reliable.   But if you want to know, comment, and I’ll be happy to share!

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Clockwise from upper left: Produce delivery, the jarred portion of apple pear filling and two jars of plum preserves, cinnamon streusel muffins, and apple pear crisp.

Now because we don’t need a full crisp hanging around the house, I split the filling and canned half of it.   The other half I put into a six inch cake pan, covered with a delicious streusel like topping (which I actually did measure, yay for me, look for this recipe later this week)!  I had lots of streusel topping left, so cinnamon streusel muffins were in order for Geekling and I this morning, paired with eggs they made a perfect brunch for after Daddy’s morning shift.PicMonkey Collage2Geekling has been helping in the kitchen since he was tiny.  He’s much more helpful now, between you and me.

Dinner was homemade Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese (from a famous blue box),  followed by two exciting rounds of crazy 8’s.

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Adventures in the Happy Home, clockwise from left to right:  Surprise doughnut delivery!, What happens when you try the ivory soap experiment with a whole bar of soap, and playing cards on family night.

Stay tuned this week for a few recipes, a book review of Jack Prelutsky’s I’ve Lost My Hippopotomus, and our homeschool lesson plan for September.  Unit theme: Mud.

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