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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Menu Plan: Fifth Day of the Epiphany Octave - January 16

School officially starts for us this week. Alexander has been in class for a week, and the girls have been back at ballet for a week, but this is our time to get serious about things at home. It's also the week our co-op starts, and I am not as prepared as I ought to be for that. So, you can guess what I'll be finishing up this week as well.

Sir Francis Bacon was dispatched the day after my last menu post was published. We're hoping to get the call that he is ready to be picked up for our freezer this week or next. Rich and the boys have been cutting down dead trees/wood, and burning brush in our garden area, to help prepare for the spring. I'm still sitting indoors hoping for the snow to melt. And for no more to fall. And for the weather to warm up. I will readily admit that I am a wimp, when it comes to cold weather, but I cannot wait for our six months of misery to be over. Maybe we could only have four months this year?

In any case, with Frank being made ready for our freezer, and a quarter grass fed beef that we bought recently, we're trying to eat out of our freezers and pantry more right now. On top of that, there was the expense of Frank and our remodel (which, of course, became more extensive) and Alexander's additional tuition at the college. The great thing about the program is that the taxpayers pay for his credits (up to 15) in their entirety (we figure it's only programs like these that give us any chance of getting anything out of our tax dollars toward the schools). We have to pay for text books, lab fees, tools (of which there are many), and class fees. We also have to pay for any credits over 15. Since his program is pretty intense, this means we are paying a significant chunk each term, as he's taking between five and seven credits over the maximum paid each session. If he were a regular student, there would be a price break at this point, but since he is a high school student using this program, there isn't. And since he isn't an adult, or a regular college student, there aren't many (any?) grants/scholarships he can take advantage of right now. Though, next year, he will be eligible for one sponsored by our neighborhood, to which we really hope he applies. My computer is also outdated and trying to die on me. I've been saving everything as quickly and often as I can, so if it crashes, we won't lose work, records, photos, etc. But, that means we'll be in the market for a computer as soon as the remodel and butchering bills are paid. The upshot is that since we took a grand time over Christmas to enjoy quite a lot out of the ordinary for us, we are tightening our belts right now. So, we're eating a lot more from home, and out of what we already have. Our meals will be somewhat less exciting, but they will still taste good and fill everyone.

Speaking of. . . I finally made that beet gratin. I liked it quite a bit, Alexander liked it, Elijah, Amira, and Mariam were okay with it, Dominic tolerated it, and Rich, Jerome, and Yasmina really didn't care for it. They ate it, but I don't see that showing up on our menu much in the future. When Alexander asked how he liked it, Rich said that he really enjoyed the kale salad. Since Rich and I are trying not to spend anything that is not absolutely necessary, he didn't complain, though, all the ingredients were already in our fridge/freezer/pantry. We're still buying milk, diapers and such, but we have a ton of vegetables and fruit in our fridge and freezer already, dry beans, canned goods, potatoes and onions, and loads of meat. It's going to be things like fresh fruit and cheese that we'll be missing the most, but we have some in the fridge and freezer right now, and it's only for the rest of the month. We still won't be doing a ton of eating out or buying extravagantly for quite a while, but this should give us a reset of sorts. I asked if I should skip the monthly moms' night out I go to, since it is at a local bistro, and Rich said he thought that fell under the necessary expenses, so I could get a break and some time with my women friends. I have a $5.00 off card, too, so at least that reduces the cost.

In the meantime, please be praying for our family. Rich cut himself on something small that he doesn't even remember, but it ended up with a hot, red line running up his arm, and a shot of antibiotics. I have, likewise, had a matching shot of steroids, because of the skin problems I'm having, and it didn't even seem to improve as much as the dermatologist said it would. Our Lenten fast this year is going to be a little closer to the early Church's standard, though we'll still eat fish, just because I'll be eliminating dairy, eggs, pinto beans, green beans, kidney beans, broccoli and pineapple from my diet, as a result of some reactions my body has had. It will be easier to shift our joint meals to exclude those, so there will still be dairy and eggs for the kids, for breakfasts and lunches, since it's easier for me just to eat something else at those meals, but dinners won't include them. So, that will be interesting. Since Lent is coming up sooner than we think, I figured it was a good time to start the process. I'm going to ask my doctor here to see if we can test for environmental allergies, since the worst of my skin eruptions, and the shift from the milder form of irritation I was dealing with before, came right after we began the remodel. I'm actually hoping for some mold allergies or something like that, because I really don't want to give up food I love. Kidney beans are easy enough to avoid, because I don't love them, anyway, but I like the other foods and don't want to miss out on them. My doctor is fairly convinced that my reactivity to food is secondary to some other trigger, as I've never had food allergy issues before. She also thinks that if we clear up some of the problems I'm dealing with now, we can try to get to the root and reverse those reactions. Either way, it is a pain, but at least holds some hope. On top of that, we have some minor, but not tiny, issues, of lost items that have sentimental and monetary value. We're asking Saint Phanourios to assist us, and ask your prayers as well. I even have the ingredients here to make a Saint Phanourios cake.

Below, I include our daily Bible readings which we use to read through the entire Bible each year. We read through all of the Old Testament and New Testament, reading the Psalms and Proverbs twice. Remember that the Psalms are according to eastern numbering in our daily Bible reading, also I Kings is the original designation, it is I Samuel in western Bibles (II Kings is II Samuel in the west, III Kings is I Kings, and IV Kings is II Kings, I Ezra is also called I Esdras in other translations, II Ezra is often translated as Ezra or II Esdras, though this is complicated by it sometimes being I Esdras being Ezra in modern language and II Esdras being Nehemiah, and in that case, there is a III Esdras, it really depends on which translation you read).

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Have a yummy week !
Thanks for your visit !
Thank you for visiting the blog! We did have a yummy week, I hope you did, too. And that you will this week, as well.
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