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Friday, March 27, 2020

3 Good Things

In stressful times, I find I need to find some good things going on. Here are 3 for me for today.

1) Last night, I made meatballs and spaghetti for dinner. I used 12 ounces of 80/20 ground beef, adding seasonings and bread crumbs bread crumbs. From this, I made 16 small meatballs for the 4 of us. 

I drained and saved the fat, then deglazed the pan with water, saving the liquid. Tonight, I'll use the beef fat and liquid to make a gravy to pour over bean burgers and rice.

2) Since using a higher temperature setting on the automatic dishwasher I've noticed that everything stainless looks so much shinier, including the inside of the dishwasher door.

3) It's pretty clear that we won't be taking a vacation this spring or summer. So, I've decided to take some of our vacation budget for the year and inject it into the grocery budget. With some of that new grocery money, I ordered some extra foods online, including some all-purpose flour, peanut butter, raisins, crackers, and applesauce. 


  1. Lili,

    I wonder if you could get yeast as an online order since there isn't any in the store. Same with flour. Shelves are empty.

    I may attempt an online walmart order and try to see what I'm able to get that way. I heard somewhere that online order often receive items that are not on the shelf because they have it in the "back room". We are out of cheese but we can live without it. We're not out of anything else and we're eating pretty well.

    We had meatloaf, salad and applesauce last night. The night before was baked chicken, scalloped potatoes with ham and green beans. Other nights we had leftover pork roast, boiled potatoes, chicken rice soup with homemade bread. Just a little planning and we were able to make use of freezer stuff. And we now feed 4 adults.


  2. Smart thinking to use the vacation funds in a practical way to make life better for y'all currently! I know we've spent extra the past few weeks on groceries, but after today, my husband will be working from home, so with the 7 of us eating all meals and snacks here, wanted to be prepared. And I think it will even out with very little spent in the next few weeks. Now that there are confirmed cases in our county, we are being very cautious, in part due to my asthma and autoimmune issues. Trying to stay ahead of the game on planning and using up odds and ends of things in the pantry and freezers. I really appreciate the practicality of your blog in these times.

  3. Alice, 3 of us love meatloaf but my son doesn't .... so I'm envious of your dinner last night. I think you mentioned earlier this week how you are trying to keep back certain items to stretch out their use (like fresh produce). I'm finding myself doing the same. I bought chicken breasts earlier this week and froze a few packages--we have lots of cooked turkey and ham in the freezer but being able to alternate meats is nice. Tonight I think I'll make pizza. Last night I hit the easy button and reheated ham, made boiled red potatoes and salad. We also had burgers on the grill (yum!), turkey soup, and a Mexican chicken bowl. I found a few packets to make raspberry lemonade koolaid so I did that as a treat.

    You're smart to think ahead, Lili. Is anyone else planning what to do should a family member get sick? I've tried to read up on it--the recommendation is for having a dedicated room/bathroom. Our master bedroom has a 1/2 bath attached so I think that would serve as our sick room area. Not a cheerful thought but I guess I'd rather have a plan and not need to use it than to be caught unawares.

    I pulled out some yarn from my stash last night and made a yarn bunny. I want to make a couple to gift to my niece's kids to brighten their days during this time. It's a super easy thing to make if anyone is interested--basically you knit a square, weave yarn through in a triangle shape on the top half of the square, pull tight which creates the face and ears, stuff it and sew it up. Kind of fun to do as we approach Easter.

  4. Good post. You are always thinking and planning. Stay safe and well.

  5. Great idea about buying extra food. It seems all I think about is shopping and I really don't need to. I use to go once a week and get everything for the week, now I think of things I would like to buy.

  6. I'm glad you are mindful of good things in times of distress. I know that my obsession about the pandemic is not good. Yet it is hard to step away since the situation worsens by the day. I'm afraid for our country, our lack of preparedness and coordination, our planning on best case scenarios rather than worst case, our choosing the health of our economy over the health of our citizens, our need to be right and perfect over taking swift action. This virus is not going to be beaten by only what happens from the top down, but will depend on the action of every individual, 24/7. We need to be properly informed of the facts, even err on the side of caution and worst case, and work collectively together and in unison to beat this virus. Not every person do as they think is right. This is not a time for rugged individualism. My early morning rant..


  7. I, also, think it's smart to take some vacation money to add to the grocery budget now. We save for rainy days and if this isn't a rainy day, I don't know what qualifies. Hopefully, things will calm down and you will be able to take at least a staycation later in the year.

  8. Loved the look of those meatballs! Perhaps they will be on tomorrow’s menu. I hope that Seattle’s curve is beginning to flatten. We definitely haven’t reached ours in Chicagoland. Our suburb made the news last night. A church held a meeting a day or so before the shut in and have 42 positives and 10 sick. They need prayers. My husband had a stroke 3 weeks ago and we have been in quarantine since. Getting food deliveries has been difficult. I do have a good pantry and freezer stock. Fresh goods are a problem. As we are old and need potassium, I plan to dig dandelions like crazy because they are a good source of potassium. We have put in chard and spinach. My rhubarb looks good and we wintered over thyme, rosemary, bay, and oregano in the house.the in ground stuff is risky, but it has been above freezing for a while. Heavy rain is predicted so I hope the seed doesn’t get washed away. Also, I am trying the root end of scallions in ground to see what happens. When our lettuce and cabbage get low, I will try your method of growing lentil sprouts.

  9. Bonnie, what a stressful time for you. I hope your husband is recovering well.

  10. Thank you, Kris. Yes, it is a trying time, but it seems that millions are in the same leaking boat with us. May the Lord be with us all.


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