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Thursday, June 22, 2023

Cheap & Cheerful Suppers for Father's Day Week (Plus Photos From My New Project)

Friday    movie night - we watched Miss Potter (the story of Beatrix Potter)
chicken breast cooked in sauce of tomatoes, salsa, garlic, cumin, then shredded
rice and herb stuffed grape leaves
roasted turnip and beet root
tossed green salad (various greens from the garden)
rhubarb-blackberry crisp for the family, I had an almond flour chocolate chip cookie

I made a vegetable and ham soup, using ham and chicken stock from the freezer, chives, turnip greens and thyme from the garden plus 2 grocery store carrots. It was delicious.

Everyone else had cornbread, and leftover rhubarb crisp with the soup. I had a banana.

Sunday Father's Day
Our big meal is lunch today. We had chicken-apple sausages, roasted vegetables (baby potatoes, carrots, onions, zucchini - a bagged mix), corn-on-the-cob, watermelon, tortilla chips and salsa, fruit juices, almond flour biscuits, pecan pie, vanilla ice cream, and almond flour chocolate chip cookies. 

My daughters baked the pie. They used a smaller pie plate than we normally use and filled a custard cup with some of the pecan filling to bake for my no-crust portion. Aside from the pie crust and ice cream, I was able to eat everything on the menu.

It rained off and on all day. I had a brief patch of no rain to dart outside and grill the sausages before the rain returned. My husband's wish for Father's Day was to play his favorite game. It's sort of a role playing board game. The box said the game is suitable for people as young as 10 years old and can be completed in 2 hours. It took us 7 hours. Maybe we're not as sharp as 10 year olds. 

Anyway, it was fun, although the evening went late. My son and daughter-in-law left around 11 PM. I hadn't planned a dinner, just the lunch. So I brought out whatever snack things I could find and offered beverages. It was a fun day, despite the late bedtime.

We didn't have much leftover from our lunch, just a half of a watermelon. We'll use that in meals during the week.

chili from the freezer (last week I made a double batch and froze half)
leftover cornbread for the family
last of the leftover rhubarb crisp for the family

I was so tired this day. Even though we stayed up late the night before, the sun woke me at 5:09 this morning. I chose an easy dinner and used one of my freezer meals. 

stretched leftover chili, adding some garden vegetables and canned tomatoes to make enough for one more night
garden salad
black olives
freshly baked bread and butter for the family
blackberry-rhubarb sauce

pancakes and syrup
watermelon and garden strawberries

I made my own pancakes using a gluten-free mix. They were good enough. But I didn't care for the cinnamon in the mix.

Swiss chard frittata
brown rice
fruit salad (watermelon, strawberries, banana)

Those were our suppers this past week. This was the first full week that I was gluten-free and dairy-free. Meals that I prepare for the family are a bit tricky, as I have to make sure that I have enough to eat while still making foods my family enjoys. Breakfasts and lunches are easier. On days my husband is working from home, I make a quick lunch for him and my daughters get their own lunches every day. For myself, I make my lunches 2 to 3 days at a time. I plate the extra servings and refrigerate, yielding a full, ready-meal for me to quickly microwave. I do the same for breakfasts. I make 3 days of breakfasts at a time and refrigerate the 2 extra plates of foods. I'm much more likely to eat well if I take the time to make several healthy parts of each meal. And I'm more inclined to take that time if I know I am saving time on future days, by making extra up front. 

My breakfasts are eggs with some sort of veggie in them, no cheese or milk, plus bacon or sausage and raisins or other dried fruit. Dried fruit gives me the sugar I need in the morning, compensating for not having a bread product with breakfast. Lunches are some chicken, sweet potatoes or quinoa, salad or cooked veggies, cooked apples, and some fresh berries. It's been advised that I eat as many of my fruits and vegetables in cooked form for the time being, hence the sautéed apples and cooked veggies. One of the biggest challenges of not having bread products, dairy foods, or many of the snack foods my family eats has been getting enough to eat each day. So I make myself big breakfasts and lunches, having meat or eggs at most meals, and serving lots of produce sides. Still, by 4 PM I feel like I could eat another meal. I may have to start preparing large, balanced snacks in advance, too.

That's it for food. Now, onto my latest refinishing project. . .

making this table

look like it was meant to go with these two chairs. And for anyone wondering why I bothered refinishing the table to black legs with brown stained wood top, now you can see I was trying to make all three pieces look like a set, a bistro set. 

So my new project is refinishing these 2 chairs.

It's hard to tell in this photo, but the tubular metal part of the chairs is, how do I explain this, sort of a mottled or antiqued, oil-rubbed bronze. The under color of the metal is copper, while the top color is dark bronze, rubbed away deliberately in spots to reveal copper.

The chairs were from a thrift store. I paid $5 each, the going price for chairs at thrift stores in my area.

Refresher photo for the table. I dunno, but I think the 3 will look like they were meant to go together once I finish the chairs.

Good weather returned mid-week, so I set up a spot in the garage while my two daughters had the car for work for the day. The chair seats are upholstered cushion over a wood seat. I didn't know what condition the wood would be in. I took my chances that the wood part of the seats would work okay for my plan. The seats unscrewed easily from the frame of the chairs. Getting the upholstery staples out were another story. But I'll worry about the seats later.

It turned out that the wood seat is in kind of rough shape -- 3 ventilation holes that will need plugging and a lot of sanding work needed. But I'll work with what I have. If I don't like it at the end, I can see about cutting new wood seats out of a sheet of plywood. But I'll at least try to work with what I've got. These will be outdoor chairs, so I'm not going for perfection.

With the seats off, I gave both chairs a light sanding to help the paint adhere. You can see the copper color better in this photo.

I used the rest of the can of black spray paint from the table project. I had given the table legs 2 full coats of black paint and one final spot coat for any missed places. There was at least a half can of paint remaining to get a start on the chairs.

I had just barely enough paint to give both chairs a light first coat. I'll need to go out to Home Depot and pick up another can to finish the chairs and do one small project coming up. 

My plan with the chair seats is to sand them well, plug those holes (maybe a dowel rod cut to fit  the holes, then glued in place and sanded), then paint the seats black on both sides and all edges and seal the finish. I'll keep you posted with photos when I finish.

That was my week. What were the highlights of your week? Any projects that you're working on? What was on your menu this past week? Did you end up with leftovers from Father's Day to use in the weeks meals?

Wishing you a wonderful first weekend of summer!


  1. is there a reason for those ventilation holes on the bottom? Perhaps as you sit they allow the cushion to deflate slightly so by plugging those up you would sitting on something more like a balloon. Maybe they are meant to be kept open. Just a thought. I love all the things you do with furniture. I'm not very adventuresome and have never tried anything like that before.

    1. Hi Alice,
      Although I don't know what the manufacturer intended, my thought was so that moisture could exit through the ventilation holes and not cause degradation of the wood part. But, so air in the foam cushion could escape easily when sitting down might also be the reason. I won't be reupholstering the seat, but will have wood seats on these chairs. That's why I want to fill the holes.

  2. Another good week of meals. Hopefully, as time goes one, it will get easier to prepare meals considering the different restrictions. Is it too soon to tell if the new diet is helping? I wondered the same thing as Alice about the ventilation holes. But, if I read your description correctly, you are not putting upholstery back on top of the wood?

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I think it will get easier as I do this more. And although it's early, I do think I'm seeing/feeling improvements with these changes. That's encouraging and keeps me sticking to the dietary plan.
      Right, I won't be upholstering the chairs, but going with a wood seat instead. I'll have to see how they look when I've done more work.

  3. Looks like a great week of meals. The tables and chairs are going to be beautiful. I can’t wait to see the finished product.

    1. Thank you, Belinda. I appreciate the vote of confidence!


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