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thToday was a true Sabbath: We kicked back and  didn’t do anything we didn’t want to do. In fact, DF and I didn’t leave the property once he’d returned home from early Mass.

It was a day for naps, a bit of gardening in between rain squalls, reading and eating stuff from our own yard: cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, raspberries and rhubarb.

It was also a day for pie. Although I love the confection dearly I rarely make it. Today I decided pie was the perfect way to get rid of some of last year’s raspberries, some of this year’s rhubarb and all the blueberries that DF got in prison.

All the best stories include the word “prison” in them, don’t they?

 


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thI drove a friend to an outpatient procedure today. The appointment was for 1 p.m. but we left at 11:15 a.m., which timing was awkward: It was too early for me to have lunch and the procedure didn’t take place until 1:30 p.m.

Even if it hadn’t been too early, eating in front of someone who’d been fasting since midnight would have been cruel.

Even though I’d had oatmeal and homemade yogurt before the appointment, I was hungry long before it was over. Fortunately, I was also prepared.

 


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A pullet surprise.

thMonths and months ago I wrote a post called “Ask me (almost) anything.” Among other things, it invited readers to send questions that I might (or might not) answer.

The questions came in, and remained unanswered. Sorry ’bout that.

Also sorry about maintaining radio silence since May 6. My book project plus an issue to be explained later have kept me from doing any writing for fun.

Today I’ll kill two birds with one stone (plus one really unappetizing picture).

 


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IMG_20150622_182817When I got back from Phoenix the house smelled like dirt. In a good way: While I was gone DF had started dozens of seeds in egg cartons and repurposed pots.

The containers completely cover a table in the utility room and a three-shelf unit that has displaced our dining table. We can eat anywhere, but baby plants need the south sun.

After a week of seeing flowers and orange trees and fully leafed trees, I came home to a typical Alaska breakup: gray skies, brown lawns and bare branches. The scent of soil helps make up for that.

So does the Renee’s Garden media kit, which arrived shortly before I left to visit my daughter. The 2016 New Introductions Sampler kicked off a response most Pavlovian. My mouth actually watered as I looked at things like Five Color Rainbow beets, Italian Pandorino grape tomatoes, Ruby & Emerald mustard, French Mascotte container beans and Harlequin Mix rainbow carrots.

 


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th-1I figured that might get your attention. The headline is semi-disingenuous: What you’ll be doing is preparing 10 to 12 meals in an hour or less, but not actually cooking them until you need them.

Specifically, you’ll be turning 48 to 60 minutes’ worth of kitchen work into a dozen future dinners by using Erin Chase’s new FreezEasy meal plans.

Recently I wrote about her Grocery Budget Makeover plan. Chase is the founder of $5 Dinners and a series of cookbooks, and also the co-founder of “The $5 Meal Plan.” This time around she’s created a series of meal plans, shopping lists, kitchen prep tips and videos to churn-and-burn future meals (both meat-based and vegetarian).

Since I know her in real life, I can attest that she dreams up recipes in both the exotic and everyday realms. (Hint: She has four kids.) However, her recipes share several attributes: They are affordable and they are simple to prepare.

Beta testers report that Chase’s plans takes “the overwhelm” out of the equation. You know, that feeling of “What are we (or what am I) going to eat today, tomorrow, next week…?” that can ruin your day – and, maybe, your budget. It can also create an unhealthy relationship with food.

 


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