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Meal plan for September 28th – October 4th

Ok, ok, last mention about this in a post for at least a month, but ahem:

IMG_3849Jack told me that yellow looking “Wed” is actually “light green” and not a yellow.

I wish I knew how to do backflips, so that I could take a video of myself doing it.  And then post the video.  Because back flips are awesome.  And so is first grade.

Anyone have a “thing” in their house that makes them cringe to clean?  Something that is so heinous you often just let it go because you know you can never really get it clean?  For us, that is our master shower.  I don’t have any photos of it, because it is so shameful and horrid.  It is a basic shower with beveled glass doors that no force on earth can clean.  We don’t have hard water, but the doors were always so crusty.  We’ve removed the doors before, taken them outside and scrubbed them down with every kind of cleaner ever made.  We scraped the caulk off and recaulked around the doors because within 45.2 seconds of cleaning, it would be covered in mold.  The tracks that held the doors were my constant enemy, and I spent hours with a skinny grout brush, tooth brushes, and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers just trying to get the grime out of there.

It was a losing battle.

I couldn’t get even.

Finally, I stopped trying to win the battle and get even.  And I won the freaking war.

Troy removed the doors and the tracks last week.  He plugged the screw holds (from the metal frame) with these cool little plastic things.

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And then hung a curved shower bar, which is amazing.  And because we are trying to keep it light in there (it’s a little shower and the glass let in lots of light), we’re sticking with just a basic white curtain for now.

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I feel so free.  I can get in the shower now and not feel tied to the constant scrubbing.  We’ll still of course actually clean it, but it will no longer be an exercise in futility.  We still need to put up hooks for towels (old doors had a towel bar, and then we just usually put my towel up and over the frame).  The walls by the shower are very small, so we’re just going to hope for the best in terms of drying conditions.

A quick note about the tiny little “lip” of the shower floor.  So far, so good in terms of no water coming out of it.  The first shower curtain we got was only temporary, and was very light weight, and spent the duration of the shower attacking our legs like rabid bunnies…but still no water ended up outside the shower.  We replaced it with a white heavy duty fabric one, which is better, but still has a little bit of “leg” creep. We’re probably just going to weight it with some heavy duty magnets we have.

We were incredibly lucky this year to be gifted tons of free apples.  I’d venture to guess about 60-75 pounds of them.  Someone I work with has 30 trees (30!!!!!) and gave me a few boxes. My sister’s in-laws moved to a new house with a nice handful of trees, and they were kind enough to give me some as well.  All of the free apples were a bit tart, so I stopped by my favorite small family apple farm yesterday and picked up about $22 worth of really sweet saucing apples.  I mixed them in with the freebies, and the resulting brew wasn’t too shabby.  It wasn’t the “oh my gosh this is like candy” sauce that I usually make, but Jack loved it and that is all that matters.

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Speaking of Jack, he and Troy were big helpers when it came time to make the squish.  I usually make applesauce on weekends after Jack is in bed, and end up staying up until 1 or 2 am to get it all done.  The boys were in charge of all the squishing (“Mom, look I can make the apples poop”), and I did the cutting, cooking, and canning.  Their help was invaluable, and easily cut down the process by about two hours.  Which is lovely, cause by the end of it, my dogs were a’barkin (my feet were sore).

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Yes, he looks like a giant in my tiny kitchen, but actually I was on the floor taking this photo so the perspective is wonky as hell. We have these horrible dark fake oak upper cabinets in the middle of the kitchen that suck all of the light out of the room and were right in the line of the photo, so I squatted.

We ended up with 16 quarts using about half of the apples.  I’m hoping they’ll be as willing to help next weekend too…

Meal plan time!  I feel like this week is such a quintessential “American” menu plan.  But some weeks it comes easily, and some weeks you spend 45 minutes surfing websites just trying to find one more meal.  On a Friday night.  When you’re watching Scandal on Hulu and realize you’re really sick of other people’s drama, and constant desire to wear white fancy coats.

Monday::  Salmon cakes (from the freezer), roasted broccoli, and homemade whole wheat Red Lobster biscuits.

Tuesday:: Chili in the crockpot, homemade corn bread.

Wednesday:: Homemade pizza, frozen peas (well, we’ll heat them up…)

Thursday::  Spaghetti, salad

Friday:: Popcorn, obvs!

Saturday:: Baked potato soup and salad

Sunday:: Family dinner

This week I spent $15 at the local farm for raw honey (went up $4!), $21.86 at a different local farm for apples.  It was fun to see the couple who run it.  I may have bought a lot of apples last year, cause when I walked up they’re like “soooooo good to see you again.  How have you been”?  I’m fairly certain I made between 80-100 quarts of applesauce last year, so yeah…

I spent $75.12 at Costco, but only $56.13 was for groceries.  Troy wanted some Kirkland white shirts.  Anyone out there have a dude in their life who lives in plain white cotton t-shirts?  Troy insists that Costco’s are the best. And $30.86 at the grocery store, though $15.84 of that was for a coworker.  My grocery store sells her husband’s favorite kind of cheese at the deli, and she lives an hour away.  I pick some up for her on occasion, and she returns the favor by bringing me specialty favorites from a fancy grocery store near her.

What are you having this week?

Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

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13 comments on “Meal plan for September 28th – October 4th”

  1. You can put those shower doors to use on cold frames in the garden 🙂 Re the apples you can also use them to make/freezer little hand pies for the boys to take in their lunches. When my mother in law’s teeth started to fall out I used to saute a apple in a little butter and cinnamon and give it to her as part of her lunch. Good way to get fruit into someone.

  2. My husband lives in Kirkland black T-shirts. 🙂
    They ARE good shirts!

    Good job Jack! one “light green” in a sea of dark green is awesome! Keep up the great work!

    I’m going to Costco tomorrow and I am a little worried. We are out of A LOT of stuff…. it is going to be an expensive trip! (plus I am picking up a few non-grocery items.)

    I insist on having clear shower curtains. Maybe I have watched too may movies. I say that I like the light when I am showering. Glad to hear you won that war!!

    • Troy would love clear shower curtains, as he is a paranoid person to the max. But with a white curtain, you can still see the murderer coming! 🙂

      Ugh, I hate the trips when you’re out of everything at once. They hurt!

  3. Way to go on getting rid of the doors. Our shower in our old house was like that and it made my husband CRAZY that he could never get it truly clean! We are having…

    Monday: This recipe my sister just recommended: http://www.onelovelylife.com/chicken-zucchini-poppers-gf-df/ with Actifry fries and green beans

    Tuesday: Burrito bowl–my kids’ favorite, which will help them forgive me for making them eat green beans Monday!

    Wednesday: Burgers, baked potatoes, and peas

    Thursday: This refried bean/chicken/salsa concoction I made up, with rice.

    Friday: Pasta with homemade sauce (really just chopped onions, garlic, and tomatoes, plus liberal amounts of spices and some frozen peas and corn)

    Saturday: I’m starting painting lesson Saturday afternoon (my birthday present from my husband–yay!) and I’ll be close to our favorite Thai place, so I’m thinking it will be Thai curry take out.

    Sunday: Green chili chicken tacos with homemade tortillas

  4. 1. I hate cleaning the shower too! and leave it way longer than I should, but I think a contributing factor is because we’re tall! (I’m 5’10”) The standard shower space is so awkward to clean when you can’t bend over without hitting your head (the best time to clean the shower is when you’re in it!) So, shower curtains take away the crampedness of the space – good on you! Bring back the shower curtain! Another acceptable idea to me is I quite like the bathroom design of having a tiled wall sectioning off the shower, rather than a cubicle.

    2. I wonder how many people give canning a go, but decide after 1 season that it’s all too hard and never do it again??? I fall into that category, and I’m sure there are lots of others, that also may account for the reaction at the apple farm! You have been consistent for quite a while now! which is awesome… Wish I could have been, but we’re Gypsies… living in Thailand now!

    Cheers,

    Kate

    • One of the funniest experiences I had with a shower was when we were visiting London in 2007. I’m 6 ft, and we were in this hotel with a TINY shower. I dropped the soap, and every time I bent over, I turned off the water with my ass. I finally had to curtsy like a lady to get to it. I totally agree with you in that cleaning the shower while in the shower is the best route to take!

      I really really hated canning at first. I still hate canning, but I almost gave it up after my first time. I nearly left all the supplies in LA when we moved back to WA. I’m glad I stuck with it, but I can see how easy it is to give it up!

  5. Good job Jack!!! We love 1st grade too!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing how the shower curtain is working out. I have just started building a new house. My husband has been trying to talk me into a shower curtain rather than doors for the second bath. I was freaking out about the thought of water getting all over the floor. You helped push me over to his side.

  7. I was wondering how you were and finally gave you a lookup. Silly FB. Anyhow, what a great idea on the shower, I ❤ it. I too have the same problemo and desperately want to do a shower remodel our otherwise great bathroom.
    Tell Jack great job at school I think the light green just highlites how fabulous he’s been!!
    Breakfast for dinner here. The girls have been generous and we have a big piece of leftover ham. Easy Peasy. ??

  8. Where did you get the screw plugs?

    • Troy said “I took them off of something we bought a long time ago and never used”. I pressed further, and he said you could probably buy them ala carte from Home Depot or Lowes.

  9. The prima cotton Kirkland shirts? My husband LOVES those for working out. Something about the moisture wicking.