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Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan

Listen up Fall.

I love you. You’re welcome here.

I adore you. Crunchy leaves, the sunshine and cooling temps. The end of constant boob sweat. It’s a beautiful thing. And with the wood stove added to the house in March, we’re ready to be cozy. I had my first mug of tea the other morning and it was delicious.

Rain is coming this week. It is inevitable. We’ve had an incredibly dry summer and I’m ready for the rain. I need to pick all the ripe and mostly ripe tomatoes later today. The raspberry patch will soon turn moldy. The season wraps up, and we start to spend more time on the inside.

Not like inside our own bodies. That would be creepy af.

I ended up canning four more quarts of whole tomatoes this week, and a total of seven quarts of peaches. I need to clean out the deep freeze and use up some of the strawberries and blackberries and turn them into jam and pancake syrup. Soon. That will happen soon.

Guess what came home with me this week? An air fryer.

I had no idea what an air fryer even was until a few months ago. I saw it online and was super curious. But the nice people on Facebook helped me out and explained the particulars. Basically, think of it as a mini oven that circulates hot air to make things crispy. A tiny bit of oil is needed for most of the recipes, but when I say tiny, I mean tiny. For my egg rolls, I just did a spritz of olive oil in my Misto, and it was good to go.

I have had a Target gift card in my wallet since Christmas last year. The air fryer hasn’t gone on sale since I started tracking them, but this week they were offering a $10 gift card with purchase. The night after we got it, tofu was on the menu for this recipe. So, I air-fried it. Sure did.

And it was delicious!

Friday I made some egg rolls (both sweet and savory) and they were really good as well. I’m really looking forward to cooking veggies in it. Just think of crispy Brussels sprouts, green beans, and broccoli. The possibilities are endless!  I’m going to start an air-fryer board on Pinterest as soon as I find some killer recipes.

Turns out Jack is missing at least two adult teeth. Neat!

Growing up, the bathroom was right across the hall from my bedroom. At the end of the hallway is a window. For a few years after we moved into this house, I hated having to pee at night because there was a ghost there. I would dart from my bedroom to the bathroom as quickly as I could. The idea was that I would be able to get to the safety of the bathroom before that chick got me.

I am embarrassed to admit how long it was before I realized that ghost in the window was me. And damn, yes, I was that pale.

Yes, all my workout shirts are in the wash. Why do you ask?

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I can sense a shift in my thinking and living lately. Since discovering podcasts (favorites here and here, though both lists have evolved since posted), my tv time has been reduced to almost zero. I really do love tv, but it seems like even with all the options out there, I never find myself caring about the shows anymore. Troy and I will start a series on Netflix and then just give up after a few episodes.

Part of it may be that I’m carving out more and more time to work on the blog. As I have reframed my priorities for this place, I find myself extremely motivated to learn everything I can about the ins and outs of blogging. I go back and reread my goals that I outlined in that post, and the social media numbers make me laugh. My expectations on how things work were a bit impractical. And that is ok. It’s how we learn. Adapt and resent. My new plan is quality engagement with the readers/followers I do have and slow and steady growth if I am blessed in that regard. Looking inward and realizing that numbers don’t mean much has been freeing for me.

Anyway, the whole point of starting this topic is to say that for the first fall in forever, I have no idea what new shows are coming out in the next few weeks. I saw an advertisement for a new Law and Order, and I’ll be alllllll over that. But nothing else has tickled my fancy. In fact, I think I still have shows in my Hulu queue from last spring. Is there anything I should have on my radar? I feel like I need a really good comedy in my life. But not cheesy laugh track comedy. No talking dogs, people dressing up, etc. Hoping Last Man on Earth is returning. And I miss Arrested Development. The original three seasons; not the crap they redid a few years ago. Oh and Brooklyn Nine-Nine is great!

There have been a few “firsts” in the last few weeks that I experienced without my mom. We seem to manage with the big things, but it’s the little things that come out of left field and really get me. It was Jack and my nephew’s first day of school without having to stand for 15 minutes while my mom tried to figure out her camera for the 300th time. My mom was a former school teacher and loved looking at Jack’s homework every week. I found myself on Friday looking through his take-home folder and creating a big pile to take downstairs to her.

Life is precious, and so is family. Please make sure yours know you love them.

I need take my own advice as well because this week I yelled at Jack so loudly and scared the ever-loving shit out of him. His behavior has reached a tipping point for me, and I can’t tolerate it any longer. I busted out my ROTC voice to scream at him, and he looked absolutely terrified. Our windows were open to bring in the fall breeze, and when I went outside, my neighbor couldn’t meet my eye. We then went to soccer practice where Bennett fell down a hill and ate Cheerios off the grass around a garbage can. Essentially, I was living my best life that evening.

Meal plan time. I need to clean out our upstairs freezer this week. It’s so packed with homemade freezer pancakes (Blueberry and Apple Pie) and Chocolate Zucchini Muffins and it’s getting hard to close it. But on the plus side, I’m killing it with breakfast. Everything gets microwaved, fresh fruit added and DONE.

Monday:: Whole roast chicken, grilled corn, grilled zucchini, and biscuits (doubling the recipe).

Tuesday:: Tomato soup (I actually still have two bags of frozen tomatoes from last year), leftover biscuits, and leftover corn.

Wednesday:: Crispy tofu with a General Tso sauce, green beans, rice in the Instant Pot, and some random gyoza we have in our freezer.

Thursday:: Chef salads

Friday:: Sandwiches and fruit. Jack has a movie night thing at school and I’m sure he’ll be popcorned out.

Saturday:: Homemade pizza and roasted green beans (in the air fryer).

Sunday:: My mother-in-law’s birthday dinner!

Smith Brothers Farms – $19.93

Farmer’s market – $24.25 (no photo, but I got peaches, pluots, corn, cilantro, apples, and a jalapeno pepper for salsa)

What are you having this week?

PS, the Instant Pot seems to be on sale today for $20 off!

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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10 comments on “Scattered Sundays and Meal Plan”

  1. Have you watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt or Master of None? All the other things I’d recommend aren’t available in the US.

    Our meal plans for this week aren’t too exciting but include pie, potatoes and green beans (hello autumn dinners!), beef chili from the freezer, caprese chicken (https://www.aspicyperspective.com/caprese-chicken-foil-packets/) and eggs with peppers and onions baked in tinned tomatos with cous cous.

    • Those two shows are literally the only two I have on a little note in my phone that says “watch soon”. So funny! I heard about them on a podcast (Pop Culture Happy Hour from NPR). The fact that you’re also recommending them means I must watch them!

  2. Well tonight’s dinner is Cowboy Chow in the slow cooker. It’s kielbasa, canned corn, kidney beans, a huge 53oz can of pork & beans, and BBQ sauce and salsa. The salsa I canned myself and the onion and bell pepper I tossed in were from my garden.

  3. AFJROTC right here! I\’ve been told I have a commanding voice still. My newly minted 7 year old\’s tude might bring the wing commander out in me soon. My husband is missing the same top tooth. It\’s genetic and was mentioned on Bones. Maybe we\’re related by marriage which would be awesome. No Cajun in you or Troy\’ s background?

    • Navy JROTC Company Commander right here! 🙂 I bet we could have a nice drill down and inspection of our kiddos, right?

      No cajun that I know of, but my paternal grandfather was adopted as a newborn, so that whole section of the family is a complete unknown. It was on a Bones episode? Now that I should hunt down and check out.

  4. Please, cut yourself a break. Tell your neighbor it was a bad day you regret and that you don’t expect a repeat (which they already know, but at least it will be out there instead of like a cloud overhead). It was not easy to be my children. Through the years, I did/said so many things I am ashamed of as a mother, one of the worst being literally screaming at them in the car. What? – like no one could hear when we were in the car?. The “kids” don’t remember (most) of the things I look back on with regret. They do, however remember something about which I have no recollection. Evidently there was quite the argument and I threw my full dinner plate across the room against the wall, the result being a spectacular mess. Must be selective amnesia on my part. But they are both successful and reasonably well adjusted.

    A few years ago, they wanted to know if I had the choice to do it again, would I have children. Wow, that’s a question. So the answer was basically, YES, but that they should know it was a very hard, exhausting job. There were some really wonderful things about parenthood, and they are really great kids and I’m glad I had them. The things I felt that they should realistically know was that it was hard to be consistent. It was hard to always make the best decision instead of the easier one. It was hard to always try to be my best self, especially on those days when I was far from the best person. I said that although it was hard to be a good mother on bad days, it was even harder when both mother and children were having a bad day. I told them it was a 24/7 job, with no days off for as long as they were under the roof (That meant, for me, 27 years of mom duty), and that you still don’t stop being a mom even after they’ve left home. One of my children lives abroad. The other was thinking of moving to the other coast. She was worried that, with both of them “gone” we’d be at a loss. I explained that I would miss them both terribly, but that this is the time of their lives to do that sort of thing, and that I had spent many years telling them, “Yes! You can do it! Give it a try! You go, girl!” that I wasn’t about to say, “No! Stay here with me.” after all that coaching.

    All this means is that you had a bad day. It was one day, and only a small time within that day. Cut yourself a break and move on, you don’t deserve the beating you’re giving yourself. It will all work out.

    • So here is the funny thing. I was texting with friends when all of this happen and one of my friends said “you’re a good mom, don’t worry about it”. And the thing is, I wasn’t worried about it. Ha. My freak out and my kid being a total asshole…I didn’t see that at all as a reflection on me. Though I probably should?

      And I’m not embarrassed about the neighbor. He sits outside in his sweatpants blowing cigarette smoke all over the neighborhood. I should probably go yell at him. 😉

      But yes, I hear you. It’s a hard job on a good day, and a really hard job on a bad day. You’re 100% correct in that!

  5. I am also missing two adult teeth. They’re the ones that are supposed to go on either side of my two top front teeth. The dentist pulled two more smaller adult molars on the bottom so that my bite would match. Thanks to the wonders of braces, though, no one call tell the difference until I point it out. And between those four and the four wisdom teeth I had removed, I can tell people I’m eight teeth short of a full bite!

  6. Those moments when you miss your mama will happen. My mother has been gone for 11 years, and I\’m in my 60s, but I still find myself thinking \”I need to call Mama and tell her that\”. Rest assured that she still hears you and is with you in spirit.

    I\’m SO glad you\’re not going to concentrate on increasing numbers on your blog — you are one of the few bloggers I follow who is still real and whose blog hasn\’t turned into a daily advertisement for something. I love your blog JUST the way it is.

    And, one more thing my own mother told me one time after I had yelled at my kid in front of her. She said that if you never lose your cool in front of your kid you\’re not invested in parenting.