A Smattering of Things

Just a few thoughts on a Tuesday morning…

I need to use my crockpot more. Especially on the weekends, when I can make multiple meals and then have them ready for the week. And during the week, I’ll happily get up 5 minutes early to dump stuff in the crockpot and have dinner taken care of (except for maybe cooking potatoes or a side veggie). Definitely need recipes though, if you guys have any suggestions.

I love that berries are in season. I’ve been bringing blueberries and blackberries and raspberries and strawberries for my snacks at work, and it’s just wonderful. So yummy. I hear they’re good for you too. I’m just waiting now, eating as many as I can. Soon it will be peach season! (I intend to make peach jam this year, so a trip up to one of the peach farms may be in order).

I’m writing more letters again. Downtime at work is good for letter writing because it has the appearance of productivity. Things have been REALLY slow at work lately, for some reason, so I’m doing a lot of time wasting. And letter writing feels more productive than Pocket Planes…

My mom is visiting this weekend! I’m very excited. I think we will probably go to the beach one day, but mostly it will just be a resting visit. With all the craziness I’ve had with meds lately, I kinda need some help getting things back in order. It’s nice to think she can still visit and “take care of me” (something she says she’s looking forward to). It’s hard sometimes to be away from my family; they’re a huge source of strength and support for me.

My stapler doesn’t work. it mostly just mangles the staples instead of poking them through paper. And my staple remover flings staples in a dangerous, pointy projectile kind of way. Odd combination.

I need more tea. So I’m going to go get some. Hope y’all* have a good Tuesday!

*yes, I went there.

5 thoughts on “A Smattering of Things

  1. Berries! Oranges are out now, but the peaches are in at our local Brennan’s and they are lovely. I get a bunch of berries every week.

    <3

    And I'm almost out of my tea as well. Time to bring in more. I'm drinking a Zhea Gypsy Peach Daiquiri and it's super yummy.

  2. @Tami – that sounds like the best tea ever! I love peach teas. Right now I’m drinking Jasmine Green tea, my only daily caffeine allowance. Usually I have two mugs. Supposedly it’s good for me, but mostly it’s just yummy.

  3. I try to use my crockpot every weekend that we’re in town, though sometimes I skip it if it’s warm outside. We got a large slow-cooker cookbook so I’m trying to try a new recipe from it each time (but not all the time). It’s nice being able to throw stuff in in the morning (as that time doesn’t count, right?) and then suddenly food is ready that evening to serve!

    One of my new favorite recipes is a crockpot Shepard’s pie. I do it the lazy way with frozen vegetables and instant mashed potatoes, but I bet you can use fresh ingredients too.

    Let’s see if I can remember how to make it…

    You’ll need a 16oz bag of frozen peas and carrots, 10oz raw turkey or chicken cut into strips (or however much of turkey/chicken you want relative to the vegetables) and about a cup to a cup and a half of gravy (I think you’re able to make gluten free gravy, right?). And potatoes – it calls for refrigerated pre-mashed potatoes, bought from the store. Or you can make some fresh, or use leftovers, or make some instant.

    Anyway, combine all the stuff in the slowcooker except for the potatoes and cook for like… 5-6 hours on low. If the mashed potatoes you’re using are cold, plop them in and cook it for 30 minutes on high. If the mashed potatoes are warm from being cooked, just spoon them into the individual serving dishes. Mmm, potatoes.

    When I get home I can let you know what cook book this is. It has a lot of recipes that use stuff I don’t like but I think you do, like squashes and pumpkin and beans, oh my. It’s a pretty awesome slow-cooker book.

  4. Pretty much anything you can make as a casserole in the oven can be adapted to the crockpot, so skies the limit. Generally, you’ll want to cook on high for ~4 hours or more in some cases.

    As for recipes, my personal favorite is NC pulled pork:

    1 bone in pork shoulder(boston butt)
    BBQ rub of your choice
    1/2cup apple cider vinegar

    Night before, coat the meat in rub, wrap in plastic, sit in fridge. Throw in crockpot with vinegar(this cranks the flavor off the charts), 8-10 hours on low. You can tell that it’s done because the bone will come out of the meat with zero effort. Move the meat to a bowl and shred, then sauce with a favorite BBQ sauce. Personally, I make my own; for this recipe I use a North Carolina sweet vinegar-mustard sauce:

    Combine the following in a saucepan and simmer for ~30 minutes minimum:

    2 cups cider vinegar
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 tblsp – 1/4 cup yellow mustard(can sub whole grain or brown; I prefer that)
    1/2 tsp red pepper
    1 1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tblsp worcestershire sauce
    1 tsp tabasco or hot sauce

  5. Looking forward to hearing how the peach jam goes. I’d like to try doing something like that myself, and we get a lot of peaches here.

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