Sunday, March 12, 2017

Refrigerator Soup, Birthday Sushi and more.........This Week In Retirement

Just a quick mention that I am temporarily on moderation folks. I hate, hate hate it, but have had some seriously viscous spam so for a week or so. Please be patient with me and I will work on posting comments asap.

I am not a fan of daylight savings time.  Well, check that.  I love having extra daylight in the evening since I normally am not up before nine. But I realize that I am not the average population. And more importantly, it takes me days to adjust, especially when we spring forward. We are all different, and I am one of those folks that the lost hour hits hard. Whether it's daylight or regular time, just pick one and stick with it!

Meanwhile, since I am not alert and responsive today, I've thrown some soup in the ole slow cooker. There was no way I was getting out of bed in time this morning, so I am heading out to church this evening-knowing food is cooking. Our go to soups tend to me minestrone, crab and corn chowder (to die for), and tomato basil. Today's soup is minestrone, because it's easy to make and you can use what you have on hand.

In my darkened kitchen....
Minestrone is one of those recipes that you throw things into, and it generally works out. You can even use canned, frozen and fresh veggies and add them at different times. Today's soup started out with some canned goods (we have an overstuffed pantry, and I don't even know how it got this way. Probably multiple people shopping and not always sharing). Broth, V8 juice, wine, canned tomatoes, two kinds of kidney/navy beans, green beans, small meatballs and mini pasta. I only had to get the meatballs. Thrown together along with Italian seasoning, garlic and onion and this is a meal that takes five minutes to put together and is unbelievable yummy hours later. In our house, with this we have popovers.

Gourmet Cooking tips from a non-cook: Most readers know by now that I do not love to cook, to say the least. However, I do love to eat, I am a true gourmand. And as a result, I have a really good palate in spite of my cooking avoidance. Which is why I say this: Whenever possible, use vegetable broth. It will give soups and stews another layer of flavor that simply using beef stock for beef stew will not. And V8 is an easy way to richen any broth, use the low sodium if you must, but a small can of v8 will thicken the broth, make it flavorful and make any salting unnecessary (we never put extra salt in this house)

In other news this past week, I've begun a seriously large afghan in a log cabin style.  It's almost at the point where I need to leave it at home to work on-it will end up being a good seventy inches square. Since I always get questions as the frugal retiree as to my crafting costs, this afghan uses about $60 of yarn at a full price, and I will have paid about half of that buying my yarn on sale. As this this is for warmth as well as a focal point in my TV room, I find $30 or so to be worth it. On the other hand, I've made a stack of all the various small pieces of fabric I have, so that I can make gifts and such now before I buy more fabric!  

My living room has chocolate furniture, ivory wallks and blue and green accents. The color is really a peach, not pink, may need to retake this picture!p
Even the frugal retiree has some more spendy weeks and such was this one.  Since I needed some in between clothes for the seventy degree weather we've been having since January (with a couple exceptions) I purchased a sweater set in a new color for me (lavender) and a gray tunic all at full price. Then, since in our family every birthday seems to fall in  February/March or September/October (seriously), I took my sister to a local garden store of massive proportions-where I purchased a new fairy garden for her, and a few spring things for myself. I figure I'll add some bunnies in a week or so. My garden is growing by leaps and bounds. And last but not least, I decided my toes needed some blue-dark blue.

I figure to make it more eastery later

Blue.They are very blue!!
And speaking of birthdays, what would a birthday dinner be without sushi-ordered online and delivered to the door. Sushi and chocolate birthday cake, folks I tell ya. Oh, and it would be wrong to leave out the home made miso made by my nephew in his new cooking pans. We do have unique birthdays, that is for sure.

In other news, I've spent a lot of time reading this week-three full mysteries! The bad news is that I did not walk this week. My leg has been weak and hurting. While I prefer to walk in the neighborhood or work out to uTube, I believe it's time to move to silver sneakers and jump in the pool. It's time to limit my walking to the incidental stuff. As I do every week, I've gone to knitting, taken my class on Tuesday, cooked on Thursday and had my regular girl's lunch on Friday.

And finally, my discussion of the past week would be less than honest if I did not say that I have spent some serious time researching the health care bill alternative. That's right, blog critics. I actually READ the legislation and critiques rather than the headlines. Unfortunately, it is not better-and those who suffer the most will be folks our age and those making less than $20,000 annually. It is still true that almost 20 million people will be without health insurance.

To those conservatives and Republicans reading, I say simply this: find me a medical group-any medical group-who thinks this plan is acceptable, never mind a good idea. There is none. Not a single medical group, even Anthem, which made record profits last year but left states because they "made less money", thinks the new plan is a bad idea. This is no longer a Republican Vs Non republican issue folks, at least it should be. 

And finally, one fun thing (albeit political), not done by me this week, just observed. We have a senator here in Colorado who ran as his own man, beholden to no one, in a mainly liberal state who voted for the Democrats by over six points. This particular Senator has voted the Trump party line (and as a result will probably lose on re-election). More importantly, as have others, he has refused to hold town halls, and implied that the folks who crashed his phones four times during the DeVos hearings were paid rabble rousers. A young woman made this sign, and did a Go Fund Me page to raise the 18 thousand dollars needed for a full page Sunday ad. She raised 18 thousand dollars, all in increments of less than $50 (some as low as five) in less than 24 hours. So goes the resistance.

The coming week is projected to be seventy to eighty degrees again-I see plenty of outside reading time, and perhaps a day trip in my future! And now, to go taste that minestrone.......


  1. LOVE that blue! My favorite color for my toes is teal, followed by lime green, but I think I'm going to have to get me some of that blue.

    Your soup sounds delicious. We are entering "too hot for soup" weather here, but will keep it in mind for when cooler temperatures arrive again next year. I agree with you about the vegetable broth - I use it in quiet a few recipes and it makes a difference.

    1. I usually get turquoise so this was a bit different for me

  2. I think Anthem has just come out in favor of GACHA (Gullible American Healthcare Act). I wonder if it could have anything to do with their needing government approval for their merger with Cigna.....

    1. Have they? Its Sunday and I avoid the news. What will be will be.

  3. Neither of my Senators nor my Congresswoman held town halls . My daughter had the same. All are Democrats! I am pleased with one of my Senators though- and let him know all the time on his Facebook page! Ah, social media. Love it.

    Love your afghan! Loads of work. You will be toasty with that one.

    I might try veggie stock. I was thinking of making my own- saving up ends and scraps for a pot. Haven't tried the V-8. Maybe next bean and bacon soup.
    Happy Retirement!

    1. In our area they ALL hold town halls on a regular basis-except for Cory Gardner, lol. He's too busy deciding we are all paid callers. I am emjoying social media.a I love the afghan as well.

  4. I can manage DST much better when I change the clocks before I go to bed. If I change the clocks in the morning, I find I'm always thinking - it's really this time and it does a number on my head. The benefit of retiring is going to bed when I'm tired and getting up when I'm rested. All my soups tend to be "refrigerator" soup. I see what needs to be used up and that's the soup of the week. This week it was cauliflower/potato soup.

  5. We are now experiencing the blizzard that was predicted over the weekend in the Northeast. Got my crock pot out yesterday to make sausage, spinach and rice soup. I can heat the soup up in case we loose power. I have a gas stove so just need to light the pilot. I am a single retired woman who loves to cook in batches using my pressure cooker and crock pot.
    I did see some Robins over the weekend which makes my heart jump for joy since I know that Spring is around the corner. I hope they're nestled into a nice warm place while this storm is blowing through our area.
    As mentioned in another reply to your blog post, I believe it's time for universal health care. I am tired of listening to the arguments and those who insist we cannot possibly afford insuring all of our citizens. Healthcare is needed from birth through death. No one is going to live without the need of some type of healthcare through out their life.

  6. I love to cook in my crock pot and eat from the results all week. I cannot stand V-8 even though I love all things tomato!


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