Monday, June 16, 2014

June Prepping Challenge- Monday

Life has been pretty boring around here for a while now. Boring is good, actually. Excitement, not always great.. The most exciting things that have happened lately are:
1) FINALLY getting a new heat pump!! So, now we have air conditioning again. (After being without for a little more than a month.) Which is pretty awesome. The kids are much happier, spoiled as they are, and I have to say that it's a relief to have it back. I've gotten extremely spoiled these last years, too. Only problem, now I'm freezing! The thermostat is set 5-6 degrees warmer than it used to be, but I'm still cold. I'm afraid to warm it up any more, though. The kids will start melting again. And then the whining will start up once more. Hopefully, I'll be re-acclimated before my husband comes home from work. Otherwise, I really will freeze when he kicks it back down to 70!

and 2) Today was the kick-off of the library's summer reading program. It was a lot of fun, the library was packed with kids, and with luck, everyone will read tons of books. My Little Miss has already gotten her week's quota in this afternoon and started on the extra credit... And I've taken it as a good opportunity to start chapter reading with her. She did really well, but I think one whole chapter at a time might be a bit much for now. We might have to try to read slightly less tomorrow. I think her attention started to wander a bit at the end...

In other news...

It's time for another prepping challenge from Judy at Patchwork Times... This month is a pretty easy one.  We aren't being asked to actually do anything- except think! Every day this week, while we go about trying to find some sort of food to feed everybody (hopefully finding something that everyone will eat without too many complaints), Judy wants us to take time to think about how we would go about feeding our families if our stoves didn't work.

In her post, Judy writes:
"Let’s assume that this is an unforeseen and extended event. You didn’t know it was coming (as opposed to a hurricane where you had warning). You just woke up one morning and the power was out. While I know that some of you rely on gasoline/diesel or natural gas powered generators, for the purpose of this challenge, let’s assume that  you have expended your supply of all the typical fuels and now we’re having to come up with alternate methods for cooking.
What I would like for you to do each day, is prepare your meal as planned,  using your stove and your power as you normally would, but think about and write about what you would have done differently with that meal if you were faced with a no power situation."

This is a topic that has been on my mind for a long time. Having little ones (picky little ones, at that!), I tend to get a bit worried about power outages. I've been thinking on this problem for a while now, with no real solutions forthcoming. (But I do have a very long wish list, and my husband can vouch for that. He hears about it any time bad weather is predicted. Well, okay, frequent other times, as well...) As a result, our house tends to have a lot of snacky-type foods sitting around. Which causes problems for me now that I'm trying to make (radical?) changes in the way we cook and eat around here...

Today's menu wasn't really great by any standard other than that I actually managed to get everyone sitting at the table simultaneously to eat something. (Not the same thing, note.) But, sitting at the table together is a goal of mine, so I'm happy that we at least got that to work for us. Today, anyway...

Breakfast- everybody had cold cereal, with or without milk, as requested. (Although, both of them were snacking on peanut butter crackers before I had even managed to get my brain awake this morning...)

Lunch- they had mini pop-tarts and I ate a tuna cracker lunch pack...

Supper- I fixed pasta and tomato sauce, specifically because I knew they would eat it. They didn't eat it. :( I just can't win.

I've been thinking about it all day, and I don't see a lot of changes I would have made in this admittedly crappy menu to make it power outage friendly. The only thing that got cooked was supper. Everything else is manageable with no power. As for supper... With no stove, I would first move to the grill on the back deck. If we've used up all the propane there, the next move is my little portable camp/emergency stove. I have several days worth of fuel for it, that would see me through very basic cooking. For any longer time, right now, I would be forced to build a fire in my backyard to cook over. My husband has two Dutch ovens specifically for fire cooking, and we also have cast iron skillets I could put into play if necessary. We have a stockpile of firewood to use in that case (because my hubby has weird hobbies and likes to play with chainsaws- fortunately), so we would be okay for maybe a week? Maybe more. Not sure, as I have very little experience playing with fire. (I should probably be working on that.)

I do eventually want to get a solar oven to play with. I think they sound like fun. My husband doesn't like the idea, as he claims we don't get enough sunlight during the day to make it work properly...

Tomorrow will be more of a challenge. Maybe. If I'm allowed into the kitchen without anyone hanging from my leg screaming at the top of her little lungs, I plan to make some bread. Fingers crossed!


  1. What is the chapter book?

  2. We're reading Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary. She says she likes it, and I really hope she does. I want this to be the start of a new thing for us. I have a long, long list of books that I want to read to her (As soon as she gets old enough to understand them. Some of them need a few more years yet, but there are still tons of wonderful books to introduce her to. I'm excited about it). So, I really want her to like it. Not sure where we will go from here- another Ramona (if she asks), or change it up completely? I will probably ask for her opinion, and maybe the librarian in charge of the summer program. If Little Miss doesn't know where to head next, I'm pretty sure Miss Amanda will. :)

    1. Thanks, just wondering. Love Ramona series.