Stream of consciousness

by Kristen on September 25, 2013 · 25 comments

in stream of consciousness

I’m going with stream of consciousness/miscellany because I’d planned to share a grocery shopping post, but I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet, so that plan isn’t exactly working.

(a photo of previously purchased groceries, just for illustrative purposes)

When my life feels a little too busy for grocery shopping, I am sorely tempted to complain about what a pain grocery shopping is. But then I usually end up realizing that that’s a ridiculous thing to complain about because I don’t have to plant, water, and harvest/butcher my food…it’s all there for the buying at a store.

Heaven knows even the worst grocery shopping trip is still easier than producing food.

A good thing about running short of time to grocery shop is that it makes me work with what I have in the house. Maybe the meals I produce aren’t gourmet quality, and the elements don’t always share a common theme, but they taste good and they’re a whole lot healthier/cheaper than takeout. (and using up odds and ends is good on the food waste front.)

I keep thinking that I’ve seen the last of the broken glass from my unfortunate parking lot incident, but more keeps showing up. The back of our van had quite a bit of stuff in it (a number of open bags, unfortunately) when the window broke, so it got everywhere. We tried to be careful when we took our things out of the back of the van and into the house, but broken glass has a way of dispersing itself.

Happily, the body shop did a great job of cleaning out the glass from the back of the van so at least it’s not actually in my vehicle anymore.

Incidentally, driving a van with a missing back window (I had to drive it to the body shop) is a little bit hilarious, once you get over the embarrassment. When you pull up to a stop sign and look in your rearview mirror, you can see the driver behind you look, and then look again, and then motion to their passenger, pointing at the broken window. It happens every time.

I’m so glad my van is back with a fixed window now. Yay!

I pretty much adore early fall weather: sunny, dry, and temps in the 70s every day.

Also: no need for heat or air conditioning.


I enjoyed reading Meagan Francis’ recent post about sleep. (She’d recently been criticized for, um, sleeping too much.)

Getting enough sleep whenever possible has always been a high priority for me, and I think that prioritizing sleep helps me to get a lot done during my waking hours.

(Fortunately, no one has thought to give me grief over my nightly eight hours, though!)

The freezer under my fridge has gotten a little bit out of control. I’ve just been randomly stuffing things in there and I really need to take stock so I can use up that food.

I am anxiously waiting for the $10/half bushel apples to show up at the farm stand so that I can make applesauce. We ran out months ago, and all of us except for Mr. FG can pretty much not stand to eat store-bought applesauce (it tastes so watered down to us), so we’re really anxious to have some again.

Speaking of farm stand produce, I made some really yummy oven peach butter out of some of the bruised peaches I bought from the farm stand. I used a recipe from Food in Jars, a book by the author of a blog by the same name.

The taste is great and I really like that it uses way less sugar than jam and requires no pectin.

I just saw her recipe for Honey Vanilla Peach Jam and now I am sad that peach season is over. Darn. Maybe next year?


I suppose I should go make a grocery list. Or maybe I will just rummage through my fridge and freezer and cobble together some more meals. ;)

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Battra92 September 25, 2013 at 8:05 am

We have been working on cleaning out our fridge as well. I’m pretty much content to eat nothing but sandwiches and the like without taking stuff out of the freezer. Plus this has been my baking week so the less I have to worry about dinner, the better!


2 Victoria September 25, 2013 at 8:19 am

I am not a big fan of grocery shopping but sigh your right it is easier than producing it all by myself. My old van just before we traded it for a new one started spontaneously setting off its alarm and then opening and closing its side doors at random as we were driving. Now that made for weird looks, plus a very worried and embarrassed mom. Worried because I did not think it safe to have door open at random with 3 kids in the van, embarrassed because people stare when you are driving in town with your alarm honking and your side doors opening and closing.


3 Kristen September 25, 2013 at 9:42 am

Oh my goodness, I can’t imagine driving around like that! So glad you were able to get a new van.


4 WilliamB September 25, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I wouldn’t want to be in that car, either, but the mental picture makes me laugh.


5 Liz @ Economies of Kale September 25, 2013 at 9:14 am

I just cleaned out my freezer last weekend and I feel so much more organised and like I can eat for weeks without going to the shops.

I’m also not a big fan of going to the big supermarkets, mostly because it’s always so busy (I do tend to go just before closing though). I’m trying to move away from them by going to markets, fruit and veg shops and butchers. I’ve recently joined a co-op and am excited about ordering cocoa powder and tahini in bulk much more cheaply than buying them at the supermarket.


6 My House, My Rules! September 25, 2013 at 9:44 am

Making applesauce is on my to-do list for this weekend, too. I really dread the work involved (and the mess) but it is soooooo worth it to have good applesauce to enjoy all year. By the way, I love your Del Sol bags. I have a few of those myself. :)


7 Kristen September 25, 2013 at 9:45 am

Aren’t they great? We always get those “free bag with a $10 purchase” coupons when we visit Myrtle Beach.

I like the cotton bags so much more than those faux fabric ones that are sold/given away all over the place. Those ones just wear out, but the cotton Del Sol ones last forever.


8 SheB September 25, 2013 at 11:07 am

Speaking of Myrtle Beach do you still do frugal vacation posts? Our family was able to go on a smaller vacation this year. But I would love to go on a destination vacation like Myrtle beach sometime in the future.


9 Starr1ight September 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Homemade applesauce sounds really yum. Someone gave me some apples and I sauteed some of them. Maybe next time I’ll try to make some applesauce.


10 Stef September 25, 2013 at 12:47 pm

ugh, ours comes to $20.00 for half a bushel…


11 Kristen September 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm

That’s what a lot of the apples were selling for, and Honey Crisp were even more. But for some reason, the Winesap apples sell for $10/half bushel.


12 Rebecca September 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Try asking your grower if they sell baskets of seconds. These apples are usually much cheaper, but fine to eat, just lest visually appealing.


13 Aimee@Middle Finger Project September 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Don’t those apples look amazing!


14 Yvonne September 25, 2013 at 1:19 pm

You know lately I have purposefully been buying les groceries so that as my twice monthly trip to Aldi comes along It’s easy for me to see what needs to be used up and I end up making up all kinds of dishes…some of them turn out quite nice. It makes me think…did people even use recipes to help them make dishes. I mean aren’t pot pies, stir-fries etc the result of cooking with leftovers etc?


15 Kristie September 28, 2013 at 1:09 am

Love this Yvonne! So many of us are in the bad habit of first looking at the recipe and then finding the ingredients rather than the other way around! I’ve found I’m way more creative when food is running low. Also, I pick up an organic box of fruit and veg every fortnight that kind of forces me to use some food that I don’t normally buy. It’s been a lot of fun!


16 Jan Elizabeth December 13, 2013 at 1:08 pm

There’s also a site called where you type in the random ingredients you have on hand, and it comes up with some recipes that have those combinations. It’s been helpful a couple of times!


17 Krissy @ Just Take Two Bites September 25, 2013 at 1:24 pm

I don’t mind grocery shopping, as long as I can go at a non-busy time of day. I go either in the morning or late at night so I can concentrate.

We love homemade applesauce; sadly, apples do not grown well down here in south Louisiana. I always get bummed out whenever I see people picking bushels of apples and making yummy stuff with them. I just have to wait for them to go on sale and buy what we can afford. I have made homemade applesauce before and it is by far better than the jarred stuff.


18 Dawn September 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm

I tell my teenage daughter that she will enjoy grocery shopping a lot less when it’s coming out of her wallet! I used to love shopping with my mom, just like she does, but now…

BUT! It DOES help to think about your blessings. It might not be my favorite thing to do, but we are so blessed to be able to go to the store and buy the things we need…and lots that aren’t even technically needs. We are very spoiled and can easily take things for granted.

I just bought my apples for applesauce today…Yay! Last year was the first year I ever made it. We ran out partway through the summer. It was SO good. Have you ever tried freezing apples? I found instructions online last year for freezing them all pie-ready. When you want to make a pie, you just make your crust, pop in the frozen pie filling, and pop it right in the oven. (Or make an apple crisp with it instead.) The key is not letting the apples thaw at all before baking them. I could not believe how well it worked.


19 Rebecca September 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I tend to make whole pies and freeze them ready to bake. I will make at least 10 now and that will get me into Feb at least. They bake best when put into the oven frozen, not letting them thaw out.


20 Dawn September 25, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I was just talking to someone the other day who does the same thing. I’m thinking of trying it that way this year. The frozen filling I did up last fall got us through the winter…it was so nice.


21 Heather September 25, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I see that you bring your own bags to the grocery store. I like to also, and of course at Aldis it is required. I would like to know what you use for garbage bags. My husband wants to not buy any bags and just use the ones from the grocery store. They are sufficient but since I bring my own most of the time we are frequently running out of garbage bags! Any ideas? Also, I usually ride my bicycle to the store and my groceries usually break through the plastic bags when I’m on my bike. This obviously won’t do.


22 Dayna September 25, 2013 at 4:48 pm

It was good to read your post today. Didn’t really want to grocery shop today either. Good point about not having to produce the food just shop for it. I enjoyed reading the post by Meagan Francis too.


23 Gina September 25, 2013 at 7:05 pm

I hear ya – we could pretty much each out of what we already have for a couple of weeks without going to the store, and I try to use up dibs and dabs of what I already have. So, no gourmet meals here either, yet no one is losing weight…


24 Meagan @The Happiest Home September 25, 2013 at 8:19 pm

Thanks for the link, Kristen! One thing I love about fall/winter weather is it seems easier to fall back on those pantry-staple, filling, hearty meals that are so easy to shop for. Like stew. And more stew. Oh, and soup.

For some reason, not sure why, I always feel like I want to be more creative in the summer…so even though produce is a lot cheaper (especially when I get it through the CSA or at farm stands), I never quite feel like I’m coming out ahead. :)


25 Marisa October 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Yay! I’m so happy to hear that you liked the oven roasted peach butter!


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