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WIS, WWA | Delayed by the TEAS

Hey everyone!

I’m here a little late today because I had my TEAS exam this morning, which is basically an entrance exam for nursing school, and the score is one of the factors they consider when they choose which applicants to accept (R.N. school at my college is competitive).

It’s sort of like an SAT, so I felt like a teenager again this morning!

And yesterday I spent all day at Hershey Park, so I did not do any blogging ahead of time.

Hershey Park entrance sign.

And speaking of Hershey Park, I found out that I JUST missed Battra92 (a reader you definitely know if you read the comments here)…he was at Hershey on Tuesday and Wednesday with his family.

Anyway, all of that is why I’m here now at noon. 😉

What I Spent

I spent:

  • $50 at Mezeh (see Saturday)
  • $25 at Aldi
  • $18 at Trader Joe’s
  • $26 at McDonald’s (see Thursday)

So, $119.

What We Ate


I’d spent the day sanding furniture, and in the evening, Sonia wanted to come over to watch some period dramas with me (she is my diehard period drama fan! Mr. Selfridge, Downton Abbey, Victoria, The Crown…).

I had not prepped any dinner, so the three girls and I went out to eat at Mezeh.


We were at my parents’ house for a Father’s Day gathering; my main contribution was a big bowl of fruit salad.

fruit salad


A fend-for-yourself night; Zoe ate some leftovers, I ate a bratwurst in a bun, and I can’t remember what Lisey ate!



I thawed some pulled pork that I’d frozen a few weeks ago, and we ate it on buns, with fresh produce on the side.

A glass bowl of watermelon cubes.


Lisey was out with her cousin and Zoe and I had burgers, corn, and watermelon.

A hamburger and watermelon on a black plate.



I took Zoe and her friend to Hershey Park for the day, so we just stopped at McDonald’s for dinner on the way home.

funnel cake on a plate.

You kind of HAVE to buy a funnel cake at an amusement park.


As per usual, I have no idea yet! I never know what the girls’ plans will be, so I fly by the seat of my pants a bit on Fridays.

What did you have for dinner this week?

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Tuesday 28th of June 2022

This is probably a dumb question but what do you do with all your watermelon rinds? We love watermelon, but don’t have any “no man’s land” to throw the rinds. LOL


Wednesday 29th of June 2022


Apparently you can pickle it by just slicing/peeling off the hard green outer part and then cutting up the white parts to your preferred size and pickling in your favorite vinegar. I've never tried it, but if you like pickles, it might be worth a try.

I usually compost my rinds, and my composting worms and black soldier fly larvae make very short work of them. I added the worms to my outdoor bin, but the soldier flies came on their own. At first, I freaked out because they looked so gross, but then I identified them and realized they compost even faster than worms and apparently keep away other flies by outcompeting them, so I'm pretty happy with them. Supposedly chickens really like them too, but I don't keep chickens.


Saturday 25th of June 2022

Hi all, I have been a long-time reader of the blog and the comment section. My mom was here for 3 months and just returned to India last night. I am wondering what next week will look like. But here is how this week went. Monday - Rice and cauliflower sabzi, and salad Tuesday - Idli, cilantro chutney and sambhar Wednesday - Dosa, chutney, egg curry, potato bhaji Thursday - Fried rice, gai lan, a stir fried chicken and cashew dish Friday - Mutli (rice dumplings w ginger, hot peppers, and cilantro), clam sukkha and salad

I am missing my mother already and I am sad to not be able to cook with her and chat in our mother tongue. I walked into my kitchen today and felt a flurry of emotions - she had mostly taken over cooking and I didn't recognize things in my pantry, I felt joy to come back to cooking, and missed her all over again. so much can be true at once.

MB in MN

Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Samosa, I'm so glad you posted. Your meals all sound absolutely delicious.


Sunday 26th of June 2022


Thank you so much for those spice recommendations! Yum, yum, yum! My husband is allergic to tamarind (no Worcestershire sauce for us!) So I'm especially pleased to read about amchur as a substitute! I'll have to look for a good Indian grocery near me. The mother of a former boyfriend once took me to one in Ohio (where she lived) and bought me one of those metal spice canisters and some spices as a Christmas gift. She was white, but lived in India as a young adult and learned how to cook there. She was the one who taught me how frugal cooking food from other cultures can be-she was an at-home mom to three boys and fed them on her husband's pastor salary by making everything from scratch. She gave me the spices almost fifteen years ago now, but I still have some of them and when I open the canister it smells like heaven and all the memories of cooking with her come flooding back, so I know what you mean about memories and kitchens, and especially smells! Thank you again for sharing your menu and your recipes, ingredients, etc!


Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Becca, hi! clam sukkha recipe is here I am from coastal southern India and seafood is mostly what we eat. I buy coriander seed, cumin seed, dry red chillies, turmeric and this is enough for most dishes. I toast the spices and grind them in a coffee grinder. To take it further, you can sizzle mustard seed or cumin seed in oil and pour over sabzi or rice or chutney. Food from my hometown relies heavily on tamarind and fresh shredded coconut. I buy both from indian stores - tamarind concentrate works or amchur (raw mango powder) for the sour element. Frozen shredded coconut is cheap (less than $2 in NYC) and i can blend it for spice pastes or I can toss it into warm salads or sabzis.


Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Heidi Louise,

Yes, and it's interesting to me that foods from around the world tend to start with similar staples-rice, flour, beans, eggs, etc, but can taste so incredibly different depending on cooking techniques and spices. To that end, Kristen, a fun idea for an ask the reader post might be something like "what are your top ten frugal spices and your favorite splurge spice(s)?" I would particularly absolutely love to know which are the best spices to use if I wanted to make Indian food at home or really any type of food that isn't the standard American fare. I've found that the cuisine in other countries is generally very frugal but tastes so much better because of all the spices! I feel like spices are the secret frugal weapon. ;)

Heidi Louise

Sunday 26th of June 2022

@Samosa, I rarely get a chance to eat foods from cultures other than my own but like to read the names and descriptions, often looking them up. Food is such a basic part of each person's world.


Saturday 25th of June 2022

Grilled burgers, german potato salad, fruit, baked beans, roasted cauliflower, and a layered dessert with lemon pound cake, marscapone cream, and strawberries and mint for dessert. We had my father in law over for a cookout.

Leftovers night

Buddha bowls with fried sweet potatoes, roasted cauliflower, guacamole, and a fried egg.

Jalapeño grilled cheese and soup from a food truck at a local beer garden at the beach.

Chicken and zucchini patties with spicy mayo, sautéed veggies, and fried potato cubes.

Grilled wraps filled with veggies and the leftover chicken patties from yesterday. Applesauce on the side.


Saturday 25th of June 2022

I had roasted a chicken and that gave us three dinners. I will use the stock to make soup tomorrow. Last night I cooked some lamb chops. The leftovers will become curry on Monday.

Janet Bailey Salvaggi

Saturday 25th of June 2022

Another period drama to watch is "The Paradise" which is about the 1st (fictional) department store in London. There are 2 seasons of it & it's in that "upstairs, downstairs" or "Downton Abbey" vein. I'm watching on DVDs from the library, but here's some other info:

Streaming on Roku. The Paradise on Masterpiece, a drama series starring Sarah Lancashire, Emun Elliott, and Joanna Vanderham is available to stream now. Watch it on Prime Video, VUDU, BritBox, Vudu Movie & TV Store, Apple TV or The Roku Channel on your Roku device

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