Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Family in town!

SCB's dad's old steel toe work boots... now the
property of my hubby-- and a black pair. :)
We just finished a weekend jammed pack with family frivolities! and the good kind because my husbands parents came in town to visit!

His parents got in on Friday night and left early Monday morning so I took Friday and Monday off from work to clean and tidy the house and to catch up on laundry before and after his folks visit. Since we won't be seeing them for thanksgiving this year, its nice to get to see them in November. SCB's mama does lace work by hand (she made me a wonderful handkerchief that I carried with me down the isle at our wedding) and his dad wood turns the bobbins that people use when they do lace work by hand, so they came out to see us and to also sell some of their work at a convention that wasn't too far from our house.

It was really nice to see them and spend time with his mama and learn a few useful things along the way :)

I know it sounds really stupid, but I've never cooked a Chicken before... an actual whole chicken. Sure i've dunked chicken breasts in shake and bake coating and tossed them in the oven, but It's been a goal of mine for years to learn how to buy a whole chicken and cook it. Roast chicken simply one of those good "cook it and get 3 or 4 different meals out of it" foods and so it was something I really wanted to learn how to do... that and make homemade apple crisp. :)

So i learned how to brine a chicken and i'll be baking it in the oven for supper! We did the homemade apple crisp last night and it was so yummy! I also learned how to grill butternut squash and realized its REALLY GOOD (I'd never had it before) and they brought it out from their garden (man I wish I had a plot of dirt) in case we wanted one for another day but when they realized I didn't even know what to do with it, we added it to dinner one night while they were here.

On Saturday we spent the whole day up at the lace convention and I got to learn a bit more and help them sell items from their booth. I also got to browse through some crochet books and learn a few tips about patterns. We ended Saturday night out at Chili's for dinner since that just seems to be our "family" go to restaurant.

Since his family stayed over until Monday, I also attended my first full 3 hour church session with them at my hubby's church. It was very interesting and a bit confusing at times, but it was also "Fast Sunday" so they had a different line up then normal I guess. For where we live, the service didn't start till 2pm so we didn't end up having our first meal of the day until 6 or so that night after we got home and got the burgers and the butternut squash on the grill.  In the next few days I'll be posting some posts on my husbands religious background and some missionary visits we have been having lately over the past week or two.

We also had them pick us up some canned goods and foods from a store in Utah that was having their annual case lot sale. We looked up the ad online and emailed him mom what we wanted and they drove it out to us. So we were able to start stocking up some non-perishable foods to have a more established kitchen pile for a fraction of the cost! For $60 we were able to get:
  • 2 huge tins of Almond poppy seed muffin mix. (just add water and bake)
  • 1 huge tin of Blueberry muffin mix. (just add water and bake)
  • 12 large cans of Hunts Spaghetti Sauce
  • 12 cans of olives
  • 12 cans of kidney beans
  • 12 cans of black beans
  • 24 cans of tomato sauce
  • 6 "kiplers" --some canned fish thing my husband loves....
Normally would try and keep 3 of each canned item listed above in the house so if we fall short in the grocery budget we can always eat out of the pantry, but its just a nice feeling to have a good amount of food here that we could whip up if friends show up, if something goes wrong either job wise, or if "the big one" comes and were stuck here for days on end.

Then toss in the fact that last week 6 people lost their jobs at my husbands work... and i'm just glad we have more items in the house then before... and because we got them in Utah and his parents didn't mind driving them out to us since they were staying here anyway, we were able to get them all for a better price then we could have here.

The key now is to keep the stock pile good and not just eat through it until the cabinets are bare. When we use something, we will continue to replace it at the store and just put it up by expiration date so the older dates go in the back and the newer dates go in front.

When we go out of Christmas we might come home with powdered milk and yeast because its WAYYYY cheaper out there then here. In California it seems like you can only buy yeast in little one serving packages... (Not cool).

Since this was the first shopping list/journey we had them do for us, we only picked up things that we currently ate in meals already... and added in the muffin mixes which I'm just really excited about! They are good for 10 years if sealed, 1 when opened and it's simple baking. All I have to do is add water and to be quite frank, baking weather is here. With our old slider doors, our house gets really drafty and nothing fixes drafty like baking does. (On our home improvement list we need to finish the kitchen door edging and paint, look into getting the bathroom vent thingy replaced or cleaned, then start saving for new windows for both our sliders-- because both are custom sizes... go figure.) But now I have muffin mix... and after looking around I realized I don't have any muffin tins (just mini muffin tins)...  so I called my mom and i asked her if I could have her old muffin baking pans since she doesn't use them, and she told me yes. So i'll probably make a batch of muffins this week for breakfast if I get time.

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