Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fish and Chip Night!


Something my boyfriend and I have agreed on is that we have failed at our attempt to create a good fish and chips dinner! One time I made the most delicious fries...but we both soon realized that the 'fragrance' of cooked oil turns our stomachs! Olive oil is okay, but we've tried Canola, Grape Seed, Safflower, Sunflower and good old Mazola...we can't get used to that smell. So, although my goal is to eliminate processed foods as much as possible, we bend the rules for fish and chips :) These are store-bought. Until we get a deep-fryer that we can let cool off and air out on the porch, we're sticking to frozen stuff. We shared a bottle of "Newkie Broon" too, that's how my Scottish grandfather used to say it! 


But at least I can say I make my own tartar sauce!!! Next step is making my own mayo. I used to put fresh cilantro in my tartar sauce too and it was so good, but I don't have any this time of year!


The last of my seeds arrived! I made a promise to myself to STOP now, lol...I'm obsessed. My boyfriend has trouble with peppers, but we thought we'd try to see if he still has the same issues if they are homegrown. Plus the orange ones are so mild, hopefully he won't get reflux from them. And I really wanted some pretty flowers for the porch too, so I got the Nasturtiums and Marigolds. And that company sent me another free pack of the Canada Day zinnias! I have to plan pots for all of these beauties.


Here's my Speedy Gonzales :) ...I've mentioned that my boyfriend and I have been watching all of the Looney Tunes lately. We got through the 50's and 60's and now we're finishing up the 1940's. The 1930's were a little too "old" for my taste...a lot of whistling and singing, so he can watch those on his own! He just downloaded the Flintstones, so that's the next series we're watching! We love cartoons. I remember coming home for lunch from grade school...as soon as the Flintstones was over, it was time to walk back to school. Anyway, I drew this on a piece of paper with a little reminder that there is leftover taco mix in the freezer for his lunches. I try to make everything a little fun.


It's a nice sunny day today but cold again. The flyers in this area come out on Tuesdays and Wednesday so I'm spending the next few days going over the sales, jotting down what's still in the freezer and cupboards, then planning our meals for the next 4 to 6 weeks. I really enjoy that process a lot! Sam I Am was talking about bullet journaling - if you don't know about it, you'll find lots of pictures on Pinterest. It's an organizational tool that allows you to be creative too. I do this kind of journaling for my meal planning and shopping, for my garden, my daily to-do and also my self-therapy/self-improvement efforts. I have 4 different journals and it's a nice structure to keep me on track. I also paint, lately I've been into watercolours, so I made covers for all of the journals :)

It's relaxing for me now to plan our meals. I remember a time when I lived paycheck to paycheck and it was a frenzy going over the flyers on Wednesdays, planning 2 weeks worth of meals in one day and then shopping on Thursdays with all of the crowds. It brought me a lot of stress and we both knew that every two weeks for 2-3 days, I couldn't eat solid food. Crazy how that stress got to me. I used to coin the term "the dreaded shopping day". Now I'm lucky I can shop for a month's time because I was able to set aside a little money each month since last summer so I'd have a pool of money for just this purpose; and go when I want to, Mondays are good days, not as many crazies out there lol. The only downside is in the winter, the produce isn't as fresh, so by weeks 4-5-ish, we have to eat frozen veggies. I try to plan the fresher food for the first few weeks of the meal plan because my goal is not to use the car as much, the grocery stores are just over an hour's drive each way. This month I broke down and drove 15 minutes to an overpriced corner store just to get fresh tomatoes...big no-no! This is one of the goals as well - a winter garden! Does anyone else meal-plan this way? For me it's a lifesaver!

16 comments:

Mama Pea said...

I read this post right before our lunch and the picture of the fish and chips and beer 'bout did me in! Gimme, gimme, gimme! ;o}

Ya know, I don't think I've ever met a successful person who wasn't organized. And the more organized the better that person's life seemed to be. So kudos to you, m'dear, for having (and sharing) your organizational skills. Even though I (like to) think I'm fairly organized, I know there's room for improvement!

Nicole Thomas said...

Mmm...now I want fish and chips ... and beer !!!
I still I only had to go shopping once a month. On the other hand ... I kniw how it would be G or the kids...myself waking up with a craving for something that, of course I havnt planned for or shopped for. I know that I would always give in and go back to town ... lol
I think when I was by myself I was perfectly ornanized ... of course its easy when u are by yourself. Then the universe added a boyfriend that doesn't like to plan at all ... and if he plans he never sticks to it ... and two very free spirited children. Organizing thise three myself and the farm with everything that goes with it ... is a full time job ... lol. I think I am still pretty organized and I notice often that if it doesnt go the way it was planned, I get stressed out. I actually believe that I need to work on "unorganizing and going with the flow" more than organizing. Enjoying the moment as it happens not as it's planned...that is more my problem.
I like the yellow nasturtiums. Pretty. I have seeds for dark red ones. I grew a few containers of them last year but they didnt turn out very well. I think this year I will seed some into the ground. I love orange peppers ... i am not a fan of greens ones but like all the sweeter ones. The sun is shining today ... spring is a step closer every day :)

Rain said...

Lol Mama Pea...there were no leftovers, so sorry...not even the beer ha ha. Actually beer is so filling for me, my boyfriend had to finish mine. I've never been the "wing it" type at all, I need structure to feel good. I mean, I can be spontaneous, but I'd rather have a plan. When it comes to meal planning, I think that's because I have a limited budget and I want to make the most of it. We love to eat and I love to be in the kitchen so I want to have the most delicious meals for the money I spend. We all have room for improvement! :)

Rain said...

HI Nik :) I know what you mean...about the cravings. That's why I drove to that store and paid stupidly for overpriced tomatoes, sigh...we wanted BLT's...but I learned my lesson! I think it's all about planning and preparation. But also cooperation...we both agreed that if we run out of something, we'll just make do with what we have and make a note of it for next shopping day to make sure we have enough of what we want. I do have a meal plan, but I also plan for spontaneous meals like pizza, burgers and grilled cheese...and also always have the ingredients for sweets and baked goods. Now I'm researching snack ideas. Hmmm....I'm planning the flowers in pots, I wonder if they need to be planted in the ground? I'll have to do a little more research on that I think. I have very little "ground" to use in this yard!

Goatldi said...

I am a goat. Consistency is of utmost importance. I don't do well with change unless it is in my pocket book.

My routine started when I was working full time in a vet clinic and 16 hour days were the norm. Up at 4:30AM and in bed at 11:00PM. This included milking and feeding in the morning before leaving for the clinic and tucking everyone in bed at night even though my hubby had fed them before I arrived home just in time for dinner. As a result I would drive an hour plus each way to the large town that had a Costco, JoAnn's, Trader Joes etc once a month on my day off. That got me in the habit of doing all the monthly supplies dog/cat food household goods etc once a month. And even though I was not able to return to work when Geoffrey became chronically ill I still maintain a routine pretty much as that one.

I love fish and chips! Moderation in everything is a good practice.

Kristina said...

Ha! We bend the rules on fish too. I have one daughter who makes homemade fries using organic/non-gmo canola too. You can't really eat lake perch in our parts, without frying it. Or bluegill. Yum.

Rain said...

Goatldi, I think I was born a goat too...even change in my pocket makes me nervous lol...I like my habits and routines though. The last week threw me off completely with my sleep and wake up times and I got very little done. I remember 16 hour days too and I think, like you, my routine started with my career. To fit everything in, I needed to be organized! It works well for me! We're lucky here, we get free shipping from the pet store for the pet food so I don't have to lug that around once a month. If it's cost-worthy, I buy as much online as I can.



Rain said...

Hi Kristina, mmmm perch. I got lucky once in 2013 and caught a big 2 pound perch, it was giant compared to the little ones we usually see. But back then, we didn't keep them. I never caught a big one like that ever again! I've tried oven-'fried- onion rings too, but those really need to be fried, so we consider those treats if we're ever out and we pass by a good greasy diner!

Sam I Am...... said...

I don't plan but for about 2 weeks but we have a local store whose ad comes out on Wednesday too and then Walmart is 20 minutes away (one way). It's just me so I pretty much live on one meal a week. Like last week I made chicken and noodles in the crock pot and since most meals serve 4-6 it makes it a week for me. I don't get tired of it if it's good. I'm trying to eat cheaper but healthy and organic when I can get it. This week was an old favorite though....sloppy joes (manwich with brown sugar added), potato chips which I never buy usually and pickled beets which I love. Not sure this will last a week though! I get hungry every time I see the dishes you make! Fish and chips sounds great! I'm putting that on my list!

Rain said...

Oh I love sloppy joes!!! I haven't made that in a long time. When I lived alone, I was the same, I'd make a bundle of food and live off it for a week too. I guess I like to be more creative now that we're two. I'm trying to make our dishes as healthy as I can, but we both really love our comfort food and especially cheese. We balance it pretty well though with yogurt and fruit shakes for breakfast in the morning. The joy of eating! :)

Snoskred said...

Hey Rain, first time visitor to your blog, another blog linked to you today and I followed the link. :)

I have now perfected the oven chip, after many months of work on it. We make fish and chips once a week. I have been taking a break from my blog but tomorrow is fish and chip day and I will make sure to photograph it and post it, probably next Monday. You will never want deep fried chips again. ;)

I've added you to my feed reader and am just reading back a few posts now. Looking forward to reading your blog! ;)

Rain said...

Hi Snoskred, thanks for the nice comments! Oh I can't wait to read about your fish and chips...I find it really hard to get a good chip! I've just followed you too :)

deborah harvey said...

counter top convection oven for french 'fries'.
tried coconut or peanut oil?

Rain said...

Hi Deborah :) My boyfriend has a peanut allergy but no I haven't tried coconut oil...never thought of it, we use it to pop our popcorn, thanks for the idea! :)

Mama Pea said...

We don't do a lot of "frying" but I use coconut oil for the times when I do. You can get the kind that doesn't have a coconut flavor and it's wonderful. Doesn't impart any flavor (or smell!) of it's own and is very heat stable. Olive oil should be used only for low heat sauteing or similar cooking. Hope this helps.

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea, thanks for the advice :) I didn't know I could get coconut oil without the flavour. Oh...we learned the hard way a while back about olive oil and high heat...poof, flames. Thankfully we acted quickly and the only damage was our egos lol and a very sooty overhead fan...