Small Success Thursday: Snow Day Edition

Small-Success-Thursday-400pxYes, it’s another Snow Day here in southern NJ, where the winter weather has been overachieving in a big way. It’s been snowing since before midnight and is expected to continue until after midnight tonight. I don’t know how much we have because there’s plenty of old snow underneath the new snow, so who can measure?

I’ve got a nice big list of things to do around the homefront today, so I don’t mind being housebound. I’ve already checked off “eat bacon” from my list, so it’s time to join up with the Small Success crew at CatholicMom.com and look back on how the week has gone.

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Proving that I can, indeed, roll with the punches in an actual emergency, the second grade and I survived Monday, when I became the Substitute for the Substitute on 5 minutes’ notice. I was in for the librarian, but was called to abandon ship there and head to second grade when the substitute teacher already in that class was suddenly hit by a stomach virus. It turned out to be a pretty good day.

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I did the traditional pre-snowstorm run to the supermarket for French Toast ingredients. Wanting to avoid the crowds, I went on Tuesday night (since I spent Tuesday in the school library as the substitute librarian.) I made it a menu-planning Snow Day Win by picking up a whole chicken and some fresh parsley. The chicken was roasted yesterday for our dinner, and I saved the carcass to use for chicken broth today–that’s where the parsley comes in. It’ll be on the stove soon, and it can simmer all day long.

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I turned a Juggling Fail into a Small Success. ShopRite had containers of 30 eggs on sale. We go through a lot of eggs here (Little Brother eats 2 or 3 eggs a day) so I was all about buying the bulk package. It’s a new package, though–flimsy plastic, like this:

30-Holes-Transparent-Pet-Disposable-Plastic-Egg-Tray-GH-EG-7-

and when I went to get it out of the car the container flipped out of my hands and landed upside-down in the driveway.

Splat.

I was amazed that almost all of the mess was contained in the package, so I ran it inside, set it on the kitchen counter, and went about seeing if anything could be salvaged. Little Brother removed 17 unbroken eggs and put them into another carton. I got an ice-cube tray for the rest. Yes, you can freeze eggs in an ice-cube tray. Now, I only did this because I knew when those eggs got cracked. But only 3 eggs were so far gone that I couldn’t save them.

Just pulled the raisin bread out of the oven. It’s a new recipe, and either the yeast was really overachieving today or there’s a mistake someplace in that recipe, because there was a serious overflow. Some of the raisins were trying to escape. I hope I can get it out of the pan, but if I can’t, I’m just going to cut it right out because it smells amazing, despite its odd appearance.

raisin batter bread overflow

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Sometimes You’ve Just Gotta Break the Rules

I have a thing about working on Sundays.  If I don’t have to, I don’t.

Work that gets done on Sunday is work that can’t possibly wait until Monday (or be done ahead on Saturday).  I don’t do laundry on Sunday unless there is a True Laundry Emergency.  The same goes for vacuuming and other housecleaning.  After all, when you’re a homemaker, you do all that stuff every day of the week.  It’s good to remember to take a day of rest, to separate the day in some ways from all the other days.  The same goes for my freelance-writing work.

I do cook on Sunday, but I enjoy that.

Today, though, I emptied out 3 kitchen cabinets, one appliance cart, and one dining-room cabinet.  I took everything out and decided what would go back in–and where it would go.

I present the Leaning Tower of Bakeware.  I can cook 5 1/2 dozen regular-size muffins or cupcakes.  (Not that my oven could hold that many at once, but I’ve got the pans to make it happen).

And the pots and pans and bowls and colanders and…yikes.  It was like the clown car of kitchen cabinets.  More stuff just kept coming out.

I have a huge bucket (one of those party buckets with the rope handles) OVERFLOWING with stuff that didn’t make it back into the cabinets:  stuff that’s used maybe once or twice a year, so I’ll keep it elsewhere; and stuff that I just don’t use, so I’ll donate.

Now, all my bakeware is in ONE place.

The rewards of treating Sunday as a day of rest are great.  This afternoon, I worked.  I spent about 2 hours not resting so that I can make my future time spent in the kitchen much more pleasant.  (There’s even a tablecloth on the table!)  On a weekday, I don’t get 2 hours in the afternoon to do this kind of stuff–I’m too busy being a taxi driver, referee, and nagger-about-homework.

It’s taken 12 years to get my kitchen to look this good.

Now I can rest, and enjoy the fruits of my labors.

A Kitchen Meme!

How could I resist? I love memes, and I love kitchens. So Milehimama tagged just the right person for this one: 8 Random Things About My Kitchen. However, I don’t think I’ll be able to top the picture she used to illustrate her post.

I’ll have to make do with this one:
1. My collection of over 100 cookbooks (there are more in the dining room that didn’t fit on this shelf). You can never have too many cookbooks, despite what TheDad thinks.

2. We don’t eat in our kitchen. Once Little Brother outgrew the high chair (liberating the corner for my fabulous cookbook shelf) we couldn’t all fit at the small kitchen table. So now we eat all our meals in the dining room and have nearly completed our mission to ruin the carpet in there.

3. My kitchen table belonged to my Granma Josie. My parents had given it to her, and I know she spent many hours there each day. Her kitchen was her headquarters. It’s where she cooked, baked, did crossword puzzles, prayed and visited with her grandchildren. After she passed away, my dad asked me if I wanted the table. I like to bake here too.

4. That cool recipe box/cookbook holder was made by one of my mom’s students when she taught at a technical high school.

5. I like to reorganize my kitchen cabinets and counters. I promised TheDad that I wouldn’t relocate any of the stuff he needs to know how to find: skillets, his coffee, dishes and silverware. As for the rest of it, he never notices.

6. My toaster oven is a nice big one, to replace the small one that Big Brother burned to a crisp in a quest to scorch his toast (helpful hint: do not double-toast your toast when it’s on the darkest setting. It WILL catch on fire.) This toaster oven has been on fire too, but since it’s bigger, there was no damage to the oven. Bread flambe is pretty dramatic, though. And the birds around here are too proud to eat it, so it will languish in the garden for weeks.

7. Two things you could never convince me to live without in a kitchen: a gas stove, and an extra-deep sink.

8. And because I am completely incapable of cooking without making a mess all over the kitchen AND myself, it’s important to keep some of these around too:
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Who wants to play? Consider yourself TAGGED!