Hello, everyone! This is a new blog, and it’s been years since I’ve written anything…Hopefully this will go better than did my previous efforts. If you’re interested, bored, curious, or desperate to get five minutes away from your kids while you hide in the bathroom with your phone and the chocolate, read on.
- Firstly, an introduction: I’m Rebekah, or Mrs. Underhill to blog readers, and I’m a wife of one and mother of two. I’m a stay-at-home Mom, and my girls are “Rosie” age two, and “Elanor”, six weeks as of this writing. We are practicing Catholics, and a couple of hairy feet away from being straight-up hobbits.
- My toddler’s favorite things are, in no particular order, cats; the farm where we buy our milk; and her doll, affectionately named “Why, Cheese?” Just in case you thought we were normal, or something.
- Blessings: From time to time on this blog, I would like to share blessings, or, for those who are not religious, simple pleasures or just plain good things. Today, I’d like to report the blessing of a simple garden that’s coming along well, with enough of both rain and sun so far.
- We have chickens–specifically laying hens. We currently have six. They are by turns funny, useful, and exasperating. Four are named variants of Frances.
- Another focus I’d like this blog to have is on good food and nutrition. When I became pregnant with Rosie, I realized just how terrible my diet was–I was addicted to sugar, days would go by without my eating any vegetables (except maybe baby carrots), and I wasn’t drinking anything close to enough water. Thanks to my wonderful midwife, my husband and I were able to make some changes. A friend told me about the Weston A. Price foundation, and the rest was history. After Rosie was born, I struggled with low milk supply and dove into as much research as my sleep-deprived brain could handle. Once we settled into a routine, with Rosie both breast- and bottle-fed, I began to take baby steps to change our diet, incorporate more exercise, etc. No, I didn’t magically start to make enough milk for Rosie, or start bench pressing cars, or even have any overnight transformations. We have, however, seen good results. It took time, experience, and more than a few missteps; holy cow, real food can be expensive. However, we have been able to keep taking those baby steps, and learned how to stretch the budget in unexpected ways. My hope is to pass on what I’ve learned, and also to learn from others who are kind enough to share their wisdom.
- As a first example, here’s how we stretch a chicken:
Firstly, I cook it breast-side-down in the crock pot. (Many thanks to Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker for this idea. I’ve copied her process somewhat.) I use a meat thermometer with a built-in alarm to tell me when the meat is done, so it doesn’t overcook.
Once the chicken has cooled, I immediately take off the wings and leg quarters. I add salt, pepper, and seasonings, and broil them for a couple of minutes to get the skin crispy. That’s our meat for dinner that night.
Next, I pick off and shred as much meat from the carcass as possible. This gets used for sandwiches, chicken soup, chicken pot pie, or what we call “Pamperedcheffbraid” (not trademarked.) The carcass goes back in the crock pot–along with all the bones and veggie scraps I’ve been saving in the freezer–and gets covered with water. Then it cooks on low for about 24 hours, or until I remember it’s still cooking. The broth then gets used for soup or rice and beans, and the tiny bits of meat from the carcass go to the chickens (those cannibals!) or the cat.
- I’m thinking of doing a real food budget challenge–I’ve seen plenty of $20 a week (or similar) challenges on YouTube, but many of those plans understandably rely on unhealthy fats (which are very cheap), and don’t seem super balanced to me. There also seems to be a missed opportunity to capitalize on really inexpensive, nutrient-dense foods. For example: liver is dirt cheap. Ground beef is a little more expensive, but still pretty budget-friendly. If they are carefully prepared, and mixed in the right quantities,
- You will not taste the liver
- You will get a ton of extra nutrition
- BOOM. DINNER.
That’s all for today, folks… hopefully I’ll be back soon! Linking up with Kelly–just a little late.