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When Feeling Like a Frazzled Failure, Remember Grandma!

June 5, 2013

On this frazzled food journey, some days I feel like a super hero! Other days, I feel like a frazzled failure.

Last Monday was one of those frazzled failure kind of days. I even made blueberry pancakes and chocolate chip pancakes using my sour dough starter with butter and real maple syrup to top them off. All four kiddos were home. I had beans soaking for 12 hours for tacos that night, oats soaking for 24 hours to try yet another soaked granola/ granola bar recipe in search for the elusive “right one,” almonds soaking for 24 hours since I learned that maybe eight hours wasn’t enough. It was all a bit overwhelming. I wasn’t getting the results I wanted from my sourdough bread recipes. My kitchen was one big science experiment, trying out new ways of soaking and preparing foods. And I wasn’t feeling very successful in the process.

Experiments from my science lab (aka, the kitchen).

Experiments from my science lab (aka, the kitchen).

Unfortunately, my oldest daughters are only home a short time, and they think Mom’s gone off the deep end with the healthy food. They are grateful, however, that I still buy ice cream, chips from time to time, and cook meat.

Tuesday afternoon, my granola was still drying at 150 degrees and I needed to kick it out of the oven to make room to roast the chicken for supper. After a day of experimenting and discovering what DIDN’T work, I needed a little success.

So, here’s my reminder to myself when I’m feeling overwhelmed at food experiments:

Grandma knew what she was doing! Meat, potatoes and veggies are my friends!

On this frazzled food journey, meat can be an easy meal! Roast or Barbecue some organic or grass fed, pastured meat, add sides of potatoes and veggies and we’re good to go!

My Grandma didn’t eat chicken; but she fixed it for her family back in the day. Tuesday morning, I rinsed off an organic chicken from Azure Standard (I’m still looking for a local farmer with non-gmo supplemental feed), cut up carrots, potatoes and onions from our local market, put some onions, garlic cloves and spices in the cavity and rubbed the chicken with coconut oil (butter is good, too) and spices on the outside and stuck it in the refrigerator. Daughter number two had an afternoon appointment, so I stuck it in the oven before we left. I made gravy when we got home (which made my oldest, youngest and spouse very happy). I had lettuce cut up from tacos the day before and homemade ranch dressing in the refrigerator. When we got home, I didn’t have much to do to finish supper. It was a lovely meal to rebound from feeling like a frazzled failure in the science lab!

While we ate our chicken, the bones were boiling to make broth. It was a little warm for chicken noodle soup, so I made chicken fettuccini Wednesday with the leftover chicken and some of the broth. I froze the leftover broth for another meal.

When I was growing up, my dad and uncle split a cow from my grandparents and we always had a side of beef. When Greg and I served a church in Indiana, the farmers generously shared pork, sausage, and steaks! We often joked that when the budget got tight, we’d pull out a steak from the freezer for supper the next day!

For my Birthday last month, my mom and dad went in together for a side of organic beef for me. Happy Birthday to me! The farm is just over an hour from my home and I’ll have a variety of cuts of meat to use throughout the year. My little carnivores should be quite happy when it arrives later this month! And so will I! We don’t need meat every night, but it can make a relatively easy meal.

A roast is easy to cook in the oven or crock pot. The grill comes in handy when it’s too hot to cook inside. Add a side of rice, potatoes, bread or pasta, and salad or fresh veggies from garden or market, and supper is ready. It makes this frazzled food journey feel a little easier!

I know! I know! It costs more for grass fed or organic meat! Unless you’re like me and don’t eat out often, consider how much you spend on a dinner out. It helps put things in perspective. I also figure it’s cheaper to eat healthy food now than to pay medical bills in the future for eating from an unhealthy food supply. In addition, I have kiddos with behavior issues. Our menu helps eliminate the need for medications which would also cost money! How many kids needed meds when they were working on the farm, climbing trees, swinging on tire and rope swings (built in sensory diet!) and eating real food?

It takes some planning and investigation to find good organic meat. I’m still looking for local non-GMO fed chickens, eggs, pork and dairy. And I’m still tweaking the budget to fit it in.

Well, the granola turned out better than I expected. The easiest way turned out the best but the granola bars will take another experiment before they’re a “go”. Friday, I set aside the sourdough starter and used white flour (it’s still organic) for our pizza dough. My eighteen year old thanked me. (She’s named after my Grandma.)

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From → About Me, Foods, Recipes

3 Comments
  1. Next up: Other menu ideas for this frazzled journey!

  2. For the Frazzled Mom’s Birthday I took one of her Organic Chickens and cooked it on the grill.
    My Dad never taught me to BBQ so I did what modern men do.
    1. Went to amazingribs.com and chose the Simon and Garfunkle rub for the chicken. (yep – parsley, sage rosemary and thyme plus some other stuff).
    2. Went to YouTube to learn how to sharpen a kitchen knife and cut up a whole chicken.
    amazingribs.com gives great advice for grilling the chicken.
    3. Sadly I had to go out and buy a digital food thermometer ; ) to ensure the chicken was at the right temperature.
    I was becoming a Frazzled Dad when the chicken was taking more time than I planned, so the Frazzled Mom broke out the Hot Fudge Sundae Cake and we had dessert while we waited for the chicken. It was a good day.

  3. The Hot Fudge Sundae Cake was made by daughter number 2 who is named after my Grandma! It was delicious! So was the chicken! Lovely evening! Now I’m singing Simon and Garfunkle!

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