I’ve been beating myself up all week – about not being able to juggle the new job and everything else I want to accomplish ….. that was until this morning when one of the Silver Saltires came in for a cuppa and asked to see my daily “To-Do” List.
Hand on heart I now see the problem …. I have been so busy refurbishing the new offices (including learning how to lay carpet tiles), decorating the big ones bedroom so that he can be all settled for school starting next week, keeping on top of all the important casework (HMRC, Tax Credits and CSA problems wait for no-one) that I have been hard pressed to do anything other than feed the kids and flop into bed.
I actually reached the stage on Wednesday that I could have laid down and wept if one more thing had been added to my plate. In fact I am so shattered that I can slip into bed- get my eight and slide out again without even disturbing the bedclothes ….. seems I shut my eyes and its morning again these days.
Thankfully “these days” are almost at an end … normal service is about to begin again.
School goes back – phones go on at the office so we can move out of my house – decorating will be set aside for another month of saving up to do the next room ….. and sanity will settle over MFin3 once again …. I hope!!
So Mrs Wummins suggestion today …was to keep the sink clear. She says that during her most frantic years (three under fives and running a busy farm) her secret was to make the area around the sink look organised immediately after breakfast time.
All day – whatever chore she was doing, she had to start it, finish it and tidy it away again before starting the next …. and no matter what point she got to the sink was always clean and ready to be used to prep dinner. I did ask her what she did about feeding the kids on busy days and she said that “bread and jam in the front garden” was her standby …. apparently the same knife was used to cut the bread and slap on the jam … and kids don’t need plates ROFL.
Mind you this is the lady that shared her tip that a “medicinal hauf” should be taken from a china cup until its after six … cos drinking from a glass was proper drinking and you never did that before six LOL . I think that is her equivalent of chocolate biscuits eaten when standing up have no calories
So today – shattered as I am ….. I cleaned my sink.
Now the name of the game was to make sure it looked like this at the end of every chore ….. today I decided that I wanted to plan forward a little and can up some tomato sauce from some concentrate in my store cupboard.
I figure that I need to plan ahead a little and do these projects when I am around at the weekends – but my homemade tomato sauce was one of the most useful things I used to do. So easy to pop a top and pour our homemade sauce over pasta, through pancakes, into soup …… so I wasn’t hopeful of the sink staying pretty through a whole canning session.
I also had to do some food prep for the week to come – iron the school uniforms and finish some paperwork … and I felt like doing NOTHING!!!!
But I figured with my sink clean – I could do one chore and call it quits … no-one would ever know…. right?
And started stirring in the boiling water …………….. Until a thick glossy sauce consistency is reached .. then let it simmer for ten minutes with some added salt and pepper (and a little sugar to balance the acid in the tomato paste) …. then I carefully poured into nine hot jars ………………… ……………. and fixed on the lids and the screw bands …. and popped them into the canner base that was simmering away. Then I did it all over again to get another nine jars made up ……… …cos my big American canner takes a full 18 jars at a time when loaded up. Up to pressure and 20 minutes at 10lbs ……………………. Which gave me some cleaning up time ….. including what to do with the other half of my monster tin of tomato paste …… Now .. had I enough jars I suppose I could have turned it into tomato sauce … but instead I opted for the …… …pop it in a bag and bung it in the freezer approach ………. but I then had enough time to wash, dry and put away all the utensils I used to make the sauce.
Clean sink time again!!!!!
Then I ironed … YUCK!!! but a necessary evil as I will be in Glasgow the day before school goes back so the kids really need to be ready by tomorrow night.
Between this lovely display of canned frugality on one side and my clean sink on the other I was actually inspired enough to make the kids homemade Slow Cooker Donner Kebab and pitta bread with salad for dinner …everything from stores and tasted delicious too!!
So today I played with my canner, my slow cooker and my breadmaker ……proving to myself that I still have the skills (if not the energy) to rock the frugal stuff when I can.
The thing is … I feel another challenge coming … a “back to school” … “Back to basics” one where I really focus on being smarter about how we cook and consume in the house and save up hard for the dodgy times ahead.
In the meantime – just one more swipe over with my cloth to leave the sink sparkling and I am off to bed ….. pooped dot com … and it’s not even Monday yet!!!
TTFN my lovelies