Thursday, February 24, 2011

This Past Week At My House...

This past week, I've tried to concentrate somewhat on organization. That has never been a strong point of mine. Now I hate clutter, which can only get "so" bad before I go nuts and start tossing everything I see. However, my pantries have doors on them. For some reason, if I can close the door and not see the mess, then eventually I forget about it.

This became the big problem with the pantries. It was brought to light one day when I was on the phone with my daughter Julie. Here was the conversation:

Julie: Hi Mom, what are you doing?

Mom: I'm putting away groceries.

Julie: Oh, I love to put away my groceries!

Mom: I hate doing it!!!

Julie: That's because you have no where to put anything!

Okay, big eye-opener there. This was coming from the daughter who lived with me for nine months last year, so she would know. So I decided to open my eyes and really look at my pantries. Here was the sight that greeted me (Warning: Not for the faint of heart):

Pantry #1...

Pantry #2

Now I believe a well-stocked pantry is a blessing to the family. But it doesn't count if you don't even know what you have, or if many things are outdated, or stale. That is wasteful, and not being a good steward of what God has provided. So I got busy, cleaned, organized, and inventoried what I have.

Pantry #1...

Pantry #2...

Now I know exactly what I have, and how much of each item. I vow to quit being so wasteful and to stay organized in this area. Next is my spice cabinet. Disaster!!

This week I cooked a 13lb turkey. I'd bought it November, and figured we were coming to the end of really cold days. Since Tuesday was going to be in the 30's, I decided to cook it that day, so the oven could help heat the house. Since there are only three of us at home, we've had turkey in one form or another, all week. But, when I made the turkey, I made my Dad's famous gravy with it.

You start with the pan drippings from the turkey. Make sure you have well seasoned the turkey (or chicken). I used onions, celery, butter, salt, and pepper.

Pour the drippings into a heavy skillet. On medium flame, add flour, constantly stirring...Do this till mixture is smooth and bubbling.

Now add milk, half-n-half, or cream, constantly stirring until rich and creamy. At this point correct seasoning to taste.

You should have a nice, smooth, creamy gravy. However, at this point I usually put the gravy in my vitamix (or blender). It has made all the difference in the smooth quality of my gravy. After a quick blending (usually a little more liquid is added)...

I have a silky smooth, creamy gravy. Yum!!

With the left over mashed potatoes this week, I decided to revisit the Loveless Cafe Cookbook for their Potato Pancake recipe. I have never made "successful" potato pancakes before.

Oh Loveless, please don't let me down again!!!

First saute 3 tablespoons of chopped onions, in 2 tablespoons of butter.

Mix together: 2 cups of mashed potatoes, 2 eggs, beaten, and a 1/2 cup of flour together with the onion/butter mixture.

Drop by tablespoonful, slightly mashed down, onto a greased griddle. Cook on both sides until golden.

These were delicious! I've put some in the freezer for future use. This time I can give kudos to The Loveless Cafe Cookbook! It's the first time I've ever made edible potato pancakes!!

My son was thrilled with this hot, hardy breakfast, served on a rainy, chilly morning.

Have a great weekend!!


  1. I picked the wrong time to start my Weight Watchers diet. Those pictures made me so hungry. Everything looked delicious. Loved the organized pantry. It's time I do that also. Last week I pulled out a bottle of salad dressing that expired in March 2006. Loved the blog!!

  2. I see some beans! Haha, the pantry looks great!