Tuesday, June 5, 2007

ABCs of Homemaking

Charlotte "tagged" me on this and so here it is:

Aprons- yes or no? If yes, what does your favorite look like?
  • I always forget to use them (although I have a blue/white checked one and a New Orleans/Jazz one). In fact the last time we had people over for dinner I looked down to find my shirt covered with flour, etc. I didn't have time to change so I put the apron on to cover the mess (I believe most people use aprons to catch the mess).

Bake-What's your favorite thing to bake?

I love baking cookies and breads (hmmm, I like eating those things too!)
Clothesline- yes or no?
  • No, I never really understood the "dried in the breeze" thing because any time I've dried something on a clothesline it was just really crispy instead of "Spring fresh."
Donuts- have you ever made them?
  • Yes, I have a great spud-nuts recipe and it is a family tradition to make them at Halloween.
Every day-Name one homemaking thing you do every day.

  • Cook the meals.
Freezer-Do you have a separate deep freeze?

  • No, but I would like to.
Garbage disposal- yes or no?

  • Yes, although Phil doesn't like it when I put too much stuff down it. One time I actually clogged it and he had to take it apart and be the hero!
Handbook- what is your favorite homemaking resource?

  • My mom and the internet.
Ironing- do you love it or hate it?

  • Hate it, I have come to realize that one of the most hateful things about ironing is the sound the board makes when you put it up and down. Now I just leave it up and I hate ironing much less than I used to.
Junk drawer- yes or no? Where is it?
  • Junk drawer? Try junk room! Right now our laundry room is the junk room and the last room in the house to have order put to it. Some day...
Kitchen-What is your kitchen color and decorating scheme?

  • We just painted our kitchen walls. They are now "cloud burst" a lovely blue/green color. Eventually the cabinets and trim will be painted an off-white color. The new floor is a wood laminate - kind of a medium color.
Love- What is your favorite part of homemaking?

  • I do love the creativity involved in homemaking. When I create a meal or crochet or sew or even create order out of chaos there is a great sense of creativity. Of course the best thing right now is the little person we've just created (co-created). It is a wonderful thing to sit and watch her little facial expressions and body movements and talk to her about her past and her future.
Mop- yes or no?

  • Yes, but far far less often than I should.
Nylons- wash by hand or in the washing machine?

  • Machine (unless of course they get a run faster than they get dirty, then they just get chucked).
Pizza-What do you put on your pizza?

  • My favorite is Thai pizza but that is off limits until Eden can handle the spicy-ness of it.
Quiet- what do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?

  • Blog of course. Sometimes I take a nap.
Recipe card box- yes or no? What does it look like?

  • Nope
Style-What style is your house?

  • Ranch - brick with a front porch and a great deck in the back.

Tablecloths and napkins- yes or no?

  • Tablecloths when guests come, Phil and I use place mats. Paper napkins with every meal.
Under the kitchen sink- is it organized or toxic wasteland?

  • Mostly organized.
Vacuum-how many times per week?
  • Probably once a week - we share that duty and it doesn't get done as often as either one of us would like. We have the blessing/curse of having carpet that doesn't show anything and so it doesn't get vacuumed as frequently as it should.
Wash- how many loads of laundry do you do per week?

  • Three or four loads every other day. Darks, Whites, Lights, Towels/Baby blankets.
X's- do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?

  • Not regularly but I do sometimes. Phil is the list person in the family.
Yard- yes or no? Who does what?

  • Beautiful yard with huge trees, flowering shrubs, bulbs, grass, swing set, large deck, squirrels, and the neighbor's cats. Phil is the yard guy (although last fall, I did some of it while he was sick and before I was too pregnant).
Zzzz's- what is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
  • Scripture reading and prayer with Phil. At first I thought, "that isn't homemaking!" But then I realized it is one of the most important ways we make our house a home. I LOVE having that time together. It is a great habit!
Now I am supposed to tag three other people. I tag Layne (although I doubt she'll do it), Amanda (although Jodi may have also tagged her), and Michelle.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Mother Knows Best

When I was in high school I was very social and very involved in choir and theatre. I loved it. I wasn't so serious about the more academic subjects and I certainly wasn't interested in homemaking skills.

I remember one day having a discussion with my mother about my need to assess my priorities. She said, in exasperation, "your husband is not going to care how well you sing or how many shows you were in! He will care how well you can cook!" Well, according to Phil, she was absolutely correct. The other day as I was making dinner (I quite enjoy cooking these days) this conversation of long ago came flooding back to my memory. I mentioned it to Phil and he confirmed that my mother (as always) was right.

Phil often mentions what great "perks" the good meals, cookies, breads, etc. are. He truly appreciates the fact that I enjoy homemaking. He thinks it is cool that I made my own wedding gown (although it ended up being a complete fiasco) and that I am using the remaining fabric from it to make our daughter's blessing dress. He likes that I crochet and even asked me to teach him (although he didn't find much satisfaction in doing it himself). Just as I'm in awe of his ability to create art out of thin air, he is in awe of my ability to "throw a meal together" (often without a recipe). He really DOESN'T care that I was in several musicals/shows in high school (except he likes to tease me about kissing Howard Bickle on stage). How did mother know?

Of course there are other things that he appreciates about me and these aren't just perks. He loves that I have a testimony of the gospel and a respect for the power of the priesthood. He loves that I enjoy children and the way I interact with them. He truly appreciates that I am interested in social and civil issues and that I like to be informed and form opinions about things that are going on in our nation and communities. He is proud of my degrees.

Although it took me a while, I'm so glad I listened to my wise mother and finally developed the skills that bring me such satisfaction and cause Phil to swell with pride about his talented wife. That mom, she's pretty smart! Here is a picture of her with my nephew, Caleb, after being drenched on the log ride at Lagoon. (isn't she cute?) :)

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos

Here is a recipe I tried for the first time this week and it was pretty quick and very yummy (and healthy too!). It is from the Cooking Light, June 2004 magazine.

Lime-Cilantro Pork Tacos
1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
1/4 t salt
1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
2 t olive oil
1 1/2 C thinly sliced onion
1 small jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and chipped (I actually used bell peppers)
1/2 C fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
1/2 C chopped tomato
3 T chopped cilantro
2 1/2 T fresh lime juice
8 flour tortillas

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; sprinkle pork with salt and black pepper; add oil and pork; saute 4 minutes or until browned; remove pork from pan; place in bowl.

Add onion and pepper to pan, saute 5 minutes or until tender; add broth, reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; stir in tomato; simmer 2 minutes.

Return pork and accumulated juices to pan; stir in cilantro and lime juice; cook 1 minute or until pork is done.

Serve with warmed tortillas and fat-free sour cream.

Calories: 208 each taco
Fat: 6.5 grams
Protein: 15 grams
Carbs: 21.5 grams
Fiber: 1.8 grams
Cholesterol: 62.5 mg
Iron: 1.9 mg
Sodium: 284.5 mg
Calcium: 50.5 mg

It came together in about 20 minutes and was really good! Try them, you'll like them!