Sep 24, 2013

Good Intentions - Yeah Right.

I really did have the best of intentions.  Long about Thursday or so I keep thinking that I need to get my menu plan for the week done.  I start looking over Facebook, Pinterest and various blogs for inspiration, which I get, and by the time I figure out a few things to cook it is 2 in the morning.  Then, something inevitably comes up over the week end that seems to prevent me from putting that illusive menu plan on paper.

This past week end for example.
We kept the youngest grand babies so that our son and daughter-in-law could have a little anniversary trip over the week end.  Obviously with a two year old and a two month old in the house, my attention was better spent on other things as opposed to menu plans.

Along with all of this, I did get started cleaning out kitchen cabinets.  My pantry just absolutely looked bare once I got it cleaned out and organized up.  I had to go get a few groceries, just couldn't stand it any longer.  I then started on the other cabinets, trying to force myself to purge as much as I possibly can...regardless of sentimental attachments.  Actually, once I cleaned out some clutter (plastic cups, glass jars) I am amazed at how much room I am finding.
See that little open cabinet in the the left of the stove?  That is my biggest peeve with the kitchen.  Storage space I cannot use well.  That little cabinet door has a opening of 9 inches.  NINE inches.  The storage space is 24 inches door to wall and 36 inches from stove back to other wall.  Yes you get the picture.  Huge space, all of this plastic ware was stuffed up in there, along with about a half dozen glass jars.  Not to mention I found a single serve blender, complete with travel lid so I can take that healthy smoothie with me, still in the plastic wrap.  I hate the new trend of green smoothies.  Rave about it all you want, but throwing some spinach and avocado together with ice cubes, flax seed oil and fruit, does not make a tasty drink.  Un uh, no way.  There is also a brand new in the box mix and go battery powdered gizmo that makes drinks using protein powder.  Do we use protein powder?  No, hot hardly.  But this is the type of crap I find lurking around the house.  The harder part is the bake ware and glasses.  Some of them I got for a wedding gift, just can't seem to make myself let go of them.  I know, if it has a chip in it then it is dangerous.  I am working on it.  At any rate, the cabinets all have to be cleaned out so I know what I have, before the remodel starts.

Speaking of the great hasn't even started yet.  I have gone through several layout designs, and have finally settled on one that I believe will give me all I want from the kitchen.  Plenty of storage, should say useable storage, flows easier, and more room.  Just a few final decisions remain.  One being whether or not I will get a stove or built in range and oven.  I would like to upgrade to five burners, and if we go with the built in's that will change counter space and lay out a bit.  Also have a wall that I am wanting to open up a little bit by putting a pass thru counter top that could function as additional sitting for a eating, or just as a space to prep dishes.  Would also be where we put the food out when there is a big family meal.  We kind of eat buffet style for most meals.  Every one fills their own plate and then sits at the table to eat.  I am really excited about finally get to make this kitchen not only look better but function better for my type of cooking.  I am no where near what would be considered gourmet or chef style, I cook home style meat and potatoes type of dishes.  But...I would like to be able to chop my onions and such close to the stove, not have to set something on a bar at the other end of the kitchen to cool.  No, the kitchen is not that large, only about 12 x 10.  Am hoping to increase that about six inches on the length part by moving things around. My hubby was going to do a quick fix job to the RV and then clean out the garage so we would have a place to work on things or put things while we worked.  Then we could start removing the existing kitchen.

HOWEVER...some lazy little ass wipe stole his pick up last week.  Now, he is having to work on a little truck that wasn't running to see if he can get it going to drive back and forth to work in.  Effectively putting the kitchen remodel pushed back about two weeks.  Or more.

My daughter and I are taking cake decorating classes together.  I am not really interesting in the first part of the courses, but you have to take them in order to do the course on gum paste and fondant, which I would really love to learn.  Daughter is however extremely excited by all of it.  For an early birthday present I bought her the Wilton deluxe kit, got to use a 40% off coupon which made it even better.  It was expensive, but the best value in the long run because it has all the equipment needed for all four courses and then some, plus a big tote to carry it all. 

This is my class work from last night.  Flowers on cupcakes.  Their was a slight mishap with the carrier, so a couple of them are squished.  Now, I don't have any grand designs or plans for becoming a paid cake decorator on the side, that's for sure.  I was talking to a lady that now has her own cake business that she runs from her house.  She has a booth at the local farmer's market where she sells cupcakes, cake pops and the cakes in the push pop things.  She has cookies and brownies as well.  He stuff was nice, but not a WOW kind of thing.  I am sure that what she does on special orders would be.  She was talking to my daughter and  I about how taking the classes got her started.  My daughter mentioned that she likes decorating and has the patience for it, I mentioned that it drives me crazy to take so long decorating one cake.  The cake lady then told us that it takes about three days to do a small wedding cake.  I am not going to spend three days to decorate some cake, not even for my own daughter's wedding.  Well, unless she asks me to when the time comes.  I just want to take cute cupcakes to the church carnival, for my turn at bible study, a nice birthday cake for a family member's birthday or holiday.  That is all.  I just don't want to spend $20 dollars for a dozen cupcakes that only have a fancy swirl on top.  Or, $3.50 a piece for some rich decadent little cupcake that I can make myself.    As you can see by the photo, I have a lot of practice to do.  But the main thing, the one thing I hadn't really considered, was how good it feels to just spend a little time with my daughter.  Just the two of us doing something together.  You should see the way her face, her whole face, lights up when she clicks with something the instructor has shown her.

Next week is a cake.

As for the budget plan, it has worked fairly well so far.  The last few weeks was pretty tough, only because my youngest son, Joe College, has been staying with us over his school's summer break.  He and his cat.  They went home, back to college, last night.  Now, as soon as I can finish up some major cleaning projects, my house is back to being my own.  Don't get me wrong, I love having my son here, would even be fine if he had to live here again.  It is just that with the grand baby, I had gotten in to our comfortable little routine.  Then came the baby (his sister and a girl), his mom went on maternity leave about a week before the birth.  We went on this huge vacation, expensive vacation, worth every penny too. So, things are now finally feeling like things are ready to settle down.  My daughter's cat is going through mourning and depression...running around here trying to find to find him.  At least now I can clean up and the creator of massive hair balls, wads of hair, every where.  Not to mention the worst litter box there ever was.  But hey, at least it was in a litter box.

I have got to get something to eat in me, I am literally dozing off as I type.  Thanks for stopping by and check in with me a few weeks.