Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pumpkins, Cranberries and a Swim

The day before!  Both kids home from school, we started the day with cooking lessons in the kitchen. Our boy was in charge of mixing the wet ingredients, our girl the dry.  Units of measure, basic chemistry, fractions -- all in the middle of whipping up some fabulous desserts for the Thanksgiving table.  Kitchens provide not only lessons in math and science, but essential life skills of the future frugal -- how to cook.

Lunch took us to the local Pizza Hut where our son redeemed a coupon earned from reading 20 books a month at school.  A free personal pan pizza.  Not the greatest food option for this mom, but it was a treat and he was excited to get something free.  With the amount we read we'll need to reconsider how we use them in the future.  The three of us dined there and with a decent tip the total came to $15.  Not a free lunch, but a great way for the company to get families in the doors every month. Watch for future meals where take home the free pizza and surround it with healthier options from our pantry -- pasta with veggies, chicken, etc.

Snow earlier in the week prompted me to reschedule the kids swim lessons for this afternoon, perfect with them having the day off.  Added bonus -- mom was able to use the adult lap lane for free.  My work out completed while they enhanced their "otter" skills.  Yet another win win in my frugal book. It is not just money I strive to spend wisely, but time as well.


Pie pumpkins roasting on the bottom rack, which turned into pumpkin bread. One loaf for our Thanksgiving table, another to take to friends when we visit later in the day.  Cranberry Walnut Pie bakes on the top rack.  My modified recipe is as follows:

  • mix 2 cups fresh/frozen cranberries with 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a 9 inch pie dish.
  • combine 2/3 cup butter, softened with 1 cup almond meal (instead of flour), 2 eggs, and 1/2 cup sugar.  Blend and pour mixture over cranberry mixture.
  • Baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
As you can see, I started my roasting pumpkins and then added the pie for the last 40 minutes.  A very efficient use of the oven.

Enjoy the day in whatever manner your select to pause, give thanks and savor the wonder of life.  We'll enjoy a quite day together, and likely light a candle in memory of my mother -- the last meal I served her, in fact the last time she was in my home, was Thanksgiving 2013.  Life is short -- spend your time and money wisely, and aligned with your priorities.

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