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Station Eleven

by: Emily St. John Mandel

Friday, June 20, 2014

A BANG and a fizzle

So my intention when I woke up this morning was to make my quiches, strain off my chicken stock, make banana bread and mini muffins, and probably make more Gluten free flour mix.

I did get bacon cooked and ready for the quiches, and the chicken stock from the bones of my Cost-co chickens was done over night in the slow cooker and one in my big chili pot that needed to be simmered this morning for 15-20 minutes.

But that BANG of energy fizzled quick today.  Fickle third trimester energy bursts.  Oh well. I spent quality time with the little man while I rested (while my brain was telling me I should be working).

I got a small burst of energy around 10:30 and decided since our replacement part for the crib arrived, that I would finish making it and get some things organized in the kids' room.  Only to find out one bolt is missing...sigh moving. So I piled little man into the car and went to the hardware store (made more enticing because it is located next to a Dairy Queen and that made me daydream of Dilly bars).

Much to the searching of the two employees they couldn't find the right length bolt for me to use. DOUBLE SIGH.

So naturally I did stop at the DQ and thought it would be a good time to stock the freezer with those amazing bars because I think this summer is going to be a HOT one here in the Pac-NW. We've already reached what is our normal mid-summer High this last week so best be prepared.

After blogging last night I gave myself a mantra, "What have I done today to prepare for little miss?"  I tell myself if I do a little each day then this next 6 weeks will fly by and I'll be more ready that if I attempt to wait for a big burst of energy one day.

One thing I did today to prepare was clean out my fridge and see what I could make for dinner that was low in dairy, gluten free (of course), and easy because my energy was just sapped. I took some rotisserie dark meat chicken I needed to use up, a bag of frozen peas & carrots, diced up some onions left over from my GF onion rings I made this week, 3 cloves of garlic minced, a can of green beans, a small can of creamed corn, and 3 red potatoes from my produce co-op dice small and some chicken stock from the last time I made it.  I created a Chicken pot pie filling/soup mixture using water, chicken stock, cornstarch, and 1/4 cup milk and salt and pepper.

I served it in a bowl like soup with some left over GF hamburger buns I made the same night I made the onion rings. It was pretty darn delicious. The bonus was that there was enough left over that I dumped it into a Gallon size freezer bag, labeled what it was, and stashed it in my freezer for more of the same meal, or maybe for a almost as quick chicken pot pie.

After supper I was sidelined by this on again off again ear ache, toothache, and general pain and discomfort of having a wiggling baby inside my belly.  I feared I wouldn't get anything cleaned up or put away in the kitchen.

After doing some venting to a friend on Facebook, I felt well enough to get up and try to get the things I was working on in the fridge, freezer, and dishes done so I can cook tomorrow. My chicken stock is back in the rinsed out stock pot after being strained twice. Tomorrow I will skim the fat off and put it in some Ziploc gallon sized bags to go in the freezer. Dishes are done and as soon as I'm done writing, I'm going to quick chop up the broccoli so I can blanch it tomorrow for my quiches maybe while I make some banana bread or muffins in the morning.

I hope this helps inspire any of you who are trying to get a bunch of things prepared for your little one's arrival that every small bit helps.  Until tomorrow where I will hope for more BANG and less fizzle!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

16 months later...

Well it certainly has been a long time since I posted last.

I will do a separate blog later next week explaining where I am at with the Gluten problems.

SPOILERS - I am still gluten free and have been as best as I can since May 6th, 2013.

What am I doing these days...

Well in the last month my hubby, son, and I have all downsized, weeded, thrown away, given away many things we were "hoarding" (including our massive book collection) and moved into a small 2 bedroom condo 2 miles from our old place. We no longer have roommates, my son turned 3, my hubby turned 30, and I turned 33.  Hubby left his job of 6 1/2 years to a new contractor position with a neat family company. Oh and did I mention I'm pregnant with baby number two (due August 2nd) and we moved our selves except the furniture?

So what else are you doing Lis?  Heh, well making a major dent in my crafting to do pile. I completed 7 burp clothes for the baby, a minky/flannel blanket, a bobby pillow cover, cradle bed fitted sheet for the antique cradle we use the first few months (while baby is small enough), and now my nesting instincts have switched from unpacking, organizing the new place, and still weeding through things (man that is the best thing about being pregnant when moving I tell you), to preparing for the little one. Saturday will mark 6 weeks until my due date.

I have been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes again this time around (5 weeks earlier in fact) and the standard procedure is that they won't let me get to my due date because of not wanting the baby to get too big.  So I literally have 6 weeks or less to finish everything my brain is asking me to get done before SHE arrives.  That's right - we're having a girl!

This week's project has been figuring out ways to stock my small chest freezer with food for us to grab, thaw, reheat for when I don't want to THINK about what to make for dinner.  This time around Hubby won't have any paternity leave, and while my mother is coming for 2 weeks, and possibly we may have help for the whole month of August with guests coming to help, I don't want to rely on her vacation time to do all the cooking.

So what am I doing today to help me prepare.  I made a trip to Cost-co to purchase a few things I know we will want to have stocked before baby gets here (dishwasher detergent, AA batteries for the toys big brother has and electronics that require them to function, fruit for the 3 year old fruit monster who lives with us.)  While I was thinking of things I needed to get (making a list for the 3rd trimester baby brain that is ugly) I thought - hey I love those rotisserie chickens. Why not get 2-3 each time I go, clean off the meat, chop it, and freeze it so we can use the meat in a jiffy later on.

I also notice the local grocery store had a wonderful sale on Large AA eggs this week and decided it would be a great and easy thing to prepare a few quiches to pull out and reheat while the eggs were cheap!

So I came home with 3 chickens, some bell peppers, carrots, celery, garlic, strawberries and raspberries, a bit block of medium cheddar cheese, dishwasher soap, freezer quart and gallon bags, batteries, freeze dried fruit snacks, and a large case of my favorite diet soda.

Part of this nesting for me was that I felt - what if baby girl got impatient and came earlier than 6 weeks - sure I have her clothes washed, cradle ready, crib partially together (a story for another blog), and bottles in the cupboard - but I didn't have diapers or formula (in case Breastfeeding works as well as it did with big brother).  So I came home with a small package of Newborn diapers, and a medium package for size 1 in case she's bigger than we anticipate, and a container of formula.

This trip alone makes me feel much more in control and less panicky about being so close to the end. The chickens yielded 4 lbs 9 oz of chicken meat which i chopped and divided and placed in the freezer. The bones, carrots, celery, garlic, spices, and onion (from my pantry) all got placed in either a stock pot on the stove or the slow cooker with water to make home made chicken stock. Tomorrow I'll strain it (probably twice), then portion it out into 2 cup portions in freezer bags, lay them flat in the freezer to harden, then have them ready for when we want to use it to make mashed potatoes (would highly recommend boiling your potatoes in chicken stock versus water) or soup.

Anywho, that about puts me where I'm at today. Tomorrow I'm hoping to get the quiches made - bacon with cheese, and broccoli with cheese for sure, bake some banana bread and banana chocolate chip mini muffins, and maybe get some apple slices on the dehydrator since it won't be so hot out tomorrow.  Until then loyal readers (if you are out there...)