Saturday, September 21, 2019

Happy Saturday

By Elizabeth Prata

I'm ruled by my ears. I seek atmospheres with soft sounds, calming and lovely. I enjoy good music, breezes ruffling trees, birdsong, harps, purring kittens,church bells, and so on. I dislike whistling teapots, ambulance sirens, orchestra tune-ups, screeching women, squealing tires, fire alarms, and much more

Sound is alive and almost physical to me. It roars or grates or envelops and my body reacts. The reaction stays in me for a long time, unless if it a bad sound I'm attempting to rid myself of, I can quickly seek and find a more pleasant sound to overwrite in my ears. I can't stand voices with strange cadence or temp, nasal, a grating accent, or in any other way, grating Martyn Lloyd Jones has a nasal tone but due to the lower quality of the ancient recording device that captured it, I can listen because it sort of evens out. I enjoy John MacArthur's voice, whose tone I consider perfect, because it has no tics, vocal oddities, weird tempo, or anything else to distract from the words I seek to hear. In fact, the voice is comforting and fades into the background as the eternal words come to the forefront. By contrast, Todd Friel's shtick on Wretched Radio is so painful if I do listen on video I put it on mute and turn on closed captions. It's no wonder my word for the school's Vocabulary Parade was mellifluous.

It's the time of year between high seasons, where summer heat that we strive to keep out lessens and the windows can come up and allow in the fresh cooler fall air. As a result, I enjoy the night birds, breezes shaking the leaves, faraway train, distant car traffic, and even the silence as I awaken in the wee hours to enjoy all these sounds. I love that.

On my walk around the yard in the dawn I captured these lovely scenes:

For my food prep this week I'll have

Dinners and lunches:

Lentil salad with cherry tomatoes - lunch
Chicken soup with veggies and quinoa - lunch

Pan fried ocean perch

Refried beans with cherry tomatoes and cheese atop crispy tortillas

Tofu with green beans and peanuts and teriyaki sauce

Veggie sides and Snacks

Mandarin oranges, strawberries, grapes



I finally caved in and subscribed to Amazon's pantry. I eat some nuts and/or a slice of turkey in mid-morning for a fiber/protein snack. The subscribe & save item I bought will be delivered monthly containing 24 packs of one-serving packages of nuts. I wish I could add cheese to the snack rotation but the lactose is bothersome. Since I'll be eating nuts so often I decided it was worth the $7.50/month for the 24 snacks. It comes out to 32 cents per snack. Pretty good.

Most of the above were on sale at Kroger. The cherry tomatoes were a 99-cents item due to one of the small tomatoes in the pint being moldy. The broccaflower was also in pretty good shape but had one tiny bad spot so it also was marked down to 99 cents. Zucchini was on regular sale, 99 cents per pound as well as the green beans being the same. With having to buy gluten free break and lactose free milk which are expensive, I try to make it up with on-sale veggie and fruit items. Speaking of, the mandarins were also on sale, as were the strawberries. Sale, sale, sale...where would we be without sales.

I got up at 5 am today, excited by the prospect of a day without wilting in the heat, and enjoying the fresh air pouring in. Isn't it cozy to just snuggle under the covers for a while and then get up all refreshed? A day full of limitless possibilities? I have some work to do in the garage that I'm not looking forward to, but I'm putting that off for now, and just enjoying the day as it presents itself to me.

You all have a nice Saturday, too.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Lactose free, flour free, milk-based soup isn't as good as it sounds

By Elizabeth Prata

This busy school year it kickin' my behind. But I have also been tempted to grumble, and had to repent of that several times. So, a learning test. Always good.

I had a bunch of mushrooms about to go over, so I cooked them down and decided to make, what else, a soup. It was going to be a cream of mushroom soup, white, thick, creamy...yum. Except I've never gotten the knack of making any milk-based soup, nor a roux. Also I can't have dairy or flour, therefore, making a milk-based soup thickened with flour was going to be rough. But ahead I persevered.

I had lactose free milk and non-flour flour. I had the chicken broth and the mushrooms. I had the time. I only lacked the skill, but hey, I had most of the ingredients, right? When the mushrooms cooked down I added the non-flour and made sure they were all coated. I added the milk and brought it to a boil, waiting for it to thicken. This is about when it doesn't thicken and the whole soup turns gray. True to form, it did this time also. But ahead I persevered.

I tasted the gray and unappealing soup. It did not taste all that great. So, success! I'm consistent.

My books I'd bought on half-off sale came in the mail today, and I'm so excited. I also re-started John MacArthur's The Vanishing Conscience. Why are there so many books? I'd gotten interested in studying the theology of the conscience, sparked by a pastor friend's Facebook post on the subject. I had also started the book The Hard Way about a small town newspaper editor that grew a failing paper he bought and eventually won awards. So many books, so little time...

I got up early (5:00 am) and worked on Bible study and reading, my photos and some blogging until noon, then made the soup, and watched a movie: Keep the Change on Amazon Prime.

Keep the Change is a first, I believe, having actors with autism play people with autism as the main characters. David is 30, living with his wealthy (but bigoted) parents in NYC and at a Jewish Community Center meets 24-year-old buoyant Sarah, living with her alcoholic grandmother. Their romance blossoms, in typical autistic way which mirrors neuro-typical folks: their relationship has its quirks, ups and downs, compassion, anger, irritation, big fun, and all the rest.

Here is a review I enjoyed. The film is rated 16+, contains some f-words (in one scene David got angry) and one sex scene which I don't know how involved it got because I skipped it. The film is a rare and compassionately honest look at adults with autism.

Food prep this week will be bay scallops with greens, (dinner), stuffed crab with greens, (dinner), mushroom soup, and probably the lentil soup again as I made last week but this time with red lentils, (lunches). Also brown lentil salad with a huge bag of cherry tomatoes I scored at Kroger for 99 cents. Fruit will be strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and grapes.

Some photos of the walk down the driveway and up the road this humid, stormy morning.

Have a good week ahead everyone.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Never Forget

I lived through this. I remember, vividly. Even if you didn't live through it or were too young, never forget America was cravenly attacked. Many people lost their lives that day in a terrible, long, horror.

Worse, some who died who were outside Christ met their Maker, and it wasn't a friendly encounter.

The men who perpetrated this heinous act are the mission field.

Never forget the attack. But always remember the ultimate goal of our lives is to witness of Christ to the saving of their souls. Share the Gospel with your neighbor, with a Muslim, with all who you encounter. This day might be their last.

Monday, September 09, 2019

Simple cooking and smashed avocado toast

By Elizabeth Prata

My parents had money and I grew up with some of the finer things of life. One thing that was popular starting in 1963 was Julia Child's new cooking show. She was personable, relatable, cheerful, and brought explanatory French cooking and other styles to the housewife in Peoria (or East Greenwich). My mother loved to cook and was a good cook. She experimented with new recipes on us kids. We also ate out at restaurants a lot and we were encouraged to get whatever we wanted on the menu. Growing up I tasted dishes like or had suppers like Lobster Thermador, Japanese cuisine, frog's legs, caviar, Baked Alaska, gourmet cheeses, and the like. I was so grateful for the expanded palate my parents allowed me to develop and the interest in world cuisine I"d gained.

What I've been enjoying here in Georgia is learning about simple food, hearty food, and different food, than I have previously been used to. Yes, the South has a cuisine all its own! Plain, hearty farm cooking is also terrific.

There are two older ladies who had or have cooking shows on Youtube or Facebook I want to introduce you to. Clara Cannucciari, a dear lady at the time who was near 90, and who has passed on now, became an internet sensation 12 years ago with her grandson's productions of her Depression Cooking channel. She shows how to prepare dishes they ate during the Depression while telling stories of what the times were like. She was charming and her stories were simple, like her cooking, but powerful in the starkness of her first-hand retrospective.

Joyce Woods of Momma's Easy Country Cooking on Youtube does the same as Clara with her Depression cooking- show how to make simple, down home Georgia dishes popular with families. She's also an older lady and tells her local history of the dishes as she's creating them.

Simple, ya'll. I like both kinds of cooking - the fancy French cuisine Julia introduced to us, and the simple but hearty foods from Clara and Joyce. Check them out!

Momma's Easy Country Cooking Channel

I had never heard of pear salad until attended my first Southern Baptist Covered Dish supper, but this simple salad is so yummy!

Momma's Easy Pear Salad

Clara Cannucciari Depression Cooking-

Here is my breakfast of late. I had oatmeal every weekday morning last school year, then changed to Groats every day during the summer, but I think my body got tired of the grain-type of breakfast. I switched to an egg and that seems to be tiding me over better until lunch. I think having an egg on toast or even a sandwich is a bit heavy so I am trying an alternative. Smashed Avocado Toast, except the avocado isn't smashed and I don't have any toast. Now, hang with me here.

I mentioned before that I like Charra's Tostadas. They are 6-inch, no fat, low carb baked tostada shell. For a snack, I enjoy a couple of them with tomato and cheese and a bit of hot sauce, broiled, making two large nacho chips. Well of late I've been trying them with a scrambled egg on top! Super! This morning I was too lazy to even scramble the egg and instead I fried it on my griddle. I had an avocado about to go overripe so I halved it and then decided I wanted "Smashed Avocado Toast- with Egg." But I don't have toast, just the chip. If I smashed it, I'd smash the chip. So let's call this recipe "Gently Cubed Avocado on Tostada- With Egg."

I fried an egg and cut it in half. Voila, here is one of the two chips I ate for breakfast:

As Julia would say, bon app├ętit!

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Food Prep 9/9-13, plus, cool vintage item found

By Elizabeth Prata

I just saw the National Weather Service come out with a warning for predicted high heat over the next week. Highs will be in the upper 90s, reaching 100 in some areas. I feel deflated by this. By this time of year I've really run out of patience with the sticky humid heat and I am longing for the expected break that used to come by mid-September but now is often delayed into October.

Oh well, it will eventually break and when it does I will probably be one of the happiest people in the county. This Yankee has never gotten used to the heat or the humidity!

I went to my favorite Vintage Store on Friday to find some necklaces for two friends whom were thrown a birthday brunch event to celebrate their birthdays. They are young moms, both minister's wives, so I wanted to get something feminine and not related to their kids, lol. I knew the store would have a LOT to choose from, and they sure did. The lady there helped me pick out some necklaces that were more on trend for the younger ladies than the ole fuddy duddies like me.

While I was poring over the jewelry counter I saw a double clip thingie. I learned that it was a vintage sweater clip. In the 1950's the ladies used to wear a cardigan draped over their shoulders and the clip would prevent it from sliding off. That doesn't sound appealing to me. I mean, wearing a sweater meant to have your arms in the sleeves but wear it precariously over the shoulders instead, requiring an unnecessary accessory to prevent the sweater from doing what it naturally wants to do and likely sliding off anyway and making the clip a choking chain around your neck. Phew.

What does sound appealing is using the clip for a cardigan and another light jacket I have that has no buttons or zipper and needs a clip to keep it closed. Ever practical, I used an office binder clip at school the first time I wore my jacket and it kept sliding open. Of course, a vintage clip that's prettier and actually designed for that purpose will suffice all the more. Here it is:

Jennifer Hayslip  gives a short history of these clips in her post about Vintage Glamour and Sweater Guards
Sweater guards are a fashion relic! They were introduced in the 50’s as an accessory to help “hold” and secure cardigans on a ladies shoulders. Whether wearing a cardigan or a caplet these little chain accessories became all the rave!
They are also called sweater clips or cardigan clips.

At only $4 I consider it a treat to have acquired such a classic and classy vintage item and also to have learned about a fashion rage of the 1950s!

Food this week will be:

Dinners: spinach salad, green salad, and salmon. I bought two filets on markdown, which will become four dinners. I also bought a salmon burger. Kroger makes them and they are so large I halve it and reshape into the burger circle, so that will be two more helpings of salmon. I might change one of the filets into a salmon salad to eat with crackers. Good thing I like salmon! Rounding out the dinners will be green beans for the veg and an occasional 1/2 potato.

Lunches will be lentil & chickpea soup. I'll use this recipe. I will use up the 1/4 cup of red lentils I have left and will fill in the rest with the brown lentils I have on hand. "Use what you have." No need to run to the store to buy more red lentils (even though I prefer them and enjoy them in soups more). If I have stuff on hand, I use that first. #FrugalCook. I actually have all the ingredients the recipe calls for (except smoked paprika. Come on, I'm a normal person. I'll use black pepper instead!) I also don't have a chili pepper but I do have sriracha sauce so that will bring the heat.

Fruit this week will be strawberries. They were on sale. What can I say?

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, September 02, 2019

Food Prep: September 2-6- more eggplants

By Elizabeth Prata

I needed this long weekend. I'll say it again, I neeeeeeeded this long weekend. I took two two-hour naps hallelujah. One on Saturday and one on Sunday.

The nights have been cool, down in the low 60s, so I turn off the AC and lift up the windows. I enjoy hearing the night birds and feeling the cool, if still damp, air. The cat likes it too. He puts his kitty nose against the screen and sniffs and sniffs. I wonder what he smells out there.

Today, Labor Day Monday, I am making some food for the rest of the week. I already did 3 loads of laundry AND put them away. I'm so adulting right now.

Eggplant stew. Or hash? It's just a mix of eggplant and veggies I throw in there. This week I am still working off the plethora of garden eggplants kind friends have given me. I will make a stew of eggplant, green pepper, mushrooms, and tomatoes. I got shaved Pecorino Romano to go on top when I serve it.

Lentil salad. Brown lentils hold together pretty well and retain a bit of hardness so they will withstand themselves in salad with dressing. I'm adding green peppers and carrots. The recipe calls for a lot of other ingredients, but I don't have them, so oh, well. I never let the fact that I lack most of the ingredients in a recipe stop me from making it, or adapting it. The only time it really matters is in baking, because, chemistry. This i a high protein low carb salad, that will also be filling! I know that "salad" and "filling" don't usually go together, but when you make it from pluses or beans, it is.

Baked tofu. I marinated it in Teriyaki sauce and baked them sliced into slabs. I'll use them in a sandwich or just eat on the side for a protein. Hey, it's a cheap protein, what can I say?

Roasted broccoli. It was on sale and I love roasted broccoli. It's so yummy. I'll eat as is, mix in with scrambled egg, eat it cold in a salad with other stuff...its versatile.

Chicken. I bought Kroger's picked, roasted chicken, intending to make a soup. But even though I've had naps and rested, I'm tired. My sleep has been lengthy, but it hasn't been refreshing. I don't know exactly what I will wind up doing with it. Maybe chicken salad, or the soup after all, with quinoa, carrots, and mushrooms, probably.

Fruit. I bought blueberries this week. They were on sale Sales are my friend. I also bought mandarin oranges and strawberries. These will be snacks and desserts.

I started the book The Hard Way: The Odyssey of a Weekly Newspaper Editor by Alexander Bacon Brook. I am enjoying it. He is a good writer. Having been editor of a small town weekly myself, I understand a lot of his trials, and I am impressed with the way he captures the place of a weekly in small town citizenry and government.

I watched some Hurricane Dorian videos and tweets yesterday and the storm is terrifying. I was in Hurricane Beth as a child when vacationing on Cape Cod, a Category 1 that barely grazed Hyannis. I was also in 1991's Hurricane Bob, a category 2 that made landfall in Newport RI. I was in RI at the time. Those were frightening enough, but I can't imagine a Cat 5 storm, and this one is hovering for hours over the Bahamian Islands. God's strength is surely powerful.

I'll watch a movie later, something light on Netflix or Amazon Prime. Read some more. Then it will be back to the kids tomorrow.

Have a good week!

Look at how that little bud pops out that huge berry.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

From the "Use what you have" and "Thinking out side the box" Department

By Elizabeth Prata

If you have read my posts for very long you know that I collect teapots and teacups. I'm done now, having accumulated all that I feel I can actually use, store, & display in my small kitchen. I abhor clutter, so my collections never get very big, lol.

I now own 8 new-to-vintage-to-antique aged teapots, and 13 teacups (an awkward number for sure, but how can I dispense with one of my babies?)

For a number of years I have made do with the countertop shelving and display that I already had. That's rule number 1 in frugal living, make do. Don't run out and buy new things just because of what could be a temporary desire has crept in. What I had was not unattractive (if not the classiest thing on the block) and serviceable.

Finally I got tired of the clunky display. It drove me nuts enough so that I reached a tipping point. But I had a hard time finding a good display option. It was when I thought outside the box (the box in this case being "kitchen" and "teacup display") and searched for 'countertop bookcase' that I hit the jackpot. I found an adjustable shelving unit I could adjust to different sizes for each section. I do have large to small teapots so a one-size would not fit all. The boards are a smooth bamboo, but I had to put them together. It was a bit difficult at first but only took me an hour. 50 minutes to figure out the directions and then 8 minutes to put it together. I needed to backtrack a couple of minutes as I put 2 boards on backwards...but voila, it was finally done. Here it is:

Now, what to do about the teacups? They proved a more difficult item to figure out how to display, without clutter, in a small kitchen, with no more wall space. I loved the 4-cup display holder I'd hung on the wall, but I didn't have any more space on any kitchen wall to put 2 more of them to hold the other cups. What to do?

This is where thinking outside the box came in handy a second time. (I mention this again because I'm proud to think outside the box. I like boxed thinking. It's hard for me to get out of the box). Since none of the regular teacup displays would do, I looked for any hanging rack. I spotted one at the Dollar General store for $5.50. It holds 4 cups, but no saucers. The bottom tier is crooked which isn't ideal, but the fact that I could actually hang it myself without a drill and was inexpensive made me decide to go for it. The crooked display will take a long time for me to build up a grudge against so this will do for now. It's a shower caddy.

Well, that took care of 4 more cups, how about the other 5? If one shower caddy worked, how about another? I had one hanging in the ... guess where? Shower. I cleaned it off, noticed some rust, but oh well, and hung it up opposite the other new caddy. An S-hook helped with the 5th cup. Here it is:

I enjoy looking at them admiring the patterns and the well crafted china and the glow they make in the light that comes through the window sheers. I also like them to be accessible for when I want to have a pot of tea, which is every afternoon in fall, winter, and spring. The saucers are in the cupboard.

Since I installed the new shelving I put the old shelving in the cupboard to make two tiers and that's where the saucers are. As a bonus, I now have room to put my paper towels on the counter instead of underneath. No more bending and opening the cupboard door a hundred times a day to get one.

Now here is the story of the stick.

I found a stick in the yard. It was exactly the right thickness and the right height for when I walk around the yard and up and down the street. I especially loved the stick because it was my spiderweb buster. You would not believe the size of the spiders here in GA. They are huge. They make stringy, sticky webs all over the yard AND in front of my door building their crazed-dance inducing webs from the overhang to the railing. More than once I've opened my door and stepped out only to go face first into a web, and more than once had its owner drop down on my neck. That'll get ya going.

So I lean a stick by the front door and wave it furiously around, looking like a spastic ninja, but I do not care. At least I don't have a spider on my neck or a face full of webs. Spiders string webs all over the yard, so I wave my stick about wherever I go, every time.


One morning last week I saw a huge spider had built a web from the basketball hoop to the trash can I was trying to get to. I busted the web, and the spider fell to the ground. It was big. Scarily big. Since I was in my sandals with exposed foot, I used the stick instead to bring down my wrath upon it. Don't laugh! Some of these spiders bite and they jump. Unfortunately, my wrath proved too much for the stick, and it broke. The creature ran away unscathed, ready to foil me another day.

Now I had no stick. My perfect, years-long possession that saved me from webs, spiders, and was companion as I walked along (I lean on it when my arthritic knee hurts). What to do?


New stick. Not as short as the other one, but still a good stick. I do not mind looking weird as I wave it around in front of me outside and in the garage. Not at all. My neck is spider-free, and it's gonna stay that way.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Food Prep this week: August 26-30

By Elizabeth Prata

How has your weekend been? Busy? I use the weekend to prepare for the week, so it's not really two days off, except for church. It's still a treadmill. If I let go for a moment, I'm behind all week. Do you feel that way?

Friday nights I'm pretty tired. At the beginning of the school year, coming off 8-9 weeks of straight rest, it's a Mt. Everest of a climb to get back into routine. On Friday nights I'm good for nothing, except staring numbly out the window, uncomprehending and body aching as if I have the flu.

Saturdays at the beginning of the year take me usually until 3:00 in the afternoon or so to 'come to'. That's not to say that I do nothing. Indeed, I get up between 5:30 and 6:00 am and get to work writing 5 blogs for the week and creating 5 scripture pictures for the week. I like to have them ready to publish when I arise on weekday mornings at 5:00.

As I study the Bible during the week, or listen to lessons or sermons, I plop ideas, verses, and information & links into drafts. Saturday mornings are when I flesh these out into completed essays. My goal is to encourage and to teach women, and to keep myself in the word, since I process things by writing.

I usually work on this until I get mentally tired, about 1:00 or 2:00. Then I take a nap. When I awaken at 3:00, I feel like myself again. I usually study my lessons from The Master's Seminary. I'm working toward a certificate in Sound Doctrine. I might feel like myself (body aches gone), mentally more alert. But I'm still way physically tired and don't do many chores.

This leaves laundry, vacuuming, change sheets, and food prep to it becomes not a day of rest. But that will happen soon, as I move more chores to Saturday when I'm feeling less tired and gain equilibrium again.

Food prep this week!

Red lentil soup with mushrooms, carrots, and tomatoes. This will be lunch every day.

Types of lentils. Photo The Kitchn, link to article below

Last week I had brown lentil soup. What's the difference between the types of lentils? The folks at The Kitchn explain, sharing some recipes too. Lentils are actually not a bean, or a pea, but are a pulse. Pulses are related to beans and peas. I prefer the red lentil because they have just as much protein and fiber, are a bit sweeter than the brown, and they turn to mush and thus, thicken the soup. I like thick soups.
  • Blackened Tilapia (2 servings). I bought one large, seasoned piece and cut it in half to make 2 servings
  • Turkey sandwiches
  • Green Beans with tofu and peanuts sauted in soy sauce.
  • Eggplant-mushroom saute
  • Kale with mushrooms (cold and hot; salad, and sauted)
  • Hummus with veggies.
  • Strawberries. LOL, I bought 3 pounds so that will be my main fruit for dessert and snacks
I hope you all have a great Sunday, hopefully worshiping the Lord. Our church begins at 3:00 (a new Sunday School series begins next week, so that will be moved back to 2:00). I enjoy the mornings preparing for church and usually like to keep the morning clear to do just that. Have a super week ahead!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Food Prep this week

By Elizabeth Prata

Good morning! I've got some cooking going on. People tell me they really enjoy the Facebook posts on food prep and the blog essays on cooking. Thank you! I decided to expand it a little and share my reasoning for why I cook the things I do. :)

This is the last week I'm on the elimination FODMAP diet to see what is causing the IBS. Monash University in Australia has made a scientific breakthrough regarding foods that give people trouble who suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). I've given up gluten, having become intolerant to it. The doctor told me that there are 3 levels of food issues, sensitive, intolerant, and allergic. I have a family member with Celiac disease (allergic to gluten) and over the years I've developed an intolerance to gluten myself. So I gave up all gluten/wheat food items.

I am also intolerant of lactose. So I gave that up too. No more yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit for dessert, just fruit. I can get lactose-free milk at my regular grocery store. I can get lactose free yogurt too, but it's prohibitively expensive  and a lower cost than l-f yogurt. There is no l-f cottage cheese where I shop so that's that. I was still having issues adn I was really stumped. My doctor put me onto this Monash-FODMAP issue and it seems to be the answer for me.

I'll be excited to see which foods will be added back into my diet now that the elimination of foods containing FODMAPs have been taken out. And yes, when I took out the gluten it helped, and the elimination of lactose helped. But I wasn't completely free of bowel issues, and the FODMAP elimination helped resolve it.

But FODMAPs cover such a wide range of foods that it's not wise nor practical to eliminate all of them from one's diet forever. So there's an important step 2: after a suitable time on the eliiation diet to let the bowel and digestive system rest, now add back in small groups of FODMAP foods under controlled conditions to see what is causing the irritation in the digestive system. Click on the link above to learn about foods containing FODMAPs.

 Meanwhile, this week's food prep-


-Lentil soup with mustard greens, carrots, garden green peppers, and celery. Curry spices. This'll be for lunch every day.

-Fresh green beans with tofu cubes, teriyaki sauce and crushed peanuts on top. Tofu is a versatile and inexpensive protein. It also has the advantage of keeping longer uncooked than seafood or meat.

-Shrimp was on sale at Kroger so I bought half a pound, about 20 medium-large shrimp. This yields 4 servings, or about 50 cents per protein meal. I try to keep my protein servings under $1 each. I'll eat them cold with spinach salad.

--Crabcake with mustard greens and a potato on the side. A prepared stuffed crab at Kroger is $1. I cooked a bunch of potatoes in the crock pot yesterday. Add some potatoes to the crock with a half cup of water, turn on high, and they cook pillow soft in about two hours. You don't even have to spear them, just wash and put in. Now I have potatoes for the week without having to heat up the kitchen boiling them for a long time. Forget about baking them, it's too hot to turn on the oven in GA in August.


--I've been gifted 3 garden eggplants. I'll saute them with mushrooms and a can of tomatoes for a kind of hash. You can add this to spaghetti (or spaghetti squash), add rice, put on crusty bread with mozzarella, throw some greens in it (I prefer spinach with eggplant) or just eat as a side dish.

--Homemade hummus*. Chick peas are low FODMAP friendly! Cut up carrots & celery for dipping. Or rice crackers.

-Groats for breakfast. These are the whole oat. They are chewy and filling. Think the consistency of wild rice. I add strawberries or blueberries with lactose free milk. I love it cold! But you can heat it too for a healthy low carb, low fat, no-gluten breakfast! (1/2 cup serving of groats is 15 carbs, milk is 15 more).


-Notwithstanding the illegal donut I had on Friday, my desserts are usually fruit. This week I have strawberries, blueberries, grapes, a few mandarin oranges left from last week, and pineapple.


Popcorn, almonds, peanuts, slice of turkey, rice crackers with peanut butter, cheese (cheddar or other aged cheeses are more easily tolerated for lactose sensitive or intolerant folks than fresh cheeses). Drinks: Fizzy water, cold hibiscus tea, hot peppermint tea, coffee.

*Lower FODMAP Hummus recipe:

1 14.5 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 TB water
4 TB lemon juice
2 TB peanut butter (this substitutes for Tahini)
2TB garlic infused olive oil (I dont' have this so I skipped it. DOn't be afraid to skip or change the recipe to your preference)
1 teasp sesame oil (I didn't have this either. No worries)
1/2 teas salt (I like less salt).

Measure ingredients into a bowl of a blender or food processor. Process till smooth, adding a little extra oil if necessary. Chill until serving. Servings: 8 (Sorry, I can't find how big 1 serving is...:(

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Shop with me!

By Elizabeth Prata

I love to shop for things I need. I seem to be unable to bring myself to buy things I want, but if it is something I need, I buy it. The only exception is books. I'll buy a book anytime.

I don't shop in stores. I abandoned them after 1978 when as a teenager I outgrew malls. Honestly, I hate shopping in brick and mortar stores and avoid malls like the plague. I love online shopping though.

I have been an Amazon customer since 1997. 22 years! Wow. I enjoy browsing, then purchasing, then tracking, then seeing it arrive at my door. I never even had to leave the house. After the printing press, I think Amazon was the best invention ever.

I was gifted a hefty gift certificate this summer. I bought a lot of things. The main item was New Balance shoes. My feet are wide, have a high arch, and pronate. I am also on them all day, walking up and down concrete floors. Good shoes are critical. My old New Balance shoes finally fell apart. When I went to buy new ones I was shocked at the cost now! I got these with the gift certificate and they are like walking on air.

I bought two books that I needed to help me when I blog about daily life in ancient Christian times. Applying the theological word to daily life brings the ancients more to life and I enjoy picturing how they lived day to day. The one book I had was kind of a survey and not deep or substantive, so with my gift certificate, I bought these two more detailed books:

A friend had given me Crocs sandals some years ago. I love a shoe you can slip into. After years of wearing them daily at home as slippers, or yard sandals, they finally fell apart. I looked for new Crocs but like the New Balance sneakers, my oh my, they are expensive. I found this alternate and I love them. They are cushiony, the holes on top ensure my feet don't get too hot, and they were the right price. They can also be used in the water as lake or shore shoes. I highly recommend these Amoji Unisex Garden Clogs-Shoes-Sandals-Slippers:

I learned this summer that Charles Spurgeon adopted a persona called John Ploughman and wrote two books of practical advice for Christians. It's in the style of Ben Franklin's advice as Poor Richard's Almanack.

Here is part of the Ploughman's blurb: "He had a gift for speaking the language of the man-in-the street and presenting Christian truth in a way that captured the imagination. Two of his publications of this type are here combined into one volume. Both are funny, pointed and profound in their content. They give answers to the common questions of the day on doctrine and behaviour as explained by a ploughman to his wayward audience."

The moment I heard about this book it became a 'must-have'. Thanks to the gift certificate, I 'now-have'.

It was a disappointment to discover that IBS sufferers like myself are sensitive to many kinds of tea. I love hot tea. I love everything about it. But for now, I need to drink low FODMAP teas (too complicated to explain here) but suffice to say that the dandelion tea and my cherished chamomile tea in my cupboard are off limits for now. If I drink black tea, it needs to be made weak. Sigh. That's most of the tea I have on stock.

So since for now I can't have the other teas, I bought some more Boh Lemon myrtle and Peppermint teas, which are OK for IBS/FODMAP folks. The chamomile in the pic was part of the 3-tea bundle.

I also enjoy a good soap. A few months ago I found this French bar soap that is creamy and soapy and feels wonderful. So I bought another bar.

13 years ago I acquired for free a 20 year old crock pot. It was 7-quart, oval, and when filled, so heavy I could barely lift it. Then the handles broke, making it even harder to lift. With the gift certificate I bought a 4.5 quart crockpot. It's attractive and easy to handle.

I also bought some pencils for school, a journal for note taking during sermons, groats, quinoa, and vitamin B12 (doctor or nutritionist orders, FODMAP again), some necessary clothing items, and toy mice for my cat. I can make a gift certificate last, I tell ya.

I had fun shopping for my necessary items this summer with my gift certificate. I'm grateful to the folks that chipped in and got it for me.

What do you shop for? Needs? Wants? Impulse buys? Brick & mortar stores, malls, local shops, or online?