A few days ago, my best friend got that phone call that everyone dreads.
Your daddy has had a heart attack. The doctors don’t think he’ll make it through the night.
GET. HERE. NOW.
She did what everyone would do. She grabbed enough for a road trip, threw it in the car and took off for a long drive. All she could think about was getting there as fast as possible.
On the way there, she called me to let me know what was going on. Trying to stay calm, she recounted the conversation and what details she knew. She told me later that she didn’t even think about food until she hung up the phone with me, about half-way through her drive. She was headed to a large military town, but it only has one grocery store chain and no health food stores. She has multiple food allergies and doesn’t fare well when exposed to an allergen.
Her daddy did make it through the night. She was having to go to her mom’s house do laundry and had to run by the store to buy basic necessities. She was then faced with the dilemma of having to go to the limited-selection grocery store and find safe food, figure out what to fix without having any of her recipes with her, find safe pots and pans to cook it in at her mom’s house, and keep it safe and segregated in the fridge while a trail of friends and family come through the home. It took time away from being at her daddy’s bedside and provided to be a considerable stress.
Of course, if you have a cast iron stomach and can handle fast food, pot-luck, or hospital cafeteria foods for as long as you need, you’re ok in the food department. But what about clothing? Toiletries? In a rush to get out the door, would you forget something? If you have children, would you have to suffer through their boredom and confusion while you’re going through what can arguably be considered one of the most stressful events in your life?
What would you do? You’re lucky if all of your family lives locally, you can just call a friend and have them swing by your house and drop off whatever you might need and you can run home for food and sleep. But if you have any family out of town, how can you prepare so that you don’t have to worry? Is it possible to just grab-and-go, knowing you have what you need?
You need a bug-out bag.
I’ve been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning is an online educational program that can be used as an online homeschooling curriculum, afterschool tutorial or as a summer study tool. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.
I have recently been putting in a lot of 60-70 hour weeks while we work on launching a new product, launching a new website and combining the website, forum and blog into one big site with a new design. Talk about a tall order! It’s been so difficult to juggle homeschooling both kids, the business, housework, laundry and cooking along with caring for my parents when they need me. I don’t want my kid’s education to suffer, but I’m committed to homeschooling them. So I have decided that while we go through this very busy season, to turn to an online schooling option so I can be assured that the kid’s education will not suffer and they can still remain at home and I direct their education. Most online options are run by full school year and you can’t do one semester or even a portion of a semester. I have chosen to try Time4Learning, because it is on a month-by-month basis, and is extremely flexible in scheduling. You can find where your child is in each subject and pick up there. It also came highly recommended by several friends who homeschool, so I decided this would be or best option to finish out this semester and fill in the gaps through summer before we start next year.
Time4Learning Covers language arts, math, science and social studies. We will continue to do handwriting worksheets and Bible lapbooks together.
We only have a half-day of school on Fridays, and the kids often ask to do some school on the weekends. We also go year-round. So we don’t have as heavy of a daily load as some families do. It’s a flexible program that will allow your child to work one grade up or down from there they are, so if they’re a little behind or head on one subject, it isn’t a problem. You set the schedule, so you don’t have to default to someone else’s timetable as to what they think your child should be doing. It also grades the work for you and has a parent’s area where you can view the scores and track their progress. I like that it even allows you to see how long each child took to complete an item.
So keep an eye on the blog, I’ll post about our experiences over the next 30 days and what the kids think about the program. If you decide to take a look, please let them know that KerryAnn Foster referred you.
KerryAnn Foster runs Cooking Traditional Foods, the longest running Traditional Foods Menu Mailer on the internet. KerryAnn has over nine years of traditional foods experience and is a former Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader. Founded in 2005, CTF helps you feed your family nourishing foods they will love. Each mailer contains one soup, five dinners, one breakfast, on dessert and extras. You can learn more about our Menu Mailers at the CTF website. For a free sample Menu Mailer, join our mailing list. You can also join our forum to chat with other traditional foodists and learn more.
The CTF blog is one year old today. Let’s celebrate with a recipe!
We’re still buried in snow. I did four days worth of cooking and we all worked to get the housework and laundry done in advance, so today I am going to spend some family time with the kids. We’ll do school then spend the rest of the day playing board games. That was the original plan for if the power went out, so I see no reason why it can’t happen that way anyway.
From the Menu Mailer
To braise is to brown then cook in a small amount of liquid until tender. It can be done with meat or vegetables. This is a very tasty dish that we thoroughly enjoyed. You can substitute apples for the pears, if you prefer.
4-8 chicken thighs, with bone and skin
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
3 Tbs coconut oil, butter, ghee or schmaltz
1 onion, diced
½ Tbs rapadura
2 pears, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp sage
Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook for 4 minutes. Flip and brown for another 4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the rapadura, and pear and cook until the pear is browned, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock, vinegar and sage and cook for 1 minute, scraping the bottom of the pan to bring up any stuck bits. Return the chicken to the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the chicken is done, about 20 minutes, adding more stock if needed.
We are, for the third time this winter, getting snow. The snow is supposed to fall until Tuesday and we’re not supposed to go above freezing. Their total prediction for this area is 4-6 inches last I looked, but we already have 3 inches and it’s supposed to snow through Tuesday! They change the forecast hourly it seems.
Last year during the big 15″ snow, we had no power and I was hunkered down with cabin fever, alternating between loom knitting an afghan on a knitting board and planning the first garden revision via lantern and graph paper. I spent hours on that garden, even after the power came back on. I became a one-track mind, weaving the garden and a massive expansion plan involving terracing and moving fences into our homestead master plan. After multiple revisions and hours of discussion, we planted and worked… and worked… and worked. And the garden failed due to alternating drought and flooding. Failed miserably and painfully, after the hours of planning and toil. It was disheartening to the point I decided to scale back for 2011. With the amount of time and dedication a garden takes, I was scared to devote too much to it and experience another failure.
Over the next few weeks, we’re transferring all of the articles on the website and my personal blog articles on food and health over to the CTF blog. I hope you enjoy this week’s article. This particular article was written before we moved to our current house. When we moved, our first priority was finding a BIG kitchen!
I’ve been asked a lot recently about how to do traditional foods in limited space. Most people are surprised to find out that my house has a very small kitchen. My kitchen is actually the smallest room in the house, smaller than even the bathrooms. Our house was built in 1935 without indoor plumbing. The kitchen was located in the largest room on the bottom floor. When the house was remodeled 25 years ago, the family who remodeled it ate out 2 or more meals a day so the kitchen was a very low priority. I have very little counter and cabinet space. Instead of having bottom cabinets, I have a dishwasher and a trash compactor by the sink. That only leaves three bottom cabinets, two of which are too deep to store many things in easily.