Posts Tagged ‘portable food’

Talk about hitting the ground running, it feels so good to have a productive day. 

In the last 24 hours I have:

  • cleaned out my sock and underwear drawer
  • sorted through and organized my jewelry box
  • got rid of the pile of misc. items on my dresser
  • sorted through all four girls’ summer clothes, separating what they will wear next year and what won’t fit next year, and what needs to be saved back for the twins
  • 7 math lessons with the older two
  • swim team practice (with all four girls)
  • cooked three meals
  • hung a cabinet for my parents
  • unpacked four boxes for parents
  • watched a movie with the girls
  • talked to an old friend on the phone for awhile
  • and even took a short nap!

If only every day was this productive.  I am exhausted, though, and hope that I didn’t push myself too much.  I really think tomorrow will be the day I feel 100% and I can’t wait.  Being sick is just not a good option for a mom of four.  Oh, and much of the above “extras” (not daily things for us) was either done with all the girls in order to keep children out of husband’s way while he worked on the project that will not end front porch or with his help.  Have to give credit to my amazing husband because he is, well…amazing 🙂

Things I’m trying to juggle right now: family needs due to health (our household getting over the cold as well as the two with cancer), parents unpacking, working short shifts to cover some extra costs we have right now as well as to save up a bit for the holidays, school and food (as always), and deep cleaning the house.

A note on those last two.  Food as always has a new twist with Jane swimming so much.  She is hungrier (understandably) and has swim meets that last 10 hours.  I need to try to bring food to these things and being that we homeschool I am not a seasoned lunch packer.  I found a couple bento sites (here and here) that have been very helpful after last Saturday’s food disaster.  I brought us PB sandwiches (she ate both), cheese (she ate both), milk (she drank it all), carrots (those too) and an applesauce and yogurt…thankfully I ate the yogurt and paid for a piece of pizza at the concession stand.  That meet was only a sprint meet (4 or so hours), she only swam three events, but swimming really seems to stimulate her appetite.  This week will last about 10 hours and she is in 6 events.  I’m planning on bringing a very hearty stew, cheese, crackers (home made if I can), fruit, lightly steamed veggies and dip, and who knows what else.  I figure we might end up purchasing one meal, but we’ll see.  Oh yeah, and it’s 45 minutes away from home and we have to be there at 8:30 so breakfast will be interesting as well. 

The other thing I wanted to expand on was deep cleaning the house.  You can see from my “what I’ve accomplished” list that I’m trying to get rid of stuff that is cluttering my life.  As I helped my parents move I saw how stuff becomes part of you.  My parents fighting over stuff, digging stuff out of the trash when the other wasn’t looking, stressing because the new place doesn’t hold all their stuffStuff, stuff, stuff.  My grandmother with 5 shoeboxes full of obituaries, over 600 matchbooks that she hasn’t collected and more of since 1988, two ziplock bags full of hotel soap, and things that are broken and collecting dust because they are sentimental.  I do not want stuff to have that kind of hold on my life.  In going through my jewelry (not more than four “real” pieces, the rest all costume) I was careful to think if I was going to wear it, how long it had been since I had worn it, and why I was keeping it.  There was so much that I just got rid of as it wasn’t even worth giving to a thrift store.  There were a few things that were mine when I was a child that I held on to for the girls and then a few crazy-odd things I am giving them for their dress-up box.  It felt good to get it done and I want to do it to the entire house. 

It’s so easy to hold onto things.  Pretty soon they pile up and something has to be done with them.  It becomes a source of frustration in your life and a hindrance to a calm spirit (not that anything round here is calm, but really, I don’t need any help with clutter in my day!)  You may think “oh, I paid good money for that 20 years ago” but what good is it doing you if it is a constant thorn in your side.  Or you may think “Emily made that for me a few years back, but I just don’t know what to do with it.”  Find someone that needs it, will use it, and appreciate it.  It’s just stuff, you can’t take it with you when you die, and when it gets down to it what really matters are the relationships in your life.  Is your stuff getting in the way of your relationship with your children, spouse, or God?  Is it worth that…I think not.


Read Full Post »

food on the go

I am not sure how, but I forgot that today is the Nourishing Portable Food Carnival over at the Nourishing Gourmet!  I’ve been really looking forward to this for a few reasons:

  • Home-schooling families do not always stay home, we spend time out and about with the world as our classroom.
  • Our oldest has joined the swim team (it lasts until April and they will have meets more weekends than not…more on this in tomorrow’s post
  • We vacation soon (leaving Friday) and we are on a strict budget.  We are going to Disney, I love going and am fortunate to have parents that like to spoil their grandkids by buying their tickets and taking care of the room costs.  The down-side is that food there is very expensive for a family of six and in my memory the healthy options are few and far between.  Feeding us healthy, nourishing foods within the budget could be a real issue.  I really hope to be wrong, but have some goals to hopefully help keep us on track; bringing one meal a day into the parks (where this carnival comes in super timely!), eating a very hearty and healthy breakfast, bringing our own snacks, and looking for great spots to grab a nutritious supper.

Needless to say I have REALLY been looking forward to this 🙂

Here are my contributions:

Food to take and eat on the way (no mixing, re-heating, etc.)

  • smoothies
  • hard boiled eggs
  • jerky (recipe below)
  • fresh fruits and veggies
  • cheese
  • crispy nuts

Meals on the go (I really need help here!)

  • chicken salad (on greens is my favorite)
  • crustless quiche or other egg dishes
  • rice shaped and stuffed with meat or other fillings (more info below)

Wraps-they get their own category since they are just that versatile and require no utensils!

  • your favorite salad (meat salad or vegetable salad)
  • leftover meat with greens and your favorite spread (mayo, hummus, salad dressing etc.)
  • breakfast (eggs, potatoes, cheese, sauteed veggies)


The rice I mentioned above is kind of fun, especially if you have interesting container shapes.  Make your rice a little on the sticky side.  When it is just cool enough to handle (you’ll be using your hands) mix in some seasoning such as salt, pepper, dried herbs, etc.  You can use ice trays, muffin tins, cups, or even the palm of your hand to make these little treats.  Fill your container (or hand) about half full with rice.  Make a little well in the middle of your rice and add in a little bit of leftover meat (shredded chicken, taco meat, etc…whatever you have handy.)  Top with more rice and use your hands to press this all together well.  It’s important to have a sticky rice for this reason.  The rice should shape nicely and hold it’s shape.  Wrap it up and take it to-go. 


Beef Jerky

  • 2 lbs of meat with large pieces of fat removed
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp good cayenne
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper

Slice your meat into thin slices…the thicker they are the longer it takes to get them good and dry.

Mix the rest of your ingredients well, pour over meat slices and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight or longer.

Drain meat and place on drying racks. 

Dehydrate at 145 degrees for about 24 hours, sometimes more.  This depends on how thin your slices are and other “moisture” factors such as type of dehydrator, humidity, etc.  It should be dry throughout the meat.  You may need to dab away some of the fat that rises up during the drying process.

I hope there are many submissions in the carnival, and early to so I can alter my food list for vacation!  If you don’t blog and want to participate you can leave ideas in the comments.

Read Full Post »