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Archive for January, 2024

Pantry Eating

January 23rd, 2024 at 04:19 pm

Yesterday we had an icy day here in Central Illinois and even if I had wanted to get out, I wouldn't have.  So, my reward was to go onto Pinterest (what a dangerous site for me) and look for bread recipes. I had certain ingredients like milk that was ready to expire that I wanted to use. I found this recipe for honey buttermilk bread. I did tweak it a bit, but it made two lovely loaves. I thought I'd use some for our supper to accompany spaghetti, again another pantry offering. 

Anyway, here's the recipe:

My tweaks were I added some sourdough discard (I have quite a bit in the fridge) and I added some whole wheat flour since I had a little left in a bag in my pantry. 

Last night's supper was spaghetti with canned sauce I had made and the bread and some leftover vegetables that I heated up. I'm thinking for today's lunch I will make French toast since this bread had a little bit of sweetness to it. It is billed as a sandwich bread so I was thinking maybe it would make great peanut butter and jelly sandwiches too. 

I noticed there's some frozen soup in the freezer so I think that will be supper tonight. With the bread, of course!



January 21st, 2024 at 08:28 pm

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.

For those of you who have read my blogs, you know I'm quite active in my church. For the past year, I've been working on ways to fundraise to try and pay more on the mortgage principal for our church. Our treasurer who shared this idea a year ago talked about how it would be a good idea without coming out and saying the way our church is aging and losing members, we might not have the money to make the mortgage payment when giving declines. 

He and I have brainstormed ideas because we are afraid that just asking people to give more would result in fatigue of those who listen. Plus, who wants to be hounded all the time for money? 

So, in the past year we've tried different ideas. Monicals gave us a community day in which we got a percentage back in either take out or eat in when our church's name was mentioned. We realized over $100 for that. Kroger gives us a small percentage back if people designate our church as part of the community rewards program. We have realized over $300 for that in the past year. I crocheted dish cloths and sold them and one lady took my bag of dish cloths to work and sold them for me. That raised over $100. Then I baked. I would take orders for items people wanted and my friends would then give me what they felt it was worth to them, knowing the money would go for the mortgage reduction opportunity. That was over $335. Another way was we asked for people to donate unused gift cards. Some had the full amount on them and some had just a few dollars, but I have been working on selling them to folks and we received over $700 for those. A local butcher shop was good enough to give us 10% back for 4 days of shopping and we received almost $200. All in all, in just small items like this, we realized over $1400. This is over and above what members have given throughout the year in their offering envelopes. It's been great how people have chipped in to try and help.

As we start 2024, we are trying different things -- again -- we want to keep people from being fatigued. We are having a chili/soup luncheon in February to raise money and our pastor and vicar and a member are going to do a chili cookoff and people can vote by putting $1 a vote in the buckets. We are doing a silent auction and I have asked people to donate items, especially homemade ones. I am just touched by some of the items that are starting to come in. One man hand turns pen and pencils and gave me a set for the silent auction. 

Another man who also enjoys woodworking has made two trays and a lazy Susan. They are all works of art. We have another lady who has donated some small quilts. A friend of mine who isn't a member of our congregation is going to crochet some items and her daughter is going to make potholders. 

And the list goes lady is donating Valentine and Easter wreaths and another is donating a trifle bowl that will have a Valentine theme with the candy and goodies. I suggested a free will offering bake sale and people are telling me they will donate to that. Another lady is making themed gift baskets, one with kitchen items and one for a reader. 

Do they have to do these things? No, but they want to be abundant in giving. I think people like to be a part of something and do good. 

It is truly generosity at its best. 

Grocery Shopping

January 14th, 2024 at 08:39 pm

Funny how things change. 

I never used to mind grocery shopping. Now I dread it.

It isn't the shopping per se, it is the check out that unnerves me. It seems like each week the cost goes up a little more. I know the experts claim inflation isn't as bad, but I know my grocery bills have risen. I'm not buying anything different. In fact, I'm trying to cut back. For example, I'm trying to use less meat. Kroger had a buy one, get one free as far as chicken this past week. The package had three chicken breasts. So instead of having one meal and a little left over, we are having two meals out of one package. And I put the second package in the freezer for another time.

I ran across this article and wondered how she could spent $124 a month on groceries. Granted, she's single, but there are a lot of things that factor into saving so much. I never worked any place that gave free meals. Up until my last school, I never worked at a school that provided coffee. You brought your own coffee from home or did without. And the only reason the last school had coffee was because the principal bought it. 

Anyway, here's the url for the article if you care to read it:

So, how about you? Are you dreading the grocery store?