Sustainable Cooks
First Time Visiting? Start Here!

Scattered Sundays

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

If you have a friend in the Pacific Northwest (besides me), I hope you were kind to them this week while we were all whining on social media about the heat. We live here because we don’t want it to be 108F. You want to live in the desert? Feel free. It’s not for us. Hard pass.

And yet, it was the same temp here as Las Vegas. You know what they have in Las Vegas that we don’t have in Seattle? AIR CONDITIONING. The last stat I saw was that fewer than 25% of people in this area have ac at home. Multiple days of 100+ degree temps with no ac is pure hell.

We actually do have ac (humble brag) because we had to get it installed soon after my parents moved back in. My mom’s MS was exacerbated by the heat and keeping her cool was a primary concern. When we saw the temps climbing in the forecast, we loaned out our fans to neighbors and invited a friend and her son to spend the night.

Our church also opened up as a cooling center, because those temps are dangerous for so many vulnerable populations. The good news is that the heat finally broke on Wednesday. We still have above-average temps, but it is at least tolerable. My sister and I were texting about how we had both been outside and didn’t need a shower. 

During the heatwave, I was adding a ton of ice cubes to the chicken’s water. In some cases, I just gave them a bucket with ice cubes, but they were always leery. I’d often add some cubes to their hanging waterer to help keep them cool. They also loved the cold watermelon rinds I was tossing them.

chickens drinking from an Easter bucket full of ice water

My aunt told me she had been making her chickens a mud puddle and that they were loving playing in it. I went out, in 108F weather and dug them a hole that was two feet wide and over one foot deep. I then lugged our hose, AKA the world’s heaviest hose because a firefighter picked it out, and filled up this hole. Just for them. Their own little chicken wading pool.

They looked at it, looked at me, and I swear a few of them rolled their beady little eyes. Not only did they NOT play in this water oasis that I made them, they deliberating filled it in with dirt within 10 minutes. Within 30 minutes, it was totally gone. All evidence erased. So glad I needed to take an extra shower for THAT. Freaking feathered ingrates.

I’m going to go ahead and declare that our high temps need to be over for the summer. We’re done. Vegas, Phoenix, and Miami, you can keep your temps that escaped from the gates of hell. Please give me back my maritime climate and cool breezes. We’ll just keep that going until it is woodstove season.

a meme about the seattle weather

Back in the middle of winter, I came across a video for Vance Creek Railriders on Instagram. I shared it with a friend and we booked time for this summer. After a long long wait, we finally got to go this Friday, and it was so fun!

Our families met up a the railyard and did a two-hour trip on old train tracks. Each family had our own four-person train car pedal thing (<—definitely the official name) and just had a total blast. If you’re in the Seattle area, it is a bit of a day trip, but totally worth it.

4 people on a railcar

Yesterday we had friends over for dinner! It was like the before times, and I couldn’t have been more excited about it. It was one of my best friends from high school and his wife who I have stalked befriended on Instagram and their two kiddos.

In addition to having a blast catching up, he was my first “before times” friend who got the see the remodel. He knew what our house looked like back in the 90s (dated and very very cluttered), and it was so fun to show off our hard work. Well, mostly Troy’s and my father-in-law’s hard work. But, hey, I was there too. 🙂

a woman in a blue shirt using power tools

Buuuuuuut, best-laid plans, right? We had only had a bit of time to catch up and chat, and then a raucous game of hide and seek began. No one was at fault, but it ended up with a trip to urgent care and five staples in Bennett’s scalp.

Thankfully, my friend who came over was also a firefighter, so Bennett was WELL taken care of. HA! Bennett cried hard but once we got into urgent care, he was an absolute champ. We were so thankful that our favorite nurse (what does it say about us that we have a favorite urgent care nurse…?) was on duty and assigned to us.

She provided Bennett was a near-constant supply of Otter Pops and after the staples were in, she gave him a little toy care. There are some people born for their careers in life, and pediatric nursing was hers!

There is a fountain outside of urgent care and Bennett asked for some coins to throw in there. He had a nickel in his hand and said “hey, I have a slot in my head now too. I’m a gumball machine”.

Our friends are coming back tomorrow and we’re going for a full do-over. Maybe this time with helmets. But they’re bringing dessert because we definitely demolished that already! Long day. 🙂

Guess what else I did this week? I had coffee with a friend from church, INSIDE a coffeeshop. And when we left, we hugged. HUGGED! I also booked a trip to Denver for August to see my bestie, Anne. We always have a hair-raising good time…

two women on a hike

Circa summer 2015 when I was pg with Bennett and hiking in the Rockies like a boss.

Jack has an all-day soccer camp this coming week in a town 30 minutes away. The hours are the same time as Bennett’s preschool, so it’s going to be a total gong show with multiple drop off and pick-ups. Thankfully, a friend who lives halfway between us and the camp is willing to carpool, but it will still be crazy-making.

He hasn’t played organized soccer since November 2019. The 2020 season was canceled, and his school doesn’t have boy’s soccer as an option. I’m excited for him to get back at it, and I love that the camp is run by the fancy-pants select club in the next town. I think it will be good for him to play against kids who are really freaking good.

This fall will be his last year of club soccer and then I guess I am ready for our family to commit to select/travel soccer. I was not remotely interested in this before, because 1) omg, such a time commitment, 2) the cost, and 3) I didn’t think he needed to get that serious about a single sport that young. He’s been able to play basketball, baseball, track, lacrosse, and tennis (in two weeks) and now there will be no “but what if” yearnings about playing something else.

In the Garden This Week

HOT. Everything was HOT in the garden this week. I am not an aggressive waterer, but this week it was absolutely necessary. The 108F degree weather on Monday almost did my romaine in, but thanks to the shade cloth and some deep watering in the morning, I kept everything from bolting (AKA going to seed, AKA tasting bitter and like crap).

With the weather so gross, I picked and ate A LOT of salad for multiple meals per day. I’m basically a walking head of romaine at this point. But hey, at least I didn’t have to turn on the oven/stove to eat.

Until Wednesday night, I left much of the blueberries and raspberries for the birds (nope, still have not covered them with netting) because they don’t have air conditioning, so at least they can have some delicious berries. Plus, it was just too damn hot to go out there and pick them myself.

The peas look officially done for, and I need to pull them this coming week. Odds on that actually happening are probably pretty slim to none (see note above about soccer camp…). The good news is, the cucumbers I direct sowed (for my non-gardeners, that means I just stuck a seed in the ground and prayed) into the pea bed are growing exceptionally well.

The garlic is growing well and looking close to harvest in just a few weeks. The green beans that I direct sowed in the lettuce bed are also doing awesome. At some point soon, I need to install a trellis in there for them. But that means removing the shade cloth that is covering the lettuce. I’m not sure how well that will work. It might just need to be the end of the lettuce until fall. Whaaaa.

before and after photos of trimming bushes in the garden

Left: Before, Right: After

Wednesday night when the hellfire finally left the region, I tackled some long-needed garden chores. I trimmed the rosemary and apple trees which had grown so large that they were encroaching on our walkway. Same with a rouge celery plant that I sprouted from a grocery store head of celery back in the dark days of 2020.

I also did a lot of weeding that I had pretended for weeks didn’t really exist, but we all know it needed addressing a long time ago. Oops. The chickens were thrilled to eat all the greenery, and the gift of my hard work comes in the form of bright orange yolks in their eggs.

Housekeeping

The last year has seen many of us increase our online ordering for well, everything. If you shop online and aren’t using Rakuten, you’re missing out on free money.

Rakuten partners with thousands of online retailers to offer you cash back for the purchases you were already making. And new users can get $30 cashback once they spend $30 on any online purchase. Sign up here for Rakuten and start saving money today

What I’m Listening To This Week

This episode of Pantsuit Politics was exactly the thing I needed in my earholes this week while weeding the garden. The whole episode was great, but the part I found particularly fascinating starts at 30:15, where they interview Paul Krugman Nobel prize-winning economist (because I like to nerd out HARD).

If you hear rumblings in your circle (of cool friends) about inflation, unemployment, underemployment (people not returning to work because of unemployment benefits), etc., this economist explains it all.

And let me just say, I pride myself on being pretty darn informed on current events, but I learned SO much! Especially related to employers being unable to find workers right now. My assumptions of the “why” were pretty incorrect and when he talked about the causes, it was an “oh duh” moment.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Long-time reader, Angela, left this five-star review on our new Air Fryer Calzones {Pin this recipe}:

Super easy to make!!  Followed the pizza dough recipe as well!!  My boys loved them and my son enjoyed putting them together with me.  Paired with a big salad and everyone was full and super satisfied.  This is a good one!!

a tray of air fryer calzones

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

How to Freeze Peaches – Learn all the tips and tricks for Freezing Peaches to stock your freezer with the star of summer fruit. Freezing fresh peaches is so easy and can be done without sugar, which makes them great to use for desserts, smoothies, or snacks. {Pin this tutorial}

frozen peach slices on a baking tray

Instant Pot Cowboy Beans – You’ll be the hit of the next BBQ or picnic with these Instant Pot Cowboy Beans. You’ll find both Instant Pot and slow cooker instructions in the recipe card. This is a “glowed up” version of one of the first Instant Pot recipes I ever published on the site. {Pin this recipe}

a bowl of instant pot cowboy beans topped with cilantro

Whole Wheat Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins – You’ll never believe that these amazing Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins are made with 100% whole wheat. Flavored with lemon zest, these low-sugar blueberry muffins are an easy recipe the whole family will love. {Pin this recipe}

honey being drizzled over a whole wheat blueberry muffin

Confessions – Everyone’s favorite post of the month.

A woman with a finger up to her mouth saying "shhhhh"

Homemade Peach SyrupMade with ripe summer peaches, you’re going to love this delicious Peach Syrup. This is a delightful homemade treat for pancakes, ice cream, baked goods, drinks, and more. {Pin this recipe}

a glass jar of peach syrup with a spoon in it on a white wooden board

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. Canning Peaches – this post will likely remain in the top five until September(ish). Get used to it. {Pin this recipe}
  2. Homemade Peach Ice Cream – AKA a bowl of sunshine. {Pin this recipe}
  3. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan/vegetarian as written, but you can make your version to your tastes.  {Pin this recipe}
  4. How to Freeze Spinach – so many people are going to have awesome smoothies this winter!  {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Instant Pot Garlic Rice – we always have a bag of this in the freezer for quick meals. {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

This week is going to be bananas with soccer camp and so much back and forth driving. I’m going with EASY dinners that I know everyone will enjoy and won’t take a lot of time from me.

Monday:: Instant Pot Pierogies. It’s not a recipe on this site, but if you want details, let me know. It’s soooooo easy, and my kids love them. Salad on the side.

Tuesday:: Troy is making chicken wraps with Instant Pot Garlic Rice.

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business/my sanity.

Thursday:: Air Fryer Pretzel Dogs, watermelon, and salad. I’m making double the pretzel dogs because they freeze REALLY well unbaked. When I need a quick meal for the family, I’m always so happy with the previous version of me who prepped them and stocked the freezer.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Early birthday dinner for my sister. TBD on what I’m making.

Sunday:: Troy is grilling chicken kabobs and veggies. Garlic bread on the side.

 

What are you having this week?

 

 

This post contains affiliate links and we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you click through and make a purchase.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

11 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. I live in the Portland area, so our top temp was freaking 116 degrees!! Ugh, it was very gross, but we are thankfully among those who have AC, so inside at least we were set. Outside…my poor blueberry bushes. They sit in a corner of the yard that receives sun almost ALL DAY, and while right now is normally when I get the first batch (I have 3 bushes that produce basically all summer), they literally got burnt to a crisp. Leaves dead, berries shriveled and sad. I’m hoping that the other two bushes that produce a little later will still be ok, and I know in the grand scheme of things, this is the least of everyone’s worries, but….man. Normally this time of year I have so many that I take them into work by the bucketful. We’re all bummed at the idea of *shudder* BUYING blueberries lol. But hey, I guess we can support local farmers who might have also suffered heat damage, huh?

    • I’m soooo sorry to hear that, and I would be feeling the exact same way as you! Given that these hot summers seem to be here to stay, it might be worth investing in $5 worth of shade cloth for the next heatwave. It doesn’t magically make everything better, but you could throw some over the bushes and it would act as a thin layer of “sunscreen”.

  2. Really sorry to hear about Bennett’s trip to the ER!  Poor little guy.  What a night.  Glad to hear he’s on the mend and made it thru his hospital visit alright.

  3. Yes, please, on the pierogie deets!

    I’m glad the heat finally broke. We DO have central air and I still would struggle with those temps!

    • Sorry for the delay. I realized I made the pierogies on autopilot and wasn’t 100% confident with my memory/details. I remade them tonight so I wouldn’t lie to you! Ha.

      1.5 cups of water in the Instant Pot and then put in a trivet. I have a little steamer thing that I put over the trivet. My 8 quart can fit up to 2 boxes of pierogies (16 oz each). Manual, high pressure for 1 minute for al dente 2 minutes for softer. Quick/manual release as soon as it is done, and then serve with your favorite sauce.

      I’ll be honest in that it isn’t any faster than stovetop, but it allows me to completely ignore it while getting everything else ready for dinner.

      • Thanks! I think I’ll like this better than boiling because with any filled pasta it seems like some water always gets inside the pasta and makes it runny. Gag.

  4. Can you give me a brief synopsis about this part of the podcast? “Especially related to employers being unable to find workers right now. My assumptions of the “why” were pretty incorrect and when he talked about the causes, it was an “oh duh” moment.” 
    Everyone has their own idea I was just wondering what his take is on it. 
    I keep saying we will be back to when there were ‘blue laws’ in the USA when everything closed at 5p and nothing was open on Sundays,  but that was waaay back in the day before I could even tell time! Lol. 

    • The TLDR is that 1) people don’t have childcare and schools aren’t open because it is summer 2) some people are still scared of the virus and 3) (this is the “oh duh” moment for me), it’s REALLY hard to replace 600k people who died in 12 months.

      • Thanks for letting me know. I am also oh duh regarding the amount of deaths- and it would have ripple effect even if the person that died was retired or not working. 

      • We can be “oh duh” twins together. 🙂