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Scattered Sundays

There is something I’ve been thinking about for months now and I just can’t wrap my head around it.

In 101 Dalmations, Cruella is supposed to be Anita’s old friend from school, right?

But um, they look like they’re a few years apart, do they not?

Perhaps Anita is just a PSA for sunscreen, clean living, and a good moisturizer?

Two weeks ago I told you the story about how I was involved with helping someone in the aftermath of a really serious car accident. You can read about it here.

Well, friends, I have an update on the man who was in that car.

I’ll paraphrase the text I received about his recovery:

“He is lucky to be alive and despite serious head trauma, there is no paralysis and he still tells corny jokes. Today the physical therapist took him for a 10-minute walk up and down the halls of the hospital. His balance and strength were very good. His attitude is even better. Tom doesn’t know if his eyesight will return. No one knows at this point. Tom is bravely adapting. His superpower is his attitude”.

After getting that update, I’ll admit I was knocked on my ass for a bit. There was so much adrenaline around myself and the others who stopped to help at the accident. It was: do, help, get it done. There was no processing time. And after it happened, I was just relieved to know he was still alive.

But once I got more details (and photos) of the severity of the event and his recovery, I had all the feelings. All of them. 

Gratitude I was in a position to help, grateful for him and his family that he was alive, so upset he may never regain his vision, and reflective that life is freaking short and precious. And we never know what will happen, and perhaps we all need to be a bit more kind to one another.

And most importantly: People. Please wear your seatbelts.

Yesterday I went to see him at the rehabilitation facility along with two of his friends. I’m not gonna lie. It was a heavy visit. But it was amazing to meet him and his family and I gave him a great big hug when I left and told him “it’s nice to meet you right-side up”.

The next few months to a year will be challenging for this family, but they seem close and like they are up for it (as much as anyone can be).

(Awkward shifting of topics) The pantry and freezer challenge has concluded and it was so fun! We had over 200 people join us and getting to hear their stories and see the before and after pantry/freezer photos was a total blast.

I loved this email from a reader:

Used up a TON of pantry stuff already. Thanks for doing the clean out the pantry month. I know it is a lot of work on your part, but it has re-energized my meal planning!! Thanks for the proverbial kick in the ass!!!!!

I’m going to keep it going in the Cook household for another few weeks because we still have some work to do on the freezer.

Each day over the last week, challenge participants received an email with a recipe idea that would use up common items hanging around their pantry. To recap for anyone who didn’t participate, here are those recipes:

  1. Instant Pot Orange Chicken (but as always, the recipe includes non-Instant Pot cooking methods)
  2. How to Roast Frozen Vegetables
  3. Instant Pot Lentil Soup (but as always, the recipe includes non-Instant Pot cooking methods)
  4. Paleo Granola (but it works even if you’re not paleo and has non-paleo ingredient recommendations)
  5. Paleo Salmon Cakes (non-Paleo ingredient substitutions are included in the post. And lots of readers used random cans of tuna they had!)
  6. Homemade Ramen Noodle Bowls
  7. Skillet Fried Potatoes

We’re going to be doing a freezer cooking challenge in August, and I’ll be sharing more details soon. You know, once I figure out what those details are…

We added a new category on the recipe page this week called “How To Tutorials“. I have many posts that aren’t necessarily recipes, but still have a lot to do with food. And I never had a real “home” for them. Until now.

You can now find all the rando-posts I barf out like Pantry Essentials For the Home Cook and How to Freeze Strawberries in one convenient place.

Last week I mentioned I accidentally bought these silicone lids on Amazon. What a happy accident. They work soooooo well!

We often have random small bowls of yogurt or a mug of milk in the fridge because three-year-olds are mercurial and never finish the food/beverage they spent 15 minutes whining to get. These lids are so nice to pop on and cover up the bowl/mug.

This is the last Sunday post before the Free Bacon for Life deal runs out for Butcher Box. If you’ve been thinking about it, now is the time to jump on that ish! Free bacon for the life of your subscription, plus $10 off your first order, plus $2.50 rebate from Ebates.

Last week I mentioned how I was 100% slothlike on getting the garden planted this summer. I still don’t really care about it, but things are in the ground and growing. I resent having to water, but we’re already in a severe drought. And people think it rains all day every day in Seattle!

It will probably be another terrible fire season as a result. We’re gearing up for more smoke later in the summer, and already front-loading our prayers for people who will be impacted. And of course for the firefighters. 

But even though I don’t really care about the garden right now, doesn’t mean I have been busy working in it. A few months ago I mentioned a giant Japanese maple we have in our yard. This thing is MASSIVE. Hey, 1984 called. They want their plant back.

One day last week I just couldn’t handle it anymore and went to town on it. If you have a true love for very expensive plants, please skip over the next sentence…

I attacked this majestic plant with a hedge trimmer and a sawzall. Yes, yes I did.

As I got under it, branches just started falling on my head. I realized how unhealthy it was underneath and sometimes you have to remove the damaged parts and start fresh.

And then, of course, I set my sights on the ugly ass ground cover that had one night stand with a rando holly bush. As I tried trimming it, I realized that it too was 95% dead. And once I start something, I just can’t stop.

Six hours later (included clean up – 25 wheelbarrows to our brush pile – sweeping, and using the leaf blower to clean it all up), and I’m thrilled with how much cleaner it looks.

But up next: pressure washing that wall. Yuck!

My dad loves this plant and wanted to keep it long, but it truly did need a good clipping-purge. I kept it long on one side to make him happy. But every time I see it from the side, I kinda think I cut it into a mullet.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m working with Thrive now, and I’m excited to share that I have my own digital storefront with them now! You can check it out here.

And no, that is not my kitchen. I borrowed my neighbor’s stunning kitchen because mine looks like the setting of a 1970’s snuff film.

As an exclusive partner with Thrive, they’re allowing me to offer my readers 25% off their first order + free shipping on orders over $49 + a 30-day trial membership. Click here to take advantage of this week deal.

What I’m Listening To This Week

I’ve been listening to and loving This Land. Hosted by Rebecca Nagle, Oklahoma journalist and citizen of Cherokee Nation, This Land traces how a cut and dry homicide opened up an investigation into the treaty rights of five Native American tribes. 

Who would love this podcast: history nerds and people who are interested in social justice. Basically, they made a podcast for my sister and ME.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Amanda left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Egg Rolls:

We finally had a chance to try this today and we weren’t disappointed! We used a bag of coleslaw mix (shredded carrot +cabbage = shortcut. ????) We made 9 rolls and had to oven them. Shortly after they came out of the oven there were 4 left. We will be trying them again and my husband wants to try adding chicken or pork!

Three air fryer egg rolls on a wooden tray with a dish of soy sauce

{Pin this recipe}

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

As Cassie refers to it, the “Jam Jamboree” was on in full force this week!

Blackberry Freezer Jam {Low Sugar Blackberry Jam}Fresh tasting and delicious, this Blackberry Freezer Jam is so easy to whip up. Just three ingredients and 20 minutes (including clean up!), and you’ll have homemade blackberry jam made by your very own two hands. This blackberry freezer jam recipe is low-sugar and requires no cooking or canning. You’re about to be a jam making boss!

four jars of blackberry freezer jam with mint and blackberries

{Pin this recipe}

Refrigerator Pickled BeetsRefrigerator Pickled Beets are a fast and easy way to preserve this delicious and healthy vegetable! Quick pickled beets just like grandma used to make but without the canning. These easy pickled beets are an amazing side dish, quick snack, or addition to salads.

a jar of pickled beets on a wooden cutting board

{Pin this recipe}

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

I’m leaving the Virgin Mojito and Trader Joe’s Shopping List off the top five again this week because frankly, we’re all sick of seeing them!

And we have a new recipe on the leaderboard this week – Loaded Baked Potato Salad that is mayo-free. Because, gross.

I love that these top recipes all scream “it’s suuuuuuummer”!

  1. Homemade Peach Ice Cream Recipe  {Pin this}
  2. Honey Simple Syrup  {Pin this}
  3. Healthy Sweet Tea Recipe  {Pin this}
  4. Air Fryer Zucchini Chips  {Pin this}
  5. Loaded Baked Potato Salad Without Mayo  {Pin this}

Meal Plan

We’ve been testing out Momables and love it! The boys were super happy with all the dinners we have had from the meal plan. Momables emails you a weekly meal plan, shopping list and prep list for $10 a month. 

Monday:: Homemade Ramen Noodle Bowls (this didn’t happen last week because we ended up with too many leftovers)

Tuesday:: Paleo Roasted Chicken (didn’t happen last week. Again, too many leftovers), Air Fryer Asparagus, and biscuits (aka rolls)

Wednesday:: Breakfast dinner (Whole Wheat Pancakes, Bacon (related: how to bake bacon in the oven), and Make Ahead Scrambled Eggs) all from the freezer

Thursday:: 4th of July BBQ at my in-law’s!

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: TBD. Our leftovers game has been strong lately and I run into trouble when I over-plan.

Sunday:: Family dinner

What are you having this week?



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21 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Howdy. I’ve just discovered your blog (via Katie and your visit with her), so reading back some.  I live in Portland and water my vegetable garden about once a week. Even when it’s 90. When it gets up to 100 I go about every 4 days. My garden grows great. My original inspiration for limited watering came from Steve Solomon. I’m not sure he talks about it in Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades or elsewhere online, but I highly recommend training your vegetables to deal with long times between watering. Cheers. 

    • Hi Christine – welcome!

      I went looking for an old post I wrote called “the low water garden” but I must have deleted it. We heavily mulch and plant varieties that aren’t really drought tolerant but don’t need as much water as normal plants. So we’re totally on board with that!

      The first few years I gardened in our space it rained a ton so anything in comparison seems like too much water on my part. ;(

      We get free woodchips for our mulch and chicken coop and they are awesome! I used to use straw but one good windstorm meant I was cleaning up the paths for days. Blah.