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Scattered Sundays

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2 boys fishing on a dock

Where are my bakers at? Anyone else still having trouble finding yeast in the grocery stores? Flour seems to be back in stock, but yeast is still a challenge. I’m a die-hard Bob’s Red Mill fan for yeast (the kind they keep in the fridge section), but my grocery stores cannot even get shipments of it.

I had stocked up before the world shut down in March, and I was very thankful for that. We’re finally out of it because we have made/eaten an excessive amount of air fryer pretzel dogs, whole wheat pizza dough, and pretzel bites during the lockdown.

I finally broke down and bought some shelf-stable yeast to have on hand. My sister bought this brand on Amazon and has been happy with it. I’ll be busting it out this week to test it out on a batch of pretzel bites. 

Who knows what will happen in the next few days/weeks/months, but we’re officially fully stocked with what I think we’ll need. I have a few bags of organic all-purpose flour from Costco, but most of our flour comes from our kitchen grain mill.

I buy wheat berries to grind into flour from Azure Standard and keep them in 5-gallon food-grade buckets fitted with Gamma lids. In fact, I didn’t have to buy any new wheat berries during this whole thing because I purchased a 50-pound bag in 2019. I’ve been buying in bulk before it was cool. It is still cool, right? 🙂

Speaking of stocking up, have you read my pantry essentials post? How about the freezer essentials? Not only do they give you a great starting point for what to have on hand, but they talk about how to save on bulk items.

a row of mult-colored hydrangeas

I was cutting some veggies this week and leaned forward a bit too far and slammed my head into our upper cabinets (which sit very low thanks to our extra-rad dropped ceilings). Knowing that it was one of the last times I would hit my head on these stupid cabinets made the pain much easier to bear.

We did end up going to IKEA this week for kitchen hunting ideas. Basically everything was pretty much as I had planned in my mind, but I did change one section of the plan when we found something that would work better/be easier for installation.

Troy and my father-in-law are doing most of the work, so easier wins me a few brownie points. Or at least they’ll be cursing my name fewer times. One hopes.

This week we’ll be using IKEA’s free online kitchen planner and then will hopefully make another trip in a few weeks to sit down with one of their experts to make sure we aren’t planning things that don’t make any sense.

One thing we’re doing is having almost zero upper cabinets. In fact, I have only one set that I am planning on near the stove to stove my bottles of oils and spices. But if I could get away with eliminating that cabinet, I would be a happy girl.

If you don’t have upper cabinets, how do you store the bottles that you like to keep near the stove? I already keep olive oil on a lazy Susan with my cooking utensils near my stove. But what about soy sauce? Sesame oil? The 17 types of vinegar I use??? Do I move the utensils off the lazy Susan and just put all the oils/vinegars on there? Help!

We’re going to be using IKEAs cabinets and had been planning to use their fronts as well. Then my cousin told me about semihomemade fronts and I’ve been stalking their Instagram account for drool-worthy inspiration. Have you used them before? I’d LOVE to hear your experience…including if the price point is comparable to IKEA.

a boy in a sloth costume climbing on his brother

If you ordered a Covered Goods mask recently, they have been pre-order only for a few weeks now. They’re getting caught up and all should be shipped by this Wednesday. They’re taking new orders online and got some cute new colors. Remember to use coupon code “sustainablecooks” to get 15% off. Dollar dollar bills y’all.

On Friday, Troy and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary! It was 104 degrees the day of our outdoor wedding. Everyone who was there talks about two things: 1) how beautiful the setting was (we were at a friend’s farm) and 2) how freaking HOT it was.

A few years ago Troy started making me cards for birthdays, mother’s day, and our anniversary. He’s a talented artist. I am not. But trips to stores are limited these days and the one I tried had crappy cards. This card from Etsy ended up being the perfect solution. I freaking love Etsy.

2 cards - 1 with a tiger and 1 with a raccoon

Left: My card to Troy Right: Troy’s card to me.

Remember my excitement last week over “photo-palozoo”, the two marathon days of photographing in a friend’s empty house? Yeah. Didn’t happen. “Yeah, didn’t happen” is the motto of 2020. Life came up and we just couldn’t make it work.

But as these things go, life happened after I picked up a mega grocery order for all the components those recipes. We ate well this week, but almost all of it was reheated food since I had to scramble to make and photograph it earlier in the day when the light was good. Oh well. Some great photos and recipes came out of it and I’m excited to share them all with you over the next few weeks.

I treated myself to some new shoe inserts this week. I know, my life should be a reality show. Don’t be jealous. I wear a lot of slip-on shoes (these Dr. Scholls are my favorite) and also have incredibly sweaty feet. Stop being so turned on!

These thin terry inserts work great for almost all my slip ons, and they’re machine washable. My last set was purchased three years ago, so they’re a fabulous investment.


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As long-time customers ourselves, we never once experienced a break in delivery, even during the spring when many retailers experienced low supply. Our freezers remained stocked with high-quality and delicious meat; all without entering a single grocery store. Sign up here for your first box today!

In the Garden This Week

We had our first few ripe tomatoes this week! If I was as Type-A with garden records as I am with everything else, I would be able to tell you when the first one ripened last year. But I can’t, so I won’t. Instead, I’ll just enjoy these tomatoes with reverence and joy.

tomato plants

This is my favorite tomato of all time. It’s called flamme and it’s ripe when it’s bright orange.

Our garlic looks like it is almost dead, which means it is time to pull it this week. You plant it in early fall and ignore it until it looks like it is dead. It is my favorite crop to grow simply because it is so low maintenance. 

I have officially given up on planting green beans this year. Oh well, it happens. Which is fine because the raised bed I would put it in needs to be replaced anyway. In fact, the bed with the garlic in it also needs to be replaced. So Troy has some fun work ahead of him… 🙂

It’s supposed to be really hot through mid-week here (Seattle hot = 89 degrees F), so I’ll be nice and let him wait until the end of the week before making him work outside. He’s actually pretty clever and built the last replacement bed in our garage and then we just kind of fitted it over the soil where the old bed had been.

Fall seeds and starts need to go in once the new beds are set up. Our neighbor’s giant tree blocks my planting area during the winter, so I have to establish anything pretty early that I want to overwinter.

2 containers of berries in a sink

What I’m Listening To This Week

I recently discovered the podcast Missing in Alaska and the story has been fascinating! Alaska, 1972. Two congressmen vanish on a small plane. They’re never found. In 1995, a mobster tells the F.B.I. the plane was bombed. What happened?

I will say that the host’s voice is very monotone but if you can get past that, the story is great.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Long-time reader Mary left this five-star review on our Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Rice {Pin this recipe}:

I made this the other day for lunch and everyone loved it. I did it in my regular rice cooker and used extra virgin olive oil instead of butter. To be sure it turned out good, I used the measurements recommended by the rice cooker. That little dash of cream–Yum! This weekend is a family birthday and this will be my contribution. ????

a side view of rice in a blue bowl topped with parsley

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Green Beans in Tomato SauceThese healthy Green Beans in Tomato Sauce are outrageously tasty and made in just 10 minutes! This one-pot wonder is a speedy vegan/vegetarian, paleo, Whole30 compliant, or gluten-free dinner. {Pin this recipe}

a grey bowl with green beans on a white board with parlsey and salt and pepper shakers

Blackberry SyrupMade with fresh summer berries, you’re going to love this delicious Blackberry Syrup. This is a delightful homemade treat for pancakes, waffles, baked goods, drinks, and more. You can freeze or can this easy blackberry syrup recipe. {Pin this tutorial}

a small jar of blackberry pancake with a lemon and mint on a white board

How to Freeze Corn on the CobFreezing corn on the cob is the easiest way to preserve the delicious taste of summer. Learn how to freeze corn on the cob for fast healthy side dishes that you can enjoy all year long. {Pin this tutorial}

4 frozen ears of corn on a baking sheet

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

Yeppers, the Mojito Mocktail was on top again, so let’s take a little look-see at the other top posts of the week.

  1. Canning Peaches – Yep, it is summer! Like clockwork, this post always drops out of the top 5 in the first week of October. {Pin this tutorial}
  2. Air Fryer Zucchini Chips! As always, you’ll find non-air fryer baking instructions in the post.  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Rice –  quick and affordable comfort food. And, as always, non-Instant Pot instructions are included in the post. {Pin this recipe}
  4. Dill Pickle Relish – the cucumbers must be ripening right now, cause this post popped UP this week! {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Peach Ice Cream – hellllllllo summer goodness. {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Photographing and testing a new recipe

Tuesday:: Takeout to support a local small business

Wednesday:: Jack requested “those crispy beef tacos you make with lentils”. Basically, you cook a pound of ground beef (I use ours from Butcher Box), add some smooshed lentils, some homemade taco seasoning, and then serve it on crispy tortilla shells (I prefer soft corn tortillas). We’ll serve it with Instant Pot rice and salad.

Thursday:: New air fryer recipe I’m photographing. The boys LOVE this one!

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night

Saturday:: New recipe I am testing out

Sunday:: Takeout to support a local small business

What We Bought This Week

I’m no longer taking photos at the grocery store, but this Thrive Market order came to our house so I did take a pic:

Order total was $154.28 (savings of $51.12). If you want to try Thrive for free, my readers can get a $20 shopping credit with their first order to try it out. You can try it by signing up here.

grocery items in a box

Stasher bags were on sale so I stocked up because I freeze ALL THE THINGS

What are you having this week?



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29 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Those cards are both adorable!

  2. Hi Sarah, I know you are redoing your kitchen. I had planned to use Ikea for mine but ended up with Lily Ann cabinets. No, I don’t have any affiliation with them…they were just cheaper and really nice quality. My brother-in-law had used them in his kitchen. You have to put them together like Ikea cabinets.
    My kitchen looks great!
    Good luck!,