The little Clay Pot

Lots of things can go in a little Clay Pot

the Little Clay Pot discovers a new purpose February 1, 2012

Filed under: The forming of a little Clay Pot — littleclaypot @ 6:42 am
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When I started this blog, its primary use was to post menus that documented my journey through feeding my family reasonably local, reasonably organic foods on a frugal budget–mixed with a certain amount of random thoughts because, hey…that just how I roll.

In 2011: I started a full-time nursing position working 12 hr nights in a state hospital, graduated with a BS-N, moved to the “city” house, rented out the “country” house, started attending a new fellowship, and still helped maintain our home and homeschooling ways…oh and almost totally fell off the “local/organic bandwagon.”

Now hopefully you see why there wasn’t much activity here in the Little Clay Pot.

I still hope to post menus here…if for no one else than my husband who found it helpful. And we are starting to get back on that bandwagon!

But with all those changes I think this girl is seeing a new dimension taking place as the Potter continues to “complete the good work” that He has started by forming this Little Clay Pot.

If you have ever had a slightly spiritual discussion with me about my testimony you might have heard me use an analogy about God having a plan for my life and it being laid out on a road.  Only…in my “aimless conduct” I often take detours, only to be guided back to the path that is ordained for me by my Gentle Creator.  I will say “If I only would listen and seek the LORD I would be so much further along the path, but I make slow progress because I am always getting of the main road to visit tourist traps.”  Something like this:

My Path. Talk about wandering in the wilderness!

Now don’t misunderstand me, God has used each little detour to show me truths about His Faith, Glory and Love.  Sometimes I just think it would be nice to stay on His path and quit trying to make my own!

So I was so blessed today to find a beautiful truth about Gods kingdom in Isaiah 35:8

A highway shall be there, and a road,And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.

The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others.

Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. [emphasis mine]

What?!  One of God’s promises is that there will be a road even I can not veer off of?!  A High way of Holiness that even in my foolish ways I can not stray from?!  To date I think this is one of my favorite aspects of Gods Truth.  And I hope to apply the concept of maintaining a righteous (not perfect) and Holy (not holier than thou) walk on the road that God has laid before me on His Highway of Holiness.

 

Accepting a little help… February 22, 2011

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel,….1 Peter 3:7a

Ok, be forewarned you may not like what you are about to read.   But, lets face it blogging really isn’t about who reads it…it’s really about the one who writes it…and this little Clay Pot is just full of all sorts of interesting things.

Lots of people may point to the verse in 1 Peter and say…”SEEEE…men are supposed to honor their wife.”  Yes, they are, but what does honor entail exactly? Buying you presents…making sure you get a spa day? Maybe never arguing with your Supreme Woman of the House persona?  Maybe…somedays.  But let’s look a little closer…that honor comes along with our being the WEAKER vessel.

WHOA! you say?  WAIT, aren’t we supposed to be empowered and strong and superhuman–never sleeping, multi-tasking, child-bearing Super Heros?

Well, look…I like to pretend I look good in skin tight spandex and thigh high boots just as much as the next gal, but truth be told it takes a large portion of energy in the morning just to squeeze myself into a pair of jeans! Super woman I am not!  So I’m not super woman, DO I HAVE TO BE WEAK?

No, and yes.  We are strong.  We do many things and we do them well…but how can our husbands find any joy in helping us (and I’m talking about everything from laundry to opening the door to coming to get us in a raging snow storm because we wrecked the car) IF WE WILL NOT LET THEM BE STRONG (ie. we must be weak)?

We are in a crazy time right now, a blessed, spirit filled time…but crazy none the less…and I need my husbands help.  I need him to help me get up in the morning.  I need him to take care of our children while I am at work.  I need him to help me take care of the meals and cleaning and homeschooling.  I am weak…I can’t do it all on my own.  And I am blessed to have a husband to is answering God’s call to honor his wife. But listen…he wasn’t always that way.  And maybe you are saying that your husband does not honor you–but here is the question…have you stopped for a moment and been weak, been in need of help, been willing to accept help even if it meant that the jeans don’t get folded YOUR way?

I’m learning this.  I am learning to be weak…and really let’s face it…it isn’t so much as learning it…as learning to accept it.

 

Summer menus June 8, 2010

Summer is a hard menu time for me. Is it nice? Is it rainy? Did we decide at the last minute to invite company over? One better, did we get invited at the last minute to go someplace else?  Did I remember to order from the bounty?  Can’t we just eat s’mores for dinner?

Not to mention, I want to use every available minute to be outside or working on inside projects while I am not in school…I do not want to be in the kitchen any more than absolutely necessary! Feeding my family seems more a struggle, let alone feeding them healthy, local or organic!  And what ever happened to the budget!?

So you may notice a very picnic-y menu.  I intend to use the grill (or as my mother called it the “outdoor kitchen”) I got for my husband for his birthday every day it is not a torrential down pour…The newest menu posted for the week of 6.14.10–follows the old format…but I am thinking that I will have to come up with a more flexible template and still…my goal is to get a format that allows for cost analysis and user friendly recipes…I am working on it…promises, promises.

My secondary goal for the summer is to be diligent to post 2 posts a week…One on Monday with the menu that is food/grocery related and one later in the week that is a shameless rambling of the random thoughts that never cease to occupy my brain space.   As always your comments/questions/suggestions are always welcome.

 

Getting back to basics. May 28, 2010

Right of the bat, let me say “Sorry for the delay.”   The last month of school was a bit intense and the last two weeks have been spent trying to put my seriously havoc ridden home back together–a task that has almost been accomplished.  Add to that the beautiful weather and the need to get the seeds and plants in the ground and it has been all I could do to keep food in our bellies, let alone actually planning and being smart about it. In fact, during finals week my two oldest children made coffee cake for lunch to have with fruit…twice…because it kept them busy and answered the “What am I going to feed these cridders?” question.  Furthermore, in the spirit of true confession, Yesterday…I fed them ice cream and pretzels.

As things slowly come back together though…I can smell bread in the oven, and we can actually walk on the floors in the bedrooms and not on toys and laundry, and my nails still have traces of garden dirt…I feel a sense of supreme bliss, knowing that this summer is going to be fantastic.  I will be able to make my menus and enjoy the foods that I will access to at the farmers markets.  I will be able to grow some of our own foods and even some medicinal herbs that I am finally taking the time to learn about.  And I will be able to share these things with my children…so that they will know that we never stop learning and that we can always learn a new way of doing things.  For example: not going out to eat or grabbing sub sandwiches because mom doesn’t feel like cooking at the end of a long hot day but instead–simmering a stew hen all day, shredding the meat, mixing it with BBQ sauce and making a beautiful chicken BBQ salad with a side of fried left over salt potatoes with fennel and chives.  It wasn’t hot, it wasn’t hard and best of all it didn’t require extra $$ or time.

“MUD MEN”

Best of all, as things get back into our preferred routine, I will be able to watch my children be children.  As we teach them to work the soil, and pull weeds and water plants…we can watch them discover (again!) the wonderful attributes of MUD!  It is a simple pleasure…and perhaps a bit devious in nature because there is something so satisfying at hosing them off with the garden hose…but these are the things I hope to make more time for by getting back into the menu, planning routine. So I will pick up where I left off…hope you still plan on reading along and sharing your thoughts as we go.  But most of all I hope you enjoy your summer…and maybe even some “mud” of your own.

 

Waste not Want not. April 6, 2010

An Italian friend of mine told me a few years ago about her grandmother visiting from Italy.  She described the way that her grandmother ate EVERYthing off a chicken bone and how it made her (my friend) feel very wasteful for throwing away food on her plate.

My husbands grandfather has a collection of empty match boxes.  I haven’t seen it myself, but every account likens it to a rather large collection.  Apparently there is no designated purpose for these match boxes, but they are kept…just because you never know when you might want to….what exactly would you want to do with 50 match boxes?

My mother-in-law taught me to wash my gently used baggies.  At first, I openly admit, I thought she was insane.  Then a girlfriend told me about someone who threw out a gallon baggy after a package of opened crackers had been kept in it for a few days.  Now, I tell myself I wash them sometimes–so that I don’t feel guilty for the times I don’t. *GRIN*

Let’s get to the point.  As I was working on the menu for next week, considering what I have, what I will need to get, recipes, schedules, the “sensitive” palates of my children and their extreme displeasure for casserole type food…it occurred to me…”Why am I planning a meal I am not going to want to fix, and that no one is going to want to eat?”  When this happens, there are left overs that no one wants to eat, and then they inevitably get thrown away.  Combine that with some exceptional circumstances that are going to seriously mess up our daily “schedules” over the next couple of weeks…and I decided to embrace the simple.  So the menu reflects just that: Sandwiches, pizza, &  hotdogs (Now stop your grimacing, I can actually get these through CNY Bounty and they are Delicious! No preservatives and made with local meat.)

I hope this tactic works!  I even think that I am going to try to make pizza’s this weekend and freeze them so that they are all ready and I will not be tempted to order pizza for delivery…a luxury we pay an extra $10.00 for, living out here in the boonies!

 

ACK! I missed my Bounty Order! March 31, 2010

Unfortunately yesterday I was focused on other tasks that had to be done, and I forgot about placing my bounty order until after it was to late! I have not missed a bounty order in a month or two, so I am very disappointed.  I am also into “CRunCH” time with my school work, so I need to be organized over the next couple of weeks to make sure that I am not making these silly time/money wasting mistakes!

The first step is going to be a thorough inventory of the kitchen.  Please hold, this may take a few moments, and I will probably get detoured by the needs of a human under 4ft tall. …………….

OK, now that is done, to create a grocery list and a menu.  I have decided that I am going to try to get through to next Thursday with the bare necessities and a few pantry items.  I need to restock on oatmeal (if anyone knows of a place to purchase non-plastic large food containers I would love to know!) and I will need milk, and a few produce items as well as a few things for dinner next week.  I am going to try to get the milk from a local farmer, and the oats and most everything else I will get from Troyer’s.   The menu for next week is very budget friendly, and so I should be able to maintain my $100.00 mark.

I am still trying to figure out the best way to post a grocery list or a break down of what I have purchased–that is not labor intensive.  I have considered scanning my notebook that I take with me and use to keep track of prices, and I think I will try to play with that this week.  I am also looking at some other blog themes that may allow me to organize a bit differently.

Also please take the time to read Mama Beth’s comment on the Breakfast on a Budget post…she is the amazing woman who shared the oatmeal/granola recipe and I greatly respect her experience, expertise and energy!

 

A Day Late and a Dollar Short. March 13, 2010

We have already addressed that sometimes lifestyle, or LIFE in general keeps us from leading a well planned, budgeted existence, so we won’t go over that again…but let’s take note that sometimes when we run into a glitch it takes a while to recoup and heaven forbid that we run into two glitches in a row!

This week my husbands work schedule got changed…so my “routine” of shopping on Thursday or Friday will now have to adjust to shopping on Monday or Tuesday.  Thank you for being patient while we adjust.  So in lieu of some thoughtful banter I am posting my CNY Bounty order that was delivered 3/11/10 and breaking down how I will use it.  Hope to be back in the groove on Monday with some ideas for breakfast and a better format for posting exactly what is being purchased and used each week!

Product

Producer

Price

Use

Milk – Whole – 1 Gal

Evan’s Farmhouse Creamery

$6.31

Mostly for Drinking.  We normally go through about 3 gallons a week.

Yogurt – Orange – Quart

Evan’s Farmhouse Creamery

$4.06

For 1 lunch (with apples and bread) and 1 breakfast (with granola and fruit)

1/2 and 1/2 – 1 qt

Queensboro Farm Products

$1.55

For the husbands coffee

Apples – Empire

Split Rail Apple Farm

$5.53

For lunch.  We normally do slices to make them stretch.

Eggs

Tea Party Acres

$2.93

For cooking, and hard boiled for lunch.

Salad – Bouquet

Finger Lakes Fresh

$2.00

For..salad.

Utility Carrots – 4lb

Stick & Stone Farm

$5.85

These are lovely!  Used in cooking, salad, and as a raw veg.

Breakfast Sausage – bulk

Drover Hill Farm

$6.49

(this was actually out, so I won’t be using it.)

Hot Dogs – All Pork

Ingallside Meadows Farm

$7.80

These are for Monday nights dinner.

Lard – rendered

Ingallside Meadows Farm

$4.52

I will use this for cooking, like Crisco.  But I am thinking I will try to get some more to make soap.

Arm Roast – Large

Mizrahi Manor

$11.41

This will be served on St. Patrick’s day!   See the menu for 3.15.10

Product

Producer

Price

Use

Milk – Whole – 1 Gal

Evan’s Farmhouse Creamery

$6.31

Yogurt – Orange – Quart

Evan’s Farmhouse Creamery

$4.06

1/2 and 1/2 – 1 qt

Queensboro Farm Products

$1.55

Apples – Empire

Split Rail Apple Farm

$5.53

Eggs

Tea Party Acres

$2.93

Salad – Bouquet

Finger Lakes Fresh

$2.00

Utility Carrots – 4lb

Stick & Stone Farm

$5.85

Breakfast Sausage – bulk

Drover Hill Farm

$6.49

Hot Dogs – All Pork

Ingallside Meadows Farm

$7.80

Lard – rendered

Ingallside Meadows Farm

$4.52

Arm Roast – Large

Mizrahi Manor

$11.41