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How to save burnt food, a Christmas gift, and cooking.


Another week older, and yes, I think a little wiser. I just had to throw out some food that had gone bad, which is always sad. I think it is a shame when food is wasted and this time it was my fault…and the worst part is it was the mixture to make Pupusas (which takes time to make and is one of our favorite foods.


I knew I needed to put it in the freezer as I cooked other stuff through the week and I never made the Pupusas, but I didn’t.


Today, when I pulled it from the fridge it was bad and so it went to the chickens. And that was disappointing because we all were ready to eat Pupusas.


We sold Felipe’s truck last night. He was using Tony’s old pickup, but wanted something smaller and more economical. The truck is a 97 Dodge with 200,000 miles on it and we sold it for $2000.


Now to find another smaller car for him. Actually, I am just plain tired of the whole buy cars, look for cars, get cars fixed, etc. Right now we have seven cars on our insurance.


We really can’t help our sons in college, but this is one way we have tried to help them is through helping them with repairs and their insurance. Our car insurance is one of the largest bills each month and they just raised it quite a bit which means I probably ought to check out other companies. Ugh…something I do not relish.


I only had to work 4 hours this week so I actually cooked every day this week. I made a Spanish Turkey one day and they ate it on Bolio bread (like small French loaves…sub sandwiches) with lettuce, tomato, etc.


Then the next day, we had Goulash. Then the following day, I took the leftover turkey, put it on to boil (added the broth, too) then cut up about 5 potatoes, boiled them with the turkey until they were soft, then added a package of angel hair (extremely thin curled up noodles).


Basically, a homemade chicken noodle soup with potatoes. My goodness, it was so good. Sometimes the simplest foods are the best.


The next day, I made Carne Guisada with just potatoes added and made Spanish rice. Now I need to let you know I went to do something in another room and when I came back to the kitchen the meat was burning big time. Smoke was everywhere and it smelled of burnt.


What you do is immediately grab the pan, take it to the sink, and add water. But be careful that it does not splatter on you and burn you.


Then loosen the meat carefully with a bamboo or wooden spatula or spoon. Pour the meat and burnt juice into a colander in the sink. Then wash and/or pick off all the burnt sections. Wash the pan, add the clean meat to the pan, and continue on.


If the burnt food is a soup, stew, potatoes, or something like that, just pour the food into another pan, but leave the stuck part in the old pan. Do not try to get it out or the burnt part will go too. You have no idea how many times I have burned something and then salvaged/changed it into a scrumptious meal.


Then if you can believe it, I was making pork guisada yesterday, and I burned it! I washed off the pork and had to wash it piece by piece as there were little black burnt pieces mixed in.


Then when I tasted it, it had an extremely good flavor, but was a little dry. Thus, I ended up adding a little water and a squirt of oil to a clean pan and heated it up again. I did not add anything else or make into Guisada…we just ate the little piece of meat with rice. A very yummy meal.


Today, we had mashed potatoes and hamburger gravy. Another simple cheap meal that the children (and my mom) love.


Yesterday, we worked outside for several hours working on taking out and redoing the front garden. We are redoing all the front gardens; eliminating some and making the others smaller. Downsizing now as we face getting older and older.


It is not just the physical; it is also simply that there are other things I want to do with my time. Plus the fact, that although my children are not as physically demanding on my time…they are actually more demanding mentally as they grow older and their lives become more challenging.


It takes a sheer amount of time to counsel them, help them with a car, school work, taxes, babysit, and so forth. I was foolish to think I would somehow have more time when they left home. I have less laundry to do, but I do not have more time.


We cleaned the house today…amazing how dirty it can get so quickly. And I dislike dusting immensely. When I am filthy rich someday…that is something I will indulge in – I will hire someone to come every week and dust the house.


Our Christmas program is getting closer and a local station has agreed to broadcast the program. We will have a 300 person choir, a 60 piece orchestra, and our guest conductor will be Graig Jessop who used to be with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


I am already nervous. I am too much of a perfectionist and it worries me that we are still working on parts this late. I would love to have more practices and be further along.


However, as always happens in these things, I worry too much and they always seem to work out. Fito keeps telling me to not worry and why do I do these things if I am going to worry so much. I do have to admit, though, I am extremely excited, as well.


I used to do a lot of musical things when I was younger and have not had the opportunity to do something of this nature for some time. It is an amazing thing to participate in a program of this magnitude. I am blessed to be doing so.


I also had time this week to write for my book. I am currently writing a book on Critical Thinking.


Fito went to Dallas this past weekend for a work-related conference and I went with him. I stayed in the hotel room the whole time just writing. If I could have perhaps twenty more days like that, I would finish it. I think I am going to have to just disappear (I keep saying that, but never do it).


Oh well, the life of a mom just keeps going and going (and where do we get new batteries from?)  And then she becomes a grandma and still keeps going.


It just occurred to me that our batteries are recharged each time our children do something really mature, really kind, do service, are obedient, selfless, accomplish a goal, and so on. Then you know your sacrifices have paid off.


Oh…something neat just happened. When I had my Lasik surgery done, they had a promo sports package where they gave you a certificate for two sports tickets plus hotel stay. We had not used ours. Then when I went in for a follow up appointment this past week, I noticed that their new promo was an I-pad.


I spoke with their manager, had to make several calls to another company, but got it all worked out where I can exchanged the sports package for the I-pad…so someone is going to get a very nice Christmas present. And believe me, every year I worry about Christmas.


This definitely is when have nine children is more difficult…but at the same time…come on…Christmas morning with only one child? That would be rather sad. And I have many readers from China where I know you would have more children if you could.


My heart aches for you and all the other couples who have not been able to have children. It is better to have no presents or small presents and have a large family with whom to share this day than to have all the wealth of the world.


May each one of you be blessed in this upcoming holiday season to be comforted and blessed with the righteous desires of your heart is my prayer.    

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