Help Me Help You: Sharing the Cooking Load

Written by Danny.

This post was birthed a few weekends ago when Aimée was gone to BSP in Pennsylvania.  I had the kids for an extended weekend – on holidays – and it was both wonderful for the bonding and closeness I got with my boys and terrible as I realized that I rely on Aimée for so much.

You see, we both rely on each other for so many things: I believe that Aimée has filled the car with gas exactly twice in the 9 years that we have been married.  Each time comes with a story of exasperation and woe that I listen to with a bemused smile. Why? It’s just no big deal for me. For her, however, it is unfamiliar territory.

If I were to coordinate a Thanksgiving dinner, though?  The shoe would be on the other foot (and the pre-dinner snacks would be whole, raw apples).  I may be able to contribute to one of the side dishes, desserts or appetizers (I’ve improved since the apples), but to orchestrate an entire meal?

In my defense, I usually get our standard breakfast offering  ready for the family: coffees, APPLE juice (no other kinds tolerated, apparently) and some kind of cereal – oatmeal, cornmeal, flakes-from-a-box. But a cohesive, timely, organized lunch or supper? That’s different from day to day? Her territory.

You see, even though she wrote an awesome list of what to eat and when (mostly for the kids, of course) for the weekend she was gone, I nevertheless felt a bit out of place in the kitchen, and I realize that I have a basic skill set that I need to hone: cooking.

Perhaps you have a partner like me? Here’s what we need to be able to help share the cooking load effectively on a regular basis or in an emergency situation. [Read more…]

7 Ways to Get Your Act Together for the Canning Season

They say if you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else, and this certainly rings true when it comes to home preservation. If you don’t have a game plan, the summer can easily pass you by with little or no canning accomplished, making for a fall scramble to put food up.

A plan of action for canning is also important for avoiding a physical -or mental- collapse during those short and hot summer months. Those softening strawberries and quick-ripening tomatoes really know how to put on the pressure. It is easy to take on too much, and canning really isn’t a project that can be rushed or accomplished under stress.

The alternate title for this post was How to Avoid Burnout During Canning Season, because I want to help you streamline your home canning efforts to be as efficient as possible, while yielding the personal satisfaction of a job well done – without burnout!

[Read more…]

Eat Well, Spend Less: How to Store Pantry Food for Maximum Shelf Life

Back by popular demand, our series, Eat Well, Spend Less, will be returning once a month.

We all know the benefits of a well-stocked pantry. It’s essential for menu planning organization, helps maintain a healthy diet full of real foods, and saves you money by allowing you to stock up when food items are on sale.

But if food is not stored properly and is allowed to spoil, where is the value in buying in bulk? None whatsoever. That is why it is important to know how to store pantry food for maximum shelf life.

Waste in the average North American kitchen is at an all-time high. The numbers are shocking. Too much food is being thrown away. Is it coming from your kitchen? If so, you may be eating well, but you are certainly not spending less.

In the theme of our continuing Eat Well, Spend Less series, I thought we’d take a look at keeping all those groceries fresh and properly stored, and thus, keep more cash in our pockets.

[Read more…]