Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hibernation skills: In which I keep track of time

To the gentle reader and others observing,

I don't know how the weather is where you live, but here in the Pacific Northwest it's cold.  Not bitterly cold, not deathly freezing, just cold and frosty and very winter-like.

It hasn't been as drizzly and miserably rainy as it sometimes is; just frosty with the occasional tantalizing snow-dusting.  This morning, while Mr H was out doing his morning training, I walked to the Public Market to pick up milk and cream.  The weather is perfect for brisk, hilly walks!  I enjoyed some of the lingering Christmas decorations our neighbors had up.

I even found a lucky penny!  The Public Market is next to the marina and the Navy base, so there was a sharp wind from the bay as I rounded the corner.

Now that I'm back home, I've got a full day of projects waiting for me - more turkey broth to can, bread dough to put in the fridge to rise overnight, chowder to make.  I started the task list rolling by making some taco seasoning.

I keep track of all my tasks for the day at my "control panel" - a corner of the kitchen that I have the luxury of using to store my notebooks, cookbooks, and tablets throughout the day.  I was inspired to make this useful space by the head chef of Windsor Castle!  He has a nook where, during state dinners, he keeps his menu and task lists in order.  I figure a man's home is his castle, so I might as well run our small household as shipshape as the Queen's.

To keep track of day-by-day duties, I use The Time Keeper, designed by Starla at Well Kept Life.  Every year, I browse through stack after stack of calendars to find one well-suited to my needs - each day needs a space large enough to write plenty of tasks, and I would like to have a few pages for notes, lists, and phone numbers.  This last fall, I read through a few reviews of the Time Keeper calendar and decided to give it a shot - ordering it sight-unseen!  A definite first for me, who usually spends twenty minutes reading each calendar determining if it's The One!

I couldn't be more pleased with my new calendar.  It has plenty of space for each day, notes and grocery list pages in the back, room for phone numbers and addresses (I wrote a bunch of family addresses into the large Notes section), and a month overview at the beginning of each month.  Starla has also included encouraging verses and quotes at the beginning of every week - "A kind face is a beautiful face."  "Contentment is the soil in which true joy thrives."  "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in Him.  Nahum 1:7"

I also use a smaller notebook throughout the year (it has no real timeframe - when it fills up, I get a new one!) to write notes for canning, jot down recipes and recipe ideas, do calculations for produce, and keep a running list of kitchen tools and books to keep an eye out for.  We used it on our recent road trip to track our mileage, and sometimes Gary steals it and adds notes for me.  :)

These are all very useful time-management techniques for me (some of you are trying to imagine writing things down - you techies with your Netbooks and Iphones are probably wondering when I'll advance to the 21st century).  However, the most important book I use to order and direct my daily steps has already been written - all I need to do is read it.

Pondering life together,

Mrs H

Taco Seasoning
I got this recipe from Miz Carmen, who got it from Allrecipes, to which it was submitted by Bill Echols

Find a recipe for tortillas (whole wheat or white) here

1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1 – ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Have a huge family?  Making taco beef for a party?  Freezing batches of seasoned meat?  

To sedecuple the recipe (multiply it by 16), and make 16 ounces of taco seasoning (2 cups): 

1 cup chili powder
4 teaspoons garlic powder
4 teaspoons onion powder
4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
4 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons paprika
½ cup ground cumin
5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon ground black pepper  

Adjust the ratios as you like to make it more to your tastes; do you have any good ideas of other spices to add to this mix?  



Related Posts with Thumbnails