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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cooking to Relax--Cure for Stress

It seems that worry over children never ends. My daughter is having problems with severe nosebleeds and may need surgery. She ate too many of the pecans I sent her as she made dinner last night and suffered later in the night, frightening her daughter with her moaning. Her sixteen-year-old son is very ill with strep throat. AND, the nine-year-old daughter broke the growth plate in her leg, down near the ankle! Besides that, my daughter has been dealing with the huge snowstorms and the aftermath in NYC. She is a single mother.

So, how is a mother to relax? It is not easy. I just cook my way through the mental pain I feel. Actually, I cooked until I was in physical pain...back, knees, elbow. Don't ask me why the elbow hurt from cooking.

Three chicken breasts were baked on the stove top in an iron skillet with Italian dressing as their only seasoning. Two baked potatoes and eight sweet potatoes spent an hour in the oven, making the kitchen cozy. That was nice after the extreme cold for ten days. Well, it has not been frigid in there for two days, just cold. (baked potato for tomorrow)

Red cabbage looked, smelled, and tasted delicious. Green beans were from a can. Don't scold. I know there is bad stuff in the lining of the can! But, I can eat green beans raw. Honest, I will try to can some green beans this summer. I sliced a horrid tomato that was free. For some reason I opened a can of applesauce to go with all this.

Baked chicken
green beans
sweet potato
red cabbage (purple)
sliced tomato
applesauce

The plates of food were lovely. I won't have to cook for three days. It is not the cooking for 24 days at once, but it works. No salt was added to anything. The green beans were low sodium and the applesauce had absolutely no sweetener of any sort.

Today, exbf came and helped me with things my back will not allow me to do. He does not cook AT. ALL. So, he enjoyed dinner and took a Tupperware divided plate with a meal for work tomorrow. I also gave him more sweet potato, baked potato, and tomato for another day. LOL...I pay him in food.

After he left, I had to find something to fasten the commode handle to the chain, so I went to Lowe's. It turns out the wire I have will work and not rust. SAVED MONEY--used what I had. Then, the lure of potting soil or something to start seeds in forced  me back to the nursery. I am set. 

A smoothie ended my night--1/2 cup chopped strawberries, large banana, 1/4 cup blueberries, bit of orange juice. One one glass I had my fruit for the day. Well, I had orange juice this morning and apple at noon.

Don't you think an 8" x 8" pan of fudge  brownies with two cups of chopped walnuts is just the thing for me to bake now? I do.

The chickens are over here, snoring! I have clothes to fold and sheets to put on the bed.

Your turn
Do you ever cook just because you are stressed? Now, this was not a fattening meal at all, full of nutrients, all fresh except for the applesauce and green beans. Cooking is a nurturing act even when done for yourself. But, I wanted my daughter and her children to have this meal. No, I did not eat it all...lol. Do stressors ever cause you to cook?

4 comments:

  1. The other night I was stressing about money; since you sometimes drop in on my site, you know that I'm on the hook for about $1900 due to a recent injury.
    Currently in frugal lockdown, i.e., no unnecessary expenditures and eating from cupboards/freezer except for minimal purchase of fresh stuff. So I went to the Asian market and bought bananas (cheapest fruit there is), an onion, acorn squash and two pounds of carrots (on sale).
    I spent about an hour putting together a very nice vegetable curry (squash, carrots, corn, onions, garlic) and cooking some quinoa, which my daughter bought ages ago and left with me when she moved. I also baked five chicken drumsticks from the freezer (59 cents a pound on sale).
    It took me a long time to peel the acorn squash and cut it up along with the carrots, onion and garlic. But it was relaxing and, yes, nurturing: I knew I was going to get three healthy meals out of this one cooking session. And it was very tasty; just had the last plate of it for lunch.
    My goal is to spend as little as possible out of pocket for the next month. Since I stockpile when things go on sale, I'm all set.
    All of the foodstuffs I have require prep work -- no heat 'n' eat stuff. But that's a form of self-care, too, to prepare healthy meals. Right now I have pinto beans simmering in the slow cooker; they will become a pot of chili later on. When I've washed the slow cooker, I'm going to put in those five drumstick bones and their pan juices, some leftover chicken broth and some vegetable cooking water. After a few hours I'll strain the result, let it cool, skim off the fat and turn it into chicken soup with pasta from my cupboard (29 cents for 12 oz. with coupons) and some frozen mixed vegetables (50 cents for 16 oz. on sale).
    It all takes time, but not TOO much time. Besides, I need to step away from the computer for a while anyway. Win-win!

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  2. When you consider time is money, it makes it easier to use time if you are short on money or needing to use money elsewhere. Yes, stepping away from the computer or whatever is lovely. I am going to be using my stockpile due to a reduction in food money. Most any day or week, I could eat well even if I did not go to the store. Of course, I would be eating unsweetened applesauce instead of an apple. But, that will not kill me short term. I probably have 200 lbs of dried beans! Frozen meat fills my freezer. It is just a matter of going, looking, thawing, and cooking. It is the day I don't bother to even go and look that I spend money. That is not a bad thing; but I don't have to spend to eat. I figured out long ago that boneless, skinless chicken breast (only part I will eat) is cheaper than buying chicken breast with bone and skin. So, there are no bones, skin or broth unless I bake a chicken or boil it. I thought maybe it was a silly concept to cook when stressed, so I am glad to see the idea resonated positively. Thanks for the comments.

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  3. When I'm stressed, I EAT...not necessarily cook (unless it is something I will eat a whole pan of.) :-) Hmmm..I wonder why I have a hard time keeping the weight off. LOL!

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  4. I know the eat-the-whole-pan thing, only too well.

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