A lot has been happening in the last couple of weeks what with the mandatory cleaning after being gone for 4 months and the (sometimes) big efforts of restocking the freezer with our favorite "easy" meals. These are the time-consuming, many ingredient dishes that take most of the day to prep and cook, like lasagna or elaborate main dish casseroles, or fancy side dishes. I don't always feel like cooking from scratch -every- night!
|More on this Lasagna later|
When you are seasonal, whether to-and-from a house, an RV or a boat you can be faced with big problems or issues once you arrive back at it. Guess what kids, this is true going in both directions - double the fun, haha 😁. With any luck you may only be faced with smaller inconveniences like a build up of dust, some sporadic (hopefully non-persistent) mildew smells, some weeds in the yard and just lots of laundry, lol.
|Time for a change to the fall regalia inside and out.|
We are pretty practiced in the art of "seasonal" after the several years of back and forth between the house and sailboat. We do a lot of things to try to bulletproof against major issues while we're gone, such as draining the hot water heater, shutting off the water at the street, plastic sheeting over the entertainment center, flipping off most of the breakers in the fuse box and making good use of our hurricane shutters. However, over the years we have still encountered a few non-ideal issues such as a small roof leak in the florida room after a tropical storm has passed through the area. Oh well, into every life a little rain must fall.
We consider all these efforts to be a fair trade-off to getting to enjoy a nice change of scene once a year, rather like paying a toll to that Troll under the bridge.
So, that's what's been happening around here; vacuuming, dusting, lemon polishing, floor mopping, garage cleaning/organizing, leaf blowing and weed pulling and cooking - did I mention cooking??
One of our favorite casseroles is King Ranch Chicken. I talked about that in the last blog I guess. Another favorite is Spinach Lasagna with meat. That one is a big deal to make as well. There used to be a cooking show on TV that epitomized my style called "Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee". I do that all the time to save time, which means for this recipe I am using jarred spaghetti sauce as a base. Into that I will add canned diced tomatoes, sautéed onions, mushrooms and bell pepper, priana tomato pesto, red wine, herbs & seasonings, browned ground beef and italian sausage. Let me tell you, in my book that's homemade! And that's just the sauce.
BTW, I made plenty of extra sauce so that; a) I don't run short while building the lasagna, and b) I end up with a couple of freezer containers of spaghetti sauce I can draw upon for easy meals.
So you can imagine all the additional steps for the filling, and building the layers. Like I said, all day job. I finally broke down and bought a new Anchor Hocking deep 9 x 13 casserole dish so I can get 3 layers and no spillover.
|Thing of beauty - mellows well in the freezer too!|
Having a dedicated sewing/crafting room means I can leave a jigsaw puzzle on the table, no problem. I prefer 500 pieces or less as I can knock them out pretty quickly, and they are readily available at either the thrifts or Ollies etc. I use a poster board as a base for the puzzle while under construction, and use the plastic chopping mats ($1 @ Dollar Tree) for the pieces. That way if I need to use the table for something else I can easily put the mats on top of the poster board and move the whole kit and caboodle somewhere else.
It seems like I only get about 5 hours of solid sleep a night, so sometimes I'll get up in the middle of the night and work on the puzzle as a way to lull me back into snooze mode.
|Final evening scene next to the Poudre River @ Rustic, Colorado|
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