Greetings, Thrifty Sisters! I trust that everyone has survived the holidays and are enjoying the arrival of the new year. Just in case anyone is wondering, the garden dirt that I wrote about in November is still firmly ground into my carpets, but that did not stop the festivities! I was also able to spend my studio break finishing a 2-year-old painting project that had been put on hold. Man, does it feel good to be able to accomplish that task! I love how my kitchen looks, that I hardly notice how dreadful the carpet looks! Ha!
Last December, I wanted to bake some banana bread. We had dutifully frozen some very ripe bananas – remember the promise about not wasting food?! Although, I did overlook the need to take out the bananas from the freezer the night before I impulsively decided I wanted to make the banana bread. Guess what – it all worked out just fine! I followed the new to me method for thawing the bananas and life was good! This link has great information on how to freeze, defrost and various uses for your overripe bananas. http://living.thebump.com/use-frozen-bananas-baking-9071.html
In the previous newsletter, I shared some chili recipes, and our friend Eli shared another delicious sounding recipe! Eli was aiming for a green chicken chili, but she decided this turned out more like a green enchilada soup – thanks for sharing your recipe, Eli!
Green Enchilada Soup
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 jar salsa verse
1can cream of chicken herb soup
I small jar green chilies
1 can white chili beans
1can garbanzo beans
1lb chicken that I browned and then diced
Throw it all in a pot, let simmer a little, adjust spiciness with the salsa verde
In December, my hubby started the Minimalism Challenge. If you are not familiar with the rules, you basically start by getting rid of one item on the first day of the month. By day 14, you are getting rid of 14 items, all the way to day 30 or 31, when you are getting rid of 30 or 31 items. I must admit that I was jealous of the fact that he was finding time to do the challenge, and I was barely keeping my head above water at the end of the semester, and trying to pack in all the knowledge needed into my student’s heads before Christmas break. Oh, and I was taking a class. Poorly timed endeavor on my end, but I can say that even though the class took longer than I wanted, I turned in my final this past week!
My hubby was diligent until about Dec 15, then the holi-daze was in full swing around our home, and all hands were on deck to get ready for the rest of the month. Then he announced that he was starting the challenge again in January. I thought angels were singing when I realized that I, too, could play!
For me, I started on my dresser. I took time to open each and every little box and go through the catch all piles. It’s day 14, and I have gotten across the top of my dresser, and one top drawer. Most days I accomplish my daily total. Some days I acquire bonus points. But for me, the goal has been to literally touch and clean each item that is on/in my dresser. I have rediscovered some cherished treasures. I have unearthed some odd finds. I found things that I had completely forgotten about. The drawer proved to be an almost overwhelming endeavor, until I remembered to start small. Pick out one little storage box, and start there. Storage boxes were apparently the creation of someone who is an evil pack rat! Out of sight, out of mind has come to my mind several times over the past 14 days!
In fact, I am having such a grand time with the slow but methodical process, I am also playing the game in my craft area! In case you didn’t know, Sioux Falls supports a recycled art store called Jam. http://jamartandsupplies.com/ If you are not in my neighborhood, check around and see if your area has such shops that would either take donated art items, or know where you could donate. I know that some schools take these supplies, as budgets are tight these days!
As I was preparing to write about the Minimalism Challenge, I ran across this funny, but very fitting article about someone who “failed” at the challenge. I wouldn’t say that she didn’t fail, as she certainly made progress, but I think she used too much math. http://www.businessinsider.com/30-day-minimalism-challenge-how-to-downsize-your-life-2017-8/#i-would-recommend-the-minimalist-challenge-to-people-but-id-caution-them-not-to-obsess-over-it-like-i-did-get-rid-of-what-you-want-and-if-you-dont-finish-the-challenge-no-sweat-its-still-an-eye-opening-experience-to-get-rid-of-what-you-dont-need-19
And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, may you have a wonderful opening to 2018. Good luck to each of you who practice resolutions. Remember to be kind to yourself and others. We’re all in this together. May you enjoy some home baked banana yumminess, a new Enchilada Soup recipe and remember it’s never too late to start diving into the pile of stuff that is cluttering either your physical space or mental space. Until next time, keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun!