Instant Pot Update (Day 37)

So far since I bought the Instant Pot last weekend, I’ve cooked five meals in it, and only eaten out twice. I haven’t bought lunch at work, because I ate what I made last weekend all week. We ate out Wednesday lunch and today (Sunday) lunch. Both times we had coupons. BOGO at Perkins and $3 off $15 at McDonald’s.

So last Sunday I made beef stew. I had two bowls for dinner and split the rest between four 1-liter Mason jars. I ate the stew for lunch all last week (except Wednesday, but I was home hence the Perkins). The stew had beef, onions, mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, and celery. We didn’t pre-cook anything. It went in for 35 minutes on the meat/stew setting. When it was done, it looks and tasted like it had been in a slow cooker for 10 hours. The meat was falling apart. It was delicious.

Then Monday we made honey/garlic/soy/ketchup chicken thighs. Actually The Kid made those. They took about 30 minutes on the poultry setting and it was also falling apart. Very good.

Thursday we made shrimp and rice with almost the same recipe except it was brown sugar/garlic/soy. I put it on rice setting, and it turned out great, but I forgot that I wanted to add broccoli to it, so I did and turned it back on on manual for ten minutes with about a quarter cup of water. But I screwed up because the rice was over done and stuck to the bottom of the pan and the broccoli didn’t even cook. Oh well, you can’ t win them all. We ate that two times, and then threw it out; it just wasn’t worth keeping.

Saturday I made spaghetti sauce. I added two onions, garlic (tons, of course), a large can of crushed tomatoes, two regular cans of diced tomatoes and one small can of tomato paste, spices, etc. I added maybe a cup of water. So I set it on Manual – 30 minutes and left it. But while it was cooking I was in the living room and could smell it the whole time, which, if it was sealed, I shouldn’t have. So I checked on it and it never sealed. I released the valve and no steam came out. I opened the lid and the sauce was boiling and it was sticking to the bottom. I had no idea what I’d done wrong. So I went on the office InstantPot Facebook page and asked. Turns out that tomato sauce is usually too thick and doesn’t have enough liquid to come to the boil it needs to make enough pressure to seal the pot. I could add another cup or two of water and try again, but really, in my opinion, that would have made the sauce too thin, and it had been boiling for 30 minutes at that point, so I called it done. It wasn’t bad at all, but I was disapointed I can’t cook something so time intensive in the InstantPot.

Today I’m making food for lunches next week. It’s beans and rice. You don’t have to soak the beans, but it helps, so I soaked them for about five hours. I turned the iPot on sautee and added onion, bell pepper and celery (the Cajun trinity) and smoked turkey sausage and a pound of beans (mixed various from a bean soup package, not just plain kidney beans). I added water until it was about 3/4 full and closed it up and set it on the Beans/Chili timer. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

 

An Actual #100Days Activity! (Day 29)

So there’s comes a point where it’s been so long since I’ve written a blog post that I have to go back and read to make sure I’m not repeating anything. *goes off to do that*

Ok.

So anyway, I just finished balancing my budget. I have a spreadsheet that is essentially just my bank statement, but I can add future stuff in there, and I’ve got it estimated for the next year. I got such a feeling of accomplishment, becasue I hadn’t been able to balance it, so I started over and it worked this time. Things are differenct now that I’ve paid off my car, but I’m still way behind on credit card payments due to be being poor and then out of work. LOL I’m still poor but now I have income (yay!)

So one of the things I decided to do was pay someone to deep clean the house. My hatred of cleaning, plus mental illness, plus busy schedules, plus exhaustion, makes us never want to do anything that would be considered unpaid labor. I am not a domestic godess, to the despair of my mom and sister, whose lives revolve around cleaning. So I got onto a local facebook group and asked. And it turns out the admin of the group owns their own (green) cleaning business. So I emailed them, and they came over the other night to see the damage and give me a quote. And we have so much in common! Our kids graduated together (they don’t know each other) and we have a lot of the same interests and ideals (meaning she’s liberal unlike most of the people around here, lol). I had already talked to one person, and this chick’s quote was much better, and while I thought I didn’t care about being green, I actually do. So she’s coming Wednesday and then I think I’ll have her come back every two weeks.

The kid just came back from a week at his Dad’s family’s in Alabama. They spoil him so bad. He got new shoes and dined out almost every meal. They don’t do it for him specifially, that’s just how they live. Then on Labor Day weekend, he and his Dad are driving up there and the Kid gets his Aunt’s truck. So I have from between now and then to teach him how to drive, and get him his driver’s license. Daunting task.

Ok well I promised myself that I’d get rid of some old stuff before the cleaning lady comes. I want to make a real fresh start!

Again and Again (Day 22)

Whassup? Ok so the work week is over. It’s not a very busy time of the month, so there’s not as much work for all of us to do, so we’re taking our courses (that hopefully all mortgage-adjacent people take) and also purging old files. I was having issues getting sound on my computer, so the IT guy came over and fooled with it for like, forty minutes and then gave up and said that he’d be back. Then he told me later that he was just going to replace the whole computer. That’s done, but I had actual work yesterday, so I couldn’t try out the sound.

I had a cup of decaf coffee yesterday, very light and sweet, the way I like it. It was delicious. I just like the taste of coffee. I guess when I drank regular, caffiene was a bonus, but not the goal. I’m just as happy with hot sweet tea, but I enjoy the creaminess of doctored coffee more. I know you can add milk to tea but it’s not the same to me. Anyway, last week I drank some, and it kind of spaced me out (you know decaf is still 30% of the caffiene, right?) so this time I was like, fuck it – Imma try again. And I felt fine.

Anyway, I got home at 6pm and ate and took my meds, earlier than I usually would on a weekend night, because sometimes it makes me drowsy and I usually plan to stay up late Friday and Saturday. But I knew I had not been sleeping well lately and I knew I did not need to stay up late because my schedule lately has been so screwed up. So by 7:15 I was bitching about how bored I was, then at 7:45 I was in bed with my phone, and from 8 – 9, I was lying there with the lights on with my eyes closed, and then at 9 I shut the house down and went to sleep. I woke up at 7:30 and now it’s just past 8am on a Saturday. Nice. I should go to the store before it gets too hot.

Don’t Don’t Don’t Let’s Start (Day 15)

It’s been a minute and a half since I’ve written, and honestly, I’m going to have to stop apologizing, because I’m about as good as keeping up with this as I am sending out birthday cards, which is to say, awful. So that’s just part of the deal.

But see, there’s not so much to report. I go to work every day, I come home, harrass the kid, think about eating dinner, get online, stay up too late, and go to bed. Then I wake up barely in time to get to work on time, have a not-horrible day at work, come home, and do it again.

We didn’t do anything last weekend, which was great. We had gone grocery shopping in the middle of last week, so we didn’t need to go again so soon. And that means I didn’t spend any money, which is A+.

There’s this guy, named Mr. Zess, who cooks Jamaican food, and then brings it into work every Friday, and we buy it from him (we place our orders Thursday). He cooks jerk chicken, jerk pork, stewed chicken, and oxtail. It’s served with rice (with spices and beans) and veggies (mostly cabbage with some peas and corn). He also makes beef patties, which are like meat pies or empanadas. All of it is very spicy and very delicious. Once you’ve had it, you want it again and again.

Yesterday, I ordered for Pat and I (I bring his home), but we’re kind of in a middle-of-the-month slump, so I wasn’t busy at all. So I invited Pat to come see work and eat with me. So he took a Lyft and met me, and he met all my co-workers (even the Chadwick Bozeman-looklike also named Patrick, lol) and then we sat in the breakroom and ate. It was nice. He got out of the house, and we both broke up the monotony of our days.

It’s already noon, and I’ve done the dishes and eaten the leftover food, and I turned on the oven to bake the rest of the cookie dough we made last night, but I am SO full on the Jamaican leftovers that I can’t even contemplate something else right now. I’ll think about waking Pat up in a bit. Last night we were watching LotR but I went to bed so maybe we can finish that.

Oh, Maybe Another Time? (Day 3)

Oh a blog post! Barely. Some nights, guys, I’m just not going to have anything to say. But I’ve never been fully speechless so I’ll figure it out.

Today I got to work and my supervisor (a lead not a manager) told me she was cool with me working by myself now. The other lady (in her 60s) who is training with me is having a hard time learning the ropes. Mainly, the computer. And my lead has to focus her attention on her. She says that I’m doing great and most of the things she catches are minor. I know how to work the system, and scan, and upload to our clients, so I’m good. So yeah. I asked her a ton of questions on IM, and she came over a few times, but I don’t have to hand her my work for her to check, which usually takes half a day. So yay.

My family is going through a crisis right now in regards to my mother’s health. She’s not doing well, at all, and she’s almost 78, and she doesn’t want to go through any crazy life saving measures (she has had treatments), so we’re just waiting and seeing. But my step dad asked me today to talk to my sister,, who I desperately try to avoid, because of HER issues, and try to make peace with her to make my mom happy. So I texted her and she texted back and we started talking. But then she started getting mad and saying things to start a fight, so I said, “ok well goodnight!” and was done. But then she said “we can’t tell mom we’re fighting” and I’m like, we’re fighting? ok. So I don’t know. I’ll keep trying, but I won’t get in the middle of her mess.

Tomorrow is Independence Day and I have no plans. There’s a thing next to the high school that the kid is going to. Depending on how late it goes, I may join him. I haven’t seen real fireworks in years. Other than that I have to go to the store to buy all the stuff I couldn’t buy (or forgot) yesterday.

Oh yes, and before I forget, I made stew last night with onion, carrots, potato and mushroom and ate that for dinner and for lunch today. I did not have breakfast. Then we both had curry for dinner. One can only have so much curry. I think I’m curried out.

Not As Smart As She Looks (Day 2)

I have to post this a little bit early today, because I’ll be just getting home at¬†on the road at 7, and it’s a work night so once I get home I’ll be getting ready for Monday.

So today I had to get my oil changed, because it had been way too long (because I was broke), and I am driving over 80 miles round trip to pick up my kid from his dad’s tonight. I’ve been living on borrowed time. So I wanted to go to the garage I’ve been going to since I moved here in 2004, but they were booked all day. So I decided to try Walmart. I don’t frequent the Walmart in my town. I prefer to go to the less busy one a town over. But this place is the only one with a car center near me.

I got there at 11am. The guy who checked me in was nice, and he told me it would be two hours. I went in and went straight to the front to the McDonald’s inside and sat down for about 15 minutes to cool off, and when that got boring, I started shopping. I decided to only buy home stuff and non-perishable food, since I didn’t know how long I would be there. So I shopped, and texted my kid and finally checked out around 12:30pm. I went to the car area and sat down and started messing around on my phone. At 12:39pm, my phone rang. I figured it was a scam or a bill collector, so I declined the call. At 1pm, I noted it had been two hours. At 1:30pm I was like “C’mon guys!”. Then I thought, “oh ok. I ~did~ get a phone call!” And I called it back and it was Walmart. I am a complete idiot. So I went over and yes, it was done and I paid and got my stuff and left. I am so smart!

Tonight I made vegetable soup with onion, garlic, celery, potatoes, carrots and mushrooms. Pretty much just using up stuff in the fridge. I don’t have any vegetable stock, so I added garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, dried Italian herb mix, and Tony Chachere’s (a Louisiana Cajun spice mix that is a staple in every household in Louisiana). I also had to add a ton of salt because it was SO bland! Shame, but it would have been awful without it. So I’m having that for dinner and I’ll eat that and the rest of the curry for lunch this week.