Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Gobles Gobble.... PINCHING PENNIES!!!

This little piggy... That picture is somewhat prophetic in that picture contain 2 giant factors for my recent discovery... 7 (GENEROUS) meals for 2 adults for about $15-$20 give or take a few assumed pantry staples (I'm estimating of course that overall we spent $15-$20 on these 7 meals)
It all started when 2 little piggies Steve and Dea went to market. Once there we bought a 5-7 lb Pork shoulder Roast (you don't even have to go for lean here that fat is undesirable but adds moisture and flavor you're not gonna eat it anyways) for about $10 that's more than half my budget you say... oh yes but watch what we can do with the big delicious chunk of porky love. We got home and I put our 7 dinner spree in my Crock pot with 1-2 onions, rough chopped they're more for flavor than anything also a fair bit of fresh garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper add a glass of water no more than 8 oz it's really not necessary just to get it started the roast has plenty of moisture on its own . Put the crock pot on its lowest slowest setting (for me its "keep warm" don't worry it will be warm enough to cook it and too hot for anything nasty to grow I promise!!) Put the lid on and forget it for about a day. After a day that roast will be good and cooked and will probably fall apart into tender delicious shreds. Pull it out put it into a large bowl let it cool off a little bit and attack it with 2 forks and shred every inch of it chunks and such are fine but think bite size. Pull out any bones and pockets of fat you encounter and discard.
I separated that shredded pork into 4 or 5 (2 cup capacity) freezer safe containers and froze them. I still had a lot of pork left so back into the crock pot with all those yummy porky juices and bits. To that I added 1/2lb of beans (your choice I used white beans) usually a 1 lb bag is less than $2 I also added a can of chopped tomatoes, carrots and celery and seasonings to taste. I let that crock pot do its thing for another day. I baked a pan of cornbread and we called it dinner. The crock pot was still awfully full so I filled 2 or 3 additional freezer safe containers ( 4 cup capacity) with the beans and pork and those hit the freezer as well. Are you seeing where I'm going? Yes, 3 of these meals are classic cheap pork and beans dinners with corn bread or a grilled cheese sandwich. Winter's just around the corner and this will stay in your freezer for awhile also its sooo nice to come home pop it in the microwave or a soup pot and call it dinner in 20 min. When its cold nothing is more satisfying to me than a bowl of something hearty and delicious! This came out pretty thick if you wanted it more soup-like add some extra water or 1 qt of chicken or veg stock even some V8 to boost the veggie power!

Don't forget all that shredded pork! There is so much potential there! For us those containers of shredded pork became....
Pulled pork sandwiches: Stir some of your favorite BBQ sauce into the pork heat it up and serve on a toasted bun with a side salad or tater tots I think we usually had corn on the cob from the farmer's market.
Shredded Pork Tacos and Burritos: saute half an onion til tender and some chopped garlic add in the pork with 1/2 cup of water and taco seasoning or cumin and chili powder let the meat simmer and re-heat in all those yummy flavors... fold into giant tortillas with rice and re-fried beans etc or stuff into tacos with lettuce and cheese tomatoes or fresh salsa. I made these Burritos tonight and my sweet husband proclaimed them "Restaurant good"
Ideas for next time...
-Stir in some kind of stir fry sauce (Teriyaki or Hoisin) into the pork with steamed veggies serve over rice or Asian noodles (Ramen anyone?) could be a tasty Asian rice/noodle bowl.
-Chile Verde stir in a bottle of green chile sauce and diced green chilies allow to simmer serve with warm corn tortillas... I can't wait to try this one!
-If you're adventurous like me... make tamales masa is super cheap and masa dough is a cinch to make you can even buy it premade somtimes. Season the pork like you do for burritos or chile verde and wrap em into tamales with corn husks, Steam for an hour or so and you will think every minute you spent wrapping tamales was worth the first bite! :)
- Would barely require 1/2 cup of pork maybe... with some BBQ sauce stirred in with some red onion and green pepper maybe some pineapple and cheese... arrange on a frozen cheese pizza or fresh pizza crust and you have... BBQ pork Pizza.

There you have it 7 (or more) meals for $15-20. Next time I think we're gonna try this with a more expensive beef chuck roast and make some beef and vegetable soup instead of beans and we'll see how we do :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Thankfulness Thankfulness is what I long for!
Thankfulness is what I need!
Thankfulness Thankfulness is what you want from me!

No, I did not lose my job... and where I work its easier most days to get fired than it is to keep your job. I'm just thinking ya know reflecting perhaps on the current state of things. We all know at least one person who's out of work or recently lost a job. I'd be willing to bet we know more than one. ( I can think of 5 off the top of my head) We just heard today that one of Steve's relatives lost his job after 30+ years with the same company. I hear this and I'm sad of course thinking of the impact this has on my friends and my family and then it comes that little knock knock of the Holy Spirit and my ungrateful wicked self is CONVICTED!
I wake up every morning grumbling dragging myself into the shower with a moaning groaning attitude because I have to go to work. I've decided the highlight of my morning ( after kissing my husband) is the coffee pot. (Folger's sure had it right with that slogan except maybe the Folger's part) I long and I pray for the day God allows me to stay home barefoot and pregnant chasing baby Gobles ( yes I know you've heard this song and dance) or at least maybe work from home. I daydream about this not having to rush in the morning about having 2 or 3 or 10 cups of coffee. Even if I have to feed clothe wash and change babies that are screaming ( I say this now... these words will come back to bite me...) anything so that I don't have to walk into a building run by politics, red tape and a time clock. Everyday there's some new form of tedious stupidity like paperwork that must be filled out on every phone call in addition to clicking a web page at least twice per call and signing in and out to go to the restroom and "Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination" some days its like kindergarten. Most days the load feels so heavy one more "required task" and the pile could topple over. Some days I wish for unemployment. If I could stay home and search for a job online or find someway of learning new skills to get a better job. My house would always be clean. I'd never have laundry piled up. Even in the worthwhile things like a clean house it all boils down to an ungrateful discontent sinful ME!
See how easy it is for me to complain to spill out all of the ugliness instead of embracing the simple peaceful knowledge that "This is where God has me" and "This is what God wants me to be doing" Why can't I be content with that. I see the blessings of it I see God's provision in it. I have God with me all day feeding me holding me close to him providing for my stress giving me what I need in each moment even when I don't see him even when my bad attitude gets in the way He's still there... I need a grateful heart! I need a grateful attitude! I need a spirit of Thankfulness!
p.s. I'm gonna need some more help with this Lord!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Well... we were gonna... but now we're not...

Or how about... not yet....

So Steve and I have been not not trying to get pregnant for a little while obviously nothing has come of that. Recently we started talking about a trip to Michigan. I've said several times how much we miss our family there and how we long to see them and spend time with them so we're planning a trip. As we've been discussing this and in the planning process we realized if we continued down the road we were going I may be too pregnant to travel or we might be traveling with a very very tiny baby and we're not sure we wanna do that just yet. So now we're not. This whole process has been a learning experience for me. Do I feel ready to have a baby? Do I want a baby??? So so much!!! Some days I feel full to bursting with excitement for the future Baby Gobles that will fill our home. Do I think we're READY to have a baby? Not so much... Not just yet... See there's this stuff that I'd like to see come about before we do that. I'd like a more stable financial situation one that might allow me to stay home or work from home and a real place to live cuz I think its cruel to raise kids in a tiny apartment. I'd like a better idea of things I'd like a plan. I can say naively that I believe in natural labor and delivery and wanna use cloth diapers and home school but I don't really know much more than that... Sure i've read some stuff but i'd like to have a better grasp on things. I'd like to spend some time researching thinking plotting planning. And even if none of that works out I pray and trust God has a plan for us. I know He has plans if I'm pregnant and typing this or if I never get pregnant at all. I know and I trust God is in control he's been lovingly reminding me of this beating me over the head with this saying
"Dearest Deaira... see how I've provided for you in the past... See how I've provided for your friends in these same circumstances.. Silly Sweet girl how could you think I won't provide for you too"
So I'm sad but excited relieved but reassured... God's timing is perfect it always is... I'm kind of looking forward to a little more time to enjoy this husband of mine and this mysterious marriage thing... and a new adventure to Michigan a little trip of our own once again before we settle down and dig into to this serious business of family making...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Goble's Gobble... A cooking day...

Occasionally it happens I get ambitious and the desire to bake comes upon me and I end the day with aching feet and a tiny kitchen overwhelmed with food. I'd talked all week about finally using up the bananas in my freezer and Steve wanted his Dad's no-bake cookies... (OK I did too) We also decided our freezer was getting kind of empty... I don't know how we possibly thought that but we did... So it was decided I would make corn chowder for dinner Sunday night. (technically I was supposed to make bread and cookies yesterday but um yeah we were missing a few key ingredients... like flour and eggs... )
With a trip to the store after church we were ready and all in all despite a few mishaps... like accidentally putting 1 cup of sugar in the soup pot instead of the bread bowl and the amazing exploding cocoa powder we've come through unscathed with delicious treats and eats for the next few months. (Have I ever mentioned my penchant for cooking one meal that feeds us over and over again? another blog perhaps...)
~On Corn chowder... I love this sweet savory soup we added some green chili sauce which gives it a southwest flavor and some smoky bacon... super yummy! We also managed to hide the fact that it contains an uncalled for cup of sugar... in fact you'd never know... Way to go cooking pro!
~On banana bread... Oh I love this stuff so much... I can only get away with making it every few months. Steve and banana's have a love/hate relationship but to me banana's are like the king of fruit! When its slathered with butter I can't think of a better breakfast!

~On No-Bake cookies... There's a dozen varieties out there these are probably pretty common peanut buttery chocolate with oatmeal. They're almost like eating Candy except well oatmeal is good for you right :)

I could give you the recipe for all 3 but... well then this blog would be way too long and I technically made up the corn chowder as I went along... so... here's a Goble family favorite...

No-Bake Cookies
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup cocoa
pinch salt
1/2 cup butter
1 cup peanut butter
3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
In large saucepan, combine sugar, milk, cocoa, salt, and butter and mix well. Bring to a boil and cover saucepan for 30 seconds to allow steam to wash sugar crystals down sides of pan. Stir mixture and bring it to a boil that can't be stirred down for 1 minute. Then remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until smooth. Add oatmeal and mix well. Do not use regular or instant oatmeal; quick-cooking oatmeal is essential to the success of this recipe.
Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to let the oatmeal absorb some of the liquid.
Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto waxed paper or parchment lined baking sheets. Let cool until you can touch the mixture; then reshape the cookies to make them more a ball shape. Let cool completely; store at room temperature. You can also pour this mixture into a 9" square pan that has been greased with unsalted butter, let cool, then cut into squares.