One Dish Two Ways : Mashed Potatoes to Potato Cakes Addition

One Dish Two Ways

Mashed Potatoes to Potato Cakes Addition

potato cakes

Is there anything that reheats as poorly as mashed potatoes? They’re always overly hot in one spot and cold as ice in another even when you stir them ever thirty seconds or so. I think french fries may be the only thing that is worse reheated. So, what’s a girl to do if she has left over mashed potatoes and doesn’t want to throw them out. My mother’s wonderful answer has always been to make potato cakes. I always loved it when we had left over mashed potatoes as a kid because it meant that I would get potato cakes the next day.

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Christians and the Confederate Flag

I don’t like to stir things up. I tend to stick topics that are nonpolitical and not controversial on social media. I may occasionally share an article that I find interesting or comment on something someone else has posted, but I try not to bring up controversial things or pick fights. However, there’s something that’s been bothering me a lot lately. I don’t get the reaction that many people on my Facebook feed that claim Christ are having to the Confederate Flag’s removal from S.C and various shops and media sources. Continue reading

One Meal Two Ways: Pork Roast Addition – Bonus Peach Cobbler Recipe

1 Meal 2 Ways: Pork Roast Addition One thing I love to do that saves both time and money is stretch meals by making the main dish then changing it up a few nights in a row. This is a great way to get my family to eat leftovers that will otherwise die a slow death in the fridge. It reduces the time I spend planning and cooking, and since it reuses meat which is normally the most expensive part of the meal it saves money. Continue reading

The Reading Challenge

love-of-books

My parents gave me a great gift when they encouraged my love of learning from an early age. Our home was always full of books. My dad loves theology so there were mountains of books on the Bible. My mom is more of a fiction person like me. Dad was a great model of what a life long learner looks like, and it was clear that they both were passionate about reading.  Mom helped me through my struggles with dyslexia even before she knew that I had it. She took something that was naturally difficult for me to learn and helped make it into a life long passion. My husband’s home was similar. in fact we joke that being bibliophile is a genetic condition in both families all the way back to the great grandparents.

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Father’s Day

I know that Father’s day is a hard time for some people for a variety of reasons. Many men struggle with the pain of infertility or the loss of children through miscarriage. Some men deal with the loss of a child that they’ve held in their arms and fallen even more deeply in love with. Lots of people have lost their fathers. Then there are those that have no father to speak of or that suffer from family bonds so frayed that Father’s Day is a bitter reminder of how things “should” be. I’ll be praying for you all today. You are loved, and your circumstances are not a reflection of your value.

It took a long time for Andrew to become a dad. We struggled with infertility and loss for several years before we had Harrison. Even during all of that my husband, was a rock for me. I’m sure there were many times that he put his own suffering aside to hold me up. He’s a great father, and a wonderful godly man. Showing love and grace even in the midst of sever pain was proof enough of that. He would have been a great father to our two children that didn’t make it into this world if he had the chance. I know Father’s Day is bitter sweet for him, but I hope he feels blessed non the less.

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Struggles

weight-scale You may have noticed that my family is trying to get back to real food and making healthier choices all around. The key word in that sentence is trying.  The truth is both my husband and I have a weight problems. I wasn’t raised with the best relationship with food, and I often eat my feelings. I don’t lay the blame for this at anyone’s feet but my own. All I can say is that this move in a healthier direction is hard. It’s one slow step at a time. I knew that trying to overhaul everything we ate all at once wouldn’t be sustainable long term, so we started by making small changes. I gave up soda for the month of June, and I’ve managed to stay on the wagon, but when you’re used to drinking two or so a day that’s a big change. The two a day is actually down from my former habit of four or five a day which I had addressed at least six months ago. We’re hoping to have more children soon, and after a long struggle with fertility issues and miscarriage, I was decidedly nervous. I had a long talk with my Dr. about these issues and he said that many of the problems could be traced back to my weight. This wasn’t really a surprise for me, but the last year or so has been the first time in my life that I’ve been truly ready to make a change.  It’s so hard sometimes though.  Anyway the Dr. asked if I wanted help, and he’s recommending a clinic. It’s not for the surgery, but just for both emotional backup and maybe some things that can help. I have insulin resistance which has manifested itself as PCOS. Considering that both of my parents have type 2 diabetes, it’s more than time that I get things under control.  I don’t want to set up bad habits for my son either. We’ve gone meatless a few times a week, and I try to keep refined carbs to a minimum those nights too. The meals tend to be veggie and bean or cheese or even egg centered. I’ve also tried to center rewards for him around fun activities instead of food. I guess this post is just an effort to be real. I post a lot about healthy food, homesteading, and trying to be outdoors. However, I want my readers to know that I’ve definitely not arrived. If you want to make a change, take small steps, and keep working. There is no shame in not having arrived. Does anyone else out there feel this struggle? How have you sustained changes to your food lifestyle long term? What has been the hardest thing in your journey?

Busy Bees, Disappointment, and Raccoons

raccoon2

It’s been awhile since I’ve updated. Honestly, May is one of the wildest months for me as a teacher. I have been a very busy bee. There is so much to do at school as we wrap up the end of the school year. That’s the major reason for the radio silence here at betwixtandbetween.

Another issue has been the fact that things around here have been a bit gloomy. The property we wanted fell through due to the other party which was a major disappointment. This also meant that things got even busier during an already crazy time. We think we’ve found another property. This one has less land, but the layout is better and almost the whole thing is fenced. We’re going to put a bid in on it this week.

The gloominess didn’t end with the property issues. We also lost all of our ducks to a predator. The ducks had free range of our fenced in back yard, and I couldn’t figure out what was eating them. There was no way for a dog or fox to get in, and we’ve not seen a hawk since getting Big Daddy, our gander. We tried several measures to fix the problem including moving the ducks into the garage for several days during which time we set a trap. After a week of catching nothing we figured the predator had moved on, but we left the trap out just in case.  Low and behold we finally caught that darn raccoon. Sadly, she managed to get all of our ducks before we caught her. I was devastated. I know predators are always going to be an issue, and that they are a downside to free ranging (or semifree ranging). We’ve stopped with ducks until we are settled into a new property and can come up with a better housing situation for them. Big Daddy was the only bird to make it. I guess he was just too much for the raccoon to take on, so to avoid his sadness we went out and got him some more companions. We now have three geese for our very happy gander. All of them are American Buff, so we’re still working with a heritage breed which I like. Geese have a tendency to grow on you, but that’s another post.

This post is a bit depressing since not much has been settled yet, but there’s always hope, and I know that there was a reason we didn’t get the first property. If they take the bid on the second and things seem to be going well, I’ll post some pictures. In the mean time we’ll tend to our geese, work on the herb garden, can some fresh local produce, read about bee keeping which my dad really wants to add to the new property, and prepare for homesteading days to come.

Little Gardens and Big Dreams

step0003As I’ve said before, we are in the process of moving. It’s such a long process. I can’t wait to get a nice piece of land so we can put in a proper garden. Our back yard right now is heavily treed and slopping. What’s a girl trying to get back to the land to do?

The only answer I could find is a container garden. I thought about doing tomatoes and such, but things are so up in the air right now that even that seemed a bit ambitious. Buying herb plants is about all I can do right now to settle my green thumb desires.

I already had some oregano, chives, and mint on in a pot next to my window, I got lavender, thyme, basil, and sage today. I grabbed a bag of organic soil and transplanted them into containers. I did this last year and my efforts paid off. I was able to dehydrate a lot of the herbs before the end of the season, and of course the oregano, chives, and mint overwintered well for me.

I have lots of nice plans, but I’ve traditionally not done super well with plants. Something always seems to happen. Our first container garden died when we went on holiday and our waterer fell through. Last year went better until the ducks had to be pinned in with the garden (LONG STORY) and devastated it. They ate everything in reach. My tomato plants became sticks; they had no leaves, no tomatoes, NOTHING! I’m hoping that things go better next year.

What are your pro gardening tips? How do you think beginners should start? Does anyone have a favorite gardening book?