Do you plan for the week ahead? Perhaps the next month or year? My personality is such that planning ahead helps me stay focused, calm and practical - especially around the home and also with my home-based business, Elefantz.
As a homemaker, planning mostly entails a weekly cleaning routine and menu, with extra plans for any baking or the making of condiments.
Most Fridays I like to do big chores, such as vacuuming and mopping all the rooms, cleaning the bathroom and washing bathmats, popping out for a quick 'fruit and veg' grocery shop, washing and changing the bedsheets, and cooking meal basics such as brown rice, roasted vegetables, cookies, bread, poached fruit, boiled eggs, and chicken breasts for the following week.
I find that by spending one day each week focused on creating a clean and welcoming home (the other days I do smaller tasks and maintain things) and having pre-prepared ingredients for various meals stored in the fridge or freezer, that the other six days are enjoyed at a much simpler and slower pace. If for some reason I have to be away from home on Friday I will still do the sheets and a grocery shop, but leave everything else to the following Monday. This too, adds peace and calm to my day to day living, because as wonderful as steady routines and rhythms are, we must always be flexible and ready for a change of plan.
This week I am blog planning for 2023, as well as preparing notes and ideas for a brand new series of The Homemakers Heart digital magazine.
This, along with regular blog posts, a newsletter, and the next free block for The Virtuous Wife project along with the accompanying Bible study this coming Thursday, takes time, so having some meals prepped and my house relatively organised, clean and tidy in advance, means I can think clearly and give myself a few good days this week to properly plan and prepare for the coming year.
Those roasted vegetables become my lunch each day...
I simply cut up a tray full of carrots, sweet potato, potato, cabbage and cauliflower, then drizzle them in olive oil, scatter some garlic over the top and roast until they just begin to caramelise. This is a great way to use up vegetables from the fridge before I stock up on more.
Usually I place a portion of the roasted veg, straight from the fridge, in a frying pan on a very low heat and cover it as it warms. We no longer use a microwave so I'm becoming well educated in warming food without over-cooking it. :-) Some days I'll add a few slices of the previously cooked chicken breast, other days (like this day) I'll cook an egg in the centre of the veg just before serving.
Some fresh rocket (arugula) with a drizzle of balsamic glaze, and a sprinkle of cashew parmesan completes this healthy and delicious lunch.
The cashew parmesan is so much nicer than real parmesan, and very easy to make. In a food processor simply add 2 cups of roasted cashews (you can use unroasted if you like), 3/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, and 2 teaspoons of salt - whizz it all up until it's the texture of fine breadcrumbs. We use it most days, so I'm usually making a new batch every month.
Can you see that little jar above the salt? About four or five months ago we stopped using black pepper (oh, that was hard for me)and began sprinkling cayenne pepper over our savoury meals instead. It has an abundance of great health properties, and hubby really wanted us to try this so we did. Now, let me tell you that I used to be able to grind black pepper over my meals until they looked as though the food was overrun by black ants! That's how much I have always loved black pepper. But once we switched to cayenne instead, something unexpected happened. The irritation in my oesophagus, which I'd had after every meal and would often cause a lot of pain, has practically disappeared.
We bought that little bottle of cayenne pepper, and were so impressed with my health results (and some of hubby's) that I bought a huge jar and now re-fill the little bottle from it.
Last Friday I also baked a sweet loaf of pumpkin bread, made four jars of strawberry jam, and a batch of our favourite almond and cherry biscuits (cookies). I had to laugh when I'd printed the labels from our Dymo label-maker...just where did that missing "R" go?? Not one to like waste anymore, I accepted that it was no big deal to use those labels instead of printing new ones, as they are for our own pantry supplies. However, when I make more jam for gift giving next Friday I shall hand write pretty labels with no spelling mistakes.