Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Volunteering, Unboxing, Booch Making, Plant Saving, Vegan Eats!

Well, I had to break down and purchase a few groceries earlier than I wanted to but the plus side is that I bought all of this for $23 and I had a $25 gift card so at least I didn't have to touch my bank account.  I still have a lot of what you see here including the celery, hummus, rice, spaghetti sauce, and apple sauce.  I will be using those items as the week progresses.  

At the end of last week, I had some cubed butternut squash topped with a sweet brown mustard sauce my parents found at Walmart that just happened to be vegan.

Before I get into more of the foodie type photos I thought I would tell you about a few things that happened Friday and on to the weekend.  Most of you here in the states are aware of the government shutdown.  In our county we have approx. 100 federal employees AND their families that were being affected by it.  Friday I jumped in last minute and helped at a local church that was having a dinner for Furloughed Families.  There were about 150-200 people or-so that attended.  

When I saw on the church website they were saying there would be a tea/coffee bar - I knew I could help donate TEA from my boxes and boxes of tea leftover from The Sororitea Sisters.  I brought 3 boxes and gave away a lot of it and served a lot, too!

Saturday Morning I stopped over at a place here in town that does Community Breakfasts and volunteered there, too.  I wasn't sure if they would see an influx of people because of the Furloughed Families or not but I knew I had the time and wanted to help.  When I got there I learned that our local Special Olympics Athletes were going to be volunteering as well.  

It was a nice morning and those who volunteered with The Special Olympics did GREAT!  Over 20 years ago I volunteered with the Special Olympics for about 2 or 3 years and LOVED it!  I helped with Basketball, Track, Softball, and attended a few Swimming and Bowling tournaments.  I really enjoyed my time with the Athletes.  And I enjoyed Saturday morning with some of them serving breakfast, too!

I just received another goodie box from Thayers!  WooHoo!  I'm totally LOVING their products and have so much more to share with you but that will be for another day and another post!

Check this out!  BOOCH!  It's official!  My father and I started brewing!  I figured that my parents' house is the best place to try it!  He already has all of his winemaking stuff set up!  Special thanks to a family friend who gave us 2 SCOBY's to get us started!  YAY!  This was the 'granddaddy' of the booch we are brewing.  We had 2 smaller ones we are trying, too.  And with a creative way to cover them, too!  Up top...that's a sterile mouth mask that my dad had and it fit nicely.  We used a bunji cord on this one, too, just in case!

I do have more foodie pics...I swear...but first...my poor plant!  I'm told this is a Dumb Cane Plant.  I've had it for 5 years and over the last 2 or 3 months it's been wilting away to nothing.  I've been trying to save it any way I can.

But after months of this happening to 90 percent of the leaves I knew I didn't have any other choice but to hack it.  It pained me to do it but I had to!

It even had new growth on the top.  So, I took the better-looking tops off and I'm trying to propagate a few of them.  So far they aren't rooting so I'm not sure if they are going to work or not.

There was also new shoots on the bottom...as you can see here...after I hacked nearly everything off.

Here's another look at what I had to do to try and save what I could of this plant.  I'm not sure if it's going to work but time will tell and I will surely report back!

So...on to the FOOD!  First up...Potato Celery Soup!  Saturday I went over to my parents' house and my mom and I cooked for several hours and actually did some meal planning (which I am horrible at).

This soup contains the following:

1 T Earth Balance (Vegan Margarine)
1 T Coconut Buttery Flavored Oil (Vegan, of course)
1/2 Onion
3/4 Bunch of Celery (I used leaves)
2 Small Potatoes
2 Carrots
About 2 and 1/2 C Water
1/2 C Almond Milk
1/2 C FRESH Parsely
Pinch Onion Sea Salt
Pinch Black Pepper

After cooking everything in a pot until soft I took about 75 percent of the mixture and pulsed in a blender and then added the rest of the mixture in for a heartier soup.  It was YUMMY!  I think we also added just a little bit of Bragg's Liquid Aminos and Old Bay Seasoning to it - to taste.

Next up...we made a HUGE batch of Lentil Veggie Stew.  This is the veggie part!  I could have totally eaten it just like this!  It was tasty!  We then added the Lentils and cooked down and it looked a little like this...

Here's what this recipe contained:

1 and a 1/2 C Green/Brown Lentils
Coconut Oil - Vegan Butter Flavored as needed
1 Sweet Onion
1 Carrot
2 Celery Stalks
1 Potato
4 Cloves Garlic
1 Small Zucchini
1 tea Ground Coriander
1 tea Ground Cumin
1 tea Turmeric
1/2 tea Cinnamon
2 and a 1/2 C Water
3 C Canned, Diced Tomatoes with Juice
1 C FRESH Parsely
2 T Lemon Juice
1/2 tea Old Bay Seasoning
Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Braggs Liquid Aminos, Agave Nectar - to taste

This was pretty wonderful and we divvied it up into many meals for my parents and myself for the week.

And...finally...Quinoa Black Bean Spinach Stuffed Peppers!  These had the following in them:

About 3 C Cooked Quinoa
3 C Spinach (cooked down)
1 C Black Beans
Oil as needed
1 Small Onion
2 Cloves Garlic
2 tea Cumin
2 tea Smoked Paprika
1 Can Diced Tomatoes with Juice
1/4 C FRESH Cilantro
Sea Salt, Black Pepper, Lemon Juice, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, Chili Powder - to taste

We put the mixture into 4 Bell Peppers that we cut lengthwise.  They looked a little dry and we all like sauce so we poured some sweet spaghetti sauce over top of them.

It worked really well!  And we are still eating leftovers!  My mom has been doing a lot of cooking for the two of them since my father has been out of the hospital and watching his food intake more.  He's been doing really well.  They aren't vegan or even vegetarian but they are eating more plant-based foods than before.  My father has lost about 15 pounds already.  And has enjoyed nearly everything we have been fixing!  PLUS...it's great because I can grab some leftovers! 


  1. I've had a pot with similar looking leaves, two actually...but they're not so tall...and the leaves all turn brown like that. Have to trim them away regularly. I wonder why. Your stuffed peppers look so good!

    1. I'm wondering if the plant got too cold...still not sure...

  2. I am the worst with plants! I'm sorry it gave up, but you kept it alive for five years, super impressive!
    Yay, can't wait to hear about your booch adventures!
    The soups and peppers look delicious. I'm glad eating more plants is helping your dad!

    1. Thanks for the feedback on everything! After I hit 'publish' I wondered if it was too long of a post

  3. I am not great with indoor plants for some reason, so easy to forget for me. But I need more in the office. Great eats and recipes, perfect time of year for soups.

    1. I'm awful with plants but a co-worker has me trying!

  4. What a great way to make use of your tea stash! The way the government there can just shut down and people don't get paid boggles my mind.

    1. It is worth noting this use to be unheard of. And not ALL government workers aren't getting paid, some budgets have been approved. And regardless of the lack of paid people, there are lots of programs that are running that help low income families.

    2. Susan - it boggles most of our minds, too! :(

    3. Jennifer - I know what you mean! I found out that the VA gets funded a year in advance - so they ARE getting paid - but - there are so many that aren't - and like you said - PROGRAMS, too. YIKES!

  5. So much food; everything looks delicious! That's great that you helped out at the community meals! And sorry to hear about your plant; hopefully the new shoots will grow well!

    1. So far the new shoots are progressing nicely! I hope they don't start getting spots like the rest of the plant did! Eeeek!

  6. Those bell peppers look great!

    Sounds like you have been busy. Hopefully you won't need to volunteer again for another government shutdown. *sigh*

    1. I'm afraid it does sound like a possibility again.