Penny Wise Platter Carnival. A day late, but a dollar ahead

The Nourishing Gourmet is hosting a carnival of good, nourishing foods that are also thrifty. I'm a day late on posting mine, but thought I'd share it anyway!

Apple Cinnamon rolls begin with the Nourishing Gourmet's whole-wheat, soaked biscuits which you can find here. As we've been trying to eat a more nourishing, healthful diet, I've been frequently using this recipe.
The whole batch is way more than our crew can eat in a day, so I've been pondering some alternative uses for it.

Yesterday, as I was putting the biscuits together, I went ahead and baked half, then set aside the remaining dough. With the addition of Apples, cinnamon, butter and palm sugar, we ended up with a yummy, yummy breakfast that can't possibly be healthy and nourishing (but it is!). Hope you all enjoy it!

Begin by making Fluffy Soaked Biscuits--use balsamic vinegar for the soaking, if you have it. I find that my flour needs more liquid than the recipe calls for, so if the dough isn't a little sticky, add some water. If you want your grains soaked, begin the night before. (The recipe also works fine for the day of.)

Apple Cinnamon Rolls
1/2 batch of Fluffy Soaked Biscuit Dough
1 Organic Granny Smith Apple
2 Tbsp Palm Sugar
generous quantities of cinnamon
2-3 Tbsp Butter

Preheat oven to 400. Allow dough to rest. Finely dice the apple and place it in a bowl with the sugar, and enough cinnamon to make the world a better place. Stir together and set aside.

Roll out the dough into a roundabout rectangle. Dot with 1.5 Tbsp butter, cut up (more or less) and cover with apple mixture.

Roll the dough up and slice into sections.

Place in a baking dish, dot each roll with bits of butter and bake for 10-15 minutes. Check the centermost roll for doneness.

These are so yummy. They have a delicious richness to them and remind me of pecan swirls. I think nuts would also be a fantastic addition. As for cost, I don't have time for the math right now, but would think this is a very inexpensive recipe.


The Wood Between the Worlds

That is an imperfect analogy at best, but referencing Lewis and Narnia is so much more fun than a pop culture song!

We are in a state of in-betweenness in our domestic world. In the future (a few months) we will be moving to another camp residence. That means that any decorating progress must be on moveable objects or done with a short-term mindset. I am filled with bittersweet anticipation. I love this house and there are so many things I want to do with it, yet, I am excited about the possibilities of the new place. There's a whole list of pros and cons which I may share later, but suffice it to say, leaving the home where both of our children were first brought home to and to leave the newly renovated place which I prayed to earnestly for and agonized over the details is a bit difficult. Our last spring is done. This is our last summer of watching campers play from our living room windows. My beloved yard will soon be someone else's . . . yeesh. I'm going to stop now before I begin tearing up.


the misadventures of the domestically inept

I walked into our laundry room/walk-in-closet last night and gasped at the laundry covering the floor. All the baskets were taken up with other things, leaving the dirty laundry all over the floor. "It's only about two loads . . . " I said optimistically to Tuan.

This morning, I put a load in and started hemming a dress for a friend. I put another load in this afternoon. (It was more than two loads, but not more than four).

Tonight, after company, and some blog reading indulgence, I decided to start one more load before bed. As I was putting the laundry in, I felt a bite. Looking down, I discovered that underneath the laundry, our floor was covered with ants. Hundreds of ants. I grabbed the vacuum and got to work with my hose attatchment, alternatively moving laundry and vacuming up the little buggers. After twice sucking up two socks and disassembling the vacuum to remove them, I made a lot of progress. There is one more load left to tackle, then I'm going to vacuum once more and go to bed.

I'm not sure what lured the beasties in, except the dress Aubrey wore at lunch--she had a lot of crumbs on it and I just tossed it into the room. Whatever the cause, I am so thankful for my vacuum. It is one of my favorite blessings in this life. Really and truly. I love that it tackles bare floors and carpet. I am thankful for its brush and crevice tools and for the way it can take my rough handling and J and A's as well! After Katrina, I was filled with nervous energy and tried to clean our house without electricity. I actually swept the carpet in my fervor. When the power came on, I was glad for the super suction skills of our former vacuum.

We take so many things for granted, but consider the amazing gifts God has given us even in the realm of appliances! Such wonders like my Kitchen-Aid, Cuisinart, and Vacuum make this pilgrim journey much smoother.


No Life Without Wife

That's from Bride and Prejudice, the Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice. I think everyone should see it. Tuan thinks it should be burned.

I digress; this post has nothing to do with that title except that I am a wife and I have a life that is busy. On the first day of staff training I was all excited about the summer and planning these long lazy days of camp activity and domestic projects. Oh, the domestic projects I planned!

The reality is that the days are flying by, as are the hours. A good friend once suggested I divide my days into three segments and plan one thing for each segment. That's such good advice.

One day painting and sewing and real thorough laundry is going to happen. But not today! And definitely not yesterday.

When I woke up yesterday morning, life felt good and promising. Johnny had gotten up early and come and crashed in our bed with us. This meant that he would sleep late as would Aubrey. "Today," I said to myself, "today, I am going to tackle these two loads of laundry, clean up my bedroom, feed the kids a good, healthy breakfast and indulge in a project before we go out to dinner with friends." Life felt promising and our bed felt so good and cozy--sleeping on top of a feather bed and underneath a down duvet, with my head on down pillows and sandwiched between all that my soft cotton sheets--what bliss! I rather luxuriated in that comfort and thought pleasantly about the day as I contemplated getting up. Just then, Johnny let out an unremarkable noise and I reached my hand over to find that his training pants had completely and utterly failed in absorbency. It was like a dam has broken and the reservoir was all over my down comforter, down featherbed and sheets. I threw him off the bed (gently) and into the tub and began the long, day-long process of washing large down objects. The revised day of Paula La?

quiet time and back to bed

Wake up

strip bed

begin laundering duvet/featherbed

bathe Johnny

change aubrey

prepare and serve breakfast: watermelon, tomato, fried eggs and chai tea (for me)

check laundry, put fb in dryer

clean kitchen

deadhead flowers

straighten living room

Aubrey down for nap

check laundryput fb back in dryer

build train tracks with Johnny

check laundry put fb back in dryer

check facebook, look for recipe for tired fruit and fold clothes

put fb back in dryer

get absorbed in reading blogs

put fb back in dryer

Tuan comes home

Lunch at camp

put fb back in dryer

children down for naps

unexpected, but welcome visitor!

Johnny gets up

visitor leaves, johnny down for nap

put fb back in dryer

new unexpected but welcome visitor

get distracted by blogs

pull fb out of dryer and start drying the duvet

Tuan home!

Johnny falls asleep

make nourishing popcorn

Aubrey gets up

get ready to go out

wake Johnny up

go out to eat and to kroger

put fb back in dryer (seriously)

baths, Arrested Develpment and bed.

There was no time for projects, today, sir. Not even for ready money.


Confessions of a Summer Camp Wife

We are halfway through Overnight 1.

It's been so interesting seeing and experiencing camp as a camp wife and mommy--not an employee.

Tuan took over my program responsibilities when I "retired" and I now am privileged to vicariously live program through him.

I thought it would be hard and that I would cry a lot and all sorts of things would happen.

But it hasn't been difficult--okay, mostly not. I think it was harder during the year when he would come home and tell me about the plans and ideas and I'd help him, then cry.

The kids are keeping me busy. Prepping and teaching two Bible studies is keeping me busy. Hosting and baking for family groups is keeping me busy. Company is keeping me busy. And to think! I had these grand plans of a summer of leisure and projects.

Perhaps after Overnight 1 ends--staff training part two is really what it is--things will fall into a rhythm and I'll get more done.

Confession: one thing that is extremely difficult is keeping my mouth shut. All around me this week folks have been trying to figure out camp details. I usually do know the answers to their problems and queries, but I feel that I need to keep my mouth shut and be a wife and not a former pd. So, I sit and try to not speak up--IT IS SO HARD. There. I admit it.

I did speak up tonight. One of the breakers tripped on an inflatable and there were kids in it as it began to slowly descend.

I walked over to the guy running the inflatable and said: "this thing is collapsing. You should get the kids out"
He nodded at me like I was someone he might have once met and sort of expressed a non-verbal--"yeah, hey!"
"No, the breaker is tripped and the thing is collapsing."
"uh-huh" He continued his conversation.


But I didn't. I got Tuan and he flipped the breaker and the palm trees, dinosaurs, and volcano sprang back to life. I still don't think the poor young man ever caught on to the situation. It was funny.

So life is a good blessing of busyness. I am daily learning what my role here looks like (now) and am daily learning that it can pretty much change from day to day. It is absolutely wonderful and freeing to sit back and enjoy the benefits of camp life. Taking Johnny and Aubrey to programs and playing with them rather than running about, running them is just so much fun. Seeing camp through Johnny's eyes is a blast. Monday night we went to the Cabin's Choice event: he got a tiger painted on his face--this was a Very Big Deal. Then we took Tuan's golf cart for a ride and discovered the Twin Lakes Tour Company ( a hay-less hayride). Johnny was so excited and pumped up about the tractor that we followed it ("Mama! I see twactor!) and of course, took a tour of Twin Lakes. He was very serious the entire time, but I could tell he loved it.

Today was Wild Wednesday. We went to the afore-mentioned giant, Inflatable Jurassic Jumper and played with friends. Johnny ate that up, then after supper he got on the inflatable slide and probably slid down it twenty-plus times. He at his first ice cream Wednesdae with great sobriety and earnestness and was so dirty that we had to leave early for baths. After bath-time, I dressed the kids in their pajamas and we strolled over for the Goliath/Giant movie and popcorn. He was a happy kid.

Aubrey likes camp, too. I think if she could speak sentences, Aubrey would tell you that her favorite activity is hydration. She is seriously obsessed with the water coolers and cone cups. Since I refuse to fill her cup repeatedly, Aubrey has learned that if she stands by the cooler and acts cute and helpless, every able-bodied person at camp who passes by will take pity upon her and fix her a cup of ice-cold water. A seventeen month old and a cup of water=a very wet seventeen month old!

Aubrey also enjoys the basketballs and tries most earnestly to throw them at the basket. She's got a bit of growing to do before that happens. She does not care for the inflatables. When one has only been walking for a few months, solid ground is much preferred to shifting vinyl. She spazzed out when we first got on the inflatable, then would take a few tentative steps until the ground bounced, then she would run back to me. So cute.

This, dear friends, is a faithful account of all my dealings as a summer camp wife. When I complain tomorrow that I'm tired, you may all remind me that I stayed up until 12:30 writing.