Reading through the alphabet: (D) The Dirty Life

So, here's the gist...Basically this is a book of a woman who gave up her NYC life and found happiness on a farm. The focus is her love of food and working with the more "simple" things in life, realizing simple is not always that simple, and happiness isn't materialistic.

I read this book as part of booking it with Life as Mom and I am still working my way through the alphabet. I had honestly never heard of the book. It's funny because Jessica said she had high expectations for it and was disappointed with the book. I had never heard of it and was pleasantly surprised about the book. Now, I can tell you my mind wondered when talking about specific farming technique and there were moments she referenced cooking/eating meat that I had really hard time stomaching but it's not a huge part of the book. And I had a hard time stomaching them because she is SO descriptive. She does a great job of painting a picture of what the farm actually looks like and how's it run. I think?

I liked hearing about going back our roots and how our food comes to us. But here is where you lose me... I can get on bored with organic farming and not wanting to get too big. I understand having a purpose and a conviction and to want to farm honestly. But to compare the tractor to a monster?

I had a hard time understanding why anyone would want to give up modern technology. I don't farm. (That might be my limitation and might be the end of the story.) I don't really understand the concept of wanting to return to using horses and overworking yourself when we do have modern technology. Why draft horses? I can read the love she has for the animals in the book but it seems like they are unnecessary working too hard. Like i said, maybe that's my limited knowledge of farming but I just don't get it.

So, how do I feel about the book? Well, I liked it... a lot. Yes, I did but it no way makes me want to turn of the lights in our house and pretend they don't exists...


April Meal Plan

 Meal planning and family changes:

So, I have now officially started my new job. Yay! As I'm sad leave behind my kiddos and coworkers in Cullman, I am loving getting home at a regular time. To be honest I knew I was missing out on quality Miss G time but I had gotten so used to I didn't realize all I was really missing. I really enjoy just getting the chance to spend quality time with both her and my husband. Before we had the rule that we would eat dinner together as a family uninterrupted but I think by the time we would sit down most days we were all so exhausted that I can't say any of our moods were all that good. I'm sure there will be days that I long for my Monday off back but I really enjoy seeing both of them without constantly having the feeling that I really NEED to be doing 20 other things.  So, of course this is effecting my meal planning and cooking as well. I am starting to cook more often but I am also trying to cook simple meals that I can have done pretty quick. I don't want to replace time away from my family commuting with time away from my family cooking.

Also, Mr. C and I have started jogging together. Right now we are not on the path to half marathon but our goal is the Cotton Row Run 5K. We starting this running program together.

Our new plan is to jog on alternating nights with cooking nights. I also really enjoy this new routine because it is more uninterrupted family time that doesn't involve a screen.  This also has effected our meal plan.  Exercise is always good but I think I can speak for both Mr. C and myself and say that we could also benefit from some weight loss. 

I think I've said this before but I really like the USDA my plate recommendations. So, even though the veggies have been thrown in and seem random in the plan. Hey at least we are getting them.

So, no further ado

April meals:

April 1-7

- Mac & cheese, green beans, mandarin oranges, chicken nuggets (I know, not a real healthy meal to start the month off with but we were hard at work in the garden all day and this is what quickly came together. Hopefully it's a means to an end.)

- Grits, shrimp, asparagus.

-Chinese Takeout (not really all that healthy also but its our 3 year anniversary and I promised Mr. C we could get it to celebrate!)

Breakfast: Cheese toast & kiwi. I made the best sour cream bread (not a sweet bread) I'm just not sure it'll make it to Friday for mine & Miss G's breakfast.

Dessert: You know how I love southern plate. So for Easter I am making her butterfinger cake.

April 8-15:

-chili & cornbread

-Salmon, quinoa, broccoli, phil cooking creme. A meal I need to name but I'll tell you my husband said that I could make it on a regular basis 

-Crockpot: balsamic glazed carrots, baked potatoes, baked chicken

-Veggie lasagna with salad


Dessert: sugar cookies

April 16-22:

-Cuban black beans & yellow rice. From here. I haven't made it but have been wanting to for a while. 

-Pulled pork sandwiches with sweet potato fries



Breakfast: baked peanut butter oatmeal

April 23-29:

-quiche, veggies & homemade rolls
-Monterey ravioli with salad
-Stir fry with egg drop soup

Breakfast:banana nut muffins 

Now you know I won't follow this exactly all month but I really enjoy having the reference here so I can check it if I have to think on my toes and make a quick dinner