Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Mia Dolce Cucina and being a good steward

Now that we are settling into New York life, we have the awesome and fun privilege of making this new life, the life we have planned for since before we married! We wanted to live in Clinton, We wanted a simpler life and we've even thought about being able to go "Off Grid"  No I'm not a prepper or waiting for the "big one" to happen, But I do believe in being a good steward of the blessing God's has rained down into our lives.  We are working to be debt free.  In the event of a layoff, sickness, or some other unplanned life changing event I want to be ready and I want us to be healthy.   I left my "corporate" job 14 years ago,  we had teens and an elementary schooler, they needed a mom with them when they got home from school.  We started my sewing business and I was able to work from home.  Five years ago, right after Steve's cancer, military pay cuts, and military sequestration- all in the same 6 months- I realized how fragile our family system was.  It was our personal you know what hitting the fan. So we took action to create a more stable or sustaining plan for our family.  We went to completely eat whole, clean food, I learned about grains and how to grind flours, and then bake tasty healthy bread. I taught myself to how to preserve food by canning, and dehydration. I also learned how to do several new types of commercial sewing.  Steve retired from the ANG, We moved to Texas, giving away all my canning gear, selling my commercial sewing machines, totally downsizing our "stuff". It was an adventure and we liked our year there, but we learned something, We love New England and life in the North East.  Taking that leap of faith and moving there made it possible for us to take an even bigger leap of faith and move to NY.  The bible says that God orders our footsteps, and I have to tell you, the last five years were not only ordered, but we were given a map and time to prepare.  That is kind of a key thing when in faith you have a dream, you have to act on it, you have to put in the time and effort to support the dream when God makes it happen.
In today's' age I really believe you need to have a plan and be prepared, be a good steward in every area of your life.
So now we are in the home Steve grew up in, in a beautiful country setting, I'm planning my garden and my workshop, Steve is planning his wood shop and we are both working very hard and loving it!

A full kitchen renovation is scheduled for next year, but we've made the kitchen fully functional for our life style now.   We had this console made for my kitchen cooking area about 9x10 :

 Saturday morning I dehydrated apples for my oatmeal mix and trail mixes
this is 2 bags of apples; you know the less expensive ones

I have a lot of great kitchen tools, they were all planned purchases, these were investments in "us". 
By dehydrating and canning, I never throw food way, I am much more conscious about planning and eating healthy.  Yes, these things are expensive to purchase, but going out to dinner 2 times a week is much more so and lets not even talk about the cost of being sick. 

 On Sunday I turned this bunch of Kale that was on sale

into this by dehydrating for 6 hours: perfect for my veggie bread and soups, they taste pretty good as chips too, and so healthy!!

On Sunday I also turned one can of Pumpkin into 

12 pint jars of delicious bread!  Perfect size for snacking, one of these jars will last for 2 days for us.
Whole grain no white sugar and ready!  These breads could last a year!  Simple oven canning I learned on YouTube!

While that was baking
I had a pot of chili on the stove, ground turkey was on sale this week
3 pounds of turkey became 8 quarts of really yummy chili!

With more planning than effort, I am able to have meals ready when I don't feel like cooking, with food that I know is top quality and healthy. so I don't have to go to a restaurant for something fast, it is in my pantry!  My home chili meal: chili, rice or cornbread, and a big salad: about 1.75 per person. you can't even buy a soda for that at a restaurant!
Last week Steve and I went to a wake, we had to park behind a restaurant that we really like, and have gone to.  I noticed next to the restaurant dumpster another smaller dumpster ( just thinking about this makes me kinda gag) the smaller dumpster was used to throw away their grease!  I pointed it out to Steve, it was so disgusting, dripping with who knows how old oils and fats.  It looked like it should have been behind a garage, not a restaurant.  If that wasn't bad enough, when we were walking back to the car, a guy came out the back door with a 5-gallon bucket, lifted the lid ( gag at the smell) and poured it in.  All I could think of was, that was one meal away from someone's belly. UGH, not mine!!
I hope that wasn't too revolting, but the point is, we need to have a plan and we need to work the plan for our dreams to come true.  we need to have good health and stewardship to enjoy the blessings The Lord brings us.  We need to respect the marvelous creation God has made us and take care of the temple the soul and the spirit.
I hope you are living a healthy lifestyle and if not, Start!!  
Thanks for stopping by!
Ginny M


  1. You are so inspiring Ginny. I wish I had more time to do some of this. I do spend a lot of the weekend cooking and freezing so that we have meals all week long - which helps save me on time. And bread in jars? Who would have thought of that!

  2. You make this seem easy. I admire your organization, determination, and hard work.

  3. Fascinating pumpkin bread Ginny, I guess you could use fresh pumpkin too?
    TFS Shaz.x