REAL, FRUGAL, HEALTHY, and FUN!!!
Man, today was a rough day. Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Not as many preparations were successful, unfortunately. Before we go through the epic rough patches of today, I’m going to back up and go through the preparations of yesterday.
So first thing in the morning, I made some of my Dill Pickle Plantain Chips. Because I need these to last (I’m hoping to have veggie chips for the drive back, as well), I need to be sure there is no moisture remaining in them. Rather than do a quick bake at a higher temperature, as directed in my recipe, I set my oven to the lowest temperature and let them set in there for 2-1/2 hours, turned the oven completely off, and let them set an additional hour. The idea is to strip them of all moisture. They come out like a nice crisp chip, ready to be bagged with a rice sachet (DIY moisture absorbers, explained in this post).
While the plantains were in the oven, I brewed up some sweet tea for kombucha. I got that fermenting now, so I should be able to bottle it in time for my trip. In this Texas heat, it doesn’t take long to ferment. If I wait too long, I end up with vinegar.
Also, yesterday, I made some carrot chips. I’m sure you’re thinking, what is with all the veggie chips?! Well, they are a great way to bring veggies on a trip. I will be on the road a lot. I’ll need a lot of chips, though I will be bringing other food, as well. Anyway, back to the veggie chips. They shrink. It takes a whole lot of batches in order to have a decent amount for a long road trip. That’s why I’m already preparing them. So, as I was saying, I decided to make carrot chips. I had a huge bag of carrots. I’d never done carrot chips before, but any root vegetable works. I went with a Margarita Carrot Chip. The coolest thing about these carrot chips is how cute they came out. Because carrots are narrow, so the round slices are smaller, they actually shrink up into these little, orange chips that look like popcorn! So cute!
Well, I didn’t get through too much more than that yesterday. I had an appointment with my gastroenterologist in the afternoon. I found out I have Celiac. This wasn’t actually that interesting to me. Just confirmation that, yup, I am definitely part of my family. My mom has had Celiac all of my life. She was diagnosed with it before it was so common, long before most people knew what it was. In fact, she had it before there was internet in private residences. There was no checking Pinterest for a great, tried and true recipe. She would order mixes through some kind of company. I’m not entirely sure. I was really little still at that point. I remember her pasta noodles were weird tasting. She would get bread mixes that would turn out more like crackers. It’s crazy to see how far things have come. I’ve talked to her about doing a guest post about her experience and she agreed. It’ll be sometime after this trip, though, as she is a huge part of it. Anyway, since that my grandma (her mom), two cousins, and grandpa (dad’s dad, weird right?) have all been diagnosed. We’re a family of Celiac people. What is very cool about that, is that at this reunion, there will be a ton of gluten free options at every meal. That will actually be really nice.
Also, yesterday, while talking to my mom, she said I could make some of my bars once I get to her house. My Vitamix had a scary accident not too long ago and is out of commission until Vitamix gets it fixed up and sends it back to me. My mom just got a Vitamix for her birthday, so she said I could use hers. I’ve borrowed a friends blender in the meantime, but I don’t think it could handle my bar recipes.
So, today, I decided to get some more carrot chips going. I wanted to try some sweeter ones. I got them prepped and into the oven. They smelled so good! I went with a little butter, honey, and cinnamon. You can imagine. While they set in the oven, I worked through laundry. I wanted it all done so I could start setting aside the clothes we might be bringing. I continued working and working. Then, I had to run and take one of my boys to gymnastics and one to karate. I turned off the oven, but left the carrot chips in to get out any last bit of moisture. I called my husband and asked him to take them out when he got home, and to cook up some chicken for dinner. Well, we get home and something smells burnt. Apparently, he’d forgotten to take the carrot chips out and preheated the oven with them in it. They burned. I was definitely bummed, but tried hard not to dwell on it. These things happen. Well, wouldn’t you know, I had a rutabaga that I’d wanted to make chips with. I’ve actually been really excited to try rutabaga chips. I pulled it out from the pantry and it has fuzzy mold on it. Grrr! Well, that was it for me. All I can say is, at least I got the laundry all caught up and am in the beginning phase of packing clothes.