Caregiving from my kitchen

WIAW 184 – New Year, New Home

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Well (looking back) I haven’t posted What I Ate Wednesday  in nearly three months!

WIAW 184 - New Year, New Home
We have since unpacked some of these…

tl:dr – we moved from New York City to Raleigh, NC to live with and assist Rich’s parents, who are in their nineties.

Full story… Everything (non-catastrophic) that could go wrong did…  from both of us getting that horrible lingering virus before Thanksgiving to having movers come to take our things in 6°F  and deliver them in NC over roads covered with black ice.

Between illness and other things the move itself kept being postponed, so we finally drove down ourselves on New Year’s Eve and arrived on New Year. (Well, that will make accounting easier…) And since this house wasn’t really intended for two adult couples, even after getting rid of most of our things we have boxes piled in the living room…  which of course means that there are things we need or want that we haven’t found yet. (I just know we’ll find the hats and gloves in April… but I want my kitchen scale before that!)

I seem to be doing the Grand Tour of every grocery store in Wake County, at least partially in search of cornmeal. (Gluten free grits I found, and am happily eating. But I want my corn muffins, too! Surely in the land of cornbread I should be able to find gluten free cornmeal…) By chance I actually have an old friend who lives nearby who has promised me lists of ethnic and otherwise interesting stores from her foodie friends, but they’re the next round – I need to check out Kroger’s, first.

WIAW 184 - New Year, New Home

I did get my computer set up on a table I put in the kitchen. It’s the old dropleaf we used as a dining table, and it fits perfectly into the corner of the kitchen, so now that’s my spot. One of my contributions to the household is cooking, so the parents get more variety than they’ve managed on their own, without Don wearing himself out…  (Barbara was an excellent cook, but just hasn’t been up to it for a while, now.)

What I Ate

WIAW 184 - New Year, New Home

Just so you know it’s really me, amid all the new dishes and such, I did eat my bean tacos for breakfast. They all eat cereal, with plenty of fruit and seeds, but that just doesn’t work for me… so first thing in the morning I set up an assembly line of cereal bowls, get everyone else set up, and then want something quick and easy for myself. (OK – first thing in the morning I make coffee. Everyone else drinks their coffee after breakfast – I want mine before, during, and after!)  But one of the first items I did find and unpack was my pressure cooker, for rice and beans (I need to write up my method for beans…) so once I found corn tortillas I made a nice big batch of refried beans. (When your very first shopping trip in North Carolina is the day before a predicted snowstorm, don’t expect to find everything…)

Well – I mentioned having a local friend. And it turns out a New York friend of ours is moving somewhat south of here, and was down last week to look at houses. And… the parents enjoy eating out. Between one thing and another, I’ve turned into a social butterfly eating out all the time!

WIAW 184 - New Year, New Home

With the weather, Barbara hadn’t been out of the house in ages… but yesterday was warm and gorgeous, so we all got out and went to lunch at Salt and Lime, one of their favorites. They do have a (limited) gluten free menu (and the waiter told me that a few more items can be made gluten free on request – just avoid the flour tortilla and they’re good) so that worked… I’m not used to picture taking in restaurants, still feels a bit odd to me, honestly – but one of my three Chicken Tinga tacos was left when I remembered to snap it! Quite tasty, and by all evidence so far, indeed gf.

Figuring out portions and amounts to cook for dinner is going to take a while. Logically enough, two sedentary people in their nineties eat less than two moderately active people in their early sixties… Rich’s mother especially doesn’t have much appetite (but of course still needs the nutrition!) It looks like plonking down a big pork chop in front of her will just feel overwhelming – but fortunately I have for years cooked meals with different foods cut up and mixed together with some sort of seasoning or sauce. That approach seems to work well – we can each take the right amount, and if there are leftovers, they work as a beginning, at least, for lunch another day.

WIAW 184 - New Year, New Home

So that was dinner. I sauteed a little onion and some mushrooms (the whole family is mushroom mad – you’ll be seeing more mushrooms in my recipes!) and added pork chops cut into thin strips. At the last minute I added roll cut zucchini – they do not like overcooked vegetables! Stirred it all together and served with brown rice. One habit I brought from New York has been to put a pitcher of water on the table. (I brought the lovely Pigeon Forge Pottery pitcher that I inherited from my parents…) so now we are all drinking water with dinner, while they also still have a little wine.

And I forgot to take a picture, but the habit I’m picking up from the parents is to always have a tossed salad with dinner! I used to sometimes remember, sometimes not bother, but they eat a green salad every night as a second course, so I’m working out how to fit that into my cooking routine.

And after dinner the ladies (including Jirra the cat, which amuses me greatly) retire to the sunroom while the gentlemen wash up. (Zane the cat does not wash up. He’s too busy patrolling…) Perfect way to end the evening, as far as I’m concerned!

So come on over to Jenn’s WIAW party on Laura’s blog (I hope you’ve been checking in there without me, too cool to ignore!) And let’s all get back into a routine (and by all I mean me.) I’m working around other people’s schedules, now, so some adjusting has to happen here – but I think I’m getting it…

I even expect to put up a recipe post on Monday! How’s that for Back to Normal!

WIAW 184 - New Year, New Home

 

 

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