3 Things That Work in the Kitchen – Plus the book everyone was reading at the beach

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1.  Beach food!

We’ve been home from the beach for a week now, but I wanted to tell you a little about the food we had.  Fifteen of us rented a house on the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  To keep costs down and to keep things simple, we always eat at the house instead of going out.

My mom is a fantastic cook and super organized.  She started cooking and freezing food in February – waffles, banana bread, lots of cookies, stuffed shells, bbq, chicken tetrazini….  There was so much food and it was all delicious!

She and dad packed it on dry ice in a giant cooler.  My sister and daughter talked me into doing a Facebook Live video of us unpacking it all.  You can watch it here.

One question people always ask is why would anyone do that?  Why cook and freeze all those meal?  We’ve been doing this for years (I should say that Mom has been doing it for years, the rest of us just eat) and it has saved so much money and time.

This year we were close enough to restaurants to go out if we’d wanted to, but restaurants for 15 people X 7 days = $$$$$$$

The last time we went to the beach we stayed very far away from anything and it wouldn’t have been convenient to go out to eat, unless we wanted to drive 30 minutes each way to do it.

And when we’re in Disney World, we try to eat dinner and breakfast at the house and eat lunch in the parks.

Saving that money is part of what makes the vacations affordable for us.

2. New sealing rings for the Instant Pot

The only draw back to the Instant Pot or any pressure cooker is that the rings can gather smells.  I’ve figured out how to reduce the smell, but I can’t get rid of it all the way.  To reduce it, I use 3 tabs of denture cleaner, like efferdent.  Weird, but it’s the only thing that helps.

Finally though, I ordered a set of new rings from Amazon (affiliate link).  They were around $10, but Amazon pricing changes quickly.  There are three in different colors, so I’ve designated one for main dish type meals, one for sweet things like apple sauce and one for neutral foods like oatmeal and rice.

3.  Dishwasher installed and it works!

We’re loving having a dishwasher again after 11 months of hand-washing.  This one is very quiet, which I’m happy about.

The most popular book in our group at the beach:

Several of us took books to the beach, but one book made the rounds.  Isaac decided to read all of Andy Andrews’ books this summer and he brought The Noticer with him to the beach.  He finished it. Our oldest daughter read it. My mom read it (she never reads!), and my niece read it and gave the copy to my sister to read.  My parents ordered copies for my dad to read and to give to their church library.

If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it.  The Noticer, The Noticer Returns, The Traveler’s Gift and The Little Things are all fantastic.

What works in the kitchen this week for you?  And what have you been reading lately?

This post contains affiliate links.

 

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