Sunday, October 12, 2014

"Nona, Don't Wear That!"

"... I don't like it. Wear your Nona clothes."

I have to admit that never have I had someone tell me so directly that I exhibit incorrect fashion. Leave it to a three-year-old grandson to set me to pondering.

What are "Nona clothes"?

He did not know me during these fun times.

In the fifties and sixties, I was to wear dresses in public - especially to school. In the seventies, pants were beginning to be proper work apparel. In the eighties, I loved my aerobic wear!

He did not know me during these maturing times.

Since I always enjoyed a relaxed, sporty look, I appreciated the fit and comfort of these fashions most of the time. They were also perfect for a mother of three. Now I am a grandmother. What has gone wrong with me as a fashionista?

First of all, I am not a fashionista! My mother was a masterful seamstress. She made the majority of my clothes for twenty years. She had a creative but conservative flair. She encouraged me to do the same.

I grew up knowing how to select really nice items for bargain prices. That was helpful when I first began teaching with a salary of $6500 annually.

According to my observations, I have always been: current, but not too trendy; thrifty, but not cheap; somewhat conservative, never flashy (except the 1980s, of course); sporty, but always with a feminine touch; comfortable, but not frumpy (except maybe at home after a long day); business casual, but very open to formality and also beach wear; comfortable in all-black or tropical brights; most happy with classic statement jewelry and my own fun creations.

I understand myself, yet I do not understand my three-year-old grandson's dislike for the above. What are "Nona clothes"? Let us observe:

Matching outfits while we play

Warm cuddly clothes before bedtime 

Comfortable clothes for the occasional scream-fest

Large sweater to cover little boys from Hollywild cows

Matching clothes for celebrating birthdays

I am going to do what every woman should do. 

Actually ask the man in your life what he means! Do not try to guess what he means! 

If he is brave (like all the ones whom I have known), he will tell you.

The One-Eyed Cook

... or more accurately "The Cook with One-Eye." As you may remember, I wrote in the last post that I have only one heating unit working on my old stovetop. Yes, I need to replace the entire stovetop, but I have several more house repairs to finance first.

My meal planning system so far is working very well; however, I seem to consume all my meals before my daughters. They have multiple jobs and/or long shifts, as well as graduate school. Their schedules are more chaotic than mine. I eat at regular times because I am retired and at home, so I need interim meal plans for myself.

I began to think about what I have instead of what I wanted, so I considered favorite meals just for me. I have "one eye," a microwave, an oven, and a GRILL. Do you know what I remembered as one of my favorites? The "Stew in a Bundle" over a fire that my friends and I cooked as Girl Scouts in 1963! So delicious!!

My Pinterest search revealed a new look at cooking foil packets on a campfire/grill. See this easy chart:

Drawing a dinner blank? 5 no-fuss, no-fail foil packets. Just add chicken, rice, sauce and Green Giant veggies.

Here are tips for creating a packet meal. My favorite tips are from Jen Klein of "SHEKNOWS." (When I went grocery shopping, I was able to purchase sale and BOGO items.)


  • Meats (fillet of fish or beef, with even thickness; chicken breast cutlet; chopped chicken thigh meat or pork; shrimp or scallops)
  • Vegetables
  • Seasonings
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons flavorful liquid (wine, stock, citrus juice, soy sauce, marinade, oil, butter)

What Worked for Me

  • I made the foil packets as in the diagram above using suggested ingredients (meat, fresh vegetables, seasoning, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of flavorful liquid).
  • I sliced the fresh vegetables thinly so that all would cook evenly with the meat.
  • I grilled the packets on direct medium heat (350 degrees) for twenty minutes.
  • I then moved the packets to indirect heat (upper shelf) for twenty minutes.

Tips for Grilling

  • I used high-temperature vegetable spray in the foil/foil pans.
  • I checked the packets while grilling to prevent burning. (Packet cooking is all about timing. Check one for "doneness." Practice will determine your best timing.)
  • Be careful of steam when you open the packets.
  • Re-use or recycle the foil pans if you used these.

I am set for the week! YUMM