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Taxes, Cooking, and Bible Reading

Taxes, Cooking, and Bible Reading 2

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Once upon a time, many years ago, we had our taxes done in late March and were unpleasantly surprised stunned by how much we owed. I don’t remember the circumstances now or why we were so caught off guard by it, but it changed the way we plan our taxtime. We now always have our tax appointment in the first part of January. It works out well because most people don’t want an appointment in January so our tax accountant schedules us early and we know exactly what to expect three months before anything is due.  We try to come as close to even-steven as possible so we never expect a big refund. We just don’t want a big bill!

All that to say, it’s been tax prep time around here the past few days and I’m looking forward to being done. I’ve also been weeding out files, old receipts, etc. which means dust. Here’s the odd thing. I have a dust allergy, but haven’t sneezed at all. My throat, however, is a mess today. The lovely EoE even infiltrates my taxes.

So, all that to say, we’re getting our taxes done this week and I’m looking forward to being finished and writing more unit studies like the two I did in the past week – Presidents’ Day Unit Study and Black History Month Unit Study. It’s way more interesting that calculating mileage and receipts.

Someone in a Facebook group recommended a different way to do Bible reading for the year and I’m going to try it. I’ve read through the Bible chronologically and I HIGHLY recommend it if you’ve never done it. It gave me a much clearer picture of how it all fits together. But I knew I would struggle to keep up with something ambitious like that this year so I confess I didn’t have a plan at all for the year.

But I’m going to try her idea!

You choose twelve books of the Bible, one for each month. And then you read and re-read whichever book you choose for that month. I like that! It gives you the opportunity to become very acquainted with a particular book and recognize themes the more you read through it. Since it’s already January 10 and I’m getting a late start, I’m going to begin with a shorter book and one I’m already fairly familiar with – Colossians.

I won’t even try to guess what I’ll read the next eleven months. I’ll see where life goes and choose each month.

Have you heard of Red Copper cookware? I hadn’t, but apparently it’s all over television. My mom had a square one similar to this round one that I tried when we visited over Christmas. It’s AMAZING. I use it to cook my meat for each meal and NOTHING sticks. It cooks bacon incredibly well. She gave it to me to bring home and I couldn’t be happier with it.

Now I have to decide if I want to order more pieces. I’ve been having a really hard time with cookware the past year. My twenty plus year old Farberware finally gave out. I tried some moderately inexpensive T-Fal non-stick pots and pans that began chipping within six months. I then bought new Farberware when I had a bunch of discount codes and Kohls cash to use. Within a month of use, the pots started doing all kinds of weird things on the bottom so they all went back. Farberware today is not what it was a few decades ago. I was very disappointed. So I’m using a hodge podge of cooking things including the few T-Fal items that haven’t started to chip yet. I’m kind of at a loss. Any suggestions for someone with a small budget?

I have an instant pot and every week I think I’m going to start using it more, but it intimidates me. I don’t know why. It just does. I have this weird thing with new and complicated appliances. And the instant pot seems complicated to me. I know there are people who use it daily or multiple times a day. It just seems like One. More. Thing. to figure out and deal with and I don’t want to figure out and deal with anything else. Do you have a favorite instant pot recipe or website?

Taxes, Cooking, and Bible Reading


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  • Cast iron is a very economical choice–well under $50, and with a little maintenance they easily last a lifetime–for frying pans and dutch ovens, although I don’t know if you can use them with your EoE, or if you want to deal with the weight and aesthetics of them. They come pre-seasoned with a soy-based coating now. The other thing about regular cast iron is that you can’t cook very acidic foods (tomatoes) in it. I have a couple of cheap regular frying pans that I use in that case. (I don’t have any nonstick pans. I would be too rough on them, and my husband thinks they are toxic.)

    There are also enameled cast iron pots and pans, but over time the enamel will chip, crack, and wear. Also, they are much, much more expensive.

    The saucepans that I have are “Chefmate” and “Revere Pro Line” brands. We got them used so I don’t know where they fall on the price/quality scale, but they seem well-made and functional. We also have one small All Clad frying pan, which my husband treasures so much that I avoid using it.

    • Hi Peggy,

      I don’t think I shared this here, but I have a cast iron skillet. I decided I was going to re-season it and make the effort to use it more since I am extremely low on ferritin (and every little bit helps). So I grabbed the oil and seasoned it. Came out beautifully. Cooked my supper in it and within ten minutes started to feel ill. Realized that I never checked the ingredients on the liquid oil I used. Yes, it was soybeans. And soy is one of my EoE triggers. Sigh. Could not believe that never crossed my mind as I read all the labels all the time.

      So I need to give that pan away or something because I won’t use it and I think they are a pain to maintain. I was going to try since I had it and because of the iron thing, but I don’t want to bother now.

      • I have two things to add:
        First, I agree that if you can sand blast – or scour- off the coating of the cast iron pan this would be best. We seasoned with duck fat for years (as it was the only fat I tolerated) and now I can tolerate palm shortening. However, once you have a nice coating… you aren’t really getting the iron. That’s the point of the coating, to keep it “stick free”.
        Second, my concern w/ the copper pans is that too much copper without zinc to balance it can lead to it’s own set of problems.
        As an aside, while I have not tired this, someone in my mast cell community has, it is called “lucky fish”, and it is a cast iron fish you either boil in water w/ some lemon (or something else acidic to liberate the iron) or put into a soup… you’d have to read more about it. She has had much success with getting her iron levels up with this. It is not seasoned (from what I’ve read) and it lasts quite a few years. Just a thought… I’ve yet to buy it but am strongly leaning in that direction.

        • Hi Kelley!

          I have a lucky fish and have tried it. The first time I boiled it with a tiny bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice. I can’t do citrus. It really bothered me. I wrote back and forth the the lucky fish people and they suggested apple juice so that is my next thing to try again. I did it once and even a small amount of the iron water seemed to upset my stomach so I haven’t tried it again. I have read that some people have a lot of success with the lucky fish so I need to try. My ferritin is so low it’s virtually nothing.

  • My copper pans (are they RedCopper? I do not know) are now beginning to stick badly after a year, something I am doing wrong? I do not know that either . Just a heads up to investigate before a full out purchase.

    • I wondered, when I saw an ad for copper pans on TV, if the way they made them nonstick was by giving them a super-smooth surface. And if the pans would become less nonstick over time as the surface got more and more scratched.

      If–big IF–that is how they work, it may be possible to restore them somewhat, by using very fine grit wet-dry sandpaper made for refinishing cars. (Or very fine grit abrasives used by lapidarists and jewelers to polish rocks and gems. Or with polishing rouge used by machinists to polish metals.) But I would wait until the pan was in fairly bad shape before I tried this. I also don’t know if the inner surface is a thin layer of metal that you wouldn’t want to sand through.

    • Thank you, Karen, for the heads up. It’s sad that nothing works well for more than a year or two. Like I said previously, I had my other Farberware set for twenty years and used them until they gave out. The new ones had problems after just a month!

      Maybe the solution is choosing something expensive and buying one a year to slowly build a set.


Sallie-Schaaf-Borrink-060313-B-250x250I'm Sallie, teacher by training and now homeschooling mom of Caroline. My passion is to provide products, encouragement, and information that helps others discover and do what works with their children. I also write about living a cozy life as a highly introverted person. Welcome! ♥

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“We who live in quiet places have the opportunity to become acquainted with ourselves, to think our own thoughts and live our own lives in a way that is not possible for those keeping up with the crowd.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Laura Ingalls Wilder
On the Banks of Plum Creek

“They were cosy and comfortable in their little house made of logs, with the snow drifted around it and the wind crying because it could not get in by the fire.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House in the Big Woods


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