Friday, September 12, 2014

Welcome to our Cubbard!

Welcome to our blog.  This is written by a team of three people with a variety of life experiences and viewpoints.  We will be blogging about a range of subjects, heavy on healthy eating and cooking, and budgeting.  The subjects and opinions we write about are what works for us and are in no way a mandate for or a judgment of what you are doing or should do.  We welcome disagreements and other viewpoints as long as they are presented respectfully and politely.  Our lives are a work in progress and our opinions may change over time.

I will start out by introducing myself (the other two will follow with their introductions on separate posts).

Name: Mary

Family:  I am single, the mother of six grown children and grandmother of 14.  I will be a great-grandmother in January.  I live with one dog, two cats and six chickens (chickens are outside only).  I am currently living on the outskirts of a good-sized city in South Carolina and have the advantage of lots of stores such as Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Earthfare, and a large Asian market in addition to the normal grocery store options.

Grandbabies #13 & #14
Background: I grew up as the second child of eight, living on a farm in Wyoming where we grew and preserved the majority of our food.  I milked cows (by hand) before and after school, gathered eggs, plucked and processed chickens for the freezer, and spent many a summer day weeding the garden, picking produce and shucking corn, snapping green beans, etc. and helping my mother  can and later freeze all the veggies we needed to get through the winter.  Mom baked most of her own bread when I was small, and we considered store-bought bread a real treat.  Money was always tight, but we never went hungry or without shoes or clothes (lots of hand-me-downs).  I got married and left home right after graduating from high school.  My husband joined the army and we spent 3 years in Germany, then in various places in the US. We had four children together, one girl and three boys. We were later divorced and I remarried, and we had two children, one girl and one boy.  My second husband died 12 years ago after an extended illness.  I have had a lot of titles - stay-at-home mom, silk screen technician, production manager, business owner, home health CNA, real estate agent, closing coordinator for a national builder, and administrative assistant in a civil engineering company.  Money was always scarce and it was difficult to feed six kids and 2 parents a reasonably healthy diet.  I learned to do the best I could with what I had, and not agonize over what better things I should be doing.

Food: I practice menu planning, cooking (and eating) real, whole food. I do best when I plan out my meals at least a week in advance, being sure to plan for leftovers. I am currently halfway through my second Whole 30, a diet and metabolism reset program.  I did it once before about a year ago, and was very pleased with the results.  Unfortunately, over time I slipped back into some less than perfect eating patterns so need another reset.

Greatest food challenge: Cooking for one and not wasting leftovers.  I don't like to eat the same thing over and over, so I cut recipes in half where possible, freeze individual portions for later meals, plan on using leftovers for lunches, and when I still have leftovers I don't want, I pass them along to someone I know with a limited food budget (he is very appreciative!)

Favorite quote:  "Eat anything you want as long as you make it yourself." - Michael Pollan, from his book Cooked

Hobbies & interests: I like to read and am fairly involved in my church.  I sit on the Board of a non-profit called Maia Moms, an organization that helps single moms get onto a path out of poverty and despair.  I am retired and am enjoying spending time with my grandchildren, something I didn't have time to do when I was working.

A favorite recipe: Carnitas (or pulled pork) made in the slow cooker.  Super easy and delicious.  It can be served several different ways - in a tortilla as a taco, in a bun as a sandwich, or as the filling for enchiladas or taquitos.  Be sure and save the broth and use as a base for soup or rice. Here is the link to the original recipe (and be sure and read the comments as they often have lots of great additional ideas).
Photo courtesy of
That about wraps up what I have to share about who I am (and may be more than some of you want to know!).  I am looking forward to continuing to chat with you over the upcoming weeks.  We also have a Facebook page and will post there anytime a new post goes up.  Feel free to chat with us there, also.

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