Cheep Trills from Our Quarantined Kitchens

Chirped by Tina and Cass

One thing many of us are dabbling in during the Covid-19 lockdown is home cooking. Maybe we have to substitute a few ingredients, since we can’t run out willy-nilly to the grocery store every other day. Personally we’re getting much better at planning our meals ahead of time, so that our once-weekly (or less) shopping can go the distance between trips. We’re also getting good at searching for recipes online that use ingredients we already have on hand. For this month’s Cheep Trills, we decided to share some of our favorite recipes from our quarantined kitchens… Some are easy, some more elaborate, but all are tasty if you’re looking for a little inspiration for next week’s menu… Hope you enjoy!

From the Sea…

Tuna Kabobs (Cass)

Favorite recipes from quarantined kitchensThis shish kabob marinade can be used for any kind of cubed meat/seafood you wish to “kabob”: chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or our favorite – tuna steaks. Mix up the marinade, add your choice of protein, and let it sit for three to four hours in the fridge. An hour before you want to assemble the kabobs, cut up your vegetables and add them to the marinade, too. Let sit. We usually use a red onion, peppers, and mushrooms in ours. Skewer your marinated meat and vegetables and lay directly on the grill rack. We use the leftover marinade to baste the kabobs as they grill. Once they’ve cooked, we like to disassemble it all into a large bowl, so people can pick out the goodies they wish to eat. Continue reading

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Tackling the Old Photo Albums

Chirped by Cass

Since I have some extra “at home” time due to the Coronavirus, I decided to tackle the three plastic totes full of old pictures and photo albums from my parents and grandparents. I have two siblings, so I wanted to divide up the photos between all of us. That meant figuring out what photos I needed scanned, so that we each have copies of these precious family memories. It also meant figuring out how to extract photos from damaging old albums, in order to better preserve them. And that was a project worth chirping about all by itself!

 

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Easter Gatherings – From a Distance!

Chirped by Tina

The stay-at-home orders can’t keep the holidays from arriving on schedule, and it’s Easter weekend already! While we can’t do our big family get-togethers in person this year, here are a few last minute tips for enjoying a fun Easter gathering – from a distance!

Zoom It!

Whatever your preferred virtual meeting platform is, schedule a big family meetup on Easter Sunday! Where else do they all need to be this weekend, right? Zoom, WebEx, Skype, FaceTime… whatever works and can handle multiple families joining in. We’ve been having a great time doing Zoom and FaceTime happy hours with friends and family. Facetime is easy if everyone has an iPhone, but for the Android users, sign up for one of the other services. We successfully hosted 14 people on a book club Zoom meeting a couple of weeks ago, and it worked quite well! A lot of students have upgraded Zoom accounts that will allow unlimited meeting lengths, unlike the free version, that cuts you off at 40 minutes. Continue reading

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March’s Cheep Trills – 10 Ways to Keep Busy at Home

Chirped by Cass and Tina

We hope that all of you and your family and friends are doing well during this crazy time. So many of us had to adjust our work, school and lifestyles due to this virus. This month’s Cheep Trills post details how we are keeping busy at home in this new norm. We have listed five things we are doing for others, and five things we are doing for ourselves.

For Others:

Homemade Masks

Homemade MasksTina and her crafting groups have been researching and sewing homemade cloth masks for health care and other essential workers, as well as friends and family. There is some research that questions the utility of cloth masks. However, healthcare and safety specialists that they’ve talked to say that at the very least, the homemade masks:

  1. physically remind people not to touch their faces,
  2. visually remind people to give each other a wide berth, and
  3. protect other people from the bulk of any cough or sneeze that the wearer might project into the air.

If you want to join the cause, check online for local Mask Makers groups – we have a really well-organized Facebook group near us: Mask Makers of Doylestown, PA, but there are others out there. Ours has a porch pick-up/drop-off spot where you can donate materials, grab more supplies, or drop off finished masks. Also check out this Continue reading

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Flight Paths: Escape to Savannah

Chirped by Tina

Just before the COVID-19 craziness really started to set in, my hubbie and I flew (gasp!) down to Savannah, GA to meet up with some friends we hadn’t seen in ten years. (As a side note, there was no shortage of travelers and no sign of masks in either the Philadelphia or Savannah airports the first weekend of March. I did notice we weren’t the only ones sanitizing our immediate area on the plane though!) Since that weekend, our kids’ colleges decided to send everyone home for “remote learning” while they assess the situation. Our status as empty nesters has been revoked! Luckily, reading our blog comes with no risk of contagion. We’ve got a whole backlog of projects and adventures to tell you about! So let me start by sharing some highlights from our long weekend escape to Savannah…

I started this post before the schools, restaurants, wine stores, and everything else started shutting down here in PA and around the US. We’re now embracing social distancing! I liked one sentiment that I read, to the effect that we’ll never know if we overreacted to this pandemic, but we will definitely know if we under-reacted… For the sake of our parents, grandparents, and immuno-compromised friends and neighbors, why not err on the side of caution and stay home? We’ll try to focus on some make-at-home projects in upcoming posts, but for now, please indulge me while I celebrate this recent trip to Georgia, that occurred just before the “spit” hit the fan…

Perry Lane Hotel

Long weekend escape to SavannahWhat a gorgeously appointed hotel, right in downtown Savannah! The decor is eclectic but elegant. Our suite offered little touches like a small cloisonné panda and a framed family letter addressed to “Sweet Pea”. The Perry Lane features a fantastic restaurant Continue reading

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