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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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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February’s Cheep Trills

Chirped by Cass and Tina

Oh February! Even though it had an extra day this year, it still seemed to fly by. The weather didn’t help, being very mild, warm and wet here in PA – hurrying us along towards spring. Our shortest month did, however, yield some efficient days of crafting, blogging and catching up. We squeezed a lot in! Here are our top ten favorites from this productive month…

Favorite Books

February’s choices for both book clubs had mixed reviews from our members. Cass’s book club read Keeping Lucy by T. Greenwood. It describes a mother in the ’70s trying to save her daughter (born with Downs Syndrome) from a cruel institution and manipulative in-laws. The novel is based loosely on a 1971 exposé of horrific care inside a Massachusetts “school for the feeble-minded”. A guest speaker came to talk about her adult son, who has severe autism. The writing was good, the discussion interesting. Some of us were dubious about how quickly Lucy adapted and rebounded from her first two neglected years. But hey, kids are resilient, right? Continue reading

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After the Holidays Cheep Trills

Chirped by Cass and Tina

The holidays have come and gone, along with the college boys, and we are back and resettling into our empty nest routines. Time to compile a top ten list of cheep trills from our long hiatus!

Favorite Book

Cheep Trills - Favorite BookIf you’ve never ventured into the genre of post-apocalyptic fiction, A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, by C. A. Fletcher, is a perfect place to dabble your toes. I can also heartily recommend the Audible version, voiced by the author himself. Fletcher does a fantastic job of narrating, and you know you’re getting all the right nuances when the writer is also the story teller. Plus, it’s a terrific story, at least as stories of what happens after the apocalypse go. It’s easy to be transported to this future landscape, a hundred years or more after most of the world’s population has died of old age. It’s a world Continue reading

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