Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Happy New Hodgepodge

Here we are...rolling in to a brand new year. If you've answered this week's questions add your link at the end of my post. Then hop over and leave a comment for the blogger linking before you. Let's start the year off right!

From this Side of the Pond

1. What advice would you give yourself as we begin this new year? 

This Proverb (3:5-6) feels exactly right for me...'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.' 

2. If you could throw a themed party for yourself what would the theme be? 

How about an English tea? In England please. Once it's open I mean. And let's invite all the friends I used to have real English tea with to join the party, k? 

3. Tell us where you were and something about what life was like when you were 20- 21.

At ages 20-21 I was a college student in love with the beauty of East Tennessee and a mischievous boy who called the place home. I started dating hubs when I was 20, and that worked out well-ha! I also had a part time job as a waitress in a charming eatery in the town of Jonesborough Tennessee. Jonesborough has since become fairly famous for the huge storytelling festival held there each year, but back when I was 20 it was still a sleepy little town. 

4. What's on the menu at your house this week? 

A ginger-teriyaki salmon on the grill tonight,  a honey garlic chicken bowl tomorrow night, and that's as far as I've planned since I'm headed to the market tomorrow. I'll figure out another week's worth of meals before I shop. I know for sure there won't be pasta or anything heavy, fried, or swimming in cream because we have a wedding coming up fast and someone sampled a few too many Christmas cookies last year, ahem. 

5. What should you do more of this year? Less of? 

More exploring the history and natural beauty that's all around us 

Less scrolling

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

At the suggestion of my daughter I subscribed to Home Chef back when the pandemic started. She had tried several of the home meal services and this was her favorite. She sent me her code so I could try it, and I have to say hubs and I have both really enjoyed their meals. Normally we eat out at least once a week but with everyone staying home and not a lot of great take out options nearby the cooking (and I love to cook!) was wearing a bit thin. And maybe not so much the cooking as all that meal planning. 

Here are what I see as the pros...the packaging is wonderful, the produce super fresh, and the meat/fish high quality. No complaints. You're sent crystal clear step by step instructions and all ingredients are pre-measured. There's a wide variety of meals to choose from each week and you can substitute proteins easily if you prefer. We have not had a bad meal, and I save the recipe cards so we can recreate the ones we love. It's nice to know there are a couple of meals in the rotation that I don't have to plan or shop for, and you can skip weeks as needed. 

The's not inexpensive, but we're not eating out these days and it is definitely less than we spend eating out. There are minimums but we usually order two meals for two people and do that a couple of weeks each month. Some months I order more than that but there is flexibility. You do have to look at the calories as some are quite high, but I always find meals that work with the calories I want to spend.

If you are interested in giving it a try message me and I can send you a code to to try a box at a discounted rate. Also, this is not an ad...I just like Home Chef.  


  1. Hi. Thank you for your wonderful questions for the new year.
    --Proverbs 3:6 happens to be the verse of the year 2021 at our local church. :-)

  2. Glad you put that in about Jonesborough...I've wondered if I missed something while I was at uni! Send me the information on Home Chef. I'm really watching carbs but I'm so tired of planning meals!

  3. Another vote for an English tea here. Happy New Year!

  4. Joyce,

    Jonesborough is a lovely little town. During the off season it's still that sleepy little town you remember. The historic district is so charming. We haven't been up there in a several years. Perhaps after the pandemic wanes to where there is little to no concern of it then we can make a day trip up to stroll the streets and admire the old buildings. Of course, with my big girl camera in hand.

    We used to order pizza for the weekends before Covid but thankfully just before the pandemic forced businesses to close and us to stay home I began making my own. It turns out we like the recipes I used to make fresh home-made pizza anytime and it's really not that hard.

    Incidentally, I love your Bible verse advice. I often recite this passage. I know everything is in God's hands and when I'm feeling overwhelmed then this verse not only reminds me of whose in charge but fills my soul with peace.

    Have a wonderfully Wild Wednesday and may 2021 be kinder and safer for you & yours! {{Hugs}}

  5. I love Tennessee, but I haven't been there in several years, other than just to drive thru while on the way to somewhere else. Maybe this year I can make it back.

  6. I used to like the home delivery meals too - but they are expensive!!!!! & I always hated all the packaging. We get so many boxes with dog food deliveries & amazon. getting one every week was a lot to add to the packaging pile.
    ('m not seeing the link up) - am I missing something?

  7. Can I get an invite if you ever get back here to have your English tea party please? We use a meal service too (Hello Fresh) and like you I like the convenience and the not having to think too much about planning. We also keep our favourites to recreate the meals. They're quite clever though in that some of the spice mixes/sauces are hard to recreate exactly but we usually manage to find an acceptable alternative. Thanks for another great set of questions Joyce.

  8. Yes and amen (not awomen) to #1! And yes again to your answer to #2. Wouldn't that be lovely. So the countdown has begun for the wedding? How exciting. That dinner in a box sounds great. I have my doubts that they would deliver out on our country road. Happy New Year and happy wedding!

  9. Oh yes to more exploring and traveling--if only we can!
    I also love your idea of the English tea.
    Have a good week, with health and acknowledging God.

  10. Wonderful answer for #1. Amen! Your dinner sounds delicious. More exploring and less scrolling sounds perfect. That is interesting about Home Chef. True about not eating out vs the cost. Adam and Gabby did a few of those similar packages when they first started coming out and really liked them. Take care, stay well and God Bless!

  11. I've tried Blue Apron meals before but not Home Chef!!

  12. I too plan to do less scrolling. Well said Joyce!
    And I too was dating a mischievous boy.. who won my heart at age 20. ;-)

  13. Yay, I am back again and hoping to link up often this year. We have been using HelloFresh and have enjoyed the unusual to us meals we prepare through each kit. But it, too, is a little pricy. Have gone down to one box (2 meals) a month. Since we are eating out less, thanks Covid, I can justify it for now.
    Appreciate the Bible verse. One of my faves but one I struggle to follow.
    English tea in a healthy England sounds divine. I'll be there!!

  14. I have not heard of Home Chef. I love your verse on #1. I am trying to write more verses on cards that speak to me when I read them and put them where I will see them often so I will remember them.

  15. I honed right in on the Storytelling Festival! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE storytellers and have a story that I want to memorize and be able to 'tell' someday. I am going to google the festival and just may have to make that a destination one of these days when we are all vaccinated and can gather again! Nice to hear about Home Chef. We haven't tries any of those delivery meals yet but our Publix has them all packaged and ready to take home with instructions included and they are good (and not too expensive). Thanks for another fun Hodgepodge, Joyce! xo

  16. Magnificent advice for #1. Jonesborough is so historic now. I, too, remember when it was a little sleepy town but the Storytelling Festival has put it on the map.

  17. Well, tonight and tomorrow's dinner menus have me convinced. Would you like to sign on as my personal chef? Please? :D

  18. I was 24 when I met Mr. G and 51 years later we are still together ! I don't cook anymore. I loved to cook and did it with pleasure but now I have no ideas.. We have lots of choices here for "Take Aways" as a lot or restaurants which are closed do this service now. And then we have French deepfreeze shop with excellent plates or food that you can compose your meals. I go there once a week and then we just have to heat it up in the micro wave !