Planning for the future...Food costs...A year ago...Earthquakes in Italy...


Can't imagine anyone would cut this down as a Christmas tree.
The strong winds the past few days prevented us from going out to dinner last night.  With the restaurants wide open and mostly outdoors, the cool powerful winds would definitely impede a relaxing dinner.  Instead, again we visited the little grocer and purchased two whole free range chickens for both Saturday and Sunday's night dinners. 
With the small refrigerator and freezer in the house, when we purchase meat we try to use it over the next few days as opposed to freezing it.  At a cost of US $11.57, EU $8.51 for both chickens and US $5.76, EU $4.26 per chicken per meal it's rather reasonable.  
The previous night's rains brought water to the creek.
With Tom's white meat preference and mine for dark meat, buying whole chickens is a "no brainer."  The chickens are fully cleaned, ready to cook.  I peeled a ton of carrots and onions scattering them around the chicken in the roasting pan.

If we'd chosen to dine out both nights, the cost would have been at least US $130, EU $95.60. We can buy a ton of groceries for that amount.

We often cook the same meal two nights in a row.  I usually cook each night's portion separately, rather than reheat the meal from the previous night.  Some dinners work well reheated but many we prefer freshly prepared.

For ease, I cut all the vegetables and salad ingredients we'll be using for both nights to lighten the prep time the second night, making the next night a breeze.  We love easy prep these days.
The tile roof, the greenery and the sea create a colorful view.
Without starch or bread with our meals, prep is quick with the exception of a few meals such as stir fries, GF pizza and Mexican each of which require extra chopping, dicing and general prep.

As much as we've both always preferred home cooked meals to dining out, my interest in spending long periods in the kitchen prepping meal has greatly diminished since we began traveling.  I'd much rather spend time experiencing our surroundings as opposed to spending endless hours in the kitchen.
For all we know this may be the fish guy from whom we recently purchased fresh tuna.
Of course, once we're in Hawaii with family this coming holiday season, with some of the bunch with us for almost a month, my cooking and prep time will be greatly increased with as many as 16 of us for dinner for as long as two of the weeks. 

For easy decision making I created a folder of my desktop with recipes. Tom and I made a list for each entrée we'll make, deciding that it makes sense to have the adults prepare breakfasts and lunches for themselves and their kids, while Tom and I make dinners. 

We never tire of the scenery on the island of Madeira.
We'll keep the refrigerators well stocked in both houses with simple to prepare foods, snacks and beverages.  With many of our family member's having particular food preferences and with so many of us, it won't be possible to make separate meals for those with picky taste buds except chicken for Richard, the eldest, who doesn't eat beef.

It will be easy to have a slew of frozen chicken breasts handy to make each night which may prove to be useful for others who may not like a particular night's main course.  My way of eating will easily incorporate into each meal when I can eat the meat we're cooking, veggies and salad.

This must be a variety of cactus.
Each night, we'll make an entrée, a starch side dish, several vegetables, salads and bread.  Some nights, I'll make a dessert particularly on Christmas and New Year's Eve. On others nights, we'll have ice cream with toppings for cones and sundaes and microwave popcorn. 

I won't be partaking in my former Christmas cookie baking frenzy. I'd rather spend time with our family than hidden away in the kitchen. 
Ocean view from the road above.
With enough variety, everyone will be able to pick and choose what they'd like.  Most nights we'll cook on the grill which is less time consuming.  I think of it as having a casual dinner party for 15 to 16 every night for approximately two weeks of the time with some family members staying shorter or longer periods than others.  It will all work out.

As for dining out, its unlikely we'll all go out to dinner together.  When looking up menus online of local nearby restaurants on the Big Island of Hawaii, the cost for all of us would be well over US $1000, EU $735.36, just not worth the cost for us or for any of our kids. 

Hillside photos may often appear alike but we never post the same photo twice. 
If any of the our kid's would like to take their families out to dine, they are free to do so while the rest of us dine in.  Once they see their first bill, they'll unlikely choose to dine out again.  Dining out and the general cost of living is outrageously expensive in Hawaii on any of the islands, as we'll soon experience. 

In a mere four months, Tom and I will already have been living in Hawaii for two weeks beginning our four island stint until next May when we leave for Australia. 
Vineyards are everywhere with wine as a popular commodity.
It's hard to believe we're rapidly moving into another phase of our worldwide travels.  Once we have another year booked in Australia, we'll feel more at ease. Having no "stuff" and not knowing where one will be living doesn't scare us.  But, with future bookings in place, it provides us with peace of mind.

Let's face it.  Peace of mind is a valuable commodity that in essence, money and effort are able to buy, to an extent.  The challenge for us is always how much money and effort do we want to expend in order to gain the peace of mind, sooner as opposed to later.

Today, we'll be back at it, planning for the future, definitely on a mission to achieve our goals and continue on with the dream. 

No photo from one year ago today, June 22, 2013:

Last year on this date while living in Boveglio, Italy, we were experiencing earthquakes.  It was Tom's first earthquake experience.  Immediately, we began checking online for statistics for our area and found interesting and useful facts some of which we posted as opposed to photos. For the link for that date, please click here


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