I’m getting a new hip on Tuesday – the first of two with possibly a couple of knees to follow. It seems the warranties have finally run out. Check-in Time is 05:30 in VA lingo…

Every job I have ever had – from baking and cooking to hotels to health care to TJ’s – I was on my feet the majority of the time. It has finally taken its toll.

It’s been rough for a while. Standing hurts, sitting hurts, walking hurts, not walking hurts, lying in bed hurts. Basically, it hurts. OTC pain pills are pretty worthless and I’m just not really mobile enough to wander the streets looking for illicit narcotics, so surgery is my best option – and the VA has come to my rescue.

I’m expecting a speedy recovery. My sister-in-law, Nancy, had her hip replaced in January, and is pretty much ready to tackle Mount Everest – I’ve been taking notes. In the meantime, I’ve also noted the limitations of the first couple of weeks. Seeing her progress has been a valuable resource and has helped alleviate any concerns I’ve had on my recovery. Every now and again I pay attention… (I even watched a YouTube video of the surgery – it is really cool!)

So… in preparation for not being able to be in the kitchen for a while, we’ve been making plans. Not wanting to dump all of the cooking on Victor – on top of everything else he’s going to have to handle for a bit – we’ve been planning and making some batch foods to freeze and/or can – as well as a few fun condiments to spice up things.

One such thing was Hot Honey that Victor made – a chili pepper infused honey to drizzle on anything.



This stuff is a treat! We drizzled it over Andouille and Lentils last night, and Victor drizzled it over a salad with just a bit of olive oil. Definitely multi-purpose!!



Hot Honey

  • 1 cup honey
  • 3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Add the honey and crushed red pepper flakes to a medium saucepan. Heat over fairly low heat until the honey very lightly begins to simmer. Stir to combine, then remove pan from the heat.

Let the mixture rest for 10 to 15 minutes so that the flavors can infuse.

Stir in the apple cider vinegar.

Strain the honey through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bottle.


He used crushed peppers from peppers we grew and dried. They are potent! It will have a lot of uses dressing things up! And it’s shelf-stable!

The Andouille and Lentils was a throw-together as was the vat of Chicken Soup.

I did andouille, lentils, shallots, canned tomatoes, garlic, and a bit of thyme. Easy peasy.

The soup started off as a whole chicken and clean-out-the-vegetable-bin odds and ends for the broth. Then it was carrots, celery, and odds and end near-empty packages of orzo, different rice blends, canned beans and the cut up chicken….

I canned 7 quarts of soup and froze another 4 – shockingly, I only had 7 empty quart mason jars!! And there’s enough leftover lentils for a couple of lunches.

The freezer is full, the cupboards are brimming, and the waiting game has begun.