Monday, September 21, 2015

Summer's End and Frugal Accomplishments

As summer comes to a close, I'm conscious of the warm days growing shorter.  Soon enough it will be time to swap out our summer clothes for winter, put rugs back on the floor, and fire up the woodstove.  Today I'm joining Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker.  During the past week, I cooked the egg whites left from making mayonnaise for the pups breakfast.  I have a goal to try more recipes that are made from my pantry, and tried making yogurt using powdered milk.  Unlike Brandy, I've never had to solely live on what was in my pantry, but there were a couple of years where it made a huge difference in what was available to eat.  One thing I know is that life is full of changes, and a little preparation can sometimes go a long way.  I cooked up the bags of vegi scraps in the freezer, and canned the tasty broth.  Planted more kale, lettuce and collard seeds, to fill in the gaps that didn't germinate.  Weeded the sweet potato bed.  It needs more work, but the tallest weeds are gone.  It's a challenge having a garden space farther from the house.  I made sure J didn't plant anything that needed daily attention there, but it still gets ignored more than it ought to.

Sunday bouquet with grasses, goldenrod & hops
I made a zucchini casserole with our squash, herbs, eggs and homemade bisquick.  Made asian cucumbers, for the last time this season.  Used homemade mayonnaise in broccoli slaw.  Gave the pups grated cucumber, winter squash, chopped parsley, purslane & basil with their dinners.  The cooler temps have allowed us to turn off the A/C, and open the windows.  With a couple of nights in the upper 40's, we closed windows in the afternoon, to conserve the warmth of the sun and cooking heat.   I made Swagbucks goals most days.  Went through ebates and Swagbucks for online purchases, to receive credit.  I told someone about ebates.  They checked it out, and wanted to try it, so I got to refer them (my first referral).  I crushed a pan of dried eggshells, and added them to the compost.  Made bread crumbs from a pan of bread ends, and froze them.

one of our two figs
Harvested cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, butter pea & crowder beans, and eggplant.  Canned eggplant.  If you're interested in canning eggplant, this is how I do it.  I listed several items on ebay.  As usual, used homemade soap, deodorant, & laundry soap, washed plastic bags, and composted.  Made zucchini bread with our eggs and squash, potato and pasta salad with homemade mayonnaise and our tomatoes, cucumbers and basil.  Harvested shiso leaves, which I dried for the pups.  Strained and bottled a jar of elderberry tincture.  Made okra and caprese salad with our vegi's and basil.  Made hummus with our garlic.  Canned tomatoes.  J & I were invited to a cookout at a neighbors.  I brought asian slaw to share, which is my favorite new recipe.  I made zucchini breads for this neighbor and another who came and lent their muscle on a homestead project.

Obedient bumblebee
I harvested a good amount of basil, oregano and rosemary.  Some of the basil went into a purslane pistachio pesto, and the rest of the herbs are drying for a gift idea I have.  The purslane is already starting to seed, so I took the remnants and seeds and spread them around some of the elderberries.  It's such a healthy food, we do want a patch of it where it can freely reseed, but outside the garden.  I will be taking part in a local Fall Festival in early October.  I'm trying a new product that I think will be perfect for the Heritage Village I'll be setting up in.  I harvested saplings of cedar, hickory, sassafras and maple for the handles, removed the bark and have them drying.  I have been saving my old cashmere sweaters and had some thrifted wool sweaters found at a good price.  I have felted them, & this will be the other main material in these items.  The only other material will be some sort of twine or something similar, which I need to decide on.  If they turn out well, I may share a photo here in the coming weeks.  Crafting can be frugal too!  Enjoy these last sweet days of summer, friends!


Michèle Hastings said...

I have been hanging on to some old sweaters to felt. I have never done it before... maybe this winter I will get to it.
Beautiful flower arrangement.

Laurie said...

Me too, Michele. So far, I've made a couple of potholders with old cashmere sweaters. I'm looking forward to trying something new.