Sunday, February 22, 2015

Staying Warm and Frugal Accomplishments

the 4 in front are the barred rocks we got early January
As in much of the country, last week was a cold, snowy, icy one. I'm joining in with The Prudent Homemaker's weekly Frugal Accomplishments.  Other than a quick run out last Sunday for canning jars, I stayed home all week.  I made herb tea for the chickens with dried nettles and chickweed, as mentioned on Heather's fb page, but they were not terribly appreciative, so I then put the nettles on top of the bread soaked in warm milk I had been giving them, which they adore. I also gave them sunflower seeds we grew, extra nutrition and calories to help warm them.  The chicks integrated into the flock very well, and are growing.  SO warmed bricks on our woodstove, and put them in a large clay pot in the coop (out of their usual path), right at dusk several nights, to supplement the heat lamp (we added a 2nd lamp on the nights in the single digits).  I did bring one of the chicks in to warm a bit by the woodstove on the coldest day.  She looked to be struggling (shivering), but in a half hours time, was happily preening her feathers.  They all made it through well otherwise.

Before the very cold temps in the single digits, I harvested all the remaining carrots from the garden, which ended up being just under 2 lbs.

blueberry breakfast cake, before cinnamon sugar topping 
Ate all meals at home, including broccoli fried rice with our eggs and garlic, roasted butternut squash, pumpkin soup w rosemary (squash, pumpkin & rosemary grown here), pasta with sauce using our tomatoes, oregano, basil, onions and garlic, & salad using our arugula.  Also made lentil soup using our carrots, and whole wheat popovers with wheat I ground, blueberry breakfast cake with our blueberries, eggs and homemade vanilla.

It seemed fitting to do all the heat-creating chores I could manage, so I recanned a #10 can of olives- got nineteen 4 oz jars and seven half pint jars. I also took 2 gallon bags of vegetable trimmings from the freezer, and canned vegetable broth: got 7 pints and 2 half pints.  I enjoyed watching the Manor House series while catching up on my ironing, which ahem, took the entire series.  In my defense, half were vintage linens of all sorts I had been given last year.  I felt right at home watching the downstairs servants of Manor House do similar daily chores.  I also caught up on all but 2 pieces of mending- several pairs SO's work pants, several cashmere sweaters, an ornament and a pillowcase.   The handwork was done while keeping an eye on the pressure canner.  I do love the darning feature of my sewing machine to mend pillowcases and cashmere sweaters.

waiting for a spot at the feeder
I made yogurt & kefir.  I tasted the kombucha, which still tasted weak but pleasant, and tasted the kimchi, which I'm not sure about, but don't think I'm going to love.   I think it's as much the smell as anything.  I like cabbage, carrots and garlic... just not sure about the combination fermented.  However, I baked these chocolate chip cookies with home ground wheat.  These absolutely make my taste buds happy!

I watched several episodes of Coal House online.  I believe this is the grimmest of the series I've seen of reenacted time periods. This takes place in a coal mining town in Wales in the 1920's.  These series do make me very aware of just how blessed I am to live in these times and conditions.  Interestingly, a movie that had been on my Netflix queue arrived, Pride, which was also a story partly about a coal mining community in Wales.  A different time and a different story, but I was thankful to have this background before watching it.  I was happy to see the rhubarb, parsley and collards all seemed to have made it through the bitter cold OK.  Though they are out in the open, they all  seemed to be happier than the greens under the hoop house.  Gardening is always interesting!


Angie @ thejunkranch said...

I enjoy reading your posts and the most recent Frugal Accomplishments. It's very inspiring for me to see what you are doing each week! I too, never left the farm all last was kind of nice! Glad to know you are doing well!

Michèle Hastings said...

There are so many different types of kimchi, eventually you may find one that you like. I agree that the smell can be a little overwhelming. My favorite is green onion kimchi... I think it's called Pa Kimchi. I have had radish kimchi that was good too.
I finally made it to the discount grocery! I found a huge bottle of cocoa butter lotion for $1.50. It was an inexpensive brand that I used to buy and can longer find. I also bought the last two boxes of Annie's Mac & Cheese. I plan to stop in more often.

April said...

Besides enjoying your writing, I absolutely love your photography. You have a great eye! Sometimes I come to your blog just to revel in the pictures.

Happy@Home said...

Thank you for your recent visit to my blog and for weighing in on the milk/cereal question :).
I so enjoyed reading your post and I'm a huge fan of Brandy's website, particularly the frugal accomplishments posts. You had a very productive week. I admire how you are able to make such good use of your garden produce at this time of year. Your blueberry cake looks delicious! I have just started drinking kefir and didn't realize you could make it. Interesting.

Laurie said...

Angie, if you follow the Frugal Accomplishments link and read the many comments, you will truly be inspired!

I'm so glad you found some things you could use at the discount grocery, Michele. I will keep an open mind re: the kimchi :o)

April, you are very kind. The world is pretty amazing. If I can catch just a small piece of it, I'm happy.

I just took a look at the Southern Spring Home & Garden show, Happy at Home. I think I need to plan a trip there! You can buy the kefir grains online, or get some from a friend, and keep it going, similar to yogurt.

Lori Buff said...

I’m with you, do heat producing tasks like baking in the cold weather.
I think kimchi tastes better than it smells. If you don’t like it you might need to find a different recipe.