Sunday, August 21, 2016

Preserving Food & Frugal Accomplishments

Last week, I cashed in Swagbucks for a $25 gift certificate.  I used our squash and onion in a quinoa dish.  Made salsa with our tomatillos, tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, & peppers a neighbor had given us.  From the freezer, I cooked corn we had grown and Brandy's black bean burgers to go along with the salsa and chips.  Enjoyed a few breakfasts of pawpaw, banana and homemade yogurt.  I made yogurt, kefir and hummingbird food.  Harvested tomatoes, tomatillos, red noodle beans, cucumbers, summer squash, onions, plums, hazelnuts, one pear, and pawpaws.  Something has been eating many of our fall seedlings in the garden as they germinate, so I planted cabbage and three types of collard seeds in pots.  They're coming up nicely.  I gathered some of the winter salad mix and cherry tomatoes for the chickens, and baked a loaf of bread using the last of the wheat I had ground.  Picked elderberries, and froze a quart after removing the stems.  I'm joining in with The Prudent Homemaker's Frugal Accomplishments.

I went to the discount grocery store & found 4-packs of organic applesauce for .50 and 1 liter cold pressed olive oil for $4; also sunflower seeds for the birds at less than half price of what the grocery store charges.  Bought a few groceries at Aldi's, including organic produce and organic popsicles.  I got our electric bill, and was discouraged to find it was $46 more than last month.  We've not been able to open the house up for weeks, due to the heat and humidity, so I'm sure the increase is due to the a/c.  Cooler temperatures are coming, so I'm hoping the next bill will show a significant decrease.  I composted, recycled and shredded all paper and cardboard which I add to the compost bin.  Weeded around the beans, onions, tomatoes and flower beds.

I ground the dehydrated tomato skins, & ended up with close to 3 cups.  J & his business partner were heading out to bring a load of metal salvage to the salvage yard, & asked me to go along.  They know I love a good treasure :o).  I bought 3 vintage metal chairs and a lovely plant stand for $6 ea and a hanging metal planter for $2.  The plant stand and one chair needed a little work, which J had done within an hour. One chair needs a good wire brushing before painting.  I intend to paint them all and use them on the porch.  I picked up a couple of mornings opening up & doing housekeeping at Hospice.  This is only in the administrative building, as the Hospice House has it's own housekeeping staff.  One of the days I was already going to be there to do massage, so no extra gas was used.  J has been working hard on cutting and splitting firewood for the winter.  He's always on the look out for dead trees on our land, and found three close together recently, which are now cut, split & stacked.  I paid our property tax, getting the early discounted rate.

As a soapmaker, I have to be thinking ahead, as my cold process soap cures for at least three weeks before wrapping.  I used some vibrantly orange home canned pumpkin to make my autumn soap, Pumpkin Chai. The house is smelling like yummy fall spices.  I cut a bouquet for the house.  I saved seed for zinnias, pineapple tomato and a branching sunflower I've forgotten the name of.  J & I canned up 17 pints of salsa.  Our sweet peppers didn't do this year, and I found a marked down package at the store to use for the salsa.  We've got lots of hot peppers, which we used in the salsa and have been dehydrating the rest.  I made a pasta dish using our tromboncino squash, tomatoes & herbs.  The sauce was pretty dry, so I added a pint of canned tomato broth and some of the dehydrated tomato skins, which turned out really well.  I canned spicy dill pickles, eggplant, and carrots.  It's the first time I've canned carrots.  Last year, I dehydrated some, but I want to see how we like them canned.  I froze a bag of lambs quarter and beet greens.

After a rain shower, there was a rainbow peeking out from behind the trees.  It's supposed to be ushering in cooler temperatures, which hopefully means I'll be able to open up the house tonight or tomorrow night.  Oh happy day!


Michèle Hastings said...

It was so nice to sleep with windows open last night. I am afraid of what our electric bill will be this month after this long stretch of hot and humid weather. Seems we never got a break since June.

Laurie said...

Yes wasn't it, Michele! Well, at least you were gone a few days, which should help your electric bill a little. Hope it's not too bad.

Anonymous said...

It looks like you got a lovely rainbow out of the rain shower. I like your pictures. They are very restful and lovely.