Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Handmade Holiday & Frugal Accomplishments

I hope all my U.S. friends had a most lovely Thanksgiving.  I'm joining in with Frugal Accomplishments today.  Though we've had some hard frosts already, the clematis surprised us with this lovely bloom.  Last week, I received my annual capital credit check from the electric co-op, always welcome this time of year.  I've been to customer service at the grocery store twice in the last 10 days, due to being overcharged several dollars each time, & received my money back.   Instead of going to the stores on Black Friday, I went to the discount grocery when I finished work, which is about a mile away.  One good deal was a 3# bag of nyjer seed for $2.  My old feeder was torn, so I watched a youtube video on how to make one from a piece of stocking, a lid & a stick.  I also found half price Christmas ribbon (.99-1.22),  a roll of sterile absorbent cotton (.50) for our emergency supplies( $4.29 at Walgreens!), & 2 sweet porcelain Cordon Bleu mini loaf pans for less than half online sale price @ $2 ea.  I'm thinking they would make a lovely little gift with some homemade jam and bread.

After Thanksgiving with family, I requested the turkey carcass, which still had lots of meat on it.  Though I've been a vegetarian many years, I have a really hard time seeing it thrown away, so I bring it home for the pups.  I brought a large pot to put it in, than added water when I got home and put it on the woodstove to simmer overnight.  I added some of the older spring carrots from the garden, oregano, & some celery.  I gave the happy pups some on their kibble for a few meals, & pressure canned the remainder, 14 pints of broth and meat.  While cleaning up the kitchen from canning, I pondered why I choose to do this.  Because I have a great deal of respect for all life, it makes perfect sense that I would want to make the most out of the life this being gave up.  So, I guess it's not so crazy after all.

Last week, I finished embroidering a Christmas gift for my niece.  I dry canned dried milk in jars, harvested collards from the garden, & emptied water bottles and glasses into the humidifier on the woodstove.  I made tapioca using our egg and homemade vanilla one night, & used the same to make a ricotta pie another night.  Organic celery is pricy, and I never seem to use it up in time, so I blanched and froze most of it.  I planted the celery bottoms in the garden a few weeks ago, & they're sending up new growth.  Long on our to do list, Joseph & I planted our wheat field with heritage Red Fife.  This is our first planting and was done without the use of machinery.  We broadcast it by hand, then J raked it in.  It's been extremely dry here, but we have a good chance of rain in a few days that we hope comes to pass.  The wheat will be ready next summer, and harvest will be fairly labor intensive if all goes well.  I'll keep you posted.

This coming Saturday is the annual Lark Artists Handmade Holiday show.  I asked J to cut a slice of wood for me,  bought metal clothesline & J made little shepherds hooks to hold my recycled wool dusters for display.  Some of the cedar slab cracked off, but I think it will work fine anyway.  By the way, the little woodstove is an electric one I use for supplemental heat when needed in my studio.  J began gluing areas of laminate on the wardrobe that are buckling.  I hope to have that done soon, and be able to begin painting it.  This afternoon, I glued a second round.  On chilly days, I've been putting apple juice on the woodstove, adding a cinnamon stick and cloves, and enjoying hot cider through the day.  A simple seasonal pleasure.

This was the first year I'd planted caladiums.  It was a bit late, but I dug up the bulbs I could find, to overwinter in the house.  My moringa is growing, but seems to droop before the other plants do, so I transplanted it to a larger pot, & hope the greater amount of soil will stay damp longer and it will be happier.  Maybe it's my caretaking, but it seems a bit more finicky than most other plants, either drooping or branches turning yellow on a fairly regular basis.  I really hope to figure out how to have a thriving moringa, as it seems to be a good plant to have around.  I've enjoyed our lettuce on sandwiches this week, and made Brandy's Tuscan Tomato Bread soup tonight, using our tomatoes, garlic & herbs.  This week will be filled with soap wrapping and other preparations for the show.  I hope your week is an enjoyable one!


Jane said...

I'll be interested to see how your wheat crop does. I ordered hulless oats to plant one year after reading a book on small grain crop planting. Before we got them planted we got a letter from the seed supply stating that they were moldy and to throw them out. Never tried again. Still seems like a good idea.

Good idea for those dusters. Those little shepherd's hooks are so cute!


Laurie said...

I've thought about hulless oats too, Jane. That's a shame about yours. Have a great week!

Michèle Hastings said...

I am surprised that anyone would toss a turkey carcass... glad you made use of them! We always get a lot of mileage from a turkey. Dinner the first day, leftovers, then a casserole, and finally a soup that we eat for a few days. If I had a larger freezer I would have bought two turkeys, since they were a great price.