Monday, January 8, 2018

A Little Snow & Frugal Accomplishments

Hello friends.  We enjoyed a quiet New Years Eve at home, enjoying some Prosecco, and working on our jigsaw puzzle.  Wild and crazy, huh?  We've since finished the puzzle, and I've boxed it up to pass along.  J surprised me with a new puzzle, this one a map of the U.S.  On New Years, I fixed black eyed peas, collards and rice, and peach cobbler.  J heated up some ham to go with his dinner.  After having the collards and rice a second night, I froze the remainder.  I've been fighting a cold, so made a pot of Garden Garlic soup, which lasted three nights.  I made a kale salad to go with it one night, and warmed some bread.  I've been taking my own elderberry tincture, along with natural store bought items for my cold, and trying to drink plenty of fluids, including rosehip tea and blueberry tea with raw honey.  I also made up some lemon balm & nettle tea with my dried herbs, which wasn't as tasty, but I drank it anyway :o). 

With such cold temps, warm comfort food seemed in order, so another night I made a butternut squash crumble (with vegi bacon & broth), and cabbage and noodles.  There was quite a bit of prep work with this meal, but we did enjoy it.  Butternut squash peelings, herb stems and onion ends went into the broth bag in the freezer.  The cabbage core was saved to chop up for the pups, and ugly outer leaves composted.  For lunches, I made hummus using pantry items and our garlic.  It was enjoyed with cut up carrots & celery (me) & chips (him).  I made yogurt and kefir.  Warm up water was saved and added to the wood stove humidifier, the chicken water pot, and used for flushing.  I found a book on hygge at my library, and requested it.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying some fiction I bought discounted 50% on amazon in December.

In going through Christmas stuff this year as I was putting it away, I organized things and gathered a bag for donation.  I also made a note for next Christmas, letting myself know the only thing I'll need is cards.  I always think I'll remember from one year to the next, but I don't, so I added it to the December calendar.  I did laundry with homemade soap, but used the dryer, as it stayed below freezing.  We ended up getting an inch and a half of snow, which is nothing compared to most parts of the country, but it hung around for days with the cold temps.  I took short walks with the pups, but will wait for the snow to melt to take a long one.  Stopping by Dollar General for an item, I saw their Christmas things were 70% off, and bought 3 packs of holiday tissue paper for .30 ea.  I had gone in to buy a couple of clear shower liners, to staple up outside the chicken's small enclosed yard, which they tend to stay in when there's snow on the ground.  They'll allow light in, but keep them somewhat protected from the wind. We also used a heat lamp on the coldest nights.

Other than milk, and a rare few items, I'd not done much grocery shopping in several weeks.  Though we've got lots of canned and frozen produce, I wanted some fresh.  At Aldi's, I got mandarins, pomegranates, lemons, avocados and bananas.  I also picked up organic bread, tortilla chips and apple juice while there.  The wood stove is being used to heat various pots.  A large pot of water stays on the stove to give to the chickens.  It's poured over their frozen automatic waterer.  I've been taking them a warm mix of grains, old cream, eggnog or milk, nettles and a pinch of kelp each day.  This pot warms on the wood stove while I put my many layers on.  I boiled a pot of small sweet potatoes for the pups on the stove another day.  On sunny days, as it reached the south side of the house, I opened blinds and doors to take advantage of the warmth.

Mandarin peels are being added to a jar of vinegar for cleaning.  Swagbucks goals were made several days.  I wanted to gift a loved one a wedding photo of J & I.  Going through ebates saved 4%; using a coupon code saved another 40%.  The photo ended up being .23 including tax, and I'll use a pretty gold frame I picked up for .25.  So, a .47 cent gift after ebates.  The biggest cost will be shipping it.  I put bulk sesame seeds in pint jars, and J & I vacuum sealed them for the pantry.  I hadn't done anything with the green striped cushaw squashes we grew, and mentioned to J that I wasn't sure what to do with them.  Happily, he said his Mom made a pie from them that he loved, so I got the recipe, and we enjoyed some Sunday night.  The squash, and the lentil soup I made for dinner cooked on the wood stove.  Vegi peelings and bits went into the broth bag.  Our drinking water line (rainwater) froze during the first night of single digits.  J worked on it Sunday, and got it flowing again just before dark.  There appears to be a warming trend on the horizon.  I only managed a long walk (3+ miles) once last week.  I'm ready to get back to them this week.  Stay warm, eat healthy and get some fresh air and exercise.  Those are some of my goals for January.  How about you?


cookingwithgas said...

I hope this week allows some outside walks, I am way behind on my walk everyday in Jan.

christine said...

What recipe do you use for your homemade hummus? Thanks.

Laurie said...

I'm hoping for a thaw tomorrow, M, so I'm not sliding on snow and slush while going up and down the hills.

This time, I used a recipe from Bean by Bean, Christine. She has many variations, but I made the traditional hummus:
3c (2 cans) chickpeas, drained with liquid reserved
3 tbs tahini
2 tbs good olive oil
4 cloves garlic
juice of 2 lemons
S&P to taste
Smoked paprika to garnish... yummy!

April said...

January goals? Read, write, eat healthier (starting from a low bar there, so it's easy to attain this one!). Still frozen in Ohio, although the temps finally climbed into the 20s and even hit 30. Heat wave after the last several days!

Jenny C said...

Hi there, I always fibd your blog interesting. But now I have a question. What is vegi bacon?


Laurie said...

April, I hope you're thawed out by now. Another cold front arrived here last night, with snow next week. The warm days were nice while they lasted.

Hi Jenny- Morningstar makes a veggie bacon. The first ingredient is egg whites, followed by various forms of soy, corn, wheat and flavorings. It's not the most natural of products, but pretty tasty.

Jenny C said...

Thank you. Now I'm googling morningstar. 😀 Just found its part of Kelloggs. I'm from Australia.

Laurie said...

I'll be interested to know if Morningstar is available in Australia, Jenny.