Monday, September 9, 2019

Early September & Frugal Accomplishments

loofah blossom
Hello friends.  Last week, I listed several things on ebay, a few of my friend's antiques and several pairs of my shoes.  On Labor Day, we worked on the solar hot water system.  There were some less fun portions of the job finished, such as spending time in the crawlspace to hook things up, and covering a tank with insulation batting, but we were able to start the system.  There are still some things to do, but it's far enough along that water is being heated, though not yet to the 150 degrees needed to move to our hot water tank.  J cut down some trees, and needs to cut some more which are shading it. One good thing that came from that is a good amount of usnea, which was on a dying tree.  I gathered enough to finish out one jar of tincture, and filled another 1/2 pint jar.  The trees will be used for firewood.

After a soap delivery, I went by a favorite thrift store, and found a canister, which I'll turn into a compost crock for my shop.  I also found a lovely floral painting for $10, which will be added to a gallery of floral paintings on the tall wall behind the couch.  I shelled all of last years hazelnuts, and for my birthday, we made my Mom's recipe for hazelnut gelato.  A beautiful birthday bouquet was sent by my daughter in spirit.  We attended an appreciation night for a group we support.  There was live music, local beverages, and delicious food by a kitchen that has just opened up there.  They use lots of local foods, and all of it is vegetarian.  On a recent night when J had been working on that site, he brought home a couple of their offerings for dinner.  Both were savory items in pastry.  Yum!

A batch of yogurt was made.  On Saturday morning, while J was working on our orders, I canned tomatoes and shelled beans.  When he was done with his part, I cleaned and painted them.  During a lull, I fertilized several things with fish emulsion, including all the house plants.  Holes were drilled in the canister lid, to turn it into a compost crock.  After some research, I was able to figure out how to watch This Is Us on our TV.  The sad part is NBC only gives you 3 show credits, and I used one to find out I had already seen that episode.  It's been 6 months or so, and I couldn't remember exactly where I was at.  Oh well.  I suppose after the credits are used up, they'll want payment.  Hopefully, I can find another way to view them.  I tried a new recipe, with tromboncino squash and orzo.  It was pretty good, though a little bland for our tastes.

Our orders were packed up on Sunday.  After friends visited, and pawpaws were shared, we headed to town to ship the orders and run a few errands.  When we picked up items to do an oil change on my car, we got a deal that gave us a free oil filter.  When we got back, I prepped 4 1/2 qts. of pear preserves, which will be canned on Monday.  I packed up an ebay sale.  In the garden last week, I harvested tromboncino squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, a pepper, the last of the hazelnuts, pawpaws, a few leaves of lettuce, a butternut squash, basil, oregano and thyme.  I was happy to find  two monarch caterpillars on the milkweed.  I'm enjoying these late summer days, and wish you a lovely week ahead. 


daisy g said...

You have loofah blossoms! Whoo-hoo!

You had a busy week, but it sounds like it was balanced with some fun. How wonderful that you can cook what you grow and make tinctures as well. I hope to learn more about that myself.

Enjoy your week and the Monarchs!

Laurie said...

I do! And a few loofahs, the biggest probably 6" long. Tinctures are really easy. Pretty much just put plant material in a jar, cover with alcohol and let sit. Susun Weed is a great resource.

Holley M said...

Happy belated birthday! Sounds like you've been very busy and getting much accomplished!

Can you explain to me about tinctures? How do you use them after you make them? You are so prolific in identifying wild plants, can you tell me how you learned so many?

Hope you have a wonderful week!

Laurie said...

Thank you, Holley! The tinctures are made by putting plant material in a jar, covered with alcohol, and left to sit. I consider them done at 6 weeks, but they often sit longer, depending on when I get back to them. They're strained, and put in reused bottles, often ones with droppers, but I also just use a spoon sometimes. I usually take a dropper full in some water. I've learned by taking classes, reading books, learning online, and from an herbalist friend. It's a subject that has always interested me. I've also joined a couple of groups on fb this year, one for mushrooms, and another on ancestral (wild) plants. I'd recommend researching the plant you're considering tincturing, to find out which plant parts have medicinal value, if fresh or dried is best, if it should be chopped, etc.

christine said...

Thanks for answering my questions about lemon balm. I was busy with hurricane prep and didn't reply. I wanted to share a recipe which my family surprisingly enjoyed. It is Lemon Basil Granita from Valerie's Home Cooking on the Food Network. Our weather has been very hot and this was a hit. My basil plants have been going crazy and I was able to use some of it. Hope you enjoy it. Christine

Laurie said...

Thanks, Christine. My Mom used to make what she called lemon ice, and it was so good. I hope you made it through the storm without any challenges.