Hello, friends. Last week, I applied to be an election official, and by the next morning, had my training scheduled. Sadly, they were hoping I could work March 3rd, but I already had commitments, so will have to wait until the next election. I finally finished getting my taxes ready to take to our accountant. It seems there are many of us who are doing multiple things for income streams. It sure does make it complex, with all the paperwork that entails. Every year, I figure out one or two things that can make gathering it a bit easier. The streams include massage, soap making, some of the bookkeeping/data entry for J's business, our home goods business, and ebay sales. The soap making, includes my online shop, several galleries, a B&B account, shows, various in person sales to keep track of, plus several people who supply me things to pair with the soaps. That's a lot of numbers to gather and crunch. Combine that with the other streams, and it makes it quite a bear. But then again, being your own boss makes it all worthwhile. Working from home most days, and being able to decide what to do with each of my days is immeasurable, even if my income is significantly less than it once was.
While in town last week, good deals found were avocados and cans of organic beans, both .89 ea. at Aldi's. Another day, J & I ran a few errands and stopped to pick up a few things at Dollar General. They had sweet sets of 8 pencils in their Valentines markdown. I got several packs for .30 ea., which I plan to use in Operation shoebox boxes or something similar. I didn't make any boxes last year, because I wasn't prepared, but keeping it in mind and stocking up when I find good deals will hopefully help me do it this year. A batch of almond butter was made, after soaking the almonds over night. Suet for the birds was made. A movie was enjoyed on amazon, one via netflix, and two episodes of Washington.
We had a lovely snow on Thursday, two inches or so, which has mostly melted. On Saturday, orders were cleaned and powder coated. Earlier in the week, I had made quiche, which used up leftover asparagus, frozen peppers and recanned olives. With the leftover quiche, I steamed cauliflower, and made cashew gravy, a recipe I've been making since the 80's. I only make it about once a year, and freeze the leftovers. J prefers his cauliflower plain, which leaves it all for me. The recipe comes from a well loved copy of Laurel's Kitchen.
1/2 c ground cashew nuts 1/4 onion, chopped
3 tbs whole wheat flour 2 c vegetable broth or water
2 tbs oil 1/4 c chopped parsley
1 tsp salt (see notes below)
Saute onions in oil until soft. Stir in flour and cashew nut meal (I grind it in the coffee grinder) and cook for three minutes, stirring all the time. Add the stock and salt and stir to blend all the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer until thick. Add the parsley. Makes an ample 2 c of gravy.
I have always used raw cashews for this. If you try roasted/salted, it will most likely not need salt. Even with raw cashews, I find 1/2 tsp. to be enough salt. I've only used the gravy on cauliflower, as she suggests, but expect it would be good on many vegetables. I like to mix up our green salads. With the salads over the weekend, I added cubed beets, toasted pecans, a little feta, and chopped cherries to spring mix greens. With some homemade berry vinaigrette, it was so delicious, I made it the next night, just changing the cheese. A red amaryllis I bought in December is blooming all at once. A dozen eggs were shared, and I bottled some thieves cleaning vinegar for a friend. Though I had a lot of orders to pack on Sunday, I made it outdoors as often as I could in between. It was a beautiful day, and I noticed the first grape hyacinths up. J & I went through our seeds, food and other supplies, figuring out what we need to replenish. Wishing you hopeful signs of spring this week.