5 minutes ago
Monday, March 30, 2020
Some Canning, Pumpkin Soup & Frugal Accomplishments
Hello, friends. I hope you are staying well. Not surprisingly, our first case in the county was announced on Monday. Last week, I canned half of the large pumpkin I had cut up. With the baked half, I made chocolate chip squash brownies, the dogs got a little with several of their dinners, and I made a pumpkin soup I shared some years back. There have been a few asparagus to harvest. One dinner was winter salad, and vegetable soup made from dribs and drabs from the fridge and freezer, and our canned tomatoes. I did attempt the banana peel bacon, but think I should not have put the marinade in the pan with the bananas, as the maple syrup made them start burning before they were done, so they never got crispy. I'll try them one more time at a lower temp, and leave out adding the marinade to the pan. While we still were having cool days, I recanned a #10 can of black olives, so now we have plenty for salads, pizza, omelets, etc, in much more manageable sizes. There was one more bag of raw peanuts, so I brought them to a boil, and let them cook on the woodstove. With the warmer days, they hadn't finished when we no longer needed the woodstove, so they were finished cooking on the stove.
For a breakfast, I enjoyed an omelet with asparagus and olives. Last year's elderberry tincture was strained, local honey was added, and it was bottled. Home grown sprouts were used in salads. The collards bolted, and the plants were shared with the chickens throughout the week. With unseasonably warm temps over the weekend of mid 80's, I harvested kale, swiss chard and lettuce before they became inedible. Our state issued a stay at home order, beginning this coming Monday evening. J convinced me to go out one more time for groceries, mostly produce. With it being a transition time in the garden, there will be little available to harvest for the next month. Though we can go to the grocery store, my preference would be to stay here and eat what we have on hand, even though I'll be longing for fresh foods before long. With the warm days, the outdoor shower was turned back on, and I gave Guinness a bath. He gets a little itchy, so in addition to giving him nettles twice a day, I want to see if baths help.
When you don't have a basket with you, you improvise. I sowed flower and herb seeds in pots or various recycled mini "greenhouses", and planted swiss chard seeds in the garden. There is a large amount of yard clean up that needs to happen. I began with a few smaller herb and flower beds, and then got through half of a large bed. Bird suet and yogurt were made. I may run out of sunflower seeds before the next month is out, but at least the birds will have suet. The friends I shared eggs and veggies with last week gifted us back in spades. One shared two beautiful pottery mugs and a gorgeous handmade kitchen knife; the other shared two types of local goat cheese, apples, and home grown frozen blueberries. Once we have much garden produce again, I'll try to make it up to them. Pasta was made for a dinner, using our tomatoes, summer squash and herbs. A kale salad was made to have with the leftovers. I'm finding helpful and practical inspiration for the current days on gDonna's blog. I'm thankful for all the colorful flowers, to give us cheer during these challenging times. May you and your loved ones remain well, and hopefully even thrive these coming days.