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Archive for May, 2020

Just a little catch up

May 24th, 2020 at 05:57 pm

It's been a busy week as I tick things off my to do list.

One thing I've been waiting to do until it was a decent day with no rain is clean up the car. We had road tar on the bottom half of it, probably from the pot hole filler they put in. We have so many pot holes, they are filling them and even when you try to avoid them, you still wind up running over some of it. So, yesterday afternoon was spent working on the car. About 4 hours later, it looks a lot better inside and out since we vacuumed and put some of that Armor All stuff on the plastic inside and out and washed and waxed the exterior. It's 7 years old and other than a few paint chips here and there, it isn't faring too badly.

DH worked some in the garden too. We had so many gloomy, rainy days, he was very worried about his vegetable garden. We've had some sun the past couple of days and I think the plants are excited.

We were hoping our peonies were going to open so we could put them on graves for Memorial Day. Sadly, only a couple have.

I asked DH to plant radishes earlier this spring and he did so, reluctantly. Well, we've had a few ready to eat and I pointed out how healthy they are for us, now DH can hardly wait to get more planted since we've eaten all that are ready. Funny how when you have to stay home and not go out, your taste buds appreciate different things.

Since we do not have room to grow green beans, I buy fresh ones from the store and can them. I'm about done canning beans for the upcoming year. I also decided to try my hand at making dill pickles. I've never made them before. DH doesn't like them, but I do, so I bought a couple of cucumbers to work with. I was pleased with the outcome. Here is the original recipe:

Dill Pickles

8 pounds of small pickling cucumbers
4 cups distilled vinegar
3/4 c sugar
1/2 c Kosher salt
4 c water
3 T pickling spice
7 heads fresh dill
7 cloves garlic

Place cucumbers in large pot and cover with ice. Let sit for 2 hours. Drain and pat dry. Place all other ingredients in sauce pan and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add to large pot with cucumbers and cover. Put cucumbers in sterilized jars. You can hot water can them if you wish.

I of course did not make this much because I wanted to try making them and I didn't have fresh dill; I used dry so I used less, but they are pretty good and will satisfy my dill pickle craving I have every so often. I guess I continue to be astounded how expensive pickle products are. So, I made 2 1/2 pints of dill pickles for myself for a little more than $2 since I had the vinegar, sugar, dill, and garlic. Figure that is a good way to save money.

Planning for Christmas Presents

May 17th, 2020 at 08:42 pm

As Ceejay wrote, everyone's life has been touched by the pandemic and everyone's is a little different. Yes, indeed.

DH has put in a little bigger garden as far as tomatoes this year. He had 18 last year. He has 20 this year. We've been enjoying green onions and radishes so far and a little bit of lettuce. Our cool, damp, gloomy weather has not helped. I sure hope we get some sun this week.

I took stock of my canning pantry. I noticed I was about out of sweet relish. We don't use tons of it, but I like to have some on hand for things like egg salad, tuna salad, tuna cakes, etc. So, while at Aldi I bought some cucumbers and some bell peppers. I used the green onions I had on hand. I made 2 pints and 4 half pints. The two 2 pints will be enough for us (I still have a little left from last year) and I plan on giving the half pints as part of Christmas presents. There's a meme on Facebook of people wrapping up rolls of toilet paper for Christmas presents. Funny, but a little of sad truth. I thought, perhaps I could make some food baskets for Christmas gifts this year. In the past I have shared some of our canned goods at Christmas with a couple of people, but thought maybe I could do a little more this year.

I bought some grapes and after using some for chicken salad and fruit salad, I thought I could make some grape juice and make some grape jelly. I have the grape juice made. I plan to make the jelly later this week. Again, a jar for me and the rest for Christmas gifts.

I have already crocheted a few Christmas presents. I am working on a table runner for a friend that I am embroidering. Fortunately I had everything I needed. I guess I could order stuff, but at this point, I don't need anything.

So, anyone planning for Christmas yet?

Cool and damp

May 12th, 2020 at 04:09 pm

Cool and damp is our weather. To be honest, with that and the gloom, it is very discouraging. The garden isn't doing well, and twice we have had to cover plants because of a chance of frost. Yes, we knew taking a chance planting stuff so early, but DH needed the garden to help him keep busy. He walks about every day in addition to the gardening.

We did get some of our first radishes on Friday. What a delight. My leaf lettuce still isn't big enough to pick.

One of our local grocery stores has had fresh green beans on sale so I bought some and started canning. It's funny, no one seems to be making a run for these so I don't feel like I'm hoarding or anything. Glad to start building up my pantry. But one thing I realized is that canning supplies are starting to dwindle. I don't need jars or rings, but do need some lids. I bought some the other day at the grocery and then at a farm supply store. The grocery has really raised the price on them. A friend said he went to get a freezer and that every appliance store in town has them back ordered so I guess people are gearing up and trying to have stuff on hand.

I was listening to a news report yesterday while I worked in the kitchen. One person interviewed said her family has fixed so many things and cooked at home like never before and said when things open up, she isn't sure they will go back to eating out as much as they have. I chuckled over that. I wonder how much they cooked before. I think most of us on SA cooked a lot before and treated eating out as a treat.

I certainly those of us with gardens have a great gardening year.

Weather and groceries

May 3rd, 2020 at 08:30 pm

Our weather pattern has been weird. We get one or two decent sunny days and then 4 or 5 rainy, dreary, cool days. Not good for the garden, that's for sure.

DH has decided to try and plant a few more tomato plants and when he was digging in the yard found a wire. He quit immediately and will call about having Julie come out and make sure it isn't anything bad. We can't see where the wire goes. Doesn't seem to be coming from our house or the neighbors nor does it seem to be a part of the electrical boxes. Better to be safe than sorry.

I have been trying to get a few projects done around here, like everyone else. I decided I can officially start on making some Christmas presents. I already had the items, just need to work on them. It gives me hope anyway.

I have run out of library books and basically am rereading some books we have here. A friend left a sack of books on my doorstep, but I have read them already and it was too soon to try and read them again. Some of them were the ones I lent her.

Is it just me, or are you seeing an increase in your grocery spending? I am finding some things are going up. We aren't eating anymore than we did. Don't want to get on that snacking bandwagon. I think part of it is the stores aren't running big sales either. Guess they are just trying to keep up with demand. So, we aren't spending as much doing other things, but are spending a bit more for the groceries. Guess it will even out.