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The Van, The Farm, The Holiday Prep

December 20th, 2014 at 02:03 pm

We got the van back on Thursday night. The cost to fix was a total of $2439.89. That is a big chunk of money that I definitely could have used somewhere else, but at least we had it and didn't have to touch the emergency fund. And we got to drive the loaner for a week for free. The dealership actually loaned us the minivan they use as one of their shuttles to drive customers to and from the dealership when their vehicles are being worked on.

Today is the first day it has rained hard since we got it back so it will be the first test of whether or not the roof still leaks. It hasn't in the sprinkling that has been up to now.

The starter and battery seem to be working fine, though. We're going to give the van a long run today and go down to the farm we buy our beef from. Since DH ended up getting the extra weeks we don't have to pinch like I was afraid of, so we are going to buy some beef for canning. Having canned beef is such a time saver for me and very convenient when I am sick. Beef stew is so easy to make with that on hand.

We have been going through our canned potatoes pretty fast so I am also going to go out to Safeway this weekend and use some of the gift cards to buy several pounds of organic potatoes to can. I much prefer having canned potatoes on hand since they don't sprout. Less waste that way. And they can be used for everything, mashed potatoes, fried, hash browns, casseroles, stews.

We have gotten presents bought for DH's mom and dad, DD, me, DH, and some of DS's. We still need to buy for SIL and youngest niece since DH never did get around to talking about not exchanging with them this year. We also need to get our wrapping paper out of storage and bring it home.

I am still pretty tired and sinus-y, but a lot of the virus seems to be passing. Just wish the exhaustion would go. It makes it hard to do things or be enthusiastic about the holidays.

4 Responses to “The Van, The Farm, The Holiday Prep”

  1. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Ouch! Hopefully after spending that much, the roof leak will be fixed for good.

    Is it bad to eat sprouted potatoes? I eat mine even when they have sprouted some ...

  2. ThriftoRama Says:

    Hmmmm. I'm intrigued. How do you can potatoes? We usually just store ours and use them up, but we can never seem to grow enough to store through November.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    Laura, the roof didn't leak at all today so I think I can trust the fix now. Sprouts have that solanine stuff in them, like the green stuff you sometimes see on a potato that was exposed to sunlight while growing instead of growing underground. Solanine is toxic if eaten in large quantities; it is a nerve toxin. It is probably fine if you cut enough of it out. I just don't like to take the risk.

  4. LuckyRobin Says:

    Thrift, canning potatoes is really easy. You just peel and cut them into chunks (I do 2 inches or so as smaller breaks down), bring to a boil for 2 minutes and drain. Add drained potatoes to quart jars and fill with fresh boiling water. Pressure can for 40 minutes for quarts or 35 for pints at 11 pounds of pressure.

    When you are ready to use them, you can just dump them in stews or you can drain them and cut them up for fried potatoes or shred them for hash browns. For mashed you bring them to a boil for five minutes then drain and mash as usual.

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