Home > Category: Sustainable Living
Viewing the 'Sustainable Living' Category
January 21st, 2020 at 06:58 am
I made two ebay purchases today totaling $102.43. Quite a bit is shipping, but with ceramic and glass that's a given. They have to wrap it thickly and individually. I have a discontinued dinnerware pattern that I have been slowly adding to as I find semi-reasonable prices. They are never going to be completely reasonable since you can't get it anywhere but the used market, but these ones were much better prices than I've been seeing. I have been watching for about two to three years.https://www.aerogarden.com/farm-xl.html
So I got the salt and pepper set (light wear on the bottoms) and 8 16 oz tumblers that had never been used. I have been searching for the glasses a lot longer than the salt and pepper set. I used to have four but they all got broken over the years. I would like to get 4 more after these come if I can find a decent price. They have more, but not with reasonable prices. The glasses will only be for special occasions, not for every day use. This comes out of the household budget.
I got my Costco membership 2% back certificate today. It is for $89.69. I also got an email today saying my Costco credit card rewards check was coming as well, which will be $415.54. That's a total of $505.23. The Aerogarden Farm Plus XL
costs $499.95 so that will be enough to cover it without dipping into my upcoming birthday money. Since I am downsizing my outdoor garden due to my autoimmune diseases making it hard for me to do things, I will be growing lettuce and herbs and a couple cherry tomato plants inside this year. Maybe a cucumber as well or a jalapeño plant.
The outdoor garden will be down to 3 raised beds and have strawberries, green onions, my big rosemary plant, zucchini, radishes, and peppers. Maybe kohlrabi. We may grow green beans in the ground, but I am just not sure. I will still have my bee balm, yarrow, echinacea and calendula in the trash barrels. Then they are contained but still have plenty of root room. They are all spreaders so if not contained will take over. But they are my favorite for making a mixed herbal tea.
I still want to grow what I can however I can despite my limitations. Fresh veggies are so important and this way I can have them year round, too. I have had a good experience with the smaller system and the fertilizer is organic. And I can grow all the lettuce I need without worrying about recalls and food poisoning, plus have a bigger variety than what is available in the supermarket. One day all I may be able to do is grow inside from a wheelchair, but hopefully that is a long, long way off.
August 17th, 2018 at 08:09 pm
It was really nice not to have to plan a grocery trip for today. I wasn't sure I was going to like only shopping once every two weeks, but I definitely think I am. I did glance at the ads this week just in case there was something good, but it was all processed foods or real foods that were pretending they were on sale, but really weren't. You know, the buy one get one free where the one you buy has been jacked up to cover the cost of the "free" one sort of thing.
We still have plenty of milk and plenty of bread, so I don't even foresee a quick run at this point. I did such careful planning on last week's shop that we might not even need to go to the store right away a week from now. But we'll see.
My mother went to visit her sister and brought a ton of produce home from eastern Washington. So this week we are canning tomatoes, peaches, nectarines, applesauce, pears, and I am chopping and freezing candy sweet onions (they keep a long time and are better tasting than Walla Wallas, which rot fast) and bell peppers. The peaches and apples are hers and half the nectarines, but everything else is for me. I will pay her back for my portion out of the next grocery budget. It is less than $100.
I canned the first batch of tomatoes yesterday and got seven quarts. Today I am working on some of the bell peppers and onions. I am going to do some strips, some chunks, and some dices. I will be doing a lot of freezer bags that are half onion and half bell peppers, so they will be ready to grab and dump into the Instant Pot or crockpot when I want to make fajitas or sausage stew. I also need to work my way through more of my zucchini. I put nine bags of shredded in the freezer the other day, but I have just about that again I need to prepare, and there is more to be picked out in the garden.
It will be a very busy week for me, but it will be good to meet a lot of our winter food needs.
April 7th, 2018 at 06:17 am
I made another great meal tonight. My new focus on not eating out (i.e. hemorrhaging money through the drive thru window) is paying off, but I don't think it would be going so well without the electric pressure cooker. I did my potatoes in there, tonight. All I did was quarter some baby reds, toss them with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and parsley, put a cup of water in the pressure cooker, put in the steamer basket, and pressure cook them for 10 minutes. They were delicious and yet so easy and tasty. I've found out I can make mashed potatoes in there, too, which will be quite a boon.
Then I made up some Morrocan spice rub and rubbed down some chicken legs with it and cooked them in the Nuwave oven. Chicken legs only take 30 minutes in the Nuwave. The chicken was pretty good, but I think it needed salt in addition to the rub. Next time I will do that since I have quite a bit of the rub left. There was enough chicken left over that I can make some chicken soup tomorrow.
I did spend some money today as I was in need of ground cloves, coriander, and cinnamon. Cloves are expensive, but fortunately a little goes a long way so it lasts much longer than my other spices. So $35 on spices.
I'm going to have to spring for a package of goat butter pretty soon. That's $11 for 8 ounces, but it lasts me a long time. I don't use it too often, I just like it on the rare occasions I actually make toast, which is only once or twice a month, usually. I am the only one who eats it. Well, I will make sure I do a complete check through of the freezers first, just in case I have one squirreled away in there, but I'm pretty sure I don't. I usually only buy one at a time. It's not a stock up item.
DH built me some new pantry storage shelves, so I am in the process of filling them and rearranging some of my other food supplies. Right now I have long-term storage mixed in with the working pantry, which is a pain in the neck. This should get that straightened out.
I need to work on the garden this weekend as well. It is time to get lettuce, spinach, green onions, kale, chard, and radishes going. There is some volunteer spinach coming up, but I need to transplant it, because it is not where I want it. I hope it stops raining long enough for me to do that. It cleared up this afternoon so I am hoping the weather holds and I am feeling up to it.
November 19th, 2017 at 07:43 am
The funeral on Wednesday was beautiful. I was able to speak, which was a good thing, because neither DH nor SIL could manage, though MIL did. I got a lot of compliments on what I said, which was nice, because I did not go in with a prepared speech. I don't like speaking in public, but I didn't feel it could go by without one of us saying something.
My favorite of DH's cousins did not attend. Her grandson, who is only 5, has a brain tumor. They biopsied on Tuesday and found out it is a very aggressive cancer and the tumor was the size of a tennis ball. Wednesday he had the surgery to remove it and they were able to get it all, but they still had to see if it had spread to the bloodstream. I am at such a loss. I am so tired of cancer hitting my family. This year has been a horror.
I am still pretty sick, but Thursday was my worst day. I think I have turned the corner with this cold, but I've been wrong before and gone on a second downswing. Hopefully not this time, though. Unfortunately, both kids are down with it, and DH started sneezing like crazy today. He's dosing on vitamin C. I hope he can keep going, because I am not at the stage where I can do any of the household or farm chores. Well, I did manage to fold one load of towels and one of clothes and then had to rest before I could put them away.
DH's interview was on Friday. He was supposed to be interviewed by two people, but the second one had a death in the family and couldn't be there. So the first guy said he needed to talk to the second guy when he gets back and see if he felt he needed to interview DH, too, or just go based on the first guy's opinion. He wanted to know if DH could start immediately, so I guess that is promising, but I'm not getting my hopes up yet.
DH and I went down to pick up our turkey today. We asked for one in the 13 to 16 pound range when we ordered a few months ago, and it is 15.07 pounds. I also picked up some sausage since we didn't get any with our pork. They had chorizo, which I was excited about, because I've never been able to find a chorizo without some bad additives in it. So one day next week I will make chorizo con huevoes with rice for dinner. Or possibly for breakfast with cauliflower rice.
I also picked up some roasts for canning. The roasts from our beef all have bones in them and I like them for pot roast dinners, anyway. But I want to can some meat for stews and chuck roasts available at the farm have no bones so are easier to cut up. In the winter I like to have stew once a week and we've been out of canned beef for a couple of months now.
We're also going to juice up a bunch of the apples we got when we went to the orchard a while back. I clearly got too many. If I juice it, I can can it and it will be shelf stable. That is a relatively easy task, but it will still have to wait until I feel decent enough to do it.
I was really hoping to do a better job at blogging with daily blogs this month, but I just haven't had the energy, so catch up posts a couple times a week are just going to have to do it for now.
November 4th, 2017 at 07:58 pm
Last night we had something of a build up of leftovers in the fridge. I had some leftover spaghetti sauce with sausage in it from spaghetti night. And I had half a can of tomato sauce left from meatloaf night, so I combined those together. There wasn't enough meat in it for 4 people so I grabbed a cup of my freeze-dried sausage and rehydrated it.
Meanwhile, I looked through my pasta and ended up deciding on some shells I had. The shells were left from some Annie Bunnies shells and cheese that I stole the cheese powder packet out of to make cheesy popcorn one night, since it is a clean cheese powder. I cooked the shells in the microwave and by the time they were done, the sausage was fully hydrated.
I combined all of the ingredients together and poured them into a greased baking dish. Then I used up the last bit of Parmesan cheese, the last bit of extra sharp cheddar, some mozzarella and some regular cheddar on top. So I have two less almost empty cheese containers in the fridge now. I baked it at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes covered in foil and then for 5 minutes with the foil off.
It was a really good dinner and about 10 times easier to make than lasagna, but tasted just like my lasagna. Everyone was well pleased with it and except for some gravy, there are now no leftovers in the fridge.
If anyone wants to know how to cook pasta in the microwave, the trick is to heat the water first and then add the pasta for the regular amount of cooking time. Oh, and you need a plate over the top of the bowl you cook it in and to add a bit of oil and salt to the water. It works great for shells, macaroni, rotini, penne, and farfalle (bowties). Also, the wide egg noodles. I have not tried spaghetti, but I would imagine you'd need to break it in half or thirds and stir in the middle of the cook time.
What kind of leftover meals have you all made this week?
November 3rd, 2017 at 01:29 pm
DH has been laid off for two weeks now and so far we are keeping the budget tight. No more allowances for the kids, no eating out, no frivolous spending. And there have been a couple of nights where grabbing burgers would have made life so much easier. But we are resisting.
DH is having to do a lot of running for his parents and of course is spending as much time as he can with his dad. They are going to try to get him into hospice today. He has a hard time staying awake because of the high dose of painkillers and his words are sometimes coming out the opposite of what he means, like saying up for down.
It started snowing last night. We haven't even had a frost up to this point and it was only supposed to get down to 35 degrees and be raining. So we got out the heater for the rabbit shed so their waters don't freeze and the heat lamp and heated water fount for the duck coop. Then we went into the garden and harvested the celery, the remaining tomatoes, and the acorn squash.
Today or tomorrow I will go gather the rose hips, since they taste sweeter after the first frost, which this qualifies as. I will be making rose hip syrup or jelly, I haven't decided yet. Rose hip syrup was made extensively through the U.K. during WWII. Because of rationing and the inability to import citrus, and because rose hips were free and could be gathered from the side of the roads, syrup was made so that they would have a source of vitamin C, especially for the children. It is higher in vitamin C than anything else.
In fact some areas paid people to go out and pick the rose hips, I think it was around a pence for a pound. It was a way to earn extra money during war time. Also some people made and sold the syrup as a way of earning money. The extra money was often used to buy rationed food items on the black market.
I have only dried the hips for tea before. This will be my first year making jelly or syrup.
October 30th, 2017 at 07:05 am
I think the phrase reduce, reuse, recycle needs one more addition. Remake. Today I remade a pillow. I have several old flat pillows laying around and I really needed a new big fluffy pillow, because I have to sleep with one between my knees as they are so bad. I've been sleeping with two lately and then one always slips during the night and I wake up.
So I found an old pillow case that was pretty faded and then I cut open a couple of the pillows, pulled out all the batting and proceeded to pull it apart and fluff out the really worn down bits. I stuffed the batting into the old pillow case until it was very full and bulging and then I hand sewed it shut. I made the stitches big enough to be picked out later if I need to add more batting in the future when it gets flattened down again.
I still have several old pillows and some other faded pillow cases, so I can make a few more of these. I don't know why I never threw the pillows out, but I always figured I'd have a use for the batting one day. Maybe for a quilt or something. But this works. Now my daughter wants me to make one for her, too. It maybe took me an hour to pull all the batting apart and stuff the pillow and was easy enough to do while listening to a podcast.
I have something I needed and I didn't have to spend any money for it. Anyone else done something like this lately? How have you remade something or used it in a new way?