Monday, June 8, 2015

Weekly Savings & Pantry Challenge

Last week was a very busy time in the kitchen.  The garden is producing well, and local farm produce is getting ready.  I consider preserving my foods to be a savings.  Here is a rundown of what I preserved this past week.

On Monday I dehydrated squash and zucchini (both from the garden).  I vacuum sealed these in pint jars.  We had a storm come through that night which blew over my mom's tomatoes.  Several green ones were knocked off.  Tuesday I made chow chow (a southern relish).  The best thing about chow chow is that you can use pretty much whatever you have on hand.  For this batch I used the green tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage, peppers, and onions.  Everything except the three onions were from the garden.  It was a good way to use up many of the extra vegetables I had.  Also on Tuesday I made blackberry syrup.  Normally we eat maple syrup with pancakes, but I wanted to try some homemade fruit syrups.

Wednesday was an easier day.  I canned one batch of sweet pickle relish.  It combines peppers, cucumbers, celery, and onions.  While W will not eat most of those on their own, he will happily eat them pickled.  Thursday was a new to me canning recipe - candied jalapeno pepper slices.  I have to wait a couple of weeks before we can try them.  I wanted to do this with the first harvest of jalapeno peppers so I will know if I need to make more or not.  I took the day off Friday.  On Saturday I got corn from a local farmer and froze several packs of whole kernel corn.  I also used up some local peaches in several jars of peach syrup.  I did two different types of refrigerator pickles using the Mexican sour gherkin cucumbers.

All of this kitchen work meant I stayed pretty close to home all week.  I spent some time working on a baby blanket that will be a gift.  I only have 3 weeks left so I need to make more time each day.

I ordered some seeds off eBay.  They were delivered quickly were fairly inexpensive.  None of them were anything I could purchase locally.  I also purchased a pair of shorts that were reasonably priced.
I posted a review of the book I received and was able to immediately request a new book.

I continued to pick piles of veggies from the garden.  We are getting a good assortment.  I am trying to either preserve or eat everything.  I have also been harvesting plenty of herbs.

I planted some zinnia seeds that were given to me.  Originally we had planned to move the last raised bed but have not had time.  I decided to plant something there instead since it was in the area I was watering.  I hope to have some flowers to cut for arrangements later.

On the pantry challenge front - I almost stuck to my budget.  I spent $27 this past week.  This does not include the corn but does include the peaches that I purchased.  I neglected to keep up with our meals.  I am planning to stick to the $25 again this week.  Most likely I will be purchasing locally grown tomatoes to can.  I have some but not enough to can for the winter months.

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