Saturday, October 4, 2008

Day Two Freezer Experiment, Food Storage, Laundry, Etc.

FREEZER EXPERIMENT: This is day two of the freezer experiment. Didn't make any withdrawals yesterday; supper was canned pork casserole and canned asparagus. TODAY will be my first withdrawal - a package of hotdogs. The picture is our supper already cooking: On the right are scalloped potatoes and hotdogs in the 9" square pan and a pan of green beans picked from the garden this morning. The pan on the left is chicken gizzards for Lady. Yes, she lives high on the chicken around here. There was a time when Sweetie cooked chicken gizzards every week for Lady, but she, like us, is on a diet. The gizzards and juice are refrigerated in a food storage container and doled out a couple pieces at a time. The gizzards are not cut ahead of time as they go bad if the membranes on the pieces are cut and then returned to the container. Just in case you're considering eating a batch of chicken gizzards!
We place those round, perforated metal things from canners on our stove to circulate the heat beneath the pans and save wear on the pan bottoms. Can't recall what they're called just now. Oh well.
So tomorrow, I'll fix one of the three roasts in the freezer, some canned sweet potatoes and a veggie to two. The roast will be recycled into at least four meals so there's no need to dip into the freezer again unless I'm retrieving a leftover part of the roast. And, the right hand side of the freezer picture is 8 quarts of blanched swiss chard, one quart of celery and two quarts of green beans (little bits picked every other day that weren't enough to can).
FOOD STORAGE: I was rummaging around in the spare bedroom closet today and realized there's a few things I should rotate more often into our diet. Canned sweet potatoes and applesauce come to mind. Time for an applesauce cake.
In my comments, someone expressed concern about my picture food stored on a table beheath a window without curtains and exposed to sunlight. Appreciate your comments but will add more info here. As mentioned previously, we live 10 miles out of town. We're 400 feet off the gravel road, cannot be seen when leaves are on the trees, have empty homes on all four sides of our acreage, and we are on a hill with 360 degree views of everything else around us. If we were to have nosey visitors/intruders, we'd see them long before they saw us. There actually is a mini blind on the window but it was open to give me more light for the photograph. Sunlight is the least of my concerns as the tems here are in the 30-40 degree range now and the blind is usually closed or partially open. The room is also unheated.
LAUNDRY: I did laundry this morning after my shower. I have a drying rack above the washer/dryer area and hang some things on hangers on the shower/tub rod. Also have a floor model warping board that I no longer use as I no longer have a loom. The pegs on the board are handy hangers for drying things. Today, a blanket is draped/drying over the entire board which sits next to the woodstove. I still hang clothes outside in the fall but we've had intermittent rain for four days. Neither of us work outside our home so we don't "dress for success" and wear the same thing two to three days in a row. This means two to three loads a week; one load white, one load colored, one load bedding. Life is simple here, no need to complicate it!
OTHER MUSINGS & TIPS: I'm thinking a lot today about the little things I've done along the way that help us out now. Some examples are: Sweetie's mother was the paper towel queen. She used rolls of it a week! We lived with her for a time, taking care of her and setting this place set up. So one day, I get disguested when I realize all those cardboard paper towel rolls are going in the burn barrel. I start saving them - and her dryer lint - and EVERYONE calls me anal. Well, guess what our firestarters have been for the past year? So there.
And then about 18 months ago, an elderly friend of Sweetie's mother asked me to clean her house once a week while she was recuperating from hip surgery. She bought THREE newspapers everyday and threw them all in the garbage or stacked them in cardboard boxes in her garage. How handy for me when I loaded the boxes in our truck and hauled them home. Once home, I sorted through the newspapers, picking out the shiny stuff. I've used the newspaper for garden mulch, packing Ebay orders last fall (not selling anything now), pre-packing some of our stuff for our eventual move north, building fires in the woodstove, packing customer purchases at our every weekend garage sale we held last year - and I still have three boxes of newspaper left! All that from a cleaning job that equaled four visits.
Another thing is haircuts. I haven't seen the inside of a hairdresser in years! I don't cut my hair. It's long enough now to sit on and about once a month I trim off a quarter inch. Sweetie has a beard and I use a pair of barber's clippers, a comb and scizzors to cut his hair. So...once again, we aren't spending money. I've switched to Dr. Bronner's soaps for all our haircare, bathing and dishwashing. It seems expensive at first but it's a concentrated, multi-purpose product. I ordered online at Bronner's as the closest place for me to buy it is an 80 mile round trip. I also have a type of dermatitis on my scalp but a rinse with apple cider vinegar and my eyes closed has really helped that problem.
I had a home-canned jar of bread and butter pickles in the frig and it didn't seem we were eating it very fast. Just as I was about to open another jar of relish I had an "ah-ha moment". Next thing you know those pickles were drained, ground up and sitting in the old relish jar. I add a tablespoon of relish to tuna salad and chicken salad so it gets used around here for more than a "condiment."
Well, time to take a walk before the rain comes again. Thanks everyone for your comments. Treesong

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