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If I Were Just Starting Out Building a Well-Stocked Pantry ...

I recently received a comment from a reader basically asking me where to start when building a well-stocked pantry.  Since I get this ques...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Ways of My Household 7/30/2017

The picture is of Prudence (my sourdough starter.)  I needed to put her on hold for a few weeks so I let her dry naturally and stored her in this jar.   

I harvested more elderberries this week.  This has been our best year of harvesting since planting them a few years back.

I harvested mullein flowers this week and let them dry naturally on my window seal.

I continue to harvest cayenne peppers and lay them on the window seal to dry.  We use a lot of cayenne peppers so I’m diligent to keep them harvested as soon as they turn red.  Some mornings that’s a hand full and some mornings it’s quite a few more.  At any rate, my window seal is currently full and we are so thankful!

I've been using the peach ice cubes I made from this post.  I drop them into a glass of home-brewed green tea.  Hmmmm, it sure is good!

The same neighbor that called and offered to let us harvest his okra last week called again this week.  This time we harvested a 5 gallon bucket full.  We shared some with another neighbor and then I canned 5 quarts using the method found in this postI had a small amount left over so I dehydrated it.  

The neighbor that we shared the okra with gave us a watermelon.   We had been wanting one but didn’t want to pay the high prices at the grocery store.  We had the watermelon for snack one evening and oh my, was it ever good!   We are blessed to be a part of a neighborhood network where several of us share with each other.

I practiced making some of Mimi’s ‘swoosh’ roses.  She’s right these things are addicting!  I'm going to practice a little more (still have to work on the leaves) and then I'm going to make up some cards and gift tags.

I’ve started utilizing the library more for books to read.  

Here’s what I’ve recently read …

TheDiscovery Saga Collection by Wanda Brunstetter  

What I’m currently reading ….

A Mother’s Love by Charlotte Hubbard   
(Yes, I’m an Amish fiction fan … they are my kind of ‘escape’ books!)

It was so hot and humid weather wise last week.  The sun really heats up the house through the windows in the back of our house and one way we've combated that is to close the blinds and then draw the blackout curtains.  It makes a good 10 degree differance in the temperature inside our house when we do this.

We continued to do our normal saving things, feed the compost bin, cook from scratch and this week the only groceries we purchased was a gallon of milk.

What did you do to add to your pantry or live frugally?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

My other blog:  She Hath Done What She Could

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 


Friday, July 28, 2017

Photo Friday ... 7/28/2017

These little boards are so helpful to me ...

What are they?  They are dry erase boards!



They are actually recycled from another use I had for them.  I was using them for the children in the 10 - 12 year old Bible class I taught to write their memory verses on ... they loved using dry erase markers and these little boards for that purpose.

But alas, I will no longer be teaching this age group in another week so I brought these boards home and recycled them.

What did I do ...

I added the roses (the board that has the dark pink boarder is actually pink even though it looks red in the picture) ... love me some 'froo, froo!'

The boards have magnets on the back of them so they will stick on the refrigerator door or a metal filing cabinet.

What am I using them for now?

The pink bordered one is for my prayer list.  Whenever I receive prayer requests I write just enough of the request on the board for me to remember what I've been asked to pray about.  This little board is a visual reminder everytime I walk by it to pray for the requests on it.  It helps me have a more active prayer life and I love it!

The other one is my craft/sewing to do list.  As I come across things I want or need to make I write them on this board.  That way I always have a ready list of things to work on and it helps me get the things done that I want to do.

I got the boards at the Dollar Tree several years ago for $1 each. The boards are about 4 inches wide and 8 inches long.  I stock up on dry erase markers during back-to-school sale time.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27




Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My 100 Day Sewing Challenge ... #4

I'm all the way up to day 11 out of 100!   I'm really burning it up, aren't I????  Really, I'm doing just fine and am satisfied with my progress.  This was never meant to be something to rush through.  I'm intentionally working for short periods of time when I have time and I'm fine with it ... it's working for me and I'm enjoying my sewing time!

So, what did I get done in the 3 days I was able to sew this last week ...


I stitched up the second pillowcase and started crocheting a simple edging on it.


I also cut out fabrics for 2 different zippered pouches.  (The bottom pieces are the outside and the top pieces are the lining. The small rectangle is for the zipper ends.)  All supplies came from the sewing part of my pantry, including the zippers!  I buy them on sale or in bulk from HERE.


What about you, what did you get stitched up this week?


patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27





Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 


Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Ways of My Household ... 7/24/2017


(It looks like we're going to have a bumper crop of grapes this year!!!)

The big news last week was the heat and humidity in our area.  At times it felt like you could literally scoop it out of the air!  We've been under heat advisory warnings for a good part of the week.

Needless to say we didn’t spend a lot of time outside and when we did, it was early mornings!  I even was out mowing the yard at 6 a.m. one morning this week!  


Here’s how our week looked …

I harvested this cucumber from our garden on Monday and made a cucumber, vinegar, onion, salt and pepper refrigerator salad.  Yum, it was good!

I also harvested some jalapeño peppers, cayenne peppers and hot banana peppers.  The cayenne peppers are drying on my window seal and the jalapeño and hot banana peppers were chopped and dehydrated.  

I had some ginger and horseradish in the refrigerator so I chopped and dehydrated those.  It will be good to have both of these on hand when it’s time to make cider fire again.

A neighbor called and asked if we wanted the okra in his garden.  We said yes, and went and harvested it early one morning.  (We don’t turn down free food … period!) We added 3 extra large vacuum sealed bags of okra to the freezer part of our pantry.

I needed to put my sourdough starter on hold for a while so I fed it like I was going to use it and spread it out on a parchment paper lined flat pan.   I put it in the oven with the oven light on and placed a wooden spoon between the stove and the stove door to keep it from closing.  (This is the only place I can dry it due to the extreme humidity in our area right now.) I did this so that it would dry without getting too hot which would kill the starter and to remind me that my starter was in the oven as it will take a few days for it to get completely dry.   After it is completely dry, as in breakable, I’ll break it into small pieces, put it in a jar and close it up with a screw on lid.

The only groceries we purchased were a box of sausage!  This was made possible because of keeping a well-stocked pantry.

We continued to add to the compost bin.   We’re working toward some good compost soil for next year!

I spent a good portion of last week sketching poster size characters for a chalking class I help the instructors prepare for each year. I don’t teach the class but I do help with the sketching as they need 500 – 600 sketches for the students to chalk.  I used up 2 pencils and 100 pieces of poster board!  Don't know what chalking is ... read this post.

What did you do to add to your pantry or live frugally?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27



Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Photo Friday ... those toe things!

You know ... those foam toe things that you put between your toes when you're painting your toenails to keep from getting your polish smeared???

Well, I have another use for them ...


I keep my full or partially full sewing machine bobbins in them!

These were in a box of stuff a dear friend from Tennessee gave me while visiting her.  I knew immediately what I would do with them once I got home.

The bobbins fit perfectly, there are no hanging threads and I can see at a glance what I've got.

When it comes to bobbin storage and care, in my book, it doesn't get any better than this!

How about you, how do you store your sewing machine bobbins?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27




Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

My 100 Day Sewing Challenge #3

Hoot! Hoot!  I've gotten to sew 3 days since my last sewing challenge post!  

That puts me at 8 of the 100 Days!!

Want to see what I stitched up???    

Here you go ....


I finished the robes for the princess class I'm teaching.  The girls will wear them in our finale in a couple of weeks!


I stitched up this pillow case, I have one more cut out ready to stitch up and then it will be time to crochet an edging on each. 

Not shown, but with the scraps I cut 2.5 inch strips, 2 inch strips, 1.5 inch strips and 1 inch strips.  The 2.5 inch strips, which are the widith of the fabric, are being added to a jelly roll I am putting together and the other strips (various sizes) are going into a plastic container specifically for each size.  What do I plan to do with these strips ... use them in a quilt, of course!


And finally, I stitched up these two bed buddies.  They have rice in them and can be thrown into the microwave to heat and then use!  I made them out of flannel.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27



Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 



Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Ways of My Household ... 7/17/2017

We went ‘afar’ and did our grocery shopping last week and boy, did it pay off.  Look at the cart of marked down produce we got…

(I prayed before this shopping trip, on the way to this shopping trip and as I entered the store ... God did indeed answer my prayers!)

We were especially excited to find this marked down produce as our fruit trees ... all of them ... bloomed out during our unusually warm February and then got damaged in our unusually cold March.  There won't be any fruit harvested from our small orchard this year so finding the produce was a blessing!

Here's what we did with all this produce ...

Peaches ... I  peeled the peaches, run the meat of the peaches through my nutribullet, poured the mixture into ice cube trays and made peach cubes for using in smoothies.

I also used some of the peach meat to make peach bark.   I spread the mixture out on lined dehydrator racks and dehydrated it to the point that it would break apart. I vaccum sealed it into pint jars. I'll use it in smoothies as well.   

I then took the peelings, dumped them into a crockpot, added some water and simmered them for a few hours to make peach juice.  I froze the peach juice in ice cube trays.  I'll add them to tea to make peach tea.  

Apples ... I peeled the apples and sliced them into approximately 1/4 inch slices and dehydrated them. 

I also chopped up several and dehydrated them that way. 

The slices will be used in cooking and the chopped ones will be used in granola.

I again took the peelings and started 4 more quarts of vinegar and added the rest to a pot along with water to make apple juice.












Peppers ... 
We made stuffed peppers (21 in all) and froze them for future meals. We did have stuffed peppers for a meal last  week.  

For the stuffed peppers I cut the top off straight across.  Did I throw that part away?  No ma'am, I chopped them up and dehydrated them.  I'll use them in soups, casseroles, omelets, etc.  (Sorry, I don't have a picture of the stuffed peppers. They are vacuum sealed and in the freezer and I didn't get a picture before putting them there.)

The tomatoes, avocadoes, mango, pawpaw and papayah were eaten throughout the week.

Not shown in the picture but purchased at the same time were 3 bundles of marked down bananas.  I sliced them into 1/4 inch slices and dehydrated them.  Boy oh boy are they good!

There were also 5 clemetines in the basket and after eating them, I used the peel to make a pint of citrus vinegar. I'll use it in cleaning recipes!

We paid $35 for all the produce and it's value was well over $100!   Score!!!!

One more thing before we move on, I used everything except the peach seeds (There is some debate on them being poison so I didn't add them ... better safe than sorry!) and the rotten spots.  I even plan to use the produce nylon bags to make pot scrubbers!  Waste not, want not!

In addition ….

I downloaded this book for free:  Amish by Accident.   

Gratefully received a gift of bay leaves. (Thank you again Annabel!)

I dehydrated garlic (chopped), the last 3 squash from the garden (I chopped them as well) and some hot banana peppers and yes I chopped them too!

I downloaded this free 18” doll circular skirtpattern/tutorial.   

It was an extremely busy week because marked-down produce won't wait, but that's okay, the end products were well worth the hustle it took to get it all done!

What did you do to add to your pantry or live frugally?


patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27





Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 


Friday, July 14, 2017

Photo Friday

This is just so handy ....


... my craft cart!  (It's made of a lightweight metal, not plastic.)

I purchased this cart at Michael's Craft Store a couple of months ago when I had a 50% off coupon. You can also find them on Amazon HERE.


I brought it home, put it together and added a little 'froo-froo' to it!  The 'froo-froo' is paper flowers that I got on sale at Michael's Craft Store as well.   Similiar paper flowers can be found HERE.

This cart holds my current projects.  Depending on the size of the project it can hold up to three, but that's not the best part.   The best part is the wheels!  I can roll it to where I want to use it and if I'm expecting company I can roll it into another room ... out of sight!

This has just been the handiest thing to keep my craft/sewing 'works-in-progress' organized and ready to work on when time presents itself.

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27




Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My 100 Day Sewing Challenge ... #2

It's time to report in with how I'm doing on my 100 Day Sewing Challenge!  

Let's see, the first week I was able to sew on 3 different days for at least 15 minutes each day.

This week I managed to add 2 more days where I was able to sew for at least 15 minutes each day and here's what I stitched up ...




These bowl covers ... and 


I stitched up one more royal robe ... I have two more to go and I'll have them completed.


That's what I got done, what about you.  What did you get stitched up?  

(I've added a couple more items to my list of things I want to sew up during this challenge ... my list is growing instead of shrinking!!!!)

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27


Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

The Ways of My Household 7/10/2017

(A group of us harvested and snapped these green beans for an elderly neighbor and his wife recently.  I think the wife told  me they got 49 quarts.   She told me they were done with green beans for this year!!!)

The dog days of summer have definitely arrived and it is too hot to do anything outside that doesn’t have to be done.  We are putting our garden to bed for the summer as the heat has taken its toll on just about everything except okra.  Our heat indexes (feel like temperature) has been over 100 most days.  There are a few more things we’ll harvest from the garden in the next couple of weeks but most of the gardening is over for the summer. 

We continue to feed our compost bin as well as our chickens with garden scraps.

I chopped up a couple of heads of cabbage and started my first attempt at fermenting foods.

I also dehydrated 2 heads of cabbage.  I’ll use them in soups or grind them up using a herb/coffee grinder similar to this one and add to burgers.  

We had leftovers for two evening meals this week.

We gladly accepted 2 pints of squash relish made and gifted to us by a neighbor.

I tried a new to us low-carb snack this week, low-carb peanut butter chocolate chip mug cake, both hubby and I like it.  The recipe makes six mugs but I only cooked two and refrigerated the rest to have later in the week.  (In the picture, the top ramkin is the uncooked dough and the bottom one is after it is cooked.)

My apple cider vinegar journey is continuing with everything going well thus far.  It was time to strain out the apple peelings, etc last week and move on to the final stage which is waiting for it to turn into vinegar.  It needs to sit 2 – 4 weeks or a little longer (if it’s not vinegar yet).  I hope I have apple cider vinegar when it’s done!

We found antibiotic free whole chickens on clearance for $.79/lb and purchased four.   We had one for dinner one night and added the other three to the freezer part of our pantry.

I started our annual back to school/stationary supply shopping.  I purchased glue sticks for $.25 each, composition notebooks for $.50 each, lead pencils for $.25 for either a pack of 5 or 6 (sorry, I don't remember which), coloring pencils (I don't remember how much these were), crayons for $.50 for a box of 24, notebooks, purple notebooks to file my collection of Laine's Letters in (I chose purple so that they would be easy to locate and keep together on my bookshelves.)  I have a few more items to purchase and then the stationary part of my pantry will be re-stocked for the year, with a few minor additions later in the year.

We harvested our first cucumbers this week and our first tomatoes! 

I made kefir.

I downloaded the following ebooks for free:



That’s it for me this week, what did you do to build up your pantry or live frugally?

patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

My other blog:  She Hath Done What She Could

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and place an order, etc I earn a small fee at no increased cost to you. Thank you for your support through these means. 


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