Monday, December 7, 2015

Pantry Challenge #48 ... 2015

It's been another busy week with us racing against time to get outside things done before the cold, winter weather sets in for our area.

Here's what I/we got done ...

My to-do list from last week:
Repot small maple trees we are growing from seed.  Didn’t get done.

Repot small trees that my mom and I dug up from her yard back in the summer.  Done!  I planted 3 very small sapling trees, as in 3 – 4 inches tall, that my mom and I dug up from her yard back in the spring when I visited her.   I don’t know what kind they are but the foliage is beautiful and it’s one more touch of my mama that I was able to bring home with me.

Put up my Christmas tree.  Done!  I cleared my schedule and took an afternoon and put it up.   It’s probably 30 years old and was given to us by someone who it had also been given too … truth be told, there is no telling how old this tree is.  But it has been well-cared for, is the right size for my house and serves our purpose well … and I might add, when it gets all dressed up (decorated) it is quite beautiful!  Being content with what I have brings peace to my heart.

Continue working on vacuum sealing candy in jars that we got for half price in the after Halloween sales.  I got it done … I got it done!!!!!  I now have candy on hand for baking and snacking!

In addition:

I found Libby’s canned vegetables on sale for $.50/can and I had coupons for $1 off 4. I was able to purchase 8 cans of canned vegetables for $2.  Score!

On the same shopping trip we found marked down bananas for $.39/lb.  We purchased 3 bags and brought them home to use/freeze.

I started preserving the rest of the sweet potatoes we harvested last month.  I washed and baked them to the half done stage, let them cool and then froze them.  We’ll use these to slice and fry and top with homemade gravy.  Hmm … hmm … good!

I printed off this free pattern and made hanging dish towels.  Instead of printing the pattern on card stock though, like she did, I printed it on regular paper and then made a ‘muslin’ pattern out of it.  It will stand up under lots of usage this way and I do plan to make several more.     

We winterized our chicken coop and made some needed repairs.  We got the chickens settled in after them having their ‘coup/house’ cleaned and strawed … but not before we had a ‘chicken chasing’ adventure to capture one that didn’t want to be captured.  Laughter is good for the soul and our soul’s got a good workout from that adventure.

I planted a hydrangea bush and two lilac bushes that we purchased in the spring at Sam’s Club on sale.  I had brought them home and planted them in big pots in the spring so that I could give them lots of TLC and get them through the very hot months of summer.  By planting them in the ground in the fall, they will have time to get established before next summer’s heat.  

I planted a Rose of Sharon bush that I sprouted off the mother bush.

I earned enough Swagbucks to get another Amazon gift card this week.

I completed 2 PineCone surveys this week and earned $6.  These small amounts when saved, add up to a larger amount that I can purchase something we need with when it is needed. 

Have you seen this cookbook ... Pieces of the Past ... I plan on trying some of the recipes in the near future.  Several caught my eye but this one in particular jumped off the page at me ... Potato Soup Mix … this is a 'just add boiling water' kind of recipe.  I am definitely making some of these to add to my pantry storage.  The book is full of tips like this one:  adding tomatoes to a roast naturally tenderizes the meat because of the acid that is in the tomatoes?   There's the tip and there's the why ... I love that! You'll be hearing more from me about this cookbook as I've been given permission by the author to share a couple of recipes from it ... after I've tried them myself of course.  Now, which ones shall I choose??? 

Here’s my pantry to-do list for the upcoming week:

Repot small maple trees we are growing from seed. 

Make a batch of Scrabble for the holidays.

Finish preserving sweet potatoes.

Try at least one new recipe from my new Pieces of the Past cookbook

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?

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

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  1. What is Scrabble? I make Scrapple and am wondering if it is similar. :)

    1. Debbie, Scrabble is made up of chex cereals, mixed nuts, tidbits, nips, pretzels and a homemade sauce that is poured over it all and thoroughly mixed. It is then baked in the oven at a low temperature, stirring every 20 minutes. The recipe was handed down to me from my mother-in-law. She got it out of a 1920's cookbook she had has a young wife and mother. It's just not the holidays at our house without it.

  2. Patsy, that's an impressive list! I forget that you live very differently as far as the seasons go, and it must be very difficult sometimes to get the timing right for all that harvesting, bottling and preserving. I take my hat off to you. Nothing too exciting here this week, except for sewing teatowels from Paris themed remnants bought for $2, which yielded 13 teatowels, and buying 5 boxes of 50 organic fair trade teabags for $1 each. So exciting for ME, but not exciting as! Love, Mimi xxx

    1. Mimi, I'm working on some tea towels too, but nothing as exciting as Paris themed remnants!

  3. That was a big week Patsy! We have had hot weather. Blah! It is hard on everyone and the garden. Mostly I have been working on Christmas stuff. I also put up the tree and decorated. Made gingerbread biscuits and shortbread. Have been wrapping etc. It is a busy time! xxx

    1. Annabel, I have to say I am enjoying our reprieve from the heat! This is the time of year for us that one can actually stand to be outside to work comfortably. Consequently, we are putting in some long hours! I am so excited about your new upcoming challenges for the new year and can't wait to join in!

  4. I've got the Pieces of the Past cookbook and we are anxious to try recipes from it. I've made the towels from the hanging pattern you mention also, they are very easy and make good gifts for yourself and others. I like the fact that you can buy one hand towel and cut in half to make 2 of the hanging towels! donna

    1. Hmmm ... Donna, sounds like we think alike on several things!

  5. Sounds like you really got a lot done. I would be interested in how the Potato Soup Mix turns out. My sister made me a Potato Soup mix using instant potatoes when I was sick. It was pretty good.

    1. Be looking for a post on it in the not to distant future!

  6. Patsi,
    You are such a good steward! I love reading all you get done you are always so busy. I did no grocery shopping the last week. I made do and practiced pretend rationing with what we had in the fridge and what needed to be used. So we didn't have starvation rations by any means, but it was interesting to challenge myself. We had creamed turkey over biscuits and I had potatoes that needed used so made scalloped potatoes one night and soup one night from all leftover veggies and I made a creamed onion and celery soup one night. Now my fridge is ready to be restocked. I did use store rewards and got my Mama a sweater for $3 and my grandson an outfit for 49 cents for gifts. And do you remember me telling you over the summer taking my grandbaby to the park and collecting all those coke points? Well so far they have netted me a $10 Amazon GC and a free 12 pack of coke so together it's about $15. Woot-Woot! If butter doesn't go down in price I may have to bake differently this year no good sales yet! I hope you have a great week1

    1. Vicky, I love reading your comments! You are so resourceful and I am always learning something from you.

  7. We've already had around four inches of snow here in Montana, so no more warm temps for us for a while. I just finished adding one gallon bag of chopped bell pepper, one of sliced celery and one each of chopped onion and sliced onion to my freezer. Found Butterball turkeys for .99 cents a pound so added two to the freezer. Re-canned a #10 can of sliced olives.

    Hugs, Sandy

    1. Way to go Sandy In Montana! You've been busy and smart!


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