Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Another Week Has Come and Gone!: 9/21/22

Another week has come and gone and that fall feeling that was in the air last week has been replaced with the hot and humid temps of summer!  

In and around these temperature swings farmers are busy harvesting their crops and gardeners are saying goodbye to their summer gardens.  When friends run into each other you can be sure questions of 'how'd your harvest do this year' and 'did your garden do well this year' pop up in conversations.  It's as much a part of transitioning into fall as the temperature swings are.

picture:  the focal point of my raised bed/container garden area.  I've shared pictures of this old mailbox several times, here's what it looks like in September! The chives are blooming as are the roses, the echinacea is dying back and the moss like plant in the dishpan adds something special to the whole picture.  Also, in the picture but hard to see are comfrey and miniature roses.  This area brings me much visual beauty along with holding a lot of sentimental value as well!

Here's what I got up to this week ...

I completed block one of the Fat Quarters Shop Christmas mystery quilt-along they're doing this year.  There are quite a few mistakes but nothing that I can't live with and that won't 'quilt' out in the end.  The pattern is free, scroll down to the second row HERE to find it.  My goal for the whole mini quilt is to use from my fabric stash and not buy anything.  I was successful in doing that with block one! 

I got our sweet potatoes dug and was very pleased with what we were able to grow in one raised bed.  This is enough to do us until harvest time next year.  They are now curing in a place out of direct sun and where a nice breeze flows through. 

I finished up the pears and made a jar of garlic/ginger fermented honey!

Out of the 3 buckets of pears we were given, I canned some, made pear butter (not shown in the picture) and made pear sauce.  We are so thankful to have been given the pears.

Also, in this picture is a jar of fermented garlic/ginger honey.  This is another one of my winter cold and flu preps.  I generally enjoy a tablespoon of this in a warm cup of water most days. If I were sick, I would take it more often.  As soon as I open the last jar, I start making another one as it takes a few days to complete the process.  This week I opened the last jar and so started another one. For this one though, I added ginger root to it as ginger is so good for so many things.  This is one of the video's I watched in my research for learning about garlic honey.  

I can't emphasize enough how important it is that you do your own research when considering an herbal remedy or home treatment method.  Some of the ways I research are:  watch youtube videos from trusted sites, search online for info from trusted sites, pull out my herbal books and cross check the info I've gathered, talk to trusted people (this may include your doctor) who have experience with herbal remedies/home treatment methods and last but certainly not least ... use common sense and follow the safety guide lines.  Yes, this takes time, but once I've done my research, I can feel confident that the herbal remedy/home treatment method under consideration is or is not right for me.

I harvested a few more peppers, chopped them up and added them to the mixed pepper bag I have in the freezer.  This finished filling it up, so I'll start another one and add to it as the peppers become available.  These will be used in various things throughout the winter ... omelets, soups, stews, casseroles, etc.

I had a few bell peppers to preserve as well and decided to slice them up for stir-fry dishes.  They are now in the freezer awaiting use.  

When I consider food preservation and before I start the preserving process, I like to think about how I will use said item.  These sliced bell peppers are an example of preserving something for a specific purpose ... not that they couldn't be used for something other than stir-fry, but they are in the correct form when needed for stir-fry.

Thankfully, we haven't needed anything from the grocery store this month, we have purchased some 'wants' and some loss leader priced items to stock our pantry but could have done without them if we needed to.  My heart goes out to everyone who has to purchase all their food from the grocery store at the current prices.  We continue to be just flabbergasted at the prices, how do you do it?  There have been a few times in our life when our pantry literally kept us fed during lean times.  I could say with all honesty that, right now, if we had to purchase everything we ate at the prices they currently are, we would be in trouble.  Yes, keeping a well-stocked pantry takes work, planning and looking to the future ... and it also takes away worry and concern over how you're going to keep your family fed during times like this.  For some it could keep you from having to choose between buying food and paying your bills.   Is keeping a well-stocked pantry worth it, for me and my house, it is!

This last day of summer has me hunkered down inside due to another day of temps predicted to be in the 90's along with heat that feels like it's burning the skin when out in it for even a few minutes. I went out in it yesterday to do the chores and hurriedly finished them up and headed back in, it was miserable!  Today, I determined that I would do the chores early, before it got so hot and oppressive, and that's what I did!  Whew!  Come on fall, we are ready to welcome you with open arms!

Don't forget that you can check on the progress of my ‘September Goals’ by clicking HERE

Until next time, 


A Working Pantry

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine 

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

A Working Pantry is a way of life, a lifestyle if you will!

My pantry is intentional, purposeful, simple, practical, frugal and what works for my family.  It’s the food items and household supplies that keep my household running smoothly ready and available when they are needed.  It’s my contribution to our family’s economy and my work-from-home ‘job.' 

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  1. Hi, I agree with your comments about the value of having a pantry right now. I was picking up a prescription this morning, walked by an end cap of our Kroger grocery store. On “advertised” special was a box of pumpkin muffin mix, on sale for over $6.50. What? I was just walking by and saw it out of the corner of my eye, and came to a halt. Really? So crazy I just shook my head ;(. Enjoy your blog, thank you for the time you take to do it! Hilogene in Az.

    1. Hilogene, even 'sale' prices are prohibitive right now and a lot of hard choices are having to be made in households everywhere. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement!

  2. Those sweet potatoes look wonderful. Every little bit is going into our freezer and pantry as well. I am like you and am shocked at prices. We met friends for breakfast and then ran on up to the state line to the apple orchard and bought 25 pounds of Fuji apple culls for $10. About 8 pounds looked good enough to put away for fresh eating so those went into the produce drawer in the fridge. The rest will be canned into applesauce and pie filling. On the way home we stopped at the salvage store since we were within a few blocks of it. We have never seen so many cars there and the store was shoulder to shoulder. I guess people are looking for alternatives. We got Hershey semisweet choc chips 3/$2, Pepperidge Farm buns and onion rolls $1 each, Gluten free pie crust 50 cents, more of the cans of tomatoes with peppers and onions 2/$1, a case of 12 packs Appleton ham lunch meat for $4.99, a case of cottage cheese for $1, and at the register they had Milky Way and Hershey bars 6/$1 so 6 of each for the candy stash. Supper is going to be big salads since I am still hot from being out in the heat this morning!

    1. Lana, I'd go for the culls too, often times there's not much wrong with them, especially if you can get recent culls one.

      You did great at the salvage store!

      These are busy pantry building days, but current food prices give us the motivation to keep on keeping on, don't they?

  3. Hi and Happy Wednesday! I love your quilt block, it looks perfect to me. The Amish have a saying, No one is perfect but the Lord. We're trying to keep out of the grocery stores till the first of the new year. Fingers crossed we can do it.

    1. Coleen, thank you for your comment on my quilt block. I love that Amish saying and as I was trying to decide whether to keep it or start over and do another, that saying came to my mind and I decided to keep the block just the way it is.

  4. I am reliant upon the grocery store, and I too worry over prices. I'm very fortunate in that I can go at least once a week and a grab up good sales (there are a few) and that I am a seasoned thrifty homemaker. I have a decent pantry and a plethora of good inexpensive recipes, and I have the ability to cook from scratch and have been doing so for years upon years. I will say I'm working harder than ever to stay within my grocery budget and that means I'm making even more from scratch than I have in the past years.
    I will add only one thing to your herbal remedies research. Try these remedies cautiously. I am allergic to a few things that I wasn't aware would affect how some herbs react with my body. I did NOT have anaphylactic reactions but mere allergic reactions. So test remedies before you add them to your personal repertoire. I am a huge fan of herbal remedies, and believe they are as efficacious as 'medicine' that is sold over the counter.

    1. Terri, many people are dependent upon the grocery store and if they're not already they should be learning to do what you do. This is not a time to be carelessly spending our monies, we need a plan and then we need to work that plan. It sounds like that is exactly what you're doing!

      I completely agree with you on 'trying out new herbs' before going into a full-fledged regiment of taking them. There are some that I'm allergic to also and have to be mindful of them and the 'families' they're in.

      Great comment!


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