~ from my home to yours, living the Working Pantry lifestyle ~ surviving today's economy ~ a can-do spirit and attitude ~

Monday, January 15, 2024

A Journal of My Days 2024: 1/15

Laser focused, hunkered down and spending as little money as possible.

Our weather this week has been a mixed bag of craziness!  We had days with highs in the 50’s and 60’s, days with severe weather and days with really cold temperatures.  Consequently, my week reflects those temperatures in what I was able to do …

In the Garden:  I harvested 4 more heads of cabbage and tested some old cabbage seeds for germination.  (I have a post coming up on how I tested the seeds later this week.)

I worked on thinning our carrots on the day that our temps got into the lower 60’s.  It felt so good to be 'piddling' in the garden!

In the Kitchen:  I went through my canning rings (for jars), and discarded the ones that were bent, showing signs of rust or that needed to be replaced for whatever reason.  I’ve been needing to do that for a while.  I really dislike being at the point of putting the ring on a jar when canning, only to discover that it needs to be discarded!

In the PantryI’ve decided during the winter months that I will set aside one day per week to do some kind of food preservation.  This week, my one day (Thursday) actually turned into two days (Thursday and Friday).  I pulled the turkey that I had cooked and deboned in November out of the freezer on Wednesday, let it thaw in the refrigerator and canned it on Thursday.  I also pulled the bones out of the freezer and made broth out of them.  I had them simmering in a different pot while the turkey was canning and when it was done, I let it cool, strained it, refrigerated it overnight, removed the fat and canned it on Friday.

What I’m Reading:  I’m re-reading Delay, Don’t Deny by Gin Stephens.  I’ve read this book before, but it’s been a while and when a dear friend mentioned that she was reading it, I decided to do the same!     

Health/Fitness:  As I continue to work my way toward my walking goal of 100 miles this month, I think about the following statement that came to my mind this week … “I move today, so I can move tomorrow.”   As we age, staying active is vital, we must move if possible.  I overheard a doctor tell an elderly lady several years ago that she simply had to start moving.  Now that I’m older, I understand this more and more, if I want to continue to be able to move tomorrow, then I must move today.  I’m right at walking 50 miles for the month so far, that’s halfway to my overall goal of 100!  I’m feeling pretty good about my progress thus far!

Bargain and/or Loss Leader Shopping:  None this week!

From my Sewing Nook:   This is one area that I need to ‘get with the program’ in, meaning I need to get busy at my sewing machine! 

Continuing Education and or Skill Building  I watched numerous videos on seed starting and decided that my method was still the best one for me! Do you ever do anything like that, do research for a better way and then decide that your way is still the better way for you!!! 

Bible Study:  I continued writing Scriptures from the book of Genesis each day.  This slow method of writing out 3 or 4 verses each day gives me the opportunity to really think about what I’m writing.  Oh, the things that I am learning or rediscovering!

The weather is forecasted to be frightfully cold and frigid this week, everyone stay safe and warm.

That’s it for this week,

until the next entry,

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

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

Sharing 44 years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

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  1. I love your food preservation plan. Those jars are a beautiful sight!

    I did a good bit in the kitchen in an effort to not let anything go to waste. Part of that was baking two cakes and putting one up in the freezer. I love having things ready for when I need them.

    Our anniversary was Sunday, but we went out to celebrate on Saturday, which was going out to eat at a small nearby town and looking around their farmer's/artisans market on the town square. From there we went to the city to run some errands and do shopping. I must say, I just don't enjoy shopping like I used to! I have what I need and looking at *stuff* to fill my house with and spend money on is just not an interest anymore, haha! I was pleased that we bought nothing but food.

    I stuck to my grocery list except for buying three packs of bacon that were marked down by 25%. I was glad to find this, as we were down to our last package at home. Oh, and I did snag a three pack of sparkling apple cider on clearance at Sam's. The kids especially love this as a treat and it will be saved for special occasions.

    I need to get busy sewing, as well. I have plans for some draft blockers and a set of flannel pajamas for James.

    We are hunkering down in more ways that one, as it is freezing here. We haven't seen temps this low since the disaster in 2021. Texas is just not set up for this type of weather. They are saying the grid will hold this time. I hope so. I'm glad I invested in wool blankets, hot water bottles, and a wood stove! Oh, the power JUST flickered! Stay safe and warm, everyone.

    1. Kelsey, happy belated anniversary. Your celebration sounds lovely. Stay safe and Warm. Cookie

    2. Thank you, Cookie. We had a nice time. So far our stove is paying off and we are staying cozy and warm inside. Outside the ground is covered in ice. I just made a full pot of coffee in the thermal carafe in case we lose power. I think I'll put a cobbler in the oven to go with it.

    3. Kelsey, I hope all is well with you weather wise and that you didn't lose power.

  2. I agree with Kelsey, those jars are a sight to behold. While I can't eat canned food because of the histamines I do have a freezer door full of things in jars. This week a did a lot with making food from food, made possible by mostly having ingredients on hand. One thing I did buy was some Masa to make corn tortillas. I was able to get 4 pounds of organic non-gmo masa for a little more than $4. I have a tortilla press, and all I need to add is some oil and water to the masa. I'm looking forward to also making my own corn chips as well.
    I cleaned and rearranged my craft room yet again (LOL). I do this after each project is completed. Doing this also shows me just how much I have in supplies and curbs my desire to buy any more. Right now I'm having a great time making my cardstock scraps into flowers, rosettes, little notebooks, among other things, and sewing up aprons, soup cozies, jar openers, napkins which will stock the gift closet. I have some spent iron on embroidery patterns and instead of tossing them I turned them over and went over them with a marker and will put them on a light box and trace the designs on to some feedsack towels I found in my stash. Embroidering in the evenings is just so relaxing to me. I went through my yarn stash and found some yarn that I had gotten at a thrift shop that is hand dyed alpaca that was originally $12 a skein and I got it for 50 cents a skein. I see a warm shawl in my future. We had the yen for pizza one night and instead of making a crust I layered the sauce, leftover meatloaf and all the toppings from odds and ends of veggies in a bowl and baked it. That satisfied our want for pizza and no money was spent. Hubs just told me the temp for tomorrow will be 10F. Brrr. Possibly 1 to 4 inches of snow. This is one time I hope the weather report is wrong and the snow misses us. Stay warm and safe. Cookie

    1. Cookie, we had meatloaf this week too. I like your pizza take on the leftovers. John has been singing, "I hope it snows, I hope it snows" and James is singing, "No, no, no." 😂 I'm with you and James on this one.

    2. Cookie, isn't it amazing what we find when we 'rearrange' things! Like you, for me, it's a good way to curb any desire to add to what I have.

  3. That is a beautiful bucket of cabbage! It has gotten so expensive in the stores.

    I like to get some prepped or canned or some freezer cooking done each week. Yesterday I made a pot of chicken tortilla soup and then put the rest in jars and got them going in the canner. I also prepped the starter for a pasta sauce we like. I just cook and freeze the sausage/onions/seasonings and add the half and half when we want to eat it. I also tried a new to me recipe for Angel Biscuits and man are they good! I have tried other recipes and they were just okay but this one will be wonderful to have dough to bake all this week. We still have plenty of baked goods in the freezer to pull out as needed.

    We are on schedule and really enjoying writing Genesis.

    We had the big spend at the salvage grocery but it was all needed and a blessing to find those items for such good prices. We have one more $20 reward to use at Lidl and this is the last week so that will be perishables. I have never had good success with keeping iceberg lettuce fresh. I buy it occasionally because it is Hubby's favorite. Last week I washed a head and rolled it up in a towel and put it in a produce keeper. It stayed beautiful and green and we were able to use every bit of it. That was an accidental find but from now on iceberg will be kept in a towel in the keeper.

    It will be cold, cold , cold here this week, too. We have next week scheduled for the lake but we will not go until the weather is warm enough to be out in it loading and unloading the car, etc. And the heat is not on over there so we arrive to a very cold house and have to get it warmed up.

    Have a good week!

    1. Lana, we love angel biscuits, too! We were in the 60's yesterday and the upper 50's today. It's supposed to get down in the 20's tonight though, and tomorrow we are only supposed to get up into the 40's. These are cold temps for us, but nothing like so many others are experiencing.

      Coming into a cold house, brrrr!

    2. Our middle son had a high of 16 today!

  4. Had a longer comment written out and it went *poof* before I could hit publish. Oh, well. Suffice it to say I'm impressed with everything, Patsy... and Kelsey, Cookie and Lana (the comments so far). You're ALL inspiring. Thank you! --Elise

    1. Elise, I hate it when I'm all ready to publish a comment or post and it disappears! It's thoroughly frustrating!

  5. I find myself mending clothing that I would have likely pitched and replaced pre 2020.

    1. Lana, we are doing lots of things like that that we weren't as diligent about doing pre 2020.

  6. I ordered and finally received The Seasonal Hearth book you recommended, and I got sucked into it over the past couple days during our frigid weather. So interesting how households were run back in the early days. And how different each culture was. The Dutch immigrants being supported by their country, while the British not so much lol. I can't imagine eating some of the stuff they had to eat, but that was a different time, and when one is starving...... I highly recommend the book as well. I got it on Amazon used for about $6.00

    1. Kathy, isn't it such an interesting book! I paid about $6 for mine too! Well worth it to me!