February 8, 2010

Independence Days Update

UPDATE—I forgot to add this earlier.  I’ve said on this blog that Hubby and I keep track of our utility bills in an Excel Spreadsheet.  We graph how much the bill is in dollars and how many units of gas, water and electric we use (all different graphs).  This most recent bill (Jan-Feb) was our lowest for that month/time frame in the last 3+ years for each of the categories!  Given that we also had a colder month with multiple snows, we are pretty proud of the progress. 

We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge.   This is our weekly update. 

Plant—Nothing planted this week.  Friends and I enjoyed our annual seed talk and garden planning.

Harvest—The only veggies we picked were a few onions.

Preserve—I froze garden vegetable soup and chili.

Reduce Waste—While friends were over on Sunday, they were talking about knitting.  One complimented the other on a sewing basket that she had.  My maternal grandmother passed away when I was 10 years old,and she was an excellent seamstress who needlepoint work.  She had this funky but cool patterned sewing basket that was similar to what was being discussed.  I’d been hanging on to that basket for all of those  years without any use for it, and I felt such joy in passing it on to my friend.  I also passed a handful of magazines on to the group and some egg cartons on to my friend who has chickens.  I’ve been gathering items together for the church rummage sale, and I was very pleased that they are now accepting the donations.  I look forward to dropping off a load of goodies for them later this week.  We used the leftover tamale cornmeal mix to make some tortillas.  We weren’t able to flatten them as much as if we had made it with masa harina or home ground cornmeal so they were more like corn cakes—still good, just different.

Prep/Storage—The case of Annie’s mac and cheese and organic peanut butter came in this week.  I bought about 6 pounds of organic raisins for storage.  I FINALLY put up the dehydrator.  It has been sitting on the counter downstairs since we used it last in late fall.  The irony is that in just another month we’ll be pulling it out again and it will remain in use for most of the season.  At least I can enjoy a month or so of tidy counters! 

Building Community Food Systems—I passed two of the butternut squash on to a friend who said that she had enjoyed the one I gave her for Christmas.  Our family helped with the tamale making at church this weekend.  I made breakfast for the men’s meeting at church and for the children’s program on Wednesday night.  I’ve preordered some locally grown pork sausage to pick up in a few weeks.  It will be so nice to have local sausage again!

Eat the Food—We’ve really been enjoying the home canned peaches this week.  I’ve also used the juice to sweeten our teas.  The girlie meal for our seed talk luncheon was highly enjoyable.  I didn’t try any new recipes this week, unless of course you count the tortillas that turned out to be corn cakes.

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