MAY 31st-June 6th
$1.39 each Save $.30 each
Organic Grape Tomatoes
$2.79 Save $.60
Organic Vidalia Onions
$1.69/lb. Save $.30/lb.
We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge. This is our weekly update.
Much of last week was spent traveling to a family funeral in TX and back. When in TX we passed by the house that my grandfather built for them when my father was about 8 years old. I am in awe of that home each time I see it, as I remember hearing my father talk about building it. The two sons were in charge of scraping the mortar off of the used bricks that my grandfather had from a construction job so that they could be used in their new home. Nothing was wasted. Everything was reused and done so in a manner so that the house is still in excellent condition to this day.
Harvest—Salad greens—beet greens, spinach, butterhead, iceberg, romaine; radishes, peas, the first of the beets, spring onions.
Preserve—A few green onions and some pinto beans were added to the freezer.
Waste Not/Reduce Waste— Without the option of train travel or carpool from here to TX, the most environmentally friendly option was traveling in our most fuel efficient car, keeping the trip short, and being mindful of our speed and AC use. We brought cans and bottles home to recycle instead of throwing them away while on the trip. We packed snacks, drinks, and meals from home and bought from a grocery store instead of eating at a restaurant for each meal. I kept watching for roadside stands and farmers markets to pick up some foods that aren’t yet in season here, but I didn’t find any. I had so wanted some ripe tomatoes!
We received some clothes and shoes from a friend at church for our daughter. She was absolutely thrilled, and though some of the flip flops are a little too big, she’s enjoying wearing them already.
I broke down and turned on the AC on Sunday, May 30th. We almost made it to June and held out a week longer than last year. If it had not been for the inability to move our sleeping quarters to downstairs this year (my dad is staying with us until the renovations on his home are complete), we might have lasted longer. Each year we last a few days more. I must add here that when we turn the AC on we turn it to 80 or higher and turn it off when not in use.
We have a kiddie pool that was given to us by my cousin after her girls played with it for years. It is probably 8 years old and now has a large crack in it, preventing its use as a pool this year. We’ve played around with ideas on what to do with it at this point. I told my daughter that we cannot purchase another one until we figure out a way to either recycle it or reuse it, and this has become an excellent source of dialog. We think that our local recycling center will take it. I think we’ve decided to it as a sand pile prior to recycling it, adding a few more years of use. In looking at options for a new pool, our daughter wanted one of those inflatable pools. We talked about how those pools tear easily, are difficult to patch, and how they won’t last as long. We talked about the reasons not to buy something that won’t last. We have talked about opting for a post consumer pool and one that is made in the USA if we can find one.
Want Not/Prep/Storage— I added low dose aspirin, arnica gel/rub, and potatoes to storage this week. Hubby added a roof to the play area. Hubby and father dry walled the kitchen and bathroom in my father’s home. I helped with tiling at the house.
Building Community Food Systems— We donated some spring onions and bok choy to the church vegetable cart. I worked in the food pantry at church some. I’m in charge of the food purchases for the children’s program, and I’ve started making those purchases this week. I picked up local milk for the Wesley House, a local community center which our church helps to sponsor. I am thrilled that the kids will enjoy good local milk, many for the first time. Our family visited the farmers market over the weekend. As we enjoyed locally made ice cream from local milk, visiting with the farmers and their family members, my husband said, “This is why we go to the farmers market,” and smiled brightly. He’s right. We like knowing where our food comes from, how it is made, how it is grown. We like the connection we have to our favorite farmers and how they have become an extension of our family.
Eat the Food—Perhaps I’ll argue against this point when I devour the first of the ripened tomatoes, but I do not think that there is a better vegetable than the beet! We ate the first of our beautiful, beautiful beets this week. It was our first year to grow golden beets in addition to the red and candy striped varieties, and we were not disappointed. I served the roasted beets in a simple garden salad, and they were a huge hit.
Some of you have asked questions about the approximate costs of our meals. I’ll try to estimate those numbers below. Because we buy in bulk so often, some of the numbers are approximations. We are feeding 3 adults and one 4 year old. We go heavy on the salad/side dishes and light on the meat, which also helps to save money.
Due to the trip to TX, the meal plan didn’t work exactly as I thought it would. You’ll probably see some repetition from last week as a result.
Grilled venison steak (free after barter, my sister gave us some of her venison from the deer that my BIL took last winter, the marinade is made with free after coupons soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce), cost $0
Homemade Cole slaw (cabbage and onion from the garden are free, mayo and vinegar only OOP expense), cost at the most 25cts
Fried Green Tomatoes from the garden (only OOP expense will be the oil), cost at the most 50cts
Approximate cost of this meal 75cts
Quesadillas using leftover steak (tortillas were leftover from a previous meal and stored in the freezer, bought on sale for $1/pack. The cheese was bought on sale for $1/pack. I’ll use green onions and spinach from the garden in the quesadillas), cost approx $2
3 salsa choices (2 were moneymakers, 1 is a locally jarred salsa), cost $0 after moneymaker cancelled out expense of local
Salad on the side (free, from the garden dressed with homemade vinaigrette. The dressing ingredients of olive oil, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard were all free after coupons), cost $0
Organic Black Beans (bought on sale for $1.69/lb, serving about half of a pound), cost 85cts
Approximate cost of this meal $2.85
Hot dogs without buns (free with coupon) $0
Pinto beans (free, Uncle gave them to me) $0
Radishes with salt and vinegar (free from garden, vinegar free after coupons) $0
Leftover salad from the garden $0
Sautéed Pears for dessert (pears were given to me, sugar to preserve, organic butter bought on sale for $3.99/lb), cost 50cts
Approximate cost of this meal 50cts
Local sausage, cost $6
Homemade Cheddar Biscuits (wheat is home milled, cheddar was $1/pack on sale, organic butter bought on sale for $3.99/lb), cost at the most $2
Seared bok choy (free from garden), cost $0
Summer squash, if large enough to pick (free from garden), cost $0
Approximate cost of this meal $8
If Rutherford’s Farm in Maryville still has any broccoli, I’ll pick some up to add to our meal. Approx cost $2, though I’m not sure of the price or if it will be available.
Lamb burgers on the grill without buns (local lamb, purchased a half of a lamb with a friend in the fall), cost approximately $8
Braised kale (from the garden, reserved bacon grease that would have otherwise been discarded), cost $0
Organic red lentils (bought on sale for around $2/lb), cost $1
Approximate cost of this meal $9
With the addition of broccoli $11
If there is any lettuce that we can pick, I’ll make Salad Nicoise for supper (red potatoes, salad greens, peas and radishes, roasted beets, tuna, boiled egg), cost approx $2.50
If we do not need to use the lettuce, I’ll make stir fry (locally purchased beef; cabbage, peas, onions, spring onions, bok choy, and squash from the garden; brown rice), cost $7, $8 with the addition of a little broccoli if I were able to get it on Friday
Approximate cost of this meal $2.50 for Nicoise Salad
$7-$8 for stir fry
Whole wheat pasta with veggies and herbs from the garden (pasta was free after sale and coupons, olive oil free after coupons, veggies and herbs free from the garden), cost $0
Homemade bread (wheat milled at home, yeast was a moneymaker after coupon and catalina), cost $0
Butter for the bread (organic butter bought on sale for $3.99/lb), cost approx 50cts
Approximate cost of this meal 50cts
And check out this deal from one of my favorite readers--Kroger has Santa Cruze juice 4/5.00. There is a .75 cent coupon in the Earth Fare winter savings coupon book which makes them .50 cents each! Thanks Robin!!
What to watch for at local farmers markets: there might still be some strawberries, fresh eggs, milk, meats, lettuces, greens (think bok choi, Swiss chard, broccoli raab, lambs quarters, and Chinese cabbage), edible flowers, green cabbage and maybe some Napa cabbage, broccoli, green/spring onions, herbs, sugar snap and snow peas, potted plants and flowers, honey, and home canned goods like jams and jellies.
Emergency Preparedness Tip of the Week--
Do you know the Heimlich maneuver? What about CPR? Basic First Aid? If not, contact your local Red Cross to find a certification class near you. Check with your employer—your company might offer some reimbursement for expenses or even offer a free class in house. Because I work in health care, I’ve never had to pay for a class out of pocket, which has been one of the perks of working in my field.
What they say about the use of these lifesaving skills is true—you may never use it in a work setting. I started “working” in health care when I was a young teen candy striper. In all those years I never had to use the Heimlich or CPR. In the last 3 years at our church, though, I’ve had to use both, and I thank the Lord that they were successful both times. You have no idea how much of an emotional experience that is until you are actually put in the position to use those tools. Your adrenaline is soaring, and panic starts to hit. Because of years of training and repetition, though, I went through the steps and was able to help the two ladies who were in need. Take a class now, and have the recertification every two years or as advised by your instructor.
I’ve been out of town and am behind on my reading. I’ll surely have a longer list next week. Until then, I wanted you all to check out this great idea for a homemade sippy cup. Many people have been concerned with the BPA of mason jar lids. When I do this for us, I’ll turn the white part of the jar to the outside so that the inner lining doesn’t come in contact with the liquid. It is my understanding that the inner lining is where the majority of the BPA is.
Thank you to all who have emailed me and left comments of condolences. It brings me joy to know so many of you care. I am back in town and hope to be blogging more very soon. I’m catching up on laundry, gardening, and housework now.
Have a very happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!
Even though you might have GPS in your car, always pack a map or directions when traveling in unfamiliar territory. I’ve found that in more rural areas, GPS isn’t always dependable. Rather than risk getting lost, I like to have a back up plan in place.
Have a cute dress that you bought for your daughter? When it becomes too short for her to wear, turn it into a “swing shirt” by pairing it with bike shorts or leggings. This extends the use by at least a few months or up to a year or more.
I am pleased to be posting the first of the “tips from the expert” series. Amelia Breed is not only an excellent art teacher, she is one of the nicest and most generous people I’ve ever met. I’ve included information about her summer art program below.
For pre-school aged children, 3-5 yr.
When working on projects that involve gluing, have the children use a glue mixture and a paintbrush. The glue mixture is easily made using Elmer’s glue and water (you’re looking for a thick cream/yogurt consistency), and can be applied the same way you apply paint to paper. For a more natural glue recipe, see below. This is one way to help develop fine motor skills, avoid ‘glue puddles’, and extend your glue supply. Be sure to wash the paintbrush thoroughly so that no glue is left in the bristles where they attach to the handle.
Natural Glue Recipe:
Mix flour and water until you reach a yogurt or thick cream consistency. Apply as necessary.
This glue is white in color when it dries, and may have a slight texture depending on thickness. It works great! You can store leftover supply in the refrigerator in a lidded container for a week or so.
Wheat Paste is another natural/food homemade glue used for wallpapering and professional purposes. It is permanent and archival!
Here is a fun technique you can apply to many surfaces with your young child:
You can rip or cut with scissors multi-colored tissue paper. All sizes and shapes are encouraged. Using a paintbrush and glue mixture of your choice, apply glue to surface. A glass jar is a beautiful way to capture light, but you can also apply to paper (make a set of greeting cards!), cardboard, and unfinished wood furniture. Lay pieces of tissue paper on top of the glue, and then paint a layer of glue mixture on top of tissue paper. Experiment with layering the tissue paper, the colors will blend just like pieces of colored glass!
Amelia Breed is a local artist who runs an art program out of her home studio. For children’s classes this summer, check out www.chickamaugaart.com! (Summer Registration Deadline: June 4) Now offering adult classes too!
(865) 357-4625, email@example.com
Summer 2010 Class Schedule
Registration Deadline June 4th
Summer Camps will include a ‘snack and story time’ break everyday!
June 21-25, 9:00am-12:00pm Monday-Friday
Ages 7-10, $100/student
Work as a group to complete one large mural painting! Students will brainstorm and execute a theme of their choosing, learning to work step-by-step from background layers to foreground detail. Small studies will be theirs to take home. The mural may be exhibited in a local venue (public library, restaurant, etc.) at a future date.
July 19-23, 9:00am-12:00pm Monday-Friday
Ages 7-10, $100/student
Students will learn to create paper maché and found object sculpture while exploring their imagination. We will draw, paint, build, glue, wrap, tape, and more to achieve each student’s original creation!
Books and Paper Arts
July 26-30, 9:00am-12:00pm Monday-Friday
Ages 6-8, $100/student
This class will begin with a garden walk to collect leaves, flower petals, and other natural material, and finish with a collection of hand-made books. We will make our own paper, explore painting and dying, and learn beginner sewing techniques for binding!
Little Ones Workshop
Friday, June 18, 10:00-11:00am
Friday, July 16, 10:00-11:00am
Ages 3-5, $15/student
These workshops will explore beginner projects to help spawn creativity and develop fine motor skills all in the name of fun! Parents are welcome to stay for the duration of class.
Registration forms found online at www.chickamaugaart.com, or contact me directly.
Once a month check your food stores. This not only helps to prevent spoilage and waste, but it also helps you to keep better tabs on what you have on stock to use for meals.
Walgreens and FREE ironman spray or rub here (y’all, I’m going to laugh out loud if I win this bike!) and here for the info on the Noxzema razors for free or cheap and Post Honey Comb cereal deal here.
What to watch for at local farmers markets: strawberries, fresh eggs, milk, meats, lettuces, greens (think bok choi, Swiss chard, broccoli raab, lambs quarters, and Chinese cabbage), edible flowers, green cabbage and maybe some Napa cabbage, broccoli, green/spring onions, green garlic and garlic scapes, herbs, sugar snap and snow peas, potted plants and flowers, honey, and home canned goods like jams and jellies. If you arrive early to a market, you might still find asparagus. I saw some on Saturday, and I was kind of amazed to still see it there.
We participate in Sharon Astyk’s Independence Days Challenge. This is our weekly update.
Late last week the weather was almost cold at night, making it more pleasant for gardening, sitting outside on the back porch for long talks, and lots of play and adventures for our daughter.
I’ve written and rewritten a synopsis of this week almost 20 times, without exaggeration. I think I’ll sum it up to say that this last week has been emotionally draining for our family. With all of the upheaval, I took some solace in the garden. The rhythmic action of hoeing rows, the rote picking of peas, the methodical pulling of weeds enveloped me in a sense of calm and rest. In the garden my mind is finally peaceful enough to meditate and pray, and this week my garden vigils were restorative.
Plant—heirloom red okra, emerite filet pole beans, butternut squash seeds saved from last year, cucumbers, watermelon. In the church garden I planted 2 rows—1 of Pawnee Shelling Beans and 1 with zucchini and crookneck squash.
Harvest—Salad greens—beet greens, spinach, butterhead, iceberg, romaine; bok choi, the first of the Chinese cabbage, radishes, snow peas, sugar snap peas, spring onions, bulb onions (from last year), flower arrangements, herbs.
Preserve—1 quart bag of chopped onion tops.
Waste Not/Reduce Waste— I didn’t do so hot in this category this week. I wasn’t as good about composting everything last week as I could have been. I bought 2 pair of cheap shoes at Target instead of getting something of high quality that would last and could easily be repaired by the cobbler. I stained yet another shirt beyond redemption, but at least with that one, I can make it into a bag. On the other side of the coin, my dad’s home repairs are going well. Since we are reusing some of the things he had from old construction jobs, we have sold a few of the things in the home that needed removed. He is being careful in how he does the demo so that everything that can be reused will go to another home.
With the weather being so warm, we haven’t drank as much milk as usual. Rather than freezing it, I made a few recipes that used a good deal of milk to avoid waste—milkshakes and soaked oatmeal.
Want Not/Prep/Storage—I added a few toiletries and teas to storage from a Frontier co-op order. Since I haven’t had a need to go to the grocery, I only made a quick run to pick up coffee this week.
Building Community Food Systems— Our daughter’s school had a brunch as an end of the year celebration. I brought a large salad from the garden, homemade vinaigrette, and boiled farm fresh eggs. I was so pleased to see how many people seemed to enjoy our contribution. I worked in the church garden this weekend, planting beans and squashes there. I shared some of our extra lettuces with our neighbors. I oriented the new church secretary to the food pantry distribution system. I picked up a few things for the food pantry at the store. Passed on information about Angel Food Ministry to a handful of people. I wrote to my city council representative to show my favor of the backyard hens initiative going before that council in June.
I’ve been working on the menu for the children at VBS. They run an entire week, starting on June 7th, and because we never know how many children we’ll have until we actually have them arrive, it makes planning tricky. I’ll hope that by that time we might have a few easy finger foods (cucumbers, squash) ready to pick in the garden to use for the kids. One can hope!
Eat the Food—I made a stir fry this week that was highly enjoyable because of how much of the food was grown by our hands. We added some locally grown beef and broccoli we bought from a farmer friend and a few store bought organic carrots we needed to use. Not that I needed justification, but having so much of the meal that was “free” better allowed us to buy good quality beef and organically grown broccoli to add to the dinner.
Emergency Preparedness Tip of the Week--
We have talked about first aid kits for your car and for your home, but what about other places you spend your time? Check with your house of worship to see if their first aid kit is updated. You might have some extra supplies that you could donate—many of us couponers get these for free or very cheap periodically. What about your work? Talk to your employer to make sure you know where the first aid kit is located. Store a few supplies in your purse. I can’t tell you how often I’ve used my gloves and bandages to help someone who has been injured. We also have a small kit that we use when we are hiking or camping.
I’m not entirely sure how this week will play out. We will most likely be going to a funeral in TX later in the week, though the arrangements have not been finalized yet. My dad will be here to guard the home front, so I’ll try and have a few easy meals ready for him. This is the plan as of now:
Herb Roasted Chicken (or if it is very hot outside, I’ll throw the chicken on the grill so as to not heat up the house) and a large salad with the first of the roasted beets
Quesadillas using leftover chicken and black bean and corn salad
Whole wheat pasta with veggies from the garden and any chicken that might still be unused served with dressed salad greens
Local sausage and homemade buttermilk biscuits using whole wheat flour, steamed sugar snap peas, and spinach
Veggie meal with pinto beans, corn bread, stewed greens, and if the green tomatoes are big enough, I’ll fry some of those
Venison steaks with my easy marinade, black eyed pea salad, and broccoli raab
Grilled hot dogs, grilled pak choi dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, crudités of radishes and snow peas
Thanks Southern Savers!
The tip of the day today comes from Martha Stewart. What a great use for an envelope, and it is nice to have a funnel in a pinch. I’ve used the top of a 2 liter bottle cut off before as a funnel, but this is much easier to grab when filling jars.
Hope your weekend is a relaxing one where you get to daydream, rest, snuggle, dawdle, and delight in the many blessings the days offer you!
Diane, a reader and follower, wanted me to remind you all about this great promotion for baseball tickets. If you are local, check out the promotions page of the Tennessee Smokies for info on many more great deals. Take me out to the ballgame… Thanks Diane!
Thanks to Faithful Provisions for the following info:
If you live close to a minor league baseball team, you can take advantage of BOGO Free tickets on Tuesday nights. From April 13th through September 7th, bring a Kraft Singles package wrapper (just the wrapper!) to the ball park box office where you can purchase a Tuesday night game ticket and get one free.
There are some minor league teams that aren't participating, so be sure to check the "fine print" for a list.
You can find a list of the teams by state online (scroll down past the map).
Time: June 15, 2010 from 7pm to 8pm
Location: Main Assembly Room of the City County Building
This is it. The moment of truth. City Council will decide whether to allow hens in Knoxville or to keep them illegal.
The vote will be a close one, so please come to the meeting to show your support. A large crowd will definitely help sway any councilpersons still on the fence! Don't assume there will be a sufficient number...WE NEED YOU THERE! So mark your calendars!
It will also help to write, email, or call your city council representative before the meeting.
As an added bonus, there may be t-shirts!
Meeting starts at 7pm, Tuesday, June 15th at the Main Assembly Room of the City County Building, 400 Main Street.
Jeanette, a reader and church friend, wanted me to relay the following information about the Magic Jack phone service:
The Magic Jack works exactly like you home ph. it is very easy to install. The only draw back is you must keep your computer running all the time. I always did anyway. The only thing I have hibernating when I am not on it is the screen. You can still set your screen to hibernate, but leave hard drive running. You just buy a cordless ph. that has 3 or 4 satellite ph.'s with it. Hook it up and you got almost free ph. service. You can call unlimited time and amounts to anywhere in the U.S. & Canada for free. The only other draw back is since your commuter is its switching hub. That means every time you call someone you must always dial the area code, but you do not use a 1, because it can be used all over northern hemisphere. If some one calls you they must also put in the area code, but not the 1 . That is all you got to know to use it. We love it.
Since I have no personal history with using this service, I can’t say either way as to whether or not it is worth checking into. However, I’ve spoken with many people who have used the service, and they’ve spoken very highly of it.
A reader sent me this info that she thought you all might benefit from knowing:
If you don't already know, CardSmart is closing and has cards 2/$1. A lot of other stuff is 50% off.
Now might be a good time to stock up on your greeting cards and gifts. CardSmart is located off Clinton Hwy (click the link above for the contact info).
When cracking eggs for recipes, break them into a small dish before adding them to the other ingredients. If you crack a bad egg or have a loose piece of shell, it is much easier to remove from a small dish than when mixed with the other ingredients.
From the Chick-fil-a website:
Make your reservation for an EXCLUSIVE premiere tasting of the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. From May 31 - June 5, Chick-fil-A is giving a limited number of FREE Spicy Chicken Sandwiches to customers who make a reservation. To make your reservation, visit this website (www.GetSpicyChicken.com) beginning Friday, May 21 and choose your preferred Chick-fil-A Restaurant location and time.
Have a busy week ahead? Do your best to prep breakfast ahead of time to make mornings a little easier for everyone.
What do you to do make breakfast time a little easier?
Are you a Max Perks Member? If not, I highly recommend you check out this program. We bought all of the paper for the Knoxville Coupon Fair for FREE, and I purchase most of our home office supplies FREE through Max Perks.
The items shown above are all FREE with the Max Perks Bonus Rewards System this week. Check out all of the details here.
(Info from the Sundown in the City website) The most anticipated concert series in East Tennessee returns April 22 as Regal Entertainment Group presents Sundown in the City 2010! For five weeks, AC Entertainment presents an exciting variety of live music in downtown Knoxville. Sundown in the City is free, open to the public, and a great event for the whole family to enjoy. National recording artists and successful regional bands, combined with the incomparable atmosphere of downtown Knoxville, draw several thousand visitors to the thriving bars, restaurants and retail shops in downtown Knoxville.
Regal Entertainment Group presents Sundown in the City 2010 with support from Bud Light, Pilot, and U.S. Cellular and produced by A.C. Entertainment. Additional support for this event is provided by WBIR, Knoxville.com, Metro Pulse, Knoxville Magazine, WIVK, WUTK, Threds, and Lamar Outdoor Advertising.
Starting this year, fans of Sundown will be able to receive text alerts to their mobile phones. To receive text alerts about Sundown, fans should text the word SUN to 68572. Standard texting rates apply.
May 20 — Tonic with Aftah Party
June 3 — Blues Traveler with The Dirty Guv’nahs
June 17 — Drive-by Truckers with Eli “Paperboy” Reed & The True Loves
Check out Nancy Twigg’s column here for the tip of the day. I’ve used the grocery store deli for a fast and healthier lunch option as compared to a drive-through. When I did this last, I bought a meal deal at Kroger for $2.99—large deli sandwich, chips, and a large soft drink. Ok, I know that isn’t an extremely healthy lunch, but I bet it was better than a fast food restaurant and definitely cheaper!
Go here to learn about the Zoya nail polish exchange program. You can score Zoya nail polish for half the price. If you aren’t familiar with this product, Zoya specializes in a healthier alternative to nail polish. Their nail colors are formaldehyde free, toluene free, camphor free and dibutyl phthalate free. A friend of mine tried these a while back and really liked them. Looks like now might be a good time for me to give them a try.
Kroger (Make note of the Huggies Deal)
What to watch for at local farmers markets: strawberries, fresh eggs, milk, meats, lettuces, greens (think bok choi, Swiss chard, broccoli raab, and Chinese cabbage), broccoli, green/spring onions, green garlic, perennial herbs, sugar snap and snow peas, potted plants and flowers, honey, and home canned goods like jams and jellies. If you arrive early to a market, you might still find asparagus.