Hello dear friends! Hope this post finds you rested and safe. Can you believe that tomorrow is June? How time flies! Today the weather doesn't feel very June-like, had to wear my winter coat for our walk. But the previous days it was almost too warm. The weather certainly is toying with us, but there is no frost in the foreseeable future, so we finished planting our garden this week.
As you can see, the lettuce is ready to be picked, thank goodness! Buying lettuce was becoming quite an expense. It is such a joy to go out to the garden and pick our meal. One new salad for us, is a Big Mac Salad. Here's the recipe. I used 1/2 lb. of hamburger and that was plenty. It rates right up there with our other kid/man friendly salad, Taco Salad. To make taco salad, just top your lettuce with crushed taco chips (the broken ones left in the bag), cheese, and chili. Here's a quick chili, that only takes a few minutes to prepare:
Quick Chili For Taco Salad
1 lb. hamburger
1 med. onion, diced
1 can chili ready tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 pkg. taco seasoning
Brown the meat and hamburger. Add the remaining ingredients and heat through. You can easily make this vegetarian by skipping the meat and adding a second can of beans. Also, I find that it helps to add a tablespoon of sugar to store bought tomatoes to bring out their flavor.
You can get more elaborate with this salad by topping it with a dollop of sour cream or guacamole. Or drizzle it with some salsa.
Don't Buy It, Make It
Most kitchens have the ingredients to make your own taco seasoning. Here's the recipe:
1 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Combine ingredients. Equivalent to one package.
Cheap Beauty Trick
Speaking of fragrances, my favorite perfume has become entirely too expensive for our poor little budget, so I've discovered that many perfumeries make matching scented candles and soaps. If you put them in your drawers, they will lightly scent your clothes for a fraction of the cost. And the scent will be subtle, so not to annoy your neighbors!
Thoughts On Gardening
We try to be good stewards to our land and one of the ways we do that is to continuously enrich our soil. We have two compost bins. One that is in the stage of composting and the other that we throw all our grass clippings, leaves, vegetable scraps and wood ash into. Twice a year we empty the composted bin onto the garden and till it into the soil. Our village also composts all the leaves it picks up in the fall and gives it away for free to whomever is willing to haul it away. They make sure we know that there are no grass clippings that might be contaminated with pesticides in their compost. They also have free mulch, village life is wonderful. We also make sure to rotate our crops every year. Our goal is to have lovely rich soil the color of coffee grounds that is friable to our elbows. We're getting there!
Quote of the Week
"To be poor in order to be simple, to produce less in order that the product be more choice and beautiful, and may leave us less burdened with unnecessary duties and useless possessions ."
I don't know if making strawberry-nectarine jelly is a necessary duty or not, but that is what I did this week.
Our bulk food store had a deal on nectarines and I already had strawberries, so this jam was a logical choice. By the way, I buy my pectin in bulk. For what it costs for a few packages of Sure Gel, I have enough pectin to last me a lifetime. One way we keep the wolves from the door is always to be on the lookout for a good deal in the produce and meat department and either can or dehydrate them. How many times have I said that a well-stocked pantry is like money in the bank? I also canned more asparagus, but let's not talk of asparagus!
Most libraries offer summer reading programs for the youngsters. They really encourage the children to keep reading during their vacation. There's also vacation Bible school, for those inclined. When I was a youngster many moons ago, my friends and I would go to all of them, we were very ecumenical! The Baptists had the most fun one with puppet shows and cowboys but I'm afraid my Lutheran one was a snorefest. Fun isn't in the Missouri Synod vocabulary!
Thrifty Things We Did This Week
Cut down a dead tree in our yard. Sawed up enough wood to last for a month this winter.
Canned asparagus and strawberry-nectarine jam.
Cleaned a thrifted purse with saddle soap and it looks like new.
Harvested lettuce, spinach, and asparagus from our garden.
Ate from the pantry and hung our laundry on the line, as usual.
Bought 3 Le Creuset saucepans and one frying pan for $30 from an estate sale.
Mended some pillows that were coming unsewn.
Painted our guest cottage with paint that we bought at the Re-Use It Store and from leftovers in the basement.
Finished planting our garden.
So that's it for this week! Hope you all have a lovely week ahead of you!