Hello dear friends! Hope you are enjoying your day! It's been foggy here, but pleasant. Have to say, this cool weather is not bothering the garden any. The fruit trees are just loaded and everything looks so lush. Looks like it will be a bumper crop year!
With a Little Help From My Friends
We finally finished decorating our little guest shed.
This week we are foraging. The field next to us is resplendent with red clover. We use it for skin salves and only use it externally. Others make a tea with it, but you have to be cautious because it mimics estrogen (which is why I gave up on soy products) and is also a blood thinner. But this is a good thing to know, in case the pudding does hit the fan, as many are predicting. It's always good to have a working knowledge of herbal remedies.
The other thing we are foraging is purslane.
Patience Is A Virtue When It Comes To Gardening
I love lots of flowers, but let's face it, the prices at nurseries are getting outrageous, so I always start some perennials from seed each year.
Another inexpensive way I furnish my garden is to buy plants from mail order sources. Not the big-name companies but the little known ones that offer you really cheap small plants. It might take an extra season for them to develop and bloom, but it's worth it to me in savings.
Don't Buy It Make It
This week we dried garlic and ground it into garlic powder. I suggest that if you want to do this, it is best to do it outside, unless you really love the smell of garlic. Also on schedule to be dried this week is spinach and kale, which can be dried in the car. I wrote a very detailed post about drying vegetables here. Once the kale and spinach are dried, we grind them in an old coffee grinder that we keep for this purpose. The powder is great to add to soups and stews, meatloaf mixtures, or to make smoothies. Anything to add more nutrition.
Quote Of The Week
Better to be neat and tidy than tight and needy.
By The Way
With the recent news about the spread of bird flu and many birds being destroyed, it's a good thing to know all the ways you can substitute other ingredients for eggs. I keep a bag of flax seeds in the freezer for this purpose.
The other day we bought a cupcake from a little girl running a cupcake/lemonade stand. We usually eat fruit based desserts from fruits from our garden, but it was so good, that I had to go home and bake a cake. This is my go-to cake recipe. Just the right size for our little family. And too big, so we don't feel too guilty.
Small Chocolate Cake
6 tbsp. cocoa
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 C. hot water
1 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. shortening
1/4 C. milk or buttermilk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Combine the cocoa, oil and hot water until well blended.
Beat together sugar and shortening until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Beat in chocolate mixture.
Beat in dry ingredients, adding milk alternately. Pour batter into a well greased 8 inch square pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
here's a post I wrote on the subject.
Thrifty Things We Did This Week
Harvested and ate lettuce, spinach, kale and beet greens from our garden.
Foraged red clover and purslane.
Dried garlic and made into garlic powder.
Dried kale and spinach.
Bought some t-shirts for wearing while gardening from a garage sale for 25 cents.
Canned more strawberry nectarine jam.
"Vacationed" at our little shed.
Cleaned out the attic in preparation for holding a garage sale.
Hung the laundry out on the line.
Ate from the garden and pantry.
Well that's it for this week! Hope to hear from you soon!