Sunday, July 12, 2015
Sweet Briar Cottage Journal: In The Good Old Summertime
Gardening is one of the things my husband and I like to do together. He takes care of the vegetables and I do the flowers. It's a happy marriage. Speaking of marriage, we celebrated our thirty-seventh anniversary this week. Ran made me this replica of a colonial bride's box to commemorate the occasion
SECRET TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE
People have asked us what's the secret to a happy marriage and I always refer them to this Bible verse:
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
~1 Corinthians 13:4-7~
Speaking of labors of love, I finally finished granddaughter Tatianna's sweater. When she begged me to make a sweater like her favorite cartoon character, Mabel Pines from Gravity Falls, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. There isn't a pattern for it, so I had to design my own.. And I have to say, knitting that hot pink color gave me a headache! Ha!
HOW TO RECYCLE A KNIT SWEATER
First, only use sweaters of good quality wool. Look at the seams and look for those that are sewn and not overlocked. Crew necks work best because you can use both the front and the back. Undo the seams and lay flat. Cut straight across at just below the armholes for the front and back. On the sleeves cut across at below the armhole. Starting from the top , unravel. Have patience, sometimes it takes a few rows to get to the point where the sweater will unravel smoothly. Where else can you buy a skein of Merino wool for seventeen cents?
Our butcher had a good deal on boneless, skinless chicken breasts this week, $1.89/ lb. So I canned up eight pints.
blog . That woman is a canning wonder!
ECONOMICS AND PREPPING
So have you been following what's been happening in Greece and China? Did you now that the United States has a bigger debt to citizen ratio than Greece? So why's the U.S. dollar doing so well? Because compared to other countries ours looks like the safest place to park your money. Plus our markets are being artificially propped up by the Federal Reserve and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). But it won't last forever. Liquidity is drying up and banks are starting to limit credit, particularly in Europe. What does that mean to you? Well, take a can of beans for example, before that can of beans reaches the store shelves, it goes through a series of credit transactions; the farmer, the elevator, the manufacturer, the trucker, the store employee, etc.. If one of those credit transactions freezes up, the food doesn't reach you. So stock up now. Besides, what does it hurt? With the prices of groceries inflating, it's a good investment. All of the economist are predicting a crash in the fall. Historically that's when they happen. I'd rather err on the side of caution than be a day late and a dollar short. Wouldn't you?
DON'T BUY IT, MAKE IT
OK. I admit it, I love potato chips. Or I should say , I loved potato chips. I hadn't eaten any for months, but I bought a small bag the other day and they were so salty and greasy, I couldn't believe I ever liked them. Plus they cost what? About three or four dollars for a bag. That's a lot of money for ten ounces of potatoes! So we figured out how to make our own healthier baked potato chips.
Homemade Baked Potato Chips
Slice the potatoes very thinly. And immerse them in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. Rinse off the potatoes. Throw the potatoes in a pan of boiling water. Time them once the water begins to boil again. Boil for 1 minute. Throw the chips in a colander and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with a towel. Coat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil until evenly coated. Spread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, making sure they don't overlap. Bake at 400 degrees until the chips start to brown. Watch carefully, once they brown they brown really fast. Remove from the oven. Remove all the crispy ones and return the ones that need to bake a bit longer to the oven. Remove. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Tasted great and they were free, as we grow our own organic heirloom potatoes!
THRIFTY THING WE DID THIS WEEK
Harvested peas, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, strawberries, and raspberries from the garden.
Dried cauliflower and broccoli
Canned 8 pints of chicken.
Unraveled a thrifted sweater for the yarn.
Finally found a cast iron pot with legs and a flat lid for our campfire cooking at a good price at an estate sale ($15).
We had to travel to the big city to do some banking so to make the trip worthwhile we stopped in at a huge thrift store. I bought 3 Ralph Lauren sweaters, a Ralph Lauren skirt, an Eileen Fisher sweater and a really cute vintage corduroy skirt for $13. They were having a sale and several of the items were only 69 cents! Have most of my fall wardrobe now. Which is good, I really got sick of my fall and winter clothes last year, when we had cold from September through mid-June.
I also bought a like new winter coat at a garage sale for $5. I'm so tired of my gray one. I've had it for several years.
We've been diverting our washing machine water to a bucket and using it to flush the toilet and water the flowers. Also using the dishwater and the water left over in the canner. Or water is so expensive here, mainly because the charge 5 times the water amount for the sewer, so by reusing the water, I hope to beat the system. Especially when you consider that most of our water use comes from watering the garden which goes into the ground and doesn't even use the sewer.
Ate from the garden and a had lot of meatless meals.
Plus all the usual things that you are probably tired of reading about!
Well, that's it for this week. If you have a question or just want to say hello, please leave a comment. Let me know what you are doing to make end meet. I love learning new thrifty ideas! I also love to meet like minded people. I'd love to hear from you!