It's so nice just to be outside after so many weeks of heat and humidity. Ran and I spent several hours this week weeding. Oh my! Wheelbarrow upon wheelbarrow of weeds. We are also pulling the tomatoes and other plants and beginning the process of putting the garden to bed. Harvest time is such a busy and fulfilling time of year.
I wanted some grape jelly, it's my favorite flavor for peanut butter sandwiches, but our grapes didn't produce much this year, as the vines had to be cut back severely due to winter damage. Fortunately, we have lots of wild grapes climbing up the fences in our yard.
Wild Grape Jelly
Wash and clean 3-5 lbs. (about a peck) of wild grapes. Place the grapes in a large pot with a 1/2 C. water and boil. Strain the grapes through several layers of cheesecloth overnight. Measure the juice to 3 1/2 C. juice (if you need, to add a little water to equal that amount.) In a large pot boil the juice and 3 tablespoons of powdered pectin. Bring to a boil. Once boiling add 5 1/4 C. sugar all at once. Bring mixture to boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes until the jelly begins to sheet or a dab placed on a cold plate doesn't run. (The more jams and jelly you make, the easier it will be to tell when jelly is set.) Sheeting is when the boiling jam doesn't run off the spoon, but falls off in a slower sheet.) Pour jelly into sterilized jelly jars, Fill to 1/4 inch from top. Place previously simmered lids on. Screw on the caps. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Our neighbor lets us pick her crabapples, but this just shows you, what can be had for free if you keep you eyes open. Just be careful to know what you are picking, many plant have poisonous look-alikes. Also know the area you are foraging from; you don't want anything that has been sprayed with insecticides. And don't trespass! We have a lot of state land and national forests in our area.
KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN
With the rising costs of groceries, it's important to keep yours open for deals. This week we drove to the big city and I noticed that a smaller meat market had chicken leg quarters for $2.90 for 10 pounds! Can you imagine buying 20 pounds of meat for under $6? What a deal! Unfortunately or fortunately, depending upon how you look at it, I didn't need any more chicken, having canned up a bunch earlier this year. But all the things that could have been done with that chicken!. Shredded for tacos and casseroles, the drumsticks oven fried, chicken soups and stews and at the end the bones thrown in a pot to make gallons of broth. It was hard to pass it up!
Also, there were 50 pound bags of potatoes to be had for $7. I've mentioned many a time that potatoes are good fillers for hungry growing children. And they store well in a cool dark place. We store ours from September until April with no problem. The ones that start to develop eyes are set aside for next year's crop. I also can up all the little ones because I cannot tolerate buying potatoes. They see us through until the new crop comes in.
Between the foraged fruits and bargains, you could fill your larder for under $20, if you throw in a bag of sugar for making the jam. All it takes is time and effort.
RECIPE FROM THE PANTRY
The cooler weather brings baking. Today I made Tourtiers or French pork pie for my husband. It's one of his favorites.
I was just thinking the other day, how I used to have a batch of refrigerator potato rolls ready for baking whenever needed. Fresh bread is always so good. One way that we saved on groceries was to eat only one serving of meat, but let the kids fill up on all the breads and side dishes they wanted. Anyway, as I said, I used to have a batch of these dough ready in the fridge fairly often. The dough can stay refrigerated for up to five days. One time I kept putting off baking them. I smelled the dough and it certainly smelled yeasty, but thought nothing of it. While they were baking the house smelled like a brewery! Once we tasted them, our eyes began to water, the alcohol content from the yeast an sugar was so high! Everyone had a good laugh about that!
Refrigerator Potato Rolls
1 pkg yeast
2/3 C. warm water
2/3 C. mashed potatoes (reserve 2/3 C. of the potato water)
1 tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
2/3 C. sugar
2/3 C. shortening
4 1/2- 5 C. flour
In a large bowl, soften the yeast in the warm water.
Stir in potatoes, potato water 1 tbsp. sugar and the salt. Cover and let stand at room temperature for one hour.
Combine eggs, 2/3 C. sugar, and shortening. Add to yeast mixture. Beat in enough flour to make a moderately soft dough. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (Or for several days until ready to use)
Punch down dough. Turn out dough on a floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.
Divide into 24 rolls (you can use half and refrigerate the other half for another day). Place ona greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12 minutes until golden brown.
I usually made these on Monday, Sunday being the day we had a big formal dinner with a roast and mashed potatoes. I always made sure to make extra potatoes and keep the water when draining them.
IS THIS IT?
So tomorrow is supposed to be the big Shemitah day, where the stock market is supposed to crash according to Jonathon Cahn. I asked for God to give me some discernment about this, and as soon as I did, I started to notice that Mr. Cahn started backpedaling on what he was saying. I'm sorry, but if someone has truly had a word from God, they don't backpedal. Then I started studying it more intensely and all I can say is that while he is very good at noticing patterns, so are a lot of other people that do not claim to be prophets. I have to say, that I am dubious of the entire Back to Hebrew Roots movement, for among many reasons, but mainly if the Jews are so wise to uncover all these "mysteries", why are they not wise enough to recognize Jesus as their Messiah? Besides, God doesn't work with mysteries and mysticism, He plainly has given us the Playbook in the Scriptures. The other problem I have with it is that it relies on a lot of traditions and not upon scripture. You can read what Jesus says about traditions in Mark 7 and John 8. I'm sorry I mentioned Mr. Cahn (I do not call him Rabbi because Jesus said that he is our only Rabbi) in a previous post. I did not follow the scriptures and be a Berean, testing what is said against the scriptures.
"For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
But I still believe that the economy is going to falter some day, mainly from what I understand about economics and politics. In October the IMF will decide if China will share reserve status with the US. If they do, it will be devastating to the value of our money.
I also believe that we are in the end of the Church Age. Not because of what some so-called prophets are say but because of the reasons Jesus gave the Disciples in Mark 13 and the Revelation of John. Just what has happened to the Pacific Ocean since the Fukushima disaster has me wondering if perhaps we are not to the point or will soon be, to where one third the oceans will be dead. (the second or third trumpet). Anyway, just my thoughts on the matter. Whatever the case, we do not need to fear, because when we see all these signs, we are to look up because our redemption draws nigh! (Luke 21:28). If you do not know the Lord, I would suggest you don't delay in doing so. Buy a Bible and read it, ask a friend, ask a minister.
Anyway, so much for my preaching. Suppose you wondered what I did this week to cut costs?
THRIFTY THING WE DID THIS WEEK
Harvested tomatoes, broccoli (amazing amount of off shoots from a few plants), peppers, eggplants, blackberries and some carrots.
Canned grape jelly and hot sauce.
Foraged for wild grapes.
Dyed some wool for a penny rug from some dye that I bought a garage sale for 10 cents (amazing to find just when I needed it and in the color that I needed)
Cut down the sunflowers and placed them on the garden fence for the birds. Free bird food.
Bought our own internet modem so we don't have to pay $10 a month to rent it.
Purchased a cheaper internet plan.
Ate most of our meals from the garden and pantry.
Finally! It was cool enough to turn off the air conditioner and the fans. This ought to save a lot on the electricity bill!
Well, that's all folks! Hope you have a splendid week!