SOMETIMES IT'S BETTER TO SPEND MONEY
We had the chimney sweep out this week, another important step in battening down the hatches.
As October approaches we are finally pulling up the last of the tomato plants. I suppose we might get a few more tomatoes, but the truth of the matter is we are sick of them, I can't think of one more thing to can and we have had tomatoes in one form or another every day since July. We also harvested the pumpkins and yanked their vines. And look at the beautiful harvest of Concord grapes!
Amish Grape Juice
Stem and clean grapes. Place 1C. of grapes and 1/2C. of sugar into clean sterilized quart jars. Pour boiling water over both, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe the jar's rim. Place prepared lids and caps on jars. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
We also harvested and dried more peppers. I love how drying peppers concentrates their flavor. And they look beautiful sitting on the shelf!
MORE THINGS TO MAKE WITH FREE PALLETS
Speaking of herbs, look at the cute spice cabinet Ran made from some pallets made from hardwood and a piece of scrap lumber. The trim was purchased at an estate sale for 50 cents. The paint was left over from another project.
The HL hinges and latch were purchased ages ago at a garage sale. We bought a large box of circa 1940 wrought iron hardware in their original packaging for $5 and have been using them ever since. Ran has used them to build many cupboards and even the kitchen cabinets. All for the price of just a few knobs at the hardware store. I adore my clever Buffalo Bill look-alike!
SPICES FOR VEGANS
Writing of spice cabinets, reminded me that I wanted to do a post about veganism. I was a vegan for several years and still make at least half of our meals that way. Not buying meat is a real money-saver and it probably pays dividends in the health department. A lot of my vegan recipes are ethnic foods and require different spices than the usual sage, thyme, parsley, etc. Here's some I'd suggest for the beginner vegan:
a good curry powder
I like to experiment with making bean patties, using chick peas adding a combination of those spices. Just plain sauteed vegetables with some curry powdered for flavor, served over rice is a quick and healthy meatless meal, particularly if you use brown rice. And have you ever tasted roasted chick peas? Make a nice healthy alternative to chips.
BAKING FROM THE PANTRY
Well, I couldn't let September escape without posting at least one apple recipe, could I? Here's one for a quick muffin, that uses pantry staples:
Apple Oat Muffins
1 1/2C. flour
1 C. oatmeal
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 C. milk (I use buttermilk)
2 tbsp. oil
1 1/2C. apples, unpeeled and chopped
Combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar,salt, baking powder and spices. Set aside.
In another bowl beat together eggs, milk and oil. Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in chopped apples.
Portion into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
THRIFTY THINGS WE DID THIS WEEK
Harvest grapes, tomatoes, pumpkins, peppers and herbs.
Dried peppers and herbs.
Canned grape juice.
Made a spice cupboard from free pallet wood.
Mailed in a rebate from Mennards.
Made a gate from pallet wood.
Purchased sugar and spices in bulk from the bulk food store. Enough to last the year. Pure organic cane sugar is $40 for 50 pounds. And their spices are a fraction of the price of store-bought ones.
One the way back from dropping the grandbabies off, we stopped into a thrift store to stretch our legs and I found a beautiful tweed jacket for $1.97 (it was half-off because a button was loose and dangling) and a Scottish made cashmere scarf for $1.76. Both in like-new condition. I've been looking for such a jacket for ages.
Decorated the house for Fall with items I already had and twigs from the yard.
Our neighbor, Connie, gave Ran a bunch of black walnut lumber free for hauling it away.
I still cooked a lot from garden produce: a middle-eastern pepper stew, chili and scalloped potatoes.
That's about it. I really need to write down these thrifty things daily because I always forget by Sunday. I hope you all are enjoying these last days of September. Hope to meet you here again in October! Until then go outside and enjoy the show!