Hello dear friends! Can you believe that we have already reached the mid point of October? Tempus Fugit! The Harvest Moon was so hauntingly beautiful last night, with it's streaks of clouds. It looked just like a vintage Halloween postcard and it was so close to the Earth that I felt I could walk across the fields and reach out and touch it. It gave me a cozy feeling just to see it.
Which leads me to what I want to say today, that fine living has nothing to do with your bank balance, life is what you make it. The other day I noticed a twig of a money plant that had blown into my yard, now I'm sure many would just view it as just another thing that needed to be raked up, but to me it made a beautiful centerpiece for the dining room table.
waste not, want not soup but it can be a wonderful dining experience if you serve it by candlelight and in pretty thrifted bowls and maybe some nice music playing in the background. Instead of paper napkins or worse yet, paper towels, pretty napkins can be made from cast off cotton clothing. Plus think of all the money you'll save with reusable napkins. As matter of fact, when the thrift stores have their semi-annual clearance sales when everything is 95% off (around 17 cents an item) I look for pretty patterned shirts just to have for little projects such as this and to make patchwork pieces with. Woolen pieces can be made into pretty rugs and mats and let's not forget warm woolen quilts. I have no patience for people that are always whining about how unpleasant life is just because they are poor. All the better excuse to use your creativity. How dull life would be if you had everything handed to you on a silver platter!
And whilst I'm on the subject, it seems a lot of people these days just have no sense of self-respect or dignity. Almost daily I spot someone out in public in their pajamas. When did that happen? It may seem shallow, but I'm sure they'd feel better about themselves and the world, if they would take the time to comb their hair and put on clothes, preferably clean and pressed. Did you ever notice that most of those people are grumpy?
"The way we dress affects the way we think, the way we feel, the way we act, and the way others react to us."
I'm pretty sure that you can buy clothes just as cheaply as pajamas, especially at the thrift stores. . If I had my druthers and could only buy one set of clothes, I'd buy clothes and sleep in them not vice versus. Wouldn't you? At one point of my life we could only afford very few things and I think I only had about three changes of clothes, but I still managed to get dressed every day in something that was clean and pressed. It's really not that hard, unless you are homeless. And I've met some homeless people that are better dressed than some of the people wandering around in their pajamas.
The holidays will soon be upon us and so will the mad gift giving spree. I have a sister who always spends a king's ransom on presents then complains about how in debt she went for the remainder of the year. If she spends $100 on one person than she has to spend the equal amount on everyone else, lest they think she is showing favoritism. Even if the person is a baby and doesn't have a clue of the cost of things. I've watched her buying just plain junk so that the gift will tally up to the same amount as the others. It's just plain madness! All the emphasis is on the cash value rather than what a gift should be; a thoughtful gesture given because you wanted to make someone happy. This week my oldest had a birthday (can't believe my baby is 37!) and while I could have given him a shirt or tie, instead I gave him something that only I could. A tin of his favorite childhood cookies with a message that he didn't have to share with anyone unless he wanted to. He got a kick out it, and told his wife "my mom says I don't have to share" (she was very supportive and told him she'd eat the pumpkin donuts instead :)) This may seem like a very miserly gift to some, but I assure you that he is quite affluent and anything that he may have wanted that could be purchased, he would have bought for himself anyway, so why squander money just to say I "bought" something?
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. butter
1 C. peanut butter
1 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 C. chocolate chips
Cream together butter and peanut butter. Beat in sugars. Add eggs, beat well.
Stir in flour, baking soda and salt until well blended.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.
Bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes until they are done.
Hint: I always slightly underbake my cookies for a softer cookie.
The butcher had turkey breasts on sale this week for $1.19/ lb. so I canned up nine pounds. I can mine by cutting the raw meat into cubes, then taking the carcass and make a broth by adding the carcass, celery, carrots, onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper to the pot. I cold pack the raw meat in the broth. When cold packing meat always start with the water in the canner just being hot but not boiling or the jars may crack. Process at 10 pounds of pressure for 90 minutes. I find the broth makes for a much more flavorful canned good.
THRIFTY THINGS WE DID THIS WEEK
Canned 9 pounds of turkey.
Cooked one 4 pound turkey and ate the leftovers the next day, made a pot pie for another day (2 days worth of meals), made a quart of broth from the carcass for soup for several days and culled the meat from the carcass to be frozen for turkey burritos. Less than $5 for 6 days of meals.
Harvested pears from our trees.
Baked cookies for a birthday gift.
Used a found branch for a money plant for a floral arrangement.
Darned a hole in some black tights.
Bought a Pendleton blanket at a church rummage sale for $1! I also found 8 skeins of mohair for $3 and a pretty kilim rug type vest made for the Smithsonian Institute for $1.50.
Melted some of the candles that I bought this past Summer at garage sales into pretty teacups that I purchased for as little as a dime at garage sales to make some pretty tuck-in gifts for the holidays. You can purchase pre-made wicks at craft stores.
We stopped at the bulk food store on the way down to see my son and purchased a 2 pound bag of deli ends and pieces. There were some salami type pieces that I cut into cubes to have with cheese and crackers. Plus lots of lunchmeat. $1.49/lb.
Also bought baking powder in bulk. A lot cheaper than those little cans of it, and aluminum free.
So far we haven't had to use the furnace. We did have a fire in the morning twice to warm the house.
So that's it for tis week at the old Zempel boarding house. Always remember that life is what you make it. Have fun and live well!