Thriving In My Thrifty Week–May 31, 2020

This week, I was able to cook some really delicious meals. For one, I was able to make strawberry spinach salad twice, using the small handful of berries that ripened, along with the garden spinach. I have picked the outer leaves of the spinach 3 times, and we have consumed every single leaf. The bushes look decimated, but there are a few more leaves trying to grow yet again, so I gave them a shot of fertilizer and am hoping for at least one more picking before they go to seed.

Most of the meals this past week were based on one of the 10-lb bags of chicken Rob found last week. It was $2.90 for the entire bag. We had barbecued chicken. The drumsticks were marinated in teriyaki sauce. The thighs were bbq’d with seasoning salt and purposed into various meals, such as salads, sandwiches, pieces of chicken on a plate, etc. We also used a jar of our home-canned tuna in some meals, had lots of salads and veggies, and ate popcorn for several snacks.

Rob continues to eat veggies for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so I was delighted to pick more pac choi for him to stir-fry up for his breakfast scramble. I also picked quite a few more snow peas and lots of cilantro. We continue to buy other vegetables for him to eat. His weight is slowly creeping downward again–success!

I made a casserole with ham and broccoli. I got the recipe from a magazine. It’s not a favorite and I’m not sure why. But, there it sits in the fridge! The simple chocolate cornstarch pudding, on the other hand, is almost gone even though I made a double batch. One way we’ve been using part of that is in popsicles. Patsy is really enjoying the home-made fudge pops, as a change from her usual pear/raspberry popsicles that she eats by the handful.

Several of the nieces and nephews have birthdays at this time of year. We generally have one big party for all the cousins at once that have birthdays near one another.

This year is different, so we just celebrated Michaela, her sister, Caitlyn, and Patsy yesterday at a small party, with only the ones attending who have been in close contact the whole pandemic. I made a chocolate bundt cake for Patsy’s cake, Caitlyn got an ice cream cake, and Michaela had a white cake with white frosting and white filling with a picture of the Lion King on top for hers. It was so nice to be able to celebrate with the kids! (Patsy’s birthday is not for another week, but the other 2 girls has theirs this week).

I helped Rob fix a broken sprinkler in our watering system. He provided the know-how, bought the part, started the job and instructed me on how to crawl around down on the lawn and hook it up and set it! I’m so happy to have it fixed, and I love having a system to water for us without moving sprinklers. It cost much less to do it ourselves, but I would not have had the courage to do it without his excellent instructions, since I’m not mechanical.

I continued to weed and hoe in the garden. I’ve harvested what was ready and planted a few more seedlings in any extra space I can find. I put in a 25c packet of spinach seeds. It may be too late to get much from them, but it was worth a quarter to me to try.

We’ve given the front yard some attention, but more is needed to get it whipped into shape. I hope to get to some of that this coming week.

I spent a morning organizing Patsy’s school books from last year, and I listed them on e-bay and sold most of them yesterday. That money, after fees, will go straight into the bank since I’ve already purchased her new schoolwork. I spent some time organizing the new year’s work, and she has done 2 day’s worth of it, so she’s off to a good start. We will not do school every day since there is so much outside work to do, but will do some when there is time.

12 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week–May 31, 2020”

  1. Hoping for the best with your recent planting of spinach. The weather here has gone cool and rainy again. I had hoped to plant bush beans before it turned but didn’t get it done.

    I’ve never had good success growing spinach here. I use chard, deveined instead for cooked and use the young leaves fresh in salads. That works for me. I also planted amaranth this year. According to the catalog (west coast seeds) it is very heat tolerant and the young leaves can be used in salads.. I love to experiment every year.

    And I thought of you yesterday. I finally got it together to spray paint some rocks red. I had noticed a bird had attacked one of my nearly ripe strawberries. I’ve tried netting in the past but find it hard to work with. I’m hoping these painted rocks will do the trick.
    Take care,

    1. I have been getting a few berries here and there…I’m hoping the rocks work, too. Glad you got some done.

      My old spinach looks like it’s trying to put out a few more leaves, yet again. I’m hoping so, since we are loving that strawberry spinach salad right now.

      My sad chard story….from reading blogs, I feel that any one can grow chard easily. But, only 2 little plants came up from my whole package and only one plant looks good. I’ve successfully grown it in the past, so I know it’s a fluke, but…. We didn’t care for the flavor of some of the kinds I’ve grown in the past (tastes like dirt, according to Rob), so I’m trying a kind that promises to be more mild in flavor and just light green, not the bright colors, or the red stems, etc. I’ll try again one of these days. I’ve not grown amaranth, although I’ve eaten it, since it’s a gluten-free grain. I’ve even popped it once, in a pan. It makes teeny, tiny little fluffy kernels.

      1. I picked about 2 cups of strawberries today. And no damaged ones in sight in the beds. Win for the rocks! Thanks for sharing the idea. Mine are everbearing so they’ll continue producing about a cup a day for the next few weeks.

        1. Mine are starting to ripen, as well. Sadly, the little slugs continue to eat into them from the bottom, but at least they are not bird pecked from the top as well! I’ve scattered a little slug bait here and there on the dirt, but I guess I need to do it again. My sister and niece picked some for me and brought them over as a surprise today, so I was able to take those, plus the ones I’ve picked in my patch, and make a bunch of jam! It’s hard with everbearing strawberries to get enough at one time for jam, at least for me.

          1. I bought a 50# bag of ‘cow bran’ at the feed store to use around the perimeter of my veggie beds when I lived in Olympia WA. It’s like the slug bait without the poison and way cheaper. Just sprinkle a good ‘line’ of it around the edges. The slugs won’t cross the line. You have to keep reapplying after it rains though.
            Beer in shallow containers like an old margarine container works well too. Put the top of the margarine tub on the container but cut out an opening in the lid for the slugs to go in. The lid keeps the rain from diluting the beer. I liked to recycle an aluminum pie tin better though.
            I’ve also had good luck with crushed egg shells. The slugs won’t cross those either.
            Can you tell I’ve lived in the NorthWET a while?

  2. Strawberry spinach salad! That makes me hungry! It’s warm here in Colorado; definitely salad season. (But that chocolate cake looks great too).
    What curriculum will you be using next with Patsy? I’m always looking for ideas even though we’ve been homeschooling for so many years.
    Have a wonderful week!

    1. I’m using Sonlight curriculum for the history, Bible and Language Arts. I’m using a core that is little lower level than some do–she’s at the top of the age range for the one we are doing. This is what I did last year because I want to fit so many other subjects into our lives. But, Language arts and history are her strong points. So, therefore, I’m adding some things to it such as some additional reading, I will add to the writing assignments at times as I did last year, and we will add a Shakespeare book (The Tempest) to it, as I have materials from a different core with that material. She has a Teaching Text Math book and an Apologia Biology book with accompanying notebook. We will do a personal finance unit (1/2 year) and almost every Wednesday we will use 4H material to do life skills/hands-on/home economics things such as cooking, sewing, etc. For P.E., we will do lots of walking and were doing a swimming exercise class last year, but not sure if or when that will resume in light of Covid19.

    1. It was good:). We’ve had so much good cake that I had to freeze some….I was eating way too much cake there for a couple of days!

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