thriving In My Thrifty Week–August 18, 2020

A trip to the docks in Newport, Oregon, led to this….

A trip to the farm and garden led to this…..

So, pretty much all I’ve been doing this past week is this….

Rob’s cousin gave us 2 huge boxes of food she did not need from a gleaner’s group she belongs to. In it were 2 huge bags of broccoli, which I froze, some chicken, which I canned and lots of other yummy food, which we ate.

The peaches are from my sister’s farm. Rob helped up there several days this past couple of weeks and hauled home peaches and wild black berries more than once. My sister was given pears, and she shared with me. I have spent countless hours canning, freezing and drying produce. I’m delighted, but a bit tired, I will admit. There’s lots more to do, but I am trying to do it in small batches when ever possible. My freezers are getting stuffed, so I’ve actually turned down a couple of items lately, like blueberries and more green beans, and I canned the chicken we were given for that reason. My shelves are filling nicely out in the shop.

I’ve done a couple of batches of salsa, several small batches of pickles, lots of jam, wild blackberry and strawberry syrup, and I’m working on fruit cocktail today.

A few of the fall/winter gardening seeds have come up and some of the cabbage starts that looked so awful when I planted them look much better now. In between preserving, I’ve been trying to clean up the yard and garden a bit….it’s getting pretty weedy. But, the weeds will still be there when I’m done canning, I’m pretty sure. So, I’m not getting too worried about them:)

So, why do I do all of this? Several reasons: For one, I actually enjoy it. But, even if I didn’t, I still would preserve food. There is so much food in our area. Farmers have a bounty of crops that are available for little money. My garden is bountiful. But, during the winter, little grows, and it is so nice to be able to go out to the shop and grab what I want or need. It saves me both time and money during the winter, and I can cook so many delicious meals with the food I preserve.

During this past spring, it become apparent that things had changed in our area. The stores were having shortages, as they did everywhere else. We have chosen to not shop as often, due to Covid, and sometimes, things on my list were not there when we were. This summer, I’m preserving extra, because we ate extra last spring and I ran out of some items. I know I will enjoy the convenience of having the food right at my fingertips. Right now, in our area, farmers are selling their wares at fruit stands and farms for the same prices they did in the past, or with a slight, normal increase. With other food prices going up in the stores, that’s attractive to me.

Are you preserving anything extra this summer?

12 thoughts on “thriving In My Thrifty Week–August 18, 2020”

  1. Becky – I put up 7 1/2 pint jars of dill relish and 8 pint jars of garlic dill pickles. We aren’t big pickle eaters but do like relish in our tuna fish salad and I like pickles for sandwiches. The big tomatoes were pretty much a bust in our raised beds. Getting a few here and there. But the little ones are going gang busters!!! We’re eating them plain and in salads right now but I think soon I’ll be using them for salsa. There are a lot of seeds in the small ones but they cook down in the salsa.

    Every evening I go out and commune with my herbs. LOL. This is the first year I’ve been able to grow herbs from seed and they make me so very happy – cilantro, Italian parsley, thyme (English and lemon) and BASIL!!! I love basil. Have frozen some in ice cube trays and am putting it in a lot of summer pasta dishes.

    Sort of a strange putting up … the local small grocery store had Wright bacon ends in a 3lb bag for $5.00. I brought it home and separated it out. I cooked outside on my small George Forman as the electric skillet is still in the RV. Not really fond of the intense bacon aroma that lingers in the house. I did the meatiest pieces which ended up being more like grilled ham pieces. I’ll freeze that on a cookie sheet and take out to put into omelets and with other dishes. The baconey pieces I am using on salads. And the pieces that were mostly fat I rendered and filled an ice cube tray with bacon grease. I can take out one or two and fry potatoes, etc. with it – giving it bacon flavor. I also have enough bacon end pieces to make a batch of green beans with bacon and onion.

    The farm stands have been pretty steady – higher prices earlier but when more stands opened the prices dropped.

    I froze a large sheet pan of blackberries – individually so that I can put them in my yogurt or make jam later. Did the same with an amazing buy on organic blueberries, strawberries and raspberries!

    1. That’s great to get so much bacon, in various ways, for such an inexpensive price. You had to be creative with it, though, but I like what you did! I freeze my berries on a tray as well, and we drop them into smoothies. Patsy is on a real smoothie kick right now–she’s making them several times a week. Good thing it was a bumper berry crop, and I did tray after tray of peaches, too. In fact, the freezers are so full right now, I’ll be begging her to make smoothies and use fruit so we can fit in the 1/4 beef we always buy in the fall. I am sure the tuna carcasses that are filling the chest freezer will be removed soon when we go crabbing–we are hoping to go before long, and that will help much more than eating a few berries will, so I think I need to start in on the man instead of the girl…..

  2. So happy for you!!! I know you have got to be tired, but it’s the good kind of tired!!! Keep chugging along!!!!

  3. I’ve been doing a lot of canning, and some dehydrating and freezing. So far, only vegetables, except I froze the blueberries until I had time to deal with them. There are apples and pears I need to do something with too. I like knowing all that food is here, like you.

    1. It’s such a busy time of year, isn’t it? I love it! At the same time, it will be fun to have that wonderful feeling that everything is canned, frozen or dried and I can just start eating it all:). If I can get through these boxes, buckets and bowls that I have full right now, it will ease off until the apples are purchased and ripen. Ahhhhh….

  4. The tuna look fabulous! My three sons, especially the son with sensory issues, love tuna, so I have been trying to stock up but store canned sure doesn’t look as good as homemade! The vegetables look so fresh! I am busily stocking up also from farmer’s markets, since my yard is completely shaded and I am working full time, with extra hours, it seems. I truly feel I need to be well stocked this year. I stocked up my daughter who lives 2000 miles away also. I just am trying to make sure none of my kids have food insecurity this year.

  5. I love watching your progress! For me, canning our own food is so rewarding. I love watching the shelves fill up and I know what is exactly in each jar. Best part is that the food tastes superior to what you can get in the store.

    With that said, food here is expensive. In our area, we are in the 50-75% below average for rain and the gardens are not doing nearly what they should. Peaches at the orchard near me sold for $66 a bushel, so I didn’t put any up this year. My efforts will be small – only putting up what is feasible.

    How is your area for buying supplies? Not a lid or jar to be found in the stores here!

  6. I am sure all your preserving and canning will pay huge dividends, this winter and next spring. The way things are going with fires and hurricanes and other storms, food prices will be going up, I am sure. I haven’t been able to can more than what I did with the peaches from my tree. I’ve been eating the oranges because fresh fruit is better for me than marmalade, etc. Not quite sure what I can manage to do with the pomegranates when they are ripe.

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