Simple Sunday

A lovely walk this morning with NO ONE there. Definitely unusual these days. Still, it was lovely and the stars and Jupiter were very bright.

We are having the most beautiful fall weather. It’s perfect. Cool at night and then the days are golden and warm.

So, I researched why there was some ‘siphoning’ with the Vegetable soups I pressure canned and the reason was the jiggling ( the weighted gauge)was going too fast and I didn’t reduce the heat. They are still safe to eat but did lose some liquid. So yesterday I got the pressure canner up to 10lbs of pressure and did that on high heat. Then when the gauge started jiggling( that’s what it’s called), I moved it to the middle burner which is a lower heat factor. I measured the jiggles at 4-5 a minute and that’s where it should be. So I wrote all that down in the pressure canner book. I also got a new book that is quite excellent with lots of recipes. The next one I’ll try is called white bean ragout. It has bacon in it but I’ll leave that out. There’s also a lentil soup with sausage but again I’ll, leave the sausage out and add that later if the meat eaters want that. Most of the time everything we eat is vegetarian.

You can see the reduction of liquid. It’s been fun to learn about all this.

Here’s a picture of us going over to Apple Hill. This is Sutter Mill where gold was discovered. We did our Rosh Hoshanah thing with the bread crumbs in the river. That is the South Fork of the American river behind us. Oh, and there were APPLES at all in Apple Hill because of the frost we had back in April.

I made zucchini bread in the new Lodge. The Lodge loaf pan is a real star for crisping up the edges.

Well, I have to go get food and stuff ready to take out to Rubi, and then we’ll leave for Tahoe. Trailering does take longer and usually, it’s about 1 hour 45 minutes to South lake but with the trailer, it takes well over 2 hours- 2 /12 hours.

September 30th and another turn around the sun.

I’ve got to say it is VERY Weird to turn 70. I’m not sure if that means anything at all since you can’t stop time unless you’re dead and gone, I suppose. Well, I’m at a good place in my life. I’m swimming and doing the weights(although I’d like to be at the Rec center more), walking, and going out with the RV whenever possible. We have our SS and that covers most of what our monthly bills are and our 2 children pay us ‘rent’ and that covers the incidentals. I feel very grateful to have what we need at this point in our lives. Down the road , who knows really.

Yesterday I used the pressure canner again and made vegetable soup. For my birthday, my daughter bought me the ALL-Clad stock pot which is 16 qts and needed to make large amounts of prepared food for canning. I also got from her the new Alexa which is fun. My son got me a Lodge loaf pan which looks great. Very sweet of him. He really always thinks of the greatest gifts. I’m terrible at coming up with ideas.

I’m getting more comfortable with the pressure canner. This recipe made 7 qts and processed for 85 minutes. I bring a chair into the kitchen and keep an eye on it although nothing seems untoward. This morning I’ll wash the jars and label. I had one jar ‘siphon’ a little which is some seepage. It doesn’t make the canned product unsafe just slightly lower liquid in the jar so I’m planning on using that in the next few days. I’m really excited about learning this new skill. The Mirro canner seems to be working fine. I went and checked out the All American but still not ready to do that. Maybe next year. I ordered another pressure canner book so maybe they’ll be some new recipes to try. Ball has a few in their book and online but it seems limited.

B bought me some lovely flowers too.

On to Frugal Friday…

We went to Costco last Sunday and stocked up with coffee, bagels, bread, and lots of other stuff I can’t remember and,non food stuff like AA batteries, laundry soap, dish soap, TP etc. This all goes on October’s food budget. I decided to up our budget to $800 and I think that will be the right amount. We’ll see:)

We took Buggie in for that alignment that was needed but the mechanic( a different garage) couldn’t do it because he couldn’t get the bolt or something undone. So I guess we’re going to just leave it for now. He said it would be @ $900. After the expensive other garage stuff, I’m kinda done for now. I only use Bugs to go to Auburn and maybe drive 1500 miles a year at the most. So I’m not too worried. We did get the 2 new front tires though.

We were able to get a reservation at Nevada Beach for next week so we’re heading up there for a few days. The weather looks perfect. I also booked New Brighton for March. It might a little early to go there but you never can tell with March weather.

Simple Sunday and Happy Rosh Hashanah!

The beginning of the New Year for the Jewish faith. I really like the idea of Fall being the start of the new year. Plus leaving behind old ideas, regrets, etc. I read that a Jewish tradition is to throw bread crumbs into running water and that symbolizes letting go. I like that idea.

Friday came and went and I forgot or( really, didn’t get around to posting Frugal Friday). I started out by making the apple pie for Barclay’s birthday. This is before I baked it.

It came out great although the filling needed to be thicker( the liquid part). I did add some cornstarch but it wasn’t enough. I think I will order some Liquid Jel from King Arthur to thicken up pie fillings.

The pan is the KA one I bought last year and it is a GREAT pan for making the bottom crispy and not soggy.

And then on Friday, I wanted to drop off the stuff I had set aside for hospice thrift. But they were closed so I went over to the SPCA thrift store and dropped the ‘good ‘ stuff there. Then I dropped off 2 bags of books at the pet bookstore. So by the time I got home I didn’t feel like blogging.

I used the pressure canner and got the chicken broth done. I followed the instructions and put the weighted gauge at 15lbs of pressure for 25 minutes for the broth. It worked brilliantly and I got 3 Qts of broth and 2 pints. I’ve already used one to make a soup from Chelsea Winter( from New Zealand), mean green soup. Wow, it has broccoli, cauliflower, peas, spinach, onion, garlic, potatoes, and zucchini. You cook it up and then whiz it with the hand blender. Then add cream, parmesan, and creme fraiche( I used sour cream). It was quite delicious.

Today we are off to Costco for coffee( on sale) and laundry soap, etc. Everything adds up and going to the stores seems like a money pit right now. Also, this is the time of year our fall annual bills come due. So right now it seems like everything is a money drain. My goal next year is to be better prepared and have that money in a separate account. It’s there in our savings but I’d like to have a designated account.

I have a boule of sourdough in the oven and when it’s done we’ll leave for Costco. This week the Flylady zone is the LR and then the entryways on Saturday.

a new adventure

I asked on the Facebook no buy club in our area if anyone had a pressure canner they weren’t using anymore. I specifically said a Presto or All American. I had a nice lady respond with this:

It’s not the one I wanted but all the parts are there and it hadn’t been used. There is one chip in the handle but that’s all. I gave her a strawberry jam and the blackberry. I said I’d drop off some pickles and salsa too.

So yesterday after swimming, I did the first recommended thing which is to add a quart of water and some vinegar and get it up to 5lbs of pressure. I didn’t really know what to expect and didn’t realize the clicking( when the lb gauge is working) was the sound I supposed to hear and that is supposed to go 1-4 times a minute. So I learned something from that. Today I will try the 10lb gauge( this is what they recommend doing) and let it come up to pressure. Because this one doesn’t have the pressure gauge dial (that’s when you can see the pressure amount)you have to wait at least 1/2 hour for it to come off pressure. So today I’m making the chicken stock, and tomorrow or even later will try pressure canning it. The value in doing this is that it is then shelf stable. I’m still undecided if this is really something I want to do but with this free one I can experiment some and then if I want to buy the Presto on with the gauge dial I will next year.

Someone asked about my freezer containers. So here’s the one I do enchiladas, lasagna, casserole type things in.

Here’s the one for soups, stews etc. that’s minestrone from the other night.

This is the Ball recipe I’m going to use.

I also knitted 2 more dish cloths.

The small one is just a coaster size for a glass or wine glass. I find knitting very relaxing although I’ll never be the knitter my sister was. She did all kinds of things,sweaters, hats, although I don’t think she ever gave me one 😦

Well, I’m off to check on my chicken stock and batch cook some lasagnas.

Simple Sunday and we got RAIN!!!!

We woke up to rain and more is forecast for today, tomorrow, and Tuesday. The Mosquito Fire is still going but probably this is the boost the firefighters need. Yay. We walked with umbrellas but it was only a drizzle by then.

I started some minestrone for dinner in the crockpot using the cranberry beans from Ranch Gordo. Plus lots of veggies, onions, garlic, tomato sauce, and water. I think I might make some cheese toast on the side. This week’s menu will probably include some chicken, tofu, rice, and maybe a pasta dish. I reordered from amazon the freezer containers ( which were definitely worth it) and so I want to do some lasagnas and cheese enchiladas. I’ve tried freezing the mac and cheese and it just doesn’t freeze well. ( my version). I think you need to use Velveeta or maybe evaporated milk. Homemade mac and cheese is really easy. There’s a blogger on Youtube that thinks Wincos mac and cheese is real ‘home’ cooking. I don’t think she’s ever made homemade, probably too much work.

My arm is still sore from the Omicron shot but no ‘real’ reaction. I kind of felt off but that’s about it.

Tomorrow, I plan on going to the gym although if it’s raining too hard I won’t. Roseville is usually milder than here so that’s positive.

This week is the bedroom zone and closet. I will move my canning jars out to the garden shed as I’m done for the season except for applesauce. I’m planning to over to Apple Hill near Placerville to get apples, probably 20lbs. I’d like to get some heirloom apples but I’m not sure that’s what they have. There is a farm over in Petaluma that has heirloom apples but that’s 2-3 hours over there. Then I would like to put up the winter curtains but then I thought maybe I’ll do a between season one in a light linen. I’ll check if Ikea has any.

I have my appt with Dr. Laptalo on Thursday which happens to be B’s birthday. Not sure what he wants foodwise but usually the birthday person chooses their favorite meal.

Well, that’s a wrap.

Friday Things

It’s been a weird week. It started off with me having to take Buggie back to the garage because my fan speeds were not working. The girl at the desk became very defensive and I was also defensive that my fan wasn’t working and I wanted it fixed. It boiled down to when I brought my car in my fan was working when I picked it up(well my daughter did),the fan speed was stuck on high. I asked Sachi and she said the fan was on when she picked it up and just thought with the smoke and fires the garage had it running high. So the whole escalated the next day with the owner calling me and really ripping into me about how I was rude and ‘an awful person’ for confronting his daughter. Of course, I said look at it from my side,that I just spent $3000 on the car and I get home and my fan is not working. Well, it volleys back and forth that no way did they do anything to my fan and it must have been my daughter driving it home( which is 10 minutes folks) and cranked the fan on and broke it. Really??? are you kidding me.? no I didn’t say that. I just said, I don’t know what happened but she said the fan was on high when she drove it home and she didn’t touch the dial. I apologized that I offended his daughter but again, my point was my fan is not working. So, in long run, he said he spent ALL DAY fixing something( the switch??). I said thank you and took my keys and left. Obviously, I will never go back for service there. It’s always so weird to me how things can turn into an event when I simply went in saying I want my fan fixed since when I brought it in it was working and when I drove it next the fan was not working. I’m sure I was intense to a degree but not ‘rude’. Oh well, I thought of doing a negative Yelp review, but then just figured why bother?

Other than that, Tuesday I had my labs and my CBC, CMP are all the same pretty much and my Kappas just came in this morning and went up to 22.3 mg/L from 20.1. so an increase but not too dramatic. It seems my numbers are holding steady for the time being.

This morning is my covid booster so I’m planning on doing that and then going to Safeway for a few things and then home. Usually, Saturday is my swim day but I’m leaving that open as I don’t know if I’ll feel lousy or not.

Budget-wise, it was a good week with nothing extra spent except some salad mix, wine, and bananas. bb

I’ve been doing some batch cooking for the freezer. I made beef stew in the Instant Pot and then froze 2 quarts, lentil soup, and froze 2 quarts. A yummy quiche from Le Creuset cookbook. It came out really good with fresh thyme.

I got a lot done around the house yesterday and felt good about that. I changed the shower curtain, we put the rug back down in the bedroom, made the lentil soup, and washed all the couch covers. So everything is fresh for fall. I’m having B take out the cooler in the bed room this weekend and I’ll put up the fall/winter cutains soon.

Simple Sunday on a Monday

We left Tahoe in the smoke and came home to smoke. Ugh….One day the AQI was 500, which is pretty bad. Today is also not looking good. Our weather is cooler so hopefully, that will help the firefighters.

My daughter went and picked up my VW on Friday and didn’t notice the fan was on full blast, and when I went to turn it down it wasn’t working. I tried a few times and then just decided I would need to confront the garage because it was working fine when I brought it in. So I went in this morning, a little defensive, and said this was working when I left my VW here and now it’s not. She said, we didn’t work on that and I said that may be but my fan control is not working now and it was when I brought it in. I said I would like it fixed. I haven’t heard back from them; hopefully, it is a minor thing. I better not get charged. And there was a diagnostic charge I said don’t bother with and they have it on there so another confrontation, which I do not do well.

I canned BBQ sauce yesterday with the last of the tomatoes. It’s way early for them to be done but this summer has been so weird that it’s just one more thing. It’s thinner than I wanted so I wrote on the lid to add ketchup to thicken it.

Yesterday was my sister, Heidi’s birthday. She would have turned 74. It is so strange how she just had a flare up of the interstitial lung disease and died. She had been coping with it for a number of years with no flare ups. Well, I guess when it’s time, it’s time. ( that’s just me rationalizing).

Tomorrow I have my labs and so I should have my kappa light chain numbers by Friday. I see my doctor next week. Then I scheduled my omicron booster for Friday. I didn’t have any reaction last time so fingers crossed this time. But each time is probably different so who knows.

We’re still on the fence about going to Southern Ca next month. I guess we’ll just keep sifting through our feelings and fiances about it.

My son is off on a cool adventure staying in a fire lookout up in the McCloud district( way Northern Ca). This can be booked like a camping spot and is fairly hard to get a reservation. Back in the 70’s we often went to the Duncan Peak fire lookout especially since our friend Shelley was the lookout person. I haven’t been in years and years and my son said all that’s left is the foundation as all lookouts are done with remote viewing.

I just looked outside and everything is a weird yellow color from the fire. I’m sure the air quality is awful. I was going to swim today but the pool is closed also due to the AQI.

I still need to plan some meals this week and write a grocery list. I need salad stuff so maybe I’ll do Winco for organic spring mixes. I did see a recipe on a youtube channel for a green soup. Lots of veggies and spinach and then blended. Green soup is one of my favorites and this one also had cauliflower and broccoli.

Frugal Friday

Hello from Lake Tahoe.

The fire near home is still raging and the smoke is up here and quite nasty. Lots of campers leaving. We’ll see how it goes today and then if it stays in the unhealthy range we will probably leave. The fire is near Foresthill where we lived from 1975 till 1995. Foresthill is about 20 minutes from Auburn. Areas are evacuated including where we built our house. Sad. I hope with the cooler weather tomorrow the firefighters can get some containment.

We’ve been enjoying lots of walks and had a lovely breakfast out yesterday morning. We had decided to do one extra thing like breakfast out or lunch, so we decided to do breakfast at Driftwood Cafe. Today we walked down to the beach and around the campground. Later we may do another walkabout if it’s not too smokey.

Camping is generally frugal as we bring most of what we need but there’s always the grocery store run. Today we need a block of ice to help keep the refrigerator at a colder temp than what the battery was doing.

The most expensive thing that has happened is at home with my VW. I took it in on Friday so they could work on the coolant leak this week. Well, $3000. later it is all fixed. But it wasn’t just the coolant. It was the brake pads and rotors, the oil change, the filters, and the transmission flush…. all of which haven’t been done on the Bugs. We rarely do anything except an oil change so this was worth doing. Buggie is a 2000 VW that is now a classic and we use to do errands in town. It doesn’t go past Auburn. In addition though because the tires were wearing uneven we need 2 new tires and an alignment too. 😦

All this has us rethinking whether we can afford to go down to Refugio next month. It’s almost 700 miles so that’s a lot of gas plus going into Santa Barbara all adds up. And we have the other campgrounds we’re staying at down and back. So, we definitely need to think on this and decide one way or the other. I’m inclined to cancel mostly because of gas prices. We then have another reservation for Sea Cliff in November. So…decisions, decisions.

here’s a normal Lake Tahoe picture

Here’s the fire impact

This morning you couldn’t even see across the lake.

I’ve knitted another dishcloth and have done some embroidering. Oh, and read Alexander McCall Smith’s new book ” The Sweet Remnants of Summer’. It was a nice book. Easy to read.

Simple Sunday

It’s already hot out so I started one of the coolers on low. Today is only 103! haha,, but Tuesday still looks like the worst at 108. There’s a big fire up near Mt Shasta, in the Weed area. That is a lot of cattle/ranch land. I saw that some structures burned:( What a difficult weather pattern we’re in with global warming. I hope it’s not too late to reverse some things.

Our walk was very nice with only us and the stray kitties. That doesn’t happen very often anymore. I’m not sure if we’ll walk tomorrow or just wait till we’re settled in camp and then go for a walk up there. B has Rubi ready to go. Tomorrow I’ll put all the food in and clothes and prescriptions etc. No hurray as we won’t leave till @ 9:30-10am.

I’ve done a quick go thru go all the zones so my daughter just has to keep up on swish and swipe and vacuuming. She takes care of the litter boxes anyway. Food is up to them although there is plenty in the fridge and freezer. The only night she works late is Tuesday but my son will be home to take care of kitties and things.

This morning I made the brown rice to stuff the peppers. The peppers are from Costco, the organic ones. So the mix is brown rice, some tomato confit, sauteed onions,( I forgot garlic), a bit of grated cheese, some green hatch chile sausage crumbled and sauteed, and finally some chopped nuts. The veggies ones are the same minus the bit of crumbled sausage.

So this is in the crock pot with some San Marzano tomatoes. In camp, I will use the Staub and simmer for an hour.

I finished another dishcloth,#3. It’s gray and my favorite so far.

Here’s the ecru-colored one.

I’m planning on taking my knitting camping and also my embroidery. I bought a kit from Walmart ( very inexpensive, like 4.99,) and it’s a cat so that’ll be fun.

We watched Jaws last night. Such a great classic summer movie. We haven’t watched the new Amazon Tolkien one yet. Maybe we can stream it up at Tahoe.

Well, that’s a wrap for today. I’ll have a full week off from swimming and the gym. Then it’ll feel like I’m starting all over :(. We will walk a lot in Tahoe but that’s quite different from doing weights and the pool. When I get back I have labs on Tuesday so I won’t swim that day( Tuesday is my regular swim day). The pool is only open for lap swimming till 9:30 so it’s too rushed to go down after labs. I’ll go Wednesday.

Frugal Friday, and the heat is coming:(

The heat is on its way.

Today is around 103 degrees; by Monday, we’re looking at 108. That’s pretty much unheard of in the Sierra foothills. We get 100-degree days, maybe even 103 but I don’t remember 108. We’ll be leaving for Tahoe Monday morning @ 10 am so we can get up there by 12:30. Checkout is noon so we don’t want to get there too early. We’ve never had a problem with early check-in but it does depend on the camp hosts.

Even in Tahoe, the temperatures will be in the 80’s, and for September that’s hot. I’m looking forward to just getting up there.

I have most of the meal ideas planned and will make a list of what to go buy at the store. This week was another lower spend week with B going to Costco but that was only $85 and $20 of that was champagne to bring with us. But he filled the truck at Costco gas and that was the main reason for going. No extras from Amazon or Winco this week. I stopped at our market yesterday to pick up cilantro for the salsa I was going to make this morning.

We had a nice walk at 5:40-6:20 am and then I came home and started chopping stuff for the salsa. The recipe calls for chopped onions, tomatoes( peeled and cored), bell peppers, and jalapenos, cilantro, and garlic. After all that I cooked it down for 30 minutes and then put it in the jars. Processing was 20 minutes.

That was 10 lbs of tomatoes. I think probably I’ve done @ 50 lbs so far. There’s not a lot left on the plants but if there is I’ll just do some quick sauce and maybe freeze that.

Except for the excessive heat, it’s been a nice week.