Simple Sunday

Another rainy Sunday.

I went to the gym in Auburn(Anytime Fitness) and did the treadmill and weights. Then I went to Safeway for some groceries to tide us over till we do Costco.

So far the menu planning for the pantry this week is:

Cheese/chile tamales from the freezer( used up the last 4) with refried beans and salad

Beer Brauts from the freezer( the last pack) with peppers, sauerkraut, canned baked beans( my shelf stable beans I canned, and Boca burger for B.

Chickpea curry over brown rice with broccoli( using up broccoli)

Tofu burgers

Chicken noodle soup/ lentil veggie soup

I’ll see what else is in the freezer and add a few more meals. I probably can’t get thru all February but I know I can do another week at least.

I’m back making some sourdough and have done a few loaves already. I plan to freeze 1/2 of each loaf so we have bread ready for toasting or grilled cheese.

I’ll see what else is in the freezer and add a few more meals. I probably can’t get thru all of February but I know I can do another week at least.

I’m back making some sourdough and have done a few loaves already. I plan to freeze 1/2 of each loaf so we have bread ready for toasting or grilled cheese.

There’s nothing on the agenda this week so It’ll just be normal stuff. B did book us a reservation at Napa RV in a few weeks. There are full hook ups which is always a treat and that’ll give us a chance to take Rubi out for the first time this season. It’s only 2 nights but it’s also only an hour and a half away. Maybe with towing. We really enjoyed our stay there last time and knew we wanted to go back. Unless there’s a really terrible storm we’ll go even with a little rain.

The Flylady zone is the kitchen if you want to do Flylady. Just set a timer for 15 minutes and declutter, wipe and clear counters, be sure there are no dishes in the sink or drainer, tidy shelves too. Just do what you can in 15 minutes and then do it again tomorrow. I have a laminated sheet that has my chores for the kitchen and I off each one when I’m done.

Frugal Friday and we survived the storm!

We made it thru this storm with rain and wind. The wind gusts were pretty scary up on this hill. We have(still) too many very big (100+ ft) Ponderosas. These trees are probably near the end of their life cycle and even 27 yrs ago when we moved here they were smaller. We’ve spent 10’s of thousands removing trees( the last tree was almost 5K) I think it was 4500? That was for 1 tree. It’s the saturated ground now that could be a concern because trees will fall if the ground can’t hold them. Well, today we have a break so that’s good. The coast and Santa Cruz area( including our favorite Capitola) were hit VERY hard and there has been lots of damage.

On to frugal Friday stuff. So far the pantry challenge is going well and I am using stuff from the freezer and in the fridge. Last night I made a red potato soup with carrots, onion, and celery. Then added some sour cream at the end. I needed to use the potatoes up and it was delicious. I had made a loaf of bread( sandwich) in the Zojirushi bread maker and we had that with butter. I always bake my loaf in the oven and not finish in the breadmaker. There’s a bread challenge going around Instagram somebody is doing and each month is dedicated to perfecting the type of bread such as sandwich, baguette, etc. I’m not too interested in doing it but reading tips on bread-making is always helpful.

I returned the one bread slicer I ordered from amazon. I thought it was too expensive for what it was so I’m still looking for one that’s cheaper. Or I just may keep slicing by hand which isn’t a problem, it’s just nice to have even slices.

Today I’m driving to Roseville to go to the gym and I have 2 holds at the library. I still haven’t been over to Anytime Fitness to sign up under UHC medicare’s free program but hope to do that next week. It’ll be nice to have an option for the gym closer.

We’ve been watching a hilarious show on Hulu,” Only Murders in the Bldg” with Martin Short and Steve Martin. If you have Hulu check it out or do what my daughter does and sign up for the free trial and then cancel. Then we’re watching Poirot and these are the earlier ones so it’s fun. We finished jack Ryan and it was good. I’m not crazy about Clancy’s writing but the character is good.

Tonight is pizza night and I’ll make one from the dough I froze.

I’ve been having some trouble with my left ear again, the one in that I had some hearing loss in last fall. It’s kind of a pressure. Does anyone have that symptom and what did you do. I’m not sure if it’s the inner ear or what . I see my PCP in a few weeks for my annual wellness check up so I’ll ask him but I thought I’d see if anyone has had something similar.

Frugal Friday

It is miserable out with rain, rain, and more rain. I decided after I got up at 5:30 am I wasn’t going to risk driving to Roseville to swim. It’s not the rain, although that is a factor, it’s more the crazy New Years’ eve drivers going up to Reno or Tahoe. So I worked on my batch of pizza dough to freeze and one for tonight.

Barclay came with me to Safeway to get the sub sandwich things( our New Years Eve tradition) and surprisingly it wasn’t too busy. Then we thought we’d have a coffee date at Starbucks with peppermint mochas, but alas, they had no peppermint syrup so we just had plain coffee.

I’m going full steam on sourdough bread making and here’s today’s loaf: a walnut raisin loaf with some KA white wheat.

I ordered a bread slicer thing to get even slices but I’m not sure that I’ll keep it. I can cut pretty good slices with my bread knife, but I thought I’d try it to see whether I like it. Now for the sandwich bread in the Zojuruishi, it’ll probably be great. It won’t be here till next week, but that’s ok.

For January, I plan on doing a pantry/ freezer challenge that the Youtuber, Three Rivers Homestead started. Basically, you set how much you want to spend in the month, like for dairy or fruit/ veggies, and then the rest of your meals come from the pantry or freezer. I think I’ll put in $100 and see how far that gets me. I do need to go to Costco once for some non food items like laundry soap and allergy pills but I’ll keep it to a minimum and not add that to the grocery bill. The idea is to start using what you’ve canned or processed so you can reduce your pantry in preparation for the coming year.

All the Christmas stuff is away and at Safeway, I bought a bunch of Eucalyptus branches to put in a glass jar.

Well, Have a safe New Years’ eve. I’m working on my list of goals for the year, some for house stuff, yard and, some just for myself to work on.

Friday things

Frugal things included shopping at Grocery Outlet for a few items we needed and to take advantage of their semi-annual wine sale. 20% off everything is a good deal. I bought 6 different bottles to try. None of the wineries are familiar to me but that doesn’t matter. Then we also stopped at Safeway to check on turkey breasts but they didn’t have any( nor Target or Walmart)?? So I added in a 10lb turkey (their brand) and when I was checking out it rang up as $7.00 so that was a good deal. I’m not sure I’ll use it for Thanksgiving but it’ll be in the freezer.

The black beans looked like they came out good in the pressure canner. I soaked 3 lbs overnight and then cooked for 30 minutes. I ended up with 5 Qts and 1 pint. So that’s quite a bit. I’ll use the pint jar next week and test it out.

I had my annual mammogram this morning and was in and out in 20 minutes. Then I headed down to Roseville to the Rec center. It was too early for the library so I’ll go next week. After that, I just came straight home and had a poached egg and toast instead of stopping at Panera.

I’m cooking up a banana bread right now as I type this blog because it wasn’t quite done. The bananas were in the freezer and I’m really trying to use things that need using up.

Tonight is pizza night and I have that all prepped. My son leaves for Las Vegas tomorrow with his friend. Their seeing Elton John. I think this is his 20th time seeing him. One time in LV at an Elton show, Elton’s rep came up to Zephyr and his friend and gave them VIP tickets to move up to the front row. That was a thrill for him.

We’re in for lots of rain next week so it’ll be an inside week for sure. There’s supposed to be snow in the mountains. Hurray!

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.

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.

Friday things.

I had my consult with my PCP about my slightly higher LDL #. My HDL was very good and the ratio was good but he wanted/needed to tell me to try and cut out some higher fat foods like butter. 😦 I love butter but I told him I will do my best and he said we can test in another year. So that’s that. I will try to cut back on butter and cheese and some carbs. I cook with a lot of butter but usually in combination with olive oil. I’ll just try and be more conscious of using butter like on toast and bagels etc. Also, my thyroid numbers came back normal. Last time when my LDL was slightly high it must have been about 6-7 years ago, I started eating oatmeal for breakfast 4-5 times a week and within 6 months my cholesterol dropped 60 points.

My Myeloma labs came back almost the same as last month. So hurray on that. Another month of freedom so to speak. All my other labs were normal and the same as before. So all in all, it’s good.

Our anniversary is next week and B said I should go buy the Louis Vuitton. I said I’ll think about it. It’s not a cheap purchase and I’m quite happy with my Coach bag I bought that is similar in size to the Neverful. Still, a Louis is a Louis. I think my obsession( sort of) is that it’s French (although not many are made in France anymore) and the quality of workmanship. I only love the LV monogram and the black ones. The others are really quite gaudy in my opinion. Well, I’m certainly not getting younger:( That purchase would definitely NOT fit into Frugal Friday!!!

Today is a home day and I’ve done my morning reset, bathroom swish and swipe, and kitchen tidy. I plan on going to the farm this afternoon for a few things. I also am feeding my sourdough starter and plan on putting it into one jar instead of 3 1/2 jars. I might make some sourdough bagels this weekend. If I’m cutting out some carbs I might make bread with whole wheat as that is better on the glycemic scale.

Tomorrow after swimming I’m planning to go to Trader Joe’s for a few things. I know they have Ezekiel bread which is good and whole wheat tortillas too. I’m certainly willing to switch things up a bit. Besides, I always like a challenge.

Our hot weather continues. It’s very depressing after what seems like forever of 100 degree days. The nights aren’t cooling off hardly at all. Next week temperatures are all in the mid 90s so maybe that will be a little better.

I’m waiting for the next batch of tomatoes to ripen so I can process them. I’ll probably just do the tomato sauce again. I don’t think there’s too much else I’m interested in doing except getting some corn to quick freeze. Last year I did about 12 bags of corn and we used them all. Safeway usually has the best prices. I’ll check their flyer later.

On the spending side, I put an order into Rancho Gordo for 8 bags(1lb). Since they are in Napa they arrived in record time. If you haven’t tried their beans, you should. They are all heirloom and absolutely delicious. I ordered a new one to try called Whipple bean. I also added on a jar of Mexican oregano. When I opened it, it didn’t smell too much different from my oregano. So I’ll have to see how it is in recipes. Let’s see, I ordered falafel mix from Amazon because TJ’s doesn’t carry it in their stores anymore and finding it in the regular grocery store is a PITA. I bought some salad stuff from Holiday Market too. Even with cash envelopes, I’m still spending @ $700 a month on food. I guess that’s just the norm. At Costco, I did mostly cash and then the rest on the debit card. Costco is always more than I think it will be, of course!! Well, B did buy Sierra pale Ale beer but it’s really the best price for it if you drink beer. I also picked a few bulk items like sugar and some more flour.

Simple Sunday

We have smokey skies from the Yosemite fire this morning and the sun is an orange ball. The temperature seems cooler but we’re still expecting a high of 98 today. I do hope the firefighters can get this under control. There’s already been a mandatory evacuation down near Mariposa. ugh… fire is scary! We had a nice walk though, and no one showed up while we were there.

I read a few newer books this week including Josuha Becker’s” Things that matter”. I liked it well enough, not remarkable but still a good read. Then Kellerman’s new book “City of Dead”. He’s always pretty scripted but I still like his writing. Then by Kumiko Love( I wonder if that’s her real last name), “My Money, My Way. ” She basically takes most of her ideas from people like Dave Ramsey and others but I still like her presentation and I thought it a worthwhile read about money and budgets. I put a few canning books on hold and I’m still contemplating the pressure canner. I did decide that the All American is too expensive for me (over $ 400) but the Presto is $160 or so and that may be a better beginner option. I’m definitely not interested in pressure canning chicken or beef etc but there are some things I would do that need a pressure canner like chicken broth.

I made some refrigerator bread and butter pickles yesterday, and they looked good. We didn’t plant cucumbers for some reason so I bought 3 at the Farm and got 2 jars out of them.

Here are some of the onions I harvested. I’m thrilled to get some onions.

This morning I started the sourdough bread and will let it do a slow rise overnight and bake tomorrow early. I also made a pie crust for the goat cheese quiche I’m making later. The best pie crust I’ve found is from Joanna Gaine’s book” Magnolia Table”. I’ve made it numerous times and it comes together very easy.

The Flylady zone is the living room zone. I did most of it already but I still need to dust the tops of the Easton Press books.

This week I plan to do a Winco trip for a few things, and B has labs on Wednesday in Rocklin so I’ll see about him stopping at Costco again for a few more things. Other than that, trying to stay cool, and doing my normal stuff.

Frugal Friday

So far, it’s been a frugal week as we haven’t done much. I went into Whole Foods (spent $45.00)yesterday because I thought I could get some Nicoise olives for my Nicoise salad recipe from my Le Creuset cookbook. Alas, the young lady didn’t even know what I was talking about and said she hasn’t ever seen them there. Except I have bought them there before, granted it was probably 2 years ago. So I bought some tiny olives that look similar to Nicoise and they were actually delicious. The salad called for fingerling potatoes and they didn’t have those either so I was batting 0 out of 2. When I came home I boiled some eggs for hardboiled eggs for the salad too. I had bought a piece of Ahi tuna from Trader Joe’s last time I was there so I put that in a bowl of water to defrost. Then my daughter grilled that on the Webber. All in all, it came out quite well.

The reason I was going down to Roseville is my library hold came in. It’s the Maus graphic novel that schools in the south and basically all Republican states want to ban. So I picked that up and a few other books to read. I’m up to 65 books for the year and with the 6 I picked up I’ll be over 70. Not that numbers count as I just always have read a lot.

I also wanted to check out the gym that is next to the library that I can use with my swim membership. So, a year and 3 months later I decided to go in and see the layout. Now with Covid, I probably wouldn’t have gone anyway but now I feel fairly comfortable going in. It was really great and I like that it seemed simple and had the machines I like to use. I did a quick circuit and felt that I will add this in to my weekly workouts.

Other than WF, I don’t think we spent any money. Today I going to the farmstand, that just opened for the season, and get some things for the week. I have cash for that. The only extra expense we have this month is the truck DMV, which I mentioned before. I haven’t paid it yet and will do so towards the end of the month. Other than that everything is covered. There’s not much leftover but that’s ok.

Frugal Friday

It’s been an okay frugal week. Nothing great but just ok. Most of our big bills for the month are out and just a few more are scattered later in the month.

I had a good swim on Tuesday and the pool was very unbusy which is very unusual. I came straight home afterward. Then Thursday B and I decided to do Winco for a few camping things and at the last minute added in Costco for some camping food as well. I needed Raos to bring and Costco has the best price for the 2 pack. I also got some WW bread for sandwiches. I spent about $175 between the two stores. We also filled up the truck with Costco gas which is the cheapest around. We’re definitely looking at traveling with gas prices. Next week, going to Capitola shouldn’t be more than 2 tanks of gas and the same with Nevada Beach in June. But we’re definitely reconsidering Refugio because that is much farther away. For now, we’ll keep the reservation but still think about it. Then I went to library and got a nice selection of books. Oh, and then we had a lunch date at Celestino’s pizza, which is the best New York pizza around in my opinion.

I went to the nursery with my daughter and bought all our tomato and pepper plants and a few ornamentals for her back garden area. That was her birthday present. We were trying to get a birdbath for her but they didn’t have any affordable ones. The cheapest they had was $110. The last time we were there they had a nice one for $80. I guess we should have bought it then.

I had my labs this morning so I should get results next week. Fingers crossed. I’ve been having some pain in my right leg but I think I over-stretched it doing some yoga. It was better this morning but then the ache comes back ( kind of in the hip and upper thigh area) by afternoon. It’s always something.

After we’re back our next big expense will be having the septic pumped. We’ll call once we’re back. As far as expenses for Capitola, it’ll be a few stops at Gayles bakery and probably one grocery store shop. We generally do not eat out but I thought maybe we’d find some place for a lunch near the Santa Cruz boardwalk. We’ll see. I know we’ll go walk the beach trail so that might be a good day to do that.

Oh, the tree guys came and ground out the stump so now there’s no issue with going out or coming in with Rubi. Yay! He didn’t charge us which was really nice.