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

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.

Simple Sunday

Our day started with a lovely walk with no one else until our last round. This past week every day we walked there were way too many people for me. I don’t mean just one or two but probably 8-10 people and that’s at 6am. Oh well, today was nice and the temperature cool.

We only have a week till we head up to Tahoe and I’m sure looking forward to it. We don’t have any plans to do anything yet but we’ll do a lot of hiking, beach time, walking, and just camp stuff. I’m working on our menu and know we’ll do a few meals on the Weber. I’ll also use the Staub for a few meals too.

This morning I’ve done some meal prep for the week. I’m marinating the tofu for the “Superiority Tofu burger , this is from a restaurant in Greenwich Village NY. It’s marinated overnight in a pickle brine and then fried. Then I’m soaking some black beans for a recipe my daughter found of’One pot Rice and Beans”, I made up two w.w wraps with cheese, spinach, tomato and, a slice of ham.( no ham on the veggie one). And finally, I made our favorite chard soup. ( there are 2 jars of this in the fridge).

I think I may still grill the chicken up and then we could have that in a few dishes like tacos, or bean bowls.

Yesterday I made another batch of tomato sauce. I cooked it down for about 2 hours and it had a lovely consistency.

I prefer not to use the quart jars as it takes more water in the canner to cover them but I wanted the larger size this time. I think I have close to 12 jars of sauce right now down.

I’ve been having fun with a few house projects. One is simply using one of my vintage tablecloths to make a curtain to cover the one opening under the counter. Who knows if we’ll ever be able to afford a kitchen remodel so trying to make it more functional and yet less cluttered is important to me. Behind this curtain are all my cooking oils and vinegars.

Then I’ve been enjoying knitting some dishcloths. I really like the repetitiveness of knitting. It’s probably a right brain/left brain thing.

This week is low key with only my regular gym and swim days. Barclay is going to take the truck to Costco to fill up with gas and then get a few items in Costco. If I need to get anything, I’ll go into Winco which is across the street from the pool.

Flylady is the LR zone and the entryways. I bought this really lovely Tartan print runner from Target and love the fall colors of it.

The napkins are a nice linen blend which is always my favorite.

Frugal Friday, I guess.

No, just kidding 🙂 It’s been a fairly frugal week except for our 2 year Septic pumping. This house only has a 900-gallon tank(which is now illegal but back then was acceptable.), so we need to have it pumped every 2-3 years. It was $575 so not too bad really, and we have that in our annual bills account.

But food-wise, it’s been a low-spend week. I have plenty of things in both the fridge and freezer to use. This past week I made baked herb chicken with our cherry tomato compote, veggie sausage bake, cheese toasties with avocado and tomato, and pasta with tomatoes, and mozzarella. Tonight is pizza night and I’m not sure that’s what I’m doing. It’s early yet so I have time to think about it. First thing this morning is to blanch and freeze some local corn. I haven’t seen the sales for 10 for $1.00 come up. Maybe I missed it. So this was 2 for $1.00. I got just 10. Then I have more tomatoes to process but I may wait and do that tomorrow.

Barclay was supposed to get his port out this morning ( a milestone after 3 1/2 years) but he got a rash ( we think from his Shingrex shot) and the doctor said he should wait for it to be gone. He’s going to call his team nurse this morning to check on it.

We went out for a coffee at the local cafe and had iced americanos. That was $10 with a scone and came out of his personal money. Since we are doing cash envelopes again, he’s getting $100 a month for fun money. That’s working out very well. Also, he’s in charge of the cash envelopes for chicken food, and home depot. I’m still working out how much those should be REALISTICALLY. A budget only works if it fits what you need to spend and have the $ to fund the line item. So far, I have Tractor Supply at $50, and Home Depot stuff at $200.

We are going to have to take my VW to the shop as the coolant is still leaking. Hopefully, it won’t be too much. I don’t really keep a car repair fund so I guess I better start that.

I just finished the corn and got 3 small baggies of shucked corn. So maybe 20 more ears of corn.

Simple Sunday

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes!! No, it’s not that bad yet. We are getting a great crop of tomatoes this year as opposed to last. This morning I made 4 more pints of tomato sauce from the Ball canning book. I used citric acid instead of lemon juice. The next batch of tomatoes is ripening in the box. I’m guessing at least 5 more days. This reduced for about an hour.

At the farm, I picked up 2 zucchini to shred and freeze some and make zucchini bread with leftovers. I also picked up some more cucumbers to make a dill refrigerator pickle and I also want to make some tzatziki for falafels and pita bread. This week I’ll do some white beans maybe as a dip, salads, tofu something, and probably some BBQ chicken. Anniversary day (Tuesday) we probably will get an early dinner or late lunch depending on where we go. Hard to believe it’s 52 years. Honestly, it doesn’t seem like that but there it is. It’s been a pretty wonderful life.

I have been thinking of trying to sell my wedding dress on eBay to hopefully a museum. When I sold the very old Quaker dresses I had it was to a museum in PA that bought them and that was so right. My dress was handmade in Poland ( probably before she immigrated to NYC)and was my great grandmother’s. My mother repaired the lace panels and added a starchy fabric to the bottom so it would hold its shape better. It’s not doing me any good in a box under my bed. So I guess this year would be a good time to deal with it. My daughter, who is non-binary, certainly wouldn’t ever use it.

We’ve got 2 weeks before we go up to Tahoe so that’s exciting. It’s our favorite spot so that’s something to look forward to. September is still busy in Tahoe but most of the true tourists have left.

This week the Flylady zone is the bedroom and master closet. Since we only have one closet in this house, I guess that’s the master one!!!:) I’ll probably add the LR zone too as that’s easy and I’ll have the time.

Simple Sunday

I’d say overall a nice week. Our temperatures were in the 90s but it wasn’t unbearable. This coming week we do have 4 days of 102-104 degrees and that is not comfortable. Well, with global warming I guess the temperature of the planet is going up. I read that the UK is really suffering, and quite a few of my favorite bloggers have been talking about the incredible heat.

We had a very nice walk this morning and we were the only ones till about 6:05 when the one older guy showed up. He’s been walking almost every day and seems nice. He doesn’t say much and keeps to his own space. It’s rare we are walking alone as most days there are at least 6 other people. I’m sure that with sunrise getting later there will be fewer people. The Canada geese babies are all grown up and all flying. It’s always fun to watch their development from puff balls to flying.

After we got home I made up the last batch of refrigerator jalapenos. There was just one jar. I already did 2 other refrigerator ones. These are really spicy.

Yesterday after swimming( which was wonderful as always), I made up the pickled beets( 2 jars) and shelf-stable jalapenos. I got 4 1/2 pints and 1 pint.

I decided not to go to the gym tomorrow so I can process the box of tomatoes. These are all ours and I’m guessing 30#s. There are also tomatoes all over my counters in different ripening stages. I’m thrilled to have so many as last year was dismal.

And we have lots of cherry tomatoes still coming and it’s barely the start of the tomato harvest.

That tomato on the top left is a Black Krim. Very tasty.

This week is the bathroom zone and I just finished that too. The joy of being clutter free and with just enough is that my zones are generally no more than 15 minutes at the most except in the kitchen. In the bathroom, which is very small, there’s only one towel per person and they hang on hooks. I wash towels once a week on Mondays. So there’s no pile of towels, although right now I have one extra in there that came from the RV and should go back.

I just passed reading 101 books so far this year and there were probably a few more I didn’t write down. Interestingly, I had picked up two Zen interior books at the pet book store for $1 each, and they were written in the late ’90s and it’s amazing all the ‘catch ‘ phrases they used like ” less is more”, declutter for a simpler life, and lots of other things. These 2 authors, were WAY ahead of the whole ‘minimalist movement’ that really took off in 2010. Of course, the Japanese were always very minimalist in their homes and Zen was a huge influence. I will keep these 2 hardbacks for now as they are inspiring to read through. If you’re interested one is called Wabi Sabi, and the other is Zen Interiors.

Frugal Friday

It’s been a fairly frugal week. Yesterday before the gym I went into Winco mostly to get some Ball Quart jars as I read somewhere Winco’s prices were the lowest. The quart jars were $13.73 so a good price. I also picked up some KA flour that was half the price of what Safeway’s was. All in all, it was slightly over $100. I used cash. Using the cash envelopes this month has really helped me be more conscious of what I’m spending. I still need to go into Costco for some basics like olive oil, sugar, coffee, and a bottle of champagne to celebrate our anniversary later this month.

I have a large load of tomatoes from our garden ripening so I can process them this weekend. I think I’ll do some salsa and sauce if there’s enough. I bought some jalapenos at Winco and will do some more refrigerator jalapenos and maybe some cowboy candy( sugary jalapenos).

I still have some more beets to can too as I bought another bunch at the farm stand last week. Maybe I’ll do that this morning as I’m not going anywhere today.

We’ve had home-cooked meals all week( tofu burgers, BBQ chicken,) and last night I did pasta and used some of the dehydrated cherry tomatoes in olive oil. It was quite good but I cooked the dehydrated tomatoes too much in the butter/ olive oil sauce and they were slightly overcooked but still delicious. I just did another batch of dehydrated cherry tomatoes and I’ll put them in olive oil as well. I think I’m going to buy a different dehydrator too. The one I have is round and plastic and doesn’t hold a lot and the one I’m looking at is square with metal shelves. I think that will work better.

I just finished reading Todd Borg’s new book,” Tahoe Moon”. If you love Tahoe like I do, you will love this latest thriller.