Simple Sunday

I received the email that our Azure order is to be picked up today. I’m pretty excited to see how it goes. I’m not sure how many people will be there but I imagine quite a few. B is quite excited as this is like the old Mountain Peoples Warehouse days when we would go to the warehouse and pick up bulk orders. Of course, that was 1978!

Our walk was lovely again this morning with lots of pink gold and yellows and reds around. The park was frosty and even the trees had frost. Tomorrow I will not walk as I have to go get my labs and then Tuesday I’ll swim. It’ll be a short week for going to the gym or the pool but that’s ok, it is what it is.

I’m planning out the menu for Thanksgiving and when to defrost what. I think I’ll take out the petite Diestal turkey today and put it in the barn fridge and then take out the nut loaf muffins on Wednesday to defrost.

They popped out pretty easily but next time if I do it this way, I’ll use a small square of parchment paper.

This is the recipe I have used for years. I don’t always add green peppers and I don’t use cashews just walnuts and sometimes pecans.

I’ll prep everything on Wednesday and then just have the dishes in the fridge or the ingredients chopped. I have mashed potatoes in the freezer but I may make another batch for Thanksgiving and leave those in there for another meal. I plan on doing a few yams since I’m the only one that likes them. I just use store-bought rolls. I haven’t decided on the vegetable sides but probably have green beans and maybe some corn from this summer.

Here’s the crepe-making from the other day.

The sauce is a bechamel with gruyere. They were delicious. If you’re making crepes you need that little tool you see in the picture as it moves the batter into a circle. That’s the thing about cooking. Having the right tool makes it work. I made a stir fry the other day from NYT recipes ( check it out) called Everything Stir fry, which basically was leftovers in the fridge. It was delicious but I realized maybe I want a carbon steel wok. I checked Amazon and found one for $60 so I’ll think about it for a while. My large cast iron works fine but again a wok is a specific tool used for a specific type of cooking.

If I don’t blog this week, Have a Happy Thanksgiving. We always have so much to be thankful for and just being here is a gift.

Simple Sunday

Another beautiful walk this morning although chilly at 37 degrees. No one at the park but us. It’s always a thrill ( okay that may be an exaggeration)to get there and walk by ourselves. The trees are lovely fall colors and the geese have been around too.

The pie came out really terrific. I might tweak the recipe some and use heavy cream instead of evaporated milk but overall it was delicious. It was soft but after refrigerating it firmed up nicely. I think I will make another next week or maybe pumpkin cheesecake.

This week we are in the Bathroom zone and 1 other room so I’ll probably tidy my office area.

We had one of our dead snags fall over the neighbor’s fence down in the woods so B has been chainsawing that up. We have 2 other dead snags that we’ll need someone to drop. We hadn’t planned on that as they are down on the very lower edge of the property but the neighbor indicated he’d like them down. As long as it is very little $, I’ll do it. If it’s more than $100 no, they can just fall. These trees have been dead for about 7 years from bark beetle so it’s natural that they would eventually fall. Our other 2 neighbors have lost about 12 large trees and supposedly PGE will take them but who knows when? PGE is so backed up with keeping lines clear of trees that it could be a while. These trees are not near any lines so I’m surprised PGE said they’d do it.

I’m not planning any extra cooking today. I’ve pulled a bunch of things from the freezer for the week. Some chicken, frozen lentil soup, spaghetti sauce, and frozen eggs. So I’ll plan some dinners from that.

Tomorrow I plan to go to the gym and Tuesday I have a dental appt. That’s it for this week with probably a swim day Thursday.

Here’s Friday’s pizza. I’m using Tony Gemignani 00 flour and it’s a game-changer for pizza dough. Plus I’m making 1 large batch and dividing it into 4 balls and then freezing it. It’s working great.

Good news for Democrats holding the Senate. At least something positive is happening.

Simple Sunday

The clocks turned back so that means we walked later than our usual time. We got out there at 5:50 am which would have been 6:50. It’s just getting light at that time so it ended up quite nice and no one was there. Just as we left ‘Mercedes Lady'( who has been there almost every day walking with no flashlight( one of my pet peeves), arrived and it was already light out. It was a really nice walk though, kind of misty fog. The trees in the park are shades of reds, oranges, and yellows, as most of these trees are maples and liquid ambers. We’ll see how the rest of the week goes. We’re expecting rain so that can change things.

When I got back I did the kitchen zone and tidied a few things. This week is pretty open with only Costco on the to-do list. I’m thinking Wednesday but we’ll see if we can plan a non-rainy day. My son will be using the Santa Fe on Friday and Saturday as he’s going up to Mt Shasta so I’ll need to figure out my swimming schedule. Yesterday the pool was really busy which is a bit unusual for Saturday.

I have most of Thanksgiving planned. A simple menu with just basics and a nut loaf. We rarely eat dessert so I may skip trying to figure out a pie/dessert. I plan on making the nut loaf in the next week and just freeze. I do like Costco’s pumpkin pie but we never finish it.

A picture of the sunroom and you can see the golden leaves out the windows.

Tomorrow I plan to can cranberry sauce. It’s an easy recipe to make.

Simple Sunday

We actually have a cool morning with some overcast. It seems like a marine layer that is coming in. We had a lovely walk by ourselves. Nobody was there at all. Tomorrow is usually my non walk day but since I took Friday off from everything I will walk. I also go get my labs and then head down to the Rec Center to do some weights.

It’s been a busy few days. I pressure-canned the Baked Beans.

It only made 5 pints but the sauce tasted delicious. I plan on doing another batch but with the bacon. I’m having lots of fun learning this new way of food preparation.

I also started some sauerkraut. I had a lovely head of cabbage from the farm down the road and knew that’s what I wanted to do. I chopped it finely up and then add the salt which starts the cabbage to make the brine. I don’t have the weights or the special top for the sauerkraut but the Ball book of preserving said just use a 4ounce jar filled with water and press down. ( It fits in the wide-mouth jar perfectly.) so one head of cabbage made 1 Qt jar of kraut. I think I’ll wait the week out and then transfer it to the fridge. I plan on having it with the baked beans and some beer brats I have in the freezer. I’ll make B a veggie brat thing.

Then my son brought home a box of apples from his friend’s farm and I made a delicious apple pie.

I always only make one pie crust so I just use the extra that I cut off to make a lattice and use a cutter for the oak leaves.

I had pie for breakfast and it was quite good.

Today is just some house tidying, sheet day, and reading. Plus I’ll knit some later.

Friday things

With the number of annual bills that have just come in I’m not sure Frugal fits anywhere in Frugal Friday. Except for the property tax due in December or earlier, if we can manage it, they are paid. Now we just have to work on what we put on our Visa to pay them. The VW’s bill of $3000 is done and with the gas credit Gov. Newsome just sent out ( we got $700) ( a very nice windfall), that mainly went to the AAA insurance. So we’ll get there, but it will be at least another month, I think. Oh well, such is life when you live on a very limited income. It’s inch by inch row by row…Still, I’m grateful for all that we have and our continued health.

B just had his labs done and all looks great. 🙂 I go Monday for my monthly labs so we’ll see if I have another increase. It’s a guessing game.

Yesterday was my swim day and it was really nice at the pool. Not super busy. The water was really perfect. I may skip tomorrow but I’ll wait to see how I feel. We had a nice walk this morning and were watching the light because in 2 weeks or so is the end of or beginning of daylight savings and we fall back. So if we’re walking at 6 it’ll be 5 and that’s just too early. We haven’t seen AH at all in the last few weeks so that’s nice.

This morning I’m pressure-canning Homemade baked beans( minus the bacon). This recipe is from the new book I bought. This was a fairly simple recipe without lots of prep or chopping. It’s a great book with lots of meal ideas for canning. Right now I’m sticking to non-meat ones but maybe eventually I’ll add something else in.

I stopped at Winco after the pool because I needed the molasses and the Great Northern White beans for the recipe. Plus I picked up some packaged food I wanted for the freezer like Amy’s cheese enchiladas and Morningstar veggie bacon. Oh, I bought dried New Mexico Chilies because I want to try canning enchilada sauce. That’s my next pressure canning project. I checked on the All-American again and now they are ALL out of stock. So next year will be time enough for me to upgrade. My friend from the Koffee Klatch said, “oh no, I put mine in our yard sale pile when we moved”. I groaned ” oh no!!!”. Oh well C’est LaVie”.

Yesterday, I cut up our old linen sheet that had started to rip into cleaning cloths and hemmed them on my sewing machine. I plan on doing a few more today.

Tonight is a pizza night if I get the dough out of the freezer. I can always do some pasta with sauce otherwise.

Here’s a cute picture of Gus

He’s got a toy mouse on his head:)

Simple Sunday

The full moon was spectacular over the park this morning. I think the actual full moon is this evening but nonetheless, it was impressive on the horizon.

We’re enjoying watching the Rings of Power on Prime. It’s before LOTR and tells the back stories of Elves, Numenor, Dwarves, and when Gandalf fell from the stars( He’s the race of Wizards ). It is beautifully done. We also are on the 3rd movie of the Hobbit Trilogy. It gets a little long but still great. We always watch it around late September or early October. I usually read the books too but I think I’ll go back and just read the Appendixes which is where the new Prime series is based on.

This is a tough time for finances as all our fall annual bills come in and EVERYTHING has increased. Our PO Box fee went from $106 to $166. How can they do that??? Our house insurance( with us being in a fire zone) also increased by $600. I’ve had to put the insurance on our card and it’ll take a month or two to pay it off. sigh….. sigh… I hate that. It just seems everything is so expensive.

Yesterday after the pool, I came home and made the White bean Ragout from my new canning book.

So this is cannellini beans precooked, tomatoes, garlic, onion, veggie broth with a dash of chicken broth ( sorry B, just a little for flavor)…and chopped basil.

I’m really enjoying learning this process. I did freak out once as it was supposed to have made 6 qts and I got 4 so somewhere I didn’t add enough liquid although I did measure what the book said. I messaged the Happy Homemaker on Facebook and asked her and she said sometimes that happens and as long as I pressure canned at the right pressure and time it’s fine. ( which I did, it’s 15lbs of pressure for 90 minutes. I thought it was very thoughtful she answered me right away.

The next thing I want to try is Boston Baked Beans.

Tomorrow I have a dentist appt. We cancelled our Delta Dental after our dentist office went out of network so it became pointless to pay $71 a month and not get any benefits.

Then later this week our old Koffee klatch is going to meet up. Since it’s been 2 1/2 years it’ll be strange to see people. One person has moved down the ‘hill’ as we say up here in the foothills. Two people have spouses that are seriously ill now so that’s a hardship for sure. Still it’l be nice to see everyone again.

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 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.

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.

Simple Sunday

A lovely walk this morning although with the cloud cover it was muggy/ humid. Our temperatures are 10 degrees higher than Sacramento which is crazy but they are getting the delta breezes and we have none.

A busy morning when I got back. It’s sheet day so the sheets have come off and are in the laundry and I did a bathroom swish and swipe.

Then I started on the canning I planned on doing this morning. I decided to do pickled beets and another 2 jars of bread and butter pickles in the water bath canner. My canner is on the way out as it is rusty and the rack is rusty. But it works fine for boiling water. Nonetheless, I just ordered a stainless steel water canner with a rack from Amazon. I had ordered a stainless rack for inside the Ball canner but canceled the order after looking at the condition of the Ball canner overall. So the other one is a good deal with 35% off so it ended up at $53.00. So the pickled beets made 2 jars and the pickles 2 jars. Next week at the farm stand I’ll buy 2 bunches of beets and that should get me 4 more jars. I’m going to open one of the beets in a few days and check out the taste. This recipe was from a Youtuber ( Wyse Guide) who has a farm.

I finished the Anne Hillerman book and started the Jacqueline Winspear latest. Both are excellent writers.

This week is still a light week for me and then next week I have my fasting labs and regular labs and I’m going to get my new eyeglasses ordered. I’m using my Lindberg frames so that will cut some of the expense. I’ve had these frames for over 5 years and they are remarkable. They are rimless and quite light. There I’m thinking they are a titanium frame. It’s the progressives, and the no line bifocal, that cost.

It’s hard not going stir crazy this summer but our Tahoe trip is about a month away now so we have that to look forward to.

Flylady zone is Entryways. My favorite blogger, Minimom, is going back to using Flylady after trying the SHE method. She is a great example of how minimalism works for a family and she has adapted Flylady to her needs. I think that’s the ticket with Flylady, is to use the basic concepts and then adapt them, which is what I do. But I do think you have had to declutter first which is always included in her weekly tasks on her website. Granted it’s not a very sophisticated website but it does show what to do each day if you need that. I do my zone all in one morning usually Sunday or Monday morning. Then each day I do a house reset and tidy and usually always do a bathroom wipe down.