Saturday, September 3, 2011

Preparing for September

Other than purchasing 5 cases of rice milk for my dairy allergic children, I haven't been in food prep mode this week at all.  I did purchase 40 pounds of Granny Smith apples for our daily consumption and I will be making applesauce with them as well.  I have several pounds of carrots that need to be dehydrated (loving having dehydrated carrots to toss into some soup!).  The last of the garden tomatoes will also be dehydrated.  I recently dried several trays, put them in a quart jar, added a handful of dried basil (from my garden) and covered with olive oil.  I think they will be a wonderful addition to our Friday night pizzas or to a pasta salad.  The oil will be used as well!  I am letting it sit for several weeks before trying them out.

As soon as the temperature cools down I hope to set up several canning days for seasoned white beans and beef broth.   I recently acquired Jackie Clay's canning cookbook and am eager to can some of the "instant" meals that she includes...soups, stews, meatballs, sloppy joes and more.  We have enjoyed some quick meals incorporating the pinto beans that I canned a month or so ago and I think having even more quick meals ready to heat from the jars will be a blessing on busy school days.

I do have a new food storage system that is helping me to see exactly what I have on hand and how quickly items are being used.  It seems that we are  using olive oil much more than I had anticipated so I will need to keep much more of that in stock.

The men in the family have continued to work on our permanent chicken coop, not to be confused with the chicken tractors.  Our layers have grown and look beautiful!  It's fun to feed them bread and vegetable scraps a little at a time and watch them run after each morsel.  I know they will enjoy having more room to run around once their new home and run are completed.  We still haven't ordered the meat birds, but will soon.

The fall garden has been planted.  I had intended to order more seeds, but I think we will stick with what we have on hand for now.  My 18 year old son is in charge of the garden and has set out lettuce, spinach, turnips, broccoli and cabbage.  The broccoli and cabbage were started in seed starter and are still on the porch.  It will probably be a couple of weeks before he puts them in the raised beds.  The other seeds were direct sown, but we will be using some type of covering to protect them from the sun as we will still be having very warm temperatures for another 5-6 weeks I am sure.

This morning I will be preparing for our next school week and taking care of some household tasks.  Today is my husband's birthday, so while he and the boys work on the chicken coop the girls and I will be preparing a hamburger feast with an apple cake for dessert.  Our oldest daughter and grandchildren will be here as well, so things will get a little chaotic as well.  Aaron's 15th birthday is on Monday, so we will need to prepare his special egg-free dessert tomorrow.

I also started my Christmas gift list for this year.  I always keep an eye out throughout the year and have a box full of goodies already purchased.  With seven children and soon to be four grands, shopping early is a must!

As I sit here I think of so many tasks that need to be completed.  I think I will list them here and then check back next week to see how much I actually got accomplished.

-defrost large freezer
-clean out refrigerator
-organize kitchen cabinets
-take inventory and make a list of needed bulk purchases
-choose colors and buy paints for our indoor projects
-can beans and broth
-dehydrate carrots and tomatoes
-make a list with prices of all curriculum and learning items that I have for sale
-floor to ceiling and wall to wall cleanings of all the bedrooms

There's a lot more to do, but I stop here.  I must be realistic.  These will be good goals for the month of September.  What's happening around your little homestead?


Rachel E. said...

If your to do list seems overwhelming, you can remember one your frog! The one thing you find to be your biggest task and the one you would least likely do.

You have your stuff together. Good job!

Susan Evans said...

You sound super busy and productive. I wish I could get stuff to grow in my backyard, but the soil is acidic from all the pine trees, and too shady to grow real food.

Deborah said...

This month we are building food supplies. :o)

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