Independence Days – August 19

Other than preserving some additional food, I did pretty well on last week’s goals.  It was a weird week health-wise, and a busy week work-wise, but I’ve managed to do a lot of work on cleaning up and clearing out the kitchen, making more room for food storage, eating from our food storage, and just generally get domestic things a bit more in order as the new school year approaches and my free time continues to dwindle.  That said, I’d like to figure out some ways to keep up with food production, preservation, and storage through the winter, if possible – it’s something that I think so important that it really should be part of my schedule rather than an after thought, or something that gets relegated to “free time”.

Plant something:  A few late lettuce and kale; two batches of kombucha now that the mother’s started producing babies

Harvest something:  As always, mint, chives, basil, oregano, thyme, borage, and violet; green peppers, sweet peppers, chard, kale, and tomatoes; was hoping for zucchini, but someone or something seems to have walked off with those from our community garden plot (this is in addition to our missing tomatoes, peppers, and radishes)

Preserve something:  Still drying a lot of herbs; still behind in terms of actual preserving – a batch of pickles didn’t turn out well, and the kitchen’s been in such a shambles that I haven’t yet done the jam or salsa that I wanted, but we’re working on getting things cleared out and in order, and at adding in an extra work surface in there, since there’s so little space to work.

Waste not:  Thrift store purchases have totaled five books (Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, Fragile Things, Smoke and Mirrors (love Neil Gaiman’s work), Irish Sagas and Folktales, and Wherever You Go, There You Are), a fine mesh strainer (for jelly, I hope), jeans, and yoga pants, since it seems like my wardrobe is giving up all at once; delivered a bag of donations to the thrift store; continued adding more to the donation pile; working on a food inventory system to keep track of what’s where and needs to be used up

Want not:  Stocked up on 16 pounds of lentils; working on figuring out better ways of creating and using storage, as well as assessing what needs to be store and would be useful to have versus what can do to make more room

Eat the food:  Lots of salads, frittata, shakshuka, fish and homefries, tuna on multigrain bread, steel cut oats, granola, various versions of vegetable soup including homemade minestrone and creamy broccoli with splitpea and sweet potato

Build community food systems:  Nothing this week

Skill up:  Some knitting here and there; playing the guitar and trying to figure out how to make my own music

Get healthy:  Received a measles, mumps, rubella, and hepatitis B vaccination; had a blood test; found out about slightly elevated cholesterol levels that are now being dealt with; currently developing a cholesterol-improving healthy eating plan; regular bike rides, walks, and yoga; nightly meditation

This week’s to-do list:

  • can one thing that’s currently stashed in the freezer
  • add one more box of stuff to the donation pile (aiming for one per week)
  • clear out and clean front hall closet
  • keep up with the new and improved eating plan
  • declutter cookbooks
  • bake something – I’d like to figure out some healthy treats to make at home
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