Tag Archives: winter prep

The Primal Shift

Yesterday was pepper day! I made salsa, put peppers on a ristra, made stuffed peppers for dinner and the freezer, and roasted red peppers for future batches of my version of “tomato” soup.


This morning I’ve been dealing with dried herbs. The farm has PYO herbs and they bunch them occasionally. I use a LOT of parsley, thyme, mixed basils, and rosemary. I make a winter tea from spearmint/lemon balm. Today I went through all the herbs/spices:

  • I have enough/too much thyme. I’ll offer some to friends.
  • I need more parsley.
  • I need more lemon balm/spearmint for tea.

The rest of it I left alone.

If I don’t do this at this time of year, what happens is that around Feb.  I run out of parsley and tea. I object to paying retail for parsley, (Remember this?) so….


This reminded me that I also need a “cube” of pine shavings for the root cellar crates. I’ve tried sand (too heavy) and newspaper (too messy) so this year I’ll try wood shavings. I need to sterilize the crates. They’ve been empty all summer, but weren’t sterilized, as I knew it’d be months before they were put back to use.


There’s also the annual replacing older foods to make room. The last 3C or so of my 2017 winter tea mix is in the compost bucket, for example. The current bottle of thyme will join it soon.

Part of this is having enough parsley, winter tea, thyme, tarragon, etc. Where previously I would have kept all of anything, whether it was likely I’d ever use it, or not? These days I send a email to friends & neighbors asking if they want the extras. If I get no takers, the compost heap gets another donation.

pantry storage

It’s also time to beef up the canned goods. I’m pleased to say that we used all the canned and dried meats I had set aside and the canned veggie shelf has 2 cans of butter beans (used for bean soup), a can of garbonzos (hummus) and 3 cans of chopped chilis. That’s it! Getting to where the flow of pantry items made sense was one goal I had a couple of years ago. We had things we’d stored for years and hadn’t used. We had stuff neither of us liked, because it had been cheap. After three years of work, I’m pleased to say that my pantry at the end of summer has very little in it! More pasta than anything else, and not a huge amount of that. Previously, I had so much food that it was in the attic, under the sink, etc. and wasted mostly!

Still, there is something about the process of getting ready for winter I love. Much of it I hate because I loathe the idea of winter itself. But when I know I have a little food set aside to use midwinter it’s pleasing. It appeals to the frugalista in me, but it also hits a much deeper level.

 

Tuesday 10/3 Five + 5 Undone from 10/2

Today’s list:

  1. Cleaning the various pieces of black steel, mostly in the living room.Done this morning, forgot to note the time.
  2. Dusting the gridwall.5:45 p.m.
  3. Getting lumber stored correctly for winter, where storage is available.
  4. Cleaning the quarry tile in the sunroom.
  5. Dealing with the vegetables I got out of the garden yesterday. not those veggies, yet, but I’ve been dealing with the backlog of vegetables all morning (Weds.) : bok choy, napa cabbage, and celeriac so far. Broccoli and others still to go!

Left over from 10/2:

  • I need to clear stuff from my car and run a vac through at least part of it!
  • Work on the fabric storage again: cull and neaten it up.
  • Move the paint as DH and I discussed.
  • Clean out the underdeck storage.
  • Work on the sewing table.Tues. 5:20

At some point (I have no criteria for this?) I’ll start taking weekly pictures. It would be nice to be able to see progress, at least for me!

What’s New?

We bought wood for the winter.

I’ve painted all but the last pantry shelf on the small side. The last shelf was both slanted and warped, so last night after a lot of debating what to do, it got removed. The remainder of these shelves will be painted. (And probably the wall too, although I make no promises regarding that.) The original idea was to use up the Potter & Ball primer and samples we’ve got. I’m still working on the primer, but I used up one or two of the samples (I had 8?).  Taking out the bottom shelf solved more than one problem. I needed a place to store 1/2 gallon bottles of stuff and didn’t have any. Right now they’ve been shoved onto the bookcase in the dining room. I forget the food is there and this creates a lot of waste. Not good.

So, the idea is that the dry stores in 1/2 gallon mason jars are stored on the “new” bottom shelf (actually the floor). I have a small crate I’ll use to take up some of the unused space. All good! The crate will be used and the out of place storage will be moved, etc.

I and the neighbor’s son have been working on the yard clean up. Yesterday he removed the racks from where they’d been last year. One of them fell over. I picked it up and restocked it in a slightly different location. It fell over again and knocked over the 2nd rack! At that point, fortunately, it was spring. And, disgusted, I just left it. He’d move the wood last week. My job today, well one of them, is to finish the clean up in that area.

There were 4 pieces of furniture and the table saw dolly in the way in the wood rack. Right now, 2 of the pieces of furniture have been moved. The other two should also probably be moved today. Then we get to figure out where we’ll store the table saw dolly. At that point, the oak logs which need the mawl to be split apart several times before they become actual firewood can be moved into the wood shed. If I’m lucky and there’s room, the wood splitter etc. can also move there too!

If all this happens, the yard will be much cleaner and we’ll be a lot more prepared for winter around here!

Re house organization? I’m working on it in dribs and drabs. I haven’t tackled a new area in a while, but in the past few I’ve tackled the cabinet under the sink, the bath closet and the pantry. I got the laundry caught up, but there’s a pile down there which needs to be put away, again.

And one of these days, I should write the piece I was thinking about yesterday, when your partner hands you “caulk” and . . . it will probably be good for a laugh (or I hope so!) but I haven’t time to write it now.

Have a great Thursday!