Monday, January 19, 2009

Independence Days- week 7

Whew! What a day!  I'm glad it was a holiday for me and the children.  J14 was a great help this afternoon.  More waffling for the week, picking up our beef, then reorganization and inventory of the freezer.  If I am the keeper of the freezer, J14 is the secretary.  Let me tell you, there were a few tense moments when I didn't think everything would fit.  We did end up getting rid of a few things that had been in there for a long time (we discovered some 3 yr old turkey stock in the bottom of the freezer- ew!) but everything fit except my oatmeal which can come out.
It's time for my weekly check in with the Independence Days Challenge.  It's been a busy week as well as just a busy day.
Little lettuce
1. Plant something- no, but I did meet with Roger on Saturday and we finalized the plans for the garden.  I've got my list finalized and am ready to place my order.  We're planning to  plant at least 5 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, 4 varieties of peppers, potatoes, broccoli, beans (snap and shell) and lots of other stuff.  I'm going to have to figure out how to rig more lights because I'm not going to have enough room to start everything I need to.
2. Harvest something- Other than a few lettuce leaves, no.  But the lettuce is beautiful! and Oh, so tasty.
3. Preserve something- No.
4. Store something- Well- YES!!!  Behold!
Box 1 of 4
We picked up our side of beef from the processors today.  I haven't calculated how much there actually is.  Next time I'm going to have them process things a bit differently.  I opted to have the round ground rather than cut into steaks.  But now we have an overabundance of ground beef- 79 one pound packages to be exact.  I'm really hoping I can get my parents and brother to take a few pounds off our hands.
The inventory list
5. Manage reserves- Wow!  J14 and I did a complete inventory of the freezer.  We found a few old dry erase boards (the cheap, free ones) and we kept a running tally of everything that is in there.  We are heavily on overkill with the meat!  We also discovered some sliced apples from last year that definitely need used so I made more spiced apples for oatmeal- we'll be eating more oatmeal as well since my stash didn't fit back in.
6. Cook something new- Nope, but I'm looking forward to trying some of the cuts of beef we've got.  We have the oxtail so I'm looking forward to having oxtail soup.  We had T-bone steaks for dinner tonight- I can't remember the last time we had those- it's been a few years.  They were fabulous.  Of course, no dinner at our house can't go without some drama.  We ran the steaks under the broiler which created a little smoke- K8 sat at the table whining because of the smoke smell.  He was eventually sent to time out until he could sit at the table without holding his nose.
7. Prep something- well, other than stockpiling food, not much.
8. Reduce waste- Composted, recycled and used cloth bags at the grocery as usual.  
9. Learn a new skill- The story of my life- still working on knitting. Haven't really made the time for it much since the holidays, I've been to engrossed in garden planning and a few other projects. I've also been really tired lately so once I finally sit down on the couch it's pretty much 'game over'.
10. Work on community food security- I've been talking up our beef purchase both at work and at church. V actually did more on this one than I did with his column that was in the paper today.
11.  Regenerate what is lost- Worked on being nice to people.  One of the ladies who was at the party that V and I went to last evening tends to write columns that rub me the wrong way.  I get irritated when I read her work.  I decided that I wasn't going to let that show and she turned out to be much nicer in person than I thought she would be.  
12. Behavior change- I'm borrowing this one from Matriarchy- I love this idea of another category.  I really need to work on not being a procrastinator.  I tend to put things off until the last possible minute (like my seed orders- they've been complete since Sunday morning but have I actually ordered them- NO).  I need to be more of a finisher than a starter.  I have lots of projects that I start but then leave half finished.  Lots of room for improvement there.

I need to get the boys settled into bed.  They actually have school tomorrow after a 6 day stretch due to weather and holidays.  And it's a big day for the country as well tomorrow.


  1. I'm glad you got it all in your freezer. We always have our butcher cut us the best steaks, tenderize the round steaks, the best roasts and the rest into hamburger. I've used hamburger in beef stew (and the kids seem to eat it better that way) and we get 1/3 of the hamburger made into patties - I can NEVER get them to stay together when I make them. Enjoy it!

  2. I love this challenge, I first saw it at Down to Earth Blog. Maybe someday I will jpoin along???

  3. I always think it looks like a lot of hamburger, but we always end up using that first (especially in the summer with camping and outdoor activity). The steaks go fast too!

    I like your additions to the IDC. I am behind (I need to do last week and the week before).

    Great accomplishments!

  4. I think you mean: You shouted at me, and I wrote them down. I never EVER want to have to do that again. Interesting, but really REALLY cold.

  5. Kris- I'm sure we'll use all that hamburger- it just seemed like an awful lot when we were counting it. We've got quite a few roasts and some packages of stew meat. I'm still a bit surprised that he asked me if we wanted the stew meat and the soup bones- I guess some people don't want that stuff. We also kept our short ribs as ribs- we got a smoker last year and I'm looking forward to slow smoked BBQ ribs come the summer.
    Kim- You can join the IDC any time. The link to Sharon's post is on my side bar. It is a great way of organizing yourself- at least I think so. It keeps me accountable.
    Gina- I'm glad someone else thinks that the amount of hamburger isn't too outrageous. We often have several meatless meals a week and really only ate beef maybe once a week, if that. It's not that we don't like it, it has been more of a cost and conscious decision to not buy feedlot beef. Oh, and I can't take credit for the new categories on IDC. One Sharon added and the other came from Matriarchy.
    Justine- OK- so next time do you want to trade jobs? I'll be glad to sit on the floor and tally while you dig through the freezer, sort and repack.

  6. yeah beef!-We are loving our grass fed, but eating it too quickly I believe. We need to learn to ration. V's article was very good, I wish I could express myself more better. Haha. It is fun to see your children and husband get into it. Ive been calling my husband a crunchy granola lately! And my daughter's science fair projct is to see whether wonder bread or homemade bread gets moldy first. That after watching a Utube video about the 18 yr old fast foodburger which did not mold or decompose! Ick! Kris

  7. First off, that freezer project - I'd say that's a top achievement! Have you been eating out of yours and rotating, or keeping as stores? And the beef - you're freezing it I'm guessing? I'm just imaging the job of getting it home. New appreciation for the extra work it is for meat-eaters to buy bulk/store food.
    Yey for joining the behavior category - a great idea on your goals.
    Your knitting "story of my life" sounds like my life - the neverending project to master. How are you going about it? Guides, just jumping in? It is hard for me to follow written tutorials, so tips are appreciated.


Glad you stopped in. I would love to hear from you.