Monday, May 18, 2009

Independence Days- take 2: week 3

Another week down- where has the time gone.  It seems like the weeks are flying by.  It's hard to believe that we have owned our new property for almost a month. While I know that we have accomplished a lot out there- we were really hoping to be ready to move in by the end of May.  I don't see that happening although we are still pushing for it.  I picked up a few boxes and I need to call my brother to see if they have any more that we can have.  What I really want to do is pull the bookshelf out of the boy's room (it will go in K's) and unload his books onto it so I can use those boxes again.
I didn't get out there today.  I really wanted to check on the condition of my garden but J15 and I have been cooking up a storm.  Her Renaissance Faire is on Wednesday so we are getting her food project ready tonight.  Fortunately everything can be prepared ahead of time.  Since she is doing a food related project she has to prepare enough of each thing for 40 people to have a sample.  Normally, for a food project, the student has to make a main dish, bread and 2 desserts.  Since she is tackling making cheese- something no one has attempted before, her teacher is allowing her to only do the cheese, bread and one dessert.  So we baked whole wheat bread tonight, gingerbread cookies and are making homemade mozzarella.  We just discovered that my digital thermometer is evidently low on batteries so we will have to use the old standby.  Unfortunately we are supposed to add the rennet at 88 degrees and the lowest my candy or meat thermometer read is 100. But we will make it work.  
But now, on to the business at hand.  Mondays are my day for updates on the Independence Days Challenge.  I find it useful in helping me sort our what I've accomplished in the past week toward our goals and dreams.  So here goes:
1. Plant something- I got my fingerling potatoes planted and my sweet basil.  I planted out my tomatoes and peppers on Mother's Day and then we had a patchy frost a week later.  That just figures!  
2. Harvest something- only a few chives again.  My lettuce is up but not worth eating yet. I plan to pick some lamb's quarters when we are out at the acreage next time.
3. Preserve something-  again, my sanity, which is a priceless commodity these days. Otherwise- NADA.
4.  Reduce waste- the usual- cloth bags at the grocery, recycled and composted.  We are repurposing lots of lumber, lights and cabinets at the acreage.  We even discovered that a door that we have hung onto in our garage for years is the right type and size for our new well room. See, it pays to not throw useful things away.  We were also able to get J15's new vest out of 'scraps' of fabric that I had saved.  Okay, I don't save tiny scraps (well, except for really cool stuff I use for quilting) but these were usable sized pieces of blue wool.  And we still have quite a bit left.
5.  Prep and storage- Hmm, lots and lots of prep work out at the house.  Tried out my new gas range using a match to light it.  Yeah!!!  As far as storage goes- nope- I'm trying to downsize- unless you count getting too small clothing out of my house as storage. I guess it is a kind of storage management.
6.  Build community food systems- Um, not really,  I plan to head down to the Farmer's market either Wednesday evening or Saturday morning to pick up some greens and a few replacement tomatoes.
7.  Eat the food- no problem there.  We've been trying to eat a lot out of stores.  In fact, my freezer is NOT full!!!  We've worked it down to just over half full.  Of course, apart from milk, cheese, bread, tortillas and a few other odds and ends, we haven't shopped for much recently.  I know, I know, bread and tortillas I could make myself but I don't have the time right now.
Well- J15 has curds that need kneaded- I guess I'll go help.   


  1. I will say this again...I don't see how you do all you do! I can't imagine making anything for 40 people much less, making 3 things. Is this one class? 40 kids per class? wow! kinda large I'd say. Hope your cheese comes out great! We want her to get an A+ on this project! As for the house, I think your doing great. Look at all the snags you hit and really aren't that much behind...and you have your nifty,swifty stove too! lol...debbie

  2. As always I am inspired by you, and all that you do. I love it when we have weeks where we eat a lot from the freezer from food I have made, or grown. Hopefully it will be more grown that made this year.

  3. Hope the cheese worked well without the thermometer! Sounds like it, but do tell.

  4. Ack, it ate my comment! First off, good luck with the cheese making project, can't wait to hear about how it comes out.

    You know, I think your IDC experiences are different than many other participants because of the transition - trying to downsize some things while building so much as well. Plus, the planting/harvesting sections are rough in the move! But you pull if all off fabulously, and your hard work shows in the report.

    The veg - yes, the cold weather threw me for a loop too - I was all set to bring out the eggplant and opo squash last weekend, but the high temps were only in the 50*s. Ahhhh! Its frustrating to realize how much things are dependent on the weather's whims.


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