It’s about time we did another Independence Days update, I think. Having just obtained my very own copy of Sharon Astyk’s book of the same name, I am officially inspired. :)
So, although it seems like one would not do much in the way of ‘preparing’ in the winter, let’s see what’s been going on.
Planted: Okay, planting is out of the question – although, I am considering planting some catnip in a pot. Not for the cats, for me: I often have trouble sleeping and catnip is an amazingly effective sedative, and it tastes good as a tea! Yeah, I know: it makes cats all goofy and wound up, and it puts people to sleep. Now you know why you can’t assume veterinary medicine is the same as the stuff for people.
Harvested: Well, not much. In fact, we had the Annual Winter Egg Drought over the holiday season, of course, in the dark time of the year. The hens were all recovering from moult, it was cold, it was dark, nobody was laying eggs. Then … on Saturday … the Egg Miracle occurred. An egg! Finally! And another the next day, and one more the next, and three this morning! You have no idea how happy this makes me. I love fresh eggs.
Preserved: Now this, I have done! I found a bag of red, yellow and green peppers on sale at the grocery store, so I bought them, used some fresh, and then dehydrated the rest. We use the dehydrated peppers in our soups and stews to add a bit of colour and sweetness – and now that the kids have finally realized that just because it is called a pepper it doesn’t necessarily mean it is hot, we can use them in everything. I also grated some orange rind from the lovely oranges that came in the monthly food basket from WECAN, and put that in the dehydrator too, for my mom. She asked for some at Christmas time.
Waste Not: The aforementioned dehydrating probably counts, as does the ongoing creative use of leftovers. We had a few potatoes and carrots left from dinner, and I was making lentil soup … which needs to be thickened with potatoes, so in they went, along with the carrots. Being flexible with recipes is a great way to avoid waste.
Want Not (Preparations): The trip to the Thrift Store turned up some fun yarn for projects, as well as a $2.50 teapot that has a base to hold a tealight. I have tested it out and you can actually heat water to the right temperature to make a decent pot of tea, just by leaving it on the tealight. It’s slow, but it works. The pot also can sit on the woodstove, which was, in fact, the primary requirement for this new purchase.
Community Food Systems: Ordered more hay from my local hay farmer, and sold more lamb to some local customers.
Eat the Food: The food basket this month contained a head of cauliflower (as well as a head of broccoli, some potatoes, and assorted other things). My More with Less cookbook had a recipe for an easy cream of cauliflower soup, and it turned out fabulous. (Stay tuned for more on that.)