Saturday, June 29, 2013

End Of The Month Food Prep

Usually by the last week of the month, I have pretty much used all of the grocery money from our cash envelope.

We still have plenty to eat. It just may not be our first choice or the easiest choice. But there is food; usually food that needs to be prepared in some way before it's ready to grab and eat.

By Friday, our choices were looking a bit slim and the fridge a bit empty. But a glance at the produce drawer told me otherwise.

There was plenty of fresh produce; it just needed to be prepped!

We had broccoli, two rutabagas, a large head of purple cabbage, some grapes, a bunch of kale, a cucumber and two zucchini.

I set these items out on the counter and by the time the morning was over, we had food ready to eat in the fridge once again.

  • Broccoli, cucumber and  one zucchini cut up to eat as fresh veggies.
  • Rutabaga peeled and diced into chunks to be cooked and mashed like mashed potatoes. 
  • One zucchini sliced for stir-fry.
  • Grapes picked over and ready to grab for a snack. 
  • Kale chopped for cooking. 
  • Large cabbage leaves set aside to be used for lettuce wraps.
  • The rest of the cabbage made into a slaw. 
I had also boiled a dozen eggs  to have ready to eat!

Amazing how a little prep work can open up so many more possibilities for meals and snacks! And taking care to use these things prevents food waste and stretches my grocery dollars too.

Friday, June 21, 2013

2013 Garden

Here are some pictures of our 2013 garden.

I've been super slow in getting everything in the ground and then taking care of it but it seems to be thriving anyways!

My garden plot isn't picturesque--it's the "raised" garden bed that was here when we moved in; it had been neglected for a long time and the boards around the garden are pretty much rotted out. We don't have the time or energy--or expertise-- at the moment to replace it so we just used what we had and have been planting there as is. We did enlarge the garden space by about 3 feet in the front and 5 feet on the side. So some is level with the ground and some is raised!

Fortunately, our soil is very good--nice and brown instead of Carolina red clay! This is a blessing! 

I've gathered a little gardening experience over the years by planting a few things in flowerbeds and pots but I'm still learning as I go. I'm trying to remember to take notes as I go along so I can remember the details and learn from my mistakes and successes.

There are no weeds in the garden of my dreams...but this is reality. So you will see some weeds in these pictures. I try, I really do! :-)

Green beans almost ready to pick!
Pepper and onions.

Zucchini. We've picked three nice ones so far. Cucumbers are producing well too.
I have basil growing on the deck in containers. We had a couple Rubbermaid totes without lids so we drilled holes and made planters! I have dill in one but it's not looking so good at the moment. The basil is doing great! I've made this awesome Creamy Basil and Avocado Dip and have the ingredients to make some pesto.

Other things growing that are not captured in these close-up shots: tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, more onions in planters, Swiss chard and of course, our mystery plants.

How is your garden growing? 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mystery Plants

A few weeks ago, I discovered a sizable zucchini/cucumber type plant in the garden row where I didn't plant anything.  The leaves were slightly different than my other plants of these types so eventually I determined that this must be a weed and pulled it out.

Well, imagine my surprise today when out of my bean rows, I saw three more of these vines growing happily. And these guys have blossoms!
Hmmm...I'm curious as to what they are and how they got there--perhaps from kitchen scraps I've used as compost?

A quick google search on various viney type plants tells me maybe  acorn squash or canteloupe?

Definitely leaving these in the garden and can't wait to see what they turn out to be!

Do you have any ideas what these vines may be?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hand Me Downs

A friend gave me a bag of hand-me-down clothes today. I was super excited to find five pieces that fit and were things I can use!

The little white shirt/jacket looks like it will be fun to accessorize and layer over other pieces with skirts or jeans.

It was like Christmas!

As adults, we don't go through clothing like growing children do so we've found we just don't need as many articles of clothing! We don't get that many hand-me-downs, but when we do, I'm always happy to look through to see if there's anything we can use and then pass the rest along.

On the flip side, we love giving our extra clothes away as well if we know someone who can use them. I prefer giving them to someone before donating to a thrift store if possible. Freecycle is also a good option. As of course, yard sales!

Do you enjoy hand-me-downs?

Thursday, June 06, 2013


Two minutes with my back turned cheering on Toddler Girl as she rode the tricycle all by herself was enough time for Toddler Boy to find a pile of mud.

And track it all over the porch and driveway.

He is a mud and dirt magnet, that boy!