Stocking the Freezer

I am finally feeling like I am caught up to my summer!  I am starting to get some items in the freezer and canned up in preparation for next school year.

This weekend I pulled the sour dough starter out of the refrigerator and made a batch of loaf bread and a double batch of bagels.   I want to try and get a couple of batches of pizza dough made this week as well.    I have probably 5 loaves already in the freezer and this is one of 5 or so batches of bagels.   I would like to get another 5 batches of bagels in the freezers along with another 5 loaves but time will tell if that is possible. I don’t see that happening this week as we have the County swim meet on Friday and Saturday, everyone has eye appointments on Wednesday, I have 2 doctor appointments and my mom has at least 1 this week. Next week is also busy as our church is hosting VBS with everyone volunteering to work in the evenings.

For dinner on Saturday, I was able to pull out and make the remaining steaks from the cow we purchased two years ago. Steak is a treat and always appreciated. When looking for the steaks, I found 16 pounds of hamburger from our previous cow as well. I let it unthaw for 2 days before canning 8 pounds/ pint jars for future use and made the remaining 8 pounds into taco meat. I used 1 pound to make taco rice bowls for dinner this evening and will have 8 easy and quick meals in the freezer as well. I would typically the taco meat but I am out of pint size jars and instead of purchasing I put in the freezer for now.

That brings my current total up to 20 meals!  This is 1/5 of my goal but this summer it just feels awesome to get things accomplished!

I am also working on not wasting food by repurposing leftovers!   I currently have 2 jars of spaghetti sauce in the refrigerator, I want to wait until I have at least jars to water bath can at a time. My goal for the summer was to get 52 jars canned. I am seriously doubting this but I will do what I can and see what happens!

5 Things Friday

  1. Things have not slowed down the first week of July. I ended up attending 3 additional medical appointments with my mother.  But I have started to catch up and feel like although I don’t have alot of free time, I am making progress on my summer goals and projects.
  2. The floor has been finished and I will have everything back in place by Saturday.  I am still in negotiation with Home Depot, so I am reserving the story and pictures until everything is settled.
  3. I was able to make progress on preparing meals ahead.  I made a chicken spinach lasagna and 2 million Dollar Spaghetti Pies in those are in the freezer.
  4. Garden update- My garden has been struggling. The squash bug won their battle and I ended up pulling up, spraying with bug spray, adding a couple new bags of soil and replanted both the squash and zucchini. We attempted to go organic but that was not successful. We are starting to get some tomatoes but they are not the prettiest. I also feel like I am throwing out just as many as we pick.  I did make my first full batch of spaghetti. My goal is to can 52 quarts of spaghetti sauce so still a long way to go.
  5. The weather has been so hot!  We reached 100 degrees today!

Monday Menu Post

This weekend, we cooked and celebrated Kendall’s birthday!  The month of June was very busy and I don’t feel like I was able to even start with preservation and preparation for next school year. But that is going to change this week!  I am back on track with meal planning and preparation.

Breakfast- Saturday- Bacon, sausage and pancakes,   Sunday-Cracker Barrel.  Monday- Tuesday, Wednesday, – find it (breakfast burritos, muffins, oatmeal, omelets cereal and milk, French toast sticks, sausage, pop-tarts, and eggs). Thursday- my plan is to make Dutch Boy pancakes. Friday- Baked oatmeal with hopefully preparation of at least 12 dry mixes.
Lunch- Saturday-Chicken salad and spinach dip.   Sunday- Left-over pizza  Monday- left-overs Tuesday, -Wednesday, Thursday- Leftovers or wraps
Dinner- Saturday-Pizza from Dominos Sunday-Kendall’s party Monday- Red Robin for Kendall’s birthday.      Tuesday-Pasta Salad (left-over) Wednesday-Baked Spaghetti with one in the freezer   Thursday- 4th of July – probably hamburgers and hot dogs  Friday- Left-over baked ziti.

June in Review

This June was one of the busiest months, I can remember. I honestly don’t even feel like I have started my summer break yet. I am also very aware of how little actual time I will have this summer to enjoy the break. But I am reminding myself that each season has positive and negative and God’s plan is much better than my plan.  July is busy but i am hoping to get everything together by the end of July.

Groceries- Budget $975   $ 1437.76 Goal Not Met! This included supplies for Kendall’s birthday party as well as my trying to restock some needed things. I also have seen reports of 50% increase in groceries in the last year.

Auto/ Gas. Goal -= $600.  Goal Met!  We have spent $575.37

Blogging- 15 posts per month. This is post number 9. Busy and I can say I tried!

Exercise- I am having lots of Knee pain…. not sure what to do…

Summer Goals
1. Kitchen Floor- Complete with a nightmare story that I will be sharing including pictures once I have settled with Home Depot.
2. Bathroom Floor (Matt responsible) – We have an estimate and waiting on the installation.
3. New to me car- Purchased and it is the nicest car I have ever owned.
4. Back Deck- We have an estimate and it will be after the Bathroom is completed.
5.  Purchase and process a whole cow including canning broth and ground hamburger. DONE!
6. Restock freezer with 100 meals and at least 50 breakfast burritos and 52 packs of bagels.  This has been the biggest struggle so far. I have about 25 breakfast burritos and one baked ziti in the freezer as of now.


5 Things Friday

  1. The past two weeks have been stressful and exhausting.  Exhausting both mentally and physically exhausting.  I am looking forward to a slower pace next week.
  2. We have been working on doing some remodeling in preparation for new flooring to be installed this week. The install is still not complete!   I will be so happy and pleased once this process has finished but currently it is one of my main stressors.
  3.  We have painted the hall, hall bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and laundry room.   The doors are the last on the list to be painted. Hopefully that occurs tomorrow.
  4.  Today we had the septic tank pumped. This should help with drying up our yard!
  5.  We have been eating out ALOT over these last two week just to survive. I am hopeful that staring today, we can get back on track for eating and I can get back to sticking to a budget!

Gardening Update

As you probably realize I got very little behind last week.  So my plan for this week is to catch up to the point that I am only spending about 15 minutes a day in the garden.  The first thing I wanted to tackle was the blue berries.

I ended up spending over an hour between harvesting and weeding the beds this morning (Monday).  I was rewarded with

I have frozen most of these. But the kids told me they have also really been enjoying eating them fresh off the bushes.

Every Bit Challenge
1. Half a gallon of blueberries frozen.
2  One extra meal in the freezer for next year. I also made two additional meals for this week as well.
3. I was able to make some sautéed zucchini and squash for dinner as well as I added 3 more bags of squash casserole mix to the freezer.

Not a lot but hey EVERY BIT COUNTS!


Granny’s Surgery Journey

I have debated on what and how much to share about this but have decided I will share my facts and experience just for a record.

On Monday June 10th, my mother had an elective mastectomy of her left breast.  This was also the day that Kendall left for camp for a week.

After discussion, praying and planning. I had taken the entire day off on Monday. The rest of the week, I worked and then headed straight to the hospital to spend some time with Mom and to give my sister-in-law and brother a chance to go home. We had discussed beforehand that no one would be spending the night as mom is normally alone at night. Surgery went well but, in the recovery room, she went into A-fib.  The result was a cardioversion that occurred on Thursday.  I don’t function well on little sleep and each evening up to Wednesday was long and I got home much later than anticipated.  Most nights I talked a few minutes to Matt, Lily and Zach before heading to bed.

Mom was up and walking Thursday evening!

She was able to come home on Friday!