Monday, June 29, 2009

Small Challenge For Myself

I'm so short on time these days that many challenges I see at other blogs (when I even get a chance to visit any!) are something I long to participate in, but KNOW I won't follow through on because I'd be neglecting things here at home and spending a bit too much time at the keyboard.

Nevertheless, I'll loosely organize a few things into a gentle challenge for myself under the familiar quip of the frugal "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Do Without"

Maybe I can handle those 4 things :)


1. Use it up: I pureed some leftover roasted butternut squash and included it in a batch of fudge brownies I made. They tasted wonderful, not weird, which was a relief.

Processing the harvested okra and purple hull peas gets away from me on the days it needs to be done right then and I can't. But I want to use every bit. So I hull the peas and freeze them, to cook later in supper-sized portions. I freeze the hulls separately and really want to make jelly from them soon.

2. Wear it out: I've put off buying more jeans, and am mending these and just re-using them. I do need a new blouse/shirt or two, but there are no functions I need to attend wearing anything fancy, so will look for something on sale in the next couple months. I have few clothes, and many of those are faded or stained. Now they're "work clothes" for the garden.

3. Make it do: I turned an old skirt into a drawstring apron. I have terrible sewing skills, so this is not a very cute apron, ha!

I'm also making our own herbal tea, and getting two teabags out of one, with regular flow-through generic tea bags from the store. I wanted to add some of our own moringa leaves that have dried and I've crumbled to a powder consistency, and I like the taste better when mixed with regular tea and steeped in hot water. So I take regular tea bags, cut them open and add the powdered moringa, and then staple them shut again and use them. If I have time, I cut them in two and get two teabags out of it instead of one..if there's not enough teabag left, I can cut a square from our old coffee filters I don't use, and it works great that way.

Big ol' plastic bins as fire ant protection --Jack also solved a problem about getting bitten by our fire ants, which are everywhere in the garden and have wreaked havoc with us when we're covered with them. They're unavoidable, and we're not going to blast chemicals, etc. I get two of the big plastic bins (no holes in bottom) and put those wherever I want to stand to harvest or tend an area of plants, such as the okra that I have to pick. One of my feet is in one bin, the other in the other. It's easy to shuffle around the area in them, and they are so big the ants never make it up the sides and over to my feet. I do look a bit funny using them, but I don't care. I keep my balance pretty well and also feel a bit better protected from any surprise snake attacks. Boots might do the trick, but I don't have any and I feel the fire ants would probably scale those after a while.

4. Do Without: I'm not sure why, but lately I've had an urge to go shopping "just because." I think I get that way sometimes when we're very goal focused and every penny goes to its designated place with nothing to spare. No complaints, though! I'm finding that if I don't have a certain thing on hand in the kitchen for cooking, our stock in the pantry yields an alternative that's just as good!


Sue said...

LOL-I'm thinking your plastic tub "boots" is so clever, but gosh, thats GOT to be funny to see!

Robbyn said...

Sue, HA...yep...we're the neighborhood entertainment ;-)

Maya said...

I've never heard of pea pod jelly, but I'm intrigued. How did you hear about this and have you tried it before? We are swimming in pea pods here...

Robbyn said...

Maya, I've not heard of pea pod jelly from green peas, but I have run across several recipes for cowpea pod jelly. It seems different types of cowpea pods give different flavors and colors of jelly. Some of the recipes are essentially the boiled juice that's been strained, plus sugar, but the one I'll try has lemon juice for the acidity I feel more comfortable incorporating in the simple canning process. It'll be my first time to can anything on my own :)