Feather your Nest Friday, 9th December, 2022.

Our first week of summer was very mild.  This is great for us.  "Good working weather"  my Mum says.  And it is... easy to work outside and get lots done!  In the garden I planted several packets of seeds as I still have plenty of growing season left.   I planted Cucmbers,  Basil, Thai Basil, Chilli, Carrots...   the Cucumbers and Chilli are already coming up.     I also planted seedlings as I took a trip into town and bought a tray of Capsicums and Apple Cucumbers and this and that.  Filling every space I have is my motto.  Not everything is successful... but the more you try the more winners you have!   My Dad would say "the harder you work the luckier you get."  Speaking of...  
I harvested more Zucchini.   I decided to try Wendy's Zucchini Cake recipe and adapted one to be gluten free.   Having the food processor still amazes me how I had six cups of grated zucchini in about two minutes.  The cakes were beautiful! 

They would be fine without icing but I made cream cheese frosting which was so nice with it.   One cake went to Chloe.    To make it Gluten Free I adapted it slightly:

1 and a quarter cups dark brown sugar,
1 cup vegetable oil. (I used sunflower.)
3 eggs. 
3 cups grated zucchini.
2 and a half cups SR GF Flour (or regular)
1 cup chopped walnuts. 
1/2 teaspoon bi carb soda.
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg.
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. 

Beat sugar and eggs, add oil. Add flour, then the rest.   Bake 180 C an hour and a quarter.   The cake has a chewy edge that is just delicious.   In a zucchini glut freezing some of these would be a great option!   While I was grating I kept going and filled my freeze drier trays as well.   The gave me two big jars of Zucchini for future recipes.

I caught up with my friend Wendy and gave her eggs... and she gave me jars! 

Mum also gave me a heap of smaller jars, just right for jams.  So my jar supply got a great top up.

I have been wanting to make over a bed side table/chest of drawers for Scarlett as hers is broken.   I had been watching out for a while and had not found anything so I resorted to looking online at buying new.  Why is it everything is so ridiculously expensive?   Anything I even half way liked was over $300.  One I really liked was $700 and this didn't factor in freight!     I gave up.  The next morning FB Market place had a bedside set of drawers.... in my local town... for $20.   I said "SOLD" so fast!  

This is exactly what I wanted.   Andy picked it up for me.  I gave it a good clean and lined the drawers with pretty paper.   There was a tiny mark on top... I decided rather than repaint it (as cream will match Scarlett's bed) I added a bird.  

This week my cook up was Enchiladas.  They were delicious.   I got several trays from the mix.

I had another batch cook...  meatballs.  I should have grated the carrots and onions finer but they turned out well and taste good.  I got two trays ...

I used the Meatball recipe from Down to Earth blog.  (Thanks Stephanie.)  Tonight I am freezing them in batches.  Little Tom likes meatballs so I think these will be good for the kids.   

The house is a kind of organised mess with Christmas presents in various stages of wrapping.   I am happy to have everything.   I am excited now!  

I decided I need to find easier ways to do some of my work.   Andy completed the irrigation project in the orchard.   There are 19 fruit trees in there and my raised garden bed (currently full of zucchini).  This is all on a dripper system now.   This is my number one easier way for the week.   It will save me hours and hours through the summer.   I think the trees will do better too as overall they will get more water.   My number two easier way was I simply shaped my scone dough into a square and sliced it up.

This was so fast and eliminated re rolling the bits left over when I cut circles.   I made two batches, one plain and one sultana.   Then I took most of them over to Mum's for afternoon tea and for her to freeze. 

We have been told our electricity is going to go by by 83% next year.  Again.  A Bluebird from the UK has been writing to me describing the cost of keeping warm,  food and what she is seeing locally which this week included neighbours who had no food at all.   Our Bluebird has been building her pantry up and up along with us all here and because of this she was able to go to her emergency pantry and make a basket of seven days meals for this family.  I am thinking of writing her messages up into a post as I have her permission.    It is just what is happening here except we don't have the freezing conditions.   We are however one heatwave away from mass blackouts.   For now I want to just keep doing what we are... enjoy the season,  treasure our family and make Christmas as special as we can.  But next year I want to hit the ground running with a revival of my "Saving like Nana did" series (from my old blog.)    We are all here because we had Nana's and Great Grandparents (and beyond) who got by in extraordinary circumstances.   They knew what it was to prepare for the winter any way they could and for whatever form "winter" was to come.    Mum and  were talking about using the residual heat of the oven.   Nan would put a baked egg custard in the oven as a roast came out.  I said to Mum "whatever happened to using the residual heat" and she replied "it went by the wayside along with everything else!"   And there you have it.   We have a lot of skills to revive! 

Have a lovely weekend.  I am planning a very quite time and to water my seedlings and consider. xxx


  1. I've never made a baked egg custard before. I don't think we ever had that in my family. How do you cook that in the oven? Do you turn the oven off after the roast or is it on a lower heat?

    We haven't done a roast for ages but this sounds like it would be a great special occasion meal if it's easier to cook.

    Thank you!

    1. Dear Allie, I think a roast is one of the easiest meals and I get several meals from it, cooking masses of veggies together with it. I will make a custard and post how I did it and the recipe so you will see. They are so delicious. Now I feel like making it right away! I will try to this week! With love Annabel.xxx

  2. Hi Annabel it is so cold here this morning it looked like and felt like we had a frost
    It still like winter
    A couple of weeks ago we had what they called a Natural Disaster
    The silty water entered our home
    We have finally cleaned it all out
    Most of our water pumps were badly damaged a lot are still at the pump Drs
    We had to replace our large pump that pumps from our spring to the house water that I water all the pots and gardens and I use to wash our verandahs
    It also goes into the house for the loos in case we run out of tank water this pumps all the water for our chooks, sheep and cattle
    Having no luck at all with our insurance company
    Love Lorraine

    1. Dear Lorraine, I am sorry you had this problem with the water! We also have pumps pumping ground water and rain water. When something goes wrong it is a real pain but I have not had water come into the house! So sorry you had this mess to clean up. I hope your insurance company does the right thing, you must have damaged floors/floor coverings and more. I hope this all be a better week! With love, Annabel.xxx

  3. It would be wonderful to read your "Saving Like Nana Did" series. That white dresser you got looks great! New things are outrageously expensive. I am delighted to hear you found what you wanted for such a good price! I am always amazed at how much work you do in your homemaking.

    We have cold weather here and are using our wood pellet stove to help keep us warm. We had a delivery this week for kerosene (for heat). I was shocked to see that the price has more than doubled since last year. Somehow, someway the Lord provides. We are blessed. God is good!

    1. Dear Mrs. White, Thank you so much! Having the pellet stove is such a good thing also having kerosene stored. Everyone is saying how much the kerosene, propane/gas have all gone up. Also in Europe the price of firewood has also gone up so much. I am so glad you are ahead with these things. I will link to my old Saving like Nana did posts as I revive the series and add new things. Thank you an have a good new week! With love Annabel.xxx

  4. The little dresser for Scarlett turned out so nice! She will think of you when she sees the bird on top. We have been told only a 1% increase in electricity here but my heart goes out to those who are cold and not able to afford heat. That is absolutely what would be the worst nightmare to me. We are now in the cold, dreary and rainy part of winter. I am having fun pulling out and wrapping all the put away toys I bought over many months for the grandchildren. I found such great deals that they all will have a big pile.

    We now have family members who are relying on food giveaways. They get so much fresh produce that it is wasteful so I have been trying to make suggestions as to how to preserve and save it. We are too far away to help or trade for it. Last week I bought a bag of carrots that were all weird shapes and some broken pieces of larger carrots. Americans would not have purchased such produce in the past but now I am happy to get it and be able to afford it. Now we are hearing that food will go up as much in 2023 as it did in 2022. It is hard to imagine. Eggs are over $4 a dozen now in my area but we did find a sale this week for 3.98 for an 18 pack and bought three.

    Looking forward to your posts in the new year. We all have to pull together and work hard to make it now. Much prayer goes into what and where we find supplies now. Have a great weekend!

    1. Dear Lana,
      I also think the real cold and lack of heating would be the most miserable (and dangerous) combination. There is now a world wide energy crisis so this is very widespread. It must be so nice wrapping all the parcels knowing how exited the children will be! I am doing the same!
      I think of all the ways I preserve food now that I didnt in the past... so now I am thinking of your family members getting so much produce. Firstly I am glad they get it. Lots of soups are a good thing. Some things can be dehydrated near the fireplace if they have one. I also get the crazy carrots. Sometimes I get a ten pound bag at a good price. Eggs here are $5 to $8 a dozen and there have been shortages. Because we are farmers (the family) we watch a lot of factors and it seems certain that food will go up much more next year. Also because some of the biggest food exporters are being knocked out like the Netherlands... and even in Canada they are limiting fertiliser.. well it doesn't look good. As you say we need to pull together, think and plan because we are going to need to be careful. I am so glad about my chickens and garden, I keep planting a bit more! Enjoy the wrapping it is beautiful you found so many nice gifts! With love Annabel.xxx

  5. Hello Annabel and dear Bluebirds,. Your season of planting sounds so good and you managed a lot! The cooking looks delicious - I always wonder how many talents you have🥰. I like your new furniture for Scarlet, she will be besoted with the little birds. - I know I would.... The Bluebird from UK, her mesage scared me. If in UK there are families who do not have food then in my country will be much worse. Our prices are fairly the same with theirs but with much lower salaries. In fact, our people go there looking for work and some don't even come back. Since yesterday there is a bad boiling in my country as Austria voted against us to enter in Schengen, which is bad for us. Also for the integrity of European Union, as that means Russia could become stronger in this new war. And not fair regarding us, when we are the border between Europe and the war. Scary and hard times. I am glad to be prepared as no one will come to help. I am tired as a dog some days but prepared for bad days. And thank you for encouragement on this site, as I do not have many likeminded people around me. Today I washed all the windows, cleaned the house and planted in pots 4 Amarylis bulbs, hoping they will flower in time for Christmas. These are my favourites winter flowers! For the evening I prepare to work on the litle baby girl blanket for my nephew's first baby, it will be a gift as she will be born anyday now in December. Have a good weekend everybody, sending my love and hugs from faraway, Laura_s_world from Romania

    1. Dear Laura,
      I am seeing these concerning developments and even more things this week. You have worked so hard and I am just really proud of your efforts to be stocked up, have your garden and chickens an all you have done.
      Clean windows are beautiful. Everything looks so bright and fresh! The bulbs will be beautiful I hope they do flower in time for you but even if not when they do you will enjoy them. Your baby blanket will be beautiful and what a lovely gift! It is so nice having something good to work on in the evenings. This week s going y so fast. We have ten days until Christmas! I hope your week is going well. With much love Annabel.xxx

  6. Laura, do you have a blog? Please post the URL...I would love to read it, as I am sure others would, too. I imagine it is written in Romanian, but maybe there is a site that translates.

    Annabel, Scarlett's night stand is absolutely gorgeous! I am so impressed...but then, I'm impressed every week by your industriousness.

    This week was filled with frugal fails! We received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service (US income taxes) demanding $15,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties. (I realize this is a first world problem). I checked our forms and saw that we had reported the income and paid taxes on it. We took it to an accountant and he spotted the problem--the amount was entered on the wrong line. He amended the return for us for $125 and handled all of the IRS paperwork. However, moving the income to a different line changed the way it was taxed and we owe $5,500! Well, it's better than $15,000! (But it's a blow).

    Then I got my bank statement and found they were clearing checks through the wrong account. They discovered my new checks (which I got from them) had the wrong account number printed on them! They reversed everything, and it didn't cost us anything, but it took a whole day and was a huge headache! And they are reprinting the checks. Believe me, I will be checking the account number...twice!

    They say things happen in threes. I was clearing snow off our truck and discovered the windshield had cracked! We do have insurance, but there is a $250 deductible to have it replaced.

    The only way I feathered my nest this week was to mend two items and cook double and freeze a ready meal. Actually, I've done this 4 times in two weeks. I had to reorganize the freezer drawer and discovered I'm 10 meals ahead. My goal is 7. Now I have to eat some of the older ones, but with the holidays, they will be wonderful to have. Thank you again for mentioning this in your preparedness series last year.

    I'm looking forward to Saving Like Nana did. My grandmother was born in 1875 and died in 1941, 5 years before I was born. But I was raised by her daughter! (1914-1995). I realize now how generational things are. I do things much as my mother did, who did things like her mother did. My mother always propped the oven door open after baking. I thought this was to cool the oven, so I always did it, too. Then it hit me--the oven heat was meant to help heat the house! Don't laugh, but I only realized this when I remembered she never did it in hot weather!

    Best wishes to all of the Bluebirds...especially the ones that leave the oven door open!

    1. I am honoured that you would be interested reading a blog written by me but I do not have one. Also, you made me think about - I could write something about survival during the comunism times, which I think is the same hard times like the Great Depression, only I have lived it on the first line. And learned to survive, for sure! Thank you and have a nice weekend

    2. I would like that very much!

    3. Dear Maxine, I hope this week has gone without so many glitches and expenses. Yes things happen in threes we always say that here.
      I think Laura could write a wonderful blog also! I am so grateful we have her here to shed light on some of the things happening in Europe.
      Good job on the mending and adding a ready meal to the freezer. They are always very handy.
      Wow I just would love if we could ask our Grandmothers information now! My Nan was born in 1919... my other Nana was born I think in 1900. Imagine what they saw in their lifetimes. I also let the heat into the kitchen once I am done cooking... and I dont use the oven in hot weather. I think I am going to ask Laura to write for us... unless she would Luke her own blog then I will send everyone to her! With much love Annabel xxx

  7. Dear Annabel,

    What a cute little bedside table! The bird was just the ticket.

    I loved your series on "Saving Like Nana Did"...revive away! That is ridiculous about your power costs. And how wonderful that the UK Bluebird was able to help from her pantry! I just went grocery shopping last night and was gobsmacked about the prices...things have just gone up SO MUCH in the last year! Not just cents, but dollars on each item, and it really is a big deal to your grocery budget! I saw someone talking about a Remoska the other day, and had to look that up...looks like just the ticket to save on electricity and still get nicely browned baking done. Not sure if I can get one here. I use my oven a lot! I have been trying to think ahead and use the oven for multiple items at once, but I think any info you have on using residual heat would be great...I hadn't thought of that. Yes, I bet it's perfect for egg custard/baked rice pudding, meringues, etc.

    I'm almost done sending out all my Christmas cards and parcels, so just a couple of gifts to finish up and then the Christmas baking. And enjoying my family!!

    Great idea about the biscuits, by the way!!

    xx Jen in NS

    1. Dear Jen, Thank you so much! I am planning ahead and working on my Nana posts. We are all being hit by food prices, fuel... everything basically at once. I had to google Remoska... From my research and experience.... smaller appliances like air frier or toaster oven and by the looks a Remoska are a true saving over the main oven. A slow cooker too.. A pavlova or meringues are just perfect for residual heat as you can leave them in the oven until the next day! The slow cooling down makes them perfect! I will get on to more on this! With love Annabel.xxx

  8. 83%!!! Oh, my goodness! I can't even imagine. I am so sorry, Annabel. I think of all those struggling right now and now to be facing such an increase. I will be praying for all those affected.
    I would love to read your posts on how Nana did things back in the day. I think of the things my mother used to do because she was a child of the great depression. I am glad I paid at least a little attention as I was growing up because I have used that knowledge to help us financially in difficult times.
    I feathered our nest by canning 8 pints of cranberry juice using the cranberries I bought on sale before Thanksgiving. I also canned 8 pints of applesauce from apples I had picked in September. They were looking a little tired so into the pot they went.
    The comment about your UK reader is very uplifting. It got me thinking. Our church hosts 15 homeless men the two weeks of the holiday (Christmas and New Years). I have signed up to provide dinner one evening. Because of all the
    "feathering" you have inspired me to do I believe I can feed them all for about $10 (US) out of pocket. Plus, if need be I can do a second night of dinner for very little cost. Our area has no permanent homeless shelter for men so the organization works with area churches to provide temporary housing and 2 meals a day for these men. Most of the men actually have jobs but cannot afford to rent in the area. Rentals in this area have gone up a ridiculous amount. We recently received our property tax assessment. It has gone up almost 14%! How in this current economy can it have gone up so much? We are appealing as are many others. Home sales have dropped significantly both in price and in how quickly they are selling. We get minimal services from our county so I am not sure what I am paying for.
    Thank you for your blogs. I love reading them and get inspired every week. By the way, I am still trying to work out a way to get some type of laying bird through my HOA. I appreciate your suggestion of quail or bantams. Time will tell.
    All the best. Marley in the Virginia mountains

    1. Dear Marley, This is very widespread. A world wide energy shortage has been declared. As I write more posts I will link to the old Nana posts as well. My Nan's also lived through the Great Depression and how I wish I had them now!
      Great work on the cranberry juice and the applesauce! Both of those would be beautiful.
      Making meals for the men is wonderful of you! Being stocked up helps so much! Its so sad people can have jobs but still not get a home! Rent is very high here too... And also rates or household/land taxes have also gone up terribly here. Also mortgages because of interest rates.... it goes on and on.
      I dont know if you could possibly get out of your HOA. If not Quail might be the best bet. Although Bantams... having just hens are very quiet. I know you will make the meal for the men very lovely! Bless you for doing this! With love from Annabel.xxx

  9. hello annabel and all bluebirds,wishing everyone a very merry christmas. this week has been a busy week with a lot of baking and cooking for family comming in the next weeks. this week my nest was feathered by mending my hubbys work jeans, he wears them with patch upon patch, then we cut out the good places and make quilts. not much goes to waste after they are "worn out". also replaced some worn out elastics on longjohns. this week i made christmas cookies for friends and our family christmas and for church. they will go in the freezer to be used as needed and to keep us away from temptation haha. christmas we will have turkey, miss lori on hillbilly holler has a good recipe for quickly baking turkey for 2 people. she cuts it up like a chicken, brines it then bakes it for about 11/2-2 hrs. it looks delicious so i'm going to try it that way-there will only be 2 of us on christmas day. hope you all are staying warm this day and take care ..bonnie

    1. Dear Bonnie,
      All your baking sounds wonderful! And so does your mending! I think mending is beautiful like a sign of love.
      Everyone will enjoy your cookies and truly people are so thrilled with a thoughtful gift. I am going to check out Hillbilly Hollers recipe for the turkey as mostly it is just two of use here also. I hope you keep warm and have a beautiful Christmas! With love Annabel.xxx

  10. sorry ladies, in the last post i gave the wrong youtube name for the roasted turkey, the right one is whipporwill holler. thanks bonnie

  11. Our friend, Sarah (Sarah Wanders on Instagram), has been writing about how cold it is in their vicarage in Oxford. My daughter visited her during the Fall and said it was cold already then. I have been taking stock of what was in my deep freeze to use up what has been there longest. Food inflation continues to be terrible here in the American Midwest like it is everywhere else.

    There have been talks of possible brown outs but we are part of a Rural Electric Co-op and are in a better situation than many people. Even then, I received a small solar generator and solar panels as a gift and I need to make it a priority after the Holidays to read all the instructions and have it available in case of an emergency.

    1. Dear Brenda, While it is not a good thing about the food prices the fact that this is across most of our countries means we can help and support each other. I am always so interested in how others do things. When I first started building my pantry I quickly realised how good my USA friends were on canning and food preservation... and as I realised how cold it gets and how long winter can be I began to understand why these skills were so important. This really helped me get going on so much of what I do now.
      You received a most wonderful gift. I agree... do set things up... figure out how they work... so in a crisis and under stress you dont have to worry about that. These will be a great asset to you! With love Annabel.xxx

  12. Hi Annabel
    I’m so pleased for you that you found such a cute set of drawers! And of course added a mini makeover! You are right about furniture prices, they are ridiculous. And often the older ones are made better anyway. Lucky Scarlett!

    Great idea cutting the scone dough!

    It’s the last few days of school here and I’m so happy! There’s been lots of baking for teachers and shared lunches etc. Many fun events too but I’m also looking forward to them slowing right down. We’re having Christmas at home and I’m very excited to not have to travel!

    This week I got two huge bags of bananas for $1 each, need to be used quickly so I’ve been baking and will freeze some. Also some chocolate chips on clearance and pre-made coleslaw.

    I’m planning a fairly simple Christmas menu with food I know everyone enjoys, some treat dishes and plenty of things I can prepare ahead of time!

    Have a lovely rest of your week
    Jen (NZ)

    1. Dear Jen,
      I am so glad you are at the end of term. My kids were always very tired by this time of year and after all the extra events etc. Being able to have quiet days at home will be beautiful!
      What a great deal on the Bananas! It is so good finding something you can work into the baking which is healthy and extends things too.
      The kids will be getting so excited about Christmas. Ten days to go! With lots of love Annabel.xxx

  13. Hi Annabel and Bluebirds! The set of drawers is super cute! What a great idea to keep watch for a secondhand piece that will work perfectly. I think those pieces are better than new!
    You talked about residual heat from the oven, but what about the wonderbag? It's a cloth thermal cooker that uses no electricity to cook food all day. You heat up the food in a pot, then keep it closed and put it in the bag to finish cooking. I want to try it and see if I can reduce the need for electric cooking some.
    I have been building my nest by choosing gifts wisely this season, and by adjusting everyone's expectations. I used a set of coupons to fill stockings, used a different discount for a few presents online, and lowered the amount we're spending this year. We've also been making breads and soups to stretch the food budget and feed the young men in the family who can't seem to get enough to eat ever. We've been eating from our low cost pantry, which will need a stock up soon. I'm also looking for meals that stretch the meat budget and can use different types of meat so I can substitute what can be found and what is inexpensive that week. Things like pizza, enchiladas, and egg dishes would work with different meat flavors.
    Thank you for the encouragement to feather our nests and be prepared! It has me thinking of ways to go through this winter better!
    Stacy in Virginia

    1. Dear Stacy,
      Thank you so much! Than you for mentioning the wonder bag. I am going to try and learn about those and also sun ovens. These both could be a big help.
      I love what you said about choosing wisely, adjusting expectations... different times do mean we need to do different things. I did similar... like making more smaller fruit cakes rather than fewer bigger ones. And its just fine to do that. And sensible!
      A meal I can add to your list is Pasties. They are common here and the UK... but Jess on Acre Homestead makes them and shows good recipes... they are very filling, sooo good, freeze well and dont use much meat at all. Once you make them once you will be hooked. Pizza is great. Many pasta dishes can be just a little bacon or chicken and a delicious sauce and cheese... not much meat at all. I think you gave me a subset for my how Nan did things series!
      With much love Annabel.xxx

    2. I have a Wonderbag and it works great! So glad you mentioned this. When we moved a few years ago, I don't think I ever unpacked it (we have boxes still in our storage room). Will need to go dig it out and put it to use. Thanks for the reminder.

  14. Hi Annabel
    Well after a very mild start to summer it certainly has heated up this week, today was 35 with a humidity of 73% and boy was I grateful for the air con then came the rain and 2 storms before they left and it was hot and muggy again

    Christmas wrapping is mostly done with a few finishing touches needed. Coffee balls and Gingerbread biscuits to be done either end of this week or over the weekend.
    We have watched some Christmas movies and played some Christmas games, finished off the shopping and done, parcels are posted and some tidying up around the house, now it feels like Christmas

    The bedside table has come up wonderfully and Scarlett is one lucky little girl to be getting something so pretty

    Hope you are having an awesome week

    Take Care
    Aly xxx

    1. Dear Aly, I really like the sound of coffee balls! I was just saying to Lucy to revive the old Christmas movies like Home alone. We used to laugh so much in some of those. Just lovely. It does fell like Christas now... ten days to go! With love and thanks, Annabel.xxx

    2. I love the addition of your bird on the chest. So cute! I do a lot of painted furniture. I used to have a business selling painted furniture and embroidered pieces. In the south we love our monograms so I did a lot of custom outfits for kids and Mama's and pillows and such. I closed the end of 2019 to move and then everything shut down in 2020 and I haven't reopened.
      * Your bread looks so yummy. And scones are what we call biscuits, right? Mama didn't roll them she just hand patted out her biscuits and they were light and perfect. I can't do it like her.
      * I feel for all of you experiencing such high energy rises. I pray you are able to find alternative sources and stock fuel and wood or what you need.
      * Everyone talks about grannies in the depression and stories. My Mama's mother married at 14! She had mama at 16. she married a 28 year old man and he treated her like a princess, doing everything for her. He built a log house across the street from her parents and her brother lived down the street. So, her mother did a lot of cooking and the raising of my mom. I have never seen my grandmother cook one thing, and she lived with us from the time I was 12- 18. She just let everyone take care of her. Mama's dad died when she was 15 and a cousin that was 15 moved in with her and grandmaw. Grandmaw left the two 15 year olds alone and married a man and moved to another state. I don't know how they survived, they did odd jobs to make enough to eat and pay for gas.
      * My dad's mom was born in 1895, wore an apron and bonnet. The hardest working woman you've ever seen gardening and tending animals. Out raking a hill at 80 years old. She canned and I would love to be able to learn from her. She was 73 when I was born and lived to be 96, but I didn't know to ask questions and watch back then.
      * I've been ill for 3 weeks. So I am not doing a lot of decorating. My son and DIL come tomorrow morning, then the other 4 and their partners will come the 22nd. I will get my DIL to help decorate if I don't get it today. No pressure this year, I'm listening to my body and not pushing it. I got all the shopping done and am ready to enjoy my family. My husband got a $5000 ( but taxes were taken out) bonus so that covered all I bought for my 5 kids plus 5 partners, grandson, bless our pastors, and have a good bit left to throw in savings.
      *My freezers are stuffed. I got a quarter cow feom a local farm then 40 pounds of ground beef from another local farm. We have 3 deer from last year and it is now hunting season again.. I'm low on chicken but will have to can things after the holidays. We ordered a smoker and I can't wait to smoke a frozen turkey I got at Thanksgiving.
      * I made breakfast burritos with tortillas ground sausage, eggs, and cheese. I freeze them for quick grab and go breakfasts. I have a ham I bought on sale and will cook it in my electric roaster today. I will portion it out and freeze it. I will make some more breakfast burritos with ham instead of sausage. Then some biscuits with ham egg and cheese and freeze.
      * Talking about appliances I love my Instant Pot and also my Air Fryer to cook using less energy. I also bought my electric roaster on the yardsale site, new in box, but inky $10 and have done a roasted turkey that was fabulous. I do my bone broth letting in simmer for 2 days then can it. I am trying the ham for the first time to see how it cooks. The lid self bastes as the liquids rise and fall back from the lid.

    3. I have continued to use residual heat. My mom always did it so it was the way I learned to cook. In addition to that we never cook just one meal. If we have room in the oven or on the grill we cook a second meal that will only need a little bit of reheating. Often I will cook enough on the weekend to feed us all week for our main dish and only need to prepare a side or starch to go with it. If we are not thinking we want to eat something for leftovers that week we add it to the freezer and take out a freezer meal for variety.
      I have thought about solar ovens but can’t see that it would work well where we live. I might be wrong but haven’t decided I am willing to part with my money yet.
      Two years ago I called many of my friends and told them to start stockpiling any medications that they could as there were going to be shortages since most are produced offshore. That is what we are seeing in our area right now. Our energy has gone up but not has bad as some areas of the country but everyday we hear about people being unable to fill prescriptions. At the time I also bought some books on natural healing so I could start gathering herbs. But sometimes you just need an antibiotic. It is best not to get to that point so currently we have been once again avoiding crowds when we can. The flu and RSV are very prevalent at the moment but often they can turn into a secondary infection so it it best not to get sick. Nancy in the Pacific Northwest.


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