Independence Days Challenge - Week 1

1. Plant Something.

I didn't get anything planted, but I did finalize my seed order, and placed one order. The other orders will be placed next week. I also got this:

This will make seed starting and plant over-wintering SO much easier! No, I didn't buy it new - it was Dad's, but he didn't want it anymore, so I bought it from him. And, since he's a good guy, he delivered it and helped set it up too :)

2. Harvest Something.

Nada. It's February!

3. Preserve Something.

Not in the traditional sense, but I did make a huge batch of not-quite-beef-stroganoff, and put half in the freezer for a future meal.

4. Waste Not.

Started my veggie stock stash!

5. Want Not.

I didn't add anything to my food stash, but I started something equally as important: sorting through what I already have. I realize most people may not understand this, but remember - I live in a half-renovated house. With a VERY limited kitchen area. So a lot of my food (that which doesn't live in the fridge or freezer) is in a series of bags, boxes and totes, and I've found myself re-buying something simply because I can't find it in the mess. 

6. Eat the Food. 

I used the last of the garden onions (sad face) in the not-quite-beef-stroganoff. There were still some onion-like things left, but they had morphed into something I wasn't willing to eat ;) Which is actually interesting (to me, at least) - the onions and potatoes lasted this long, at room temperature, with no protection or specialized storage at all. I simply left them in the baskets, and put them on the floor in the back addition. And they lasted 5 months. Not bad!

I also made a quick veggie soup from storage: onions, canned tomatoes, store-bought beef stock, barley and frozen veggies. This was lunch for Dad and I yesterday, and today. And there is probably enough for Dad's lunch if he comes over tomorrow as well. Good, cheap food - have I mentioned before how much I love soup?

7. Build Community Food Systems.

Nothing to report.

8. Skill Up.

I bought this:

 Okay, I know that simply buying a book doesn't actually do anything, but...

This is the first River Cottage book I've bought, and I like it - it's small, but filled with a lot of information. It covers all aspects of bread making, including non-yeast breads (but misses out on baking-power biscuit - what?!?! Life isn't worth living without biscuits!) in enough detail to make my inner-geek quite happy. And I love the fact that, while the author points out options and why certain ones are better in his opinion, he doesn't belabor the point that one must always use only hand-picked, stone-ground-at-a-mill-powered-by-fairy-dust, heirloom-wheat-found-in-an-Egyptian-tomb wheat that is only sold at one store, open Tuesdays to Friday and alternate Saturdays.

Okay, I'll try to tone back the sarcasm, but nothing makes me NOT want to try something as much as the insane limitations certain authors self-righteously put on their recipes. This books makes bread baking accessible to everyone - even me ;)


  1. Oh, I would love one of those seed starting shelves! A DIY one has been on my "to-do" list for too many years to count!

    I believe books count. Reference and skilling up!! :) I've been reading about bread this week too (sourdough starter, mainly).

  2. Thanks Gina - I am so lucky that Dad was willing to sell me his set. The new ones are so expensive! You should try making your own - what a good item for the challenge :)

  3. well done--and I think buying the book does count!

    1. Thanks Dmarie! Now I just have to out down the book and get out the flour :)



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