Independence Days Challenge - Week 5

1. Plant Something.

I started three herbs from seed bought from Richters this year: basil, leaf celery and common comfrey. I also bought borage and calendula, but those will be direct sown.

2. Harvest Something.

YES!  I got tired of saying no to this category, and so in desperation, went into the garden and harvested a few tops from the perennial onions. I realize this is not a "real" harvest, but, hey, we northerners gotta take what we can!

3. Preserve Something.

Marmalade! Three recipes, four batches, resulting in 26 half pints and 8 quarter pints.

4. Waste Not.

I finally got around to making both beef and veggie stock this week, from the freezer scraps and some cheap-ish beef bones from the grocery store. And... wait for it... I pressure canned it!!!

Vegetable (left) and beef (right) stock

5. Want Not.

15 pints of marmalade, 2 quarts of vegetable stock, 2 quarts of beef stock added to the stash.

6. Eat the Food.

In addition to eating a lot of marmalade, I made a Mexican "lasagna" with ground beef from the freezer, canned beans (store bought, but from the stash), canned salsa (made from garden veggies), canned tomato sauce and home-made corn tortillas, topped with cheddar cheese and the chopped onion tops from the garden.

7. Build Community Food Systems.

Nothing this week.

8. Skill Up.

First attempt at jam making with the marmalade, first beef stock, first use of the pressure canner, and...

I made corn tortillas!  Amazingly enough, I found the masa harina in my local grocery store and decided to finally use it. And wow - EASY! Just corn flour and water, mix, rest, roll out and cook. I've since read some people add salt and/or lime juice, and both of those would be good additions. And yes, I have to work on my "roll out into a circle" technique :)

One last thing, even though this doesn't really fit here:  I hung sheets out to dry this week. In March. In Canada*. Do you have any idea how happy this made me?

*Yes, I do know some people hang laundry out year round, and that is how I grew up. I have some "great" memories of my hands freezing as I took frozen laundry off the line, and so I tend not to use the line during the winter. Bad me.


  1. Yay for finally cracking open the pressure canner! And I hear you on the laundry- we normally hang ours in the house all winter but I've been amazed at the number of times I've been able to hang outside this winter- the other day when temps went into double digits and windy I had a load dry in under an hour!

    1. And it's supposed to be warm weather again this week - I'm thinking the blankets and duvet cover are next!



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