Inching Along Towards …..


Carrot Cake
February 14, 2021, 5:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, it’s been a cold and blustery week here in Iowa.  Temps have been in the single digits and today it is going to get no higher than -5 F. Windy, but always seems to be windy here.  And it’s snowing again.  Even if it only snows an inch, the wind will push it to fill all the places that we have already cleared.

The cow is that dark, out of focus blob in the shed 🙂

The poor cows stay in their shed most of the day now, only coming out when they think it is time for some grain or if one of us heads out to check on the chickens.  They get snow on their backs when they are out for long, but it doesn’t seem to bother them.  Good thing we bought the larger water tank and new tank heater at the end of January, because even disconnected and stored in the garage, the hose is frozen solid.  We’ve moved it to the basement, near our sump drain hoping it will defrost so that we can fill up the tank this afternoon.

I haven’t let the chickens out for a few days and I am surprised that they are laying again since the coop is pretty dark. Some of the eggs freeze and crack before we can get to them. The days have been so gray that their solar powered light is not recharging and it’s not all that bright to start with. I’ve started leaving my battery powered lantern on in the coop while I tend to the cows so they have a few minutes respite from the dark. They usually hop down from their roost and have a snack during that time. I have added a small flat panel heater to hopefully bring up the temp and their door is closed to keep out the worst of the cold North wind. The coop is far from airtight but they need the “airflow” to prevent a buildup of moisture from their respiration. I added the heater after it looked like one of the girls had a frostbitten spot on her comb.  I’ll need to keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t rot and become infected. They have a heated waterer as well, but don’t seem very fond of using it. Their rubber water bowl is only useful for a short time in these low temps, freezing in an hour or two.

My work hours are longer now which isn’t too much of a hardship given the weather. I would like to get out and stretch my legs by walking on lunch, but it’s much too cold, even at midday.

The block heater on H’s truck went out, which makes it somewhere between difficult and impossible to start a diesel engine at these cold temperatures and he attempted to replace it last weekend, but now the truck is leaking something.  Of course, now it’s too cold to work on it as even pulled into the garage, the truck is too long to bring the door down, and the temp in the garage is hovering at about 28 on top of the workbench. I assume it would be colder laying on the floor.

I finished up my garden plan and ordered some seeds today.  Spring is really something to look forward to! Right now my garden plot is under at least a foot of snow and I can’t even see the strawberry bed.

The strawberry bed is about 4 feet to the left of the shepherd’s crook. Poor Mary never made it in this winter. I hope she makes it through ok.

We have fruit trees coming at the end of March and we have fingers crossed that the ground will soften up enough for us to get holes dug before they arrive.

The tires on my garden wagon have all gone flat, not for the first time.  I’m debating between having H put solid tires on or just getting a new garden cart. Does anyone have a garden cart brand that they would recommend?  If so, let me know in the comments.  Thanks!

Friday was our 39th anniversary and H gave me some lovely flowers

But, of course, we didn’t go out. Between Covid, cold weather, working all day and a lack of conveniently located eateries, we had plenty of excuses to stay home.  I don’t even remember what we had for dinner.  Oh wait, I think I had a bacon and avocado sandwich. No idea about H. We did order some Chinese takeout on Saturday but it was a little disappointing.  After not eating out in so long, my taste buds seem to have changed.  I do wish I could find a good Thai restaurant within 20 miles, but that’s just a pipe dream.

Now, about that carrot cake. Two weeks ago was my birthday and my cake of choice was a carrot cake because 1) I had a bunch of carrots, 2) I found a recipe that used no butter (rations) and 3) I like carrot cake.  Well, for whatever reason, I didn’t get carrot cake for my birthday and so H made it yesterday. No reflection on him, but the recipe yielded a very dense cake. It took forever to bake and was not overly flavorful. A disappointment but oh well. H said not a keeper. I’ll put a sticky note in the cookbook to remind me not to use that recipe again.

With regards to my rations project, still on target with my sugar, butter and coffee. I had to give up a week’s worth of sugar for the carrot cake but I still about 2 cups stored up.

Remember these from my February “points” purchase? 

I thought they were seeds to snack on, but they are in fact a ground meal. Disappointing, but I will add them to a bread or cake recipe to use them up. If I try the national loaf again, in they will go.  I still have my national loaves in the freezer.

The rest of today will be a variety of small tasks around the house.  The biggest is figuring out what to do with these –

I’ll probably caramelize and freeze whatever I can rescue. I guess it was just too warm in the basement. It always feels cool to me down there, but apparently was not cool enough. Or maybe the variety just wasn’t a “keeper”.

Have a great week and Happy Valentine’s Day!

~Carol



Sporadic
February 6, 2021, 2:01 am
Filed under: Frugality

My apologies for making so few entries in the last few weeks.  I’m a tax accountant and this is getting to be my busy season.  So I expect that I will be rather random in my posting for the next couple of months.

So I thought I would go over how my Just Say No January turned out. My plan was to avoid any unnecessary spending during the month of January.  And I did tremendously well.

Here’s how my spending went.

Necessities –

Deodorant for H, feed for the chickens and calves, car parts for home repairs, cat food and litter

Food – less than $50 for the month

Trees – this was a planned purchase

New water trough and de-icing element for the cows – ($200) – this became necessary as our weather has taken a cold turn and the old de-icer died. H thought we needed a larger tank and different style of de-icer. Can’t break the ice when it’s single digits outside. 

Unnecessary items –

Kindle book off of Amazon ($2.13)

Valentine for my mom ($3)

Massage ($75)

Lunch at McDonald’s with my granddaughter and daughter ($21.46)

Granddaughter’s birthday gift ($30)

As you can see, the majority of my “unnecessary” purchases were gifts for others. The massage is an indulgence that I utilize to work through my shoulder and neck stiffness, especially during tax season.

I feel that I have done very well, since I do have a tendency to buy quite a few books. One, I decided to try harder to read books from my existing library.  Two, when I found a book I really wanted, I decided to get a copy at the library and see if it was a book I really wanted to add to my library. I’ve just finished reading it and I’m still not sure whether it is one that I want to buy.  If I can find it cheap at a secondhand store, I might pick one up, since it is a diet book and those tend to have pretty high turnover.  Third, I found a book that I really did want to buy, but when I looked on Amazon, the physical book was $91. Ouch! I’m not very big on reading books on my I-pad. I just prefer physical books. But the price for the hardback was just too much. I got the Kindle version, which was only $2.13.

Anyway, I’m rather pleased with the way things went with Just Say No January, that I will continue on with it in February.

So far this month,

Birthday gift for my son ($50)

Birthday gift for my grandson ($30)

Valentines for grandkids ($3)

New laundry hamper for H ($10)

Lunch out x 2 ($11 total)

Cash in birthday card to nephew ($20)

What I’ve spent so far is again, mainly gifts. I’m hoping to keep the rest of my purchases very low as there is nothing that I need at this time.

Planned purchases for later in the month may include my spring seed order (I need to see what I already have) and I may pick up Chinese take-out for my anniversary next week.

My rations plan is sort of stalled due to my not doing the cooking right now.  H tends to pick up in that department when I am working long hours, so I get what I get.  I am trying to adher to the spirit of the whole thing and watch my butter, sugar, and coffee intake. We continue in “use it up” mode, eating from the pantry and freezer.  We didn’t meet our $20 grocery budget for January, but $50 for the entire month for the two of us isn’t bad at all, especially since that included buying “extras” for my birthday dinner.

Have a great weekend!

~Carol



End of Week 4
January 31, 2021, 10:05 pm
Filed under: Rationing Project | Tags:

Well, it’s been a crazy week and there were several times that I ate items “off rations”.  I could cheat and call those “restaurant meals” but that’s just not right.  So I’m admitting that week four was kind of a fail. Oh well, start over.  I know that hardly seems right, since if I were really on rations there would be no stepping away, but hey, I’m keeping it real.

I did manage to keep track of all my butter, coffee, and milk use.  I’m still doing well with all of those, as well as accumulating a bit of sugar. Generally, I’m trying to keep in mind the rations, but what do you do when someone fixes lasagna for dinner?  Or makes you a birthday cake?  I guess I should dump some of my sugar and butter and call it good.  But I’m selfishly not doing that because I have been soooo careful with my butter up to now in hope of the chance to bake some muffins soon, but I only have ¼ cup in reserve. 

I still have oats, some macaroni, and a can of peaches from January points, but I am looking forward to my February points so that I can “buy” some canned tomato products and make a pot of chili and maybe spaghetti during the month.

Here’s what left from January

Here’s what I’m buying in February.  I’ve decided that since my points purchases are mostly used to make dinners for H & me, (J1 does his own cooking), I would also use H’s hypothetical points so that we could combine.  This makes less weird measuring for me.  So this is what I got for 40 points (20 for each of us).  Still not much, huh?

Super seeds and the Barley, Peas & Lentils mix are my substitute for rice in February

These are my “pre-ration items”.

Plus, I’m still shopping from my freezer for meat (about 1 lb for each of us per week) and vegetables. I froze a lot of corn and broccoli last summer, as well as having some other items in there that need to be used up. 

I’m still gnawing on my national loaf, usually at lunch, dipped in olive oil, but our main breads are still “white” and homemade.  I’m not sure when the last time I bought a loaf of bread was, but it must have been at least 18 months ago, maybe two years. The national loaf is hearty and filling, but I can see why people would find it a difficult leap to make from white bread.

On my other goals, I’m not doing so well. L The weather has been less that conducive to walking and my decluttering has stalled.  I’m getting busy at work, so lazy at home.

Grandkids gave me a new game for my birthday – Goat Yoga.

They loved playing it with me and since there are only 10 pieces, not a lot of mess to pick up or keep track of.

I read 3 books in January:

Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans by Brian Kilmeade (NF – History)

The Glass Cage by Nicholas Carr – about how automation has affected us (NF)

Poison Ivory by Tamar Myers – part of her Den of Antiquity series (F)

I enjoyed all three and they will stay on my shelf for now.  This is my first time through the Den of Antiquity series, but it will go into my cozy mystery cabinet to be read again at some future date.

I have three or four more in progress, so February will probably be a larger number of books completed. January may also have been a slower reading month because I was watching the historical farm series’ on tv.  Not seeing much else on the boob tube catching my eye right now, so I’ll be back to reading in the evenings.

That’s about it for me.  No definite menu plan for the upcoming week, just clearing up some leftovers for now.  Since the days are getting longer, a couple of the hens have decided to start laying again so probably more egg dishes.

Have a great week everyone!

~Carol



My Grandma’s House
January 28, 2021, 12:23 am
Filed under: Frugality

I always loved going to my grandparent’s house.  It was in a small town in northern California, in an area that was dominated by agriculture. Her house was on the main highway and a Frostee Freeze was located temptingly across the way. Semi-trucks would park along side of the house, shading the windows while the drivers stopped in for a burger.

The house was always dark and cool because Grandma keep the shades drawn against the heat of the day to keep down the cost of air conditioning. Except the kitchen.  The kitchen, which is where everyone hung out, was always bright, with the window cracked year round to bring in fresh air.

It was an old house, purchased in the late 1930’s when my mother was a toddler and it was old then. I think Grandpa said it was built in the 1890’s.  Originally, there was no toilet, only a sink and claw-footed tub in the bathroom. Later, a small add on was hung off the side of the house and the “toilet room” was added. A septic system was added and they were not hooked up to the city sewer system until the 1960’s.  To her dying day, Grandmas was nervous at the thought of clogging up the system.

I have no idea what they paid for the house because money was never discussed, but I do know that it came full furnished and those furnishings hung around for all of my grandparent’s days in that house.  During their time living there, they replaced mattresses, purchased a used piano for my mother, and an armchair for my grandfather (in the 1970’s). They never moved again.  Until she passed away in 1990, my grandmother lived in that house and she lived there like it was still the Depression.

Frugality was built into my grandmother.  She seldom and I mean seldom purchased non-essential items. Her most extravagant purchase was a white fox collar that she kept in a special box and brought out in the fall to attach to her fall dress coat. She had two dress coats, both she made herself. The light blue was for spring and the dark blue for fall and winter.  All of her clothes were home sewn, almost all from the same pattern and her craftsmanship was amazing.  When she taught me to sew years later, she would turn my projects inside out to check my seams and workmanship, saying that things should look as good on the inside as on the out and just because people couldn’t see it didn’t mean it should be sloppy.

At home, she wore a house dress and apron, but always changed to go out. Even to pop down to the post office or the market, she would change into her “town clothes” before leaving the house. This was done to keep clothing clean and prevent wear.

She owned one “pocketbook” (purse) and I remember how vexed she was when the handle gave out. Fretting because she had only used it for ten years, she and I scoured secondhand stores until she found one comparable because she would not pay the price of a new purse. I remember standing next to her in the Goodwill store, rolling my eyes as she yanked on purse handles checking their durability. She was in her seventies at that time and I’m sure she wanted one that would last the rest of her lifetime. I think she paid less than a dollar for the one she finally chose and probably thought that was too much.  Out came her coin purse and she paid for her “new” pocketbook.

TV was an old box style black and white, which my grandmother considered a waste of time and called “the idiot box”. I’m pretty sure Grandpa made that purchase.  When that TV “gave up the ghost” sometime in the 1980’s, my uncle bought her a small color TV, which she sat on top of the old TV box and watched Lawrence Welk. I think she also watched her stories (soap operas), after the jumped to TV from radio. She would crochet or iron while she watched. Decadent!

The telephone was a heavy old black thing with a rotary dial, connected to a party line, which initially consisted of four houses.  I still remember having to listen on the line to make sure someone else wasn’t using it before calling out and how when the phone would ring, sometimes Grandma or Grandpa would say “don’t answer that, that’s for the M—s”.  A private line was not considered because it would cost and additional $1 per month. Long distance calls were made on Sundays because rates were lower. In the 1980’s, she was finally forced off the party line when 9-1-1 came to town and the last neighbor dropped off the party line. My father bought her a new phone with a recorder that didn’t weigh six pounds. She never used the recorder.

Her pride and joy were her Maytag washer-dryer set. While she never embraced new fangled appliances like a microwave (it was going to give us all cancer), she did fully enjoy labor saving household appliances.  Her old wringer washer was delegated to a corner of the screened in porch and the gleaming white Maytag duo was given pride of place. She never got rid of that old wringer washer and I don’t know if it just sat there as a backup or as a reminder of past labors.

The floors in Grandma’s house were gleaming hardwood, which she maintained with a broom wapped in an old towel. Throw rugs created a strategic path through the living area so that no one scratched the high gloss finish.  She hated waxing and so was diligent in enforcing strict use of the path and woe to anyone who attempted to leave the kitchen with a glass in hand. Only the rarest of visitors was served coffee or tea in the parlor and even then, might be asked to sit at the dining room table instead of the davenport (sofa). Only holiday meals were served anywhere but the kitchen.

Food was basic and delicious. Growing up on a wheat farm, my grandmother and her sisters cooked for the threshing crews. In northern California, the summers and the fall harvest time is hot and dusty. The girls would get up at three in the morning to start baking for the day, which included bread and pies, and get breakfast ready for the crews who would want to be in the field at first light. As soon as breakfast was over, they would clean up and start preparing lunch.  Lunch, which Grandma always called dinner, was the largest meal of the day. When she spoke of it, it sounded like what I do for a large family holiday dinner. I do that maybe twice a year.  She and her sisters would do that every day, for three weeks or more. A typical day they were feeding between 10 and 20 workers. After dinner, clean up again and then supper was prepared out of leftovers from dinner. Yes, apparently there were leftovers. The girls ate each meal after the workers were finished. Then clean up and they would wait until everyone came in for the night, around 10 pm before heading to bed themselves.

My other grandmother grew up on a turkey farm and hated turkey, but that’s a story for another day.

I had never heard this story until I told Grandma that I was going to be doing some home canning.  Home canning was not something that I had ever seen anyone in my family do, but my mother-in-law canned peaches and my husband assumed it was something I knew how to do (Umm, no). So when I told Grandma, she said “Why would you do that? It’s such hot, hard work. I was so excited when I could just go buy my cans at the market.”  So the story of her youth and all the hard work of living on the farm came out and what she thought was a cautionary tale was really just a revelatory moment where I learned more about someone that I had always loved and respected.  Did she dissuade me from canning? Nope, and I feel close to her when I’m standing in my hot garage with boiling water splashing on my shoes pulling jars out of my canner.

One thing that my grandmother loved that I would consider not frugal was single serve cans. The first time I saw teeny tiny cans of tuna in her pantry, I had to ask about them.  As the cost per ounce was higher than the larger can, I asked this very frugal woman why she bought them. Well, she said, she didn’t like leftovers.  She couldn’t stand the thought of food being wasted, so she only made enough for each day.  “But you have a refrigerator.” I said.  She agreed, but the refrigerator was new (you know, like only since the fifties) and she still looked at leftovers as something that wouldn’t have kept well in her old icebox. In later years after Grandpa died I would find the occasional holdover in her fridge but in general, it was pretty lean in there.

I learned so many things from my Grandparents.  Grandpa showed me that old people can still be young at heart (he used to loosen his false teeth and pretend to be a monkey) and Grandma taught me how to sew, knit, crochet and make an awesome apple pie. I still use her pie crust recipe today and look forward to teaching my granddaughter how to make an awesome apple pie too.



Chicken Divan
January 24, 2021, 7:15 pm
Filed under: Rationing Project | Tags:

Last week and again this week, Chicken Divan was on my menu. One of my commenters, Sue said that this was not a recipe familiar to her. In England, a divan is a sofa (my grandma called it a davenport). I promised pictures when I got it made, which I did yesterday. I had planned to have it Saturday and Sunday, but I had visitors for dinner and so, I will have to come up with something else for Sunday dinner. Might be potluck for all.

Here is the recipe and photos from my prep:

Ingredients

1 lb of baked chicken, or you can use canned

1 package of frozen broccoli

1 can of cream of chicken soup

1 cup of mayonnaise

curry powder

cheddar cheese

rice

Bake chicken in 400 degree F. oven until cook through ( I temp it to 165 degrees F). Cut into bite size pieces and put in baking dish.
Add frozen broccoli. You can also use lightly blanched/steamed fresh broccoli here. Also cut bite size. Toss together so that they are evenly spread in the dish.
Stir together the can of cream of chicken soup, mayonnaise, and add curry powder to taste. The original recipe from my MIL said 1/2 to 1 teaspoon, but I add much more than that.
Spread on top of chicken and broccoli.
Spread with shredded Cheddar cheese and bake in a 350 degree F oven until cheese is melted and everything is heated through. Sorry, I forgot to take a pic of the completed casserole.

Ok, it was yummy. So how did it impact my rations:

It is always hard when guests arrive. Did they bring their ration book with them? Just dropping by, probably not. But maybe they brought something with them to share? In this case, my family brought ice cream bars for dessert which would have been a real treat in WW2.

So ——-

chicken – not rationed

broccoli – from my freezer, not rationed. If this had been truly WW2, the veg of choice probably would have been canned green beans or maybe cabbage from the root cellar.

cream of chicken soup – points item and used up the last of my tinned soups for the month

mayonnaise – I count this as an oil, so it used up 1 cup of my margarine/Crisco ration.

curry powder – one of the few spices that remained fairly available throughout the rationing period.

rice – points item and this used up the rest of my rice for the month.

That’s about it for today! Off to figure out what’s for dinner and spend some time reading a good book!

~Carol



Week 4 Menu and Rations
January 23, 2021, 12:38 am
Filed under: Rationing Project | Tags:

This week, we are going to be having chicken for the first time in a while. Chicken was not rationed, but later in the war it was hard to come by and were most valuable for the eggs they produced. If you raised chickens, you would not get an egg ration, but would receive a ration of chicken feed instead. My chickens are currently not laying due to the short days, but I have a friend whose younger birds have been laying through the winter, so I have a source of eggs.  H eats eggs almost daily and isn’t participating in the rations, so he has a steady supply.  While I am not down to a one day per week ration, I do use considerably fewer eggs. 

This has all been a lead in to my menu for Week 4, which begins Friday. My grocery shopping for the week will be just milk as we don’t really need anything else this week. We don’t have any of our $20 budget left (due to a miscommunication about how many apples to buy last week), but H will be buying another gallon of milk when we finish this one. With luck, that will take us to the end of the month.

Friday – Breakfast – Coffee & Toast; Lunch – sausages, National loaf dipped in olive oil, raisins & an apple; Dinner – Fried Eggs on Waffles

Saturday – Breakfast – Oatmeal w/ 2T cream; Lunch – salad; Dinner – Chicken Divan over rice, waldorf salad

Sunday – Breakfast – Eggs & toast ; Lunch – salad; Dinner – Leftover Chicken Divan over rice, salad

Monday – Breakfast – Trix & ½ cup milk; Lunch – PB & apple butter sandwich, Cheetos, raisins & an apple; Dinner – beef roast and potatoes, frozen peas

Tuesday – Breakfast – Trix & ½ cup milk; Lunch – PB & apple butter sandwich, Cheetos, raisins & an apple; Dinner – quiche and salad

Wednesday – Breakfast – Trix & ½ cup milk; Lunch PB & apple butter sandwich, Cheetos, raisins & an apple; Dinner – quiche and salad

Thursday ??

This has been a long month to start with. But it has gone by quickly. I’m looking forward to having more points to “shop” in the new month.

Have a great weekend!

~Carol



Week 3 Wrap Up
January 22, 2021, 2:14 am
Filed under: Rationing Project | Tags:

So today is the last day of Week 3 of the Rationing Project. Generally I am doing well but the occasional exception when I find something in the pantry that needs to be used up or when trying to abide by the rules would be rude to my hostess. In the second case, I look at it as a “restaurant meal”.  Restaurant meals were available, with limited food options because they were also constrained by the rations. Additionally, they were price controlled.

My menu for the week was as follows (I really need to start taking pictures):

Friday – Breakfast – Trix cereal (pre-ration item) & ½ cup milk; Lunch – a free taco salad at Taco John’s (restaurant meal), and Dinner – Beans on toast and fruit cocktail (points items)

Saturday – Breakfast – Trix cereal & ½ cup milk; Lunch – Potstickers from the freezer (pre-ration item); and Dinner – Pizza at granddaughter’s bday party (restaurant meal)

Sunday – Breakfast – Cherry roll from freezer (pre-ration item); Lunch – Grilled ham sandwich (1 oz of ham from my ration); Dinner – Meat Loaf (used the whole week’s ration of meat to make the loaf), baked potatoes, & home-canned green beans

Monday – Breakfast – Toast & Coffee (with a little of my butter ration); Lunch – Baked beans, fruit cocktail, Ritz crackers, & summer sausage (last of the pre-ration sausage); Dinner – baked salmon from the freezer (but not a rationed item), Boxed Stuffing (pre-ration item), home-canned green beans

Tuesday – Breakfast – Trix & ½ cup milk; Lunch – Peanut butter (pre-ration item) and apple butter (my ration jam for the month, also a pre-ration) sandwich, Cheetos (pre-ration, grandkids haven’t finished them off) & an apple; Dinner – leftover salmon & stuffing

Wednesday – Breakfast – Toast & coffee; Lunch – Peanut butter & apple butter sandwich, cheetos. & and apple; Dinner – leftover meatloaf, stuffing, & frozen corn

Thursday – Breakfast – Trix & ½ cup milk; Lunch – leftover meatloaf, Cheetos, 1 oz of golden raisins; Dinner – leftover meatloaf (last day for this); rice-a-roni (pre-ration) & frozen corn

As you can see, our meals were quite repetitive. I really only cooked 2 days – Sunday, when I made the meatloaf and Tuesday, when I baked some salmon filets. The other days were either a quick heat up of canned goods (beans) or reheating leftovers. The meatloaf was huge since my package of ground beef was 2 lbs.  The first two weeks I cooked it up as loose meat and then used it in casserole type meals but I opted to make the whole things into one big loaf because H really likes meatloaf. So that was our whole week’s meat ration.

So, where am I with my rations? I use the following sheet to track those items that are “communal” in the fridge and pantry and I have indicated how much of each item and its typical serving I am allowed. Then I mark off each serving/item as I use it. It needs a little more refinement but it is working well.

As you can see by tracking sheet, I have use very little of my Week 3 rations because I was still using up rations from Weeks 1 & 2. I’m still using fats from Week 1 and cream from Week 2.  Even though I used a week’s worth of meat ration for my meatloaf, I had a ½ ration left over from Week 2. I am using up most of my milk each week mainly because I’m eating cereal right now.

So, I have the following left over at the end of Week 3

2 oz butter – I just finished the Week 2 ration

20 oz cream – still working on the Week 2 ration

1 ¾ pints of milk

8 oz margarine/Crisco – I haven’t used any, so skipped last week’s ration

7 oz oil/lard – this is a combination of lard/olive oil/mayonnaise/salad dressing

2 oz cheese – Week 3 ration

1 ½ oz of coffee

10 tea bags

6 oz of bacon/ham

½ week’s meat ration

Since I still have a lot of oils and cooking fats, other than butter, I will probably skip the fat ration again this week.  I have been returning some of my sugar each time I eat my sugar laden breakfast cereal. Each serving has 12 grams of sugar, which is a tablespoon, so that is the amount that I return to the main sugar bowl. I keep my sugar separate.  My sugar is building up and I am excited that I will be able to do a baking of some sort this weekend. I have at least a cup to use!

I’m off to work on my menu for Week 4.

~Carol



Decluttering Conundrum
January 20, 2021, 12:38 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So, I’m struggling with how to account for my decluttering.  I don’t know whether to count items singly or whether a group of items counts a one item.  For example, when I was going through the Christmas boxes, I decided to send a set of ornaments on to a new home.  There were probably 18 to 20 ornaments, but I counted them a one item.  It just seemed not quite right to count them as 18 individual items.

Also, when does an item get determined to be “de-cluttered” as opposed to just disposed. I finished off a bottle of shampoo this morning and will be replacing it out of a supply in my bathroom closet.  Do I count that as de-cluttered? Or is it just standard trash.  I opted for trash.

What about when I find 2 bottles of ketchup in the fridge and combine them, then toss one of the bottles?  Is that decluttering?

What about when I just suck it up and do all the filing I’ve been putting off and leaving in piles in the office?  It looks like clutter to me, but it just got put away, it didn’t go away.

I’m leaning toward counting it as decluttered when it goes into the donation box or is sold. I’m also encouraging my family to ask me before they buy things.  I may have what they need and be willing to part with it. Things used up in general daily life are not part of the count.

Thoughts on the project are appreciated!

~Carol



Monday January 18
January 19, 2021, 2:26 am
Filed under: Rationing Project | Tags:

My weekend ended up being rather full of activity. Saturday I pulled apart my closet and sorted a bunch of stuff for my decluttering project. I ended up putting 13 things into my donation box and 2 things into the trash bin.   There is still more sorting to do, but I’m pretty determined that not all of that stuff is going back into my closet. Hopefully I can be done with it next Saturday and can move onto another room. I also sorted through some craft stuff and decided on which of my already started craft projects to finish.

I have committed to finishing 2 previously started projects before starting any new project.  I have to be honest and admit that I have lots of partially completed projects to work on, so I’m hoping that I will get several items done before I am tempted to get any new projects going.  Even then, other than one kit I have my eye on, I’m planning to shop from my existing stash of craft supplies.

So, Saturday I finished two crocheted baby blankets.  All I had left to complete on them was the weaving in for the yarn ends. I have no excuse for the delay. None.

My next projects are:

  1. Mending one of my summer blouses,
  2. sewing some decorative buttons on a Halloween stitchery and framing it,
  3. weave in the ends on some knit washcloths, and
  4. finish a quick-point pillowtop. 

There are many more, but that ought to keep my busy for a bit.

Late afternoon we headed over to D’s  house to celebrate GD’s 8th birthday. Standard fare – pizza and cake. 

Sunday I started putting away the Christmas decorations. I also went through all the items that I didn’t use to decorate and repacked them in the Christmas boxes.  I decluttered 24 items.  It was actually more than that, but sometimes an “item” was actually a group of things like a bunch of ornaments of one type that I haven’t used for several years.  Everything is put away except my nutcracker collection and I will take care of that this coming weekend.

I also baked some cookies – Pecan Chews for H to take in his lunch.  Since I will be avoiding them, I didn’t use any of my butter or sugar ration.  I’m saving both to make some rhubarb muffins. Yay!

It was meatloaf, baked potatoes and home canned green beans for dinner.  It was a large loaf, so H will have meatloaf sandwiches (which he loves) for lunch and also for two or three dinners.

H had the day off today, so he did the grocery shopping.  He picked up a gallon of milk, 10 apples, a head of lettuce, and a turnip. That was far more apples than I needed, but totally my fault as I neglected to tell him how many to buy. So our week’s shopping took us right to the edge of our $20 for the month.  I doubt we’ll be able to make it to the end of the month without at least getting one more gallon of milk and possibly some cream.  I have plenty of pantry goods and butter in the freezer for the rest of the month, but H goes through about a gallon of milk a week, that amount for sure if the grandkids come over.

Dinner was some salmon out of the freezer with a pack of instant stuffing, and the rest of the green beans. Dessert was an apple.

While working on my various projects, I re-watched Wartime Farm. If you have Amazon Prime, the video quality is much better than what is on YouTube, but you can watch it either place. If you interested in the period, I do recommend the series. They cover pretty well the sacrifices that were being made in the countryside during the war.  I think one of the toughest things for farmers would have been the threat of having your farm taken by the government if you weren’t producing enough of the crops that the Department of Agriculture had contracted with you to grow. Another would be the fact that everything that was raised or grown was turned in to the government and the farmer still had to buy food. They mentioned that the dairy farmer would have to turn over all the milk and only if some of it spoiled before it got to market would the farmwife have milk to make cheese.

I’m starting to wind down for the day. No project work tonight.

~ Carol



When you have a good idea……………..
January 16, 2021, 12:32 am
Filed under: Rationing Project | Tags:

And then you lose it.

I woke up at about 3:00 am this morning, mainly, I think because the wind was howling outside my window. Once I’m awake, I tend not to go back to sleep, so I laid in bed for a few minutes trying to recall the great idea I had for a blog post when I was drifting off to sleep last night.

Did I have an “aha” moment and recall that fantastic idea? 

I did not.

So instead, you are getting a blog about a lost idea.  If I ever find it I’ll let you know.

And I didn’t make it to the grocery store, so no new fresh veg pix.

Here are is what I picked out of my pantry to use up this week:

A box of Grape Nuts with about 5 ½ ounces left in it.

A box of Trix Cereal that I bought for the grandkids by they never ate.  Notice the sugar content in one serving (at the bottom of the picture).  12 grams – about 1 tablespoon of sugar in each serving.  So, when I eat it, I will forfeit  a tablespoon of sugar from my sugar ration.

A jar of green tomato relish

A jar of curried relish

And my usual ration of coffee and sugars.

I’m not showing you my dairy and meat because its just the same ration as ever week. I’m showing you the sugars because you can see how they are starting to accumulate because I am very careful with my use.

The far left and far right ar this week rations, which are added to what I have left from the prior 2 weeks, which are in the center two jars.

And its really time for me to put away my Christmas stuff!!




Life After Money

Heading towards retirement but the path is changing all the time

The Frugal Girl

cheerfully living on less

Frugal in Norfolk

Heading towards retirement but the path is changing all the time

My Quiet Life in Suffolk

Heading towards retirement but the path is changing all the time

A Year of Modern Rationing

Heading towards retirement but the path is changing all the time