Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Putting It All Together

I'm back, from camping and tomato-ing both.  School starts next week for our kids -- ALL of them! -- and so we're trying to jump the multiple hurdles of cleaning up after a long, sandy stay in a tent as well as finding out what supplies and clothing we're still short on for the academic year.

I did another batch of tomatoes on Monday, there may still be one more in store but I think the end is in sight.  I'm also taking shortcuts now, canning whole or crushed tomatoes instead of gutting them by hand for really smooth sauce.  So far, though, we have:
A gallon bag stuffed full of thick unseasoned sauce "cubes" I froze
4 quarts of whole tomatoes
8 pints of crushed tomatoes
3 quarts of what was called "ultimate pizza sauce"
4 quarts of spaghetti sauce
plus a batch of awesome fresh salsa we ate early on.

It feels good.  I also got a good bushel of little, blemished peaches for free and made 6 jars of jam, but I messed with the recipe (I know, I shouldn't!!) and the first batch didn't set.  We'll use it for pancakes and ice cream and stuff, but I also combined it with the leftovers of crushed tomatoes that I didn't have quite enough jars for on Monday, and added some flavored olive oil, vinegar, garlic and a little ginger and pepper, and voila!  Awesome crock pot pork tenderloin.  Really, really awesome.  Peach-tomato sauce, yessirree.  We also had some homegrown corn that night, and a salad (not homegrown), but it was a pretty good night for eating from local gardens.

And last of all, I took the kids to the thrift store yesterday for a fun shopping trip before school starts.  Some of the kids actually needed clothes, some didn't really; but since the cost is almost negligible, they can pretty much find whatever they want and if it fits and looks cute, we take it home.  And we unknowingly hit on a Dollar Tuesday or something like that, so 10 of those items (not sure which) only cost a buck.  Wow!  They're all in incredibly good shape, too.  (The picture totally does not do them justice.)

It's sorta sad how I intentionally keep my kids' expectations soooooooo low, but S. and I have talked about how we both feel that's the key to happier living.  This is the second year we've gone to Goodwill right before school, I think it will become a new tradition.  Cheapness and the thrill of discovery are a family heritage, after all -- it's in their Mormon/Chinese blood.

1 comment:

  1. Better living through lower expectations--you can put it on my tombstone.