Independence Days Challenge:
- Plant something—Let's face it; I live in an 800-square-foot apartment with too much furniture and questionable use of a porch. Planting ain't gonna occur every week. However, that said, the catnip is thriving, 2 of the herbs are sprouting with another soon to follow, and the tomatoes look great...I'll need to thin them probably this week. Weather's supposed to be pretty typical Florida for this time of year, quite a bit of overcast with rain threats, so I may move the plants to the back porch later in the week. Or I may leave well enough alone, as I don't want to expose them to full sun before they're ready, and that's exactly what they'll get on the back porch. This week, I hope to transplant the smaller aloes out of the Big Boys; that didn't happen this weekend.
- Harvest something—I'm letting the chives go to seed first. No harvesting yet.
- Preserve something—hmm...this category is a little different for me. It involves the simplicity of buying food for lunches (and dinners) that's easy to prep in the morning and keeps me from hitting fast food or the vending machines while at work. I was able to steer clear of the vending machines almost everyday last week, and our finances basically make that a necessity now. But in order to not feel deprived of the foods I'm used to, it means careful purchases of better choices and packing myself a well-rounded lunch. Fresh fruit, some yogurt, and small cookies with small ingredient lists (because I didn't get around to baking this weekend) made it into the grocery basket yesterday.
- Prep something—Went through the boxes that separate the litter box from the easy chair, and managed to purge enough to empty a box, which is holding more Chamblin's books now. Our car trunk is already full of Chamblin's books; just can't afford the gas to go over there...dropped off 3 bags of stuff at Goodwill...sorted the recycling and then forgot to drop it off, will do that tomorrow...cleaned fridge of past-its-prime foods again...that's really nice, being able to look in there and know that everything in there is actually edible...what a frickin' concept!
- Cook something—My experimental cooking projects meet with mixed success, and that kept me from trying a white bean stew recipe this weekend, because I didn't want to waste the ingredients on the off chance it ended up tasting like ass. I did bake another banana bread this weekend, but it was a dismal failure...my first excursion with black bananas, which are purported to be sweeter when heading south like that, proved otherwise; tasted a bit strange and refused to bake through. However, I redeemed myself a bit in my eyes with a strawberry-pineapple smoothie later that day. Will be experimenting with bean and rice dishes and building on salads this week...
- Manage reserves—See first line of Cook something...going to be thanking the ole foresight later this week for the Chicken n' Dumplings in the freezer...I'm going through a yeesh-red-meat phase and dough is really tight, so those reserves will help us feel less deprived.
- Local food systems—it's coming down to gas money...I have a bag of canned goods in the car and a bag of old canned cat food, the former earmarked for the Mandarin food bank, and the latter for the local animal rescue. But I just can't afford any special trips right now.
Reading food labels has become automatic, and it's so eye-opening...I've been craving Gatorade a bit this summer, but after reading the ingredients, I laughed out loud...pretty sure the first three ingredients are sugar, sucrose syrup, and HFCS. Blows. My. Mind. I grabbed the Gatorade for Husby, 100% juice for myself, and will try to stick to water when I'm really feeling dehydrated. That's all I drink at work now after my morning coffee anyway...and then decaf iced tea at night. I'm learning...
Yesterday I puttered, watched Planet Green, did the shopping, and grabbed a drying rack from Bed, Bath, & Beyond so I can start air-drying stuff easier in the apartment. Spent like, 2 hours cutting and marking blank pages from an old journal so I could make calendar pages for the little dayplanner for my purse...because refills for those suckers are obscenely expensive and all they had was 2009 anyway. That was tedious, but I felt so good about making use of the paper in that journal...I thought of recycling the journal because I can't stand the cover, but couldn't get past 86ing all that paper, so I'll cut it out first. Again, it really is about the little things...