Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Sunday, September 18, 2016

De-Program? Ha!

I brought in another 21.11# of tomatoes on Thursday.  Our whopping tomato tally reached 304.33# (so far this season).

I didn't have enough to can a 1/2 batch of tomato sauce, so I decided to use a portion of them to try that new BBQ sauce I wanted to try. The recipe is from Better Homes and Garden's and they have the recipe online.  

The trick I have been using to check the reduction amount, is to first measure with the handle of a wooden spoon.  I tie on a twist tie, and wipe it clean.  Each time I measure I can quickly see where I am in the process.  By the way, this recipe tastes so much better than Ball's recipe I canned two years ago.  We love it.  Next batch will be a double batch.
In between all that, I got greens in the freezer, but I'm falling behind.  The yellow straight neck squash is piling up.  The cauliflower is just now producing as well.  The swiss chard is going bananas, and I cannot squeeze more time into my day.  The fall prep list is growing.  It's growing so fast, it's burying the big "to-do" list. 

Why does it all seem so insurmountable?  Chimney sweep, check propane level, split root cellar this fall.  We don't even have time to build my potato/onion bin for my kitchen (so I'd have some way to store them).  Oh, the large list is still looming.  I told Hubby I'm changing my blog title to "How many years it takes to dig a root cellar."

I am in my "flip out" mode as the fall green beans need tilled, and.....and....can't....keep...up. 

However, the popcorn is all pulled, husked and in it's temporary cardboard box, drying in the sun most days now.

The odd thing is, that the pumpkin and cantaloupe we planted in the corn patches, is growing, but no pumpkins or cantaloupe.  The spaghetti squash and the mini-butternut squash we planted in the tomatoes look great. It's kind of late to not have pumpkins on.  

Rain arrived on Friday late into the night, and Saturday morning.  I would have had the day off if I could start to de-program, but no.  I should have cleaned my bathroom, bedroom, the floors....what did I do?

I made Ginger-Brown Sugar Sweet Potato Butter.  This is also a BHG recipe, and a new one.   

I used 4 oz. canning jars, and they went into the freezer - no canning.  I had pull everything out of the bottom drawer, rearrange, rotate to use up some older items, and put it all back.

The recipe states to measure an amount and save the remaining pureed sweet potato for another use.  I simply froze it in 1/2 cup servings for winter.  Last year I froze them in 1 cup servings, and felt it was way too much proportion-wise.

It's the best way to stock up sweet potatoes without a root cellar.  Other than dehydrating.   Yeah, I am a bit depressed we are not even buying supplies nor digging the root cellar, but I'm pretty sure a tree is coming down where it will go.  Maybe.  I can't seem to get Hubby motivated, and he keeps telling me that the tree "can't come down until the tomatoes are done."  Both tomato patches are sort of in the landing zone.  And it's football season.  I'm going to have to work hard on him.  Or disconnect the electricity.  


Kim said...

Do you have a craw space under your house? I do not have a root cellar here but I put root veggies in milk crates layered with straw and keep both potatoes and carrots and beets and such under there. You could also cover with dry saw dust. In the past I also used an old refrigerator that I placed in the garden and bermed up the dirt around it just leaving the door exposed. Or just dig in the garden and put crops on "the hole" place something on top so they do not get wet and so you can raise it to get produce out during the winter. Grandma did not always have a cellar either. And she did not dehydrate!! Just some thoughts!

Kristina said...

Kim, we do not have a crawl space. I may have to dig an area and drop down a large bucket or something to store some items. I guess we'll see. I do plan to mash some of the red potatoes and sweet potatoes to freeze. Thanks!

Sam I Am...... said...

I think there are other ways to "root cellar" and preserve without digging a cellar. I would do a search on Google. thanks for the sweet potato butter recipe. I did pumpkin butter last year an dI didn't care for it but this sounds tasty!

Kristina said...

Sam I am, we wanted the cellar so it would double as a storm shelter too. We have no where to go that is safe in a tornado. Kind of a worry that has been weighing on my mind.