25 January 2018

Happiness Homemade

This past week has been busy, busy, busy. I shouldn't be surprised, every day of every week is busy, there's always something to do.

Here's my list of homemade happiness for the week:

Last Saturday was the monthly Cheapskates Club card making group, the first for the year. It was only a month since the last get-together, but it felt a lot longer. Pamela and Carol managed to inspire us and I finished seven lovely cards, learnt three new techniques and I've already put them into practice to build my card stash.
With the price of nice cards being upwards of $8 being able to create them myself saves a fortune.

The weather finally cooled down enough that I could get into the garden and do more than just water and pull the odd weed. Working in the garden makes me happy, I smile the whole time I'm out there. This week I planted more lettuce, and cucumbers and zucchini. The cucumbers and zucchini should be fruiting mid-March, and that will take us through to winter with those veggies.

The rhubarb was looking a little sad - not sure why. It had a drink of worm tea, hopefully that will give it a boost. We love rhubarb so I don't want to lose it.
The hydrangeas are blooming, they are such a vibrant pink. I've been moving them under the verandah on very hot days so they don't burn, then putting them out again at night.

And the white geranium cuttings I took a while back are doing OK. They're in a pot at the moment. When they get a little bigger and the weather cools a bit I'll move them to the garden. Right now I have them planned to go into the new rockery in the backyard, but that may change.

There are mandarins on the tree - little, tiny green ones at the moment. The last lot were so juicy, and the tree just kept producing for months, so I'm hoping it will do that again this year.

The birds are getting the top apples on the tree. That's OK, we're getting the ones from the lower branches, a bucketful every couple of days. They've been sliced and stewed and frozen for winter pies and crumbles and apple slice.

Joy was able to get me a bag of onions for $2.99. Some have been diced, some have been sliced, some have been frozen whole and I have 3kg left to make pickled onions - that's the job for tomorrow. All those jars in the shed are being put to use - some of them will be for gifts, some will be for our pantry.  For a couple of hours in the kitchen now, cooking will be so much easier, especially on extra busy days. And I won't need to dice or slice an onion for about six months!
The heat is back today, and will just get worse over the weekend. Yesterday I boiled a dozen eggs and put them in the fridge. Then I made a huge container of potato salad and another of pasta salad. I used a small cabbage, a couple of carrots, some spring onion greens from the freezer and a couple of sticks of celery I sliced on the mandolin to make a giant container of coleslaw, without the dressing, and put it in the fridge too.  They're all in oblong Lock'n'Lock containers I bought specifically for this purpose - they fit properly in the fridge and are air and liquid tight. I'll add the dressings to the salads as we need to, that way they keep well for at least five days, long enough for the heat to pass.

I love getting ahead when I can. My mother used to say I was ready for tomorrow yesterday, and it's almost true. When I have a few spare minutes I do as much as I can to get ahead. It makes life so much easier and our home runs much more smoothly when we're prepared.

That's it for this week - I think!

Lots of little things, and they all made me happy. And not one of them cost a lot of money either. You don't need to be spending, buying, shopping all the time to be happy.

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  1. Hello Cath, you sure are a busy, productive bee. Planning ahead really is the sensible way to be organised in the kitchen these hot days. Your garden sounds lovely full of produce and beauty.
    A question about the onions- can you just put whole, unpeeled onions in the freezer and also with the sliced and diced onions do they go in the freezer raw as well?
    Your card is absolutely beautiful. What is the name of that style? My friend and I make cards together and we'd love to try your card.
    Many thanks for your fantastic blog, it's the highlight of my week.
    Best wishes, Lorraine

    1. Hello Lorraine, busy keeps me out of mischief! I do put whole onions in the freezer, then just peel them as I need them. They are only good for baking once thawed. And the sliced/diced onion is bagged and frozen raw. Again, only good for cooking - but saves a little time to get the prep done ahead. The card is called a tri shutter (I think). It looks amazing, but is quite easy to make, the hardest part is choosing the papers and embellishments. It uses decorative nesting dies to create the base and the stacked pop-ups.


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