Monday, July 11, 2016

Monthly Goals Update and This Week's Goals

Well, last week was busy (really is there any other type of week?).  I did decent on getting some of my monthly goals accomplished already (yay!), so that was an upper.

My lettuce in the garden is definitely on it's way out.  The red lettuce is shortening to bolt and is trying to do it all at once.  I'm harvesting TONS of lettuce to try and keep ahead of the lettuce before it gets too bitter to use and so far so good, although we're living on salad right now and I still have two big bags of lettuce in the fridge waiting for me.  I might be making a recipe from the "Wartime Farm" companion book that's called "Summer Soup" which, really, essentially it's a spiced up lettuce soup.  Sounds kind of odd, but it'll use up lettuce *laugh*.

I am harvesting rat tailed radishes left and right and the plant just seems to grow radishes while you watch.  I can't BELIEVE the volume of radishes that comes off of one plant.  It's spectacular!  And it takes up so little room compared to the volume of radishes you get off the plant.  I mean I think about how many radishes I would have to plant to make up the sheer amount of pickles I have canned and the amount of radishes sitting in my fridge ready to get pickled  and/or put into salad...I'd have at least two rows of radishes planted taking up room in the garden and they wouldn't continue to produce once pulled.  This sucker just keeps trucking along producing.  Pretty awesome :).

So, I canned sweet rat tailed radishes this time around.  I made a simple brine of 3 cups white vinegar, 3 cups water and 1 1/2 cups sugar to make the brine (heat brine to boiling, pour over rat tailed radishes in hot jars and process for 10 minutes in a water bath canner).  I found some really intriguing recipes for honey sweetened radish pickles on SB Canning's site which I'd like to try, but man I don't know if I want to use up my honey doing that.  Now the radish relish recipe she has posted, though, I think might be pretty cool if I can pick up some onions to make it as the rat tailed radishes would chop down pretty easy I think.

While I had my canner out I also pulled two of my four bags of cherries and canned those up as well (two more bags to go.  Woohoo!).  I can't believe how many cherries I am getting out of my 5.00 lot.  I'm beyond thrilled as these will be SO good come in the middle of winter when we are longing for some fruit that actually tastes good and doesn't cost an arm and a leg to buy.  I love canned cherries and these will come in really handy for desserts.  Since I had some of the cherries cut into pieces in the bags, I also added a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice to the mix to stave off browning and also just because I kind of like the added tang added to sweet cherries when you can them.  They get so sweet when you add the sugar that I think they kind of need the lemon juice added to them, but that's me.

So, I still have a couple of bags of cherries to can and what is left of my rhubarb to can as well.  So, that's still on my list of "to do's" this month.  And my husband put in a request that I use the rest of my strawberries to make strawberry preserves as he loved the last batch I made *laugh*, so that'll be on my list as well.

Anyway, the pickles and the canned cherries, done early Saturday before it got too hot in the house, is seen above. 

I also started two Christmas gifts this week.  I started thinking about it and family has been really good to me this year.  I owe some of them a lot.  So I want to show appreciation to not only the kids in the family but also the adults, so I want to make gifts for the couples in the family, in some cases and in others just individual gifts to those who I owe a debt of gratitude to (if that makes sense).  So, I'm glad I'm starting early on gifts ;).

Just a warning to family members who read this blog.  I'll be marking posts with "Christmas 2016" on it or something similar, but there will definitely be Christmas gift spoilers included, so if you don't want to know what you're getting for Christmas...don't read them *laugh*.

I've really gotten some inspiration on what to make for gifts, so stay tuned.  Some of these gifts are, I personally think, pretty darned neat and I'll include different ideas to make the gifts in the event you don't have the same skill sets as me (which I totally get trust me :).

So, yay for getting things accomplished so far!

So, onto this week's goals!

Canning Goals:
  • Continue to can rat tailed radish pickles
  • Can cherries if weather and temps permit
  • Can rhubarb is weather and temps permit

Cleaning Goals:
  • Detail clean den and shampoo carpets (my old cat is just getting old, nasty, and senile, which is leading to me cleaning the den a lot more than I would normally want to.  We'll leave it at that without all of the gross details).
  • Shampoo upstairs carpets, especially living room and son's room.
  • Dust ceiling fans
  • Start to clean out contents of motor home and wash everything (we managed to get a mouse in there chewing on some snack foods my husband left out there a while back, so now it's time to re-wash everything just in case).

General Goals:
  • Continue to work on Christmas gifts.
  • Load thrift store donations into car and drop off (these have been sitting around taking up space forever).
  • Continue to care for garden and harvest things as needed.  Once sections are ripped out, amend soil with compost and prepare it for fall/winter garden preparations.
  • Rip everything out of standing freezer.  Rearrange so awkward shaped items stop making things fall  out onto my feet when I open the door.  Take inventory while at it and write a list so I know exactly what I have.

And there you are folks.  My goals for this week.  How about you?


  1. Those are some great goals, you and some other bloggers have me thinking about Christmas. I hope to continue to meet the daily Swagbucks goal so I can get the end of month bonus though each day it seems to get higher. I need to try and make a diy doggie diaper, and bathe one dog. my son's birthday is Friday, i am hoping his last gift comes in, i need to decide if I am doing a home made gift, and if the weather permits, we will break in our new to us fire pit. I want to make blender banana ice cream and maybe make a cake from scratch which i have only done maybe twice now in my life.

  2. I think you will be very happy this winter with how much fruit and other preserves you've managed to can, Erika! What an awesome job you've done already this summer. Can't wait to see what you find to can as fall approaches.

    I have been collecting raspberries and black raspberries from the bushes at work. I freeze them when I get home, so I can build up the amount I have to work with, before making jam with them. Hoping to make some mixed berry jam with them this year!

    Reading about your efforts to make Christmas presents inspired me to start on one for my niece. A couple years ago I bought a new, unused recipe binder at a school recycle sale for $1 (though a nicely decorated binder would worked for this gift too). I am printing off some of my favourite recipes and adding them to the binder to get her started. She graduated from high school this year, but has decided to take a year off school. I thought this would be a good year to give her this gift, so she can practice her cooking skills before going to college. I really hope she likes it.

    I don't have any particular goals this week, as my days off are split up. It makes it more difficult to do things when you don't have 2 days in a row. I'm not worried, though. Something always comes up that I need to get done. Have a great week, Erika!

  3. Went blueberry picking with my two step-daughters and three grandchildren. Kids had a blast, the bucket was too heavy and the kids ate more than they saved but that is the fun. I know I will make a pie and blueberry cobbler soon. They taste so much better than the store. Cheryl. Ericka I placed another order through your site today, not a high amt. but hope you get the credit.

  4. I'm starting Christmas handmades as well. I've two in particular working on. When Michaels had after Christmas grab bags that I ran across by a miracle, I bought a ton of them, and one had all of these small red and silver personalized ornaments on there. Of course, they are the names no one knows, but I had an idea to mod podge around the center stripe where the name is, and then roll in glitter. I made one a few weeks back and it's awesome. So going to give some sets of those as add ons.

    Also, my mom loaned me one of those small peg loom things, and gve me some yarn and last night I finally decided I was going to try it out, even though the instructions looks WAY hard. I'm already halfway through a scarf for my son. I plan to make each of my nieces one, and my nephews too, if I can. And I know they live in texas and it doesn't really get cold, but...whatever. Half of them go to Idaho for the winter, so there, lol.

    Hey, here are two links I was going to email you, awesomely cute gift ideas for kids! One is an iSpy christmas ornament, you just dump al the stuff in one of those clear plastic ornaments, and print or write out a list of what's in there, the other these awesome printable dolls that are actually bookmarks, and then the scraps of fabeic turned into bookmarks.

  5. Love the pictures of all of your canned goods The rat tail radishes are intriguing. My garden started producing and then all of a sudden everything went bonkers. So this week is being devoted to canning, freezing and dehydrating all that was harvested on Sunday evening. I found a good deal on potatoes and I cooked them yesterday and was up at 5 a.m. today to peel and slice them and put them in the dehydrator. Yesterday I dehydrated beet greens. The chard that got planted in containers is ready to start harvesting. One of my goals this week is to make more microwave bread and butter pickles. If you like instant gratification these are it and can be made with zucchini as well. They're good for at least 6 months in the fridge but never last that long around here. Continuing to work on Christmas gifts with supplies I already have on hand. These are the times that I'm so grateful to have a crafting stockpile that was created over the years.
    It's a busy summer :). Dorothy

  6. The canning looks great. I sure hope you like the rat-tailed radishes. I've never heard of them, so am intrigued by them. Pretty much anything pickled is good, I'll bet.

    I'm glad things are going well for you.

  7. I'm doing OK on my goals this week. My son is away at camp so I've gotten some extra cleaning and organizing done. Scrubbing rabbit cages. Getting ready for Vacation Bible School that starts tomorrow. Also trying to get all the wash done so I can pack us up for vacation next Friday. On top of regular stuff and work. But I did manage to squeeze some fun me time in yesterday. Our local Goodwill just opened a huge bin store where things are sold by the pound not the piece. I had never shopped at a pay by the pound store before so I was curious to see if it would be more or less expensive then the pay by the piece bin store. Before, we paid 85 cents per item now it is about $1.49 a pound, with the price going down the more you buy. So I had a blast with my one girl friend. We were there for three hours. My DH said, "how could you spend three hours at a thrift store?" Easy peasy!!! It was huge and we didn't want to miss anything! So back to prices. I'd say that for light items like tshirts, jewlrey, small household items, or thin curtains it is less expensive or about the same but for heavier items like jeans it is more expensive. That's my not so scientific observation. Now I did get a lot of light things: skirts, a nice summer cardigan for vacation, some slamming silver rings and necklaces, storage tote duffle-like bags, baking bags, fabric and a small plastic shelf for the rabbits, some shorts for my son, a few books, a fake fish tank ( which my son has been asking for forever!) and some of those things that hold loose tea, and pot holders for Christmas gifts... Over all I think I did well as I only spent $25 and got a lot of stuff. I also learned that if you have a really heavy item you can ask to have it priced individually not by weight and it's a lot cheaper. I save up many of the new/like new items and make themed gift baskets for Christmas gifts. I was able to add quite a few items to my gift stash! The gardn has lots of kale which we and the rabbits love, tomatoes are starting to form (I got them planted way late I was holding out for free plants that never arrived so. Caved and bout some). A neighbor gave me strawberry plants, can't wait till next year! And I got some free squash plants. I have a busy week coming up so here's hoping and praying it goes smoothly!

  8. I'm so glad you are getting so much food from your garden this year. I planted a lot of peas this year in hopes of getting enough to freeze. However, the extreme hot weather we have had this year has put a damper on that goal. Hoping I can get enough pods to save as seeds for next year! At least I'm getting lots of beans. Usually I bring home beans from the gardens at work, but the animals ate all the sprouts this year. So I'm depending on my small garden for all my beans this time. Both the tomatoes and the peppers are loving the heat. I might actually get more than a few from those this year. Finger's crossed!