Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tax Free Weekend

Tomorrow starts our tax free weekend for school supplies. Rachel is in need of some items before she leaves for college. We start shopping around 6am. First will be Wal-Mart then Target. I need to be home by 9:30am to met my bff. If we don't find everything in the morning we will go again on Sunday. Saturday Rachel works all day. She still has two gift cards from graduation so that is why we are going there first. Hopefully she will be able to find what she needs.

I will post more tomorrow about the deals we find.

Monday, July 28, 2008

God is Good

Alot of you know that I have been waiting to hear about my disability that I applied for almost two years ago. Well on Friday, July 25 I found out that I will be receiving my disability. I cried and cried. We (my dh and I)had just been praying about it just days before. It will most likely be a couple of months before I start to see it but it is coming. ~Praise God~

My ds Ian has decided upon a major and is returning to college. He realized that to find a full time jobs in this economic climate you really need at least college. He will be majoring in Criminal Justice. He is really excited and is looking forward to starting school in about a month. Now he is trying to get a few more hours from work. He has been averaging about 12 hours a week and he definitely needs more. It is nice that he finally listened to his mother's wisdom ~smile~. He will be taking 13 hours in the fall and 12 in the spring. Summer session looks good too so he can get caught up.

My dd Rachel leaves for college on August 20 and the packing has begun. She met her roommate and she seems like a sweetheart. They are so much alike it is scary. Her birthday is the week before she leaves so she is hinting about some things she would love to receive. Ha Ha We are trying to figure out the best way of getting everything up there. It looks like I will be calling UHaul.

The garden is still producing alot of tomatoes. About every other day now I am making at least a triple batch of salsa which is 16 pints. Had to go and buy 50 pounds of onions from Sam's because I was going through so many. I have alot used all of the ones that we planted in the garden. The hot peppers I have had frozen in the deep freeze from last years harvest. They loved the hot weather we had last summer and we harvested a bunch.

Well on to salsa making, maybe or maybe I will stitch on the Christmas gift that I am working on.....decisions decisions.

Menus for July 27-August 2

Got my menus done for this week. Went grocery shopping on Saturday. Here they are:

Sunday, July 27 - ate out for lunch, hamburgers for dinner
Monday, July 28 - salmon, boiled new potatoes and carrots
Tuesday, July 29 - chicken legs, corn and green beans
Wednesday, July 30 - meatball subs
Thursday, July 31 - tilapia, boiled new potatoes, carrots
Friday, August 1 - hamburgers and mac salad (Beth Moore event 5-9)
Saturday, August 2 - chicken, mac salad, carrots

Lunches will be BLT's, pulled pork or leftovers

hope you have a blessed day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tomatoes everywhere

I just realized that I have not posted since Monday. I have been very busy processing tomatoes and other produce. So far this week I have canned 10 pints of peaches, 6 pints of pepper relish and 12 pints and one half pint of salsa. On the stove right now I have a triple batch of salsa with enough tomatoes picked for another triple batch easy. I should get at least 18 pints from it. I am now out of all of the onions from our garden and our cilantro. I will have to start buying both of these now. I am eihter going to GFS to buy a 10 pound bag of onions or to Sam's. I am not sure how big a bag I can get at Sam's. I may go there first to see. Tomorrow is normally my grocery day but it might end up being Saturday because of scheduling and two cars for three drivers ~smile~. Tomorrow we (Rachel and I) see Rich in the morning, then my bff is coming over and we are going to stitch, then at 5:30 on a Friday I have a mammogram. Ugh. The only thing I have bought at the store this week is two granny smith apples for my pepper relish. I could not believe it but I paid $2.65 for two apples !!!!!!! Highway robbery. If I didn't need them for the relish I would have left them right there. Needless to say I am not making any more relish this summer. I have made 11 jars this summer and I still have some so we have lots anyway.

On the job front, Ian is still looking but now he is thinking of just returning to school. His advisor told him he has until the middle of next week to decide or it will be to late. Rachel is training her replacement at Pizza Hut. She still has three weeks left. She is now just a CSR instead of a server. She cut and highlighted her hair this week and it is really cute. It makes her look a little more grown up also.

I have been taking alot of pictures. I just have not used up the roll of film yet. As soon as I have I will post pictures of what I have been doing. I am trying to decide what crops to plant for a fall crop. With the price of everything we need to have a second crop. I have one pumpkin plant come up so far. I haven't seen any watermelons yet. My dh has been tieing up my tomato plants that keep falling over. They look so much better now.

Well I need to get going now.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Recipes

I have had people ask me for my salsa recipe so I thought I would post it here.

Fresh Vegetable Salsa

7 cups chopped tomatoes, you can peel if you want but I don't
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
8 jalepeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 5.5oz can tomato paste
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup loosely packed finely chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil over medium high heat stirring frequently so it doesn't burn. Using a hand blender or a regular blender, blend until smooth. Return a boil over low heat stirring frequently, until thickened about 30 minutes. Pour into hot jars and put in a water bath canner. Process for 20 minutes, remove lid of canner and wait 5 minutes before removing jars.

I hope you enjoy it. We love this salsa. If you don't like a smooth salsa then don't blend it.

Here is my recipe for Pepper Relish

Sweet and Sour Pepper Relish

4 cups finely chopped seeded green bell pepper
1 cup finely chopped seeded sweet banana peppers
3 cups chopped cored peeled tart apples, such as Granny Smith
2 cups chopped cabbage
2 tbsp salt
3 cups cider vinegar
3 cups sugar
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 red chili pepper, finely chopped

In a large bowl combing green peppers, banana peppers, apples, cabbage and salt. Cover and let stand in a cool place for 2 hours. Rinse with cool water and drain thoroughly. Using your hands, squeeze out excess liquid. In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds and chili pepper. Briung to a boil over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to medium low added drained pepper mixture and boil gently and vegetables are heated through about 10 minutes. Ladle hot relish into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Place jars in a water bath canner and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid and wait 5 minutes before removing jars. Cool before storing.

My family loves this recipe and we like it better than cucumber relish. This is no where near as sweet. Just what you need on hot dogs and hamburgers. I try to make 12 jars a year minimum. We have alot of banana peppers this year. Some batches I use more banana peppers than green bell peppers depending on what is ripe and it turns out just as good.

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do. God Bless.

Menus for July 20-26 and stocking up

I know that this actually started yesterday but oh well, better late than never. I don't have any food money left until Friday so this is from the freezer and the pantry.

Sunday July 20 - Sausage, fried potatoes and snow peas
Monday July 21 - chicken, mashed potatoes, carrots
Tuesday July 22 - tilapia, snowpeas and carrots
Wednesday July 23 - chicken stir fry
Thursday July 24 - salmon, mashed potatoes and broccoli
Friday July 25 - sloppy joes ? this is payday so I am not sure
Saturday July 26 - steak sandwiches with onions and peppers

Saturday I will do my food shopping so I wanted something easy. Saturdays meal is from my last Angel Food box back in June I think. Dh really enjoyed them the first time I got them.

I was talking with my bff last night and she asked whether I have had the urge to stock up recently. I had to laugh because I have had that urge for a couple of months now. I am wanting to get six months worth of the basics in the house. By basics I mean everything but fresh stuff. I have a couple of things at 3 months, flour, sugar, yeast, and oatmeal. But I have a long way to go. It doesn't help that my food budget has shrunk to $50 a week. We are eating out of the freezer alot. I wish I could use some of this money to stock things we use alot. I think of ketchup, mustard, toilet paper ~smile~, vegetables and fruit. I am canning from the garden and I hope to go the farmer's market for things that I did not plant. A friend brought me a peck of peaches and I am going to can all of them. Need to go and get some more ~smile~ I love peaches. I already have strawberries in the freezer. The basic, easiest way to stock up is to buy two of everything that you normally would buy. So last night I got canned mushrooms I needed one but I bought two. I label the top with a sharpie and make sure I rotate. First in first out that way things don't expire.

With prices going up on everything a pantry is the best idea of managing your food dollars. That way you can buy sales and eat sales. Even at $50 a week I try to use $10 for sales, to add to the pantry. We have stopped buying soda so that has enabled me to fed four adults on this amount. The other thing I do that helps is when someone offers me garden produce or food items that their families won't eat I take them. I have recently been given eight bags of instant mashed potatoes, 3 huge bags of oatmeal and 2 cans of pineapple juice. All these from one family whose MIL gets commodities and won't eat these items. My friends family will not eat them either but she knew my family would. What a wonderful windfall. God provides all of our needs though I feel like he expects you to manage your finances to the best of your ability. My goal is to be like the Proverbs 31 women. I like setting my goals high ~smile~.

All for now.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Been very busy and family update

I love summer's harvest. First comes the cucumbers and I canned 22 pints of dill pickles. Dill and cucumbers from our garden. Then we got zucchini and summer squash. After eating a ton I froze sliced bags for later. Then the banana peppers, green peppers and tomatoes start. I have made 5 pints of pepper relish and my first batch of salsa. I was trying to modify a recipe and I am not happy with the first batch but I have more than enough tomatoes to try again ~Smile~ I am trying to make it more like you get a the restaurants. Thick and smooth. This first batch had that but not enough kick for me. A friend picked up a peck of peaches yesterday for me so I will be canning peaches also. I love harvest time ~smile~. I will be going to the farmers market I hope on Tuesday to see what they have. I am wanting beans and corn. I would love some peas also. Yummy. We did not plant any of these so I need to find a good source. I am trying to preserve as much as I can for winter.

I have been sick though. Along with the summer harvest comes summer's heat. I get migranes from the heat. The last three weeks I have had headache after headache. Now to top it all of I have pink eye. Why not?!? I have no idea who I got it from. Kids seem to have avoided it so far. My fibro has been acting up also. Really hard to move around - not good when you need to can.

Ian has not been able to find a full time job yet. If you could remember him in your prayers I would appreciate it. He is really getting discouraged. Rachel leaves for college one month from today. Wow !!!!! This summer has really flown but she is sooo excited. I need to get alot of sewing done in the next month ~smile~ I would rather stitch but it must be done. We need to go through her clothes also. David goes back to work the first week of August. I think open house is August 4 or 5 and he wants his room done by then. Both kids have gone in on their days off to help him get ready. Still no word on my disability. I am getting discouraged but I have been told it could take another year.

I have decided after much prayer and consideration to stop selling Avon. I want to concentrate on other things now. I will be giving notice to my customers this week. I will most likely be putting in two more orders July 25 and August 8 and then that is it.

Well I must go ....I have spaghetti sauce on the stove top and I need to work on my menus for this week. God Bless.