After a long stretch of unseasonably cold and wet weather, we finally were able to get out these past few days as I planted the container garden and my husband has been working on lawn and landscape improvements. There is a chance of rain (again) most days next week so we are thankful for the sunshine we can get. However, no more lows into the 30s at night.
Can you believe this last week? Let's see, we had...
- A major gas pipeline hacked and shut off.
- A major bridge that goes across the Mississippi was shut down and barge traffic stopped for awhile. Barges are now allowed to continue even though the bridge has a huge crack in it.
- The news that a few events have come together to have a chicken shortage in some parts of the country.
- An escalation of fighting in Israel with the possibility of a regional ground war looking like it will happen soon.
- Flooding in Midwest farm land (the river was seven feet above flood stage in our area).
- Even the mainstream media is recognizing that inflation looks like it may be reaching levels we have not seen since the Carter Administration.
That is on top of everything else that has happened, not the least of which was a world wide pandemic. If there is anyone left who thinks a pantry lifestyle is silly, they are blind to what is happening around the world. There are numerous reasons to believe supply lines are in jeopardy.
As I mentioned before, I hadn't planned to buy anything for the pantry this month since we are investing so much in the container garden and outdoor work but I ended up purchasing a few items again last week when they were available.
The grocery store had a limit of 2 packages each for confectioners sugar and brown sugar. I am almost out of confectioners sugar for the first time in years so I bought two large packages (the limit was 2 no matter the size of the package). Their regular white sugar had no limits.
King Arthur bread flour had a limit of 2 packages so I bought one for right now. I realized we were getting very low on paper plates so I bought a package of them and will probably buy another package next month. Meijer had their brand of tissues on sale so I bought two boxes.
As you can see, I'm using my little at a time way of stocking the pantry this month. It took many years for it to sink in that it is far better to do a little in the way of stocking up than not to do anything because I cannot do everything!
I've been organizing shelves a little more, too. Last Fall, I moved the flower pots and garden "stuff" from the garden shed (where there have been found big spiders and even a snake!) to a couple long shelves in the garage. That helped immensely when getting everything ready to plant this week.
While I was pulling everything out last week, I found two small boxes of food items tucked away on the bottom shelf! I didn't even remember they were there and unfortunately, everything was far past their Use By date (they were boxed and packaged food items). What a waste!
It made me realize again the importance of keeping the pantry organized and to make certain not to tuck anything away where it usually is not kept "temporarily". It's the same logic in purchasing a gift early for someone and then not remembering where you hid it!
Note to self: Food items do not belong in with the garden stuff!
As far as cooking, I'm going to try a new method of frying chicken thighs this evening that I learned from Brenda Gantt. I make really good fried chicken, most likely because I learned how from my Kentucky born mother (my daughter inherited the fried chicken gene, too!). However, this method intrigued me so I have to try it. I will link to it below.
While it was so cold and damp, I made a large batch of chicken stock and froze two quarts in the deep freeze and then finished the rest as chicken noodle soup for a few meals (I'm thankful my husband likes leftovers!). I use the Essenhaus very thin dried noodles for soup and I crush the bag to break them up before adding any noodles to the soup. This helps keep the carbs down and one bag of the noodles last for about three or four soup recipes.
I need to return to some outdoor work now but I thought I'd share one of my favorite gardening books. You may have it on your shelves. It is Sharon Lovejoy's delightful Trowel & Error. I find such delight in picking up this small-ish book and just perusing it now and then. It is full of her gardening knowledge as well as her beautiful illustrations.
It is perfect for weeks like this when my mind is on container gardening and not on all the "what ifs" going on in the world. Take a breath, ask for wisdom, and if necessary... prepare the pantry a little at a time.
Mentioned in this week's blog post
Brenda Gantt's fried chicken video... here.
Trowel & Error by Sharon Lovejoy... here.
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