Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Happy Thanksgiving

We will be taking some time to enjoy family, friends, and the blessings of this past year. It is our busiest sewing weekend of the year and we hope to create as many pairs of mittens for donation as we can. We wish you all the best and hope that you help someone who is in need too.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thrift finds

It's been a couple of weeks of quick stops and being very selective with thrifting. We've been looking mostly at small items so it's easy to move and store. 

Here we found two yellow Glasbake soup mugs/bowls, some vintage wooden tree ornaments, and just above the word lemons on the vintage 1978 screen print is the head of an elf. My daughter is giving it new life. The screen print came with a wooden frame.

The cute cat is a bank. It was made in Japan. We found photo corners, vintage Easter cards, a glass sleigh that  is a candle holder, but the vintage stained glass Santa found happiness sitting in his new mode of transportation.

In addition we found a set of six silicone Christmas tree molds that will be used to make holiday lotions or something with beeswax. There was a bright funky two yard piece of fabric, some hand made crochet dresser scarfs and a Christmas print clutch.

Finally we found a couple of cookie cutters, a wooden reindeer ornament, a sweet charity key chain and a white opal Pyrex pie plate. Even though we do not need to bring anything else home we can't stop looking and shopping. Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week. Keep on thrifting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

It's been all about pumpkins.

Are we tired of pumpkins yet? Not at all. It's been a wonderful pumpkin season and although I've got to do the work, to me it's well worth it. I processed the pie pumpkin and have been enjoying it, and last week a co-worker of my younger daughter gifted me another pumpkin. We had been to a few farm stands, but they were mostly out, but this gentleman had grown a few and wasn't quite sure what he would do with them. 

Yesterday I began putting this large pumpkin up. I cut it and cleaned it and started dehydrating it. My five racks held one quarter of the shredded pumpkin. I guess I'm going to be busy for the rest of the week. It took my old dehydrator eight hours to dry the pumpkin, but I'm fine with that. When the whole pumpkin is done I will make powder and vacuum seal it in a canning jar for future use. I also retrieved two cups of seeds, so I roasted one cup of lightly salted and one cup roasted with sirarcha sauce. 

Autumn is a fun time of year with all the harvests and holiday celebrations and what would be better than pumpkin goodies. I tried for the first time pumpkin empanadas and they are delicious and easy to make. I am going to use some of the leftover filling in a regular pie crust. I've made hand pies all of my life using pie crust and I think these would be awesome in a flakier crust. Here's the recipe I used.
I'm not tired of pumpkins yet and if more came my way they would be put to good use and preserved and enjoyed with love. That's just the way it is. Thank you for stopping by and visiting. I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy your pumpkins. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Well, another long and busy week is behind us and the learning continues along with confusion and wonder as to why things are the way they are. 

I finally found time to enjoy the process of baking my pie pumpkin last week. It's one of my favorite vegetables to put up and it makes the townhouse smell so wonderful. I roasted the seeds and can not wait to start cooking this week. My $2 pie pumpkin yielded six cups of puree and one cup of seeds. 

It's coming up on the holiday season and I'm always looking for home made things to do. I enjoy working with textiles and have been learning more knitting stitches and making more ornaments. This is the first time ever that I have knit with five needles at once and this star is the result. I was intimidated at first, but it is really easy once you are familiar with the pattern.

Here they are in red. It uses so little yarn and I am using the leftover from my knitted sock adventure.

I also found a few minutes this week to work on a Christmas fabric ornament. I have a personal collection of red, white, and green folded fabric ornaments. These are three inches square and are the Cathedral window quilt design. I will add a bead to the middle and attach a hanger. I love folding and manipulating fabric and this is using up a lot of my scrap holiday fabric.

Isn't this the most beautiful picture of fruit, vegetables, and snacks? There are 2 large heads of cauliflower, 15 cucumbers, 5 oranges, 4 bags of baby carrots, 4 snack packs of graham crackers, 6 yogurts, 25 apples, and a large container of guacamole. Well, this was all rescued. Headed for the landfill. Yes, this is what makes me wonder why things are the way they are. It is a liability to give this food away. I am grateful that it was rescued and given to us. There's been cooking going on, sharing going on, and healthier eating going on. It can only do good if we overlook the liability. I find that as I'm maturing there are fewer things physically that I can do, but if I can be gifted food because people know I won't waste and will put it all to good use, then that will be the direction I take. From the townhouse, a great big thank you for stopping by to visit and please have a wonderful week. 

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

This is going to be a short post today. I want to find time to get to my sewing room and it might look like I've been a bit lazy because I have so little to post, but this is absolutely not the truth. I always have something to do and there are a few changes coming in the next ten months that I am preparing for. 

We are looking forward to our Thanksgiving holiday. There is so much to be grateful for this year. My pilgrims and turkey have not fallen victim to the packing I've been doing so I did a little counter decorating so we feel the holiday goodness. I did make cookies so that I could fill the thrifted pumpkin jar I got this past weekend. It helped that it was 50% off.

I have been blessed with vegetables as gifts. Yesterday it was this five pound bag of snap peas that were headed to the garbage. Perfectly good snap peas. This morning I cleaned and blanched enough of them to load the dehydrator. I will freeze some for stir fries and clean some just to snack on. I spent some time this past weekend putting vegetables up in the freezer that I was given or purchased at the farm market. I put up diced and sliced peppers, sweet potatoes in one cup portions, broccoli, and sauteed cabbage that was given to me in olive oil and butter for my winter lunches. I also put up my cooked celery and onions in poultry seasoning as starter for my holiday stuffing. I think that this winter will be easier than past winters because I have a full freezer and pantry to prepare meals with. We have also been quite successful at eating less meat and sticking to creating a meal plan. Small successes, but great ones. Thank you for stopping by for a visit. I hope all is well with everyone and that you all have a wonderful week. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

We are still enjoying the farmer's market here in upstate New York. Actually it goes all year and this past Saturday we were there early. Cannot say bright because it was before sunrise. It was an in and out sort of visit to get what we needed and a couple of the seasonal deals. 

Here is the counter full of goodies. I got a pie pumpkin, half a peck of apples, 6 large peppers, 6 cucumbers, broccoli, parsley, celery and pears. All of this goodness cost $14 and for the two of us it will last or be made into meals for the next couple of weeks. That in the back is my daughter's new Nutribullet and we are incorporating more vegetable smoothies into our days too.

My granddaughter messaged me this week and asked if I eat cauliflower. The answer of course was yes. She replied and said she was getting me some because her work place was throwing it away. What a shame that they are doing this. I wish we would do what France has done and make it illegal to throw food away, but who am I to judge. I was excited to receive these three heads from her, but traded with her and brought her five ready to heat and eat meals, pumpkin and banana bread, along with a few other goodies. She is a college student who lives on her own and I try to do for her too. I can't always, but it was a good trade.

One head of cauliflower, along with some broccoli, chopped chicken from a roaster I got for less than $5, a 99 cent package of cream cheese and some herbs, spices, and a bit of milk made these two casseroles. 

The next head of cauliflower made these Buffalo florets. They are just yummy and better for us than the chicken wings and the price was almost nothing. A little butter, hot sauce, and a bit of spice then toss the cauliflower in, make sure they are covered well and bake for twenty minutes. I will use them for a side and toss some on my salads this week or just snack on them.

The third and last head of cauliflower was used to make these cauliflower crust cheese breadsticks. I had never tried this before, but what a way to use the cauliflower. We cut it into bread sticks and ate a few that way, while we were waiting for them to cool. It ended up being our dinner. I have added the links to the recipes and found that I could adjust them for what's in my pantry without doing extreme changes to them. I've given away half of what I made to keep others going with meals. Sharing the bounty in the form of good meals feels right. 

This is a carrot, apple and ginger smoothie I made for myself. It was quite good. We need to change some of the ways we've been eating and take better care of ourselves and others.

The reward for trying to eat better was this Jello no bake pumpkin cheese cake. I made these as cup cakes to keep from eating too much. I added the Reeses peanut butter cups and topped it with whipped cream. It's hard to give up the good things and it was discounted at the store. I got the kit for $1.29 and it made 12. Okay, so we will keep working on cutting out the desserts but it is autumn and pumpkin is in. That's what's been going on at the townhouse. Thank you for stopping by and have a great week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

I've had a couple of days this past week that I was feeling a bit under the weather, literally. With the change to cooler temperatures we've had to turn on the heat, and the dust from the furnace has made my sinuses react. This along with the rain and damp that have made my body ache more than ever has been a challenge. 

Our dear friends Karen and Richard let me grow tomatoes and squash in their back yard. It's been a great learning experience and we know that we can do it and we know more about how to do it. 

These butternut squash are what I harvested last week that I grew in buckets from seeds that I had saved. They are small and have bumps and bruises, but the larger one will become a stuffed squash dinner for us and the others will become a serving of smashed squash, a loaf of butternut squash bread, or chips. I haven't decided yet and for now I'm still working on the vegetables I got at the farmer's market the weekend before last. I am also going to look into purchasing heirloom seeds for the future.

With the change in temperatures comes a change in menu. This is a large pot of cabbage soup. It was so good and most of all economical. I have been cooking the full pot because it freezes well and I can put it up to share.

Another large pot of stick to the ribs meals was this Pasta E Fagioli. This also freezes well and the only change I would make to this recipe would be to boil my carrots a bit first. The time the recipe said to cook them was not long enough and I thought they would cook more as the tomatoes did, but they still had crunch to them. There is plenty to share here too. These meals were all on my new menu plan and I am on week ten. The menu for week ten is blank and I am trying to constantly try new recipes and vegetables. In ten weeks we've had only two meals twice and that was baked chicken leg quarters and pork stir fry. Not bad when you think about how many meals we eat in ten weeks. Leftovers for lunches have helped saved the budget too. That's what I've been doing for the change of season. Thank you for stopping by for a visit and have a great week. If it's cold where you are I hope you are staying warm.