Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

We are enjoying the herbs from the garden and making them ready for the upcoming winter months when we won't have fresh. Getting herbs to grow inside is hard here because we have little to no light or room for it. This week has been a busy one. 

We harvested the lavender and dried it. We have a good solid cup of buds to use for cooking and adding to whatever we want. Two of the plants were new and one is older and we think for the size of the plants we did well. Double last years harvest. Not bad for the room we are allowed for plants. We have a pint of lavender simple syrup brewing for iced tea and lemonade this summer. A little goes a long way. 

I harvested the spearmint for a batch of mint jelly. I liked the jelly, but can't wait to work with my peppermint.

My green onions have been so abundant that I cut some of them to freeze in oil for those wonderful winter vegetables. I also have a cup chopped in a jar in the refrigerator to use now. I also made herb butters. I made basil butter; basil, lemon and garlic butter along with parsley butter. These have been frozen for winter use.

This morning I harvested Rosemary and Sage. From this I will make more butters and oils for winter storage. I can't wait to have sage and pepper butter on my sweet potatoes. I have a lot left to the plants, so having fresh for a while is wonderful.

Bread making this week included one loaf and six rolls. More than enough for two for the week. 

This past Sunday we spent some time with a dear friend who had come home from California for a visit. It was a dish to pass event at an outdoor park and I made this bread pudding to take. I made it from this pinterest recipe http://www.pinterest.com/pin/461970874250028516/. The only change I made to this recipe was to include the cinnamon with the sugar and flour so it mixed through the pudding instead of being sprinkled on top. I also used a homemade sweet bread, that was a pinterest fail as far as a sandwich bread, and it was delicious in the pudding. Needless to say not one raisin came home in the dirty dish.

There's been plenty to do for our simple townhouse homestead lifestyle including making a new supply of laundry detergent. Starting next Monday the landlords are doing inspections of selected units and I so hope it's not ours. We will spend this weekend hiding a few things and making sure we are within the rules. I am keeping things neat and organized so they cannot find issues. I'm also trying hard to understand why we pay so much money to rent and live under these conditions but this too shall change. We are determined, but need to change at a pace that doesn't end up being a big mistake. That's what's new at the townhouse homestead this week and thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Things move along quickly when you're having fun. Did I say that? I always feel busy, but some how it's not all fun. Plenty is though and I'm enjoying my labor.

This past week my daughter baked lemon lavender shortbread cookies. They were beyond awesome. We've harvested a new crop of lavender to dry and use and there's plenty more to come. 

Do you recognize it? The new to us green Cinderella Pyrex bowl found thrifting earlier. I put it to use making up my corn bread mix for the up coming chili season. It's all stored in Ball jars along with the extra corn meal. Some is in the pantry for instant use. 

Since the holiday was celebrated quietly and there was just two of us and we didn't need a lot, we only had one dessert of  red, white and blue cookies after the turkey burgers, corn on the cob and roasted rosemary potatoes. 

The container gardening is going well. I am getting a good harvest of herbs and the sweet potatoes are getting larger every day. 

The peppermint is getting ready for me to dry the leaves for my winter supply of tea. I have peppermint simple syrup blending for my ice tea. 

I always love the freebies and have decided to share them this week. I'm always trying to save on my groceries and use some coupons, but a few programs allow you to get cash back on items other than a lot of processed foods. This includes fruit and vegetables which you never see coupons for. This past week Savingstar.com had free Morton salt. All you do is request the item and when you purchase the item with any of your registered grocery or drugstore cards they credit your account with the full purchase price or the coupon offer price. To save more you can use regular manufacturers coupons at the store to purchase the item if one is available. It takes a few minutes, but it's worth it when that cash becomes available. I got one box of salt and the other was a surprise from a friend who likes my baking. It's already saved in the canning jars I found thrifting earlier and I recycled the salt container tops to put on my canning jars for future use. This idea I found on Pinterest.com.

Savingstar had a free offer for a Hershey chocolate bar and it has been put aside for that dreaded, overwhelming desire for chocolate. Yes, I can resist until then.

It's been a busy week here at the townhouse. I've had sewing for income to keep me busy and cleaning, photographing and editing pictures of items to list on the store and the regular life that keeps us hopping. I was blessed last week with a day long visit with my grandsons and this week I will get to spend time with my granddaughter. They grow so fast and I cherish every minute with them. Thank you for stopping by and I wish everyone a wonderful week. 

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

New thrift finds and oh those freebies.

We stopped by a local Savers and Amvets and found a few items plus the townhouse complex had a garage sale. Kind of a flop because out of 200 units maybe a dozen participated. The universe on the other hand thought it would be good to us and send many freebies our way. Counting our blessings.

The only item I found at the garage sale was the Coleman camping lamp. Great price and after new batteries it works wonderful. I'm putting that with my camping gear. At the thrifts I found a 10 inch pot for more peppermint that I am propagating. I would love to dry the leaves and have enough for tea, extract, sugar and syrup. I think I may get plenty off the original plant. I found two wire bail pint size canning jars at 49 cents each, another bread pan for 99 cents and a plastic bag of emergency candles that had a hand held fan with it. That's the blue item between the jars. Unfortunately it was broken and went in the recycle bin, but not before I salvaged the strap for future use. 

Other finds included a green Wilhold sewing box, a NIP yellow daisy queen size sheet, a large green Cinderella Pyrex bowl, a red Pyrex casserole bowl, some small embroidery hoops for small craft projects, straw trivets and a lovely pair of cast iron floral star candle holders. These will probably be spray painted.

Linen finds included a pair of orange poppy curtain panels, a purple and pink floral bed cover and the bright pink is a home made house robe that has lots of yardage to it. Yes the imagination is working.

The freebies from the universe this week were exciting. Different, but we will put it to use or sell it.
First up:

Top left: Many dollars worth of watercolor paper.
Top right: Many more dollars worth of watercolor paper.
Bottom left: A metal cutter, two dollar store mesh strainers and two wooden apples.
Bottom right: Large fold of cotton batting, 25 new wooden blocks, a variety of sponge and paint brushes and a wooden card box.
Next up:

To the left a free clamp on lamp and bubble wrap and to the right more bubble wrap. We have discovered that appliances purchased for the townhouse complex are shipped and sometimes are wrapped in bubble wrap. We picked the recycle bin for it and we put the word out that we'd reuse packing material and it's starting to roll in. Needless to say there was quite a variety in the freebies and quite a lot so when I say we are counting our blessings, believe me. It's been an awesome week here. 

Happy Fourth of July to everyone. Thank you for stopping by.