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Ho-ly smokes, guys. It was such a freakin’ busy weekend. It went by in such a whirlwind; it feels like we didn’t sit down for one second.
Check out the plenty of frugal activities we did to save money this weekend. 🙂
Also, people have mentioned this post makes them feel bad about their weekend productivity. Please don’t feel that way! I write this to show how we make frugal living actionable and possible–and I definitely smush in plenty of blubberbutt couch-potato time, too. Everybody has different commitments and it’s about just doing your best, y’all. 🙂
Everything’s coming up roses! Well, not really, since I hate growing roses. But yeah, the garden has been growing steadily and we’re seeing new crops popping up.
- Blooming magnolia: I adore the little magnolia tree in our front yard. I didn’t think it would bloom since it was still so young, but I was wrong! It has a few buds that are preparing to bloom. It smells like HEAVEN.
- Bell peppers: We have a few bell peppers growing and I can’t wait to eat them. One plant grows purple bell peppers, which I’ve never had before.
- Tomatoes and tomatillos: Each tomato plant in our raised beds has lil’ tomatoes growing! Soon we’ll be up to our ears in heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and luscious green tomatillos. I sense that loooots of salsa-making is in our future.
- Figs and persimmons: I was absolutely flabbergasted to see that our fig and persimmon trees are fruiting. They’re so itty bitty that I didn’t think they’d fruit for a few years. But ‘lo and behold, small fruits are growing on the trees. It’s not a huge harvest, but there’s nothing like a fresh, warm persimmon on a hot Texas day. Ahhh.
- Garden greens: Mr. Picky Pincher harvested a beautiful array of chef’s salad greens–in our thrift store basket, no less! We gave a bag to Picky Nikki and will munch on these with dinner this week. I’m so, so happy that we have organic, fancy salad for cheap. 🙂
Fun in the kitchen
We had a biiiiiig weekend in the kitchen. I guess the stars just aligned and most of our to-dos involved food. 🙂
We tried mead
It’s summer and that means big sales are about to happen on fruit. I was brainstorming ways to use up massive amounts of fruit for later, and Mr. Picky Pincher suggested mead. We’d never had mead before, so we tried two kinds–a semi-sweet honey mead and a sweet strawberry mead.
As it turns out, mead is DISGUSTING. It’s fine if you’re a fan of ultra-sweet drinks, but it’s not for the faint of heart or the diabetic. So now I know I won’t preserve fruit as a mead. I’ll probably opt for a less-sweet fruit wine.
Mr. Picky Pincher pickled (say that five times fast!) our radish harvest. He used a Korean-style pickling liquid and the radishes look divine. Here’s the recipe he used. He chopped them ultra-fine in our food processor and they look sooooo good.
These will be delightful on some Asian lettuce wraps. 🙂
I felt adventurous this weekend, so I tried out two new cookie recipes I found in library cookbooks.
The first was for cardamom sugar thins. I’ve never baked with cardamom myself, but I’ve eaten it in baked goods before and loved it. I used a standard sugar cookie recipe and added two teaspoons of cardamom. These taste so dreamy! I stored them in a Christmas cookie jar Picky Nikki gave us for Christmas. I miiiight need to store them on a higher shelf so I don’t eat as many. 😉
I also made a batch of salted margarita lime cookies. This recipe called for rolling the dough into a tube and cutting the cookies. This worked all right, but the cookies weren’t as pretty as I would have liked them. I’ll stick with cookie cutters next time, thank you very much.
But! If you’re a fan of fresh-baked cookies without the hassle, you can try pre-forming cookie dough, freezing it in a log, and cooking it when you want it. Easy and cheaper than store bought. 🙂
We had three nasty nanners left over in our fruit bowl. I used the bananas to make three servings of caramelized banana crepe filling. I like to freeze these and eat them for weekday breakfasts. 🙂
I prepped green beans
Green beans were on sale for 98 cents a pound, so we bought two pounds. I processed the green beans and froze them for easy, healthy dinners this weekend.
Mr. Picky Pincher used two chicken carcasses to make homemade chicken stock. We freeze this in plastic containers and use the stock whenever we need it. We also sometimes pressure can the stock so it can be stored on a shelf.
Turkeys were on fire sale for 98 cents a pound last week, so I bought the biggest one I could cram into my Picky little hands. Mr. Picky Pincher, Poultry Whisperer, used his expertise to brine and roast the biggest damn turkey I’ve ever seen.
We had the turkey for Sunday dinner and will freeze the rest of the cooked meat for future eating. Yum!
We bought these Mylar bags to store staples like rice, beans and flour in 5 gallon buckets. The result is that we have plenty of dried goods around. 🙂 Mr. Picky Pincher put some of our pinto beans to good use and made a batch. These were frozen to eat later.
I saw our half gallon of milk was about to expire, so I used it to make fromage blanc. I bought several packs of cheese starters from the beer supply store several months ago. Extra milk + cheese starter bacteria = Perfect condition for cheese-making!
I’ve never had fromage blanc before, but it looks like it’s a loose kind of cheese you can use for cheesecake or party dips. After stirring in the cheese culture, the fromage blanc sits for 12 hours to ferment, and then is strained for 8 hours.
I’ll report back on its level of tasty-ness. 🙂
“Too Good” Tartlets
I got the itch to bake on Sunday morning, so I whipped up some cute vanilla tartlets. I used frozen fruit I had on hand (blackberries, plums, and tangelos) to top the tarts. They’re soooo tasty. 🙂
Shower head adventures
Our guest bathroom shower mysteriously broke, so we had to replace it. And by “mysteriously broke,” I mean I touched it and the shower head fell off.
We bought a new shower head at Lowe’s and took advantage of a special overstock sale. We got a nice, new shower head for $26 (regularly priced at $40).
Painting closet doors
I spent most of my Sunday painting closet doors. I honestly didn’t have the strength/patience/sanity to paint these during our house remodel, so they sat in the corner for a few months. The weather was nice this weekend, so I finally started painting these.
I forgot about the damned lime green closet doors. Ugh. I had to apply Kilz to them, so the painting process took a good chunk of the day.
I still need to paint two more closet doors, but it feels good to have most of them done!
Baby bird “rescue”
I was shocked to be greeted by a fluffy baby bird on the sidewalk when I went to check mail. The little guy was just sitting there and staring at me. He didn’t try to run away and it looked like he’d been hurt. I saw the neighbor’s cat stalking the baby bird, and (as a psycho baby animal lover) freaked out.
I donned rubber gloves and scooped up the baby bird to get him out of harm’s way. It was a chilly day, so I wrapped him in a warm cloth while I called a local wildlife rehabilitation group for advice.
They let me know the baby was called a “fledgling” and was learning how to live life outside of the nest. Although he still looked like a baby, his parents were circling nearby and still fed him while he learned how to be a bird.
I followed the wildlife center’s advice and put the baby bird in a shoe box in a safe place away from the cat, but near the bird’s parents.
Just a PSA of what to do if y’all happen to find a baby bird!
Zap was a total Daddy’s boy on Sunday evening. He wrapped himself around Mr. Picky Pincher’s arm, promptly fell asleep, and wouldn’t take no for an answer. 🙂
Zap kept trying to shut my computer while I tried to blog. Oh, this cat.
Look how regal this little guy is! I was testing out my home office and he joined in on the fun by attacking our (expensive) blinds.
Zap is thankfully getting over his fear of being outside! He explored the porch a bit on Sunday morning and suddenly bounded across the yard. Zap rolled in the dirt, stalked birds, and smelled flowers (or thought about eating the flowers; it’s hard to tell).
We want to know: How did you save or spend money this weekend?