Friday, September 26, 2008

Frugal Fridays: Share the Bounty

Canning, freezing and drying food are ways to preserve the abundance of your garden for the winter months. Not only does it provide delicious, nutritious food but it can save money. Especially if the food you preserve is free!

So far this season I have canned 36 pints of pears and dried about 30 lbs of potatoes. Right now I'm in the process of drying and canning apples, 24 pints and almost 2 gallons of dried apples so far. I have almost a bushel to go. All of this wonderful produce was given to me by good friends.

My Frugal Friday tip is to let family and friends know that you will be willing to take any extra produce off their hands.

Be willing to exchange some labor for the opportunity to receive it. Maybe there is an older person who can no longer can or preserve and would be happy to exchange the fruit from their apple trees for a dozen or so jars of canned fruit and apple butter. Maybe a busy mom would love to have someone pick pears from her tree in exchange for half of what you can or dry. If you are the one with the produce but no time to preserve it, approach a friend about preserving it for you in exchange for a share.

Check out Crystal's site for other Frugal Friday Tips.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What I Saw: Smoky Mountain Scenes September 2008

Does anyone know what kind of bird this is in the pictures?

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm Still Here

I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth. I've been canning, freezing and dehydrating the last of the garden and produce that friends have been kind enough to give me. More is on the way today! I'll have pictures and a few recipes to share in a few days.

Meanwhile, here is a great freebie I found while surfing. Wee Wonderfuls is a very cool blog. Hillary is giving away a pattern for Christmas stockings that are adorable. So check it out.

Photo is property of Hillary at Wee Wonderfuls.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Recipe: Ratatouille

Our garden has finally received a lot of rain this past week after several weeks with almost none. As a result the tomatoes are ripening and the zucchini is putting forth it's last efforts at a crop.

This past few days has been very stressful for me. Sending my daughter off to New Orleans just in time for the hurricane, worrying about car trouble she has had and wondering if she will even have a place to work after the hurricane passes has really taken a toll on me. I didn't realize how much until yesterday. I was totally wiped out and in need of some serious comfort food. It also needed to be easy to prepare and nutritious.

With all the tomatoes and zucchini available Ratatouille was the answer.

I love this recipe because after the chopping there is nothing much to do except open the oven and give it a stir now and again. It is great served over pasta, as a side dish or by itself with some garlic bread on the side.

I prefer all fresh ingredients but do substitute garlic powder and dried herbs for the fresh. You can also use canned tomatoes in a pinch

This recipe serves about 5-6. It is easy to double and you might want to because it is great as a leftover.


1 eggplant, chopped

1 medium onion, sliced or chopped

2 medium zucchini, chopped

3 cloves garlic, diced or crushed, or about 3 teaspoons garlic powder

4-5 ripe tomatoes, chopped. ( or canned tomatoes)

1/3 c. olive oil

About 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar mixed into oil

1-2 teaspoons fresh herbs, I use oregano, thyme, and a little basil or about 1/2 teaspoon dried. I sometimes just use Italian seasoning mix.

seasoned salt to taste

pepper to taste

Stir everything together and put in a 9X13 pan. Bake uncovered at 350F for about 1 hour. Open the oven every 15 minutes or so and give it a good stir.