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Thursday, August 12, 2021

Weekly Round-Up of Posts

It's been another busy week for me. I'm experimenting with my own productivity this week. So, I finished up a bunch of posts all at once and will link to them from this post.

Highlights of my week:

A neighbor gave us a dozen ripe yellow plums this week. So very kind. And the plums are super sweet.

I harvested what I think is a year's supply of garlic for our family. That's about a $25 value. This all began with a single 33-cent head of garlic about 15 years ago, saving and replanting a little more each year.

I transplanted a bunch of lettuce seedlings into pots and baskets, collecting seeds from some of the spent plants, including nasturtium and spinach seeds for planting next year. I also collected chive seeds to top a batch of rolls. The radish seeds are not quite ready. I've let a lot of radish seed pods develop, as I hope to make radish sprouts this winter.

I'm working on my garden plan for 2022 already. I keep a small notebook with what worked and what needs improvement, adding content as it comes to mind while working in the garden. Two plans for next year are to increase the size of our pumpkin patch and add another potato bed. Canned pumpkin is a more expensive canned vegetable, averaging about 90-95 cents per can compared with other veggies that I can get canned for about 50 cents per can. With the potatoes, last year we ran out of garden-grown potatoes in early February. Adding another bed will yield enough potatoes to serve them often in fall and winter, with some perhaps lasting into spring (especially if I cook, mash and freeze some or dehydrate slices).

We are experiencing the smoke from California wildfires once again. The light looks pink and even though there aren't any real clouds in the sky, the light is on the dim side. I'm wondering what this does for growing vegetables. The smell is smokey, but not terribly bad. We did have a few nice days between spells of this smoke-filled air. We spent a lot of time outdoors on those days. Dinner outdoors is such a lovely summer treat.

I found a way to make previously frozen, thawed and badly separated milk more palatable for my family. (There's only so much pudding they can eat.) I added some powdered milk (2 tablespoons) to a couple of cups of the separated milk and ran it all through the smoothie blender. The milk treated this way did not appear to separate while sitting in the fridge overnight like the rest of the frozen/thawed milk did.

And now, as promised, some weekend reading for you -- a trio of posts. Pick and choose (click on links), if they sound interesting to you. 

What else can you do with the abundance of garden zucchini? In this link, here's what I wrote this week about how I make stuffed zucchini, with a bunch of variations that I've tried and enjoyed.

A couple of friends emailed wanting a recipe for jello made with flat soda pop. I typed up how I made it in this post. 

I know, we're almost half-way through August, and I'm just now getting to writing up my grocery shopping recap for the month of July. I've included our list of items, with prices, stores and quantities in the link in this post. I've also added a few more items to our list of foods that will likely see large price jumps in the next year.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!


  1. Even here in the east, we've had smoke from the fires on the west coast. However, all we noticed were the blood red suns.

    I remember the problems with frozen milk separating. That happens when there's fat in the milk. Skim milk freezes without those problems. However, I know that skim milk may not be the best choice for your family. I'm glad you've found a way to negate the separation.

    1. That's amazing that the west coast smoke has made it all the way to where you are, Live and Learn.

      I've had some brands of milk that freeze better than others. The milk I bought at Walmart a year ago has really disappointed me when it comes to freezing and to making yogurt. It's fine for drinking, though. Yes, I'm relieved to find a palatable way to save this milk. I asked my daughter how the milk was and she said "great". That's good enough for me!

  2. I’m growing potatoes in big plastic bins this year as an experiment. The plants look great, so hopefully they are making potatoes under them. I watched a couple you tube videos about the potato towers, but decided big containers were more my style, for this year anyway. I spent less than $1 on seed potatoes so I don’t need to harvest many to get my money back lol.

    1. Hi Diane,
      I hope you get loads of potatoes! Please, let me know how it all worked out in the fall when you harvest the potatoes. I love these sorts of experiments!

  3. I "discovered" zucchini boats (stuffed zucchini) last summer. We aren't having a lot of luck with growing it but our neighbor gave us a huge one so I cooked it up last week. My recipe sounds similar to yours, Lili, although I've learned to put the zucchini in the oven while I'm preparing the stuffing to pre-cook it--otherwise it doesn't seem to get done.

    1. Hi Kris,
      As I mentioned in the post bout stuffed zucchini, you can microwave the zucchini shells to pre-cook them. If you bake them in a pyrex dish, you can just microwave the shells in that same dish before stuffing and oven-baking. My family likes them on the firm side, so I just bake them raw.


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