A Day in the Life of a Self-Sufficient Foody

Friday is my do as I wish day – kind of. I don’t have to prepare for another day of school for the kiddos, or run to town to pick up our oldest granddaughter from ball practice in the evening. It is movie night for the kids so I don’t do homework with them. Though it can be a catch up day if I choose, mostly I accomplish something that has been nagging at my conscious. Or I use it as a shopping day if need be.

This Friday was a stay home day. I LOVE those. I had bread that was getting a bit old  and rather than feed it to the chickens, I made French toast for the kids for breakfast and croutons. I cut the bread into chunks, fried it in melted butter with basil, oregano, and garlic, then toasted and dried it in the oven. I find myself munching on them during the day as a snack. I also put them in the blender to form fine crumbs to roll chicken in before frying. I often dry older bread without herbs or butter and blend to mix with flour for coating on meat especially cubed beef steaks or wild game. It gives a hint of sweet and a more complex flavor than just flour. You can always add spices at this stage. But something about the butter in croutons makes it go so well with chicken. I use lots of butter.

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My 2 dwarf apple trees were loaded this year and my sisters took two boxes home between them but that left me with twelve 4 gallon buckets of apples. Friday I began juicing the small ones for apple juice. Homemade apple juice tastes nothing like the store’s juice. Here is why: (Producers of pasteurized orange juice began storing their juice in vast tanks. In order to keep it “fresh”, the product had to be stripped of oxygen. Once this had been done, the juice could be stored for up to a year.  In juice concentrates the process removes much of the taste. It was too expensive to add fresh orange juice so they invented flavor packs around 1960s to capture and break down the essences and oils that were lost when the juice was concentrated. ) Imagine what they do to apples. No wonder our oldest daughter can’t drink store juice.

Homemade apple juice is like biting into a fresh sweet apple minus the pulp. I hope someday to have enough fruit and berries to have a selection of juices in my pantry. Only for special occasions though. It is high in sugar content.

IMG_8284In the fall only, there are food case lot sales from a local grocery store and one item is a large box of frozen chicken breast for a bargain. I prefer thigh meat for most recipes but for sandwich spread, you can’t beat canned chicken breasts. Add a little mayonnaise, pickle, celery salt, and it beats tuna fish hands down. Or sometimes I add it to a recipe to speed up supper preparations. I canned 16 pints on Friday. That is a lot of meat but not a box full. I did more earlier in the week and gave some away to our daughter.

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I also made a couple loaves of bread, a four times a week task with six mouths to feed three meals a day to.

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And I was craving oatmeal cookies.  Even the granddaughter who had just had tonsil surgery managed to eat down after soaking it in milk.

IMG_8282I trimmed the herbs under the grow lights, drying them in the dehydrator to fill the spice jars on Saturday. Plus I rested quite a bit and watched Fixer Upper on Hulu with the granddaughter who had her tonsils out. Some days I just never know what is up with my Adrenals. I’m guessing stress. It was a tough week.

Of course this left me with a huge mess in the kitchen to clean up on Saturday and parts of the projects to finish up. Like the apples which will take days to finish. Meanwhile I have freezers to clean and organize before the 2 beef come home from the processing plant. Yes, we gave up on trying to get it done ourselves and hired someone.

Yes, one of my do as I wish Fridays.  Do you have a day each week like this?

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