It has been a really good week. After Christmas we managed to have a few fairly quiet days and it helped me to take in all the changes in our lives over the last months. Finally I could really start to think about plans and goals for this year. It is exciting to begin again!
Some of the ways I built up our nest, saved and got ahead this week included:
I made a big rice salad as we have had a lot of cold meat and salad dinners due to hot weather.
I chopped and froze left over celery. That will go into chicken soup in Autumn.
We had a wonderful day out. We took Mum for the drive down to Lucy and her families farmhouse that they are moving into later this month. They were down there working on it getting it ready to be lived in. It was a beautiful drive and a gorgeous day. Harper and Scarlett were excited to have two Nan Nans' visiting together!
We were pleased to see how beautifully the house is looking. It is a huge old farmhouse and it also has a walk in pantry with the highest ceiling I have ever seen. The shelves go right up so you need a ladder!
The garden has old fruit trees. Some need loving back to life but there is a Quince with small fruit, a lemon, three fig trees and the hugest Mulberry Tree I have ever seen!
I picked figs, they are the free type that are pink inside. Chloe has the purple type over near her house.
In Adelaide last year figs were $2 EACH.
I also picked cherries. There was a small tree with just a few left.
They turned out to be really small plums! When I adjusted to this I decided, well, they are a glorious colour! So I did something easy and made up a gluten free packet mix cake and covered it in slices of the little plums.
It was beautiful! I wasn't sorry they weren't cherries by then!
As it turned out my SIL's Dad sent us all cherries! So I still ended up with a kilo to use!
Mum gave me two jars of farm honey. I love to keep as much honey as possible in the pantry.
Chloe gave me apricots and lemons!!
Andy ate a couple of dozen as he loves apricots. The rest I made into Jam. If I have small amounts of fruit to make up I do it in the microwave. It is quick and easy and the bonus is you get this amazing jewel like colour.
I made eight jars so that is a good start to my summer jam making. The microwave method I use is here. This has never reduced the life of the jam. And there are so so many uses for jam! I wrote up some uses for putting it to good use in this post.... Take a Jar of Jam.
Both my Nans' and Mum were big jam makers. Dad called in on Tuesday for a cup of tea. I was making the jam then. So he pulled up a chair in the kitchen. When he was leaving he said coming to my place reminded him of his Mum. She was "always collecting things and making jam." This was a compliment since Dad loves and misses his Mum.
This week Luke came over and helped with the Bobcat. That is basically a small tractor. In a few hours he got so much done, clearing away tree stumps, filling in the holes in the lawn where trees had been and moving a dead tree that had fallen.
He is such a help. He is always happy even out there working in the heat.
Yesterday I went for a shopping trip to Naracoorte which is our regional town one hour away. I had not shopped at all for over two weeks. I am learning what I need to stock up on, how long things last and so on. It was a beautiful drive. From here we go through gorgeous vineyards and huge gum trees. Even now it is all green. I know the town fairly well from years ago when I also shopped there fortnightly when the girls were still at school. It is a lovely town. I did a big shop to stock up the pantry. They also have two op shops (that I know of so far) and one was open and I got a Royal Albert milk jug covered inside and out with little flowers. It was $1! And four crystal drinking glasses for 50c each!
I went to the nursery and got some seedlings, more spinach, capsicums and basil.
Woolworths and the Health Food Shop had so many Gluten Free things. It was fantastic.
I took cold packs and frozen drinks. These kept the meat and dairy items good and cold all the way home.
After the drive back I got busy unpacking and filling the freezer, fridge and pantry. I feel so good to have stocked up well. The country towns are more expensive. Next week I am taking advantage of a city trip to do a major stock up at Aldi. The price different is huge.
I had already mentioned the lovely NYE we had with Chloe and Luke and the beautiful pavlova Chloe made. It was a great week!
As you can tell it is fruit season here. It is a matter of each day making the best use of the fruit that comes my way. Today I will work on figs.
How did your new year start off? Did you find ways to build up your home, save or get ahead?
Tonight or tomorrow I will post the first challenge of the year!! Plus two more posts in the next few days. I am trying to get the year off to a good start and hit the ground running!
Have a lovely weekend! xxx