Thursday, November 20, 2008

Recent POPs

What's been going on around here, at the Hausfrau homestead? How have we been POPing? (POP = Peak Oil Preparing).
Hubby and I are storing 10 Butternuts in the Peak Oil Closet, which seems to be un-insulated, and runs about 5 - 10 degrees cooler in the winter. I've roasted 3 of them in the Sun Oven already - which works really well in the middle of the day even in November. So far we've made Butternut Bisque, Butternut Quesadillas, Stuffed Butternut, and Squash Squares (a bread like dessert).
I've thought of labeling each Butternut with a Sharpie, but we'll see if I need to bother, because so far they are storing really well. I'm very excited, since I've never tried this before, and it's a cheap, easy, no-energy way to store fresh vegetables.
I am also experimenting by keeping an 8 pound bag of potatoes in an ice chest in the garage. I need to keep tabs on it; if the potatoes store well out there I may transfer all my potatoes from the fridge. If it doesn't work well I will need to try to dig an earth sheltered home for the ice chest.
We bought 2 cans of dehydrated eggs from Honeyville Farms (equivalent to 170 eggs) for our food storage plan. Eventually I might like to have chickens, but we haven't gotten there yet. So, I figure, eggs would be a good addition to the plan. But I won't use them unless SHTF, or until their expiration date grows near, so I can't comment on how they taste.

Last weekend we processed the last of the tomatoes from the final harvest. We picked a bunch of green ones before the first frost back in October. They have been ripening, wrapped in newspapers, for the last few weeks. Works like a charm, although not quite as nice as vine-ripened tomatoes, still better than store bought, plus they are organic and only traveled 30 feet to the kitchen. I chopped them up and saved them in Ziplocs in the freezer. 2 cups per bag is about equivalent to a standard "can" of tomatoes - I processed 4 of these bags; I also stored a few 3-cup bags for larger dishes.

Before: Green tomatoes ripening in newspapers

After: The result

I'm still watering my tiny 4x4 winter garden. The garlic, Swiss Chard, kale, and carrots seem to be growing well. I didn't plant this patch until Sept. 15th, and so far the green caterpillar critters are not bothering these kale at all. Amazing, since they devasted the kohlrabi and kale I planted in August.

And the fun part - I went shopping. Another $35 bag sale at the Remarkable Shop, run by the Junior League, which supports literacy programs. I got a few items for my son, but mostly I went for myself. Here's what I got:
  • 4 pairs of jeans
  • 1 pr corduroys
  • 2 toddler sleepers
  • 1 turtleneck
  • 2 new-looking black sweatpants
  • 3 soft one-color shirts
  • 2 interesting blouses

So it averaged out to about $2 per item of clothing. After I got the booty home, I added up all the tags - for a total of $98!! I estimate retail price for all the items (everything really was in brand-new condition, except for 2 shirts) would have been over $300. Of course, I never would have bought all that stuff brand new. But I have worn several of the items already, and I can tell they will be a regular part of my wardrobe. And the best part - according to Riot rules, there's no points for charity purchases!

What are you doing that's new? What are you experimenting with?


Rhea said...

I never heard the term POP, but I like it. Did you make it up?

Hausfrau said...

I think so! I don't remember seeing "POP" anywhere else. Feel free to use it yourself. :)

Hausfrau said...

I think POP can be a noun or a verb. POP - peak oil preparing; or POP - peak oil preparation.

Anonymous said...

Isn't buying/storing 170 of something you've never tasted and will need if shtf a bit daring?

Hausfrau said...

Hi EM - I suppose it's a little daring, but I've read the comments/reviews of the product, and I mostly plan to use the eggs in baking. Also, they only come in cans of 75 eggs, so I didn't have a whole lot of choice, and they didn't cost too much. That being said, you're right - I wouldn't recommend buying one of those Super Giganto boxes of dehydrated food without tasting the products first!!!

Chile said...

Sounds like you're keeping busy. I'm not sure it counts as POPing, but I learned to make a new recipe today. Versatility in cooking is a valuable skill, IMHO, to avoid total boredom if and when the time comes that we have to live on primarily what we can grow.

I'm trying to avoid much more shopping until we get moved (eventually). Every additional item I buy now is one more thing that has to be loaded on a UHaul!

(LOL, the verification word is "cacti"...very appropos for a desert dweller.)

d.a. said...

Nice reading of your efforts! The tomato processing/ripening via newspapers is really cool; will have to try that when our garden ramps up next spring.

I've been hitting the thrift shops for winter duds appropriate for farm work - flannel shirts, fleece vests, things that can be layered and washed without worry.

Picked up some wood from a neighbor's property deconstruction. Nice old weathered stuff; will use to build a larger chicken coop.

risa said...

Thanks for the tip!

We will run out of fresh tomatoes next week. I just had a smallish Brandywine with Yukon Gold potato marinated with a ginger vinaigrette.