Saturday, November 22, 2014

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop, Nov. 22

Join us for ideas on living a Simple Lifestyle and being self sufficient!

simple saturdays piggy

Welcome to Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

This blog hop is brought to you by a group of wonderful co-hosts committed to the Simple way of Life and learning to be Self Reliant in all they do.  Simple Saturdays Blog Hop is a way for each of us to share the various ways we are learning to be more Self Reliant in our homes and on our land. This is all about building community, learning new skills and growing more self-sufficient!
Please join us, submit YOUR Self-Reliant post (maybe even 2 or 3), browse around, visit a site or two and learn some new Simple tips or Self Reliant How'To's!

 This Blog Hop is being hosted by:


 What Can I Post?

Anything and everything related to a more Simple way of life OR Self Reliance....
This may include:
Homesteading, Prepping, Gardening, Cooking/recipes/food, Livestock of all varieties, Off-grid, Natural Living, Wellness/wholeness and Healthcare, Herbal, DIY & MYO!
 Make sure and include either a:
1. Text link such as: I participated in Simple Saturdays Blog Hop
2. Or ADD the blog hop button below (copy/paste) with a link back to the Blog Hop.

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

 How Can I Be a Featured Blogger?

Our featured blogger is chosen each week at random by our Co-hosts...and we hope to have YOU as our next featured blogger!
If you are selected as "Featured", make sure and grab your button (just copy/paste):
simple saturdays featured button
**Please note: By linking to this Blog Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include 1 photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way. **

Congratulations to our Featured Blogger this week:

Letters From Sunnybrook with Great Depression - Timeless Tips
Please stop by her site and read more. Congratulations to our featured blogger. Please grab our button and display it on your blog!
Letters from Sunnybrook Congratulations to Rebecca from Letters From SunnyBrook
Ready to get to the hop? Add your link below.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Late Fall Garden - What I am Planting Now

It is late fall and my garden is DONE! This is a good growing time for us, a second planting season as we can grow much through the fall and winter. But alas, our fall was so hot I did not have much of my fall planted seeds even germinate. I am dreaming of early spring when the garden looked like this.
 I am not getting much of anything from the garden but some squash I planted at the end of summer. Anyone know if this is a buttercup squash? I love to keep the plastic trays from the nursery to put below ripening vine bearing vegetables. They keep the fruit out of the soil but the mesh pattern allows for good air circulation.
 I have one zucchini that is still giving me a few to pick here and there.
 Look how neglected my garden is right now. I am hoping to spend some time out here this weekend and get in some beets, multiple greens, radish, carrots, lots of chard and more herbs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tips to Organize and Simplify Your Thanksgiving Meal Preparation

I love Thanksgiving. Simply a day to gather around the table and eat good food that evokes lots of memories. The meal though can be overwhelming, so here are some tips to organize and simplify your Thanksgiving meal preparation.
 Right now, at nine days out from Thanksgiving, I am compiling my menu and grocery list. I do this simply. Take a notebook sheet of paper and and write your menu on the left side and on the right side of the paper start your grocery list. As you add or remove dishes from your Thanksgiving menu you can list the ingredients you will need from the store.
When it comes time to shop you will just cut the sheet in half and take your Thanksgiving shopping list with you to the store.
organized Thanksgiving menu and shopping list
You can see at the bottom I also keep a to do list for only my meal preparation. Our meal is low key with just our immediate family and maybe a couple extra guests so other than keeping the house picked up that week, I do not have too many major projects to finish before Thanksgiving.

The week of Thanksgiving, I have come up with a system that keeps the work evenly divided between the days of the week leading up to the meal, but also keeps me from getting really stressed on Thanksgiving day. Here is how I plan my week beginning on Monday for a low stress Thanksgiving.

I always do my grocery shopping for Thanksgiving this day. It is not so early that my fresh items are compromised, but early enough to avoid the crowds the rest of the week. Check your pantry for items you already have or pantry staples you will need like sugar or flour.

Come home and put away ingredients in the house and garage refrigerators and pantry.
Thaw turkey if needed.

I will prepare the brine for my turkey. Once it is ready and completely cooled, I will put the turkey in the brine and put out in the garage fridge to sit until Thursday. Here is one brine recipe I like.

Chop all veggies for meal and store in fridge. If you saw my recent post on freezing chopped onions, those will all be done for you.

I have found the best way to insure that I enjoy Thanksgiving too, is for me to make lots of food ahead of time. Wednesday is my day to do that and we will usually pick up something for dinner or hubby will take me out. You know how Thanksgiving leftovers are so good? Well, reheated dishes are often I find better the next day.

On Wed. I will make my dressing, put it in the dish I am using, and next day just heat in oven.

I also make my mashed potatoes today too and store in my crock pot dish in the refrigerator. Next day, top with some butter and turn the crock pot on early in the day to heat and they are wonderful and steamy this way. Just stir about once an hour to evenly reheat.

I also get most of my sweet potato dish done this day including baking it. I then let it cool and cover and store until Thursday where I will reheat in microwave and then top with marshmallows and pop under the broiler just before the meal to toast the marshmallows.

Make pies.

Wed. evening I set and decorate the Thanksgiving table.

Of course all the rest of the prep is today but three main dishes and pies are already done.

I hope you found my tips for a more organized and less stressful Thanksgiving meal helpful. Let me know if you have any other great tips. Happy Thanksgiving!!
Sharing at these parties.


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