Thursday, 2 January 2014

January stores and January Weather

 Up until the spring of last year I wrote regularly for our local Suffolk Smallholders Society monthly newsletter. One year I did a page each month called " Country Days and Country Ways". I used  information from some of my many ( too many!) books of  weather sayings and country traditions.
I thought it would be fun to do the same now and again on the blog during 2014.

So here's a weather saying for the start  of the year

The first three days of January foretell the first three months of the year.

We shall see. 

 Yesterday as the weather was so wet, cold, grey and windy,  I made a start on my plan to clear out some things from the craft room. I filled a boxful with cross stitch kits that I will NEVER do, card toppers that I will NEVER use and other bits and bobs that have been lurking for years. The result only made half a shelf of less stuff. But I felt better! The box has gone upstairs to join our collection of things for a car boot sale.

After lunch, egg collecting and packing. I looked to see what was on TV....... Nothing. Old films and more old films. So when Him Outside came in I suggested we have our first game of Scrabble of the winter.
At the end it looked like this

We use a scrabble dictionary and cheat by looking up words in it before we lay the tiles. It's full of strange words that don't appear in The Shorter OED. We've now discovered that we have a letter Y missing. I think I'll have to make one from something.
 Despite my QUAIL on a triple word, I only won by 1 point.
We need some practice in case we get a chance to play a game with Him Outsides' sister - a demon Scrabble player!

It was good to make the first entry in my new diary - which is just an A4 note pad, I don't like the constraints of a normal diary. ( Although I keep a week to view one in the kitchen for reminders) I need blank pages for planning things, lists etc, and I like to start at the front and at the back!
Yesterday I made a list of all the food of our own we have available here on January 1st.
It looked like this
From Store - Beetroot, potatoes, onions, squash, cooking apples, eating apples.
From the garden - Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, leeks, parsnips. A few lettuce, radishes and salad leaves, a little chard and some golf ball sized swedes. ( + Sprouting broccoli soon)
From the freezer - Broad Beans, sweetcorn, peppers, pears, cooking apples, raspberries, gooseberries, cherries. Plus a few redcurrants and plum tomatoes.
In the kitchen cupboards - Jam - Marrow and ginger, Summer fruits, Plum, Greengage, Gooseberry, Strawberry and Gooseberry.
Chutneys - Pumpkin and pepper, Beetroot and Ginger, Hot tomato, Sweetcorn relish,Green Tomato,Onion Marmalade chutney,Gooseberry and date, Marrow and apple.

 Today after lots more heavy rain overnight, the weather is completely different  with bright sunshine and a clear blue sky and  I soon had  two loads of washing blowing on the line.
 Him Outside was working for the County Council this morning and I was in the kitchen making pies with the remainder of the beef stew we had for dinner yesterday. I cooked up a 2 packs of the meat ( 3 packs stewing beef for £10) used some value carrots from Tesco, and leeks, onions and swede from the garden,  added  stock using a couple of beef oxo cubes, hot water and a can of beer. This was simmered on the Rayburn, thickened with Bisto. We ate this last night with dumplings and Brussels Sprouts. The remainder has made 3 pies, each serving the two of us.  One for tonight and 2 for the freezer. We rarely eat beef so this is the best way to stretch it as much as possible.
Then I did a lot of hoovering and more tidying after which it was lunch time and egg collecting all over again.

I'm feeling a bit left out today as most people in blogland seem to be embarking on New Adventures and New Challenges.  Whereas here we will just be chugging along in our normal simple way.

 Although I do have a cunning plan to save any spare housekeeping towards one of these!

The iconic ‘Revival’ DAB radio is a nostalgic 1950s style retro radio with advanced DAB features.

I shall let you know how I get on.

I keep forgetting to say Thank you for lots of comments over the last few days, apologies for not replying to everyone individually also welcome to follower number 115 in the pictures and a couple more people on bloglovin.

Back tomorrow - Keeeeep Frugaling!


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