I’m home sick today after a tough weekend where my car was officially proclaimed stater-less, and I came down with what at least 2 kids at work had, throat issues and a high [enough] fever. At least it wasn’t so high I was hallucinating and completely out of commission. I just wasn’t much use to anyone but myself. There was no barf and I could use the bathroom by myself. Accomplishments!
Our food budget continues to get whacked. We also continue to fail to follow the food budget as well as any other portion of our budget, since we really like food, and we really like really good food, but we try. In any case, it looks good on paper. It is getting to be rather do-able that we actually supplement what comes out of our garden with store bought food rather than the other way around. We still don’t have a large quantity of fleshy veggies (ie cucumbers, squash, eggplant, etc) coming in out of the gardens, but we have greens coming out of our ears (chard, arugula, lettuces galore, mustards, and more!) and the occasional chunky veggie, onion (very tiny onions – apparently this is all sorts of wrong for the time of year for those), and pepper (more hot peppers than sweet peppers, but we’ll get there) which has the making for many a vegetarian meal and is everything and more we could hope for (okay, except cheese. We always hope for cheese) to create everything we need for side dishes for a meat centered meal.
We have decided to “off” Sweet Pea. From the beginning, before the ducklings came peeping sweetly in their little box via USPS we said that if one was particularly obnoxious or a bully, it would end up on the dinner table. Sweet Pea may be the only fully white feathered duck, which makes her uniquely pretty, however, she is also uniquely loud and annoying. Seeing as we lost the only living little bunny that has been born so far to SKDS (Sudden Kit Death Syndrome), our first 100% farm meal will likely be duck instead of rabbit.
If Nate does enough studying to feel confident about the slaughter and prep of a duck in the next little bit, maybe I can use the first ripe pumpkin (picked and set out to cure today when I put the chickens back in their coop) to make Alton Brown’s Whole Pumpkin Pie Soup, which sounds delectable. I do not, however, have an immersion blender which the recipe requires, so I’ll need to decide if there is a way around that or if such a device is a worthy investment. I tend toward thinking Alton has good recommendations since he is wholly against one-purpose kitchen wares. If you can’t use it for more than one thing, he wouldn’t recommend it – I can get behind that idea, since I plan to one day live in a house approximately the size of our current living room.
The other interesting thing for today was discovering that Williams Sonoma has come out with what they call the Agrarian line of products. Included in the line is seeds for sale, garden supplies, chicken tractors, and (this is what got me excited) beekeeping kits. I tend toward the opinion, in this case, that Williams Sonoma has good quality supplies, and while they may be a corporate business rather than a mom and pop local shop, quality is important and they have made that accessible more long-range. I do agree that it would be silly to purchase a chicken tractor from them when you can build your own from salvaged materials or purchase one from someone locally quite easily since the shipping must be heinous for something like that. Before beekeeping makes its way into our lives, there is a lot of research I need to do, but one of the primary things is figuring out just how high in quality my beekeeping materials need to be to start with and what a good price to pay for quality materials would be. I have seen kits ranging from $150-800 and all of those prices are currently unaffordable, but at some point I would like to make it happen with some knowledge about what makes a good beehive.
How do you feel about corporate Williams Sonoma getting in on the homesteading and self-sufficiency movement of food?