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freezing

Timely suggestions

OK, folks, sometimes it is good to, as they say in the classical music biz, ‘recapitulate the theme’ before we go on to the ‘variations.’ In your Aunty’s case this weekend, it hit me (literally; the calendar fell off the fridge) that we are now half-way through August, which means many things to many families:
1. School will be starting soon and many of you will be head-first in those lists that get sent out from schools for what your child is expected to have with them when they go back (if they have not gone back already – some school districts have started I think).
2. Even though it is still warm (and still very warm) in many places (except for our readers in Australia and NZ who are moving into the spring), fall and winter are making their inevitable march.

So, as I seem to do every August, your dear Old Aunty is here today to remind you of a couple of things which may be useful in terms of the next 8 weeks or so (depending on where you live):

First, it is still warm, which means that we have a window of opportunity (as they say) to use substances such as caulk, paint, wood putty and so on, which require temperatures of at least 55 degrees F to cure.

Second, if you have been cudgeling yourselves over the head with doing something about making your home more energy efficient, now is a bloody good time to actually take steps to doing it. There is literally nothing worse than laying on your back in a crawl space in December putting in insulation (well, actually, there IS something worse and that is laying on your back on a filthy barn floor when it’s 0 degrees F. at 2 a.m. and trying to help a ewe have her lambs. But we don’t do that anymore, hey nonnie nonnie and a fiddle-dee-dee). Doing this in August, September or October is much less nasty.

If you’ve been thinking about getting into canning or freezing (even if you don’t have a garden yourself), now as as good a time as any to do this. First – the farmers markets are exploding with gorgeous produce and so-called ‘U pick” is humming out there with fruits and veggies. Check with your county Cooperative Extension to see if they are having any canning, freezing, jam making etc. sorts of classes.

Let’s say you do have a freezer – now is a very good time to check it out and bring all the older stuff (you DO label what you put in there with what it is and when you put it in, right?) to the top or the front (depending on what sort of freezer you have) so that you can use it up before winter starts.

If you have a garden or beds or planters of plants, you may look out and feel that all the flowers are looking just a tad peaked at this point. Deadhead the perennials and cut back the annuals and give everything a good dose of organic fertilizer like compost tea or fish emulsion in water. That should give them a good pick-me-up to carry them into the fall.

For those folks looking for some posts to help them along, here you go:
Saving Energy
http://www.kitchencountereconomics.com/2012/01/07/saving-energy-basement-windows/
http://www.kitchencountereconomics.com/2011/09/03/its-that-time-of-the-year/
http://www.kitchencountereconomics.com/2010/08/12/55-keep-your-eyes-on-the-thermometer/
http://www.kitchencountereconomics.com/2009/10/08/to-do-list-caulk-now/
http://www.kitchencountereconomics.com/2011/12/17/give-the-gift-of-warm-feet-part-1/
http://www.kitchencountereconomics.com/2011/12/18/the-gift-of-warm-feet-part-2-fiberglass/

Freezing, Canning
http://www.kitchencountereconomics.com/2010/08/22/overwhelmed-with-tomatoes/
http://www.kitchencountereconomics.com/2009/05/30/introduction-to-canning/
http://www.kitchencountereconomics.com/2009/05/28/be-prepared-introduction-to-anxiety-part-one/
http://www.kitchencountereconomics.com/2009/08/02/wmd-zucchini-time/
http://www.kitchencountereconomics.com/2009/06/01/the-exploding-pressure-canner-and-other-kitchen-myths/

Enjoy!

Oh, Snap!! (Peas, that is)

Although I’m really someone who likes to have food put by, I’m not into just freezing or canning just to freeze or can. The point really is to produce something that you and your family are going to want to eat later on. For the longest time, I made the big mistake with freezing veggies of blanching them far too long and then when we reheated them from the frozen state, they turned to mush. Made it hard to get the Little Siberians to eat their home grown veggies in January. (more…)

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