Big score at the thrift shop and shopping this week’s ads

The local thrift store did not have any sheets, but I finally bought a Romertopf, terracotta casserole dish/cooker.  The Romertopf is a an unglazed terracotta cooker that sort of recreates cooking foods wrapped in clay and tossed on hot coals of a fire. It is a slow cooker that works in an oven. What is great about using a romertopf is most meals require very little oil or water to make a dish and a make and forget sort of meal that can cook slowly in an oven.  You have to heat the terracotta slowly but the energy use should be very low for the pot.

I got a Magic Chef  dehydrator and need to get busy on drying the tomatoes and other veggies.  Mom did not have much luck dehydrating tomatoes.  With the new “Magic Chef” fan driven dehydrators, drying  the harvest should work faster/ better for storage.  I am learning and sometimes that includes wasted food as I learn.  Since I grew the plants,  I don’t have a big problem with it getting “wasted” and chucked in the trash/ compost bin if I screw up on preserving it. I screw up a lot and that is how I learn.

Albertsons has some great buys this week.  I picked up some shrimp, two pound bag for $10.00 and I had a coupon for butter $1.88 per pound with a limit of 2 pounds per coupon.  I have to make a few more trips to Albertsons to stock up on butter at this price. I’m not sure of why, but wholesale butter prices are starting to spike up.  Last week, reported that butter “futures” were up to $3.10 per pound. I think that butter is a great prep item to stock up. You can freeze it, bottle/can it for longer storage. Butter is natural fat plus a little bit of butter adds a lot of flavor to meals or bake goods.  Albertsons now has the tall bic lighters 5 for $5.00. I love bic lighters and from what I have read from  Selco (Survivor of the 1993 Bosnian war) and ferfal (surviving the economic collapse in Argentina) good lighters tend to be a great barter item.  I want to stock up on the lighters just for my own use and have plenty of extras for possible barter.

My sister loaned me a super sized tarp to cover the wood pile this winter. The tarp covers the wood pile area and will give me time to buy all the materials to replace the roof properly for a long term fix. I complain about how the roof was installed but it did an okay job protecting the area from rain for almost 10 years. Once I get the new roof installed it should last for another 15-20 years.  I am looking at adding a rain gutter system to keep the water run off out of my neighbor’s yard and should  re direct water part of my alley garden I have been working on this year. I ordered one more cord of wood to be delivered next week since I’m not sure how much I will use of this new wood if the winter gets cold.   Worse thing that could happen, is I have enough wood for a cold winter. Best outcome is I have a nice stock of seasoned wood for next winter. One of the things I did not think about heating with my wood stove is how much stacked wood I need to have on hand for a cold winter because I went cheap to start with the mill ends, augmented that with buying a quarter cord “box” of fruit wood and last year my aunt gave me free elm wood that Dad cut and split but I got a literal wood pile and I did not make a good stack of wood to estimate my usage over the winter months.

I got Mom’s laptop loaded with a nice bit of anti-virus software from Comodo , updated her  email contact list and updated to Service pack 1 finally on both laptops without a glitch.  So far, I really like Windows 7 OS as it seems to work well with my old Office 2003 install. Plus the desktop is not all that different compared to Windows XP. As far as I know I can’t create my own restore point in  Windows 7 like I did in Win XP. But the Win 7 software seems to create restore points that are solid. After using the laptops for a couple of weeks I would recommend both as good buys as a laptop for prepping/survival as well as a basic PC for most people.


4 Responses to Big score at the thrift shop and shopping this week’s ads

  1. Pam says:

    A couple of comments on the wood/woodstove. We found that by putting plastic corrugated garage sale signs or other discarded advertising signs on top of your wood pile, before you cover the cord of wood with the tarp, helps the tarp stay in better shape. We found that the wind was moving the tarp enough to rub holes in places where the wood might have had a splinter or extra rough spot. This year we are using 2 x 4’s since we happen to have several. Again, these are put between the wood and the tarp. And even though DH ties down the tarps we still put big rocks on top as a back up. During that first year of burning wood it got tiresome to go all the way out to the woodpile to bring in wood a couple times a day. So I got the large galvanized trash containers, I think we are up to 7 now, placed them in our garage and I fill those up pyramiding the wood on top and it will last us for two weeks. I know it’s only 30 feet from my garage to the woodpile but still I’m much happier doing that once every two weeks. I love our fireplace insert. On cold rainy days that heat is so nice!

  2. S.Lynn says:

    Pam, what a good idea-double covering to save the tarp. This will be our first year covering hay and we just used those “cheap” blue/green tarps from the local hardware big box store. Next year we’ll have to do something different. Planning on building a hay barn but who knows what will happen between then and now.

  3. S.Lynn says:

    When I dry small tomatoes I sprinkle pasta or italian seasoning on them before turning on the dehydrator. Makes them tasty when you rehydrate them. Then i Seal-a-meal them and stick them in the freezer.

    • Jamie says:

      Pam: That is a great idea to preserve tarps. My wood area was a chain link Dog kennel with a rotting wood roof that needs to be replaced. Mom and I covered the roof with the big tarp. I will add a few stone “pavers” on the tarp to keep the wind from blowing it around.

      I have a fully enclosed front porch for weekly wood storage. I use a wood rack I got at Big Lots for $20.00 for the logs and for the the mill ends and kindling five, 18 gallon plastic “party buckets”. Last year Mom and I tended to top off the wood every 3-4 days but, if the porch wood area was full it should last at least a week depending on how cold it is outside. I love my garden wagon for hauling the wood from the “pile” to the porch. I have a good sized city lot (.16 acre) and while many people move stuff via a wheel barrow, I prefer using my little garden wagon.

      S.Lynn : For the tomatoes I added a few herbs on the tomatoes last year, but I have a couple of Italian and Pizza spice grinders that I will try out on dried tomatoes. .

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