Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Making Hay

Well, September is here at last – bringing with it all the end of season desperation as the Prime Geek and myself try to figure out all that we need to get done before the cold is upon us. The chimney sweep has to be scheduled, the log pile must go higher, and only a few weeks left to get in whatever I can from the local farms.

Oh, yeah. I should probably confess to something.

My garden this year?

Sucketh the teat mightily.

Between a weather pattern controlled by Mother Natures schizophrenic sister Marge, multiple jobs that had us out of town at critical moments, and an infestation of some burrowing critter – I got a couple of bunches of basil, 2 tomatoes, and a whole lot of grief. We're going to plan better for next year, as well as see about some alternative ideas (staying home more of the summer is a big part of the plan!) to put into use... but for this year? Its farmers markets and whatever local produce I can find at good prices at the grocery.

At the moment I'm working my way through some gigantic green peppers from a local farm. I took a look through my grocery notes from last winter and one of the recurring gripes was the outrageous price of green and red peppers at the store. At one point hitting a high of $3.19 PER PEPPER (Green, to make it somehow even worse. I simply stopped looking at the red by November.) and staying there for 3 months. We use peppers 2-3 times a week, in everything from stirfrys to sauces, but I just can't justify spending more on a lone pepper then I do on a pound of meat! So, when the sale flyer on the doorstep proclaimed “Locally Grown Green Pepper – 2/$1” I'm jumping on it.

Today will find me slicing my way through about fifteen bucks worth of green globes. I'm slicing them thin – perfect for stirfrys but easy enough to hatchet through when I make sauce – and flash freezing them on cookie sheets. Then, its into ziploc bags until needed. As for red peppers?

There is a brand available at our local discount store that comes from Indiana (one state away). Nowadays, I'm trying to remember to chuck a jar of red peppers into my cart every time I shop. At $1.79 a jar, from only one state away, with 4 roasted peppers in each jar... I can't really afford to go for fresh.

Time to make hay folks, I'm trying to get as much put away as possible before the weather turns on us. Anything YOU remember wishing wasn't so expensive last winter? Because between transportation costs skyrocketing, weird weather, and tight budgets due to energy prices... plan on if it was high last year, its gonna be higher still this one.

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