Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Yeah. I know...

 I managed to disappear for a while.  I'm sorry.  No excuses - my bad.

I have been adding to my stores.  My son did a Sam's club run for me.  I canned 10 lbs. of boneless chicken thighs and froze 10 lbs. of apples.  My grocery order arrives tomorrow and there should be some canned goods included for my food storage.

Some of you are of retirement age.  I think whoever coined the phrase "Golden Years" must have been in their 20's and never had to deal with all the fun - and often painful - stuff that comes with old age.

I mention this only because I completely understand the frustration that goes along some of the 'delights' of old age.  My arthritis flare-up doesn't seem to be going away this time.  I tell you this not to whine or feel sorry for myself, but to illustrate the fact that sometimes we need to adjust how we do things.

I am pretty much done canning unless there is an emergency reason for doing so.  Lifting a heavy pressure canner isn't working for me.  But I have other options.  I can freeze or dehydrate most fresh foods.  And so far, the stores in my area don't have much for bare shelves, even if their prices have reached ridiculous heights.  So I am buying more canned goods.

For some products that have outrageous prices, making my own is an option.  I like to have boxed scalloped potatoes on hand for an easy meal.  But not at the price they want now.

Scalloped Potato Mix

Sauce:  1/3 C. +  2 Tbsp. dry milk - 2 Tbsp. each flour and cornstarch -  1 Tbsp. crushed dry onions - 1/4 tsp. pepper.  This equals one batch.

The dehydrated potatoes are thicker than the ones in store bought mixes, so cooking works better in a crock pot.

3 C. dehydrated potato slices - 3 Tbsp. butter - 3 C. hot water - one batch sauce mix.

I just let it cook on 'medium' all day and about an hour before supper I might toss in a cup of either diced ham or cooked and crumbled bacon.  With a vegetable or a salad, this makes an easy meal.

Here's the thing.  Don't give up.  There are some who are in far worse shape than me and yet are able to carry on.  Nobody said life would be easy.  We just do what we can, which is more important than ever these days.

Pray and prepare, my friends. Pray and prepare.




  1. I knew you were doing prep stuff, but still nice to have an update, Vicki. Thank you for the scallop potato recipe!
    I do know what you mean about "golden years". Someone was playing a joke on us. :)
    You all be safe and God bless.

    1. LindaG...I have used that recipe for years and still like it. It just doesn't cook well in the oven like the store variety does, but in the crockpot it works very well. Adding ham or bacon just makes it better. Sometimes I might add a little garlic.
      Yeah, the 'golden years' joke sort of wears thin after a while, but there are still things we can do. Being stubborn helps! :)

  2. My dad always says to keep doing, maybe slower, maybe need a break, but don't stop moving. He is going to be 90 next month and still manages to get around, sometimes with the cane, sometimes with the walker, but keeps moving. I can see why canning is becoming difficult for you and I hope you can get some relief from your arthritis. If we didn't have arthritic issues, life could be a lot easier and a lot more pleasant. Such is life. Ranee

    1. Rae...Your Dad and mine had the same attitude about life. Perhaps that is one reason yours is still going and mine lived to be 93!
      Arthritis runs in my family, so it is no great surprise to have to deal with it now. I remind myself that there are still many things I can do. We have choices. We can give up or we can carry on. I choose the latter.

  3. Vicki, I do understand about the Golden Years! Still trying to figure out all-around for the things I can't do like I used to. I have a friend in her 80's who couldn't handle her heavy canner anymore...she got an electric canner and is thrilled because she can continue to put food away! It only fired 4 quarts at a time, but it suits her to a T!

    1. Norene...For me, the only things 'golden' are that I no longer have to set an alarm clock, nor do I have to fight ice and snow to get to work!!

      I have looked at the electric canners and they seem to be a solution to a problem. Thing is - and I know this sounds like bragging but is not meant that way - I literally have no more space available in my apartment to stack any more food in jars. I have been canning food for a long time and have reached the limit as to how much my apartment will hold.

      I will still be dehydrating and putting together assorted homemade mixes. Plus there are projects like quilting and genealogy that have been neglected, and I am looking forward to doing dfferent things.

  4. Glad you've been staying productive! I figured that was the case. I've been trying to take advantage of holiday related food sales.

    My dad died recently; he was a few weeks shy of his 94th birthday. In reflecting about his life, I believe the greatest lesson he taught us was to find satisfaction in hard work. More people could have used that lesson!

    1. I'm so sorry for your loss, sbrgirl...We all know the day when we lose our parents is coming, but that doesn't make it easy.

      My Dad passed several years ago at about the same age as yours. He told me two things when I was young. The first was "If you want it, work for it." The second was to always do my best. "If you are digging a ditch, dig the best ditch possible. Don't dig it for the boss. Dig it for the satisfaction of a job well done."

      We were so blessed to have such fathers.

  5. I for one am so thankful you haven't given up on 'this silly old blog' -- your words not mine if I remember right!! I'll be here to read any time you want to write something or get on that soap box.

    You know my story -- health issues at 50-something made me leave paid employment. Not what I had planned for my life but it was what I have to deal with. So - yea, time to pivot.

    And I know you're not a whiner - I appreciate your honesty. So here's a big pom pom wave for being adaptable and carrying on as best you can. Cheers and prayers, SJ now in California

    1. SJ...No, I haven't given up on this silly blog. It is just sometimes there is precious little to write about. I am an apartment dweller who leads a very quiet life - not a homesteader wth animals and gardens and other things to share.

      I know that you, too, have health issues that prevent you from doing all that you would like to do. So pom poms waving for figuring out how to do things in spite of it all!!

      I think those in our position need a cheerleader on the sidelines. When we know we are not alone, things don't seem quite so dire.

  6. Glad to see you came up for air, Vicki. I can put away those images of you running from the Yeti!

    I'm in my 60's and there are already things that I used to do but don't anymore. What used to take a few hours to do now takes all day. There are other things that I can still do, but the recovery time is not worth the effort, more often than not. I try to stay as fit as possible, but face it; they don't make parts for us anymore!

    I'm with Norene on the electronic pressure cooker/canner! Those things are GREAT! My wife bought one a few years back. I thought it would be yard sale material in six months. She uses that thing at least dozen times a month! Canning capacity is an issue, but these cookers cook dried beans and rice in MINUTES. It also serves as a slow cooker!

    Don't sell yourself short on the blog, Vicki. You know things the rest of us NEED to know! God bless!

    1. I don't know about putting away the images, Pete...The have produced several giggle-snorts the last couple of days. :)

      I have often thought a person could make millions if they could come up with a way to change our worn out parts similar to the way we change a car tire. I think it is the frustration of not being able to do some of the things I once did that makes me a bit grumpy.

      I think I will check out the pressure cooker/canners. That might be the solution for me to be able to replace what I have used of my home canned foods. I seriously have no more storage space for the big canning marathons, but to replace what I use, a few jars at a time, would be a good thing. And if it cooks other foods as well, that's a bonus.

      I will do my best to keep this silly little blg going, for it is all of you that make it worthwhile. And fun.

    2. Pete, would you be so kind as to share the make and model of the electric canner your wife uses?
      Thank you in advance.

    3. We use something called the Power Pressure Cooker XL. It's a clone of the Instant Pot pressure cooker. They're both good. About the only thing I don't like about the Power Pressure Cooker is that its pot has that non-stick coating, which wears off. The Instant Pot has a stainless steel pot.

      Oh; and I almost for got the best feature of these things; SAFETY! It has an over-temperature shutoff. It will also shut off if it goes over-pressure. If THAT fails, there's an overpressure relief valve. It's as safe as one of thee things can be. And... AND... if the power goes off or you need to unplug the cooker and move it, the thing remembers where it was in the process when it get power again! Very handy for us. We live in an old house. Turn the microwave on while the pot is going and you're going to be making a trip to the breaker box to turn that side of the kitchen back on again...

      FYI, I don't sell these things. I have no financial interest in them. I just think they're a great product. If you cook or small-scale can, you're gonna like this thing!

    4. Thanks, Pete, for the information. I think perhaps that might be a good solution for me on a couple of levels. I will see what I can find. I understand about the breaker box. My building is over 100 years old and although there have been renovations, running more than one appliance on one circut results in the same problem. Planning ahead helps.

    5. Thanks, Pete. I well remember breaker boxes before the Lord took our old farmhouse. When my husband started updating the wiring, every now and then we would still blow a fuse and have to go out and reset the breaker.

      Thank you for the information. I didn't care for the Instant Pot, oddly, but this one you have sounds good for all the safety features if nothing else!