Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 14, Issue 2 – January 16, 2022

Thrifty Sister Newsletter Vol 14, Issue 2 – January 16, 2022

Greetings, my Thrifty Sisters, and happy 2022! I really have no idea how so much time has passed since our last newsletter, but it seems that life really can get in the way of simple pleasures. And I have missed you. But, once again, I am incredibly appreciative to have a quiet moment and can enjoy my morning coffee with you.

Often, I talk about managing our time, and how to declutter our space. And those practices involve changes in habits and mind sets. But what happens when life gets in the way, and you don’t have the mental resources to manage one more thing? Neglect is what happens. And generally, neglect is a bad thing. I feel like the last portion of my 2021 was full of neglect. But navigating through the neglect and eventually correcting the neglected items, I did manage to find some silver linings.

Do you have problems with little gnats in your house plants? If you have a gnat problem, allowing your house plants to dry out also takes care of those pesky little bugs. While I don’t recommend ignoring your house plants to the point of them never bouncing back, this is one way to reduce the gnat problem. In fact, after several months of only getting watered once a month-ish, many plants seem to be appreciative of their now more regular waterings. Prior to neglect, each plant got watered once a week, whether the soil was dry or not; obviously mistake #1, and I wonder why I had gnats! But now I water them as needed (more like a week and a half apart in waterings) and simply check in on them more. And, yes, I do talk to my plants.

Do you have problems with minor rust spots on your cutting knives? We did. Years ago, my Hubby was looking into easy and thrifty ways of cleaning our knives. It worked, and all was well until this year when small rusty spots started showing up again. The answer, vinegar and neglect. Well, I think normally one would call this “patience” as one needs to let the cutting portion of the knives soak in a glass of vinegar. Except in our case. I’m not sure how long that glass full of knives and vinegar hung out on the kitchen counter. It was just working it’s magic as life continued to get in the way. Then one day my hubby took them out of the vinegar and washed them and they were like NEW again. With a fresh sharpening, we were back in the business of having rust free and nice knives.

Do you still have fall squash? While neglect is terrible for food, squash seem to store well on the kitchen counter. I have been wanting to make squash soup out of these little gems for months. But, well, you know, that life thing seemed to get in the way of making any of that happen. Speaking of neglect, I was also able to bring in my hung garlic from the garage. The garlic seemed to have survived the garage storage, including our fair share of cold snaps this winter. And due to neglect, I am certain they are well cured at this point.

Here’s my Squash Soup recipe. I think taking the time to roast the squash with onions and garlic is the key to a complex flavor profile. I’ve adapted this recipe, originally found from thepioneerwoman.com.

Squash Soup

2 lbs of squash – I have used this recipe with acorn and butternut squashes, delicata would be really good, too

1 medium onion, halved and sliced into large wedges

4 cloves peeled garlic

Freshly ground pepper

2 Tblsp. (or more) Olive Oil

2 Cups of chicken broth

1 Cup of heavy cream, or 1 can (13 ½ oz) coconut milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and in a baking dish drizzle olive oil and add pepper to the bottom.
  2. Cut your squash in half and take out the seeds. Place the squash cut side down in baking dish, and smear around the bottom of the pan to coat both the pan and squash. Add whole garlic cloves and onion wedges.
  3. Place in oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the squash skin is fork tender.
  4. Allow to cool, until you can safely handle the squash. Some recipes say 10 minutes, but I usually go about an hour of cooling on the stove top. Once cool, you can easily scoop the squash out if it’s skin and add onions and garlic into a covered bowl to refrigerate until later, or place directly into your soup pot.
  5. Once ready to make the soup, add chicken broth and squash, onions, and garlic. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Once heated through, use an immersion blender to blend soup to a smooth texture, or in small batches in your countertop blender. Return to soup pot.
  7. Stir in cream or coconut milk and allow the soup to warm, just a few minutes.
  8. Serve and enjoy. (makes about 4-6 servings)

While my 2021 didn’t go as planned – and honestly, whose did – I think that there are a lot of things each of us may have learned. Maybe you learned something about yourself. Possibly you discovered new little life hacks. Whatever you may have discovered in 2021, I am hopeful that these were wonderful discoveries, or that you were able to find silver linings in the things that just didn’t go your way. Life is a crazy journey, folks. But it’s certainly better when you’ve got a bestie or two who can hold your hand and help navigate you through the good and the bad.

And with that, my Thrifty Sisters, may you and your 2022 continue to be amazing. Find the marvelous little parts of your day and relish in them, even if neglect is lingering. I learned a lot due to neglect. Which again, is not a life trait I would suggest embracing, but there are teachable moments. Be kind to yourself and others and keep on keepin’ it thrifty and fun!

Read the Thrifty Sisters, both new and old by visiting https://thriftysistersliving.wordpress.com/ or find our latest posts on Face Book https://www.facebook.com/ThriftySisterNewsletter .

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