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Scattered Sundays

Today’s post is going to be short this week. We’re on vacation at my inlaw’s place at Ocean Shores. I love you all dearly but I have taken two days off in the last 365. And I’m using a mobile hotspot which is slow AF.

We’ve been here for a few days now and the weather has been fantastic. It’s supposed to be 96 back home today (GROSS), and 70 degrees here. This is the kind of place my pasty Nordic self belongs.

I’ve been running a bit, walking a lot, biking A TON with the boys, and kayaking until we all want to take a nap. There have been hot dogs, s’mores, watermelon, and all-around end of summer goodness. A mug of hot cocoa each night has been a must.

a deer peeing

Wish you were here

If you saw my Instagram stories this week, you’ll know I came to an impasse with Bennett, AKA the slobby child. Jack is neat and tidy and 100% my type-A kid. Bennett is…a human version of The Borrowers.

This child loves to hoard and also once stole a quart of maple syrup from Costco. (of course) we went back and paid for it once we found it in the stroller.

I finally told him I was done cleaning up after him. He had to get all his toys out of the living room when he was done with them, but I no longer cared if he just dumped them in his room. I just shut the door and pretended the entire space didn’t exist.

Thursday morning as we were getting ready for his digital speech therapy appointment, I mentioned to him that (his beloved) Miss Shannon was going to be able to see how messy his room was. Hooooo boy, that child cleaned up that space in 10 minutes flat. Love is a powerful motivator.

2 boys fishing on a dock

We have a mixture of friends and family taking care of the chickens while we’re gone. It’s generally easy to find chicken-sitters, because everyone loves animals that poop breakfast! Between the eggs (we’re getting 2-6 a day from 9 chickens…3 of which are old AF), the tomatoes, and the blueberries, it’s a pretty sweet gig.

2 boys on a porch with deer in the background

School has now changed for fall for us. Jack’s school will be all online for at least the first nine weeks. I’m assuming at the end of those nine weeks…we’ll still be online.

Troy and I change our minds 400 times a day about what to do about preschool for Bennett. On one hand, his school has been open since March and has had safety measures locked down tight for months and months. On the other hand, nothing seems safe or certain right now. Ack, please send a grownup my way. I’m not set up for making these decisions.

In the Garden This Week

We’re harvesting all the same things as last week – tomatoes, herbs, blueberries, and squash, but the raspberries have officially quit their first harvest. They produce small berries from June-late July, and then another crop of big ol’ berries September-October. They’d keep going thru November if the rain didn’t get them. Rude.

We finally omg I was such a slacker pulled the garlic last week and it was the best crop we’ve ever had! Our spring was cool and rainy, but something kicked its butt bulbs into gear; these plant’s heads were bonkers!

a boy holding a head of garlic

In 2011 (2012?), I spent $16 on seed garlic from Azure Standard. That first harvest I set aside the five largest bulbs and used those cloves to grow the next year’s crop. And I’ve been doing that year after year. The garlic I grow now is the great-great-great-great-great garlicky grandbaby of that first batch of seed. Money well-spent.

I say it multiple times per year, but garlic is my favorite thing to grow because it is so simple. Depending on your planting zone, you put it in the ground in early October, and then ignore it until some time in July. It’s the freaking best! You can learn more about growing garlic here.

Troy built the other two new raised beds this week to replace our very old and falling apart beds he built eight years ago. They look so fresh and so clean right now. When we get back from the ocean I’m getting a truckload of topsoil for the beds. The old soil was pretty crusty and impacted despite years and years of chicken crap replenishments. 

Once the new soil is in, the fall crops will get planted. Ideally, they would have gone in 3-4 weeks ago, but we don’t live in an ideal world. At least not this year! 🙂

Raised garden beds

Housekeeping

I’m not sure what “back to school” is looking like in your neck of the woods, but the fall season brings a renewed need for meal planning and prep.

We’re partnering with Once a Month Meals to bring you exclusive meal plans that allow you to make one month’s worth of meals in one day. That’s right, knock out an entire month in just one day.

Having done it myself, my pro tip for you is to order take out on your prep day or plan to eat a simple dinner of frozen pizza! You can sign up here to try it out for yourself! Oh, and wear comfy shoes and blast some music. It helps.

What I’m Listening To This Week

Do you have cooking questions? Well, my friend Cassie at the Cook It Real Good podcast has created a cooking hotline. Get all the details over on her website.

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Barb left this five-star review on our How to Make Chicken Bone Broth tutorial which has slow cooker, stovetop AND Instant Pot methods.  {Pin this tutorial}:

I used this recipe to make my own stock for the first time and I am kicking myself for not doing it years ago. It was so easy (I used my Instant Pot) and made so much stock! Much cheaper than buying it at the store, but what made me even happier is it is so much less waste. I always feel guilt with single-use containers and this recipe eliminated that for me.

two jars of homemad chicken bone broth on a tray with lemons and rosemary

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Air Fryer Green TomatoesCrispy, crunchy, and delicious, these Air Fryer Green Tomatoes will be a huge hit! Perfect as a fast appetizer or a side dish, healthy fried green tomatoes are sure to become a family favorite. No air fryer? We have alternative cooking methods too! {Pin this recipe}

a hand dipping a fried tomato into a bowl of red sauce

Instant Pot Steamed BroccoliSave time and money by making Instant Pot SteamedBroccoli part of your weekly dinner rotation. It’s so easy to whip up this tender broccoli for a fast and healthy side dish. {Pin this recipe}

a bowl of green steamed broccoli with a lemon wedge

Canning Apple Pie FillingAn easy step by step tutorial for beginners on Canning Apple Pie Filling. This simple guide teaches you how to preserve a low-sugar apple pie filling recipe in a water bath canner. {Pin this tutorial}

three jars from canning apple pie filling on a wooden board

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

Oh, how the mighty (mocktails) have fallen…for the first time ever, we have a new #1 this week!

  1. Canning Peaches {Pin this tutorial}
  2. Mojito Mocktail – so refreshing, even if it is a loser that dropped to #2. {Pin this recipe}
  3. Dill Pickle Relish – because sweet relish is the devil’s condiment. {Pin this tutorial}
  4. How to Can Pears – the official sign that fall is coming! {Pin this tutorial}
  5. Canning Tomato Soup – a newbie to the top 5!  {Pin this tutorial}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Tuesday:: Homemade tomato soup, salad, and cheesy garlic bread.

Wednesday:: Nachos and salad

Thursday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: New recipe I am trying. Not ready to photograph it yet!

Sunday:: TBD depending on the garden and farmer’s market haul.

 

What are you having this week?

 

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5 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Congrats on getting away … cooler is great.. I am in awe of your garlic.. dang … they look like aliens .. heehee.. yeah.. I think it’s good that the boys are schooling
    online .. I would love to have some type of fruit growing where I live but alas and alack.. too much bugs.. I almost stepped on a centipede this morning while walking my dog in the garden area. 😩 yes Hawaii has bugs galore. And we don’t use toxic sprays if any kind.. so the bugs love our garden.. enjoy everything Sarah thanks fir sharing your world with us.  Aloha S

  2. Have a fun vacation!! You totally deserve it!  We went to ocean shores a few times as kids, it was always fun and windy. 

    For back to school this September we are moving to Louisiana! Hot bed of covid, lucky us 😆 my kids will be home too, either online or straight up homeschool. I’ll look into it all after we get there. Too much going on right now before we have to leave. 

    Poor loser mojito mocktail.. 😢
     if you aren’t first, you’re last – Ricky Bobby

  3. I agree with you that sweet relish is the devil’s relish. My whole world changed when I was shopping with my mom one day as a teen and discovered the dill relish next to the sweet relish. I begged for a jar of dill and never looked back lol. It was like my parents had been keeping a secret me.

  4. Your raised beds look lovely! What kind of wood did he use to build them?