Not Your Mother’s Home Ec
As many homeowner’s know, every free weekend in your life is frequently taken over by various house projects, DIY projects, and general upkeep items. This seems more OK to me now that the heat of summer has subsided, as well as the fact that looking at the growing list of things to do has finally motivated me into action.
The weekend began with usual Saturday morning house cleaning- I set an alarm for an hour or so, put on some great tunes, and tackle the piles of mail, clothes, dishes, etc. that have accumulated over the work week. I sweep, vacuum, and so some minimal dusting. You know, the usual culprits of grossness.
When I woke up it looked like the scraping and painting my father and I had hoped to accomplish was going to be thwarted by rain, but sunshine prevailed, and we had a gorgeous (and productive!) day of scraping and painting my front porch. After a second coat today, front porch is all done! Now the beast of scraping and painting the exterior of the sun porch is next. We tried starting it over the summer, but between the heat & humidity we got barely anything done.
This weekend, with some great fall sales, I was able to pick up some home decor items that I had been wanting for a bit of time- new tablecloth, throw pillow, and some decorative elements for the house. I’m also just about finished with a DIY project I had been thinking about for a bit- more to come on that soon!
What really has me so excited this weekend is that for the first time ever, I made my own, homemade from scratch, tomato sauce. My garden is still abundant with tomatoes and after freezing a bunch, using so many in recipes and salads, I still have so many left over. The sauce is simmering as we speak, but I’m hoping it turns out well. The basil in my garden continues to grow like a weed- I’ve made 4 batches of pesto to freeze with plans to make a few more to give to friends– I’ve used more olive oil this summer than ever before I think! I just hung a bunch of basil to dry and will do a few more if this batch works out too.
My garden was a success for the most part- I had success with green beans, tomatoes ( both beefsteak, heirloom, and sun grape tomatoes), and basil. I only ended up with three or four cucumbers, though they were delicious. Sadly, I had no zucchini. Three plants went in at the beginning of the season, and two died by the beginning of summer. The third plant has had squash blossoms on it for awhile, but no zucchini yet and I doubt there will be. I’m happy with my first garden at the house- much of it thanks to my dad, who worked hard to put in the little container area and watered it frequently during the hot days. He has quite the green thumb, of which I am learning slowly!
As I’m preparing for more cooking now that the weather changes ( I’m thinking about making mini quiches tonight for breakfast for the week), I have to laugh a bit to myself because I never would have imagined years ago that I would have been this interested in cooking, freezing, growing veggies, house maintenance, etc. I greatly disliked home economics in junior high- mostly because I didn’t think any of the things were useful- but now as an adult, I find myself reading more home and cooking blogs, magazines, and TV shows than I ever did before. Of course my interests and life has changed greatly- dinners out aren’t a big part of my budget and I’m strict with my grocery store spending too, so being able to prepare and have food in my backyard to eat helps on both those accounts. Before, I saw a lot of the “homemaking”/DIY stuff as too time consuming or boring- my philosophy used to be that there were people who were professionals who could do things far better than I and so I should pay them to do it. I frequently used to say that my sanity had a price. While that still may be true with some things ( I don’t make creme brulee for example, because I know it would never be as good as a pastry chef could do, plus that torch thing scares me!), I find that I want to at least give things a try a lot more than I used. I enjoy making food for friends, family and myself to enjoy; I like making things to have in my home and be proud to show off. It’s a challenge for me many times too and keeps me constantly learning (and often surprising myself) at what I am able to do.
Now if I could just remember how to use that sewing machine, I’d be set!