While loads of other people were hiking through the beautiful foliage in Halton Hills, and believe me it is quite beautiful, I decided to take a different trek through the weekend. Being outdoors is one of my utmost enjoyments year round, well, aside from -40 degree winter days, and although I wasn’t out of doors as much as I wanted, I still accomplished a lot for a chilly fall weekend.
My Main Fall Missions:
- Switch to winter tires on my car
- Figure out if I can blanch and freeze all the kale in the garden
- Fall finance check-in
Did I get it all accomplished? Yes, indeed. A busy little bee was I. Not to worry, I did have some fun in there somewhere too. The retiree parents are off to fun in the sun in Hawaii as usual and we had our early Christmas dinner out at a restaurant.
Surprisingly, the entire weekend only cost me a quarter of a tank of gas. Not bad considering I have a shopaholic little devil lurking in me.
How did I accomplish it all?
The industrious individual I am owns both summer and winter tires for my car, and since I live with my parents in a house, I am able to store them in the garage. And being the only child, I get the joyous pleasure of being both the son and the daughter. Hence, why I was probably a tomboy for most of my younger years and hung out in the garage watching my dad fix cars.
Saturday morning, my dad and I ventured outdoors and got those tires switched in all of an hour and a half. I even joked that maybe I should enter the NASCAR competition where the teams race each other to change tires. Hmmm…new career maybe?
Cost: ZERO denieros! If I had taken it to a shop as I sometimes do, it would have cost me $40, quarter tank gas and two hours of my time.
Can You Blanch and Freeze Kale?
My first step was to figure out if it was doable at all, as some leafy greens are too delicate for blanching and can turn to mush easily. Not so with Kale, as I found out to my sheer delight…and slight dismay too. Delight for all the yummy kale I will have through the winter and dismay for the several hours I would be on my feet and with hands immersed in cold water.
So, I googled the ‘verse and found this handy article, which was pretty straight forward but offered some interesting tips. Can you freeze Kale?
A look at what I was working with:
I used a large pot, strainer, tongs and good ol’ kitchen sinks…oh, and some freezer bags too!
I blanched the kale in boiling water for two and a half minutes as suggested, then fished it out with the tongs into the strainer, and dumped it into a sink full of cold water. I didn’t bother with the ice as I do not have enough and I find it makes the water strange. You know that icky freezer odor.
It stayed in the cold water for a minute or two then I squeezed it out and let it drain in the other empty sink before bagging it up. I don’t have a handy vacuum sealer, so it was the straw and lungs method to suck the extra air out of the bags. Light-headedness anyone?
Result: Ten large bags of Kale FREE! Thank you dad for planting and mother nature for letting it grow. The nice thing about Kale is it can be harvested late in the year even when the weather starts to get cold.
Fall Finance Check-in
This was imperative to do as the end of the year is quickly approaching, as well as my no clothing spend for 2015. I needed to put priorities in place, set some new goals and give myself milestones along the way. While surfing through Rockstar Finance’s latest and greatest finds, I came across Yes I am Cheap’s post 6 Months Unemployed + 9 Month Temp Job = $50,000+ Debt Slayed In Less Than 2 Years.
I immediately thought, well hell, I see this SMART GOALS thingy at least five times year, why in the world am I not always following it? It’s as if I fall off the goal wagon or maybe I am just goaled out from work; we use the SMART goals methodology for our yearly business plans. Anyhou, it was a reminder that I need some detailed, short-term goals to get Hell Back on its Wheels. Can you tell I am missing AMC’s Hell on Wheels? UGH. And I am missing Showcase’s Outlander. So sad but at least I’m not watching TV, thought I rarely do anymore. I PVR everything so I can fast forward through the commercials. Hee Hee.
My main priorities for the coming year: Health, Travel and Finances.