Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Homemakers Heart - the garden and prep for the week ahead...

Even though I used to follow a rotating menu plan and grocery shop accordingly when the kids were living at home, I never considered doing a few hours of meal prep at the weekend to lessen my cooking time during the week.
So when I stumbled across a woman on Youtube who does this very thing (seriously, until a few months back I wasn't a youtube watcher at all but have since discovered some wonderfully inspiring stuff thanks to my husband) I watched loads of her videos over a number of weeks for inspiration and ideas that work for us.
You may have already seen her? Lisa at Downshiftology.

Anyhow, I have since dabbled in a bit of meal prep, but this weekend I got serious because I planned ahead and had all I needed on hand. She uses some great glass clip-lock containers for her prep foods but they are quite expensive so hubby and I were thrilled when we found very similar glass containers at Kmart that literally cost just a fraction of the ones Lisa uses. Thank you Lord!

This is some of what I prepared -

Pickled onions, pickled cucumbers, chopped onions, boiled eggs, zucchini zoodles, grated carrot, shredded white cabbage, shredded red cabbage, roasted garlic cauliflower, small roasted pumpkin pieces for salads, larger roasted pumpkin pieces for a blender soup, cauliflower rice (for a veggie fried rice), beautiful brown rice salad with nuts and herbs...

I also make a litre of almond milk, roasted cajun spiced pumpkin seeds, sultana scones and a banana/date/pecan loaf.

I still need to bake a loaf of bread which I'll do tomorrow morning, and make a batch of buckwheat granola for Blossom and a batch of oat granola for hubby and I.  Bread is baked a few times a week, but the granola is made once a month.
I also need to bake some cookies for hubby's morning tea at work but I'll leave that until tomorrow as well because he's still got some peanut butter and oat cookies left from last week.

Out in the garden things have been growing well and we're definitely enjoying the fruits of our labours. Zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, spinach, capsicums and herbs are being enjoyed and we've had enough to share with our neighbour. Next week I'll have some for Blossom but she's assured me for now she has enough.

We're trialling perpetual spinach which can be used like rocket (arugula) or baby spinach in salads. It's delicious and I often grab a leaf and munch on it as I walk by.

It's growing well beside the roma tomatoes and beans...

We have zucchini in two spots, but the largest and most abundant producer is nestled behind the cherry tomatoes and sitting beside another pumpkin plant (they keep popping up everywhere and delivering wonderful pumpkins!)...

Different types of silverbeet are growing in different spots, some on the ground, some in pots, all doing well...

I had no success with chives initially but then decided to plant pots in three different parts of the garden to gauge the best result. Once I did that we ended up with two flourishing pots and one mediocre. Everything in our garden is an experiment or learning curve...

Birds eye chillies thrive no matter where they are...

Long strands of tomatoes are everywhere, they spread across the ground too. We now have twenty productive tomato vines and we only planted eight. The rest came up on their own and because of this we have four different varieties...

We eat a lot of coriander (cilantro) so I've just planted another lot and next week I'll plant even more before the warm winter weather turns to hot spring. Coriander cannot cope with our heat so I make the most of growing it at this time of the year.

I let some of it go to seed for next year. The flowers are pretty...

Little extras...

...and a not so little Dill. We have a few of them, so tall, over six feet now!

Well, my legs are weary tonight as before all the kitchen activity hubby and I went to a display of Holden cars, some built before WW2 - and it was wonderful to see the iconic cars of our nation and our youth. Holden closed their factory in Australia and no more shall we build them. A sad goodbye to an era.

After that we went for a walk through the markets in town and enjoyed a late breakfast before heading home to our various chores. A lovely day, all the more precious because I spent it with the man I love.

Tonight I'll get back to my crochet...

...and tomorrow I might watch another of Lisa's videos. She has seasonal meal prep ones and I'm thinking spring might be a good one to re-watch.
I'll share it below just in case you're after ideas like I was.

Bless you lovely friends, and may the week ahead abound in laughter, a rested mind, refreshed body, inspired conversations, good food, stitching and a very large dose of Jesus' love to share with others.

loving hugs


  1. Hi Jenny,
    Enjoy the fruits...meals...of your labour :)

  2. You are always so busy and helpful. Thanks for sharing

  3. Thank you. Here in Florida we have an abundance of vegtables & a hurricane coming right for us here in Florida. We battened down the hatches yesterday. Today is a very good day to premake foods. It will also keep my mind busy & my mood happy. Take care

  4. I love your beautiful glass dishes of meal prep foods....Looks like art work. Your garden is very productive and looks very healthy

  5. It seems you and your garden are truly flourishing! Seeing all the food prep, and the time you must spend on it, makes me ever-so-grateful that my hubs is the cook. I am blessed that my biggest kitchen task is to make fresh-pressed vegetable juice each morning. He handles everything else. Still, it would be a treat to walk around a garden such as yours. It's wonderful to see how you're learning and making use of what you grow. Keep up the great efforts!

  6. I love your blogs and spending time with you and your family. Love your stitching and food. Looking forward to some recipes. :)

  7. Food looks yummy! Hand work is so relaxing!

  8. Your hard work has paid off abundantly. Thanks for sharing. God bless you.

  9. I'm so glad you and your DH had a lovely morning together. Those no-specific-goal times are some of my best memories. =) Your yard looks wonderful. Definitely an edible garden yard! This winter is being so good for you.

  10. Your garden is looking lovely and doing really well.
    If you would like to grow silverbeer for the chooks, you just cover the little plants with a piece of steel mesh and support it 2 bricks high, the hens can peck a bit as it grows through and not scratch it up, as the plant is 2 bricks high, the roots should be strong enough to hold it .

  11. You are definitely enjoying the fruits (and vegetables) of your labors!! You and Mr. E have put in the time, effort and energy necessary for your garden to flourish. I love seeing your abundant harvest! There is nothing like eating what you have grown. It is so nice to be able to spend a day with Mr. E...I miss seeing pictures of your travels!

  12. Wonderful garden and good prep. I find it helpful to plan my weeks menu which can be changed easily.

  13. Crumbs that looks like a lot of work Jenny. To be honest I have Sundays off and if anything needs doing I do it during the week. Your food looks lovely, absolutely delicious.

  14. Hi Jenny, I am jealous that your winter garden produces so much delicious food! In Canberra we have too much frost for much to grow but we have had success with parsley, Chinese cabbage and baby spinach (covered at night). Enjoy!

  15. I serendipitously found myself prepping for dinners in a different manner. When the kids left and we retired, I was so use to cooking for six, that I continue to do that at least for the entrees. That cut my meal prep in half as I only have to make sides and dessert( which is no problem - hehe). For instance, tonight we had chicken wings which I made weeks ago, froze them in batches. Tonight, took one out and warmed them up, made rice, and rewarmed some leftover broccoli and there was dinner along with some volunteer tomatoes and ice for dessert. Life is good. Sadly, it's too hot here to plant a garden - the volunteer cherry tomatoes are the only one we have going.

  16. Hi Jenny. What abundance, it's fantastic. I am interested to know how you use dill? Thanks as always for your inspiration

  17. Our garden tomatoes are just ripening here in middle Indiana. The squirrels or rabbits got the first two, so now I bring in before they are completely ripe. You are really organized with meal planning. Flowers look great. Enjoy your time. Stay safe.


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