Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stone Soup

I am guessing everyone already knows the story of Stone Soup. It has been told hundreds of different ways…. but the book that we have was this one:

Three very smart travelers come into a town where everyone is scared and worried all the time. The villagers are all very private and everyone only works for themselves. The strangers claim that they can make soup with nothing but three stones. The villagers all gather around wanting to see this miracle and the strangers say things like “Of course, stone soup should be well seasoned with salt and pepper.” and the people start opening their hearts to help make this miracle happen. In the end they have a huge feast on the soup ‘made with nothing but stones’.

I have been amazed how many things you can make with things you find in your dying winter garden! “With nothing but stones!” lol… Once again I am thankful for California and all those lush green pastures in warmer climates where I can get my children fresh foods that are safe from the crazy winds and the frost that keep coming here each night. I am so thankful for knowing how to make food from scratch and my dying winter garden that is still giving us subsidies for our dinner.

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Part of being thankful this month for us is that it’s the leanest month of the year.  We have been through much harder times… and having such memories, these times when I have to tighten my belt seem really scary for a little while. Until I see where we really are. And how we will never be back there, with food stamps and food banks and a car that is broken half the time… we will never be there again.  And I am SO thankful! 

Although we are looking fondly at the times of leisure, even now we have everything we need and often a bit more!  We are broke with a purpose.  We are broke because we CHOOSE to be broke to keep on our road to being debt-free… and it’s HARD… man, is it hard sometimes.  But we have less than 2 years until we are debt-free (including cars, but not school loan.  Sallie Mae owns a piece of my soul.) and each month that ticks by without debt is one more closer to that freedom.  So we are working every angle and making cuts where ever we can.

We have been using every scrap out of the garden.  Right now we have green tomatoes ripening on the windowsill that I saved from the first hard frost last week.  The last salad greens that are growing now are being used for salads and soups.  Even the baby pea greens are being cut up and added to salads.  I planted them so late that they didn’t flower before all the pollinators were gone for the season.  (Another lesson for next year!) 

Logan helped me gather the last of the potatoes and carrots from the garden and we cut off the eyes of the potatoes and put them back into the dirt to start up another crop for next year (this is an experiment and I will let you know how it goes!).

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The kids love finding new things to put in ‘stone soup’ and I am finding ways to be super creative with the rest of the budget as well. We still eat like kings. Even with a smaller budget I am super selective about the foods we eat. It’s just a bit… different.  And each night when I sit down to another wonderful meal, even though sales rule the menu, gratefulness rules the table.

1 comment:

Mark and Amy said...

Mark has only been back to work for a few months after a long spell of unemployment, so I can understand being broke and the desire to get out of debt. We are broke we by choice right now as we try to save for ivf. It's hard, but the rewards will be worth it!