Ten Healthy & Frugal Ideas for November
Somehow it seems apt that the time changed for many of us at the close of October, the eve of November. The evening's darkness, it seems to signify a time for nesting, for nestling in with family and loved ones, 'not forgetting your own dear' self as my grandmother used to say. So what might we do -- food-wise, budget-wise, life-wise -- in November, stuff that fits the month like the gloves we'll soon be needing.
Homemade Soup! There's nothing more satisfying now that the evenings are dark (sooo dark!) and the nights are frosty. Fellow BlogHer editor Kalyn Denny has shared autumn soup recipes and crockpot soup recipes here on BlogHer.
Homemade Bread Learn to make whole-grain bread. Ask your local bakery if they will sell you just-ground whole-wheat flour. (I have great luck at a local Great Harvest.) Buy a big container of yeast at a warehouse store (much much cheaper than purchasing in the individual packets, think the price of Via versus a tub of ground coffee); share half with a friend and freeze the rest, it'll be good for a year or more. Make loaves, large rolls for sandwiches and small rolls for eating with soups and salads.
Plant Fall Bulbs If April showers bring May flowers, November planting brings April flowers. Now's the time to plant spring bulbs, crocus, daffodils, tulips and the like that will bloom come spring. Plant the bulbs in clumps of three or five or seven or nine, always an odd number. Do dig a little compost into the soil before planting. Crazy Sexy Life has plenty of ideas for winterizing your garden.
Honor a Veteran Veteran's Day is Wednesday, November 11. Find a way to honor your favorite veteran. Last year, Nicole from Pinch My Salt and whose husband is in the military, wrote, "Please take a moment to think about the men and women, husbands and wives, sons and daughters that are serving our country today, and those that have served in the past. I wish I could hug my veteran today, but he, like so many of them, doesn’t get to take this holiday."
Friday the 13th Spooky parties needn't be limited to Halloween. Turn bad luck into good luck with a party on Friday the 13th. Check for brain cupcakes could be dessert.
Make Your Own Movie For the least fussy -- but memorable -- Thanksgiving imaginable, on the Wednesday, buy some good bread and roasted turkey. Pack sandwiches and hot apple cider and take a long, long walk. Come home and settle in an overload of Thanksgiving movies like Planes, Trains & Automobiles or Pieces of April or Hannah & Her Sisters or the dark but cerebral The Ice Storm.
Forage No, not for food, but Thanksgiving table decorations. A day or so before Thanksgiving, head out into the great outdoors. Look for leaves, stones, branches and berries to bring home for the table. Alternatively, build your own cornucopia with a basket brimming with apples and pears, pumpkins and squash, red onions and purple-topped turnips. Insert a pillar candle inside a clear vase, fill with cranberries and acorns. There are many more natural table-decoration ideas at Simplified Bee.
Clean Out the Pantry Save up for Thanksgiving, holiday baking and Christmas meals by cleaning out the pantry and the freezer. If you can make a big plan to work them down, otherwise, just do what's working here: reach into the freezer/pantry, take whatever's on top, now cook with it.
Watch for Great Prices on Spices This is the time of year when groceries mark down the prices of spices so it's a good time to stock up. Do an inventory of your spice jars, see which ones are low and restock now.
Plan Ahead It's so easy to slide from Thanksgiving's fuss into Christmas' bustle without hardly a thought. More decorations! More cookies! More presents! More cards! More parties! More shopping! Instead, think about what's really important for you and your family, this year, then block out all else. Consider the book Unplug the Christmas Machine for inspiration.
And you, what's your favorite fun and healthy food activity this month? Leave an idea, a recipe or a link to a recipe in the comments!
This November, just like last November, BlogHer food editor Alanna Kellogg is obsessed with Thankgiving, planning six different Thanksgiving menus and adding vegetarian entrées to Thanksgiving vegetable recipes.