You ever just come up with a brilliant redneck design?

Oh yes, I did.
Lately I’ve been needing something for carrying goodies hither and yon.  Welp, those fancy ones are all well and good, but they only hold one thing and they also take up a ton of room.
Enter a formerly un-used craft stacky thing.

It now carries goodies.  Fits a pie plate (I found this out while traveling for Thanksgiving – I didn’t want hubby’s pie to fall apart or fly across the van while driving!)…

Fits cupcakes, even if they aren’t the super-tall frosting-laden ones.

And my brilliance with the cupcakes is to use old/busted/rusted canning rings as dividers so they don’t fly all over the place.  Worked like a charm for my errands and church potluck last week.

Finally got that 31 pounds of lard rendered.  It was totally a comedy of errors on my part.   Upside?  I know better how to go about it next time, that’s for sure.  I ended up with all this out of the 31 pounds of pork fat.

What I’d do differently?
Have the butcher separate the leaf lard and rest of the pork fat.  Then have him grind them up.  Taking him buckets to throw the goop into (rather than garbage bags).  Do it all quick in a day or two, rather than a two week ordeal (I didn’t have the fat ground up, didn’t have a meat grinder until I put a call out on FB and my tomato lady loaned me hers, and yeah).  I didn’t save the cracklings this year, I was just ready to be done with seeing this stuff and making the house smell funky.  There’s always next year.
And there may have been a slight difference in the coloring, but whatever, we’ll probably still stick with butter for apple pie making. 

One of my several Black Friday purchases.  I had a really great BF this year.  Hardly waited in line (longest line was four people deep!), people were still friendly and fresh, it was great.

A few weeks ago I gathered up a bunch of stuff from my freezer and stuff I’d prepped to go drop off to the proper places.  One friend was about to have a baby (she had her little girl a few days later!), another one recently lost her husband, and another lady had a stillbirth yet still has other children to take care of.  So yes, being me, here I come with food.  I guess from here it doesn’t look like a lot, but that’s a 40-quart cooler, and I can fit like 7-8 glass quart jars in that basket while trucking stuff downstairs to the pantry.

And because I can’t do anything on a normal scale anymore, meatballs.  Lots and lots of meatballs.  Reminds me, I either need to finish freezing the others, or make ’em for lunch for the kids…

Horrible photo, this was the best I could get through the rainy windshield with my slowly-dying camera and idling van.  This is the resort on the lake that goes all out with Christmas lights.  Every year we go on the lake cruise to the North Pole.  The kids have been asking about that cruise for a few weeks already, it’s quite firmly cemented into our holiday repertoire.

Had a meltdown the other day.  This is what my living room looked like.

And the dining room/kitchen.  It doesn’t really look as bad from here I suppose, but it’s quite busy and cluttered with all kinds of weird crap going on.

Finished canning up some bacon, some applesauce, and turkey stock.  Still have a few things left to do.

On hubby’s way home from a work trip he was a doll and stopped by The Container Store for me.  To get these neat glass pitchers for our milk/juice/whatever.  The fat/squat one is a 2-quart or half-gallon one, sitting next to a quart and a half-gallon jar for comparison.  They’re really cute!  Have a hermetic seal to keep other aromas and such out, too, so score!

Next to a half-gallon jar.  The pitcher will definitely be slightly easier to put in the fridge.

And lest you get it in your head that I actually get a ton of stuff done around the house?  All these photos are from a span of at least two weeks, if not more.

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