I hate to make sweeping generalizations here, but farmers don’t traditionally have a lot of money.   We’re what you call asset-rich, cash-poor–all of our money is tied up in land, equipment and livestock and pretty much the only way to access that money is to sell the farm.  You can get the money but then you’re out of a home and job.  (Please remind me once again why I signed up for this?)  Of course I use the word ‘we’ here in the most general sense.  Marcel and I are even better off:  asset-poor, cash-poor.  Please dial back your envy.

Anyways, the point of this post is thriftiness.  Thrift-i-ness.  Farmers have to be thrifty because we don’t have alot of cash on hand.  I know most of you are used to the common definition of the word thrifty–showing thrift; economical or frugal, but did you know that thrifty also means thriving or prospering?

That makes sense, doesn’t it? If you’re thrifty you’ll become thrifty and probably stay thrifty, unless of course you start being unthrifty.

Wait, what?

In the spirit of thriftiness, I’d like to now endorse a product that has enhanced my life dramatically in the past few months. It is Pampered Chef’s Quick-Stir Pitcher.

I purchased this pitcher from my lovely cousin who used to be a Pampered Chef saleswoman.  I unwittingly attended someone’s Pampered Chef party, enjoyed the company, admired the hostess’ ability to unabashedly sell her wares to friends and family, and then promptly gagged on the free veggie pizza slices as I saw how much everything costs.  High quality?  Check.  High class?  Check.  High falutin’ tootin’?  Check.  Affordable for poor ole little ole thrifty me?  Nope. 

So I did what I always do at these types of events, I frantically flipped pages and searched through the catalog until I found something that met my criteria:  1) useful, 2) not a million dollars.  I found it in the Quick-Stir. 

To be honest, the Quick-Stir Pitcher pushed my sensibilities a bit.  I mean, how hard is it to stir up a chunk of frozen cran-lemon-raspberry-tea with my trusty wooden spoon?  Not very!  And yet, the next affordable, halfway useful item was the cheese knife, for which a butter knife had always done the trick.  The Quick-Stir won out, if only for the fun name.  Quick-Stir, Quick-Stir.  I could say that all day.

I used it.  I did.  It came in handy a few times here and there, even though it wasn’t as pretty as my cobalt-blue pitcher I had bought in college.  (I have no idea why a college student need a cobalt blue pitcher, but I’ve been glad many times over for that unthrifty purchase.)

Fast forward approximately 9 years and 3 months, give or take a few years, and the darn Quick-Stir is my best friend.  Best friend, I tell ya!  Ever since Honeysuckle, our bottle calf, was born we’ve had to make up first 4, then 6, and now sometimes 7 or 8 bottles of dry milk replacer per day.  I’d start out by adding the dry powder to the bottle itself, slopping it on the sides of the bottle and the porch floor, all the while making a sticky, fly-attracting mess. Then I’d add the warm water and shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.  Shake until my back hurt, shake until my brain hurt, shake until I could shake no more.  The milk would mix, but inevitably there’d be big chucks of powder floating around in it, stopping up the nipples and frustrating the calf. 

And then I remembered the Quick-Stir.  I got it out, added the milk powder and warm water, and plunged.  Plunged, plunged, plunged, plunged plunged.  No mess on the bottles, no mess on the floor, and I’m pretty good at plunging now, just in case the toilet ever gets plugged or some sort of nonsense.  I plunged that nifty little plunger up and down until the liquid was a perfectly smooth milky mixture.  Remove plunger, pour it into the bottles, and Viola!  Breakfast is served. 

$16.50.  That’s it.  That’s the cost of my nifty, thrifty Pampered Chef Quick-Stir Pitcher, the one that makes my porch cleaner, Honeysuckle’s milk smoother, and my life easier.  I gotta say, the next time you have a bottle calf on your hands, you just gotta get yourself one of these!  Maybe I’ll pitch (ha ha, sorry) a new name to the company while I’m thinking of it–The Pampered Farmer has a ring to it, don’t you think?  

Thriftily yours,

Farmer Jackie