Thursday, July 31, 2008

Going on a little Vacation

My Mom and I are going on Vacation.
We are going up to my Sisters House to stay with her boys for a few days. It will be fun getting away and spending time with the boys. They are both getting so big. It won't be long before they don't want to hang out with their Aunt and Grandma. So we better take advantage. Oh.....and we will be hanging out by the POOL. Yes, folks.............she has a POOL. We plan on spending quite a bit of time in the pool while we are there!

I don't know how much time I will be on line but I have set up some great auto posts for you to enjoy while I am gone.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shopping Score

I went to Sam's today to pick up some stuff.

They have Levi 525 Jeans on Sale for $17.04!!!

Retail value of the Jeans is $44.00!!

Major Shopping Score!!

What I am reading

If you are interested in this or any of the other books featured in the What I am reading posts, Please see the sidebar for my Favorites. You can purchase a copy of the book there!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Visions of Homesteading

Visions of Homesteading from our Little Homestead in the City
While it is not homesteading on a grand scale,
It is small changes we have made to move in that direction.

Products of my Canning

Tomatoes!! I am thinking we are going to have BLT's real soon!!

Pole Beans going crazy on the deck

Making Sun Tea.

Drying clothes on the Clothesline. Pardon the tall grass.

Hubs hasn't got around to doing his homesteading duties.

Stuff that I dried in the Dehydrator over the weekend.

Canning and Preserving Summer 2008

Canning and Preserving Summer 2008

Strawberry Jam - 7 Jelly Jars
Grape Jelly - 7 Jelly Jars
Orange Juice Jelly - 7 Jelly Jars
Banana Jam - 7 Jelly Jars
Dill Pickles- 8 Quarts
Sauerkraut- 10 Quarts

Strawberries- 6 Quarts
Blueberries- 2 Pints

Dried- so far all of these were just experimental. No real amount worth reporting.
Green Onions

Make Your Own Cream of Something Soup

Got a recipe that calls for a cream of something soup but you find your cupboards bare?
Make your own!!!

I got this recipe from Jenn

Cream of Anything Soup Mix
2 C Powdered Milk
3/4 C Corn Starch
1/4 C Chicken Bullion Granules
2 TBS Onion Flakes (dry)
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Pepper
2 TBS dry celery flakes (optional)

Mix everything together and store in a airtight, dry container.

To use: Shake mix well, then combine 1/3 cup mix with 1 1/4 C cool tap water.
Stir and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for 1 full minute.
Remove from heat and use in any recipe calling for 1 can "Cream Of" soup.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Want to find out how to do something? Use eHow!

It is a great site to find lots of good information.

They have a Writer's Compensation Program which I am participating in.
If you would like to see my work click on the link!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Zuchinni Chips ARE Yummy!!

I woke to find that my Zucchini Chips were ready to come off the dehydrator. They were a very light golden brown and curled around the edges. So I took them off the Dehydrator and let them cool and then ate one...........................Zucchini Chips ARE Yummy!! They have an interesting mild sweet, salty, buttery taste. I love them!!

I am dreaming up all kinds of different ways to use them. More than likely I will eat them straight out of the jar as a side dish with sandwiches! Or eat them alone for a quick healthy snack!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Another Score!!!

I was thinking about wanting a Food Dehydrator today. I want one but didn't really want to spend the money. Plus.....I didn't have any to spend! So I thought I would check out my local Freecycle Group to see if anyone had posted one lately. Which no one had.

On a whim I decided to post that I wanted a Dehydrator. Surprise, Surprise.....someone replied and said they had one they wanted to get rid of. I jumped on it and picked it up at 5 pm tonight.

Major score!!! She said she bought it 2 years ago and never used it! So besides being a little dusty, It is brand new!!

I stopped on the way and picked up some zucchini to dry. I have heard that zucchini chips are yummy and wanted to give it a try. And you can toss the dried zucchini chips into soups and stews.

So that is my new score. I am thinking and planning on drying all kinds of stuff!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

How to Make Cabana Banana Jam

I got a recipe from a Blog Friend ( for Banana Jam. I thought it sounded yummy so I thought I would give it a try.

Here is her recipe:
Cabana Banana Jam

8-9 ripe, but still firm bananas
½ cup lemon juice
4 ½ cups sugar (I used raw turbinado sugar)
¼ c. Malibu rum (optional)
¼ cup water if necessary

Pour lemon juice into large pan. Slice bananas into pan, then mash up well with fork or pastry blender. Heat, adding 4 ½ cups sugar. If needed, add ¼ cup water to help liquefy. Cook over medium heat, bubbling until thick and gloppy, (you know, jam consistency), stirring occasionally as needed. (I should have timed this, but didn’t so my apologies. I’m thinking it cooked 40 - 60 minutes, possibly a bit longer)When thick enough to call jam, you can remove from heat and can or do as I did and add ¼ cup Malibu rum and cook down again to let the alcohol cook off. Then remove from heat and fill hot, sterile jars. Cap with hot lids and rings, wiping jar rims to ensure a seal. Process 15 minutes in hot water bath.

How to make Banana Jam

Use 8 or 9 ripe Bananas

Put the lemon juice in a large pan

Cut up the Bananas and add to the pan with the lemon juice in it

Mash the Bananas

Add the Sugar in the Raw

Heat to a light boil

Sterilize your lids

It's Jam!

Sterilize Jars

When the mixture is ready, fill Jars with Jam.

Remember, hot jars, hot lids, hot jam

*Note the Funnel. Another essential canning item

Process the filled jars for 15 minutes

The finished Product

After 15 minutes remove filled jars from the Water Bath

As the jars cool they will make a ping sound. That means they are sealed.

I will have to say ........this stuff is YUMMY. I think it tastes like Banana Baby Food

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Garden at 60 Days

Pretty Pumpkin Blossom

See the Baby Pumpkin!?!?!?!

What's for Dinner

Emergency Soup

It is an "Emergency" when you don't know what to make for Dinner. This recipe is perfect for a hectic day (or can even be made ahead of time).

1 to 2 cans of Chicken Breast (or you can use a Rotisserie Cooked Chicken pulled off the bone from the Market)
1/2 cup of cubed Carrots
1 Cup of half inch Potato cubes
4 cups water or broth ( I used 3 cans broth and 1 can of water)
1/2 cup Celery Slices
1 Onion cut in shreds
1/4 cup Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Herbs and Spices

Cook Carrot, Celery and onion in the melted butter for 10 minutes

Cook Potatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and Rinse in cold water.

Add Potatoes to the other vegetables.

Add the Broth or Water

Add Chicken

Add your favorite herbs or spices

Cook for 1 Hour on medium low heat.


Home Remedies

Do you have any old time Home Remedies that you use?

I use Aloe Vera Gel as a facial moisturizer. (If you get the Aloe Vera Gel in the store make sure it does not have lidocaine in it.)

I whiten my teeth my swishing some Hydrogen Peroxide around my mouth then spit it out. The Peroxide bubbles away and whitens your teeth. (Make sure to wash and wipe your lips after use. The Peroxide can irritate your lips if you don't)

I use Witch Hazel Liquid as a facial cleaner, toner and astringent.

I also use Clear Nail Polish to relieve the pain and itching of a bug bite. It takes the sting out and seals the wound so it does not itch.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What I am Reading

Inappropriate Men by Stacey Ballis
If you are interested in this or any of the other books featured in the What I am reading posts, Please see the sidebar for my Favorites. You can purchase a copy of the book there!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Canning So Far

This what I have canned or preserved so far:

Strawberry Jam - 7 Jelly Jars
Grape Jelly - 7 Jelly Jars
Orange Juice Jelly - 7 Jelly Jars
Banana Jam - 7 Jelly Jars

Dill Pickles- 8 Quarts
Sauerkraut- 10 Quarts


Strawberries- 6 Quarts

The Foxfire Book

"Daily our grandparents are moving out of our lives, taking with them, irreparably, the kind of information contained in this book. They are taking it, not because they want to , but because they think we don't care. And it isn't happening just in Appalachia. I think, for example, of numerous Indian reservations, Black cultures near the southern coasts, Ozark Mountain communities, and hundreds of others.

The big problem, of course, is that since these grandparents were primarily an oral civilization, information being passed through the generations by word of mouth and demonstration, little of it is written down. When they are gone, the intricate tricks of self sufficiency acquired through years of trial and error, the eloquent and haunting stories of suffering; sharing; building; healing; planting; and harvesting; - all these will go with them.

They have something to tell us about self reliance, human interdependence and the human spirit that we would do well to listen to."

Excerpt from the The Foxfire Book

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Our Magazine

I found a fun web site where you can make a magazine cover.

What do think of our Magazine......would you buy it???

My Canning Jar Score!

I went to Big Lots the other day and found some canning jars on sale. I got excited and scooped some up. I got two 12 pack cases of quart jars, two 12 pack pint Jars and one 12 pack of jelly jars.

The price was really good. Prices at other stores were anywhere from $9 to $12 for a case. I got the quart size for $7.00 a case and the pint and jelly jar sizes for $6.50. And the lids and screw tops are included!

The brand name is Golden Harvest. I found out thru a little online research that Golden Harvest is the budget brand of Ball Jars.

Even if I don't use all of them this year, it will be good to have some around.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Check me out.......again!

Earth Heart at mentions me and my post about Cast Iron in her post about her Essential Cooking Items.

So go visit her blog and see what she is up to today. She is always making something wonderful. I got a recipe from her for Cabana Banana Jam. It is the most awesome Jam ever!! Watch for a post about that in the future.

Grandma's Recipes- Basic Salmon Dinner

Casserole Quickie -Basic Salmon Dinner

Serves 4

Combine: 1 lb can of Demings' Salmon, 1 cup corn flakes, 2 eggs, 1 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt, Dash pepper. Mix Well.

Pour: Into buttered casserole dish.

Cover: With buttered corn flakes.

Bake: 30 minutes in moderate oven, 350 degrees.

Try these Four Tasy Variations!
1. 1 cup tomato juice instead of milk
2. 1 cup thinned tomato soup instead of milk
3. 1 cup thinned mushroom soup instead of milk
4. 1 cup cracker crumbs or bread crumbs instead of corn flakes

A Mystery

I got a Mother Earth News Magazine in the mail yesterday. Whoooo Hooooo. I love that magazine!!

The thing is...... I didn't order the subscription. I asked my Mother in Law if she got it for me and she said no. I asked Matt if he got it for me and he said no. Who else would have ordered me a magazine subscription?!?!?!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Worm Update

My Wormies are doing good.
I got 2 more trays for my Worm Factory. I was thinking I had to much bedding in the one tray. So I decided to split the contents between 2 Trays. The Worms seem happier ( I do you tell if a Worm is happy) and more active. They are doing their thing with a little more room to wiggle (Wiggle..... Ha Ha....... Red Wigglers...... OK.....nobody got that joke besides me. The Worms you use to compost are called Red Worms or Red Wigglers)
Any who.....they are eating up a storm and making me some nice Worm Tea and Worm Poop.
I know...... I'm weird. It is OK to think that......everyone else does.
I am secure with my love for my Wormies!

My Worm Factory

Thursday, July 17, 2008

How To Make Muesli

2 Cups Rolled Oats
3 Cups Wheat or Bran Flakes
½ cup dried Blueberries
½ cup dried Cranberries
½ cup Dates or Raisins
½ Cup Sliced Almonds

Serve with Milk or Yogurt.
Store in Air Tight Container
What is shown in the picture yielded 3 big Bags of Muesli.
With some rolled oats left over.

The finished Product

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Garden at 53 Days

Garden at 53 Days

Our new addition- a Siam Ruby Banana Tree

What I am reading

THE LONG WINTER by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Yes, this a children's book but I read some where that there are some great descriptions of how to do things the Pioneer way. I thought it would be a good choice for a light summer read. And educational too!

I am still reading the Foxfire Books too. There is so much information in these's amazing!

If you are interested in this or any of the other books featured in the What I am reading posts, Please see the sidebar for my Favorites. You can purchase a copy of the book there!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Check me out......again!

I was notified by Rick at that my post about how to season a cast iron pan was added to their informational/How To section.

If you want to check it out, visit and scroll down to the Informational/How To Section. It is the 4th link.


2008 All Star Game

Tonight is the MLB's 2008 All Star Game. And we are having a Barber BBQ!!
The Menu
Hot Dogs
Cracker Jacks
Apple Pie
You guessed it......a Baseball Theme.
What is your favorite Baseball Park Food?

Bath Products You Can Make

I haven't tried any of these yet, but you can bet they are alot cheaper than Bath & Body Works!


Bath Products You Can Make

Soothing Bath Oils
Recipe #1
* 1 cup honey
* 2 cups milk
* 1 cup salt
* 1/4 cup baking soda
* 1/2 cup baby oil
* Fragrance oil of desired scent
Combine honey, milk, salt and baking soda in a bowl. Fill your tub and pour the mixture in. Add the baby oil and a few drops of the fragrance.

Recipe #2:
* 1 whole egg
* 2 tablespoons honey
* 1/2 cup baby or mineral oil
* 1/4 cup whole fresh milk
* 2 teaspoons liquid soap or dishwashing liquid
* 1/4 cup vodka
* Fragrant oil (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds. Use only one or two tablespoons of this oil in a bathtub of water.

OR, try this...
Turkey-red oil (a derivative of castor oil) acts as an emulsifying agent for other oils so they won't coat your skin or the tub. Mix 3 parts turkey-red oil to 1 part fragrance oil. Add a few drops to your bath.

Instant Bath Salts
* 1 cup salt
* 1 cup Epsom salt
* 1 cup baking soda
Add a little of the mixture to your tub for a revitalizing bath.
For bubbles, just add 1 cup of shampoo. For a nice scent, add a few drops of fragrance oil.

Bubble Bath
* 2 cups soap flakes or grated soap
* 1 gallon water
* 1/4 - 1/2 cup glycerin
* 2 cups shampoo or liquid dishwashing detergent
* Scented oil of your choice
Mix the soap flakes, water and 2 tbs glycerin in a pot and set over low heat, stirring occasionally until the soap has dissolved. (This liquid soap can be stored in a covered container and used as an all-purpose soap or hand soap in the kitchen.) In a bowl, add 2 cups of this mixture to the rest of the glycerin, shampoo and add a few drops of your scented oil. Put into a quart container and store covered at room temperature. When you're ready to bathe, add about one cup to your tub as it's filling.

Herbal Bath
Add herbs to your tub by either making an infusion of them (see How to make and use herb preparations) and adding directly to the bath water, or putting the herbs into a muslin bag and tie it directly under the tap as the water is running. You can also add scented oil to the mixture if you want to.
Here are a few ideas for herbs to use:
* Chamomile - soothing and cleansing
* Comfrey - rejuvenating
* Lovage - deodorizing and cleansing
* Lady's mantle - soothes skin irritation
* Black tea - relieving sunburn pain
* Mint - soothing and relaxing
* Lavender - relaxing and aromatic

Easy Milk Bath
Just add 1/2 - 1 cup of dried milk to your bath water for a softening and soothing bath.

Milk Bath #2
* 2 cups dry milk powder
* 1 cup cornstarch
* 1/8 teaspoon fragrance oil of your choice
Blend all ingredients in blender. Add 1/2 cup of mixture to hot bath water.

Here is another tip I just found:
VINEGAR -is one of the most versatile ingredients known to man. It can be used to fight dandruff and dry scalp when mixed with equal parts warm water. A rinse of this with equal parts cold water will make your hair shine without expensive shine serums. A tablespoon in 8 ounces of water makes an excellent toner for your skin.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Make your own Drain Cleaner

Drain Cleaner

½ cup baking soda
1 cup white vinegar
4 cups hot tap water

Pour baking soda into drain, add vinegar. Let sit 10 minutes.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Grandma's Recipes- Salmon Creole

Salmon Creole

Unusual! Takes just 10 minutes

Melt: 2 tablespoons of butter
Add: 2 tablespoons minced onion, 2tablespoons chopped pepper. Cook until brown.
Add: 1 can Demings Salmon (flaked), 1 can tomato soup or 1 cup of hot tomato sauce
Season: to taste
Simmer: 10 minutes
Serve: Over steamed rice or on toast

1001 Uses for Vinegar

A lot of my old time solutions include vinegar. Yesterday I found a website devoted to all the uses of vinegar! They say they have 1001!

Check it out. Some of them are very interesting!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

My Container Garden

I realized it had been a while since I did an update on my Container Garden.
So here you go!

My Container Garden

Marigolds and Strawberries

Pole Beans

Big Bertha Peppers

*Notice the Mulch? It is grass clippings. I read in Mother Earth News that you could use fresh grass clippings as a natural mulch and fertilizer. The Peppers were looking a little weak so I decided to give it a try.

I can't wait till I can get enough Worm Poop to put it on the plants!

Green Pepper

I have had a couple small salads for lunch from my container of Lettuce

Tomato Plant

Patio Tomato Plant


My Rain Harvesting "System"

Seasoning Cast Iron

I recently got a Cast Iron Grill Pan. I knew I had to Season it. But how do you do that?!?!?!

This is what I found:

Seasoning Cast Iron:

In the days before we had non-stick cookware, we had the next best thing - seasoned cast iron cookware. While non-stick cookware has certainly outdone cast iron cookware in the non-stick category, cast iron pots and pans are still favored by many chefs, including the professionals because of their durability and ability to retain flavor. But, if you're not lucky enough to have a hand-me-down from Grandma, you may find yourself confused about how to become a cast iron chef. Have no fear - you can learn to season cast iron cookware with the pros and keep them in great shape for years to come.

Seasoning New Cast Iron Cookware
The process is actually quite simple. When done correctly, your pans will last a long time and may even become your own hand-me -downs in the future.
1. Heat your oven to 300 degrees.
2. Coat the pan with lard or grease. (Be sure that you do not use vegetable oil or commercial cooking sprays. While they may seem easier, they will not only cause your cookware to be seasoned incorrectly, but they will also leave a sticky film on the outside of the cookware that is impossible to remove.)
3. Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack and allow it to bake for 15 minutes.
4. Remove the pan and pour out any excess grease or lard.
5. Put the pan back into the oven and bake for another two hours.
6. Repeat as needed

Many cast iron enthusiasts will swear upon repeating the seasoning process several times before ever using the cookware the first time. Each time you season the cookware, the seasoning bond becomes stronger. Many people will recommend that the first few times the cookware is used it should be used to cook greasy foods (bacon, fatty meats, etc.) to again strengthen the seasoning bond.
Re-seasoning Cookware
If you find that you seasoned the pan improperly the first time, or if food starts to stick to the pan after a period of time in use, you may want to re-season the cookware.

1. Wash the cookware thoroughly with a steel wool pad (doing this while the pan is warm and still safe to touch is best).
2. Make sure the pan is fully dry (use a towel if needed).
3. Follow the seasoning steps above to re-season the pan.

Cleaning Your Cast Iron Cookware
To make your cookware last the test of time, be sure to take proper care of it. Remember the creed of every enthusiast of cast iron - no soap and no steel wool. Soap and steel wool will cause a breakdown in the seasoning bond and should not be used to clean your cookware on a regular basis.

If you're baffled at this moment, have no fear. Cleaning cast iron cookware is a breeze.
1. You'll need to rinse your cookware while it is still hot. If food is stuck to it, then scrape the pan or pot as needed. That's it!

Remember not to store food in your cast iron cookware because it may attach a metallic flavor to the food. In addition, store your pans with the lids off to prevent moisture from accumulating and rusting from occurring.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Garden Co Op at 46 Days

The Garden at 46 Days
We have lots of Tomatoes and Peppers coming on.
The Melons, Pumpkins and Potatoes all have blossoms too.


Melon Blossom

Pumpkin Blossom

And we have Japanese Beetles! We don't want these guys to tear up all our plants so Sara sprayed some Organic Pesticide on the Pole Beans and the Apple and Pear trees

If you want to see more pics of our Garden, Please visit: