Monday, October 31, 2011

Fast Food - My Way

If you've read my profile, you know I sew for a living. Today was an unusually busy sewing day and it was past dinnertime when I was trying to figure out what to make for supper. Voila! My version of "Fast Food."

1. Home canned chicken thighs

2. Home canned potatoes

3. Home canned green beans

I dumped each of the quart jars into oven-safe containers and popped them into a 350 degree F. oven for 1/2 hour. Add a little salt and butter and dinner was ready! All of the real work happened long ago.

Usually, dinner takes a bit more fuss, but this was delicious and very quick and easy!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Another Tiny Tip - retrieving egg shell

If you crack an egg into a bowl or pan, and a little piece of the shell falls in there (arg!) just take half of the shell and use it to scoop the offender out. It works much better than using a spoon or something like that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grateful - for "small" things?

Many years ago I was suffering through a period of deep depression. One day, I looked across the room and happened to notice my ironing board. I have my grandmother's ironing board. It is heavy and sturdy. They don't make them like that anymore. I thought, "I am grateful I have that ironing board." Woosh! A wonderful feeling of lightness and happiness breezed through me. It felt SO good. After quite some time of having sad thoughts, all of a sudden, I realized how therapeutic a grateful thought could be. After some contemplation, I decided to force myself to thing only grateful thoughts and see if it would help me. So... I forced myself, as I went about my daily routine, taking care of the children, milking goats, cooking, homeschooling, etc... to purposely think grateful thoughts ~ to look around me constantly for things to be grateful for. It worked. Within a few months, my depression was completely gone. And I was very grateful!

I happened to think of that yesterday evening when I caught sight of this gallon jar of water. It is the container I use to let water release chlorine before I use it for brewing water kefir. The reason I feel so grateful for it is that I love how it looks when it is all clean and full! It is so shiny and pretty (to me.) So, I took a picture. Then I decided to go around the house and take pictures of other small things that make me happy and that I am grateful for. So, here goes ~

Do you see the bit of chain and the rusty metal hook? I found both of those, at different times, on the road when I was out walking. I have a habit of picking up useful little bits of stuff that I find that way. These two, together, I use when I hang a thermometer into a pot of milk I am turning into cheese. They don't look like much, but there are very handy!

(Please pay no attention to the obvious signs of dirtiness revealed by the camera flash in these photos.) Here is my little egg slicer. I bought it from one of the grandchildren through a fund raiser at school. It is SO nice for slicing eggs for topping salads and if you cut the eggs twice, then they are ready for egg salad. And, it's cute!

Here is a set of square fluted biscuit/cookie cutters. My daughter gave these to me. They are some of my favorite things ~ so useful for cookies, biscuits and crackers, and since they were a gift, I associate them with her.

Two things together, here.... on the wall in my laundry room is this little washing board. I got it at a thrift store. I use it when I have a very small thing that needs to me scrubbed. Very useful and I'm glad I got it. It is hanging on my favorite wall in the house. This is where, since 1995, I have been measuring the heights of children. My youngest (who is now 28) is on there. Many grandchildren as well. It is a wonderful reminder of happy times and loved ones.

Here is my egg beater. I haven't had it very long. I got it at the thrift store. There is something wrong with it, but if you hold it right, it works beautifully and makes my morning egg scrambling fast, thorough and easy!

Here you can see the clean milk jars as well as 3 empty pickle jars that friends have given me recently. So useful!

Ok... on the fridge are two large magnets that my husband passed along to me a number of years ago. I don't know what they are from, but that is where I hang my metal strainers. It is very nice not having to fish them out of a drawer. They always tend to get smashed in a drawer.

This is a photo of my grandfather and his father. I love the picture and am grateful I have it. I am also grateful for this perfect frame that I bought at a huge discount at Kohl's. It looks like it is an antique. What a find!

My neti pot. I've probably had that for 20 years. Do you know what a neti pot is? It is used for nasal irrigation to help with allergies and the symptoms of colds, etc.

This picture is hanging in our bathroom. I purchased it at the local thrift store for $2.00. Not too exciting, I suppose, but for some reason, I really love it and how it looks in there.

Here are some of my dolls. The baby on the left is "Jeanie." I've had her since I was 5 years old. For a few years, my mother and father gave me a new doll every Christmas. The next little baby I rescued from our thrift store. She is so cute. Next in line is "Tiny Tears" that I got for Christmas in 1953. The last in line, well, she doesn't have a name yet. I made her from a kit I bought at Hobby Lobby. I have 3 more dolls in my cedar chest. My mother used to make doll clothes for me, too. She was so very good to me. At the end of this post I will tell you something else about her and dolls. I love dolls. I don't really "collect them," per se, but I do like to rescue them.

I am grateful for my aprons. I have 4 of them right now. The first denim one I made for myself. The next one is a wonderful quilted one that my daughter gave to me several years ago. The pink one was made for me by a dear friend. The denim one in back is very long. I put it together out of an old denim dress and an old denim skirt that I bought so that I could use the fabric. It covers my clothing completely when I need to milk the goat on a Sunday morning.

On our bedroom window is this little stained glass bird. It was given to me by a sweet friend who came to visit from Newfoundland several years ago. While she was here, I knitted her some "stuffed" mittens from homespun woolen yarn, and she bought me this little bird. She has passed away now, so it means even more to me.

This is a plaster cast of our son's hand when he was in 2nd grade. I love it~!

My old crock pots. They don't look like much. I bought them used. They are so wonderful to have!

See the board with the magnetic strips on it behind the knives? This makes my life easier and also protects the knives from damage they would incur rattling around in a drawer.

As I was walking around looking for things to photograph, I saw my sweet kitty. She is such a good friend.

I promised to tell you more about my mother and dolls. When I was 30 years old, I made a doll for my mother for Christmas. The doll's name is "Winona." She is a cloth doll - an American Indian lady. When my mother wrote a thank you to me, she told me that it was the first doll anyone had ever given her in her whole life! I had never thought about it. It made me so sad to think of her as a little girl growing up without even one doll. My life has been so richly blessed with so much and continues to be.

Of course, it is not things that truly make us happy. I could be happy living in a tipi with almost nothing if I was with my husband. He is my home.

This post is linked to Wardeh's wonderful Simple Lives Thursday #67!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Brrrr... It's that time of year again!

Over the weekend we actually had to have a fire in the wood stove. It had been so very cold and rainy all week and I finally complained enough that my sweetie started a fire. Then today, he loaded up the wood rack!

Linked to "Frugal Tuesday!"

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Potato Ricer

Do you have a potato ricer? My mother had one, and that is the only reason I know about them. It is a very handy item. I mainly use it to prepare potatoes or sweet potatoes to add to baked goods. Here it is sitting in a bowl:

First, I "nuked" a smallish sweet potato:

Broke it into pieces and put it in the ricer:

Then closed the ricer and "riced" the sweet potato:

Here it is all ready:

I like to add white or sweet potatoes to bread and rolls particularly, so this makes it easy and quick and removes any tough bits.

This post is linked to 11'th Heaven's "Homemaker Monday."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Two Tips

Although the weather is currently unseasonably warm, any day now, the temperature will plunge and we could have a frost. Today, I picked all the ripe tomatoes and all the ones that are starting to turn ripe and brought them in the house. I will lay them out all over the place, not touching, and let them ripen. If the weather holds, I'll be bringing more in also. This should provide tomatoes for quite a while.

When I do any deep frying (as for donuts or fry bread) I use lard. After I'm done, I let it cool, but when it is still liquid, strain it and put it back into the lard tub and keep it in the freezer for next time:

Here is the frozen lard emptied into the Dutch oven I use for deep frying:

Just a couple of frugal tips!

A thought for today...

Yesterday I was an adopted grandma for a young friend at Grandparents' Day at the local elementary school. We had lunch. White noodles and chicken, green beans (yummy!), a white roll, white shortcake with sweetened strawberries and cool whip, and then 3 flavors of fat free milk available. Ewww... BUT, as I was sitting there beside my little friend, happily eating a little of the food, I looked at the line of children waiting to get their trays and I thought, "There are SO many children in the world that have next to nothing to eat. These children are blessed." The food is clean, nice tasting and filling. That is a good thing, isn't it. The food is not ideal. I know that. But it is food, and they get to eat every day.

This post is linked to "Simple Lives Thursday #66"
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...