Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Try that with upholstery, it won't happen. I've done this three times now, wiping the art work of two different grandchildren off my leather. Twice it was pen and the other time it was a Sharpie permanent marking pen.
Next, we will explore noodles and the types that are suited best for different kinds of sauces. I made a wonderful Bolognese sauce last night I've got to tell you about. It was adapting a recipe to what I had in the refrigerator and upping the vitamin content to boot so stay tuned.
Monday, March 21, 2011
On the way back to Toni's house, we glanced at Whole Foods store at the oil department as mayonnaise is still on my mind. Talkng to a clerk, we found out that there was an oil store downtown that we missed. We've got to go there next time and we heard there was a noodle store but we never found it either. Plus, I didn't make it to the place that sells home-made tortillas. Yes, you can bet we won't be doing much clothing shopping on the next trip. We've got food in mind.
*********************** We spent Sunday after church walking and then we had stir fried vegetables with a small tenderloin steak courtesy of the deceased Mr. Angus Fence Tearer Downer. The flavor and tenderness was out of this world good. You've got to pay big bucks for a steak of that quality from a restaurant and we haven't got them.
Then stomach full, I settled in on the livingroom floor as the lure that moved the mother/daughter date up several weeks was dumped all around me. Bags and bins of heaven floated down and I sorted it into categories and even some of those categories into companies for though it all made Red Heart look like something the garbage man brought in, there were still those yarns who could have had - for royalty only -stamped on the label.
My fingers and eyes feasted upon this soybean protein yarn carrying me to the beach, ocean waves lapping at my feet.
Then I was whisked off to the dessert as I cradled this Bacterian camel yarn, my eyes trailing off following the prints in the sand of a wandering caravan.
Then I sailed off into the blue blue sky with this mohair creation...
I looked up from where I sat in the tall grass and gazed at the blue mountain ridges in the distance and longed for an alpaca of my own.
Or maybe I'll get two for you can never have enough alpacca. Just look at these exquisite earth tones and I dare for you tell me it isn't so.
Then on my way home, I slip down south and run my fingers through the smooth slick cool cotton. And finally I land back home and determine once more that this will be the year that get permission to walk the pastures just outside of town where the deer, antelope and bison playand collect clumps of wooly under hair that the bison shed in the spring.
The one place I went but forgot to take pictures was the Merino sheep herds of Australia and the New Zealand countryside where the possums wreck havoc on the enviornment. Yes, these two fibers are blended into a wonderful yarn. I'll bring you along with me next time but right now I'm stuck since I left my bag of yarns on Toni's livingroom floor. OOOOPS!!! and it had the Merino/possum wool inside.
Lest any of you think she's lost her mind, no, none of these skeins came home with me. Toni kept them for her own stash. Who can blame her? But I did collect a heavenly pile of my own. And in case some of you have gotten the impression that we are filthy rich. It isn't so. Yes, some of these yarns are pricey and we both are yarn snobs to the core. I spin most of my own yarn and Toni is an Editor at a crochet magazine where these incredible yarns were part of completed projects for the magazine. Hence, many are partial skeins, some just one full skein left, and in rare instances there are two or more skiens. Many of these yarns find there way back into the magazine in the way of staff projects or technique visual aids. That's why Toni's worked for the company for four years and it isn't until now that this is my first adoption day. You can imagine my thrill.
Friday, March 18, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
But this morning I decided to make buttermilk pancakes anyway since this week we've had cereal one day and scrambled eggs another. So while the kids ate their morning helping of fruit, this morning it was pineapple from a can, (I'd gotten it on sale quite a while back and stocked up) I began putting together buttermilk pancakes. Look carefully at the photo and you will see lots of suspicious lumps and bumps. That's the tale that's a bit similiar to the old lady who swollowed a fly. Yeah, one thing led to another until I had lumps and bumps pancakes.
It started with a partial pint left of buttermilk, shy of the two cups I needed. So I measure out what I had and then...
I figured since the recipe called for sour cream, I'd make up the difference with it by added a larger portion. But... when I opened my last container, I discovered I didn't have much left. Barely the 1/4 of a cup the recipe called for.
So I spied the cottage cheese in the refrigerator and remembered I'd seen a recipe for pancakes calling for cottage cheese and I know there are bread recipes with it in it so I emptied the last of the cottage cheese into my paritally filled cups of buttermilk and between the three I had the required amount of dairy. Lucky, because my next move would have been to add yogurt but yesterday the kids ate the last of that.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The first I'd heard of Nasturtiums was on Tawnya's blog as she told about canning the seeds. http://suburbanjubilee.blogspot.com/2011/02/processing-pickled-nasturtium-pods.html
Monday, March 14, 2011
It did have whipped egg whites which would lighten the batter so I tucked the recipe away to try later.
Last weekend was later. The pancakes looked good on the griddle but I could tell when I flipped them over they were a bit heavy just like the photo. A couple bites and we declared them amazing alright, amazingly awful.
Part of the problem was my fault. Freshly ground grains such as corn and wheat have all the bran still in the flour and it can turn rancid if kept to long without using it. That's why lots of people store their wheat flour and corn meal in the freezer if they intend on using it over a six month period of time or if shorter, the refrigerator. I had mine in the fridge and when I ground it was not labeled on the packaged - naughty me. Despite that, the pancakes still wouldn't have been up to snuff because of texture and lack of fullness of flavor. Besides, we really didn't like the combination of corn meal and maple syrup.
So I'm not going to share any recipe with you. Instead I want to make a point. When times are tough, and they are coming if they haven't already hit your house, it's make do or do without. Things won't be available or you can't afford them if they are. I'm beginning to think Miracle Whip is out of our price range. I'd rather spend my $6.49 on fresh fruit so I've that little experiment to try. Some say the up turn of our economy is just around the corner. The ones that helped run us deep into debt I suspect. Others say think empty shelves and make do. Joseph in the Bible story, The Coat Of Many Colors, knew to stockpile grains and food during prosperous times. He was blessed to know when the lean time was coming but things always cycle. We've had prosperity for a number of years and we've grown greedy as a human race around most of the world. The distance between the have and the have not growing each day.
The most important part of preparing ourselves to weather the down part of the cycle is to stockpile knowledge.
In preparation for what for what was obviously going to be the down slide in the cycle, I've been working on a recipe book. The Theme being Make Do Or Do Without and it includes recipes for four different kinds of biscuits. Each recipe calls for a variation of ingredients differing from the next. Yes, they all require flour but one recipe, my favorite, calls for using cream instead of milk as the liquid and the cream also is the fat so no shortening, lard, or butter is used. Works superb when the goats are fresh and I've a ready supply of cream. It freezes well as a dough also making it especially handy. This is the recipe I want to do what I'd call the supreme test for home-made baking powder. Another recipe has shortening or lard as its base, along with milk and eggs. A third has cheese, chives, milk, eggs, and butter. The fourth is a sourdough biscuit recipe. For now we are just enjoying the variety of flavors but in the future these differences could mean biscuits for supper or not.
But what does biscuits have to do with corn meal pancakes? I've a wonderful array of biscuit recipes, and waffles but pancakes I don't. Besides I wanted to try to expand my corn meal uses which is something I can produce myself. Wheat is not but I'm going to grow a small patch either this summer or next for the knowledge I'll gain. Just encase I'm in a position to need to grown my own someday or need to. That too is why I'm going to grow a little Buckwheat not just as a cover crop as I did last year, gaining valuable knowledge, but to fruition so that I can make home-made buckwheat pancakes, which I like.
So today while the sun shines, and I can well afford to experiment, fail, and toss the results to the chicken, not being force to eat the nasty things because its the only food available for the meal, I'm going to adventure out. The next plan is to use fresh corn meal and make it a small part of a whole wheat pancake batter. No, I'm not defeated, just learning what's survival food- these pancakes- or what move the corn meal on to making it fit accompany a feast.
Hopefully tomorrow, what ever it brings, we'll be eating well having stored up knowledge to expand our abilities to Make Do.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Beyond Miracle Whip salad dressing, one of the things I've been thinking about is sugar. In times past it rose greatly in price. Think the Great Depression and World War II. It wasn't quite so bad becasue that was when women cooked. Today, that one hike in price would effect almost everything in the grocery store. Mother isn't feeding us now, the factories are. So since I love sugar, I stocked up a bit so I can ride along until it goes on sale and I can buy it at a reduce price. Not a reduced price from its new all time high price but for less. Buying on sale is how this family has stayed afloat but I can see we are going to have to tighten the belt.
I've stored brown sugar, powdered sugar, and white sugar in the past when I knew the price was going to go way up. But with my move toward self-sufficiency, I've got less room in my storage room. More equiptment and more things I make myself. I've begun to wonder could I just store white sugar and have all three products at my home-made fingertips?
1 cup of white sugar
As for making my own powdered sugar, I wasn't as happy with the results.
This is commercial powdered sugar.This is home-made. The sugar granules just don't break apart as effectively in the blender as with commercial equipment.
1 cup white sugar
You can substitute arrowroot, or tapioca flour for the corn starch if that's what you have or if you wish to avoid corn.
The instructions don't recommend you use a food processor as it doesn't do a very good job.