Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Chickens display a great range of language and decipherable behavior. This video of our Buff Orpington Rooster shows a classic example of Tidbitting; when a rooster gets the attention of his hens by finding and moving tidbits of food around with his beak.
They can be re-arranged to allow for new spices, for example I just started cooking with savory for the first time. I simply made a "savory" tin and fit it in alphabetically.
The chalkboard labels can be wiped with a damp cloth and re-labeled.
Here is where you can order the supplies:
8 oz metal tins
2.5" chalkboard labels
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
I make this soap in our Food Processor. I use the shredding blade to shed the bars of soap, and the mix/chopping blade to incorporate the mixture and grind the soap flakes to a powder.
1 3 lb. box Super Washing Soda
1 4lb. box Borax
1 16oz. box Baking Soda
2 14 oz. bars Zote soap
Zote comes in pink and white. Both work equally well, but I like the pink because I can tell if the soap flakes are evenly distributed throughout the detergent. But again, this is just a preference.
I use our large roasting pan and the canning pot to mix everything. You need two large vessels to mix everything.
When it's all done I fill a 1 gallon glass jar, plus a half gallon Mason jar.
I use 2 level tablespoons per load and all my load are large loads. (I rarely wash small loads)
I usually get my ingredients at Wal-Mart, it's our closest grocery store.
Here's the price breakdown:
Washing Soda $3.97
Baking Soda $0.54
Zote ($0.97 x 2 bars) $1.94
There are 256 tbsp in a gallon
The recipe makes 1.5 gallons so that's 384 tbsps
divided by 2 because I use 2 tbsp per load, equals 192 loads
$10.42 divided by 192 loads equals $.054 per load
So one half penny per load!
I recommend that you read the owners manual on your washing machine before using this soap recipe. Or contact the manufacturer to see if powdered soap is ok for your machine. We have an old top load washer and I haven't had any problems.
Here are photos so you can see the prices at the store:
Monday, February 8, 2016
Saturday, February 6, 2016
I never really went through a rebellious stage, but around age 13 I asked my parents if I could change my room. They agreed and told me that I could do what I wanted so long as I paid for it myself. Fair enough.
I had some babysitting money saved up so I bought a gallon of green paint, like a celery/sage color, a set of tan and green sheets and a tan, cargo style bedspread with big pockets on the sides. I hung a branch from the ceiling and placed several bird nests I had found over the years, along with an empty paper wasp nest. More dead insects went up on the walls, a shelf with my sea shell collection, shelf mushrooms, various pods, seeds, acorns and pine cones, a squirrel skull I found in the woods...photos and drawings of sea turtles, owls and other wildlife, and shortly after my room re-do I got an aquarium for my birthday and a pet Red-Earred Slider. I was kinda obsessed with turtles at the time.
My room looked like a nature center, but I loved it!
I donated all the pink... thinking I would never again re-visit that style. I knew in my heart that I was a nature lover and when I had my own home it would just give me more space to fill with examples of preserved nature. Maybe I could charge admission and give tours like a museum!
Fast forward 20 years and Ive found that while I still love nature, I don't necessarily have to scream it to the world via home decorating. In fact, I've somehow come full circle and love that ultra feminine cottage, shabby chic look. My mom is so proud!
We have an old farmhouse and we've kept the lower level rather rustic with dark stained wood, various antiques and caramel-color painted walls, but upstairs is a totally different story.
We recently remodeled this spare bedroom (I have a room tour coming soon) and we did it in a French Countryside, cottage theme complete with lots of eyelet accessories. To say the least, I am kicking myself for not keeping all the girly room decorations from my youth...but how are you to know?
Because I couldn't predict the future, I have to find or make new accessories for our spare bedroom, as in the case with this pillow.
It's a white on white, six patch pillow, each patch is 6 by 6 inches.
I treated each patch as its own project.
I started with 6- 6x6 squares of white cotton fabric, then decorated each one with different sewing material.
|This square is two strips of large eyelet and two strips of thin eyelet sewn vertically.|
|This square has a layer of pleating sewn over the straight square. I did a large running stitch with my sewing machine and pulled the end thread to gather.|
|This is a calico white on white fabric I found.|
|I did a little embroidery on this square with white embroidery floss.|
|This square was probably the hardest to make. I used half inch satin ribbon to make a basket weave.|
|The ribbon kept slipping out of place so finally I used tape to hold it in place. When it was all woven in an over-under pattern, I sewed right through the tape holding the ribbon in place. After it was sewn I pulled the tape off and it worked great!|
|Then I sewed the squares together with a 1/4 " seam, right sides together, making two rows of three, then sewed the two rows together.|
|I measured the final patch front and cut a piece of cotton fabric the same size for the back.|
|I wanted a large eyelet trim so I pinned the trim to the back of the pillow. When I sewed the two sides together, the patchwork side was facing in, and the eyelet trim was sandwiched between the two pieces.|
|I left a 5 inch opening to turn the pillow right side out and to stuff it. I stuffed it with loose polly-fill and hand stitched the opening closed.|
Friday, February 5, 2016
|Beautiful, magical pasta|
|This is the key to good Alfredo, 4 bricks of Parmesan cheese. You can't go wrong!|
Nate and Stacey went to Italy last year, and Nate said that the Fettuccine Alfredo tasted like true Italian cuisine. Well, he didn't day "cuisine" Nate is just not a "cuisine" saying type of guy. He's more like...Zach, ....more like "This dish makes me want to timber frame!" or "this is better than shopping for antique tools!" or "More meals like this and I won't be able to button my flannel!" Both our men like good food, they just have their own way of articulating this to us. We understand....
Stacey will be sharing her pasta recipe over at her blog Investing in a Delicious Tomorrow.
For the Alfredo:
Lots of butter...like a pound should do.
Cream (about 2 cups)
4 bricks Parmesan cheese shredded plus samples for kitchen members to enjoy while cooking
Cooking Sherry 1 cup
Garlic (2 cloves chopped)
pinch of Nutmeg
Prepared fettuccine pasta
Melt a half stick butter in pan. Begin sauteing the seafood in small batches on medium-high heat. Don't over cook! Like 60- to 90 seconds per side. If the butter starts to cook away, add more as needed. Season both sides of seafood with garlic salt. When the last of the seafood is sauteed, deglaze the pan with the cooking sherry. Let it reduce by half, then toss the seafood back in the reduction. Remove seafood again with a slotted spoon. In the same pan melt another stick of butter. (This is why you need to dance while you cook...to burn off the calories.) and the garlic. Add the cream and the cheese and turn the stove to low. Be patient and let the cheese slowly melt stirring constantly. When melted, season with LOTS of pepper, salt and a pinch of nutmeg. Toss with the pasta and the seafood.
|Counter filled with random delicious Italian food like balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic salt pepper and pesto with baguette to dip!|