Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Bushel of Mint


I did the third cutting of peppermint this morning.  I believe this is a heavy bushel.  That's a lot of tea!!  From previous cuttings I have made three batches of mint cordial and dried a gallon of mint for our winter tea use. 


Peppermint

Probably the most well known variety of mint,peppermint, or Mentha x piperita, is a hearty herb that gives off a classic mint smell when you rub its leaves. You can dry this mint for tea or use it fresh for cooking. Both dried and fresh forms are known for soothing an upset stomach, freshening breath, relieving cold symptoms, and acting as a mood lifter.

Hopefully my Daughters-in-love will take some all of this.  I hate to have it go to waste but it needed to be cut.  I don't know if I'll cut it a fourth time or let it go to flower for the bees.  
They like the mint too.

Mint Cordial - store in the refrigerator



Friday, June 19, 2015

Lime-Orange Marmalade

I picked up a 5 pound bag of limes the other day while at Costco.  They were so beautiful!  What to do with that many limes??  Marmalade for a start!  I made two batches of marmalade That's 18 jars of marmalade.  Plenty for us.  Lime Curd is on the agenda as well.  Lime juice may be used as a substitute for lemon juice to make Lime Curd.  There will still be some limes left over for lime water on a hot day.  Lime - Mint water is a real treat.  And maybe some Limeade as well.   That 5 pound bag will be gone soon...


Last week I put up 6 gallons of strawberries.  Three batches of jam and the rest sliced to the freezer for winter treats.  So the process of 'putting by' has begun.  

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Home Canned Dog Food


I cleaned my freezer out yesterday.   This is something I do every summer. Clean, organize, and sort...  Well I unearthed a few old roasts and some old burger.  I'm ashamed to say it was 4 years old.  The meat was still good and there was no freezer burn etc.  But to be honest if we haven't eaten it in four years I doubt it will be high on the list now.  Yes, I came across it last year and thought we really need to use this... I'm just not a big wild game person.  

So this year was my limit.  I felt it was very wasteful to toss it into the dumpster so decided to can it up for fido.  I canned this as I would can any meat so it's completely safe for dog or human consumption.  

Ergo Miss Chessie will be eating high on the hog (er deer, elk, beef) having a bit of this atop her normal kibble.  I called my daughter-in-love and asked if I was becoming the 'crazy cat dog lady'. She assured me I was fine and just not wanting to waste food.  I hope she's right.

a little bird

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Corn Traditional Masa

I would like to preface this with I always like to do stuff the 'old way' traditional way.  :-)

I bought some corn to grind for corn bread and tortillas and then I found out that our bodies really don't break corn down well so we don't get all the needed vitamins from it.  How do we get the vitamins???  By soaking in lime.  So if you too have some corn and would like to make traditional torillas as well here is how.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Super Simple Pasta Dinner




Super Simple Pasta Dinner

This simple dinner is a family favorite.  I can make this when we are camping or on a night that everyone lands in and I really haven't planned dinner...  Even the granddaughters like this.  

You will need:
1 lb. hamburger
1 can pasta sauce (I use Hunts)
dried pasta, smaller pasta works best.

Brown your hamburger. Add the can of pasta sauce, fill the pasta sauce can with water and add.  Now fill the pasta sauce can with uncooked pasta.  (I like penne, twirls, macaroni, or shells.) Add the pasta to all the rest, stir, cover, and cook on low for 20 to 25 minutes. 

I like to serve this with parmesan cheese and serve a salad and you have a fast and EASY dinner.  If you have a bigger family just double the recipe.  When we are all up in the hills I do.  Its so easy to increase just double your ingredients and get a bigger pan. :-) 

a little bird

  

   



Sunday, May 17, 2015

Spring Garden

The spring garden is producing well, lots of onions, chives, rhubarb, the mint is like a forest, harvested some cilantro and oregano as well.

Last year we purchased a larger dehydrator.  It is an Excalibur.  I have been very happy with this unit. The only reason I say this is if you are looking for a new or additional dehydrator this is a good one.
I do a fair amount of dehydrating. Last year we did kale, beets, apples, pears, apricots, plums, tomatoes, squash, many spices and herbs for tea, etc.  We use our dehydrators.  :-)  We live in the high mountain desert so we can do some sun drying as well.  But the ease and speed of using a dehydrator is a real plus.



I use the dried veggies in soups.  We eat the fruits as a snack.  Peppermint, camomile, rose hips, orange rind and the like are used for tea and the spices go into our home cooked meals.  It is a great way to 'put by' the harvest.  It requires less space and stores very well.  

For a free copy of the the below book Drying Fruits and Vegetables CLICK HERE





Saturday, May 2, 2015

New

We have some 'new' at our house.  We have a brand new granddaughter.  I had forgotten how very tiny they are to start.  Although she is the biggest baby so far 7 lbs 13 oz.  She is a tiny little peanut.  And of course beautiful.  What a special blessing.  We sure love our girls.  DH and I had boys and I LOVE my boys but I always wanted a little girl too.  Well I now have five beautiful granddaughters.  God is so good.


The other 'new' is the bathroom...  Our house is 42 years old and the bathroom is the original.  The hinge broke on the vanity cabinet and DH said okay it's time for an updated bathroom.  Below are some pictures of the new items.
Note: these picutres are mainly for my mom.  She likes to see what we're up to and this is an easy way for her.  I'm sure our 'new' bathroom items aren't of much interest to anyone else.  :-)  But thanks for indulging me.  a little bird...







We have been buying the materials, tile, vanity, mirror, cabinet, even a new loo.  And today DH started the project.  The old vanity and medicine cabinet are gone. The new floor is going down - good thing he knows how to do tile work!!  We (that 'we' is the royal we as DH is doing all the work) are going to do it in stages as much as possible as we are a one loo household... Thank goodness for the camper.  :-)  The final stage will be a walk in shower.  No more tub but we really use the shower most all the time.

So that's whats 'new' with us.
a little bird


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

May we never forget





Holocaust Rememberance Day begins today at sundown.

God forbid that we would ever forget.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pure Michigan



Spring Break in Pure Michigan

Yeah - fun was had by all. We took a few days to go visit our family in Michigan.  We spent 4 days but  believe or not we were able to see most of our family.  Not all - it seems there just wasn't enough time to see all but most.

We wanted to check on our moms and just visit.  They both are doing well and were pleased with our visit.  Actually we surprised my Mother-in-Law.  We just showed up at church Sunday.  She was shocked and thrilled.  I guess she was always quite the prankster when the kids were all home on April Fool's day...  So my husband and his sister thought it would be a early April Fool's.  :-)
She loved it.

The weather was 'spring' cool windy - one day was freezing rain...  but all in all it was nice. 

So now we are headed home.  Looking forward to seeing our family in the west and our very spoiled Labrador Chessie.

Hope you too are having a good break.
a little bird



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Making a Difference

Happy Thursday! I want you to know there are some AMAZING teachers out there. My Daughter-in-Love, my sister, my cousin, and many others. I have had parents come up to me regarding my D-i-L saying the following. "Your daughter is an amazing teacher, she expected more of my child than any other teacher ever did and my child realizing that he/she was believed in did it." So this is for the great teachers out there. Yes, there are some lousy teachers but thank goodness for the great ones.


 

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