Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Pickling Eggs...



Boil or steam some eggs...


This is Stella, a 13 year old young pup that I was taking care of while her owner was away. I had lots of company while I was cooking and peeling the eggs.  

Have you ever wondered what to do with your left over dill pickle juice?

More company...


Peel your boiled or steamed eggs...

Add cooked and peeled eggs to your left over dill pickle juice. Make sure the eggs are fully covered with juice.

I also made pickled eggs using left over pickled beet juice. I used the same technique that I used with the left over dill pickle juice. I made a spicy version of pickled eggs using 2/3 c apple cider vinegar, 2/3 c water  and 2 oz of hot sauce for 1/ 2 dozen eggs. Let the eggs marinate in the fridge for at least two weeks before eating. The pickled eggs should last  up to 3 months or longer if stored properly.  

 
This is Evander, a hungry abandoned Llama that was also looking for a hand out. We have had amazing snow drifts this year that have covered up the grass most of the winter. Evander has never once come into our yard until this year. We picked him up some hay, so he wouldn't starve.



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Homemade Egg Noodles



Egg noodles cost about $1 a pound or more to buy at the store and they have unidentifiable ingredients that are probably not good for you. Homemade egg noodles only cost pennies and are very simple to make. It only takes 2 ingredients to make homemade egg noodles, flour and eggs, that's it.



Here is a good rule of thumb, two eggs for each cup of flour and a little for rolling out the dough. Just add 1 cup of flour to your shallow mixing bowl. Make a little well in the center. Crack two eggs into the well.



Mix and then knead until it looks like this. Just takes a few minutes. I couldn't take a picture since I had dough all over my hands. My camera still had flour on it, but it wipes off easily enough.



Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. While the dough is resting, bring salted water or soup base to a boil. I used turkey stock out of a turkey that I had roasted the day before yesterday. I had purchased a couple of turkeys that were on sale for .57 a pound a little while back. Wow, that was a bargain considering you can't get any kind of meat for under $2 a pound anymore. The cost of food is ridiculous....




Roll it out pretty thin. It plumps up when it cooks. My dough is a beautiful rich color due to my home grown eggs. Thank you Chickie birds...




I used my pizza cutter to cut the noodles. I also cut them into shorter pieces, so they would fit on my spoon when I ate the soup. If using in other dishes cut into whatever size and length you need.



I dusted the cut noodles with a little more flour to keep the noodles from sticking together as they cooked. I also added the left over flour to my soup to make it a little thicker. Waste not, want not...





Add the noodles to your salted boiling liquid of your choice. Do not skip the salt. Boil for at least three minutes.






You can use these noodles in any dish that you want. Just use your imagination. Enjoy...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Homemade Laundry Soap ..... Laundry Day(s)


This blowing sun snow weather makes it difficult to dry laundry on the line.
 



It's easy to dry laundry in this weather. I didn't think that you needed a pic of my bloomers...

  It's not always easy living off the grid. I know that I've said that before and I'm sure I will say it over and over again. That doesn't mean that living off the grid does not bring us joy or a real sense of accomplishment. An example of this is the task of doing the laundry. I love to hang the clothes out on the line. I'm in the sun, alone with my thoughts and soaking in the beauty of Gods' creation all around me. (I started this post well over a year ago and now Number One hangs our clothes on the line since the wreck) 

Even in the winter clothes must be dried. Winter is more challenging and certainly less pleasant, but none the less an accomplishment. Your clothes freeze before you get them out of the basket and on the line. Have you ever seen a pair of freezed dried pants? They can stand up all by themselves.

We have a small 110 volt washer/dryer combo unit that Number One found on Craigslist for 100 bucks. What a blessing! They are around $1100 if you bought one new. We don't use the dryer. It's not necessary it this arid climate. It was such a waste of money and time just driving to the laundry mat. It took an hour to get to the closest one and then, you guessed it, an hour to get back. Then the time it took to actually wait for the clothes to get done. When your at home you can get other things accomplished. I'm(I was) actually doing laundry and writing this post at the same time.

When we were doing the laundry at the laundry mat, I figured out that if you used the largest machines you would save the most money. They work very well. They are made from some serious iron and could really get the job done.

I was very happy when we brought home our little investment. That's when I realized laundry could be a joyful task off the grid. I do have an indoor line in the storage building for when it rains too long or the wind blows so hard that it just rips the clothes off the line. I don't leave the clothes out on the line when I leave anymore. Lesson learned. I don't need my bloomers blown into the next county.

I also make my own laundry soap. It's easy to do. I don't use very much soap. It's really not necessary. I only wash in cold water, because washing in hot or warm does not change how clean your clothes get and it cost money to heat the water. If I had to wash soiled cloth diapers or something similar I would definitely use hot water and bleach to help kill germs. I do not use bleach at all in my laundry. It really irritates my eyes, nose and skin. I do keep it handy for emergency use. I also prefer homemade liquid laundry soap to powdered laundry soap since I use cold water. Sometimes powdered laundry soap may not dissolve in cold water.

Laundry soap recipe:  2 c grated soap or 1 bar grated unscented soap (Fels Naptha or similar bar soap)
                                  6 c water
                                  3/4 c borax natural soap booster
                                  3/4 c all natural washing soda (in the laundry isle)
                                  1 quart hot tap water
                                  1 gallon tap water

Using a large old unused pot, heat soap and two cups of water. Add the other four cups one cup at a time, stirring constantly. Do not let it boil. Add measured borax and washing soda. Stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Add 1 quart hot tap water and stir until mixed very well. Add 1 gallon water and stir until mixed very well. At this time you may add any essential oils for scent that you want. Unscented works just fine too. Let cool before you refill your old detergent bottles with your new homemade laundry soap. Don't be surprised if it separates a little. Shake a little before using if it does. Use about 3/4 cup per regular load. Play around if you have a really soiled load.

                                

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Giant Valentine's Day Hamburger With Homemade Ketchup


Little more bun than burger...


Had to cut the bun down to size...
 
Five meals with homemade fries and ketchup...

We celebrated our Anniversary on Valentine's Day by creating a monster burger made from lean ground chuck, ground smoked bacon ends and pieces and a custom homemade bun. I found a grape Fanta made with real sugar at a local store to toast our 27 years together. Along with home cut fries and home spun ketchup we had a feast fit for royalty or at least we thought so...

Many many years ago in Fort Smith Arkansas we visited a burger joint, known for their giant hamburgers, called Ed Walker's Drive In. Now our burger was nothing like the 5 lb behemoth Ed Walker serves up. We were young and naive, so we ordered the large chili cheese fries too. People were gawking at the enormous amount of food on our table and to be honest we were too. Needless to say, we took home a doggie bag. Now, Number One created the burger with the ground bacon. I don't think they serve it that way at Ed Walker's.


Ed Walkers Drive In
Yummy...



Ketchup Recipe

6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 c light corn syrup (make your own sugar syrup)
1/2 c white vinegar
1/4 c water
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients in saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir often. Cover, cool and then chill in a covered container in the refrigerator. Makes 1 1/2 cups. I often double this recipe. I store it in an old clean ketchup bottle. Enjoy...




Friday, December 13, 2013

Eagle Brand Memories


Some of my birthday treasures



I was surprised by my dear sister's in Christ with a quaint birthday celebration after our Bible study this week. Each of my sisters gave me a can or two of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk. I also received two spoons. Yes, I do mean the spoons that you eat with.

I had recently shared a memory with "K" about my grandmother and the idea was born. You see, "K" is a very thoughtful and creative person. We were texting back and forth when she brought up the topic of desserts and asked me what was my favorite. My list was long and full of the sweetest desserts there are. As I told "K" I'm only in it for the sugar. She laughed in disbelief when I told her Eagle Brand milk. Then I proceeded to share the story of my love of the sugary stuff.

My Grandmother was not a healthy woman. She often had issues keeping a healthy weight. She was tiny. She bore and raised thirteen children during her lifetime. I asked her once when I was young why she had so many children and she told me "that's how many names she had picked out". Made since to me at the time. I have wondered many times if that was her standard answer for anyone that asked her that question. My Grandmother's doctor suggested that she eat a can of Eagle Brand milk due to it's high calorie content to help her gain some weight. Grandmother would open a can up, retrieve two spoons from the drawer and sit down at the table. I would soon find my way to the kitchen. I would climb into the chair next to her where my spoon would be waiting for me and we would indulge in the thick rich substance until it was gone.

The two spoons represented my Grandmother and myself sitting together at the table and the Eagle brand is my treasured memory. The ladies and I also shared a coconut cream pie. It was on my list too. I imagine that they didn't want to indulge in Eagle Brand that early in the morning and perhaps not at all. What a wonderful day! What a wonderful memory! Thank you Grandma and thank you my dear sister's for the loving kindness that you have bestowed upon me.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday

Oh Boy! Number One convinced me to run to Bass Pro at 3 am this morning to pick up a couple of "Black Friday" specials. I have never participated in the Friday after Thanksgiving sales trap, because I always considered it nuts and I was right. First of all, it's 3 am. Second, it takes about an hour an a half to get to town. Third, it was five degrees when we left the house and last but not least, it may have been a six hour sale, but they do not have unlimited supplies for the six hour sale. With my trusty wake up tea in hand(Number One made for me) we headed out the door.

When we got there we must have been 300th in line. With our coats, hats and gloves in place we waited in the cold. Not too terribly long. At least I didn't have flip-flops on like the young lady in front of us did. It was at least twenty degrees warmer in the city. It was three degrees when we arrived back home at 7 am.

I lost sight of Number One immediately when he took a wrong turn for the gadget line. Pretty soon I caught a glimpse of him heading towards the back of the line. Within fifteen minutes all the gadgets were gone. We picked up our "one per person" gadget just in time and then they were out. It should be called the "10 Minute Sale". No rain checks ya' know. By the time we went through the entrance other dedicated shoppers were already checking out heading to their next conquest no doubt.

I splurged and bought myself two Lodge cast iron bread pans. Perhaps a deterrent for next years invitation? They were not on-sale. I have seen other pans, but they are not made in America like Lodge. I just cannot see a life time of potential poisoning from made in China type brands.

The media was there filming the event. I don't know if they had crews at every sales event or if they just picked Bass Pro for some reason. Donuts and instructions were handed out, including instructions on proper behavior. I would like to say that everyone seemed to be in good spirits including the sales staff.


We came home and Number One fell asleep in the chair. I made some hot tea, took the dogs out and watered the chickens. After yesterday's feast, this morning's shopping and just a few hours of sleep I'm ready for a day of relaxation with a good book and more tea by my side. I may have to switch to coffee, strong coffee...