Saturday, October 29, 2011

handy Roux or Gravy mixture

Since My DH had a heart attack he has given in to some recipe changes as long as he can still have his rice and gravy.  Since old fashioned gravy has some sort of fat, whether oil, shortening or butter, we tried to get rid of that part.  I didn't know that older cooks had already figured this out.  
I simply brown a jar of flour without the fat.    I let it brown slowly and stir frequently.
When it gets to the color I like I let it cool, then put it in the jar to use as needed.  

I did notice it takes more of the flour than it would if I used the oil, when I am making gravy, but that's the only difference I have noted.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's Pumpkin season again

this is the simplest of all the pumpkin recipes I've tried and it's delicious.
There are several places to find it, but I got it from "the big red kitchen"
The only 2 ingredient are a box of cake mix and can of pumpkin. (not pumpkin pie mix)
I made muffins, but the options are endless.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

what a find

This jewel was in my dear Mother-in-laws house which we are cleaning out lately.  Melrose is a local plantation that was in its time an "artists colony".  The author Clementine Hunter, was freed and lived on the plantation until her death in the 70's.  She was a renowned artist famous for her simple renditions of everyday life on a plantation.  in her younger day she was the cook in the "big house".  The co-author was a family friend to both Mrs. Hunter and the home owner.  The reciepts came from her own collection that she frequently made for the house.  They are written in basic terms, i.e. 1 big duck or a bunch of collard greens.
This is my newest favorite find.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

just another Sunday afternoon

First I boiled 10 pounds of ground beef, you can add onions, peppers... at this point if you want to.  Boiling so I can get the broth from it.
Then I strained it.

After I put it in the jars I covered it with boiling water.
I ended up with 8 pints of ready to use beef.  One pint holds about 2 cups which is what you get from a pound. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

this makes peeling potatoes fun again

A friend shared this with me and I love how useful it is.  The kids can actually do this.  

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

OK so I'm bored!!!  I have been laid up for last 2 weeks with a pulled muscle and a pinched nerve.  I have been given orders to stay of my feet as much as possible.  It's driving me crazy!!!  I have been able to do the laundry so....
I ran out of detergent again and decided to make some more.  this time I used "pink zote"  I do not like pink, but have heard that it is a very good laundry soap used in Mexico.   I shredded one bar, then added a couple cups each of baking soda, washing soda and borax.  This is the outcome.

Well, not quite so pink, but I hope it's impressive with the wash. I posted before about this, but I used a bar of "fels-naptha".  I personally liked it, but want to be able to compare it to.  Do you use homemade detergent?  What kind?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thank You Nancy

This is the book I won in a giveaway over at "The Rural Journal".  Thank you Nancy as this was all I had to do for the last several days as I have been laid up with leg injuries.  It was fa GREAT read and any adventurous young girl would live to spend time with it.  

Saturday, April 30, 2011

BEE Wear

I couldn't wait to get into the bees, so I volunteered to make sure the queen was out of her cage.  She came in a small container that was plugged with sugar.  When it was uncapped and put into the hive her workers and drones ate the sugar to let her out.  

She was out and the work was done.  The smoker and hat were from my DH's grandfather.  The bee suit is my own creation.  I think I'll start a new line and call it Bee Wear.

Monday, April 18, 2011


We went to get the bees this weekend.  

This is what they came in.  The queen is in a small container inside here.  

We had to get the bees inside the hive behind them.  Since my husband is restricted right now, our son had to do all the work.  He was some kind of not happy, but willing to help his Dad.  

We got them in the hive and this was the only thing separating them from us 'til today.
This is the beginning of an interesting hobby.  Do you like to try new things?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My DH got out and around the place for the first time since his bypass.  He has so missed all the animals, and I think they missed him, too.  Now I just have to figure out how to get him to like his new diet.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Please take care of your HEART

As I look out at the equipment and think about the upcoming hay and garden season, I am thankful.  My DH and I just returned from a nice long stay at the hospital.  He had suffered and mild heart attack several weeks ago and we ended up at the local band-aid station. ( that's all our hospital is good for)
Things began to snowball from there and he was sent to a larger, better equipped hospital to undergo a Heart Cath., which turned up extreme blockage.  This lead to a quadruple bypass.  We had an extended stay since his blood pressure was low and didn't seem to want to go up.  After much observation they finally decided it was his norm and we have finally returned to our little farm.  
All this to say " don't take your heart for granted you only have one, so take care of it"

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oops I did it again

Okay so I'm out of school for a few days in case i want to celebrate Mardi Gras.  I don't.  So I do what I like to do, pretend I'm a baker.  I found this tutorial on another blog and tried it.  I think this si how it was suppose to look before a 14 hr. rising time.
I forgot to score it, but it looked pretty good coming out of the oven.  I think I over cooked it because it has a very tough crust, tho' the inside is good.  What do you think Jaymee?

I still have tomorrow to try again.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

a little pick me up

Spending 2 weeks with a headache has been miserable.  Last weekend I thought if I got out of the house I might feel better.  DH and I went to one of our favorite flea markets to spend the day.  I wasn't much fun and didn't really get in the "diggin" mood.  What a bummer.   Later that afternoon some friends came by while hauling junk off their porch.  they wanted to know if I wanted this piece of "junk".  All I could say was "are you sure?"  It isn't in the great shape, and I don't know where I'll find room for it, but I couldn't say "no".  So here it sits in the living room waiting for a good home.  What a GREAT piece of junk and I didn't even have to leave home.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A new Hobby for Me

My DH grew up with a Grandfather who was very old school.  He taught his grandson how to do things the old ways.  Some were put aside because easier ways had come around.  As we've gotten older and are trying to be more self sufficient, he has come full circle with those old ways and wants to renew his heritage.  This is one of those things that I wanted to try years ago, but the enthusiasm wasn't contagious, until now.  We have only to find some bees and we have some new equipment.  He'll be pulling out the old stuff and getting it ready for spring.  I guess I need to start looking up salves for bee stings now.  Hopefully they won't like me anymore than mosquitoes do.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Help again!

I have nothing of interest to say this fine day.  I could use some help from anyone who can.  When I have a thought to share, but no accompanying picture from my album, how can I get them off the net.  When I try to copy and paste free pics from various sites They either won't download or paste.  What am I doing wrong.  Also I would like to get a "button" for my blogs, so I can work on both at one time.  but all I ever get is connected back to the creator.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Being cooped up all weekend gave me a very domestic feeling.  So what does a very domestic woman do?  Bake bread.  OK.  I've only tried a few times, so it's more like a domestic experiment. I got it to this stage for its first rising, then divided it into eight pieces since I was in the mood for homemade Hamburgers. 

This is what I got when I took them out of the oven after the second rising and baking.  I know they aren't pretty, but my DH approved so I'm as pleased as a domestic woman can be.  I should have put on an apron for the right feel.  Oh, well, maybe next time.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Just ice

Since central Louisiana isn't accustomed to lots of ice and snow we were let out of school early Thursday to be off the roads in freezing temps.  WOOHOOO!!!!
Getting home early brought about lots of preperation time.  We had to bring those chicks back in the house.  Can't get a pic.  They're under a light and won't get aways from it.  We had to get a cow in the barn as she was ready to drop a calf any minute.  What timing!!
This was the scene of our back pasture Friday morning.  

Icicles hung from everything.  It was like a wannabe winter wonderland.  We thought it was pretty.  I wouldn't want to deal with it on a regular basis like some, tho'.   If you are dealing with that blizzard I feel for you.

the power went out Friday morning so I couldn't use the stove.  This is my attempt at breakfast.  I couldn't get the fire hot enough to fry the eggs so I compromised.  I think it's called an egg in the nest.  

this is the GRAND FINALE!!  We got the cow in the barn and later Thursday night she had this adorable little calf.  mother and baby are doing fine.
Let me know what you did during this "blizzard of '11"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I want some

I'm so cold.  But alas the weather is not looking like snow in our area.  This is a picture of the great snow we got last year.  The first in many years.  It was about 4 in. and my snow man was almost 3 ft. high.  What a blizzard we had. NOT.  Central Louisiana usually gets the rain, wind and cold temps, but that's it.  The wind chill here might get below 20.  So if you are where the blizzard is blowing and you're not loving it, think of me and know that you are dreading something someone else would love to have.

At least the chickens are still laying.  This picture was taken before we lit the heater.  Yes we really do use it.  My DH can make the best fires and I can only promise to leave them alone since I am the best fire extinguisher.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

wanna be......

I would love to be able to be this kind of woman.  I know women had to do so much "back in the day".  We have to do more now, though.  Most of us have some kind of work outside the home or at least not related to home.  Each of the tasks this lady is doing I have to do after I have put in a full day in town.  I missed so much when my son was growing up and regret it now.  I know we all do what we have to do, but looking forward to retirement day shouldn't be part of it.  Don't get me wrong, I am very blessed to have a career that I love.  I can't imagine myself doing anything else, but teaching Kindergarten.  I just feel that I give so much to those at school and was always wore out by the time I got home.  I hope if you are reading this you have been blessed enough to have been able to stay home while your children were young and watch them grow up.  
  OK let me get back to the kitchen sink.  

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My First Party

I just joined a linky party, but I don't even know if I'm doing what I need to do.  I was never much of a "partier".  It looks like fun so I joined in.  If you want to join up grab the button to the right for Homemaker on a Dime Party.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

on a cold and wet evening

 The weather has been so gloomy here.  Spending a day inside a classroom with 21 5 yr. olds can be tiring, when they are all full of wiggles from staying in everyday.  A nice hot cup of tea can feel so good when sipped in front of a nice warm fire.  What makes you feel good at the end of hard day?
This is the first year I didn't have to go out and help cut and bring in the wood.  The only downside I have found to this is the floor is always dirty and needs a good sweeping.
In response to a question about the homemade laundry detergent I got the recipe from Mary Jane over at
I only cut mine down to one cup of each with one bar of the Fels-Naptha since I didn't know if we would have a reaction to it. (my DH is allergic to lots of detergents)  There was no reaction so I'll be making more this weekend.  I like this recipe with the baking soda as the baking soda helps eliminate odors and there are lots of those on a farm.  The vinegar in the rinse didn't leave any smell REALLY!!  I even tried it in the dryer on a cloth and it kept the static down.  Wouldn't my Gramma be proud?  Let me know if you try it and how you like it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I have found a GREAT exercise site,   It has lots of free videos to workout with, for any level.  In my mobile home space is limited and jumping is questionable, but they have so many varieties.  This is good for those bad weather days when you can't get out, don't have time or the kids can't go.  CHECK IT OUT!!!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

and the rain, rain, rain came down, down, down.
So I'm stuck inside all day with a pot of homemade soup, my DH (dear hubby) and rain on the tin roof.  I've washed several of loads of clothes and my homemade detergent works good.  DH has had no reaction and the cost is next to nothing.  Now I'm on a mission to see how many other things I can make that are economical and better for me and my little world.  
If only I could go outside and get sticks to whittle for clothes pins.  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

new year new life

With temperatures outside freezing we're still busy farming on the inside.  These chick started hatching Sunday which was our coldest day this year so far.  We have them under a 25 watt light and hope they survive.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's that time again !!

Last year was the first year we made an effort to grow heirloom vegetables.  We had waited until almost march to get started so most of what we got came from online.  This year we have been bombarded with great catalogs.  This is going to be fun if we could only find the time to sit down together and make some decisions.

I love the artwork on the covers.  It's just so simple and homey.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

 A bar of soap and a cup each of washing soda, baking soda and borax makes a simple detergent.
A vintage bread box to keep it in and a little apple cider vinegar for rinse and I'm off to a clean start. 
I did wash dishes in the detergent to see how well it worked and it did.  I don't know about a dishwasher.
What are you doing to improve your quality of life this year?