Monthly Archives: November 2009

Turning a new Leaf

The leaves are changing colors and the days are getting shorter. Change can be hard, but it is possible. Old habits may be hard to break but I am willing to try. I spent this past weekend researching and rereading my copy of  Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon. I know there are a lot of you that have read this and probably are much better at practicing the principles of traditional foods than I have been. I will probably read it many more times before it all becames ‘normal’. I also read every single post of a blog that I was directed to last week and became so inspired.  (www.cheeseslave.com). I am now entering her contest to win a one year subscription to her menu plan…..it looks fun and what a way to learn. Check it out: http://bit.ly/2ulZoe – maybe you could be the winner too!

I am also excited for today. I have been wanting to make Kombucha but didn’t have the necessary starters, but thanks to a wonderful friend I will be getting a Kombucha starter and ‘mother tea’. Thanks Lisa! I can’t wait to make some and I will post about it in a future post.

 

 

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Thriving on Less

How timely and appropriate for this stage of my life. I was just sent this information and wanted to share it with all of you. I downloaded it and looked it over a little. It is short so it will be a quick read.

Money Saving Mom posted about the free ebook Thriving on Less by Leo Babauta. http://www.moneysavingmom.com/money_saving_mom/2009/11/free-ebook-thriving-on-less.html

During these past few months I have had an extreme drive and a need to become very frugal and simplify my life. I have been questioning every purchase or thought of purchase, challenging myself to do without or find another way, not just to save money but to live a different life.
It is challenging to change a whole lifetime of “more is better”, so the more I can read, even though sometimes it may be repetitious, it is worth repeating.  I think I already have begun doing  a lot of the things in the book, reading it will help to reinforce the decisions and help me grow.
That is the thing about growth – the strong, lasting kind is slow and methodical. So, while I may have heard a lot of ideas, I have not always been ready for them when I first heard them. I think you can teach an old dog new tricks!

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A Bucket of Fat!

Yesterday I baked and pureed the pumpkins from Halloween which gave me enough puree to make 6 pumpkin pies….considering I only spent $1.00 on the pumpkins, this was pretty basic frugallity. I also roasted the seeds, an added treat and healthy for you too!

In another of my efforts to not eat chemical laden foods I have also been really trying to avoid anything that has GMO ingredients and came across a Non-GMO Shopping Guide. I have known of the possible GMO’s in a lot of our foods, but once I read the list it really made me more aware and thoroughly disgusted. Who would think that Baking Powder would contain GMO’s. This was just one of the eye opening discoveries that was on this list.  If you would be interested in finding out more about the potential dangers of GMO’s here is the site: http://www.responsibletechnology.org/GMFree/Home/index.cfm

Next after reading another blog that I follow I stumbled across the following site and actually entered into the contest, which I would truly love to win. I have been wanting to render my own lard, but have not done this yet.

Kelly the Kitchen Kop is promoting a give-away from U.S. Wellness Meats for a huge bucket of rendered tallow.

This is a healthy fat for deep frying and the secret to amazingly flaky pie crusts.

Visit Kelly’s post to enter (up to 7 ways to enter), while I keep my fingers crossed that it’s me! http://bit.ly/2aVGnB

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Getting Crafty

Whether it has been out of necessity or a desire to lessen my environmental footprint I have made a very conscience effort to waste less, reduce, reuse and recycle more. 

WASTE LESS/RECYCLE:  Three weeks ago I decided to see how little trash I could create. I  have always recycled paper, cardboard and most plastics, however I knew I could do better. The main thing was realizing how much trash is created by what we buy. It is unbelievable how much packaging there is for even one small item. I compost faithfully and what can’t go in the compost is either fed to the chickens or the dogs. I tend to feed the chickens first since they provide food for us but I can’t bring myself to feed them meat (especially chicken!) so if there is any meat scraps, these go to the dogs. It is still hard to know what to do with paper items that can’t be recycled, like butter cube wrapping, paper plates, used wax paper. Since we have a fireplace I just burn these things – which helps heat our living room too! Needless to say, in these last 3 weeks I have not even had one full kitchen garbage bag full of trash. Just a note: the paper plates, once gone, will no longer hold a place in our home much to the dismay of my husband. AND the paper towels – I didn’t use ANY for 2 weeks, but this past week have used a few. Some out of habit and I haven’t figured out how to blot cooked bacon without them. However, the paper towels that aren’t used for greasy things go into my compost bin so I don’t feel quite as guilty using them and I burn the greasy ones.

REDUCE/REUSE (repurpose):

I have been using reusable grocery bags for quite some time now, but hadn’t given a lot of thought to the plastic produce bags. It is such a habit (bad habit) to thoughtlessly grab these bags. So, I came across a use for old sheer curtains…..I made reusable produce bags. They are lightweight (.5 oz) and are see through enough to see what is in them.  I also made a ‘wallet size’ fabric shopping bag. It actually folds to wallet size so it fits in my purse, but when opened up it is full size. This is the most convenient item, since I usually forget to grab a bag from the back seat before I go into the store. The next thing was making bulk food bags. I searched the internet and all I found were sites to purchase bags. I couldn’t see spending money for something I knew I could make and I had the materials already.  

Bulk Bin Bags

Here are the bulk bin bags and the produce bag. The smaller bag has dry pasta in it and holds about 1 lb. The larger bag easily holds 2 lbs of dry kidney beans.

Wallet size shopping bag

Shopping Bag unfolded

Here is the shopping bag – folded and opened up.

Well not too bad on the creative side and with the holidays fast approaching these items may be on the gift giving list. Such a good way to use up my stashes of fabric and notions.

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Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

After making and using my homemade laundry detergent, I have been searching for homemade dishwasher detergent.  I have searched different internet sites, but could not seem to find one that interested me until I came across this one. I even had all the ingredients – many are the same that are used for my laundry soap. This recipe is courtesy of  www.care2.com.

This formula will cut grease on your dishes. You will get a better result if you fill the rinse agent reservoir in your dishwasher with distilled white vinegar. It will leave your dishes grease free, shiny, and it isn’t at all hard on your vintage and antique items.

But the major benefit goes to your wallet. It cost less than a penny a load to make, or 50 loads of dishes for just 50 cents!

Ingredients in Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Your environmentally friendly dishwasher detergent is going to have four main ingredients.

  • Washing Soda– This stuff has been around forever. It is a natural substance, made from salt and limestone. Scientifically it is known as sodium carbonate. It cuts grease on anything and can be used for many (if not most) of the cleaning projects in your home. Arm and Hammer puts it out in the United States. If you can’t find it at your grocers you can find it on Amazon and other places online.
  • Borax– Borax occurs naturally in the environment and can be mined as well as created in a lab. It is toxic in concentrated amounts, and you should keep it out of the reach of children. You can find it by the laundry detergent; Borateem is one brand.
  • Kosher Salt– Kosher salt is a pure salt. I use it for cooking because the food tastes cleaner.
  • Citric acid– You can buy food grade citric acid like Fruit Fresh or just use unsweetened lemonade packets.

Recipe for Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

Mix together 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax, 1/2 cup salt, and 1/2 cup citric acid. Store tightly covered in a Mason Jar. Use one tablespoon per load. Add vinegar to the rinse dispenser for the best results.

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