Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Off the Needles!

My first sock!

Not perfect, but a sock none-the-less.
I am thinking about "framing" this one :)
and buy yarn to make one more. It takes 2 skeins of this yarn to make a pair of socks, This one can be my "practise" one.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Homemade Laundry Soap

Good morning! As Mondays are my scheduled wash day I thought this would be a good post for today.
I got this laundry soap recipe from Sue at Peartree Lane Farmhouse. I could not find her post on it when it came time to make mine up so I emailed her and she graciously sent me the recipe. Thanks, Sue!

My ingredients boxes look a little shabby (...ok, aLOT shabby) but thats because my jug of distilled water for my iron had a pinhole leak and it caused dampness in the sodas.

Anyway, I grated up my 3 bars of Fels Naphta soap and then...

ran it through my blender on the pulse/grate speed.

In the bucket I carefully mixed (being careful not to breathe it in as it creates quite a fine dust as you stir) 4# box of Arm and Hammer soda, 3# 7oz box of Washing soda and 4# borax. After that is combined, I added the blender grated soap and mixed it in.

I keep mine in a 2-gal bucket.

2 of these scoops = 1/4 cup.

I put the soap into a 2-cup measure and run hot water into it to disolve (mostly) and add it to the washer, then pile in my laundry. I have had very good results with this and it saves at about of what commercial laundry soap would cost, of course depending on the brand you buy.

This recipe made 24 cups of soap powder. I use about 1/4 cup for a large load, which means I can wash 96 loads of laundry.and at an average of 4 loads per week, it will last me 24 weeks or half a year.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Look what I Won!

Look what I won from Jennifer at "Our Little Farm" blog for guessing the closest to her little pot-bellied pig, Porkchop's, weight.

Isn't this just so neat? Especially as I didn't raise any sunflowers of my own last year. And that little bird-house.... of course with Jen's "signature picture" on it, as she is all about chickens and really knows her stuff! So cute!! I'll be hanging this in under my bird trees ;-)

Thanks Jen .... it was my first-ever blog win!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A New Dish

Baked, stuffed rabbit breast and pieces, with Mandarin Fruit sauce
... in the wood-stove oven, of course.

..... accompanied by our own frozen corn, and baked sweet potatoes w/ brown sugar/cinnamon topping.

Oh, YUMM it was good!! and Hubby gave his approval!
Mandarin Fruit sauce
1 can (11oz) mandarin oranges
3/4c orange juice
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp lemon juice
1 T cornstarch (I added a little more)
2 T brown sugar
3/4 tsp ginger
a few marashino cherries, sliced
Drain oranges and reserve liquid. Combine andarin orange liquid with orange juice, soy sauce and lemon juice in saucepan. Mix cornstarch, ginger,and brown sugar and add to the liquid; cook, stirring constantly until thickened. Fold in oranges and cherries. Stuff the rabbit breast cavity with your favorite stuffing and place in roaster pan or dutch oven with other rabbit pieces, Pour sauce over rabbit pieces and bake in oven on med. heat (325-350) for 2 hrs, basting occasionally. Take lid off roaster the last 20 mins. Enjoy!! I am sure this could also be used nicely with skinless chicken breasts.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Get R' Done...

A couple days ago I decided I need to finish up some projects before they got put too far on the back burner (pun intended),
so I got out my Dutch Oven and used the Christmas ham-bone in the makings of Split-Pea soup. There may be 2 servings left..

Last fall when the Amish brought in a semi-load of apples we got 3 bushel; one to make applesauce and two to keep over winter in the "cold room". As I was checking the 'keepers' over yesterday I decided we needed to use some up as the Cortlands were starting to wither some. So today I put a kettle of apples on to make apple-butter.
I have about 1/3 of a gallon of apple cider left from the holidays so that will go in to the makings and give it a richer flavor.

Meanwhile in the evenings I finished my grandson's hat that was to be part of his Christmas, but due to mistakes and UN-knitting it was not ready. This is called "Seaman's cap" and you can find instructions here.

I also had yarn left over from DD's Slouche' hat I knitted for her so I decided to make a scarf to go with it. She already recieved the hat... It was made from the Homespun brand Nouveau; a kind of chunky yarn in painterly color.

I don't make New Years resolutions, but I am going to try to keep on top of things a little better than last year.
For instance, tomorrow I will be making up a fresh batch of laundry soap, as I have only enough left for next weeks laundry, and I don't want to run out. Too easy to just go buy it then.
I tend to be a bit of a procastinator, so I figured the best way for me to keep up is just to "Get R' Done"! How about you ? Do you find it hard to stay motivated, especially at this time of year??

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Years Day

New Years day or not , it was the weekend and the only 2 days of the week Hubby and I get to spend together.

Because it had been warm the last couple days, we decided to let the woodstove go out, and give it a good mid-season cleaning.

The top of the oven is accessed through the lid on top left and the ashes and hard stuff is scraped to the side, and falls to the bottom.

By working the handle (that you pull to circulate the heat around the oven) back and forth, you also loosen any creosote build-up on it.

As well as the handle in back that opens and closes the draft, which is not really a problem unless you are constantly burning a low-heat fire.

There is a little trap door in the back (bottom right) where you clean out that ash and any creosote that builds up on the side walls.

The ash drawer gets cleaned, not only at this time but also every 2nd or at least 3rd day, and that is located under the fire box.

The oven gets a cleaning now also

As well as the entire outside washed and polished. The stove-top can be cleaned with a very fine sand-paper or emerycloth and a light rub with mineral oil shines it up nicely. This project promotes safety as well as a bright spot in the house.

That is the first of my "2011 clean-up, clean-out projects"
Wishing everyone a happy, blessed new year. Let the past be the past... this is a time for new beginnings and fresh starts.