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Showing posts from March, 2020

On Preserving Food

How many of you read the title of this post and immediately thought this would be a post about canning?  I'll be quite frank and say I've never canned a thing and currently have no interest in it.  I can also tell you that we have a pressure canner and books on the matter, but it's more of an interest to hubby than me.  Let's shake that idea loose and talk about the other options. From our house in El Paso, TX What are the other options?  Well in our house there are three ways that we preserve food - freezing, drying, and vac-sealing.  In most cases, vac-sealing is used in conjunction with freezing or drying foods. We all have a freezer and it's something most of us use in our day to day life.  We often fill our freezers with prepackaged or processed food, but I think we sometimes forget to freeze our assets.  I freeze all kinds of things - stale bread, vegetable trimmings, meals for later, stock, and any number of other ingredients.  Don't worry, the

Recipe Review: Banana Bundt Cake

Let's start by saying there isn't a beautiful printable version of this one, as the recipe came from my mom on an index card.  I have however included a photo of the recipe card in this post.  This cake is very good, has a lighter banana flavor than banana bread.  That said, I'm gonna be honest and tell you that I won't be making it again.  We prefer banana bread in our house. I made one swap while making this recipe, using yogurt in place of the sour cream.  I make this kind of swap frequently, as there is always yogurt in our house and sour cream makes rare appearances.  The other ingredients we all things I had on hand.  I also want to point out that this recipe cuts down on food waste because I used my overripe bananas rather than toss them.  Yes, I know they aren't overripe to some of you, but I like a bit of green on my bananas if I'm just gonna eat them.  Otherwise, they go into something - cake, bread, smoothie, etc. I have a tip for you when

On Keeping a Pantry

Let's get one thing straight right now, keeping a working pantry a hoard it does not make!  Working Pantry :  a pantry stocked with things that are eaten regularly, and is in constant rotation.   I've kept a working pantry for nearly 13 years.  I've had a pantry for food, long before there was a pandemic.  I see you.  Yes you, the one jumping to crazy conclusions.  I'm not a prepper who believes in the apocalypse.  I'm not hoarding food waiting for the world to end.  I'm eating what's on my shelves and replacing it as we eat it.  Working pantries rotate stock regularly, as you eat it, as your tastes change, as your location changes. I'm a person who has lived through blizzards, ice storms, and other inclement weather.  I'm a person who has lived through scraping by on one income, more than once.  I am a person who had lived through moving to three different stated.  I am a person who has also lived outside of town, in small towns with limited o

Cloth Napkins

There's a funny story from my childhood that my mom still loves to tell about me and cloth napkins. I was in grade school at the time, maybe first or second grade and I made some off-handed comment, yes even then, about how rich people have cloth napkins.  I think it stemmed from a movie or tv show we were watching at the time.  My mom set about to make us "rich" people.  She took a pair of pinking shears to a white top sheet and cut it into squares.  Mom hemmed them and then hand-embroidered them with DMC thread she had leftover from other projects.  We used these napkins for every holiday and special occasion dinner while I was growing up.  Those well-loved napkins, stained with many family meals and memories, now live in my table linen drawer.  Do you have an old top sheet with no mate,  some cotton fabric, or maybe an old dress shirt or two?  Repurpose and reduce waste by making some cloth napkins.  It reduces the waste on two ends, with both the recycled fa

Recipe Review: King Arthur Flour Soft Wrap Bread

I can honestly say we've only made this twice and both times it's been delicious.  There will be more of this in our future as we stay put through this COVID-19 outbreak in Alaska.  This recipe does take a little bit of time, but right now we all have that on our hands. We usually buy Stonefire Naan, they come two naan bread to a package and delicious.  Our favorite flavor is the roasted garlic, but in order to get these, we need to travel the 100 miles/2hours to Fairbanks to get them.  I usually buy several packages at a time, as they freeze well.  They make fantastic flatbread pizzas, sandwich wraps and are delicious warmed in the toaster oven and served with hummus. Since we won't be making the trip to Fairbanks any time soon, I'll be making more of the Soft Wrap Bread recipe.  I'll also be doing a little experimenting to see if I can make a garlic version.  This recipe is from King Arthur Flour is really close to naan and we love it! I made it over the we

DIY Reusable Hand Wipes

It's been a  while since I did any amount of sewing, but when you're home with no end in sight you do things you haven't done in a while.  I have a big stash of fabric, that I've moved a handful of times.  It's an asset in times like this.  Disposable is good, but when the shelves are empty you become resourceful with your assets.  Back in the day, I used to make and sell burp rags.  What does that have to do with this?  Well in said stash is a pile of flannel scraps, many of which were big enough to make 6x6 squares.  Flannel will make for a soft wipe, as we plan to use these as hand wipes.  Now let's get to how easy these wipes were to make.  Easy Reusable Wipes : Iron the fabric.  If using scraps select the pieces that are large enough to make the desired size.  I created 6x6 inch squares for this project. Cut squares to desired size.  If you have a self-healing mat, rotary cutter and ruler you can make short work of this process.  If not, make a c

Currently March 2020

It all seems like it started with daylights savings time, a full moon and Friday the 13th.  Then came COVID-19 (aka Carona Virus) and now it's been snowing on and off for three days in Interior Alaska. Meme from Facebook Our world is shutting down one piece at a time.  First the public schools.  Then went the bars,  restaurants, gyms and even churches.  There are snarky comments about hoarding.   Toilet paper is selling out as fast as it hits shelves. I don't even have the words to explain how I feel about all of the things going on.  I'm saddened by the number of people who won't take it seriously.  I'm angry at how the news chooses to cover things like this.  I'm worried about my family that is thousands of miles from me at this crazy time.  I'm amazed at the kindness people are sharing in this time of panic.  I'm awestruck by the diversity of some business as they change and morph to help with the changing needs of our country.  I'm concer