Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dehydrating Apples

 BUSY day... but a good  busy.   I spent some time processing some of the apples and getting them in the dehydrator.

 We love this little gadget. It makes quick work of peels, cores and slices..

Then I always dip the slices into lemon juice before putting them on the dehydrator tray

apple slices can be touching but not overlapping

These will be so good in granola, oatmeal or pies this winter.

We are looking into juicers which will use the peels and cores..... but today the chickens had a feast

Tonight was family dinner night  Chicken, green beans , pilaf and apple crisp.   My MIL had gifted us with her final bean picking. We had enough to freeze a couple quarts also.

How did I do on my to do list for the week?

1. research homemade vanilla
2. do a bit of decluttering , I have set a goal of 200 things for this fall purge
3. work on the fire pit
4. Visit a new to us open air market for some quality apples
5. floor and toilet replaced in small bath
6.Lunch with MIL
7.clean up old dehydrator
8. apple slices dehydrated
9. apple sauce canned
10. apple pie filling canned

  Getting there............

Press in and Press on

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sept 29, 2011

Long day, but good. I had a wonderful lunch with MIL and we talked for 3 1/2 hours!

Came home and found a 10.00 gift card in the mail for some rewards points I had traded in.

We left to do a job in South Hill, VA and stopped at the orchard on the way. It was near closing time so we just purchased a bushel of Golden Delicious.  We'll be going back.

 After completing our job we stopped at the Dollar store across the street and found 4 pkgs of pepperoni, a box of freezer bags, and 8 bags of trail mix that PrepDad likes.

 We then decided to take our gift card to the near by walmart since they had chicken noodle  soup on sale for .60 a can.  We bought a case.

Family business meeting... we decided to cancel our cable.  We really don't watch it much and it can be a distraction.  We also heard a report of the peanut crop.  Tomorrow we will be doing a stock up.

PrepDad ripped out the bathroom floor , toilet and sink in the small bath.

How did we do with this weeks goal this Hump day?

1. research homemade vanilla
2. do a bit of decluttering , I have set a goal of 200 things for this fall purge
3. work on the fire pit
4. Visit a new to us open air market for some quality apples
5. floor and toilet replaced in small bath
6.Lunch with MIL
7.clean up old dehydrator
8. apple slices dehydrated
9. apple sauce canned
10. apple pie filling canne

 MIL gave us 5lbs of snap beans and two peppers. I will snap and freeze beans tomorrow along with buying peanutbutter and canning applesauce.

Press in and Press on


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sept 27th , 2011 preps

 Today was the first day we have been home long enough to do several loads of laundry. We have not owned an electric clothes dryer in over a year so we had waited also for a summy day to do sheets and towels.
 We do own a large drying rack purchased from Lehmans. we love it and it can hold jeans and such no problem
Amish Drying Rack.

We also own this outdoor drying line  
 It has been a great time saver and holds up well.

For lunch we had

mashed potatoes, bacon, keilbasa & cheese mixed together and baked for 45 minutes  . It seems we can do most of these things from food storage. I have yet to order bacon but we will, and I think the keilbasa can be substituted with spam.

Dinner was chicken burritos
We had  leftover beans mixed with three chicken breast and salsa, next week I think I might attempt the tortillas on my own.

How well did I get on my to do list for the week?

I researched making vanilla and ordered the whole vanilla beans. I ordered 20 online from ebay for less then 5.00 . Seemed like a good investment for the experiment.

I also cleaned out the old dehydrator and it works great despite being abused and in storage for over a year..

Tomorrow is a busy day but hopefully I will be able to pare down the list a bit...

Press in and Press on,

Monday, September 26, 2011

A bit of book buying for today's preps and 10 goals for this week Sept 26th

I LOVE books.... today I ordered two for review.

The first was 31 days to Survival  by MD Creekmore.  I was looking for a simple how to for a couple of my grown children who tend to be very systematic and list/task oriented. I am hoping this will fill in any gaps they might have in a goal oriented way.  You can read more on it at The Survivalist Blog

The second is Well Preserved: Small Batch Preserving for the New Cook  by Mary Anne Dragan.
, I bought my on Amazon Here.

I read this post by Amanda Sole on SouleMama  and couldn't stop thinking about her ketchup... I sort of kept reading the post a few times a day, and flipping over to Amazon, and adding to my cart... and staring at the cart... and I decided it would be great to do some small batches of things and this looked like the perfect book. I am anxious to get my hands on it.

1. research homemade vanilla
2. do a bit of decluttering , I have set a goal of 200 things for this fall purge
3. work on the fire pit
4. Visit a new to us open air market for some quality apples
5. floor and toilet replaced in small bath
6.Lunch with MIL
7.clean up old dehydrator
8. apple slices dehydrated
9. apple sauce canned
10. apple pie filling canned

Press in and Press on,

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sept 25, 2011

Church and then work all day.  We had a great day. It was 2:00 before we realized we had not had a chance to eat lunch yet! 

  I did manage to sneak out for a bit and go to the CVS near the shop.
 I usually use ECB's rolling over to stock up on health and beauty items. Today I picked up contact solution for C, 2 cans of soup, 1 can of peanuts, 2 bags of candy corn.  After coupons and ECB's from last week 8.47 ECB's back 7.00.

   I could have worked a better deal but we are doing some traveling for work tomorrow  and I needed the peanuts and candy corn to mix together  for travel food.  I use a mixture of 1 part candy corn to two parts peanuts. Delicious!

  after work we managed a quick shopping trip to stock up on catfood and bacon along with a few dried fruits that were on sale.

  Not much else gets done of work days.

Press in and Press on,

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sept 23, 2011

I appreciated this video posted  by The Way Grandma Does it It really is too close for comfort

On these rainy days when we are at the shop all day its great to come home, feed the animals and prepare something quick for dinner. That's where pancakes and sausage come in.  I make the pancake mix up in bulk and store it in 1/2 gallon mason jars.
Yes, I did make the pancakes into letter shapes.....:)
Whole Wheat Pancake Mix
5 cups whole wheat flour
5 cups white flour
2 1/2 cups instant nonfat dry milk
1/2cup sugar
1/ cup baking powder
2T salt
combine all ingredients in an air tight container.
To Make Pancakes
1and 1/2 cups pancake mix
1 slightly beaten egg
1 cup water
3T oil
Mix together and cook on a hot griddle
 These are so good. My father in law uses it to make Belgian waffles at Christmas and they are so puffy and good!  Sometimes I replace 1/2cup orange juice with 1/2 the water for a really great orange flavor.

There is an 84 year old fella who has a this and that shop near us. Today on his half price table he had a brand spankin new Bodum coffee press still in the box.   In true Lenny fashion he said " I don't know what it does but I'm sure it does it good".. " I had 7.00 on it but its half price so I'll let you have it for 3.00", maybe you can figure out what to do with it.."
................why yes Lenny...... I can!  We had been considering buying one so Chris can have his cup of coffee if the power goes out or when we go camping.
We were so happy to add this to our preps
 Press in and Press on,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Sept 21,2011

We had slow rain off and on that called for us to take a nap this afternoon.  We almost never take naps but all the house things had been finished, the animals fed & our schedule for tomorrow set up...  a little reading... a little snoozing... a great way to spend our day off!

  I did manage to make up a simple batch of instant oatmeal  mix from Prepardness Matters Blog 
I did give the oats a couple whirls in the food processor . powdered milk, I substituted brown sugar for white and added raisins and craisans..
  I love oatmeal  so this will be great  as the days cool down.  1/2 c oatmeal mix and 1 cup hot water.

OK, that is a really horrible picture. I should have checked it before we ate dinner.  Chris made a wonderful
 whole wheat bread this afternoon. from life blessons blog.  The texture of this bread is great.  It is good for sandwiches but tonight we had it with homemade chicken soup ( perfect rainy weather food)

I started with a  base of Emergency Essentials ABC Soup Mix  I had precooked chciken chunks in the freezer and a jar of chicken broth We added salt, pepper, cayenne and a glob of minced garlic and let it simmer for a couple of hours. The last 15 minutes we added a couple of handle fulls of spinach leaves.
 This soup was so good.  We had enough to freeze for another supper and  a lunch for each of us.

  Tomorrow is a travel work day. We will head south, then west, then up into VA, across the lake and back home.  We are packing some energy bites as snacks and I'll take my camera.!

Press in and Press on,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Plantain Salve

 Today was the day I finally made plantain salve. I had picked and washed the plantain 6 weeks ago and stuffed the leaves in a jar and covered with olive oil, screwed on the lid and sat it in the front sunny window.

  Plantain is so easy to find in wooded and semi wooded areas.
 I use a jelly strainer and the method Laurie does @ Common Sense homesteading

So, 13 ounces of infused oil, 13 T of beeswax  melted together and I have enough salve for the winter and share with my family with a bit to sell.

The uses for plantain are many:
Current use of plantain is the commercially significant extraction of its mucilage – a carbohydrate fiber that is used in gentle laxatives.  Ironically, plantain infusions can be used to halt diarrhea. Mucilage also acts as an appetite suppressant and reduces intestinal absorption of fat and bile.  It reduces LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.  Plantain is commonly used as an astringent; its juice, when rubbed on an insect bite or bee sting, immediately sooths the area and begin the healing process.  Plantain may also stop poison ivy from blistering and itching if applied to the skin immediately after contact.  Plantain is still considered a diuretic; in addition, it is used as an expectorant and decongestant. It is also thought to sooth the throat and is taken to relieve laryngitis.  Finally, when chewed, plantain acts as a breath freshener.  If eaten early enough in the spring, plantain leaves are said to make a tasty cooked vegetable dish.

  Good to know we can eat it if we have to....

Not much else the rest of the day. It was overcast so we hung the clothes inside on the drying rack and after doing the necessary outside stuff we hunkered down with books. and a meal of fried taters, beef gravy and beef steaks,,,, good stuff!

Press in and Press on,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Sept 19,11 Preps

This morning it felt great to wake up to fall like temps. We put on the coffee/tea  , opened the doors and windows and fed the animals.

 During breakfast we decided to watch a short video on aquaponics. We are interested in trying a bit of this for a garden next  spring. Ideally we would ahve a small pond but we are starting small to see if its something we want to put the energy into.  Chris took a class in this a few years ago as did Jamie so we have some experience to draw on.  I thought this was a great video

 We ran errands  for a couple of hours. One of the errands took us about 40 miles into VA and we decided the weather was so fine we needed to take the scenic drive home and enjoy the weather and sights.

With all the rain lately Chris was able to burn a bit more of the stump from the huge tree that was right where our new cabin will be. While he was watching the fire he cleaned out the shed and oiled the tool handles.

I put some tomato sauce on to heat and  gathered some wild raspberry leaves  to dry for the winter. Wild Raspberry makes a great tea that can be used for intestinal troubles. Seep 4-5 leaves in hot water and sip.

I also made a batch of energy bites

These are a great energy treat made from food storage. Lots of protein and requires no baking. I am putting this recipe in a binder with other recipes that can be made off grid.

Energy Bites
1cup oatmeal flakes
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1t vanilla

Mix and allow to sit for about an hour. roll into bite sized balls.  Delicious!

Press in and Press on..,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sept 18,2011 Preps

 Church service was good. Chris led our group in the study of Revelation 7. A bit brain taxing but I enjoy the fellowship.

   We did a bit of work for barter today.. The guy specializes in different knives.  We decided that small starter knives would be great for the nieces and nephews with a couple good ones for us in the mix.  a true win / win situation and I can't help but think at least our nieces will love the girlie knives we bought them

 We stopped by the grocery on the way home to pick up a few things and found some canned vegetables on sale at a dollar a can.  We are not big on processed canned veggies but our garden was horrible this year so we decided to supplement with these canned ones at 10/10.00  We will probably go back for another load before the sale is over. These will be easy to use in soups and stews also.

 The weather has cooled enough the doors are swung open and the house is airing out!

Press in and Press on!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day to Day Preps

. This will simply be a log of our family's day to day preps and achievements towards self sufficiency.

Today was a work day for us.  We own our own business and Saturday's are always spent a the shop.  We had promised the MIL we would take her out for dinner so we met and shared a good meal and visit.  We are not ones to go out a lot so this is always a treat for all of us.

 So, preps for the day : we are researching dwarf fruit trees and both researched and watched videos on the subject.  I am getting ready to consult  Carla Emery " The Big Book of Country Living"  on the subject and hit the sack for the day.  The weather has finally cooled enough to make sleeping restful!

Press in and Press on............,