Friday, August 12, 2011

Air Your Laundry

Tips on using clothes lines*: 

  • For softer line-dried clothing, add a half cup of vinegar to your washer's rinse cycle.
  • To keep dark or brightly colored clothes fading in the sun, hang them inside out. 
  • Hang shirts by the hem or tail and clothespin marks won't show
  • Don't set up a clothesline under trees! Birds might use your wash for target practice. 
  • IN cold or wet weather, hang the laundry on the line in large, heated space that has good air circulation. 
  • Shake and snap items briskly through the air before you hang them.  Most of the wrinkles will disappear. 
  • To get jeans and towels completely dry, hang folded over the line until the outer sides are dry. Then refold and hang again, damp sides out.
  • Put heavy items near ends of the line to reduce sagging
  • Drape fitted sheets folded over the line so pockets are on the inside, where they won't catch leaves or debris.
*All tips taken from Country Women Magazine :)

Ice Packs- Homemade

Traditional commercial freezer gel packs are very hard to find here and can be expensive. Homemade ice gel packs can be made using things you probably have in your kitchen. In fact, there are several types of freezer packs that can be made economically from common household items. Here are a few creative ideas.
Homemade Liquid Dish Detergent Gel Pack
You can make a liquid detergent gel pack using whatever size zipplock you would like.  Fill the bag 2/3 full of liquid dish detergent, force excess air out of it and seal. Place in bigger plastic bag for precausion of spillage and place in freezer.  It does get hard but after about 45 min it gets a nice moldable gel pack that stays cold for hours.  Another option is to put in the freezer one hour before wrapping it in a small towel and applying where it's needed.

Freezer Pack
These are easy to make and always are "moldable".  Just sew 2 wash cloths together leaving a 2" opening in the seam to fill the bag.  Fill the bag 1/2 to 3/4 full with uncooked rice, wheat, feed corn, buckwheat hulls, barley, oatmeal, dried beans, or flax seed.  Then stitch the bag closed. Freeze.  The washcloth freezer pack can be used directly on the skin unless it feels too cold, then it can be wrapped in a towel and applied.

Sock Pack

You can make a smaller freezer pack using an old cotton sock. The sock can be filled full of uncooked rice, wheat, feed corn, buckwheat hulls, barley, oatmeal, dried beans, or flax seed. The sock pack is knotted or sewn closed to finish. Before freezing the sock pack is wrapped in newspaper or paper towels to protect it. The sock pack can be used directly on your skin.
Tip: The washcloth freezer pack and the cotton sock pack can double as a heating pad by putting it in the microwave to heat it. A cup of water is placed in the microwave next to your sock or freezer pack for moisture during heating. Microwaving is done slowly one minute at a time and then checked. If it is not hot enough, it can be microwaved for another minute, and then checked again. This process can be slowly repeated to avoid burning the contents until the pack is hot enough. The pack should never be left unattended in the microwave or overheated.

Grandma Ruth's Choc. Chip Cookies

These are my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies ever! This is my mom's recipe.  So a little about my mom, she's legendary in her cooking.  I remember growing up and going to potlucks late, as always, and when we arrived everybody would get back up and back in line to get whatever my mom might be bringing.  She's a farmer's wife and her meals are hearty and delicious! Hope you Enjoy!

1 1/2 cup butter (opt. part shortening/lard)
1 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp. milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla
3 eggs
4 -4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. soda
2 cups choc chips, or solid choc. chunked up.
Cream shortening and butter and sugars, add eggs, milk and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture.  Stir in Chocolate. Drop by teaspoonfuls on cookie sheet covered in oil. Bake at 350 until done (about 10-12 min).  Let cool on sheet a couple of minutes before putting on a cooling rack.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cream of Mushroom/Chicken Soup

Cream Soup Mix
2 Cups Instant nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken boulion granules or 5 cubes of chicken boulion
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper.
Combine all ingredients; Mix well. Store in airtight container. Yields 3 cups dry mix.

For 1 can of  cream of chicken, celery, or mushroom soup use 1/3 cup of mix and 1 1/4 cup of water in 1 quart saucepan, bring to boil or microwave for 2 1/2-3 mins.  Stir, cool.

Friday, August 5, 2011


Pizza Bread
Pizza Sauce: pick either one
1. 4-5 medium tomatoes
   3 cloves of garlic
   1 medium onion
   part of pkt of Pizza Sauce Seasoning
   salt to taste

2. Equal parts of: 
   tomato juice
   tomato paste
   part of pkt of Pizza Sauce Seasoning 
   salt to taste

Pizza Toppings: what ever you like
Green Pepper
Meat: (Hamburger, bacon, Sausage, etc)

Pick an option for the Pizza Sauce. I usually pick #2 option just because it's easier and quicker and I usually keep those things on hand.  Today I had lots of tomatoes on hand so I went with the first option.  Simply saute the onions and garlic (substitution for cloves of garlic here) and add cleaned cut up tomatoes and cook just till nice and warm.  Throw tomato mixture in blender and blend till smooth.  Put back in pan over medium heat and add seasoning packet and salt to taste.  If it's too runny you can add tomato paste to thicken it up.  Also, if there is a bitter taste to your sauce add a teaspoon of sugar.

If you like your pizza crust thin like us you'll need to cut this bread in half.  I usually am not able to use both pieces because one half usually falls all apart which is okay because I just use that piece for garlic bread.

In this case I was able to use both sides.  One is obviously holier than the other but it worked fine.

Spread your sauce on the bread. Cut up your vegetables and place them on the Pizza.  For cheese I use Gouda, but here's a fun 3 cheese blend recommended to me (I haven't tried it yet):  Pinar Brand (comes in 2 sizes that are circle shaped) Bizim usually has it #2 Olmani- also circle shaped and at Bizim and #3 a mild Gouda.  Grate even amounts of each and Voila! Lovely Pizza Cheese Blend.

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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chicken Salad

1 whole chicken, boiled
~1 c. Mayo
salt and peper to taste
Buns or any kind of bread

A Variation of seasonings:
Dill and Cayenne Pepper or
Garlic and Rosemary

1. If you have a frozen Chicken, thaw. Place chicken in pot with filtered water and boil till meat thermeter is 170 degrees F. Don't over cook or your chicken will be dry. Remove from water and cool. When cool, remove chicken from bones and cube. You may want to save the water that the chicken was cooked in for a nice soup. If you have room in your freezer you could even save it in jugs for a much later time.

2. Add the rest of your ingredients, remembering that you can alway add more but you can never take away. I used the thyme variation here (it's my son's favorite).

3. Wall-ah! Some really nice chicken Salad for a summer lunch or picnic at the beach. Tip: To make your life a bit easier you can always use a rotisary chicken, it gives it extra flavor too!

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