Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Homemade (sort of ) Disinfectant Spray

I've been searching for a recipe for a good effective disinfectant spray (without bleach if possible) and here's what I ran across.

Wow- how easy and I love that both vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are so cheap. I now have under my kitchen sink a spray bottle of each.

"It doesn't matter which you use first - you can spray with the vinegar then
the hydrogen peroxide, or with the hydrogen peroxide followed by the vinegar.
You won't get any lingering taste of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, and neither
is toxic to you if a small amount remains on the produce. As a bonus: The paired
sprays work exceptionally well in sanitizing counters and other food preparation
surfaces -- including wood cutting boards. In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic
Institute and State University, pairing the two mists killed virtually all
Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and
surfaces when used in this fashion, making this spray combination more effective
at killing these potentially lethal bacteria than chlorine bleach or any
commercially available kitchen cleaner. "

Monday, April 20, 2009

"If I had a Bed and Breakfast I'd serve these"

...to which Allison replied, "mom, you do!"

Well sort of, I'd rather think of it as a home that serves at least three meals and many snacks:).

By the way, if you have never tried spelt flour before this is a great one to try it on.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 cup pumpkin
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 Tablespoon yeast
4-5 cups flour (I used spelt)
Filling: 1/4 cup melted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Icing: 1/4 cup cream cheese
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tablespoon milk
Heat milk and butter. Mix pumpkin, salt, honey, eggs and add to the milk and butter. Add yeast ( I use the Bosch mixer) and flour until it is well mixed. Turn out on a floured counter, knead a few times, and roll out to a large rectangle. For the filling brush the rectangle with 1/4 cup melted butter. Combine 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon nutmeg. Sprinkle this mixture on top and roll up the rectangle. Cut into 12-14 rolls and place on a cookie sheet to rise. Let rise for 20 minutes or put in the frig until the morning. Let rise and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. While baking mix together the icing ingredients and spread on the warms rolls. Enjoy!

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Yellows and Greens

It's all her fault. Hop over to Pleasant View School House and you'll see our inspiration to make a scrap quilt. Her's are truly beautiful.

Here's our beginning

And here's the finished product:

Thursday, April 9, 2009

An Easy Yogurt Maker

We've been making yogurt lately. Not only is it delicious it is so much less expensive than the store bought kind.

It's really simple. All you need is: a heating pad, stainless steel bowl, thermometer, fresh milk, and plain yogurt (store bought or from a previous batch).

First I heat my milk to 150 degrees in a water bath to pasturize it ( my milk is raw). Next, I let it cool to 110 degrees. Then I add 2 T yogurt for every quart of milk, stir it in, cover, and let it sit for seven hours undisturbed on top of a heating pad on meduim heat. I also wrap some towels around the bowl to insulate it. - presto a wonderful batch of yogurt.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Suffering from the sniffles and elderberries exploding in the kitchen

Walking down the driveway this morning I noticed a huge puff of smoke coming from our pine trees. I thought what could that possibly be? And then it dawned on me - pollen! That was pollen - clouds of it. Everytime the wind would blow a huge puff of pollen was released into the air. No wonder we have the sniffles and been sneezing to beat the band. I think we have gone through a case of kleenex in two days :).
A couple of kids started to feel rather miserable so I headed to my box of herbs fresh from San Fransico Herb Company to search out dried elderberries. Here's my thinking - I'll make a huge batch of elderberry syrup and that'll head off whatever ills are looming.

I soaked the elderberries, simmered them- no problem until.... the blender. The instructions said to "puree the warm berries in a blender" so I dumped the whole batch in without a thought. One pulse later and warm elderberry juice was all over me and all over the kitchen- it was as if they just exploded. I hate I didn't take a picture, but I wasn't thinking so clearly as the time. Thankfully, my dear sweet daughter helped me clean up the mess and all my efforts bore a quart of elderberry syrup.
Turns out those with the yuckies were quickly mended and the rest of us have been faithfully taking our elderberry.
Anyway for the brave and daring- here's the recipe. (Actually it's not that difficult; however, I would amend the instuctions to puree in small batches the warm berries in a blender and we added more honey to taste)
Elderberry Syrup
2 cups dried elderberries
1 quart boiling water
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
Place berries in an uncovered saucepan and pour boiling water over them. Cover and let soak overnight. The next day, simmer the berries for 30 minutes. Puree the warm berries in a blender, adding remaining ingredients as you blend. Pour the syrup into a clean bottle and store in the refrigerator.
From - Herbs for Health and Healing by Kathi Keville
Here's some interesting information on elderberries.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Solar Lights- Two Uses

We got a package of these fun solar lights from Walmart- 8 for about $20.00.

We leave them out during the day and at night they become our night lights. It's a fun cheap way to leave the lights off.

Monday, April 6, 2009

...of thinking and calves

...think, think, think. This seems to be the theme lately in our house- what can we do with what we have? How can we do it differently? Is there a way to do it better?

And I guess since cows and calves have been on the brain I was reminded of a wonderful poem I ran across a few years ago. Hope you enjoy.

The Golden Calf of Precedent
by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves

But made a trail all bent
A crooked
trail as all calves do.
Since then three hundred
years have fled,
And, I
infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left
behind his trail,
And thereby
hangs my moral tale.
The trail was
taken up next day,
By a lone dog that
passed that way.
And then a
wise bell-wether sheep,
Pursued the trail
o'er vale and steep;
drew the flock behind him too,
As good
bell-wethers always do.
from that day, o'er hill and glade.
those old woods a path was

And many men wound in
and out,
And dodged, and turned,
and bent about;
And uttered words of
righteous wrath,
Because 'twas
such a crooked path.
But still they
followed - do not laugh -
first migrations of that calf.
And through
this winding wood-way
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became
a lane,
that bent, and turned, and
turned again.
This crooked lane
became a road,
Where many a poor horse
with his load,
Toiled on
beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some
three miles in one.
thus a century and a half,
They trod the
footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village
And this, before men were aware,
city's crowded
And soon the central street was this,
Of a
And men two centuries and a half,
Trod in the
of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout,
Followed the zigzag
calf about;
And o'er his crooked journey went,
The traffic of a
Hundred thousand men were led,
By one
calf near three
centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way,
lost one
hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent,
To well
established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I
ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind,
the calf-paths of the mind;
And work away from sun to sun,
To do what
other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in,
and forth and back,
And still their devious course
To keep the
path that others do.
They keep the path a sacred
Along which all
their lives they move.
But how the wise old
wood gods laugh,
Who saw the
first primeval calf!
Ah! many things
this tale might teach -
But I am not
ordained to preach.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Life on the Farm

I confess I was embrassed to admit our failure at rabbit farming (folk,s it's not as easy as it seems), but after much reading, advice from dear friends, and perservance on Allison's part we are pleased to announce the birth of three baby rabbits!!!

Good job Allison, way to go!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Frozen Bread Dough Part II

In an earlier post on frozen bread dough I inadvertently left out the thawing procedure. It's really easy- we simply take the lump of dough out of the freezer and leave it on the counter until it completely thaws out and begins to rise. See- simple!

You can use it partially frozen, but we have had better luck when it is completely thawed. And, as a reminder we have not had good results baking it in a loaf pan. I have no idea why, but it works really good for rolls etc.

Hope it works for you.