One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

One mother making ends meet and surviving today's recession by writing. One family learning to live off the land, cut back on expenses, and to live a simpler and a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Adopted Motto

"Eat it up,
Wear it out,
Make it do,
Or go without."
~A Pioneer Sampler, by Barbara Greenwood~

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Teabag Tidbits

Grab a cup of tea and enjoy the tidbits for today:

We woke up to a chilly 34°F and our first frost of the season.

My Monday to-do list had to be re-adjusted.  Rain continued, and high winds kicked in, so less laundry was done and on drying racks indoors, more cauliflower was blanched and put in the freezer, more condensed homemade soups were made and into the freezer (cream of celery, cream of chicken), and more cleaning was done.  These condensed soups are so easy to make.  The recipes are on Simply Scratch online.

Snow is now in our next weekend forecast.  I'm not concerned.  We've had it in October before and it was light and melted quickly. I am concerned about how cold it got last night, but not cold enough to freeze thankfully.  

Good news!  Our 19 year-old daughter was promoted from Asst. manager to Manager of the video rental store she works at.  So proud of her for turning things around at that store.  

Poor Tiger.  His cat world has been turned upside down.  He went from "king of the house" to invaded by dogs.  He's okay with Jesse, but he's unsure of Mia.  He's often in our room with a wide bug-eyed look.  He'll adjust.

We had to laugh at our youngest daughter.  She kept telling us she didn't want dogs here, but lately she has bonded with Mia and is her new best friend.  We often hear her using baby talk with Mia. So funny.

ACK!  I haven't been on top of homemade Christmas gifts, and haven't even started back at it, on account of the last craft show. 

I recently heard on the news that toxin free nail polish may still contain toxins.  I guess I better do more research before I apply it this fall.  I typically treat myself to a little pampering after all the garden work is done.  My summer "nail polish" is dirt, ha ha!  I'd really like to influence the girls, into providing a toxin free nail polish in their future salons.

Sometimes it's good to have my kids ask me to crochet something.  It took me hours to find the pattern, so it's printed and in it's proper "home."  It gave me the motivation to file some herbal recipes, and pickling recipes too. It however, added one more item to my make it "to-do" list.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Tomatoes ~ Garlic ~ Plantain

Hubby and I were sipping coffee at 5am on the porch Friday morning (won't be many more mornings to do this), and the radio had garden talk and advice going on.  They gave advice on whether to pick your tomatoes and bring them in to ripen or have a tomato fight.   If you pick green tomatoes when it's in the 70's, they will ripen in two weeks.  If you pick them in the 50's, it will take 4 weeks. 

I decided to get out there and pick them all.  We had a frost warning, and after that they won't be any good.  The ladies and Stud Muffin Sparta had a hay day helping clean up too.

As for the garlic, it depended on the weather at 4:30pm when Hubby got home.  Rain was in the forecast.  We managed to toss down some peat moss, and get the garlic bed tilled just before rain arrived.  

Once the parsley left the dehydrator, plantain went in.  I'm hearing more people are getting bitten by spiders this year, and requiring doctor care.  It's also good to have on hand for a medicinal tea as well as a tincture.  It's good for colds, flu, bladder issues, bronchitis, etc.  You can also eat plantain for it's nutrition (calcium, vitamin K, A, C, and B-6, and more), but I have yet to try it.  I'm wondering if I should blanch some for winter?  I guess it depends on time, if we get a frost and so forth.  I'll be adding plantain to soups this winter as well.  It is highly nutritious.

It was perfect weather one day to get back to this job - removing nails, sawing them up, and stacking them for kindling.  We already have some cut and stacked.  

Got two quarts of pickled hot banana peppers made.

Current dishcloth on the knitting needles.

Saturday morning we woke up to a chilly 39° (felt like 34°F).  Due to the rain, no mowing could be done, nor gardening, but we still had a list.  First, work on our daughter's car, second pick more plantain if we didn't get a frost, fold laundry, run to the library, prepare more winter kindling, dog proof the house, clean bathrooms....and on and on.

Sunday the weather was a bit nicer.  We gained two dogs - Mia and Jesse.  Not sure how long we'll have Jesse, but it could be until June of next year.  Sunday morning Hubby helped me plant all the garlic.  Woot woot!  So happy to get it in the ground.  More mowing was done.  

It rained last night, so I was even happier not to have to water the garlic.  So happy that the sweet potatoes are still getting time to grow too.

It's too wet to work out in the garden today, but I have much to do inside as well.  I'm hoping for a good laundry drying day outside as the rain clears up.

Youngest got me with the plastic rat.  She stuck it in the cupboard and I opened it to get a glass.  Ha.  I'll have to find somewhere to hide it and get her now.  

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Pumpkin Poke Cake with Whiskey Butterscotch Sauce

Thaw 2 cups of home grown pumpkin puree from your freezer (or purchase pumpkin puree) 

2 1/4 c. organic all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 1/2 tsp. non-gmo baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. organic cinnamon* optional

Add the pumpkin puree to the dry ingredients, and add 1 tsp. of homemade vanilla extract.  

Bake in a 9 x 13 in baking pan sprayed with organic non-stick oil spray.  350° for 25-30 minutes.  Check center with a toothpick.

Allow to cool completely.

Using the handle of a wooden spoon poke holes in the top of the cake and drizzle homemade whiskey butterscotch sauce.  I do not measure.  I simply drizzled it into each hole made.  Top cake with organic whipped cream,  sprinkle a bit of homemade pumpkin pie spice on top and drizzle more whiskey butterscotch sauce and if preferred some chopped organic pecans.  Store in refrigerator.

This is good, but it's better when you use more of the butterscotch sauce.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Lemon Balm Tincture ~ Echinacea Tincture ~ Sage Tincture

Remember all of that lemon balm I grew?   I dehydrated it for teas and tincture making.   Well it's tincture time.  I'm making all three mentioned.  Only one will be made later, as it is currently out of stock and I did not grow it this year (echinacea).

Not only will they be utilized individually, but together.  I have a daughter who often gets canker sores in the fall, after school starts, and this combination is said to work.

You can read about the canker sore relief at LearningHerbs.

The lemon balm tincture can be helpful as a sleep aid, and a lemon balm tea can be used to help sweat out a fever. Lemon balm is soothing and also an astringent.  It helps relieve colds and flu.  It's also known for helping reduce a headache, and an aid to reduce or prevent cold sores.

The sage tincture aids healing sort throats and mouth irritations due to it's antiseptic and astringent qualities.

The echinacea tincture aids the healing process of wounds.  Echinacea has been known to purify the blood.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Random Tidbits

It cooled down quickly (woke up to the 40's) here, so home grown sweet potatoes, green bell peppers and garlic went into good use - sweet potato chili.  

After running into the basket in the kitchen too many times, my extent of "fall" decor was placing those hard-as-a-rock pie pumpkins on the porch ledge.  

The dead bolt on one of the doors broke.  I had to gently lay that news on Hubby.  It was stuck locked, and the latch to turn it broke.  Good thing I have another door to use. 

Avoiding the garden for the most part of the day, I baked some flourless brownies...

Whipped up some more whiskey butterscotch sauce....

Made a jar of homemade pumpkin pie spice.

Homemade pumpkin pie spice
3 Tbsp. organic ground cinnamon
2 tsp. organic ground ginger
2 tsp. organic ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp. organic ground all-spice
1 1/2 tsp. organic ground cloves

Mix and store in an airtight container.  I used a recycled baby food jar that was given to me.

I baked my first pumpkin poke cake, making the cake mix from scratch and using homegrown pumpkin puree.  Oh, and used homemade whiskey butterscotch sauce for the filler.  I'll have another post with the recipe.

I lied about the tomatoes.  I went out to pull stakes and plants and ended up picking another 6#.  

I made more homemade "lysol" wipes.  I have a big cleaning day in my bedroom and just about anywhere else after that.

I planted parsley and basil seeds in my kitchen window pots.

Emptied the dehydrator of lemon balm and filled it up with parsley.  I love the smell of fresh parsley.  The stems went into the freezer for future broth/stock recipes.  Tip:  Tie the stems together and simply toss them into the pot or roaster pan you making your broth/stock in.

I whipped up some organic buttermilk corn bread.  I make my own buttermilk by measuring 1 cup of organic milk and adding 1 Tbsp. of organic lemon juice.  

Today's plan?  It all depends on the weather.  We woke up to a chilly 42°F.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Carrot Top Mouth Wash ~ Carrot Tops ~ Food delivery and tidbits

Although our carrot harvest was zero this season, we still had carrot tops.  You know our family motto?

Waste nothing.  Not that there was much to waste either.

I used some of the tops to make homemade mouthwash.

Boil 3 cups of water, and add a half cup of chopped organic carrot tops.  Simmer on the stove top for about 20 minutes.  Steep for an additional 30 minutes then strain.  Store in the refrigerator.  Simply gargle each day in place of your store brand mouth wash.  Carrot tops have antiseptic qualities.

We stole off on a motorcycle ride the other night, and delivered meals.  I just happened to get a call the night I made salmon romanoff, from one of the girls.  Of course she asked, "what's for dinner?"  and "can you bring me some?"  Luckily, I was already delivery a meal with pie to my Dad, so we packed up another meal for her.  She later texted me "OMG that was heaven" ha ha ha!  Kids!  

It's that time of year again, when I have to rack up points in order to keep our health insurance at the same price we pay.  What a joke it is too.  I have to sit at the computer and watch the most boring videos and click a hundred times to "read" articles and then take a test to pass.  Just a waste of my time.  I don't even watch or read, I just click and flip thru the questions.  I know them all anyway, especially the eating well stuff.  Man, it's taking a lot of time that I could be ripping out the garden (which needs done in a bad way).  

You would not believe how much time I waste just for 25 lousy points, and we are each to acquire 1,000 points.  Some slideshows are 38 minutes long and while watching one, it logged me out 3 times.   You can't just play it and go clean something either.  They randomly ask questions for you to click on for the slideshow to continue.  

Okay, off my soapbox on the insurance points.....

I went with my youngest to the "big city" and we both got real haircuts.  Boy it felt great too.  First time in two years for me, about a year for daughter.  

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Rain Barrels ~ End of the Garden ~ Salmon Romanoff

I've lacked the motivation to do much of anything for winter prep, and slacking horribly.   I finally went out and drained all the rain barrels and flipped one upside down.  That was the extent of my "winter prep."  One barrel has poison ivy growing in front.  Wonderful.  I'm flipping the rest today.

It's a winter without beets as well.  I did my first dig and they are the size of the carrots - pathetic.  All that weeding for nothing.  Can't even save the greens - tops dying off.

I took some time to dig up more carrots, but if you saw my post about it, they are getting tossed.  No carrot seeds saved this year either.

I saved some of the carrot tops.  I'll have another post for that project.

More tomatoes were picked - 7#.  Last picking.  Plants are coming out.  I would have started it yesterday, but I left my knife in the house, and walking back and forth to get it was not on the agenda - too hot anyway.

Global warming has me concerned we won't be able to survive without a green house now.  This tough garden year really has be thinking about food shortages and with all the store food contaminations and recalls, I really don't want to be buying it.

I got some homemade condensed cream of celery made, and in the freezer for winter.

Salmon Romanoff was for dinner, with salmon caught by my oldest brother and gifted to us.  Yum!

Salmon Romanoff
1/2 finely chopped organic shallots
1 clove home grown garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. organic butter
1 cup organic cottage cheese
2 cups organic sour cream
5 dashes home canned hot sauce*
1/2 tsp. salt
1 lb. cooked salmon, flaked
12 oz. medium homemade noodles*
1 cup shredded organic shredded cheddar cheese*

Saute the shallots in the butter until they are clear, then add the garlic and cook about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and toss them into a large mixing bowl and add the cottage cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and salt. Flake the salmon and mix.

Preheat ove to 325°F and lightly oil (or spray) 9 x 13 in baking dish.

Cook noodles and drain.  Stir into mixture and pour into baking dish.  Top with shredded cheese.  Bake approximately 30 minutes.

*5 dashes of Tabasco sauce can be substituted.
*I some times any non-gmo/organic store brand noodle too.  Amount of noodles can be changed as well.
*I like to put an additional 1 cup of organic shredded cheddar cheese in the mix too.  

I apologize for no photo of the dish, we took off right after to deliver some of it to two places.  I'll try to get a photo next time and add it to this post.