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~

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Broccoli Pizza

A few days back, I made homemade whole wheat flatbread.  We ended up taking a long motorcycle ride on Father's Day evening, so the pizzas were not made.  I put the flatbread in the freezer and we finally made them.


It only took a few minutes to thaw the flatbread.  Now I know it freezes well, so I'll be putting some in the freezer vs. pizza dough.  I topped them with spinach pesto, then the broccoli (and it was supposed to have wilted spinach, but I ran out after pesto was made), topped with mozzarella cheese.

 I baked them at 400°F for about 15 minutes or so.  This flatbread worked beautifully for these.  Just enough to make it a pizza, crispy on the bottom, and delicious.


The flatbread was rolled to about 7 x 5 inches.  I got 8 pieces of bread in the batch.  The recipe stated I'd get 12, but that would be the thickness of a tortilla or thinner.  The recipe I used was from food.com for the whole wheat flatbread (used part all-purpose and part whole wheat), and the pizza recipe is from Eating Well, called "Green Pizza."  We think it needs some hot red pepper flakes, but that's about the only suggestion I got from the taste testers.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Strawberries, Peas, Wild Black Raspberries and Weeds

My mother wants to know why she hasn't heard from me.  You probably laughed at that, right?

And here is why.  Grab a cup of your favorite beverage....it's sort of, kind of, a long post.  Or come back when you need an excuse to just sit for a spell.

Aside from that mess of a barn we have to clean up (felled tree #2 is still on the ground too)...

We picked up 4 quarts of fresh strawberries.  We used to pick up 12, but we are well stocked with strawberry jam right now. Thankful for that too.  Even if I have miss-counted, we have more than enough of the other fruit jams.  And we are needing to stock up less with the shrinking household.



Three quarts went into the freezer, and 1 quart went into a fresh strawberry pie for Father's Day.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Down, Down, Down....

This showed up yesterday afternoon, while I was out fetching eggs late in the day....



and this happened......

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Herbal Hair Tonic and Hair Oil Updates

I made an herbal hair tonic to encourage hair growth and repair.  You can read the original post  here.  Why I made it is written below.  The hair tonic is made with all nettle, but I'm considering adding burdock root now.  The tea infusion I am drinking is made differently.




I have researched this through a few books and online, and do feel calcium helps hair and nails, so I made sure I was also drinking nettle and tulsi teas (infused for a stronger tea).


I made my tea infusion using 3/4 cup dry nettle and 1/4 cup dry oat straw.  Both are good combination for calcium, and hair and nail health.  I used a quart canning jar, poured boiling water over the herbs, placed the lid on, and steeped it for 4 or more hours, sometimes making it at night and steeping all night.  Drinking within 36 hours, before it goes rancid.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

This and That

The bad:  my debit card was hacked for the 5th time this year.

The good:  it's back to using cash, so I'll most likely spend less.  I've said this before, but now I am really going to focus on paying cash only.  I have even been only using my pin and with the chip reader.  Folks, it still isn't safe.  Cash or credit card these days is best.  The bank said it was a "national chain" which means it was Home Depot or K-mart.  I don't get out much, and I do not pay ANY bills with my debit card.  I don't shop online with it either.

The bad:  my mullein did not grow back.  How does a person kill an invasive weed?  Ugh.  Too late to order seeds to grow it again too.  I have zero in the pasture.  I had it in a pot, but will plant it somewhere in the ground next year.

The good:  my yarrow survived the raccoons rampage on my planted pots last year.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hot, Humid and Down Right Uncomfortable

Rain was in the forecast yesterday, so I decided to do a long workout, then go out and pick what I could, and return to the indoors.  I baked burger buns for a grill out dinner.....


....blanched and froze swiss chard....

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Curried Lentils ~ A Crockpot Summer

As promised, here is the recipe for the curried lentils.  However, I don't have a photo of it.  I do have one of what I made with leftovers.

 Curried Lentils with Spinach

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Garlic Scape and Radish Spread ~ Roasted Spring Vegetables with Brussels Sprouts

I am still getting a few more garlic scapes, although most have been cut of.  

If you happen to have one garlic scape, this recipe is wonderful.  I have to buy the organic cream cheese.  I don't have a source for raw goat's milk or cow milk right now.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Pie Pan Bangers ~ Sugar Snap Peas ~ Puttin' Up Radishes ~ Plantain Poultice

Mom gifted me some pie pans when she came to the grad party. 



They are now attached to the pea fence for another rabbit deterrent.  I just hope with "Biker Sally" up, the glass bottles in place, and now the pie pan bangers, the garden will thrive.

Our sugar snap peas are on, and growing quickly.  I can't wait to harvest that first bite.  Yum.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The party is over ~ Back to the Garden

The party is over.  Thank goodness.  On a good note, the house is clean, so I can seriously rest today.   Other than dishes, and watering all of the gardens.  It will be a high in the low 90's today.  It's hard to believe we were still planting in the vegetable garden this very day of last year.  I didn't get my cabbage in, so it may not be too late.

 Here is what I made - a double batch of homemade macaroni salad with herb garden green onions.  We love this stuff.


 Meatless, overnight lasagna with home canned tomato sauce and organic cheeses.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Garlic Scapes 4 Ways ~ Freezing Radishes ~ More Party Prep ~ Scarecrow Biker

A large bowl of French Breakfast organic radishes are going into the freezer today.  Just wash, cut smaller, and blanch 2-3 minutes (toss into an ice bath) and freeze.  They will come in handy this winter for roasted vegetables and soups.

Warning.  This is long, and I am shocked I took the time to do it with all the work I need to do yet....I'm not even sure anyone has time to read my posts lately....but....

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Putting up and trying to maintain

Well, the part of the season where you bring in food and have to do something with it, has started.  It started early this year.  There was enough asparagus for breakfast, so that's what I did with it.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Chickweed ~ Herb Vinaigrette ~ Roasted Radishes and Brussel Sprouts

I spent the entire day in the garden weeding, then worked in the herb garden.  It was so dry, I had to water it first to weed it.  I am so glad it rained last night.  I am forced to work indoors today.  I just need to weed the carrots and then the green beans tomorrow (or the next dry day).

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Progress?

I can't tell if we are making progress indoors, but I am making progress outdoors.  I spent the entire morning watering every single thing.  No rain in the forecast, and now no rain at all for a while.  Sigh.  

I picked some radishes that I enjoyed raw after that, and shared one with the now graduated, vegetarian daughter.  She doesn't like raw radishes, ha ha!  

Monday, June 5, 2017

Another one graduated ~ rabbits

Yesterday, the big shin-dig was watching this daughter graduate.  The two on her sides are her siblings (missing a few).  And all three do not have their natural hair color, ha ha!

The graduation ceremony lasted a bit over 2 hours.  Our bums were pretty sore sitting in bleachers.  Oye. Way too long for us.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

A "no kids" Vacation Week Ends

Hubby and I took off to the island for a few nights.  We were lucky to get the yurt for this trip - a no-kids-allowed vacation.  A time-for-ourselves, two days away vacation.  He took the entire week off for his vacation, and planned it all out for us.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Catching Up

I've boiled eggs a few times lately, and have more sitting in the fridge to boil after a few weeks.  As you can see, no green/blue eggs.  Hm.  One breed is slacking, but we are getting enough.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Muscle Rub

I made Hubby and I a muscle rub yesterday.  I adapted a recipe to use my calendula oil, mixed with coconut oil (but when my arnica is up and ready to pick, I'll be making it with that).  


If this helps, I'll be posting my recipe.  Until then, say a prayer it works.  We have a garden to put in, and the remainder of a felled tree still needs cleaned up. 

But...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Garden ~ Baked Flounder

I started the day rather slower yesterday.  My achy body didn't want to get going.  I did my yoga stretches as usual, and got busy.  First, with rain in the forecast, I went to the kitchen.

My new oven mitts.  These were a gift at the big birthday bash from an old friend.  They are longer than they look in the photo, and withstand up to 500°F.  I love them.



I baked us some blueberry banana bread.  I different recipe, but used up a few lingering over-ripe bananas.  My freezer is still full of blueberries (thankfully).

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Wacky Weather

I woke up to checking the weather yesterday, and saw rain was 60% at 10am and 90% at 1pm.  So, I adjusted my day.  I started by making 3 "cans" of homemade condensed mushroom soup.  Smelled so good too.  I love the smell of shallots cooking in butter.  Mmm.  The "cans" went into the freezer.  By the way, this soup on top of turkey breast, in the crock pot, tastes amazing.

At 11am the rain had not arrived.

At noon, no rain.  At 1:30pm?  No rain.  I chopped up a head of cauliflower to prep for dinner early.  Put that in the fridge and checked the weather again. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Random-ness ~ Garden

I've noticed, that now that we are down to just 4 people living here, my costs have reduced greatly.  I have reduced my purchases of organic milk, sugar, peanut butter, coffee, and more.  I'll admit, even toilet paper costs reduced.  Our electric bill should be much lower now too.  


Handmade thank you notes went out to a few people.  Hubby said if I thanked everyone at my party, it was not necessary to send another thank you out.  Anyway, I made these by adhering scrap fabric to cardstock, then used a marker to make dashes around it, and on the back I have a stamp that says " Inspired by Life, Created by Hand, One-of-a-kind art created by......."  It's a circle stamp and I sign it.

I'm having trouble with my lavender seedlings.  They came up, but are dying off.  I have tried different amounts of rain water, and put them in a sunny window.  Even so, they drooped over and only few remain.  So delicate to work with.  Not sure I want to order more organic seeds yet.  I want the real plant, but sheesh.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Carpenter Bee Traps


As promised, here is a photo of the carpenter bee traps I use.  They work if your mount them in a place where they do not move (swing in the wind on a hook etc).  It's the only thing I can come up with to cut the bee infestation down.  They 

There is a hole on 3 sides of the wooden box, and the clear container on the side screws to the 4th side.  The bees go into the holes, crawl through tunnels, and then end up into the container.  They can't get out once they get in.  No chemicals involved.

Monday, May 22, 2017

From the Handiwork Journal. . .



. . . finished the set of pot holders and oversized hot pad using the afghan hook.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

When it's time to call it quits ~ Habanero Apricot Jelly Recipe Answer

I had one of those days when being in the kitchen just didn't "click" for me.  By the way, our garlic is officially gone now.  We used every last clove.  

Not that I have a lack of outdoor work. But....


I started to make spaghetti, but the unit to cut them was jamming it up. My dough was fine.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Nettle ~ Lemon Balm ~ Allergy Tea and Me

I'll have to start getting outside much earlier to pick nettle.  I was out a 7:30am, but the bees were already awake and swarming.  It appears ants like nettle too.  I salvaged what I could.  Then it was a full workout inside, then back to the garden and flower beds.  I managed to un-bury the raspberry bushes, and clean up the roses out by the roadside.  I brought in a very large tick also.  I had a hat on, and it fell from my hair (also tied up) and onto my shoulder.  Thankfully, I saw it before it attached.  It was very large, and I never get ticks.  I had forgotten to put on my tick oil (won't do that again).


The temperature heated up to 87°F so I

Thursday, May 18, 2017

More Random Tidbits


As promised, here is the next book I started to read.  It's an oldie from the shelf that I have had for a while.  Just something I picked up at a used book sale (many years ago).  It's about a wheat farmer in North Dakota in the early 30's. 


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Random Tidbits

I finally finished this book.  I have started another one.  Surprisingly.  Photos to come soon when I remember to take them.

We have a bee infestation.  Not honey bees.  Carpenter bees.  I had to order a few more bee traps.  The two we have in one barn is catching them, so I'll just mount them in the other barns next.  Photos to come soon on those too.  No chemicals involved.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Burdock Herbal Oil ~ Eating My Weeds

I've been borrowing many books on herbs from the library and getting new bits of info.

Somewhere in the mix of research, I came upon the uses of burdock oil.  

I have burdock all over, so I decided to make the oil.  One case they said to put the oil and root in a dark room for so many weeks.  Another said to water bath it gently.   So, I went to my herbal books from the homesteading bookshelf and took another look on making oils.  In the past I have made them in a sunny window (calendula, chive).

I decided on making my hair oil using both burdock root,

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day ~ Flower Beds ~ Arnica

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!  This wine glass was a gift from my oldest daughter.  As you can see the "birthday celebration" continues.  That was taken at 3pm yesterday, where I planted myself in my porch rocker, and read my "on and off again" book while waiting for Hubby to arrive home (after working a double shift).

Today I'll most likely spend it weeding out the rest of my flower beds.  I spent all morning and early afternoon in them yesterday.  I am prepping them for spring time annual planting, and will hopefully be planting my zinnia seeds and gladiolas.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Birthday Bang!

Not to let this awesome birthday week end without another "bang" of goodness, I made....



Flourless brownies and whiskey butterscotch sauce for sundaes.  Yes, yes and yes.  I ate them both with organic ice cream (too lazy to make homemade ice cream).

Friday, May 12, 2017

Random Tidbits ~ Chive Blossoms


 


What's on the breakfast plate?  An asparagus/dandelion/chive blossom frittata.  I just made it up as I cooked.  I would have had nettle, but it was raining at the time.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Puttin' Up Pasta Noodles

I am car-less once again.  The minute I got my own car back, it was gone that fast.  I had just finished my workout a few days ago, and Vet-tech Daughter calls.  Her brake line is broke.  Gah!!

Next thing I know, her older sister is driving her to the house to borrow my car.  

Again.  

Sigh.  So I skipped breakfast, skipped my chores, and high-tailed it to the grocery to stock up.  Then I drove over to the library, who had about 10 books in for me, and not willingly gave her my car keys.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Random Tidbits

What's been on the breakfast plate lately?

Eggs over easy with chives, ancient organic grain bread topped with rhubarb-ginger jam.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Einkorn Hamburger Buns

I found this book through our library's inter-loan system.  I borrowed the book thinking it was all about just milling your own flour, but it was way more than that.

It's a cookbook with recipes for grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

It contains a recipe for einkorn flour hamburger buns too.


The author has a blog, but the recipe is not on there.  The blog is Naturally Ella in case you are interested.  I found some goodies on there too. 


I made my first hamburger buns!   I didn't use the egg wash and sesame seeds, but may do that the next time for additional nutrition.   I was just focused on getting them to turn out nicely. 

I thawed an organic pork tenderloin, and made Rhubarb pulled pork in the crock pot.   Mmm.  And on homemade buns this time.  Recipe is in the book, "The New Slow Cooker Cookbook."  Those are oven rosemary roasted "fries" with home canned ketchup.  I would have made homemade Rhubarb BBQ sauce, but we didn't have any more rhubarb ready and zero in the freezer.

Two new "from pile to file" recipes.  I'm just thrilled the buns baked up nicely.  Oh, the recipe for the buns states to use einkorn flour, but not what type.  I emailed the author and she mills her own flour, saying the whole wheat would be best.

Oh my, I am soooooooooooo tired today.  Last night we had 2 proms for the younger two.  One had a ride, the other did not, who had a half hour ride to her date, and then needed picked up at midnight.  Oh my.  Hubby and I took a nap.  Literally, and set the alarm for 11:30pm.  We were up until 2am, because the other child arrived home from after prom with girl drama.  Oye.  Talk, talk, talk.....I'm too old for this ha ha ha ha!    He said to me "now I really know you love me" on the way over to pick her up.  He thought I would send him over to a city known for gang killings (and many people shot in bars etc.) all by himself?  Yeah, not  happening.

I have downed one cup of coffee, but need a ton more today.  We managed two motorcycle rides in yesterday's crazy-ness (along with two birthday party stops), so we both got therapy, but we'll need naps again today.  And I would like a day of "nothing" and a motorcycle ride. 

However, work called Hubby already, and he's on his way in.  He said, "don't worry Honey it should be a half hour job."  Right.  I am pretty sure I'll get my own nap while waiting. Which I greatly need anyway.

Enjoy your Sunday.   The sun is shining and it's all good here.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Seeded Crackers with Dried Tomatoes ~ Library Loot ~ Random Tidbits

Last year we had a 500# plus tomato year.  It was pretty exciting.  I dehydrated grape tomatoes for cracker (or bread) purposes.


I finally, finally got around to making them.  I had a hard time finding buckwheat (organic).  The herbs, all but the basil in these came from the herb garden.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Herb Garden ~ Yogurt Dip with Herbs

Since it's raining out, and I'm cleaning and shampooing carpets, I'm sharing the update on our herb garden.  By the way the rain came back in full force - flood warnings every where.  And it's cold.  I had to put on my winter coat yesterday.  Brrrr.  So it's wet, cold, windy, cloudy, and it's May.  May.  I repeat May.  Mother Nature must be drunk.  And my year-old $78.00 thermal muck boots have holes now.  Holes.  I have to walk through a river to get to the barn and my socks are soaked.   I'm about to get the canoe out, ha ha!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam ~ Dandelion and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

In 2016 I missed out on getting any strawberries put into the freezer.  Zero.  In 2015, I put up a lot, so we were lucky to have enough for 2 years.  

We are down to the last 3 bags of frozen strawberries and I wanted to use them up before this new season starts.  


I decided to make strawberry-rhubarb jam next.  We also did the taste test on this the same night.  We eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly/jam over summer (when I have zero time to cook).

Now I can't decide on which to gift for Christmas.  Hm.  

We grilled out again.  It was a bit chilly, but the sun was out all day and it got up to 60°F.  I also made dandelion and pumpkin seed pesto pasta dish so the vegetarians had something.  Truthfully, I wanted to taste the pesto myself. 


You can find the recipe here online.  I used 3 somewhat smallish cloves of garlic, so next time I'll be sure to add a bit more.  It was very good!!  The dandelions were not bitter.   A hunger/crowd pleaser for sure.  You could use any pasta or any other dish for the pesto.  I had a box of organic spaghetti noodles that worked perfectly.

It's raining again today.  It'll be a crock pot dinner, so I can attack my rainy day to-do list with gusto.  I need a clean house for a graduation party next month, and I am way behind in getting those dust bunnies to disappear. 

Then again, I need to restock my freezer with homemade noodles too.  Hm.  Tough decision.  Most likely "dust bunnies" will win today.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Rhubarb Ginger Jam

We have waited 3 long years to finally get a good harvest of our rhubarb.  I have made a BBQ rhubarb sauce in the past (and loved it), so I am taste testing a new jam recipe - Rhubarb Ginger Jam.

 I originally found the recipe in this cookbook....



...but it calls for "calcium water" and only a few specialty stores sell that specific pectin.    I just googled the same recipe online and found one that didn't call for calcium water. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Random Tidbits

The rain is coming to and end.   Maybe.  Boy is it wet out, but the garden is loving it.  The peas look great, the greens are looking nice, and the potatoes are getting more tops.  I brought in a bit more asparagus too.



My organic arnica seeds arrived, so I got a few seeds planted in some organic soil.

Baked the family sorghum gingerbread.  Nom, nom, nom.  


I also made my first lilac simple syrup....