Pioneer Woman at Heart

One Flourishing, Frugal and Fun Family!

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~

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rain Barrel Updates ~ Good Baking/Cooking Day

                                                                 (photos from 2013)

Last year we purchased two different types of rain barrels - one that looks like a half barrel with a screen on top and a brass spigot at the bottom, and a square one with a hose (you can still attach a garden how to it).  I prefer the square one.  The barrel in the top photo have an overflow that is too close to the foundation (both purchased at Menards).  The screen lifts out and flows off in overflow action as well.  It still works, but I wanted to share.

The second rain barrel has a hose, which does have an on/off switch, a cap, and it's threaded to attach a garden hose.  The overflow is a long hose (tan one to the very right of it).  You can pull the overflow hose out to keep the water from being too close to the foundation.  The top screen did pop off once, and I keep a heavy rock on top.

This year they did not crack over winter.  I think draining them and turning them upside down was a good decision.  However, after setting up the barrel looking ones (empty), just before this next rain we got, we had high winds.  The wind took that barrel and blew it onto the sidewalk.  It damaged the spigot.  You can buy a replacement with a screen, for just under $20, but they (the spigot) seems to be cheaply made.  Next year I will put some well water in them to keep them in place until it rains.

With all that rain yesterday I had a good day indoors to bake another blueberry-buttermilk coffee cake.  This time I added homemade lemon extract, as well as my vanilla.

My family is so spoiled, and my Mom's stove-top tuna and noodle casserole just got better.  I made it with organic butter, organic wheat flour, homemade condensed cream of mushroom soup and that expensive tuna I blogged about.  Yum!  Where this quick meal used to be served weekly as my kids were very young, it is now a cherished once-in-a-great-while meal.  Tuna at $4.69 will be worth waiting for.

I spent time in the kitchen to mix up several batches of homemade condensed cream of chicken.  I need to make a few more and then some celery soup too.  This way, when I need to make an old-fashioned quick casserole, I'll have the creamed soups on hand.  


Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

I love the homemade creamed soups. I'm a big fan.
I got my recipe from Amy D. (The Tightwad Gazette) years ago.
that casserole DOES LOOK DELISH!
Is it being served with homegrown carrots? (or sweet potato?) hard to tell

Pioneer Woman at Heart said...

Pat,those are sweet potatoes baked in brown sugar, cinnamon and olive oil.

Liz said...

I want to get a rain barrel for the new house. I didn't know Menards sold them will have to check it out. Thanks!