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~

Thursday, April 30, 2020

How to dehydrate Garlic and make Minced Garlic

Peel several cloves of garlic.  You will need a garlic mincer to do this.

Line the dehydrator trays with parchment paper.

Using the garlic mincer, mince the garlic onto the parchment paper.  I use the tip of a knife to spread the garlic out.

Using the directions in your dehydrator guide book, dehydrate the minced garlic until crisp.  Once done, simply scrap the dried garlic off and store in an airtight glass jar.

The color will change as it dries.

Note:  I use this in my canned cowboy candy and any recipe that calls for minced (dry) garlic.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Recipe Requests

There were a few requests interested in the recipe for the breakfast casserole.  The recipe is online from AllRecipes (Easy Broccoli-Cheese Casserole).  I simply used organic ingredients, and added 1 tsp. homemade garlic powder and a 1/4 tsp. homemade fire powder to add flavor.  In all honesty, I think this recipe would make a great side dish as well for family get togethers.  I like this one particularly because it uses less eggs.  

As for the family's recipe for Hot Cranberry Punch.  I have the recipe on my blog - HERE.  It's been a tradition in our family for years and years, and my youngest daughter wanted to have some with her cookies I baked (and wanted to learn how to make it).  It was sort of something to take her mind to a peaceful place I think, and I was thrilled she wanted to make it herself.

How to make Fire Powder:
Dehydrate a mix of hot peppers according to your dehydrator instruction book.  Grind the dried peppers in a coffee grinder.  Store in an airtight spice jar.  Add to anything to spice up a recipe.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Well, that changes things....

As much as I'd like to keep the pandemic issues off my blog and keep them upbeat homesteading posts, yesterday's briefing was a debbie downer.

We remain under shut-in order, and no groups of 10 or more until June 1st.  They did no lift the shut in order. Daughter's grad party was for late June.  Now I have to wait and see what he says June 1st.  Those who liked him in the beginning do not like him now.

There has been no talk at all about campgrounds opening and a lot more. Camping is social distancing.  The list of what remains closed is very long.

I feel like we are the prisoners and at war with the government.

Meanwhile GA opened hair salons, bowling alleys, tattoo parlors and more.  Too early for them?  I guess we'll all find out.

Our 18 year old had to apply for pandemic relief pay of some kind - for unemployed that cannot work due to the orders set.  She applied for another assistance as well.  I think my husband and other daughter should be paid even more for having to work (essential).

One of my brother's work for the police.   There are now some who will lose their jobs very soon.  The city he works for cannot pay them due to the city not making money - hotels not open, etc.   Even the BMV remains closed.  

By the way, I've spent some time on YouTube.  There are some very interesting (eye-opening) videos with doctors, regarding this entire thing we are going through.  After watching them, I am convinced of my own opinion (which I'll keep to myself on here).  All I can say, is that I am so tired of our rights being taken from us.  Yeah, the virus is deadly to those with high risk, but they have lied to us in more ways than one.

I'm just going to have to keep myself busy in the garden again.  It rained again, so it all depends on how wet it is today.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday

Yesterday involved 3 of us baking and cooking.  I baked a broccoli and cheese (with cottage cheese) casserole for breakfast, a batch of almond butter cookies (flourless), taught Youngest how to make Hot Cranberry Punch, infused a quart of nettle tea, and made old fashioned Goulash for dinner.  Shoot, now that I think about it, I could have added greens to the breakfast bake.  Oh well.

Dinner was old fashioned goulash with corn we froze last summer.  Instead of adding green pepper, I added finely diced jalapenos I froze from the garden last summer.  It was fantastic.  Although too many carbs, it was a nice change to visit the comfort zone in the way of food.

Youngest's boyfriend was sick with a fever, sore throat and headache for a few days.  I've been in touch with his Mom, and his fever broke yesterday.  

Today I am joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

I'll link up when she posts.  I need to start laundry before three of us fight over the washing machine.

Update:  Linked up now, and dealing with an outlet behind my washer that isn't working now (double urgh).

The weather. . . 

Foggy.  High of 62° and 10% chance of rain in the evening.

How I'm feeling this morning . . .
The same.  So many circles of confusion on the news, so I'm staying busy in the garden, prepping it for a good tilling all around, doing laundry, dishes and cleaning.

On my mind . . .
The garden and getting it ready, chores that need done on a good weather day like clean the coop (and that job will not be fun), the unknown about daughter's grad party and even her graduation (and prom), hoping my husband doesn't use all good weather days to take motorcycle rides on his 2 weeks off (one guy is already asking him and I need him for the garden work, although I do like to ride, it needs to come first), and wondering what businesses will open May 1st when our shut-in order is lifted.  I can't see how a restaurant can open when the order for no more than 10 in a group order is still set in place here.  Wondering where to buy a gallon of organic olive oil (I got no suggestions so far).  I use it to infuse herbs, make homemade medicinals, and it takes 2 cups to make homemade "neosporin."

Also on my mind?  My crafting sales.  I'm getting zero, and I count on that for extras and retreat vacations (which I'm not sure that's happening any time soon), but I'm sure there will be zero craft shows this year and that saddens me.

On the breakfast plate . . .
The egg/cheese casserole I shared first on this post.  New recipe.

On my reading pile . . .
Nothing.  I haven't had time to read, or I've just not been in the mood to read.

On the TV . . . 
We watched a movie on Amazon Prime called "On the Menu" and loved it.

On the menu this week . . .
In no particular order, here is what I've come up with
-crock pot beef stroganoff
-sheet pan meal with meat and two veggies
-macaroni and cheese, beets
-crock pot chicken and rice with greens

From the camera . . . 
I've been doing a lot of prepping and re-stocking lately.

Looking around the house . . . 
My living room is a mess again.  Our daughter who moved in is re-organizing her room, and what she doesn't want is downstairs.  It's going to the road with a free sign today.  All thrift stores remain closed.

Chore I am not looking forward to doing this week . . .
Cleaning one toilet.

To relax this week I will . . .
I'm considering getting out my tatting, and my flower press today.  If Hubby didn't mow down all my wild violets I will pick and press some today for future crafting.

On my prayer list . . . The same - The President, our Governor, the world, the sick, for this virus to end, for our rights to be restored....for us to have a bountiful garden this year.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Question ~ Garden Work

Where is the best place (and cheapest) online to purchase a gallon of organic olive oil?  Thanks in advance.  I cook a lot with it, but need to make some things using it too.

My tulips are starting to bloom, and our ornamental apple trees are in full bloom.  We have two tree starts we need to dig up and move.  They grow quickly and are pretty spring and fall.  I tried to buy more tulip bulbs early in the year, but there are none to be had.  I'll try again this fall and fall plant them.

With rain arriving late, we decided to get the pea fence ready, tilled and cleaned up.  We didn't start our work until about 1pm due to the weather, and it was definitely a physical workout.  No problem here getting outside and exercise.  We were worn out.  We didn't plant 3/4ths of the garden last year due to massive rain and late planting, so we have to clean out dead weeds first (more work than normal).  

Nothing has been planted yet.  We still need to take the pea fence out and move it, then plant.  It's raining now, and will rain all day, so that's not on the to-do list today.

I managed to get one rain barrel up yesterday.  I'll get the other 3 up after this rain.  I need the water to water the veggie plants indoors to ready them for the garden.

I started another jar of Four Thieves Vinegar yesterday.  I will continue to make them to keep for preventive health care.  I know it works, and Rosemary Gladstar's recipes have not failed me yet.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Wild Violets ~ Chickens ~ The Car Saga

Quarantine Day 41.  I guess you can't call it "Quarantine" if we went out to get supplies for my Mom again, but the shut in order is still in place.

My wild violets are starting to come up, but the question is "do I really need more jelly right now?"  Wild violet jelly smells so good while its being made and looks so pretty, but I think I'll focus on fruit jams.  If Hubby doesn't mow and I have extra sugar it would make a nice gift.

The ladies all got a day outside in the run, but my rooster didn't know how to use the ramp.  By evening he figured it out, but wouldn't use the ramp to come back in.  Hubby and I went out about 9pm and tag teamed and got him inside.  Today he may figure both out and back in on his own, but that outside ramp needs replaced.  It's been on the to-do list for a year or so now.  I think our list is growing, ha ha!  Our fencing on the run needs some work done on it as winter put some stress on it too.  By the way, that's not all the ladies, just some.  The others were digging up dirt and enjoying the sun.

Guess what?!

My car is back.  While we were him-hawing inside the house, a biker friend drove it to the house and left the keys.  I would have thanked him in person, but that's okay.  I'm thrilled.  We sanitized the inside of course, but so thrilled.  It may need one more oil change, but it's running!!  Woohoo to that.

Hubby needs a day off today, so I'll take it easy on him.  No wood will be cut this weekend, but we may get some smaller jobs done.  Rain is coming late tonight.  My garlic will love it.  I may just get Hubby to till some of the garden today for me, while I help remove any weeds.  Cross your fingers.  I need to get those peas in, and other root veggies.

Friday, April 24, 2020

How to dehydrate garlic and make garlic powder

I posted yesterday that I was dehydrating garlic.  I realized I don't think I've made a post about making garlic powder with dehydrated garlic.  First, peel all the cloves, and slice thinly.  Place on dehydrating trays.  If your trays have larger holes, cover them with parchment paper first.

The holes on my trays worked fine.  Once the garlic is crisp (use the guide book that came with your dehydrator for temperature and time), you will remove them from the trays.  I did not use parchment paper, so I line my counter top with a sheet of waxed paper.  I gently push all the garlic off the trays.

I hold each side of the waxed paper up so the garlic goes to the middle and they can slide easily off the waxed paper and into a coffee grinder.  You then grind them until it turns into a powder form.

I am lucky to have a glass container that fits a canning funnel.  I pour the powder out of the grinder and into the jar.  It smells and tastes much better than anything you will find in the store.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Dehydrating Garlic

If you are wondering, I have not had time to learn to knit socks.  I have been that busy most days.  I guess that's a good thing, but I have hopes in coming out of this pandemic learning something new.

It's been a cold April here too.  We also ran out of cut/split wood, so the heaters are back on sadly.  Hubby has been working on the car after work and there was also a fuel problem, so that meant more parts and more work.

Not much I can do in the garden without the help of my husband so the peas have yet to be planted.  Yesterday snow was in our forecast again (which we got a little of) and then rain.

First thing in the morning, I dug out my fusible web (which took time to find) and some scrap fabric.  I had to patch one daughter's favorite pants.

I filled 3 large trays with garlic yesterday.  Not my home grown, but home grown in another state.  I rely on the farmer's market for a spring batch of garlic powder.  I made another one in the fall.  Tedious work, but worth the work.

The days here are going too fast.  I am writing out my to-do's on a list today to make sure some things get done.  It took an hour or more to slice all that garlic, so today I work on some household chores and outdoor projects.  I need to make a list for the green house as well. 

Update on the car.  I may have her back tonight.  She needed a new fuel pump and an oil change, on top of the intake being replaced.  Thankful to have a biker friend who is laid off to help us out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Recipe Books ~ Mail Delivery ~ Two New Recipes

No that we lack recipes, but I am starting to lack some ingredients.  I do not want to go to the store, so I am thankful I have recipe books like this....

I also placed an order for a few more books, and one is on making your own medicine (I do have books on this, but wanted more).

My son purchased this for our daughter.  It is to hold his ashes.  I was doing pretty well about this lately, until it showed up.  I just about cried.  However, I do love the photo she picked, because that's what I remember about my "tater tot" and boy do I miss him a lot. Since we are under shut-in, I texted her photos of it.  She called him "Pooh Bear" and he even had a Pooh Bear Halloween costume at one time.

Well, as far as homesteading around here, the weather got cooler.  

I made egg salad, some breakfast veggie muffins with dandelion greens, and a new recipe of dill pickle dip, using home canned pickles.  As for the recipe for the dip, I just googled for one.

New recipe I tried for a side for dinner - Rachel Ray's Baked Salt and Vinegar Smashed Potatoes (online on her site, from another cook).  Forgot to take a photo, but wasn't really impressed.  I added the vinegar after they came out of the oven, and didn't even taste it.  They were simply smashed baked potatoes, and good, just not fantastic.

I hope to have time to get around to reading your blogs today.  I've lacked the time lately, due to a busy routine, which I am thankful for.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Routine ~ Ups and Downs ~ Healthy Snacks

There was no problem staying busy with my routine back to just me, other than the girls are home.  I had a lot on my to-do list, and 3 of us were fighting over the washing machine.

There is much stress here.  The car was worked on last night, but continues to not start.  On top of that my husband has to work with someone exposed to a person who tested positive (it's been 2 weeks, but this is more stress to worry about).  Hubby said his boss looks like he aged 20 years since he saw him last.  Also, our daughter who works had a co-worker show up for work who claimed she was tested due to being around a positive case (she was sent home).  So much to worry about, and there is too many false negative and false positive testing right now.  What can we believe to be true?  You are lucky if you have no one working in your house.  

On top of that, the girls are fighting but it's mostly because of one of them, and I'm about to lose my mind.  Being stuck in and the worry and fear this government has put on us is bad for everyone.  For the first time in a long, long time, I am worried about my husband.

I'm done with watching our Governor's briefings.  They say they have drive thru testing, but only if you have 3 symptoms, yet on the briefing they are saying they are testing people with no symptoms and testing positive, yet saying we lack test kits.  Who is to believe?  I can't watch it anymore, as I feel they are misleading us with many lies and confusion.  Also, if we all have it, how did we get it?  Did they put it in our food?  Our water?  One big headache.  Again, be glad if you have no one working right now. 

I made sure I sent at least a text to my younger brother who is homeschooling two young kids, and now has to do it then rest of the year.  He is so good about being positive in a rough time.  I hope I made him laugh.  We need more of that.  So yeah, our schools here are not going back, and continuing the end of the year online.  

I made coconut fruit and nut bars and a batch of hummus.  Yummy healthy snacks for us.  The nut bar recipe is online from King Arthur Flour recipes (uses coconut flour).  I use whatever nuts and fruit I have and this time used hemp seeds since I didn't have whole flax seeds.  Don't have almond butter?  Peanut butter works great.

I hope you are all doing well.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Happy Homemaker Monday

Sunday was a more productive day.  I made more homemade "lysol" wipes, cleaned sinks, did some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, and kept the wood stove stoked.  We were to get up to 60°F, but the house still had a chill inside.

We got my car out of quarantine (via trailer) and have a friend working on it.  I picked up limbs, branches (some 20-some feet long), twigs and sticks, while Hubby finished up the mowing.

I am thankful for the folks donating masks to first responders and the like vs. those making them just for income.  I found a gal who is making one for my one brother for free.  Our state is requiring that we wear one in stores etc. and may be wearing them for more than a year.  I'll be spending more time at home, and spending way less money on take out for sure.  I mean, how in the world can restaurants afford to operate with 10 customers and how in the world can we go in wearing a mask and eat a meal at the same time?

The clerks and restaurant employees wearing gloves is a joke too.  Unless they are changing them between every customer, wearing gloves is not protecting the buyer one bit.

Today I'm joining Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.

The weather outside is . . . 
High of 60° and sunny.  I still have the wood stove going.

How I'm feeling this morning . . .
I bit depressed, as Hubby went back to work today.  Not sure if they will continue the 2 weeks off/on now that out state is lifting the shut-in order May 1st.

On my mind . . .
Well, what isn't on my mind?  Seriously, at a time like this.  Will I ever get to hug my Mom or Dad, sit around a table at a family gathering?  Hold my grand kids?  Dance at a bar?  Participate in a bike week in our state?  Get a trip to the island, cabin in the hills or cabin in TN this year?  Sell at a craft show?  

On the breakfast plate. . .

Coconut flour pancakes and sausage because my waffle maker no worky.  They taste the same, but don't have the height.

On my reading pile . . .

On the TV . . .
Whatever we find interesting on netflix (if we can get it to work, since the internet is off and on lately).

On the menu . . .
-soup beans, fried cabbage
-walleye/perch and homemade fries
-bruschetta chicken, salt and vinegar potatoes, beets
-not sure on the rest yet

From the camera . . .
Hard to believe this was a few days ago.  No snow now.

These are up for sale on my "farm" blog, but I'm sure no one has money to spend right now.

Looking around the house . . .
It's looking a less bit cramped.  Our daughter who moved back in is slowly getting her belongings upstairs.

Chore I am not looking forward to this week . . .
To be honest I'm looking forward to any chore right now.  It keeps me moving and keeps myself in a routine.

To relax I will . . .
Porch time, crochet, or knit.  Bake.  It makes me happy.

Yesterday I baked some banana bread with walnuts and mini-chocolate chips.  It smelled fantastic, as I have not been doing this sort of baking (conserving the flour and the fact we are shut in and could put on some extra pounds).  In fact, we left to go on a motorcycle ride, and when we got home, my working daughter said she could smell it right away and went searching for it, ha ha!

Prayers. . . 
Mom, Dad (elderly shut in), one brother (first responder), the president, the world, us, a new baby born into our family and no one can see him yet.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Spring Garden Goodies

Early photo from yesterday.  Purple dead nettle is up.

Our rhubarb and asparagus is coming up too.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Snow ~ Score!

The weather will be much better today.  Yesterday it snowed.  And snowed.  And snowed.  

Woke up to find this at the computer.  Our daughter scored us a can of Lysol.  Love the mug she gifted me too.  So happy to see this.

This morning I realized there is no such thing as simply getting up and making a cup of coffee.  First, the chicks needed fed and watered, the mouthy and loud Tiger wanted fed, the barn cat was pawing at the door to be fed....then there is Romeo....sigh...I got my cup of coffee finally.

My husband and I went to the "Big City" and did a supply run for us and for her.  We picked up her favorite wine too.  The greenhouse did not have sweet potato slips in yet, so that was one stop we didn't need to do.  Mom was smiling this delivery, so she is doing better now.

Other news:
Our statewide shut-in order will lift after May 1st.  They are setting us free.  Sort of.  There will be three phases of opening places.  Each "phase" is minimum 14 days, and if all goes well, school open back up in phase 2 (so that passes their prom date).  The Ohio Bike Week was postponed.  

Friday, April 17, 2020

Quarantine Day 32

Quarantine day 32

Nothing like waking up at 3:30am, and finding the internet not working and trying to figure it out for an hour. Now it's running slower than molasses.

Things I noticed while out getting supplies - Kroger pharmacy took down all readers.  You cannot buy them.  One Kroger has a limit of 410 people.   Ace hardware is not shipping any UPS items.  No Lysol spray in any stores.

Daughter (20 year-old) said that they only get a small amount of Lysol and they are forced to keep it and use on the store.  I'm guessing most shipments are like this.

She also told us they make care packages for the truck drivers that deliver - Lysol, sanitizer, snacks etc.

Calling my Mom to get her grocery list for a supply run feels like a scene from The Walking Dead.

On a good note, my lettuce is sprouting!  We also cut wood, but only enough for a few days.  It was cold, so we will resume soon.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Harvesting Stinging Nettle ~ Garage Clean Up

The snow was arriving around noon yesterday, so I went ahead and harvested some stinging nettle.  It filled my smaller dehydrator.  Happy for that. If you haven't done this before, be sure to have thick gloves on.  The "sting" does not leave the plant until you either cook it or dehydrate it.

Hubby and I spent 3 hours in the garage.  Found so much we can give away - roller blades, knee pads, wrist guards, all sorts of balls and bats, kids tent....lots to throw out too.  Now the trash is full, so it waits again for another day.  Happy for that too.

Luckily, I harvest a small bit of feverfew.  I make tea for our youngest daughter's headaches.  

The sunrise this morning.  I actually slept until just before it came up.  Beautiful, and praying for the best for world, especially our Governor.  I just hope they don't hold us captive much longer, and that they do not enforce wearing a mask all year.  I do understand the purpose, but you can't gain immunity by covering our faces an entire year, possibly 18 months.  There is hope for things to open back up.  In our state if you are tested and are positive they are giving your personal information to the local EMS/Police authorities - so much for HIPPA and our privacy.  Might as well stamp a number on us.   Sorry for the "Debbie Downer" but it really has me thinking/wondering.  Keep praying.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Spring Nettle ~ Snow

Spring nettle is coming up, but snow is coming today and possibly Friday.  I'm going out to harvest what I can for now.  I'm going to dehydrate it for now, as it's not much, but better than anything at this point.

I got another email from the school.  Graduation is still set for late may, with a back up date late June.

I plan to make another jar of Four Thieves Vinegar today.  Other than that, due to the weather, we'll be working in the garage.  I doubt thrift stores will be open any day, so I'm not sure what we'll do with items we want to get rid of yet.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Biscuits ~ Sewing ~ Planting

I was slow to get started yesterday morning, but so happy I could actually sleep in. 

I started the day with some hand sewing - fixed a pair of jogger pants.  Finally planted my heirloom organic lettuce seeds, and baked some biscuits for dinner.  These kids will never want to move out with all this home cooking (the older one who moved back in truly misses the healthy meals.  Especially breakfast, as it's never out of a box (or very rare).

Youngest learned how to make sausage gravy and was so proud of herself.  She now wants to learn how to make the biscuits.  I sure hope she really does.

I did my daily call to Mom.  She was feeling better than the day prior.  With our future so uncertain, I must call her daily for support.  I need the one on one time as well.

It's a chilly 29°F here this morning.  Huge change from our 60-70 degree days lately.  Not sure of what's on the list for today yet.

I'm pretty sure there will be zero craft shows this year, so I plan on putting items up for sale via the mail.  Packages can be sprayed or left 72 hours before opening.  I'll admit, my motivation for crochet and knit work is at an all time low though.  I have not started to knit the socks yet, as we've been working on jobs that haven't been done for years (which is a good thing).  

Unfortunately, one bakery (local in the Big City) is closing it's doors and it may be for good.  So sad to see local businesses go through this.  

I may need to try some new recipes to keep myself upbeat during this shut-in order.  Just depends on what the grocery store has right now.