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Traditional Homemaking Fall/Spring 2009! - Page 9

post #161 of 542
my garden was also a bit lame, lots of learning to do, and amending the soil now that i have a full compost ready to go, and lots of pruning to do to let in some more light

or moving somewhere south-facing

amazing about the tomatoes! how do you prepare them for storage? is it cold where you store them? are they green to begin with?

my finnish great-grandmother used to keep a barrel of apples + cranberries - i think it was cranberries? submerged, you could just take an apple out of the water, and it would be stained even more red by the berries. i think...i should check details, my memory!

spontaneous birthday party happening here today, goodness!

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post #162 of 542
Yeah, I had had high hopes this year because we double dug and really put in some big efforts this spring... but no... it was just a cold, wet, yucky summer... and yeah, definitely not warm enough for most of the hot weather plants - cukes, tomatoes, peppers, okra... meh. Now I'm not feeling a lot of motivation to try again next year, but I guess we'll see. Maybe by spring I'll be all excited again.

Oh, and we planted a couple apple trees in our yard and one of them seems to be mostly dead Just really not a great year in my garden.
post #163 of 542
oh, that's rough.

gardening can be exhilarating and heartbreaking. maybe i'll toughen up when i've had a few years of snail-decimation.

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post #164 of 542
i got my glass jar lids they are exquisite.

1jooj, i love having a book with me, i write every day, sometimes several times a day. i just got a smaller type that fits in my pockets, if i make myself clothes they will all have to have a pocket! i love to be able to write down ideas all day long.

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post #165 of 542
Yeah, I have a big 3-subject on the kitchen table, but I am not always here when the ideas hit. Also discovered that my hand goes numb when I write with a pen more than just a little. CT syndrome runs in my family. My mom had surgery at my age, my little sister already had it, and my big sister only avoids it by not typing or using fine motor too much. So...I am thinking steno pad, and yeah about the pockets.

I bought barn boots! I had avoided it for a long time, which was just stupid, since they were only $17. Just knee-high rubber boots, but so much more comfy than the fake crocs I'd been wearing, or the cheapo winter boots I'd used as barn boots last winter. Next, I need to find good snow boots for winter activities (which I and a friend have decided to take up through winter in order to not hate it). I got puddle boots for out and about, too. Polka dot.

OK, so Mother Earth News has an article this month on baking with applesauce. Her timing could not be better, considering the quarts of the stuff in my basement.

I moved all the pumpkins to the basement, along with squashes. I put our outdoor table down there and filled it and a chair. I baked 8 pie pumpkins and froze the stuff in 4-cup packages, and then toasted the giant pile of seeds. Then stripped the eggplants and bell peppers. Then baked moussaka that is SO YUM for dinner. Really sinful, though. Now I have a wooden sided radio flyer filled with bell peppers. Stuffed peppers, anyone? Still working on the tomatoes. If I have enough red ones, I can do another round of salsa.

Today, I should be able to set up feeders for the bees, and maybe bake and freeze more pumpkins. I made pumpkin soup already, and we're still working on the last zucchini breads I made, so I don't want to bake any desserts. We're also going to plant trees in the front yard this week. Dh built a part of our new fence (I love it! ) out front, and we'll add trees and the rest of the fence in parts as we can afford it. Trying to add privacy and reduce road noise.

Our layer babies will also soon be moving in with the rest of the layers. And then the leaf raking will begin. We really suddenly went from summer to fall. Wow. I have never felt so affected by this season.
post #166 of 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaFern View Post
i have a wonderful and supersimple red lentil dhal soup recipe if you want.
Yes please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juvysen View Post
If you like curry, we make a good lentil curry...
Your recipe looks great - I will definitely try it - I always have those ingredients on hand!

Quote:
Originally Posted by artparent View Post

i have a pressure canner! dug up out of the crawlspace just now. so tell me, what would you put up if you could/what do you can? jam, tomatoes...beans? soups? pumpkin? i'm going to be cruising the markets for a deal now
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I would definitely do soups and veg, jealous!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jooj View Post
I made a gorgeous broccoli soup yesterday evening. I cut broccoli and had about 3/4 a gallon pail, so I steamed and picked out the worms , then cooked with onion, garlic and potato, and pureed most of it before adding some milk and flour. Even dh loved it, and he is not a fan of most "American" soups. The kids packed leftovers in their thermoses for lunch.
Ok. I have to ask. You had to pick out worms from your broccolli? Is this common with home grown? If so, it is so off my list for next year's garden. I have a bit of a worm issue. Fine in the soil, not so fine other places....

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jooj View Post
Now I have a wooden sided radio flyer filled with bell peppers. Stuffed peppers, anyone?
This is the recipe I used this weekend I sliced the peppers lengthwise and then stuffed them though. I also broiled for a few minutes at the end to blacken the pepper edges. Yum.

So, I have a pot on the stove cooking down some peaches and berries for fruit leather.......fingers crossed......I am planning to cover my cookie sheets with tinfoil then lightly spray them.....any better ideas?
post #167 of 542
my aunt does fruit leather with waxed paper, she says the trick is to dry it long enough that it pulls off but not so long that it sticks fast.
sounds

it took me most of the day but i finally got my huge stripey tablecloth sliced into ribbons + rolled into balls of fabric. a friend of mine said that she joined the weavers + spinners guild where she lived and had access to looms. i would fall over!!

seriously, ijooj, you are doing so much. i don't post all mine here, granted, because it isn't all traditional homemaking, it looks more just now like visit with an entire village of lovely mamas + kids because i'm going to miss them so much when we return to england!! but i do craft + sort + potter while they are here but i am very inspired. i have some tall boots i love for squishing round in my garden full of clay in the winter. the thing to remember is never to jump into them impetuously (say when you see several snails stripping your alliums til they crack and run to defend them) *without socks*!! they don't come off again! i cannot wait to get home to my garden now! to put it to bed really. with some kale seeds, just in case.

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post #168 of 542
artparent, I am sort of hypomanic during the long days. I get really slow during winter. This is the first year I am kind of looking forward to it. And I am in high gear when dh is home, because when he travels I have to focus on the basics. Not much "gets done." We just get by and try to be relaxed.

Taking a potty break from the bees. I got all but one feeder on, and I am stealing a bit of late honey...just one sting so far.

OK, back to the hayloft and my girls...
post #169 of 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWarrior View Post
I do need to get two more Christmas stockings made. My 2yo still doesn't have one, and I need one for the new babe also.

Every fall we get a couple of bushels of apples from a local low chemical farm and make apple sauce and apple butter, so I'm really looking forward to that too.
How do you make your Christmas stockings? I've been thinking about doing stockings this year - we didn't previously. I would love to make stockings, but I already have a lot of crafts for the holidays on my plate, too, so nothing too complicated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hippie_mommy View Post
One thing we've done for the past 5 years (since we've moved) is to go get pumpkins, cook them, and freeze them in batches for the rest of the winter. We love pumpkin cookies, breads, pies, and muffins, so we live off of that pumpkin, LOL.
We need to find a good source for baking pumpkins this year. I love love love pumpkin baked goods and wouldn't mind preserving it either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyLittleWarrior View Post
Also, we're planning a home birth, and I have this irrational fear that I'm going to go into labor on a day when my house is a disaster, so I've been doing a lot of decluttering and organizing hoping I'll be able to keep on top of it so I don't spend my entire labor cleaning for the midwives (I know they don't care, but still!)
I will admit that that is my number one fear around having a homebirth this time - is that I'll be in labor and embarrassed about my home! Though in my case, I'm not 100% sure that's an irrational fear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SparklingGemini View Post

I'm hoping to finally start a vermicompost bin this year.
I've been having a horrible time with worms and fruit flies. I'm getting ready to give up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hippie_mommy View Post
We love using retained heat cooking. Its great for beans, rice, or anything like that. It uses so little energy too!

http://solarcooking.wikia.com/wiki/H...ention_cooking
I need to try that. I saw something similar to that a long time ago, but they suggested that you build this big wood structure. We rent, so that wasn't an option. This is so much more doable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by artparent View Post
don't i wish
i have farm envy
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You and me both.

In general, we're doing some things I've never done before: we canned apples we got from a u-pick for the first time. I'm not sure it's sealed right. The lids are all the way down, if you know what I mean, but I still hear popping noises occasionally. I'll check the seal and it'll looks fine, so I'm not sure what's the deal.

I've kept up with my tiny garden. We live in an apartment, so we use a community garden, which is small. I did manage to grow enough tomatoes to make it worth drying some.

Oh, and I'm making her Halloween costume this year. And we have a nature table (for which I tried drying leaves - it did not work well; not sure what I'm doing wrong).

We've been slipping, though, too. We used to never eat out, and now we eat out a couple of times a month. We're using paper towels and buying some of our bread products again. The apartment got out of control while I was sick my first trimester. It's getting better though. I just try to focus on how happy I am with what I am doing.
post #170 of 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by boigrrrlwonder View Post
How do you make your Christmas stockings? I've been thinking about doing stockings this year - we didn't previously. I would love to make stockings, but I already have a lot of crafts for the holidays on my plate, too, so nothing too complicated.

Oh, and I'm making her Halloween costume this year. And we have a nature table (for which I tried drying leaves - it did not work well; not sure what I'm doing wrong).
Have you tried dipping leaves in wax? I think I'll try this year. That and other methods here

DH and My stockings are made from felted sweaters - I found two at te thrift shop, felted them, then cut out and sewed the stockings using the ribbed waist as the cuff. A little rick rack and they were done. here's a picture

Will have to consider whether I make DD one like this or make new for all 3 of us to match.
post #171 of 542
Katico, yeah I always pick the bugs from the broccoli. But it's sooooo good. It's a trade-off. KariM didn't have the worms like I did. I had a cabbage moth out there every time I checked. But it was really easy to pick them out once I steam-blanched the stuff.

The talk of HBing and messy houses makes me . Cute.

Love my bees. Checked the hives to the limited extent that I could. Made sure they all had some surplus honey and loaded feeders for all of them. Gave two feeders, a boardman and a top feeder, to my little combative colony. Killed some yellowjackets that had no business there. So here's hoping we have a decent survival rate this winter. They were hauling in giant loads of pollen, so I am hoping they have good instincts. I got 5 quart jars of late honey, leaving the rest for them, and I'll give back the cappings for them to clean, before I collect the wax again.

Today, I have really only planned to make our house look like crazy people don't live here. Tidy, pick some veggies for a soup, wash whites, roast a chicken, feed livestock. Nowhere to go, no major projects to complete. Dh bought 10 trees for the front yard yesterday and is going to have to plant them all before he leaves Sunday morning, so I am just going to try and make sure the rest of everything is mostly in order.
post #172 of 542
I need to join you ladies. I have so much to learn, so I'll just keep reading and ask questions as they come up.
post #173 of 542
welcome, atobols!

the honeybees sounds SO fascinating.

today i am making my place look like a holiday home (because we're leaving it for a few months) whilst somehow allowing my children to continue playing in it!

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post #174 of 542
It's such a lovely day here - fall-ish but still warm!

I took DD out in the yard to"help" (lay on a quilt and talk to the clouds...) while I planted some tulip, daffodil and crocus bulbs. Then we sat and watched the world go by for awhile.

I have made 6 sucessful trays of fruit leather - peach and blueberry, but man it is tart!! I keep adding honey but it's still puckery. However, I am very pleased with the method, it is working out really well.

I really want a food dehydrator now..it's been my secret appliance lust for along time now....the possibilities just seem endless. Does anyone have one?

We're enjoying the end of the meals I packed into the deep-freeze before DD was born. Tonight's supper will be some of the last chili and biscuits I froze.

There's an apple crisp in the oven right now to go with.

Can we talk about hand washing dishes? I have a dishwasher so do very little hand washing - it never seems that they come really clean, which is funny b/c the dishwasher also leaves little bits sometimes, not to mention the film of detergent. I need handwashing secrets, I would love to do more this way.

I was reading back into simple green frugal co-op and found this

Inspiring! My basement really is too damp and smelly to do this but it made me think about other options

P.S. I still don't think I could pick steamed worms out and then eat the broccolli....I think my aversion to worms might be an issue when I get the garden going next year..
post #175 of 542
I could NOT eat anything if I had to remove worms first. I guess I'm just a chicken!
post #176 of 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katico View Post
I was reading back into simple green frugal co-op and found this

Inspiring! My basement really is too damp and smelly to do this but it made me think about other options
I tried to set something like that up in my basement. It consists of the drying rack I brought back from Germany and a normal folding one that is available here in the US. The whole set up is great, but the actual drying isn't the best. It took almost 2 days for the clothes to dry. My diapers would take forever if I did that. Is that normal?

I do live in a new home and I was drying inside because it had been raining for a week straight and my laundry couldn't wait any longer. Will things dry quicker this winter when we're actually heating the house?
post #177 of 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by Down2Earth View Post
I could NOT eat anything if I had to remove worms first. I guess I'm just a chicken!
nope, no worms for me either i'm afraid. there's still a couple bags of diced rutabega in the freezer for this very reason.
post #178 of 542
Quote:
Originally Posted by atobols View Post
I tried to set something like that up in my basement. It consists of the drying rack I brought back from Germany and a normal folding one that is available here in the US. The whole set up is great, but the actual drying isn't the best. It took almost 2 days for the clothes to dry. My diapers would take forever if I did that. Is that normal?

I do live in a new home and I was drying inside because it had been raining for a week straight and my laundry couldn't wait any longer. Will things dry quicker this winter when we're actually heating the house?
I have only ever done light, quick drying things indoors- underwear, tshirts, pjs, etc. These things are done in a day but I do them upstairs and try to put them by a sunny window.

Diapers take FOREVER to dry. We use prefolds and they dry quick enough outside in the sun but they take ages inside, even if you dry them partway first.
post #179 of 542
things will definitely dry faster once you're heating the house. i love my london house because we have radiators to hang laundry over so i just put the heavy things like jeans and towels on there.

i *love* washing dishes now, which is amazing because i used to hate it. the crucial changes are that 1. i love my dishes and i'm happy to spend time with them. 2. same goes for my farmhouse sink 3. i use a loofah to wash with and handmade linen dishcloths, and a good wooden + natural bristle stiff brush, and i have a light steel scrubby for really dirty pots, all of which i like to look at, which for me is primary 4. i put my ecologically sound soap into an old tonic bottle from spain, with a spout, keep in mind that eco doesn't work as well, test out different brands for how effective they are.

i run a bit of hot water into a squirt of soap and put in all the glass + teacups to soak for a few minutes, come back and wash those up...hot rinse water just used as needed out of the tap and helping to heat up + increase the water in the sink, then i put in plates + cutlery, soak, do those, and finish with the dirtiest items...pots, pans. i air dry pretty much everything except my knives, and pots dry on the stove. then i shine my sink so it is all beautiful for next time. i also listen to the radio, so i get to quiet down and focus during that time.

all clean except for mopping + scrubbing the fridge out

all packed except for last minute clothes + toiletries. if i get through customs i shall post a list of the wacky collection of things i've got

still about 40 things left to do!

i have a yummy stew cooking: beef browned in a lot of coconut oil + butter, sea salt, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, homemade canned tomato , yams, courgettes, potatoes, and kale will be added a bit later. that's the last dinner i'll cook in canada for a few months, hopefully i can keep the place clean til we depart!!

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post #180 of 542
your dishes sound like fun! maybe i need some dishwashing prettyness to make it more where did you get the wooden/natural bristle scrubber? and your linen dishclothes sound divine! pattern?
my biggest thing is my view from my kitchen window is ugly. all of my other windows look out to our beautiful yard but my kitchen looks at my neighbours driveway. yuck. next year i plan to put up a trellis with vines and flowers.. maybe i just need cute curtains? i just hate standing there looking out.. i really generally like doing dishes though.

happy house switching!
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