Sunday, December 5, 2021

I've Been Busy

My grocery order last Thursday contained potatoes, onions, carrots and celery that are now in quart jars as a stew/soup base. Tomorrow 20 lbs. of hamburger will be canned.

So until I come up for air, I leave you with this picture of my Great Granddaughter, who was not at all impressed with Santa and Mrs. Santa. :)


Methinks this one is destined to become a family classic. :)

Friday, November 26, 2021

Happiness Is...

learning that another Great-Grandchild is on the way!

My Granddaughter Nicki, her husband Chris and daughter Aspyn made the announcement via Facebook yesterday.



The baby is due in June, which gives me plenty of time to make another baby quilt.

I am really liking this Great-Grandma thing. :)

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Wishing Each of You...

a blessed Thanksgiving, full of love and laughter. And if alone this year as many are, may your day be one of peace and comfort. Even in the darkest of times, there is still much to be thankful for.

May God bless you, not only for the holidays, but all through the year.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Many Thanks...

to all of you for your words of encouragement and your prayers. This quitting smoking thing is no fun – no fun at all. I am still somewhat cranky. And I still want a cigarette. But I am smoke free and have every intention of staying that way. Sometimes stubborn can work for us. :)

My groceries were delivered today. There was a sale on turkeys and hams, with a limit of two on each, so that's what I ordered. The hams were about 7.5 lbs. each and they fit nicely into my freezer.

The turkeys, however, topped out at 17 lbs. and 20 lbs. They would not fit in the freezer – no way, no how!

Note to self: Check to see how much freezer space you have before ordering meat for the freezer. Duh!

Guess who will be cooking and canning turkey tomorrow. :)

Not complaining. Not at all. I am just happy to have that much more meat to add to my food storage. And to be able to get it while it is still affordable.

Here in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, we have had a couple of light snowfalls. But by mid afternoon, what fell the night before has melted off. That's fine with me. Although it is not unusual to have a considerable amount of snow on the ground by Thanksgiving, I won't mind if that doesn't happen this year.

That's all I know for now. I suppose I could work up a rant about several things going on just now, but I think I would rather stay relatively happy.

Sometimes, the best revenge on those who would try to make our lives miserable is to be happy anyway. Drives them crazy. :)


Saturday, November 6, 2021

"Too soon old...

 too late smart."

That was a favorite saying of my Dad's.  And it certainly applies to me - his oldest daughter.

After 60 years of living with a cup of coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other, I have quit smoking.

At present I am really cranky and borderline mean.

Like any addiction, this one takes hold of a person and doesn't want to let go.  But I am determined.  

So I am asking your indulgence for a short while until I can at least be civil again.  There is lots of good stuff to read at the blogs in the sidebar.

I hope to return soon, a little less ornery than I am now.  :)

Friday, October 29, 2021

“I do it my own self.”

Those words were commonly spoken by one of my daughters from the time she was old enough to walk and talk. To say that she has an independent streak is an understatement!

It is an independent streak that prompted me to see what I could do to cut costs and “do it my own self” rather than pay the ever increasing grocery prices.

Ingredients are cheaper to buy than products. If we have been preparing for any length of time, chances are good we have ingredients stashed already. With that in mind, the following are some of the recipes I am putting together to avoid at least a few of the higher costs at the store.


HOT CHOCOLATE MIX

5 cups nonfat dry powdered milk

3 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups dry cocoa

1 cup nondairy coffee creamer

pinch of salt

Mix powdered milk, creamer, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Sift in cocoa and powdered sugar. Mix well. Store in a airtight container.

When ready to use, add approximately 1/3 cup to a mug of boiling water. Stir until cool enough to drink.


CORNBREAD AND MUFFIN MIX

4 cups flour

4 cups cornmeal

2 cups nonfat dry milk

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Put all ingredients in large bowl and mix well. Store in airtight container in cool dry place. Makes 9-1/2 cups. Use for the following recipes:

USE FOR CORN BREAD: Melt 1/4 cup butter in 8" square pan while preheating oven to 425ºF. Beat 1 egg and 1 cup water with fork in mixing bowl till blended. Add 2- 1/3 cup Mix and the melted butter. Stir just to blend. Pour into pan and bake about 20 minutes.

USE FOR MUFFINS: Prepare batter as for Corn Bread and spoon into 12 greased medium muffin cups.

USE FOR CHEESE CORN BREAD: After turning Corn Bread batter into pan, sprinkle with shredded Cheddar cheese.


CHICKEN, BEEF OR HAM GRAVY

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp ground black pepper

3 tablespoons of chicken, beef or ham bullion

COUNTRY GRAVY

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 -2 teaspoons of ground black pepper

1 teaspoon of minced dehydrated or freeze-dried chopped onion

To make 1 cup of gravy:

Melt a tablespoon of butter, lard, bacon grease or oil in a pan and mix with 2 tablespoons of gravy mix. Once all combined, add 1 cup of cold water and whisk until smooth. Stir until it thickens.


VANILLA PUDDING MIX

3 cups nonfat dry milk

4 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all except the vanilla, and store in an airtight container. To prepare, mix 1/2 cup of mix to 2 cups milk. Heat and stir constantly while boiling. Cool, then add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.


CHOCOLATE PUDDING MIX

2 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk

5 cups sugar

3 cups cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa

Mix and store in airtight container. To prepare, add 2/3 cup mix to 2 cups milk. Heat and stir constantly while boiling. Cool, then serve.


BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING MIX

2 cups nonfat dry milk

5 cups brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups cornstarch

Mix and store in airtight container. To prepare, add 1/2 cup mix to 2 cups milk. Heat and stir constantly while boiling. Cool, then serve.


Taking my age and physical limitations into account, I find some convenience foods easier for me to make.  But with prices heading higher each day and no end to it in sight, it just makes sense to me to "do it my own self." 

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Bits and Pieces

Our world seems to be changing at a rapid pace and not for the better.

My grocery delivery guy calls to let me know if canning jars and lids are available. This past week he brought me one case of quart jars. He said that was the ONLY item on the canning supply shelf. The store manager said the store had none in reserve and had no idea when or if they would get more.

Shortages seem to have made it into my area of Minnesota. My delivery guy tells me that paper products are in short supply, there are a couple of bare shelves and many are looking skimpy. He says there are few choices any more as far as package sizes and brand names go, at least at the major grocery store where the service shops.

I don't know if more people are waking up to the truth that we as a nation are in trouble or if many of the goods needed are sitting at anchor on container ships outside our ports. I would hope that more are learning the value of stocking up.

I canned 7 quarts of chicken legs. Although I followed the same procedure I have done for years, 5 of the jars didn't seal. I am finding I have more seal failures when using the newest metal lids, which makes me wonder what has changed in their manufacture. I know the part of the lids that adheres to the rim of the jars is thinner now than it was on the older lids. I find I am reluctant to can anything else just now. With prices headed upward at an alarming speed, I am not so sure that I want to risk having jars of food lose their seals.

A friend sent me a couple of articles outlining the problems facing aluminum manufacturers. The supply of magnesium is drying up and it is needed for the production of everything from aluminum car parts to soda cans. I have to wonder what we will run out of next week. This 'Build Back Better' thing just doesn't seem to be working out too well.

On a brighter note, there is some venison in my near future. Minnesota has an early 'Youth Hunting Season,' for those 13 years and older, accompanied by an adult. My grandson took the required classes and his Dad took him out earlier this week. Sitting still, being quiet and patience are not terms usually associated with my grandson. However he watched for at least ten minutes, waiting for just the right moment to take the shot. I am proud of him. He has provided meat for his family's freezer as well as for mine. And he is learning a skill that could become necessary in bad times.

Me...I just keep stacking it higher and praying more often. I think I will add buckling up to my routine. The ride just gets more and more bumpy.