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Friday, October 31, 2008

Clear Jel & "Make A Mix"

Over the summer I ordered Clear Jel to can pie filling. I accidentally ordered the instant kind. Since you cannot make returns I am trying to find ways to use it. I searched the internet and found recipes for cream of chicken and cream of mushroom soups. I assembled the dry ingredients together in little packets. This week I used my first packet to make cream of mushroom soup for a dish that I make. It was pretty good. I haven’t figured out a cost for the substitute but I am sure it is a lot cheaper than the store bought and easier to keep on hand. I still haven’t tried the cream of chicken, but I think it will be better and easier than the mushroom.

Here is the recipe:

Cream Soup
1/3 cup Clear Jel (Instant)
1/3 cup dry powdered milk
1 tsp. salt and1/8 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
6 mushrooms or beef or chicken base (I used the mushrooms that I dried a couple of weeks ago)

Put all ingredients into blender.

Blend then add 2 1/2 cup milk and blend again, add mushrooms or base to taste, blend 10 sec.This is good for casseroles which will be heated. It saves the cost and salt of canned soup, or the bother of white sauce.

I assembled the dry ingredients together, made an envelope from aluminum foil, and poured it in. Then when I was ready to use it I added the milk and blended it. I think it makes more than one can of the condensed soup and the flavor was the same.

I have been putting together a lot of mixes lately. I have made Taco Seasoning, Onion Soup mix, and Seasoned Salt. I have a cookbook called “Make A Mix” and it is great. I highly recommend it. It gives you recipes for things like taco seasoning, sloppy joe seasoning and baking mix. I have really liked everything I have made from this book. It is probably the most used cookbook I have bought in a long time. Some of the benefits of this book are: you don’t have to use preservatives, msg. and those kinds of things. Most of the mixes are things that you have on hand. If you go to the cupboard and don’t have a mix you just whip one up. And they save you a lot of money. I know a packet of taco seasoning is less than $1.00 usually, but I made 2 packets for less than $.50.

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Lord's Prayer

The Christian radio station I listen to, on my way to & from work, is asking that every one who listens to pray the Lord's Prayer at 12:00 noon each day, until the election, next Tuesday.

I am going to try to remember to pray it each day and I hope you will too.

In case you have forgotten it, I have pasted it below.

Our Father, who art in heaven,hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Matthew 6:9-13

This is a promise that God made to us: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14

This model prayer reminds me that He is in control and no matter the outcome of the election He will still be soverign and I have no need to worry.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Meal Time

There is a commercial out now from a major fast food chain that is trying to convince people that you can’t make a fried chicken dinner for less than $10.00. That just gets my goat! More and more I hear people say that they can eat out cheaper than they can cook at home. And when they cook at home they have all these leftovers that they don’t like to eat. Or they are just so busy that they don’t cook at home anymore.

I guess I live in a totally different world. I can buy a whole chicken for around $4.00 (not on sale), the amount of flour, spices, and oil I use to fry it in may amount to $1.00, and I can make 2 full pots of side dishes and rolls for less than $3.00. That puts me at $8.00 and from that I get 8 pieces of chicken, not 7. And the leftovers will be served as lunches for DH & I to take to work.

As far as being too busy, it takes very little time to plan a menu for the whole week and that is half the battle. A planned menu makes things so much easier. You know what is for dinner every night. It takes me about 25 to 30 minutes per week to plan a menu. Then every night after dinner I do what I can for the next nights dinner (take the meat out of the freezer, peel potatoes, whatever I can) to make it go faster. A lot of our meals are done in the crock pot and you can usually go ahead and put everything in the crock pot, set it in the fridge, when you get up in the morning put it on the base and turn it on. A lot of the other meals I prepare can be done in an hour. We both work away from home and are gone 10.5 hours a day so things have to be fast. Most restaurants would take at least an hour.

I make extra some nights just so we have leftovers for lunch the next day. I use to eat out almost every day at lunch and I can tell you that eating leftovers for lunch has saved me almost $30.00 a week. Even if I go out and buy the expensive sandwich meats from the deli and spend $7.99 a pound (which I would never do) I can make at least 6 sandwiches from that. That’s a lot cheaper than a $5.00 foot long.

Then there is the issue of the family time that all of these people are missing out on. This is a special time when your children are still at home when they can tell you about their day, and you can have a conversation with them, that will pass too quickly. Before you know it, they will be out on their own and you will miss the time that you could have had with them, but were too busy.

Don’t let consumerism convince you that it’s cheaper to eat at a fast food restaurant than at home. You also don’t usually get sick from eating food that you prepare. And you know how cleanly it was prepared and what quality of ingredients you used. These things are always questionable to me.

I encourage you to eat at home.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Making a Home

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all. Proverbs 31: 28 & 29

Have you ever really listened to the word homemaker? One of the definitions of home is “the place in which one's domestic affections are centered.” You are in charge of making the place where your spouse’s & children’s affections are centered.

I know that most people do not think the title “Homemaker” is very glamorous, but when I read this definition, it is a wonderful title. What greater privilege could be bestowed on women?

We should strive to make our home a warm, kind, loving sanctuary for our children and spouse. It really doesn’t take a lot of money to make your house a home. Love goes a long way. A simple meal prepared out of love is much better than a prime rib dinner at a fancy restaurant with people who could care less about you.

I have always heard that the woman sets the tone of the home, and I know it’s true. This is where the saying, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” comes from. I remember times when my children would be sad or irritable, and if I just changed my attitude, theirs would change.

I knew a minister that had every reason to be unhappy. His wife died after suffering through cancer, they had several pregnancies and lost all of the babies, he had been injured in a war and floated on a life raft for several days before he was found. He shared with me that every day when he awoke he said to himself and to God “I am going to be happy today.” And he was always happy and a real joy to be around. I always try to remember his wise words and do the same thing. I believe that being happy is a decision that we make, and we should make that decision every morning. What better way to raise our children, than in a happy home. Circumstances will lead us to be angry, sad, or unhappy, if we let them; but only if we let them. We all fall into traps with our emotions, and I don’t think you can ever totally overcome that; but I am going to get into the habit of waking up every morning with the thought that I am going to be happy.

May Proverbs 31: 28 & 29 come true for you and happy homemaking!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Weekend Happenings

Saturday we went into town and stopped at the 2nd hand store. I bought a new magazine rack. Well it’s actually an old basket, and I just love it. It makes me smile every time I walk past it. It only cost $8.00. Here is a picture of it:

We also bought a dresser for the upstairs bedroom. It was only $50.00. Now I just have to get it filled with clothes and get that room organized before the kids come at Christmas. I didn’t take pictures of it yet.

This is a breakfast casserole I made for breakfasts during the week this week. The recipe is on the back of Simply Potatoes Southwest Julienne potatoes. It is really yummy.

I am trying to get better at planning our meals for the week. Sometimes it’s really hard to plan 3 meals a day. So I am trying to spend some time on the weekends cooking things we’ll eat for lunches and breakfast during the week. This weekend I made chocolate chip cookies and put at least half of them in baggies (2 per bag) for our lunches. I made the breakfast casserole for breakfast; it should last at least a couple of days. I also had leftover sausage gravy that I had frozen a few weeks ago. I made tuna salad for lunches and I will make a pasta salad this week. Some leftovers from dinner will also be thrown in a few days for lunch.

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue,
but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:8

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; Ecc. 3:1 & 2

It is time to start plucking up that which is planted. I have been putting it off because we are getting some green beans and tomatoes occasionally. We also have a lot of lima beans still on the plants that I was hoping would get ripe soon. But the rain is supposed to start today, and with that cooler weather. I am afraid if I don’t get the green tomatoes picked, wrapped in newspaper and stored it will get too wet to get to them. I think I will just mow down the peas the leaves have a lot of nitrogen in them that is good for the soil and since the goats don’t seem to be too thrilled to eat them they might as well compost.

The leaves are really changing here and I am ready for fall weather. We have ordered 100 gallons of fuel oil at $3.149 a gallon and a tank of gas at $2 something a gallon. We are going to install our outside wood burner soon so the oil will be a backup for that. We have a gas burner that looks like a fireplace so we will only burn that when we are in the living room. I hope that the fuel we have ordered will last us a couple of years.

It is also almost time for our new granddaughter Lily to be born. We can’t wait to see her little face, and to touch her soft skin and to kiss those rosy cheeks! What a special Christmas we will have with both of our grand babies here!

I hope you enjoy your seasons.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On the Farm

We have goats that are in season and things are getting wild in the pastures. We have 2 bucks that are of breeding age and the largest one is trying to make sure the younger one leaves his girls alone. I have an idea that Sam, the younger one, is pretty sneaky.

We have one (maybe two) female that was bred a while back. I am sure the rest are bred by now. So in about 5 months we should have kids again. We are still trying to sell some of the younger ones. We really need to thin out the herd before winter.

We have ordered 60 more chickens that should arrive at the end of October. They are all hens and should be laying eggs in about 5 months, also. We are going to try to sell eggs at the local farmers market next summer. We already cannot keep up with all the people that want eggs. I hope the sales at the market are good.

I planted garlic over the weekend. I have been meaning to do this for 3 years and I finally did it! DH tilled up the area for me and the soil was just right for planting. I put the cloves in the ground and covered them with soil and about 4 inches of some very old hay we had in the barn. Hopefully, next year we will have plenty of garlic. I think I planted 22 cloves and that should equal 22 bulbs.

I still have 2 small pumpkins that need to be cooked and put in the freezer but I may wait until right before Thanksgiving for that. I also have a half bushel of apples that need something done with them. That should be the last of my freezing and canning for this year.

I have started stocking up on baking supplies for the holidays. Chocolate chips were on sale really cheap last week at my local store so I stocked up on them. Today spices were on sale at Walgreens for .50 each so I stocked up on cinnamon. I still need to stock up on Plain flour, whole wheat flour, bread flour, sugar and brown sugar. I have plenty of pecans saved from last year. So other than cherries for chocolate covered cherries I’ll be set.

Have a Happy Fall!

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Today I rearranged some of my kitchen. I had a lot of things in the kitchen that I don't use very often and kept all my canned goods in the laundry room. After thinking about I decided to move all the things I hardly ever use into the laundry room and the canned goods into the kitchen.

I don't know why I never thought of this before. Every other house I have lived in had a pantry and I never had to put much thought into where the food was going to be stored. Maybe after being in this house for 4 years I will finally get it more organized.

Organization is very important when you live in an old farm house that doesn't have any closets and limited storage. I am currently rethinking how I have everything stored. I have done this occasionally since we have lived here and most of the changes I have made I have been very happy with.

This is my new food storage cupboard in the kitchen:

And this is what I did with all of my canning from this year:

I use to keep all of my cookbooks here but they have been moved to a bookcase in the living room. I think it looks pretty to display your home canned goods.

I also cleaned out the freezer in the back porch area and moved a lot of the vegetables that I froze this year out to the large freezer. I kept enough in the smaller one to get us through a few weeks and will replenish it before it gets too cold out.

So teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom
Psalm 90:12

Friday, October 10, 2008

Going Green

There is a lot of talk these days about going green. And I guess in my own way I have jumped on the band wagon. My thoughts of going green tend to mean something different than just saving the planet. I think going green is more about the green in my wallet, and since most things green are cheaper than their counterparts, I am all for it!

I do believe that God expects us to be good stewards of everything he has given us and the earth is one of those things. We should all do our part to take care of it. Reduce our waste, replenish our land and, recycle as much as we can.

I have reduced the amount of paper I use in my home. My paper towel roller has been empty for 2 weeks now and I don’t know when I will refill it. I still have a roll of paper towels but, I’ll keep them until I just really feel the need to use them. We have gone to cloth napkins, and no paper plates. This saves money because I am not purchasing these things or putting them into garbage bags that cost money. It saves the planet by not filling up the landfills.

I cut down on junk mails by sending letters to the 3 major credit bureaus asking them to remove my name from their mailing lists. This saves money because I am not accepting their offers. It also saves the planet by not sending all that junk mail to the dump.

I am using homemade laundry detergent and hanging my clothes on a line to dry. This saves money because the laundry detergent is cheaper; it cost nothing to hang my clothes on the line. It also saves the planet because of the energy I am not using.

Most kitchen scraps are put into the compost pile which the chickens dispose of. This saves money on chicken feed.

We carpool to work most days, do most of our shopping on our way home, and stay home as much as possible. This has cut our gas bill almost in half.

We don’t eat out as much as we use to. I cook from scratch most days (no over packaging.) We produce a lot of our own vegetables and herbs, and eggs.

So, I guess we are getting greener…conservation wise & financially.

I hope you are finding some greener ways,too!

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

New to Blogger

I have been blogging on another website for a while. But I read so many blogs on this site that I have decided to move over. Every blog I see on this site is so cute! I wanted to make mine more personal and it is so much easier on this blog. I am looking forward to blogging on this new site!