A Day of Rest

Source: A Day of Rest

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A Day of Rest

So I didn’t post last weekend as I was busy trying to keep it together. I have days like that now and again, and usually I come out on top, but last week, not so much. After some time in the fresh air and nature, I was back to my self. I started walking in the mornings and this helps tremendously.

As to what we’re up to this week, I am making laundry soap, and attempting dish-washing soap since no one bothered to tell me we were out ( I don’t always do the dishes now ūüėČ ). Also regular meal prep for the week. I got a book from the library- I know, big shocker! It was a meals in jars cookbook, and I’m hoping to implement a few of them for the week. I’ll let you know how that goes.

We sadly said goodbye to our oval crock pot as it finally kicked the bucket. It had been spazzing out for a bit, but kept rallying. This week it finally gave up the fight. While I would love a programmable crock pot, I can’t spare the $$ to get it right now, so we will make do with our very old regular one that once belonged to my MIL.

For those interested, this is the recipe for laundry soap that we use. I love it, it’s quick and easy and I can make it smell any way that I like.

http://www.budget101.com/myo-household-items/super-laundry-sauce-dummies-4075/index-2.html#comments

Anyone learn any new skills this week?

Adventures in Learning Part 2 -Lard soap!

This week I tried a new recipe for making soap ( the old fashioned kind using lye). It called for lard, which I happened to have on hand. The recipe was super simple and easy, but it took much longer to get to trace than my soap I had made this summer ( or was it spring?). Anyway, I was beginning to panic a bit as I hate wastage and was afraid that this wasn’t going to work. I added a bit of olive oil just in case it wasn’t’ a true pound of lard that I had, and it went to trace about 3 minutes later. ¬†The last batch I did, I didn’t add any olive oil and just when I was about to give up on it and add the olive oil, it went to trace. (Shaking head)

I will have to wait a couple of days to see how it turned out, but I made 3 batches with 3 different scents and 2 with colour.  I found some great recipes for other kinds of soap, and other helpful homesteading things over at Little House in the Suburb. You can find them here : http://littlehouseinthesuburbs.com/  I highly recommend them!

I did try the pumpkin french toast over night casserole again, following the directions this time, but was not terribly successful again. It was my own fault, I was busy looking at crock pot oatmeal recipes on , yup, you guessed it, Pintrest, and forgot about it. It was still edible, but I was the only one ( a boy might have tried it) who ate any. I won’t call it a fail, but I will call it an unimpressed.

I did find an overnight crock pot recipe that I’m going to try tomorrow. Its this one :¬†http://www.theyummylife.com/Slow_Cooker_Apple_Cinnamon_Oatmeal. I’m not a big oatmeal fan. I would rather eat it in a crisp, but I am willing to give it a shot. I also put on a pot of broth to boil.

I ran across this suggestion and for the life of me I can’t remember where I saw it. It suggested that you take your onion peels, carrot peels, potato peels, broccoli stems, celery bits etc, and keep them in a bag in the freezer. Once the bag is full, you take it out, put in a pot of water and cook for at least an hour. Then strain and voila! Then you can put in the composter. This way, you get an extra wammy out of what you would have just put to compost! Try it this week!

Next weekend I need to get another couple of batches of soap made, and maybe string some apples if I can find some in the reduced rack. Then I want to keep the peels and see if I can make cider vinegar!

Menu for the week!!!

Sunday: Sausages ( double smoked bacon!!!! from Sasloves) with roasted potatoes and veggies

Monday: Hamburgers

Tuesday: Maple Salmon with rice and veg

Wednesday: Soup- I know I switched it up :p just seeing if you were on your toes)

Thursday: Pasta

Friday: Friday faire

Have a splendid week!

This week

So I know I’m a day, okay, two late, but I was busy ( well not really, but I got lost in the black hole of pintrest).

What did I learn this week? I learned that the breakfast that I was attempting to make ( pumpkin overnight french toast) did not go well in the crockpot. It was burnt on top, and custardy on the bottom. A bit of an expensive miscalculation, but I will try it again, and this time will precook it and just warm it up. Also I am going to attempt overnight oatmeal in the crockpot, although my kids aren’t exactly thrilled by the idea ( they’re rather have the Quaker packaged stuff :/ ).

I ended up spending lots of time in the kitchen on Sunday and got all the meals organized and some precooked which will make suppers this week much easier. What are we eating this week you ask?

Sunday:  Ham and mashed potatoes with gravy and salad

Monday: Ham and lentil soup with buns

Tuesday: Salmon with rice and broccoli

Wednesday: Sausage and veggie casserole

Thursday: Spaghetti squash, shrimp Alfredo with salad

Friday: Probably the usual ( french fries and hot dogs) or pizza

What’s the plan for next weekend? Need to get some Christmas gifts started so they have time to cure, the house needs to have a fall cleaning. Wait! Totally forgot that after Trick or Treating I cleaned the oven! It’s sooo sparkly! Ok, back on track. Christmas gifts, need to get going on them. I really need to start planning this a year in advance so that I have time to get things done. So that is a goal for next year.

I also did some reading on Pintrest ( they have way too much info there- its as bad as You Tube!) about frugal living and am going to try to keep those principles in mind in the future. It means a change in my mindset – not that I’m a big spender by any means – but just being aware. Instead of buying something, seeing if someone is giving it away, or if I could buy it second hand. That will be hard for me, as I’m not a big second hand clothing person personally. I don’t buy much for myself, and when I do, I have to LOVE it. Usually I don’t pay much for it, and often I can talk myself out of it too :). I do watch out for free clothes for the kids though and often give away instead of sell, what they’ve outgrown.

I have been taking books out of the library on different aspects of self-sufficiency and trying to decide if one of them speaks to me ( ie has so much good info that its worth buying the book). ¬†Several lately have been about preserving food and the different ways of doing that. It has been quite eye opening. It’s easy to see how we slipped into letting others do for us when we could do for ourselves. I’m hoping to implement a few of the recipes, but also some of the other preservation techniques, like solar drying, sun drying and maybe even some root cellering along side my jarring. The techniques are old school and mostly lost in today’s society. I think this may change if enough people start really paying attention to where their food comes from and all that.

So this week, I will continue to learn about food preservation, and getting prepared for the holidays.