Monthly Archives: October 2017

Tomato Juice DIY

Heirloom Tomato

Fall has arrived and the last of my tomatoes have been harvested from the garden.  We have canned stewed tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti sauce, chili base, V7 juice, pizza sauce and dehydrated tomatoes into powder.

To celebrate the last of the harvest these heirloom tomatoes will be turned into fresh tomato juice.  The process is simple, only requiring some arm muscle.

Using the food press my mother used for so many years, these fresh tomatoes will become juice to be used in making tomato soup and so many other uses.  Number one a fresh glass of cold tomato juice.

Pressing tomatoes into Juice

This photo brings back some fond memories as a kid growing up watching and helping mom every fall make tomato juice.  Some people may ask why bother doing it by hand, just get an electric juicer and be done in half the time.

They are correct in the saving of time, but there is something down home, back to the basics and fun about squeezing all those tomatoes with a food press.  Plus if the power is ever out or the zombies are coming I can still make fresh tomato juice and all will be good in my small world.

Process of making tomato juice

Wash tomatoes
Cut out the stem and any bad parts
Put in the food press and start pressing.  Watch all that wonderful juice start to run out.  Make sure you use a big bowl to catch everything.
Just keep adding and pressing tomatoes until there is nothing left but seeds and skins in the food press.
Store in clean quart jars or freezer containers.


Tomato Juice  Tomato Powder Dehydrated/How to Use  Tomato Canning Tomato Soup Chili Sauce Canned  V7 Juice


Apple Cider Doughnuts

Apple Cider Doughnuts

Tis the fall season for pumpkin patches, hayrides, scarecrows, apple cider and to top it all of Apple Cider Doughnuts.

Nothing says fall like a warm apple cider doughnuts and a cup of apple cider to finish the goodness off.

Apple Cider Doughnuts

2 cups apple cider
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom
2 large eggs
6 Tablespoons melted butter cooled
Oil for frying

  1.  In a saucepan bring cider to a rapid boil, cook over high heat to reduce by half around 13 minutes.  Cool.
  2. Whisk together flour, wheat flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and cardamom.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk eggs, melted butter and apple cider. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened, dough will be sticky.  Refrigerate covered for 1 hour or until firm enough to shape.
  4. Divide the dough in half.  On a floured surface, pat each portion to 1/2 inch thickness and cut with a floured 3 inch doughnut cutter.
  5. In an electric skillet or a deep fat fryer heat oil to 325 degrees.  Fry doughnuts a few at a time until golden brown.  Don’t forget to fry the holes.  Cook through for 1 minute on each side.
  6. Drain on paper towel.
  7. Dust with powdered sugar or glaze
  8. ENJOY!

Reflection of Life

Reflection of Life










What Are You Eating

Oatmeal Honey Whole Wheat Bread Carbohydrate Good or Bad

As consumers we need to ask the important questions when it comes to our food.

Where was the food grown.
How was it stored and transported.
What resources were used?  Water, soil type, fuel, insecticides, herbicides
Who produced it.
Is the food really good for us or is it full of sugar and preservatives.

Corn from the garden.
All About Green Peas

Everyone has their own mind-set on what they considered process.  Some don’t care and have no interest in knowing about what they eat.  More and more people want to eat what they grow and know what is in the food they are placing on the dinner table.

Now all of us can’t grow, raise or hunt their own food.  Doesn’t mean we can’t reconnect with what is on our food plate.  Learning how to dehydrate, canning, freezing and storing food properly is something everyone should learn.  If you can’t or don’t want to grow your own food, start by purchasing the freshest simple ingredients needed to make your own meals from scratch.

Strawberries fresh from the garden.

Fresh Foods grown personally or bought fresh from local farmer.

Fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, herbs, cheese, fish, meat, grains and any other foods locally grown and harvested.

Simple foods that take some processing and preservation.

Frozen or packaged meat, fish, vegetables, rice, nuts, beans, oils and spices are just a few.

Processed food that will lose their food value over time, compared to fresh or unprocessed.

Canned vegetables, flour, yogurt, salt, processed grains like rice and rolled oats, fruit juices, syrup, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and sugar to name a few.

Food that will have ingredients such as sugar, salt, fats, dyes and additives added.

Cereal, baked goods like bread and pastries, any boxed food item, processed meats, jelly, jams, pickles, relish, condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and sauces, crackers, soups, noodles packaged, seasoning mixes and sauces in packages.  Only just the beginning of the list.

Everyone starts somewhere.  Begin slow and learn a new skill and make it happen.  Find someone who has been living this way for years or take a class.

I receive  great satisfaction sitting down to the dinner table knowing we have provided everything we are eating with our own two hands.


Vinegar for Gardening #3

Vinegar for Gardening #3

Use white distilled vinegar unless noted different.

Gardening with Vinegar


Stop mold from forming on cantaloupe by rubbing each melon with 1 teaspoon vinegar.

Climbing Frames

Clean and wipe down with 1 part vinegar and 1 part water.

Bird Nests

Need to stop birds from building nest in a certain area?  Drench area with vinegar several time over a few days.  The birds will stay away.

Animal Deterrent

Dogs, cats, deer, rabbits, raccoons, and foxes all hate the smell of vinegar, even after it dries.  Soak rags in vinegar and tie on to stakes or fencing.  Re-soak every 7-10 days.

Clay and Plastic Flower Pots

Make a solution of 1 cup vinegar and 2 cups cold water.  Soak pots over night.  Scrub clean and wash with soap and water.  Air dry.

Fresh Cut Flowers

Keep flowers fresher longer by adding 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 tablespoon sugar to your vase of water.

Garden Furniture

To deodorize and decrease mildew growth on plastic or mesh furniture, including umbrellas.  Mix 2 cups vinegar, 2 Tablespoons detergent in a bucket of hot water.  Take a soft brush to work the solution into the grooves including pads and umbrella.  Rinse with cold water.  Place in the sun to air dry.


Pour vinegar around the sandbox to keep cats from using it as a litter box.

Rhododendrons, Gardenia, Azaleas

If you have alkaline soil and are trying to grow the above flowers, add 1 1/2 Tablespoons of vinegar to 8 cups water.  Water the ground around the flowers.

Swimming Pool

Pour vinegar around the pool to keep flies away.

Why Is My Bread Dough Not Rising

Why Is My Bread Not Rising

Several people have asked my Why Is My Bread Not Rising?  There could be several different answers to this question.

Fall has arrived and winter is around the corner.  There is nothing like the aroma of fresh bread hitting you square in the face as you enter the house.  I love  the whole process of making bread.  Combining the yeast and water, adding flour and seeing it form a dough brings me happiness.

What about those times when nothing seems to go correctly, even if you have made the same bread recipe for the last 34 years.  Here are some reasons why your bread dough doesn’t rise.

Old Dead Yeast:  Inactive dry yeast can live for years.  If your yeast is where the temperature fluctuates this can cause your yeast to die.  So if you find some yeast hiding in the back of the refrigerator just assume it is dead and buy some new yeast.

Yeast is too hot:  Most bread recipes call for the yeast to be added to some type of liquid that has been heated.  If the liquid is too hot, it will kill yeast cells.  When in doubt use a kitchen thermometer to see how hot your liquid is before adding your yeast.

Room is cold or there is a draft:  The room your dough is rising in should be between 75 and 90 degrees.  If your dough sits too long in a cold room or in a draft the yeast will go dormant and die.

Rise Time:  If your dough is taking forever to rise, it could be a cold room or your yeast has died.  Another reason is using whole grain flour which takes longer to rise.  Be patient and let your dough rise.

Pan Size:  Are you using the correct pan size?  Might be your pan is too big for the amount of dough.  8 1/2 x 4 1/2 will hold 3 cups of flour.  9 x 5 pan will hold 4 cups of flour and a 10 x 5 pan will hold 4 1/2 cups of flour.

So your dough didn’t rise.  DON’T throw that dough out.

Roll it out and make flat breads.
Roll out, cut into strips and wrap it around a cooking stick over the campfire and cook.
In your cast iron pan roll out your dough.  Melt butter and spread on top of the dough.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of the butter.  Cook until done.
Roll out as thin as possible and make some crackers.  Add some herbs before baking.

Now go enjoy making some bread.  ENJOY!

Why Is My Bread Dough Not Rising.

Amish Onion Patties

Amish Onion Patties

This is an old recipe but one that you will add to the recipe file once you have made these.  Making onion rings can be somewhat of a hassle.  All that dipping and re-dipping can get very messy.  Not a problem when you make these Amish Onion Patties.

Amish Onion Patties frying in a cast iron skillet.

Amish Onion Patties

1 cup flour
2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoon cornmeal
2 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil for frying
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cornmeal.
Add the onion and mix.
Add the milk and mix.
Drop by spoonful into the hot oil.  Cook until golden brown.  Turn over and cook the other side.

Amish Onion Patties golden brown.


Amish Onion Patties

Vinegar Cleaning #2 Kitchen/Bathroom

Vinegar Cleaning #2 Kitchen/Bathroom

Use white distilled vinegar unless noted different.

Vinegar All Purpose Cleaner

Fill a bucket with 1/2 cut white distilled vinegar, 1 cup ammonia, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 gallon of water.  I fill a spray bottle and put the rest in a gallon jar to replenish the spray bottle when empty.  Spray on spots and stains wipe with a clean cloth.  Great for cleaning walls and painted surfaces.

Glass, Stainless Steel, Plastic and Laminate Surfaces

Fill a spray bottle with 2 cups water, 1 cup vinegar and couple drops dish washing soap.  Spray and wipe clean.

Pots and Pans

This is safe house on all metal cookware, including copper pans.  Combine equal part salt and flour.  Add just enough vinegar to make a paste.  Work the paste onto the cooking surface and around outside of pan.  Rinse with warm water and dry.

Mopping ceramic Tiles on Floor

Add 1 pint vinegar to a gallon of warm water.  Mop floor.

Ceramic Tiles on Walls

Mix 1 cup vinegar to 3 cups warm water.  Wipe tiles clean.


Keep sponges fresh by soaking overnight in 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup water.  Rinse before using.

Coffee Maker

Fill decanter with vinegar and 1 cup water.  Place filter in machine and pour mixture into the coffeemaker chamber.  Let coffeemaker run through a cycle.  Remove filter and replace with a new filter.  Run clean water through for 2 cycles.

Cutting Boards and Storage Jars

Wipe clean with full strength vinegar.

Drains deodorized and Unblock

Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down drain.  Next pour 1 cup vinegar down drain.  After foam disappears flush with hot water.  Wait 5 minutes.  Flush with cold water.  Repeat if necessary.

Glasses, Crystal, Fine Cut Glass

Add 1 cup vinegar to your sink filled with warm water.  Wash glasses.  Allow to air dry.


In a glass bowl place 1 cup water and 1/4 cup vinegar.  Place in microwave and set for 5 minutes.  When bowl has cooled use mixture to wipe out microwave.


Clean with vinegar and rag.  Wi[ing everything down.


Wash scissors in vinegar.  Keep open to air dry.

Teapot, Thermos

Fill with equal parts vinegar and warm water.  Let sit one hour.  Rinse and air dry.

Vinegar Cleaning #2 Kitchen/Bathroom


Scrub and wipe down with vinegar on sink and toilet.  Rinse with cold water.

Shower Curtain

Place couple towels and shower curtain in washer.  Add 1/2 cup liquid laundry soap and 1/2 cup baking soda.  Wash on warm water cycle.  Add 1 cup vinegar to rinse cycle.  Before washing machine spins remove shower curtain and hang to air dry.

Shower Door, Sliding Door Tracks

Fill tracks with 2 cups vinegar.  Let sit 3 to 4 hours.  If tracks are really dirty heat vinegar for 30 seconds in microwave.  Scrub tracks.  Flush with hot water.  Vinegar Cleaning #1  Laundry/Washer



Vinegar Cleaning #1 Laundry Section

Vinegar Cleaning #1 Laundry

Use white vinegar for all the laundry tips.

WARNING:  Do Not us vinegar if you have added bleach to your rinse water.  Will cause harmful vapors.

Clean Washing Machine

Once a month pour 2 cups of white distilled vinegar into washing machine.  Set to run a full cycle empty.  Helps clean out soap scum and disinfect washer.

Conditioning Fabric

Stop purchasing expensive fabric conditioners.  Add 1/2 pint of vinegar to your rinse cycle.  Keeps linens soft.

Stop Color Fading

Pour 1/2 pint vinegar into your wash cycle.  Brightens colors in each load.

Colors Running

Soak any new clothes or fabric you think might bleed into other clothes.  Soak your new clothes in 2 cups vinegar for 15 minutes before washing.

Reduce Lint

Pour 1/2 pint vinegar into rinse cycle, helps reduce lint.

Stop static cling

Pro-long life of nylons and swimsuit by adding 1/2 pint to rinse cycle.

Take Yellow Out of Clothing

Soak clothing overnight in a solution of 12 cups warm water to 1 cup vinegar.  Wash next morning.

Blankets become soft and fluffy if you add 2 cups vinegar to rinse cycle.

Whiten Those Socks and T-Shirts

Add 1 cup vinegar to 2 1/2 pints of water into a large stock pot.  Bring to a boil.  Pour solution into a bucket and drop in socks or t-shirts.  Soak over night.  Wash next day.

Remove Odor from Clothing

To remove diesel, gas spills, cigarette smoke or mildew from clothing add 1/2 pint vinegar to rinse cycle.

Remove Blood Stains

Soon as possible, before the blood dries pour vinegar on the stain.  Soak 10 minutes.  Blot with a cloth or towel.  Repeat if necessary.

Deodorant Stains

Gently rub the spot with vinegar before washing.  Next wash on hottest setting that is safe for the fabric.

Crayon Stains

Rub crayon stain with an old toothbrush soaked in vinegar.  Wash immediately.


Wet the ink stain with vinegar. Rub in a paste of 2 parts vinegar to 3 parts cornflour.  Let the paste dry completely before washing.

Dried on Stains

Pre-treat with a solution of 3 Tablespoons of vinegar, 2 Tablespoons liquid detergent and 3 cups warm water.  Rub solution into the stain, blot dry and wash normal.

Remove Stains from Collars and Cuffs

Make a paste from 2 cups vinegar and 3 cups baking soda.  Scrub area and let paste set for 1/2 hour before washing.

Cloth Diapers

In a pail or bucket mix 1/2 pint vinegar, 16 pints of water.  Helps neutralize urine and prevents staining.  Soak and wash as usual.  Vinegar Cleaning #2  Kitchen/Bathroom