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


Beef Tallow How to Render

Beef Tallow Finished Ready to Use

Phone rings.

Friend:  Hey what are you doing today?
Me:  Rendering beef tallow from a cow that was butchered.
Extremely long awkward pause.
Friend:  What in the world do you do with beef tallow?
Me:  Use it for frying, making soap and candles.  I plain on using this batch to make some candles.
Friend:  When the zombies invade, I’m coming to live with you.

We are very much trying to learn new skills and ways to make or do things ourselves.  Less we depend on a store the better off we are.

Tallow is basically the same thing as lard, only it comes from a cow instead of a pig.  Tallow is an old fashion type of fat.  Very healthy alternative to vegetable shortening and canola oil.  Tallow is very stable at high temperatures.

Excellent source of vitamins B6, B12, K2, niacin, iron, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorous and selenium.

Our ancestors knew the benefits from using tallow and didn’t waste anything.

Beef fat in crockpot ready to start cooking.

How to Render Tallow

I had an 5 pound bag of beef fat
crock pot  (I actually used two crackpots and divided the beef fat between the two)
large bowl
cheesecloth, any old cotton dish towel
large spoon

Place fat in crock pot.  Set on low and cook for 8 hours.  After the first 3 hours I start to stir and break down the fat.  Usually stir every couple of hours after that.

After 8 hours pour the fat with the liquid into a lined strainer.

Beef fat cooked and poured into a strainer.

Strain as much of the liquid out as possible.  Take the large pieces and give them to your chickens.  They will love you for this treat.

Pour the strained liquid into canning jars and let cool.  It will harden to a cream color.  I keep a jar in the refrigerator ready to be used for cooking and freeze the rest.

Since I will be making candles with this batch of Beef Tallow I poured the liquid into a deep cast iron skillet.  Be on the look out for the next post on how to make Tallow Emergency Candles.

Rendering Beef Tallow isn’t hard work at all just takes sometime to cook down.  Hope you learned a great new skill.  ENJOY!

Strained Tallow ready to sit and harden up.
Beef Tallow Finished Ready to Use




Carbohydrates Good or Bad

Grinding Wheat Berries

There is a big war going on against carbohydrates.  Are they good or bad for you?  The answer is yes and no.  Great answer right!

Fiber and carbs go together.  Most people don’t eat enough fiber.  We need fiber for these reasons.

  1.  Fiber slows down the absorption of other nutrients eaten at the sometimes as carbs.
  2. Fiber slows down carbs and prevents highs and lows in your blood sugar level.  Reduces Type 2 diabetes.
  3. Fiber helps you feel full, cutting down on the amount you want to eat

Complex carbs are the good carbs.  Why are carbs good, because it takes our body longer to break down the long sequence of sugars.  Which means the sugars are released t a lower and more consistent rate.

Food eaten straight from the earth or real foods are less processed and better for you.  Real or complex carbs are fresh fruits vegetables, beans, whole wheat, barley, couscous, brown rice and millet to name a few.

Simple carbs are made up of easy to digest basic sugars that have no real value for our bodies.  Login in fiber and high in sugar.  Soda, candy, white bread, white rice, artificial syrups, pasta pastries and desserts.  Potatoes are a couple carb but act more like a simple carb.

Read the box.  If the first ingredient is whole wheat or whole oat flour it is going to be more complex carbs.

Switching to low-fat or fat-free products still may not be a good choice.  Most of these products have sugar added to replace the fats.  All about taste and sugar taste good.

Eat foods naturally high in fiber, not foods labeled high in fiber.  Fiber has been added to foods labeled high in fiber.

We are able to grow our own wheat, vegetables and some fruits.  Adding a herb garden gives you fresh natural taste to foods.  Dehydrate, freeze and canning preserves and brings healthy meals to the dinner table.

What are your thoughts on Complex and Simple Carbohydrates?

Oatmeal Honey Whole Wheat Bread Carbohydrate Good or Bad  Whole Wheat Crackers/Plus 6 other flavors  Oatmeal Honey Whole Wheat Bread  Growing Our Own Wheat

24 Hour Car Survival Kit

24 Hour Car Survival Kit

If you travel by car carrying a basic survival kit with you should be a top priority.  Doesn’t matter what time of year, you should always be prepared in case of an emergency.

Most people would say well I have my cell phone so I can call and get help.  Even when the weather has been beautiful out we have been in places that our cell phones didn’t work.  Technology is wonderful when it works, but don’t count on it to always be available.

A simple car survival kit can help solve many of the problem a person might encounter if caught in an emergency situation.

Remember it makes a difference if you are travel along, with a baby, small children or even older children what you will want to add to your car survival kit.

The items listed will get you started, please add anything you think you or your family may need in an emergency.

Storage – Use a small backpack or small plastic storage container to hold all your items.

Blanket – Keep it in the car year round, just not for staying warm.

Lighter or matches – We store both just in case the lighter doesn’t work.

Flashlight or candle –  Again we store both

Tape – Duct tape is wonderful to secure most anything.

Water – 1 gallon of water.  In individual bottles or in gallon jug, your choice.

Clothing – Extra socks and jacket and if possible change of clothes.

Whistle – Let searchers know where you are.

Food – Energy bars, fruit leathers, instant meal that you can use with your water. Candy

Toilet paper – Self explanatory.

Pen, paper, book –   Something to help pass the time.

Garbage Bag – A thirty gallon size bag can be used to protect you from wind, rain and can be used for shade if it is hot out.

Compass – Determine direction of travel.

Remember to add a shovel especially if it is winter.

Keep your family safe and always be prepared.

24 Hour Car Survival Kit

Pinecones How to Bake

Pinecones How to Bake

Fall is around the corner and is the perfect time for crafting or decorating.  Pinecones are the perfect crafting and decorating item.

You can literally just pick up a bunch from off the ground while taking a walk with the family.  Doesn’t matter what size big or little they can be used in many different ways.

Unfortunately pinecones can seep sap and house little critters.  It is all part of nature but that part you really don’t need in your home.  To keep your pinecones clean and bug free they need to be dried.

How to Dry Pinecones

Pre-heat our oven to 250 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place your pinecones on the baking sheet.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

Any sap will drip out of the cones or harden in place and those bugs will be toasted.

Be sure to use tongs to remove the pinecones from the baking sheet and set them on a flat surface to cool for 24 hours.

Your pinecones are now ready to be used.


Jar Sealer/Food Saver

Jar Sealer/Food Saver

Over the weekend I received a message asking me if I would like 30 pounds of pecans for FREE.  My immediate response was heck yes.

Pecans are expensive around here where we live, don’t know about the rest of you but for me this was a big money saving opportunity.  My husband was thinking about all the pecan pie that could and would be made.

So what do you do with 30 pounds of pecans?]

Jar Sealer/Food Saver

I pull out my Food Saver and get to work.  First you must know I use my food saver all the time for sealing up meat, fruits, vegetables and all kinds of stuff.  If you don’t purchase the jar sealer well you are missing out on a whole new world of sealing and saving food.

As you can see from the photos it isn’t hard to use.  My jar sealer only works on wide mouth jars.

All I did was take some clean wide mouth quart and pint jars.  Fill them up with the pecans, wipe off the ring around the jar so there wasn’t anything on the jar, place a lid on top, place the jar sealer on top of the jar and push down.  Next you take the extension hose from the bottom of your food saver and place it in the whole at the top of the jar sealer.

Turn on your food saver and push the accessory button.  Wait for it to finish sealing.  Remove the jar sealer and your finished.

Took me about half an hour to vacuum seal all 30 pounds of pecans.

I love to find m&m’s on sale and different types of candies, baking chips, potato chips anything on sale that can be sealed and used later.  They stay so fresh and nothing goes to waste.

ENJOY!  FoodSaver  Benefits of Freezer Food and Supplies