Well winter should be about done. Thank goodness! But with winter on the out and spring coming in that means one thing on our farm.
It means rock picking time!
Daryl told me the other day that he was going to go out and pick up a few of the big ones.
Humm… kind of looks like an over achiever to me!
I saw a recipe on Pinterest the other day that I’ve been dying to try. OK, once you see what I wanted to try you might think that this girl needs some better hobbies!
But what I wanted to try was to make a homemade dishwasher soap. Yup – just like living on the edge.
So with my recipe in front of me I started to cut up the lemons and then added water into the pan so that it could cook for around 20 minutes or until they were soft. Next step was to blend them up to almost a paste. After a really good blending in my bullet blender the lemon mixture was way too thick to strain so I added some additional water to see if that would help. This step seemed to take a lot longer to me and the next time that I do this I think I’m going to use my juicer! It should be faster but still get the job done! But for now I had kind of a mess. I pulled out a second strainer to ‘pre-strain’ the mixture. Yup, I officially had a mess going on in the kitchen. But the recipe did say that it was a little time consuming so I just need to go with the flow. OK, next add the salt and vinegar and now all it has to do is boil and get thick. Well this is where I didn’t ‘go with the flow’ so well. I’m sure I should have boiled it longer to thicken it up but I needed to move on with my day. The final product wasn’t as thick as they said it was going to be, but I think it’ll be OK.
The funniest thing about the whole process is that one of the comments for the recipe is that it’ll make your house smell absolutely wonderful. Huh. Our house just smells like soap.
- Update I have used it a couple of times and so far so good. I used 3 Tbsp per load or one good pour and then keep the jar in the fridge. I think I’ll make some more again but use the juicer thing instead. I can always throw it in the dishwasher to get it clean 🙂
Why it should work: “Lemons have many properties that ensure clean dishes, from the citric acids that help to remove mineral and hard water deposits to the lemon oil in the rind with bacterial and cleaning properties from limonene – a component used in many commercially prepared cleaning products. Add white vinegar’s cleaning power, and salt as a scouring agent, and you’ve got a complete dish cleaner. The white pith and rind also add pectin, a natural thickening agent”
- 4 medium lemons
- 1 ½ plus 2 cups water
- 4 ounces white vinegar
- 1 cup Kosher salt (I used table salt without Iodine)
- Cut the lemons – including the pith and peel – into chunks about 1/4 inch thick. Remove all seeds. You should have about 2 cups worth.
• Place the lemons into a small saucepan with 1 1/2 cup of water.
• Bring to a boil slowly over medium heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. There should be less water, and the mixture should be a little syrupy, with the lemons very soft. Stir frequently, adding more water as needed.
• Pour the lemons and liquid into a blender and add the other 2 cups water. Blend at a high setting until the mixture is very smooth.
• Strain the liquid back into the saucepan.
• Add the vinegar and salt and stir thoroughly.
• Bring to a boil at at medium setting and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. The mixture should thicken a little – something like applesauce.
• Allow it to cool completely in the saucepan. Stir if you notice any crust forming on the top (it will be due to the salt.)
• Store in a glass container. It will make a gel.
Recipe Disclaimer: Even I think this is a weird recipe.
But it takes about 3 minutes to prepare so I gave it a shot!
Well I’m still on the ‘lets clean out the freezer’ kick so out came some chicken and I honestly wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it. I had only a few minutes after work until I had to leave again so I took the chicken out of the refrigerator (thawed by now) and put it in the crock pot. Next I dumped in a jar of grape jelly and topped it off with some shakes of hot sauce and worchester sauce. For the seasoning I put some salt, pepper, onion powder, and seasoning salt in the pan. Then I left. Gross right?
And how did it turn out a couple of hours later? It wasn’t bad and really pretty good. And I think I’ll even make it again! Are you brave enough to try it?
The picture makes the chicken look like a funky color. It was much more deep brown – honestly.
It’s April 2nd not April Fools Day! Snow.
You know how I said that I had made a turkey on Sunday for dinner and how good it smelled? Well that odor seemed to have gotten into some areas in the fridge that I never would have guessed!
Now it’s Monday morning and like almost every Monday morning – I seem to be running behind schedule to get out the door and actually on the road and to work on time. Once I’m out of bed, I hurry up and go to the bathroom, wash my face, add a little make-up so I don’t scare too many people, brush my teeth and hair, and then… then I grab my container for water for the day and put ice in it. No big deal, well until this morning. I thought that the refrigerator still smelled a little funky and smokey inside but that’s probably because I had the broth in it right? So when I opened the freezer I could still smell the smoky aroma of the dinner from the night before and thought that I was just in a hurry and was probably imagining it. Yeah, not so much!
When I got to work and into my first meeting of the day I took a big slug of water and instantly noticed that something was wrong. But it was one of those times when you just couldn’t put your finger on it and just couldn’t figure out what the difference was! Now I don’t know if it was just luck or if it could have been having my eyes squinted while I was thinking about this riddle, but then the light bulb went off. Yup! My water tastes like smoked turkey! OK, so if I was on the show Survivor or something this would be a good deal right? But sitting in a meeting sucking on what tasted like cold turkey broth – not so good!
So I dumped out both the water and the ice and started over with just water. That also didn’t work so well for me. All I could smell was turkey broth. I ended up adding some orange flavoring to the water which kind of covered up the odor for now. Once I got home I pulled out the ice tray and took a sniff. Now just then Daryl walked into the kitchen and without saying a word just smiled and went on with his business. You know when you’re married for a long time when nothing surprising you! It was one of those moments for Daryl.
And guess what? That ice DID smell like turkey broth! The air must circulate in our new refrigerator which is causing the problem.. So first things first – freeze the broth and put it down in the basement freezer! Next – dump out the ice! Yup, tomorrow will be a much better day in the water hydration world of Bonnie!
We had a turkey in the freezer for sometime now and because I didn’t get the freezer thawed out this past winter, I thought it was time for the old bird to come out and make some more room for other important things, like Cool Whip and Bacon! So out of storage the roaster came and in it the turkey went.The turkey was given to us as a gift and was completely cooked by being smoked. Yum right? Well as it was heating up in the roaster I took a good look at it and realized that holy smokes it was a pretty big turkey for only two people! I mean how much can or should we eat? To give you an idea on how big it was, just to take it out of the roaster when it was done I had to use two kitchen prongs, one in each hand and without any grace at all I very clumsily was working my way to put it in another pan. While the gravy drippings going all over the front of my shirt and floor, I finally got it into the pan and then placed it on the table. Well Daryl and I sat down at the kitchen table for dinner, and I knew I was right. It was a pretty big turkey!! But if you’ve made a turkey before you know that once the official first meal was over and you start cutting it apart, you come up with a lot less meat than you were thinking you were going to have. Which in this case was good. And because the turkey was a kind of big, the legs weren’t the best to eat. OK, so now that the meal is over and our house smelled like a smokehouse (in a good way!), I had the turkey cut up and into the refrigerator it went until I figured out if I needed it all for a turkey noodle soup or not. Then the remaining bones and turkey legs went back into a stew pot with celery, onions, and some carrots for a turkey broth. And while that was cooking I soon realized that I need to remember that there is only two of us eating our meals together now and maybe I should learn to downsize just a little bit!
Making a large kettle of soup stock today!
Today we had the first of the wedding that we have on the calendar for this year. It’s always hard to figure out just what to wear to a wedding in March/April isn’t it? I mean should you wear something that is short sleeved or sleeveless? Now a lot of girls do wear dresses that are sleeveless and they look just fine. For some reason when I wear a sleeveless dress this early in the year all you can see is these huge arms coming at you. Gross! So I usually opt for something a little bit more covered up until I can get a little bit more comfortable showing these flappers.
Well what did I wear? I was debating of wearing a dress with a sweater but honestly I didn’t want to look old and frumpy, and because we were only going to be at the wedding for a short time and then had another party to go to after the reception, I ended up wearing a long sleeved outfit. I guess it was a long way from the sleeveless conversation that I was having in my head earlier that day. Kind of funny now that I’m thinking of it 🙂
Looking forward to a fun summer!
Yup, it’s that time of the year again on the calendar – it’s Lent!
And what does that actually mean? Well it means that it’s Roamin’ Catholic time again – WhooooHoooo!!! and with my brother and sister in law – – we’re off to find new places to eat fish every week. Now trying to find a new location always isn’t as easy as it sounds! The reason that I say this is because it’s been a couple of years since we started this tradition and sometimes it can be a challenge.
But we seem to manage pretty good with some extra imagination on our side! Our last adventure took us to the bar called Togi Pub.It was a recommendation from the Blue Bird Tavern that was just down the road. Now with a name like Togi Pub how can you expect anything but a good time and good food? Granted it was literally in the middle of nowhere and I’m pretty sure it was also the only business in the town. But when you walk into the bar and you see it filled with the locals, you know that it was a good choice! And how did we know that they were all locals in the bar? With the bar being small, and remember it was the only place in town to go, when we walked in everyone, and I mean everyone turned to see who we were! But then after a once over, they turned back to their business almost as fast. We all had a great time. I wonder where the next fish fry will take us?
About this time of the year I start to panic and freak out a little bit because I’ve got a vendor show coming up the end of May and even though that does sound like a long ways away – I know it’s going to come up fast!
So these past few weeks I’ve been working on getting soap made along with thinking about a couple of donation baskets. I try to donate to fundraisers about 3 times a year – the amount really just depends on the year. But all my donation baskets are for a good cause and I honestly don’t mind. This years donation baskets are for the Sons of American Legion fundraiser in Lawler to support for service dogs for Veterans; St. Wenceslaus church for their Guild at the Daddy (Father Figure)/Daughter Dance in Spillville; and seeing if I can get a basket done yet for the Art Museum for the Art in Bloom Garden Club show in Milwaukee.
With the May show coming up I’m always looking for new methods and trying out new things – sometimes they work… and sometimes they don’t. I had the biggest mess the other day and you know when you’re trying something new you say to yourself ‘don’t worry’ it’s the first time that you’ve done this. Yeah, well that’s what we try to say and convince ourselves right? But in this case I was saying it over and over in my head because I didn’t have a small mess, I had a full blown kitchen mess! It literally looked like someone was slinging soap and I was standing in the middle of them while they were having a fight! But I figured that there is no way to get better at something than to keep working at it. And when it’s all said and done the soap looked a little better than I had hoped with using these flower tips for the first time.
Now everything that I’ve read about these particular tips was that they are hard the first couple (or twenty 🙂 ) times that you use them. So I’m hoping to give them a try again this weekend on some other soap that I have set aside. I’m guessing that it’s going to go much better. Heck it honestly couldn’t get much worse!
As I’m writing out a Thank you note to our road grader man today I can’t help feel how vulnerable we are and at the mercy of our country roads for not only in the Winter but also in the Spring.
January and February were just crazy months this year. I mean we had not only got record amounts of snow this year, but when you add 40 to 60 mph wind to those amounts… I’m just saying that you’ve got a Party going on! It was such crappy weather these two months that when the weather forecast was 3 – 4 inches of snow the thoughts was ‘well that’s not such a big deal’. Now granted the roads were completely full already with snow banked up on each side, but if you only add a couple inches of snow on top of that with no wind – Heck I could even leave on time those mornings for work and not worry too much that I’ll be late.
But now that we have Spring knocking at the door and with the forecast of mid 60’s for today with 0% chance of rain, you know that’s going to be a good day! This good weather will hopefully help with getting the roads back into shape from what happened when the snow melted and the earlier rains that happened this year. I took a couple of pictures of our road and honestly the pictures didn’t do it justice! Most of the road literally had washed away. I’m pretty sure Daryl is thinking I’m a big chicken when it comes to our roads washing out. See the road was getting close to becoming really bad and one night after work I forgot and started to head to our farm from the East. Bad decision. When I saw the water literally disappearing into the road about halfway across it and no bottom in sight – yeah, I decided that I’m not going to drive over that! So what does any country person do? Well we back up right? And if you’ve lived in the country I’m just saying we are all experts in backing up for some reason. So as I’m almost all the way up the hill from our road while backing up, I can see a red pickup heading my way. I just knew that Daryl was coming to say that I can get through. Now while I’m watching the truck slowing making it across I knew that’s what he was doing. And was I right? Yup, he said that it would be OK to go across it. . Well I thought OK I’ll do it and if the car falls down into the depths of who knows where, I guess it’s not going to be my fault that’s all I’m saying! Well I made it but I’m not so sure I should have drove on it. And by the next morning there was no one that was going to get through!
I know that even though our road looked bad that there are a lot of others that had their roads completely washed away or they’ve even had to evacuate their farms and homes, so I’m not going to complain about ours. The road leaving our farm heading West has been good and as long as I can get to work I’m OK with that!