Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Simple Womans Day Book - 10/20/2010


Outside my window...the promise of a beautiful Indian Summer day in the Mohawk Valley. If you don't know, an Indian Summer is a meteorological phenomenon that occurs in autumn, in the Northern Hemisphere. It is characterized by a period of sunny, warm weather, after the leaves have turned following an onset of frost, but before the first snowfall.

I am thinking ...

I am thankful for ...

From the garden ...
I ha
ve trying to clean up the weeds and beds, Still so much to havest. I gave a neighbor scallions, beets and brocolli and swiss chard

From the kitchen ... graham flour bread ready to pop into the oven. Leftovers from dinner... alfredo-garlic penne pasta with leftover pork and fresh picked brocollie.

I am wearing... a blue and black sleevless house dress and cozy slippers.

I am creating... nothing right now. Too busy getting politically involved with trying to maximize voter turnout for my candigates.

I am going ... to the republican call center to make calls for a congressional candidate.

I am reading... The Praire Traveler by Randolph B. Marcy. I purchased it on a visit to the St. Louis Arch.


I am hoping...
I am hearing...
Around the house...
One of my favorite things...
A few plans for the rest of the week:
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...(add your picture here)

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Step into my kichen pantry ...

This past year I've been working on improving my panty. I've put almost everything in glass or plastic containers. I also have more variety and everything is labeled.



Instant rice
converted rice
brown rice
instant mash potatoes
gravy mixes
Chicken base
dried soup greens
dried celery
dried mushrooms

instant oatmeal
quick oats
old fashioned oats
7 grain cereal

white sugar
brown sugar
cane sugar
confectioners sugar
vanilla sugar and lavender sugar

bread flour
AP flour
whole wheat flour
graham flour
white corn meal
baking soda
baking powder
corn starch
cocoa powder
baking chocolate
herbal tea
hot cocoa mix
cake mixes
pudding mixes
angel hair pasta
penne pasta
angel hair pasta
mini chocolate chips
buckwheat pancake mix
complete pancake mix
low fat biscuit mix
dried mushrooms
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
spicy mustard
bread & butter pickles
salad oil
soy sauce
wostishire sauce
hot sauce
sweet baby ray bbq sauce

pink sea salt
iodixed salt
kosher salt
canning salt

spices ... 32 jars on the counter all spice to thyme
in the pantry more spices cardamon to zatar
Aple cider vinegar

----cat pantry...
beef broth
chicken broth
canned maters
tomato paste
tuna canned
soups (tomato, chicken noodle, cream of chicken)
canned pears
canned pineapplke
canned peaches
peanut butter chunky and smooth
peanut butter natutal
baked beans
canned kidney, pinto beans and garbanzo beans
salad oil
corn syrup
honey (from our hive)
semame oil
hickory smoke

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Outside my window... grey, with the chance of rain

I am thinking...

I am thankful ... that everyone in my family is healthy

From the kitchen... A breakfast of coffee and french toast made from left over homemade cinnamon bread. Lots of leftovers... two containers of collards cooked with smoked ham hocks, a bowl of oatmeal raisin cookies, roast beef , rice and gravy and a dozen buns stuffed with a seasoned ground beef. Yummy.

I am wearing...a very pale pink nightgown with black tendrils, leaves and small flowers. Also my new cozy moccasin slippers.

I am creating... nothing for a few days

I am going ... nowhere today.

I am reading ... A very old book that my grandmother gave me long ago "Miss Parloa's New Cook Book and Marketing Guide" (1880)

I am hoping...

I am hearing... cars driving on the street, fox news on the television.

Around the house... It's decorated for Autumn. Dried leaves, little pumpkins and gourds...The side board is also filled with a bumper crop of garden harvest... pie pumpkins and winter squash.

One of my favorite things ... My spice racks and bottles. I use many kinds of spices when I cook. These 32 bottles are the spices that I use the most. I have some others in the pantry.


A few plans for the rest of the week:

Here is picture for I am sharing... This strange fruit (vegetable) showed up in my pepper/ eggplant bed. I've never seen this before.


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Monday, October 18, 2010

Garden After The Frost

The kitchen garden has been hit by several frosts, yet we still have much to harvest. I found some butternut squash, two pie pumpkins and a branywine tomato. We also still have a good selection of herbs (parsley, fennel, thyme, sage, chives) carrots, beets, scallions, Jerusalem artichokes, horseradish, broccoli shoots, kale, brussel sprouts, swiss chard, collards, parsnips even a few raspberries and alpine strawberries.

Here's a few pictures taken today:



Rainbow Swiss Chard

Autumn Raspberries

What do you still have in your garden?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autumn is for Apple Bread

I was married in the Spring. It was my favorite season. I think it still is. The promise of future harvests, the colors of spring flowers, birds singing ... As I get older, I do appreciate and love Autumn more; blue skies and crunchy piles of leaves, the cool days along with abundant harvests. I have a bushel of apples and a cold drafty old house. Is there a better way to warm up a kitchen than popping some apple bread into the oven?




3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups diced apples
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon flour


Mix flour, cinnamon, soda, salt and baking powder together.

Beat eggs and add sugar and oil.

Add vanilla and dry ingredients.

Stir in apples.

Mix walnuts in a tsp of flour and add to batter.

Pour into 2 greased loaf pans 0r 4 mini loaf pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

The Simple Womans Day Book - 10/13/2010

Outside my window... Cool, there was a frost last night and a beatiful blue sky. It's sunny so I have laundry hanging on the line.

I am thinking ... I wish I could sew. I would like to make some curtains for the living room.

I am thankful for... my husband. Walt is so talented. He can fix many things that break down. That's good in at least too ways; we can save money by not having to replace that item. We are also keeping it out of a landfill.

I am praying for... my children.

From the kitchen...I have a large bowl of bread dough rising. I will turn this into a cinnamon loaf for breakfast, a plain loaf for sandwiches and a garlic-herb loaf for dinner - I will also bake later in the day, 4 mini Loaves of quick Apple Bread.

I am wearing...I'm glad I don't have to post a picture. Purple flannel loung pants a a red oversized tee shirt, but I'll be getting dressed soon.

I am creating... going back to working on my scrappy flannel quilt. I put it away in the spring so I could work on other projects.

I am Katies and Davids Cross Country Meet in West Windfield.

I am reading...Adirondack Wilderness - A story of Man and Nature by Jane Eblen Keller,

I am hoping... really hoping and praying that we will get some work soon. It's hard being self employed in a poor economy.

I am hearing
...The Glenn Beck Show on the radio

Around the house...Way too much clutter, every room seems to have dirty shoes and socks. And a pile of dirty dishes in the sink. (someone did not do their chores last night) And laundry to be folded and put away.

One of my favorite things... White buckets usually holds 4 gallons or more. I get them for free from the bakery department of a large grocery store. Great for holdi making wine (primary fermention)large harvests tomatoes, apples, also storing pantry items like flour, sugar, dreied beans... If I'm lucky I can get lids for these.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Ahhh, Clean the house, work in the garden, volunteer making calls for a political candidate. Start working on the scrappy flannel quilt.

Here is picture I am sharing...

October 11, 2010 The Black River Wild Forest, The Adirondacks

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Frugal Friday

As we head into the later part of the year, our income declines and we usually watch our savings dwindle. This year I entered our lean season with a "food storage" in place. I'm proud of it; buckets of potatoes, apples, flour, rice, some sugar. Jars of honey, fruit, jams, and tomatoes all home canned. Another shelf is filled with the extra cans and jars of peanut butter, cooking oil, tuna, soup, broth, ketchup, syrup and a few veggies. I have stashed cans of coffee, boxes of pasta, containers of apple juice, bottles of lemon juice, some chocolate chips , peanuts and almonds. Another area has laundry detergent, dish soap,bleach, yeast, baking soda, paper towels and toilet paper. It's much more than I had a year ago and yet, if faced with the challenge of living out my store. I wonder how long we could do it. My ultimate goal was a 3 month storage (for starters) and to store what we eat and eat what we store and to be able to serve a variety of nutritious, delicious meals.

Friday Dinner
I bought 5 pieces of split chicken breast (2.5 whole breast) - 1 pice per person @ 99 cents per lb.). Instead of baking as I usually do, I simmered chicken in a pot of water, then I lifted out each piece , deboned it ( leaving generous bits of meat on the bones). These were brushed with BBq sauce and broiled till crisp, served with mashed potatoes, beans from the garden and mandarin orange sections I canned in the winter.

Here's the cool part, the bones were retuned to the pot of broth and simmered some more. Then meat picked off the bones. Now I have a jar of broth and meat for a pot of soup on Saturday... a meal for free. There were 2 servings of leftover mashed potatoes. This was mixed with water, flour, yeast ,salt and a little butter now rising into several loafs of potato bread.

After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal, I took a jar of my home canned sweet potatoes. I mashed up the potatoes, mixed in sugar, pumpkin pie spices sugar , eggs, orange juice, flour and yeast and made a large double batch of ... doughnuts.

Independence Days - 10/8/2010

Planted: Nothing, but making plans to plant garlic soon.

Harvested: Tomatoes, peppers, carrots, beans, herbs, onions

Preserved: canned potatoes and sweet potatoes

Waste Not: Nothing special, the usual composting.

Want Not: Bought lots of sweet potatoes at 59 cents a lb. Bought 50 lbs. of white potatoes for $10 from a local farmer. He sold me another 50 lb bag of cull potatoes for $5. I have to sort the culls, can as many as I am able and give some away. Bought a bushel of apples from another stand for $6 and a larger sized pie pumpkin for $1.

Eat the Food: This week 12 grain bread and rolls, pumpkin pie (fresh pumpkin), pumpkin/walnut/chocolate chip cookies. Was careful with food so we have few leftovers and use up what we have.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A Day's Worth of Chores

Today is a cool rainy day. I still feel a little low on energy from having a sinus infection. I decided to stay in and tackle some cleaning projects.

My bathroom is all shiny and clean. I scrubbed all of the soap scum from the tub. Then I wiped down all of the surfaces and cleaned all the little things on the counter. I washed the floor and the toilet, folded a batch of clean towels, straightened out the towel shelf and finally I put out a fresh bath mat.

Next I de-cluttered the living room but that was easy because I keep up with that room. Now that the vacuum cleaner is fixed, I gave it a good vacuuming.

On to the master room I stripped my bed, put on a new electric mattress pad and made the bed. I folded a basket of laundry and sorted a pile of socks. I ironed a two pairs of Walt's pants and filled his dresser with socks, tee shirts, pants, and handkerchiefs.

Walt came home for lunch, so I made a pot of tea, heated up leftover cream of broccoli soup and got out the egg salad sandwiches Walt brought home from the reception he was at the night before.

After Walt went back to work, I cleaned out the car, unloaded the dishwasher, I also spent some time straightening out my store. Then I made meatballs for dinner. I stretched out the scant pound of meat by adding a half cup or so of the leftover spanish rice and the last few slices of 12 grain bread. Dinner was spaghetti and meatballs, salad and pumpkin cookies for desert. During dinner we played an "ad-hock" game of would you rather.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook - Tues. Oct. 5, 2010



Outside my window... Cool, rainy and grey. It's a perfect day for baking.

I am thinking... How bad the economy is getting. Everything is going up and taxes are going so high. What will future be like ? More important, what will the future be like for my children ?

I am thankful for... all I have. even though money is tight, I have much to be thankful for. I have a food storage. My drier is broken but I have been able to hang laundry on the line. My microwave also broke but with careful planning I can manage without it too.

From the kitchen... I'm canning 12 quarts of sweet potatoes and 11 quarts yukon potatoes, I'm baking 2 pumpkin pies, a large batch of pumpkin-chocolate chip-walnut cookies, I made a pot of cream of broccoli soup (made from leftover broccoli, a shredded russet potato carrot, chicken broth mild, a dab of cream and a drizzle of sherry) and a home made crusty multigrain-oatmeal bread.

I am wearing... an orange tank top, my favorite pair of hiking shorts and deck shoes.

I am creating... a tablecloth for the dining room table. I'm hand stitching a solid colored hem on an autumn theme jacquard.


I am going... to stay home. My car is at the mechanic's.

I am reading... The local paper, mushroom identification field guides and a book on making wine at home from fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs.

I am hoping... That my company (MPG) will get a good contract soon. We need the work. We lost a good contract when a biz announced a plant closing.

I am hearing... conservative talk radio in the background and the rattling on the regulator on the pressure canner. Other than that it's quiet, every one else is gone.

Around the house... the usual clutter... canning supplies on the dinning room table, laundry waiting to be folded in the den, vegetables in the sink, and buckets and jugs in the hall in various degrees of fermentation on their way to becoming wine.

One of my favorite things...a blue sunny day in early October in the Adirondacks. A perfect day for leaf peeping with my camera in hand.


A few plans for the rest of the week: pick up my car from the mechanic, go to the republican victory center make calls for a political candidate and then off to Katie's and Davids Cross Country meet, sort and can more potatoes, transfer fermenting apple juice into carboy, harvest beets.

Here is picture I am sharing... "Which is the road not taken ?"

I like to drive down and explore not well travelled roads, I stopped to pick berries near this sign and contemplated which direction I should go. Which way do you think I went?

You can read the blogs of other women at the Simple Woman's Daybook.