Monday, April 1, 2013

Solar oven beans.

Pre-soaked my beans (left), onion, garlic and celery seed (front), dehydrated red peppers (back), smoked pork shanks (right)

Combine and Solar cook, cook, cook...

Make your own Laundry soap for pennies!

Get these at Walmart for $2-$3 ea. in the laundry aisle.

Note the Arm and Hammer is NOT baking Soda but Washing Soda. Grate the Fels Naptha Soap Bar.


Label and provide the husband with only a plastic teaspoon. This helps enforce the 2 Tablespoon directions.You should see how mine can heap that spoon!

I have been using it now for more than 6 months and just now finished my first Crisco container worth of the stuff. I have three containers the same size made form the three ingredients shown. So, Let's see $6 for three containers X 6mos = 1.5 yrs. We probably do 3-4 loads a week including linens. We have the grand babies at times too and it gets out their yard dirt and food stains!
Love it and I use it in my front loader without problems. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Solar oven - pantry meal / Cranberry Orange Chicken

This recipe comes from my mother. I love the tang and the sweet/sour effect of the cranberry sauce and orange marmalade. I also put in Rosemary and a bullion cube. It all comes from (or can come from) the pantry.  I mix enough "sauce" to cover my chicken pieces.

Candycane beets and Turnips (you can use potatoes, carrots, squash...)

Ready to go out.

Cooked all day in the Solar oven...

Mmmmmmmmmmm carmelized! The rosemary looks sad though.

I thickened the sauce with a flour slurry but you could eat it without. Mash the veggies (have used carrots or any other root veggie or squash - I must try acorn squash!) and serve the sauce over them. I just pile the chicken on top.You could just serve it over instant rice or instant mashed potatoes or better yet, cornbread. I must be hungry.

Friday, March 1, 2013

BBQ ribs in the solar oven.

Ribs in slow cooker bag inside solar oven.

Before they went into the oven - just the rub on them.

My oven.

Done, carmalized - Mmmmmmmmmmmm

Rib Rub

Yield: Makes a little more than 1 cup
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup paprika
    1 tablespoon black pepper
    1 tablespoon salt
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon garlic powder
    1 tablespoon onion powder
    1 teaspoon cayenne

Combine all ingredients together and transfer to an air tight container. Maybe stored up to six months.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Planting Asparagus

Hole dug to 16 inches deep and blocks placed (the hard part) - composted manure laid in the bottom then filled to 12inches deep...

Organic material (composted leaves and house veggies/weeds - two years old) mounded in middle of bed with Asparagus crowns laid out on top

another angle

covered over and watered in - dirt higher on the outside edges - as the asparagus emerges dirt will be filled in to almost cover weekly until the mound is in the middle
The asparagus is doing well. You never pick the first years crop. The plant needs to build up it's root system. You can lightly harvest the second year. You should be able to harvest pretty vigorously after that.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Cleaning out the food storage - 1/2013

Well it is that time of the year when I clean out food storage and decide what has to be eaten this month. (a.k.a. what canned goods expired last year.) I try to keep up on rotation but...
This is our front entry closet. I still have room to the left for coats and brooms/mops etc.There are only two of us and my goal is a three months supply.

New shelves built and food sorted

Cans dated with sharpie (beans and meat shelf)

Boxes dated (expiration year only)

Cans that outdated in 2011 and will be used in next few weeks - not bad! Most manufacturers only date their canned food for 24 mos. We all know it will last longer. I will look more closely at the expiration dates on the cans in the grocery store going forward. Boxed food goes stale faster and I like to use that in date.

 This does not include my dry goods pantry or my spice cabinets.