Thursday, January 28, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #36



Welcome to the Hop
January is coming to an end...that much closer to Spring!


Tracy
Sandra
Sandra at ClearwaterFarm
Facebook - Pinterest Instagram -Google+
Nancy 
Kathi 

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop- Co-Host
LeeAnn & Alex 








homemade Neosporin


Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. 


Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted






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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Knitting Away the Winter Blues (First Knit Socks)



With the cold weather and short daylight hours, January can be tough. 

To beat the winter blues, I knit. I had a pile of handspun yarn that I decided to put to use. 

Using a 3 ply Border Leicester/Romney (natural colored and dyed) I tried a new hat pattern. 





Lion Brand Tweed Beginners Hat

I made some wrist warmers-






Dishcloths for my step mom.
(free tutorial from Very Pink)




And last but not least, I finally checked knitting socks off of my bucket list!  Yay!



I found a simple pattern, that came with a tutorial that walks you through every step. There is a cost of 8.00, but I thought it was well worth it. The pattern uses size 5 double pointed needles and worsted weight  yarn. It was my first time knitting with double pointed needles, so using the larger size needles and yarn was a big help.  I found it challenging and my  first sock has multiple mistakes...second sock went much better (after ripping it out-more than once, and starting over again). It makes for a mismatched pair, but I am wearing them anyway!

With the knitting projects,  I was able to be productive and hold back the stir crazy!

What projects are you working on this winter?








Thursday, January 21, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Hop #35




Welcome to the Hop! 
I hope you're all staying warm, 

 I look forward to your post this week.


Tracy
Sandra
Sandra at ClearwaterFarm
Facebook - Pinterest Instagram -Google+
Nancy 
Kathi 

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop- Co-Host
LeeAnn & Alex 









 most visited post


How To Declutter Your Whole House




Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. 


Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted





 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Utilizing The Pantry-Dried Beans



One of my goals for 2016 is to be more budget minded.  The grocery bill was the first thing I started looking at.  I knew that if I quit slacking and planned a menu and utilized some of the basic staples we have stored in the pantry,  I could cut back on what I was spending each week at the store. 

Dried beans are one of the basic staples we keep on hand in our pantry.  Most varieties are low cost and can help stretch the grocery budget.

We purchase most of our beans in bulk, 25#  at a time. When purchased in 25 # bags, we transfer the beans to 5 gallon buckets with oxygen absorber packets. We have also purchased them in 10# cans or stored smaller quantities  in mylar bags with the oxygen absorber packets.
Some of the more expensive beans, or beans that we use less frequently, are stored in glass jars in the pantry.

One of the drawbacks with using dried beans is the cooking time. It is much easier to open a can of black beans, that are ready to use than it is to use those dried black beans we have stored in a can.

Pressure Canning dried beans is one option. I have canned dried beans, and it is handy to be able to pull them off the shelf ready to use.

Another option is using a pressure cooker.

If neither of those are an option you can cook the beans the traditional way and freeze. 


I found this great resource- Cooking with Food Storage-Dry Beans
It includes 13 pages of information on beans, including cooking & canning dried beans and several recipes.

This weekend, I made a menu, the first one in a long time. I spent about 30 percent less at the grocery store. Spending less means cooking more from scratch, and spending more time in the kitchen. I decided to spend some of my time Saturday, making my own ready made convenience foods. 


I started with dried beans-Pinto, Black, and Chickpeas. Using the electric pressure cooker, I was able to cook the beans while, doing other things (knitting). 

**I used dried beans, if you soak the beans ahead of time, it would reduce the cooking times.

Black Beans
For pressure cooking beans they recommend 3 cups water to 1 cup dried beans.  
(I did 3 cups beans to 8 cups water, a little less water than recommended)
I added some spices (black pepper, cumin, chili powder, dried onion, garlic powder)
Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. (Natural Pressure Release)


Pinto Beans

(Recommended is 3 cups water to 1 cup dried beans.)

I used 3 cups dried beans
4 cups chicken broth

4 cups water
2 Tablespoons bacon grease (had on hand)
2 Tablespoons freeze dried green peppers

2 Tablespoons dried onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Cooked on high pressure for 45 minutes. 

(Natural Pressure Release)

*(This recipe was adapted from Ranch Style Beans
)

Chickpeas



Bean Soup




I ended up with a lot of beans!
After cooling the beans to room temperature I put the beans in quart size freezer bags, labeled them, and placed a bag of each in the refrigerator, and the rest in the freezer for later use.





Beans can be stored for up to 3 months in the freezer, 6 months in a deep freeze.







Ready to be added to recipes for lunches and dinners!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #34




Welcome to the Hop! 
I hope you're all staying warm, 
January bought with it colder temperatures and snow.

Perfect weather for visiting and reading fellow bloggers.
 I look forward to your post this week.


Tracy
Sandra
Sandra at ClearwaterFarm
Facebook - Pinterest Instagram -Google+
Nancy 
Kathi 

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop- Co-Host
LeeAnn & Alex 






Featured Post 
(also most visited post)

A Frugal Yet Fanciful Life

 Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth




Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. 


Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted






 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

Monday, January 11, 2016

Pasture Happenings- The Empty Pasture



Winter is finally upon us! The ground is white and wind chills below zero.

We had put the sheep in the barnyard, where they have some shelter, due to freezing rain. With winter storms coming through the area and below zero wind chills, they are still there.






They make a lot of noise when they are penned up... waiting for the gate to be opened so they can roam, but it looks like they will be waiting a little longer...






(Photo credit-Delaney)

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #33



Welcome to the first hop of 2016! 
I hope you all enjoyed the holidays.
I look forward to reading your Homesteading, Homemaking, and Homeschooling Post!




Tracy
Sandra
Sandra at ClearwaterFarm
Facebook - Pinterest Instagram -Google+
Nancy 
Kathi 
Amy
Amy at Home and FarmSense
Facebook - Twitter Pinterest -StumbleUpon
LeeAnn & Alex 


Most Visited Post


Our 2016 One Icome Budget

Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. 


Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop
Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be deleted



 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

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