February – – Let’s Try this Again

Here’s what I’d like to have accomplished by the end of February.  Now January was a bust, so we’ll have to see if I can do a little better this month.

I baked: a great batch of scones
I preserved: my kiwi harvest
I tidied: the cupboards and chests in the living room
I deep cleaned: the washer and dryer
I purged: the video collection
I stockpiled: water?
I handmade: a batch of soap
I mended/fixed: the loosen pieces on the little blue and white quilt
I planted: some seed starts in the greenhouse
I harvested: maybe some herbs
I tried: my first sourdough lessons
I read: The Fifth Wave  and part of the Voltaire that I picked up at the thrift sop
I made a great meal of: all vegetables
I finally tackled: my spinning wheel


January Goals – :{

On My…… I didn’t do very well on my January goals.  Maybe a few will have to spill over to February. A nasty bout of lingering bronchitis brought things to a screeching halt for the second half of the month.

I baked: a great batch of scones – Nope, but I did make my first loaf of sourdough with my new starter.
I preserved: my kiwi harvest – Still in the fridge in the garage
I tidied: the laundry room – maybe today?
I deep cleaned: the washer and dryer – Nope
I purged: the yarn I will not use – I did do this, it went off to the high school knitting club
I stockpiled: rice and beans – Some rice, no beans
I handmade: a batch of soap – I thought about this a little
I mended/fixed: the loosen pieces on the little blue and white quilt – :{
I planted: vegetable garden plan – :{
I harvested: maybe some herbs – :{
I tried: ukulele lessons – :{
I read: The fifth wave I switched to The Living by Matt de la Peña – I did read The Living and will finish up Enchanted today
I made a great meal of: all vegetables – :{
I finally tackled: the treadle sewing machine The treadle is torn so I think I’ll work on the sock knitting board first – :{ and :{

A Weekend in January

bakingThis weekend was a nice lazy one.  A little shopping (groceries), a little cleaning, a little cooking (creme fraiche, butter, yogurt, granola and pilaf), a little napping …….. I cleaned out a couple of cabinets in the kitchen.  I started some sourdough and when I tried to get something out of the cupboard with the baking pans I noticed it had become a bit of a mess.  I decided to get rid of a few extra item …. and now the cupboards looks much nicer.



Preparing for Emergencies – Lighting

We are in pretty good shape for emergency lighting.  We lost our power on New Year’s Day, a few times.  When I woke up at 5am it was really dark, really dark.  I snuck downstairs to turn on a few battery candles so the boys spending the night didn’t trip over anything.  They were great, just the right amount of light – enough to see, but not too much to sleep.  It got me thinking about how ready we are / aren’t in case of these short term emergencies……..let’s start with light.

IMG_1280We have several flashlights, a couple of battery lanterns, and some electric candles.  We need to find some better batteries and look for a good way to store them.




antique oil lamps
antique oil lamps

We also have 4 antique kerosene lamps and a bunch of regular candles in addition to a lot of supplies for making more candles. In addition, all of the boys have head lamps from camping.

20 Weeks of Food Storage – Week 2 – Sauce

This week $15.00 – – – Total spent $15.00

This was one of those weeks that I decided to start bulking up the pantry for emergencies, went to the grocery for one thing, and found a great deal on something different.  I went looking for beans or rice but the grocery was clearing out some pasta sauce – marked down from $3.94 to $1.00 each.  We went ahead and bought 15 jars for the pantry.


Forgotten Skills – sourdough and butter

This afternoon I started a new sourdough culture, signed up for an online bagel class and cultured a quart of cream for butter……

I was gifted a dry San Francisco sourdough starter from a very nice man that lives near-by.  Today I combined it with 1 cup of warm spring water (85 degrees) and 1 cup of Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour.  I put it into a warm place (85 to 90 degrees – bottom drawer of a dresser that sits over a heat vent) for four hours. At the end of 4 hours I took off 1/2 cup of the mixture, which was doing nothing, and added another 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of warm water.  Now it’s back in the drawer, tucked in for the night.


I finished up this evening by culturing a quart of cream with a creme fraiche culture to thicken it up for butter making tomorrow.  I just heated up the cream to 86 degrees, dissolved in the culture and now it’s resting on the counter until morning.IMG_1291

I also signed up for an online Bake the Best Bagels course on Udemy.  It’s taught by Teresa Greenway and was on a flash sale for $9.99.  It looks like it will be a lot of fun.Screen Shot 2016-01-09 at 9.49.26 PM


Make-Ahead Scottish Oatmeal

IMG_1263Make on Sunday night and store in the refrigerator.  Just add a little water to reheat in the microwave, add some toppings and go.


  • 3c Water
  • 0.5 t Salt
  • 1c Bob’s Red Mill Scottish Oatmeal
  • 0.5 t Cinnamon
  • 2 T Real Maple Syrup
  • 1 t Vanilla Extract
  • 0.5 c Dried Fruit


  1. Bring water and salt to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile mix dry oatmeal and cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Whisk into boiling water (this oatmeal tends to clump).
  4. Reduce heat to low. Add Maple Syrup, vanilla and dried fruit.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.

    Makes 3 servings