Summer Vacation Day 12 – Beginning the Pantry Clean out

We arrived home from eastern Oregon late last night so I slept in a bit this morning.  Once breakfast was sorted, DH and I headed out to pick up the milk at the farm and run a couple of errands on the way home.

I checked on the online auction items I had bid on (for school) and was very pleased to find I had the high bid on a a die cut press and a set of letters.  The winning bids totaled $38.00 and new these items would have set our school back $795.00.

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I had also checked on a couple of new sewing machines at the online auction, a couple of them looked good, but DH reminded me that it’s a tricky item to buy without trying it out.  He started checking on Craigslist and found me an amazing 1956 Pfaff 230 with the most fantastic cabinet.  The front pulls completely out and becomes a chair with two drawers under the seat.  The lady selling it was very sweet and had just had the machine tuned up.  It weighs a ton and sews like a dream.  Not too many fancy stitches, but I don’t use those anyway.

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When we returned from the sewing machine pick-up, I pulled out all of the starches that I could find in the kitchen and pantry and laid them out on the dining room table.  It was completely full.  I went through everything, stored it in glass jars and packed it back away.  The pantry cabinet looks wonderful now; dried fruit on the top, cereals and grains on shelf below, rice below that and lentils and other assorted items on the bottom. Up above is the processed cereal, the kombucha brewing and the vinegars. IMG_1748IMG_1747


Summer Vacation Day 10 – Living Room Declutter

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Living Room – all cleaned up.

The living room is almost finished – I just need to wash the windows.  The cabinets, drawers and chests have all been gone through and many items are on there way to the thrift shop to find new homes.

I found I have a problem with candles – I buy too many!  I used to burn them a lot, but after Kenton came to life with us I found out that a helpless candle is no match for a Matador (Mastiff/Labrador) tail.  A whole grocery bag of candles is headed for the thrift shop.

The candle collection – before purge
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The remaining candles fit nicely into the cupboard.


Summer Vacation Day 6 – Fridge Declutter

Our refrigerator seem to quickly get overstocked and underused and, since we had the third broken pipe with all of the mold, bits of mold start showing up too frequently.  Ever couple of week I give it a really good clean out and today was the day.

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The top shelf has the homemade salad dressings, yogurt and jam as well as some ghee I made last week.  The next shelf down has maple syrup and some marinades and mayonnaise that I made this week along with some pickles (mine are terrible, so I buy those). The next shelf has the drinks.  It’s odd to see the milk jug there, we usually by raw milk, but we ran out in the middle of the week.  The bottom has some chicken bone broth that I made and the chicken pieces that I made it from. There is also a box with my son’s birthday cake from a local bakery – Seventh Heaven Cake.  It’s fantastic!


Spicy Ginger Peanut Sauce

This sauce is great with grilled chicken, vegetables and rice.  It’s also perfect to mix with noodles for a cool summer salad or for a sipping sauce for salad rolls.


  • 1/4 c peanut butter
  • 1/4 c cashew butter
  • ¼ c brown sugar
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1 T cider vinegar
  • 1T minced garlic
  • 1 T grated ginger
  • Sriracha sauce to taste

Put all of the ingredients into the blender and pulse to mis thoroughly.

Honey Mustard Dressing

I was doing a bit of a revamp this morning, inspired by a great blog that I ran into.  I made mayonnaise, some chicken broth, my dear friend Tom’s sesame ginger dressing, and a great honey mustard salad dressing.  I’m trying to have things in the refrigerator that I make and know the ingredients to.


  • 1/3 c cider vinegar
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 1/3 c french mustard
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  •  juice from 1 lemon
  • 2/3 c oil (olive or canola)
  • ¼ t salt

Combine the ingredients (except the oil) into a blender and blend to liquify.  Add the olive oil slowly to help emulsify into a dressing.

Summer Vacation Day 5 – Blueberry Muffins


  • 2 c flourIMG_1664
  • 1 T baking powder
  • ½ t salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 T melted butter
  • 1 c sour cream
  • 1 c fresh blueberries:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Whisk the egg until well-combined and light-yellow. Add the sugar and whisk until creamed.
  4. Slowly add the melted butter, combining well after each addition.
  5. Slowly add the sour cream, combining well after each addition.
  6. Add the berries to the dry ingredients and toss just to combine.
  7. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold until the batter comes together and the berries are evenly distributed.  Do not overmix.
  8. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and top with a sprinkling of pearl sugar.  Bake 25-30 minutes until the muffins are light golden brown and a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.