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Well Homesteader, what my plan is to figure it out.. find some good recipes, figure out a recipe to get a starter going.. THEN it won't be too hard to pick it up when I want/need to so I'm not locked into it. I just have a few more recipes I want to find and then if I can't keep up it's ok. Plus I have my almost 17 yr old daughter learning along with me.. so much easier with two of us to remember it.

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Been canning up the "pay" from working at the food bank...so far, 16 jars of cranberry jelly, 9 jars of cranberry juice, 16 jars of Apple juice, 8 jars of Apple jelly. Lots more apple jelly and some cran apple jelly tomorrow....... Thinking about canning up some of my old beans that take so long to cook

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OIC :scratchhead: - best sourdough recipe filed away for when you may need to rely on it?

Yep, or just want to use it again. So rather than feeling like I have to have sourdough starting going indefinitely I just will know how (and have the recipe) to get it started and use it and I can pull it out at any time. At the moment it's going and we're using it lots.. but I'll get to the point where I won't keep up on it and can just give up. Until the next time I want to do it.

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Being careful...a friend of ours "captures wild yeast" whenever he's ready to make bread, cornbread or ??? He's on a farm and knows the pollens in his area though. It's pretty nifty and we've eaten some his cornbread and it's wonderful!

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Picked up more lamp oil....matches [found strike-anywhere kind]. Should have gotten firestarter [drat, wasn't on the list].


Got 2 unused paint cans ...one gallon and one pint to make the TP type heater/cooker. {see this thread}



Got DH some hand warmers cuz the arthritis and COLD do not mix. If we get a bunch of snow to deal with, he hurts badly. The glove/mittens I gave him have pockets for the heater packs.


Picked up some washing soda cuz I discovered that doubling that ingredient makes the recipe work well with this water.


Got bleach for sanitation uses. Not for laundry.



:cheer: BEST from Walmart: Information! Paint department told me where to get the new paint cans and.....that we have a soda bottling plant in 'the city'. 55 gallon drums - thick plastic! CHEAP! That would be mice proof! For water and other things like dog food storage. [lost a half a 40# bag to ....something down there ...eeek!]



Also got tire chains and spent time tonite putting them on with my headlamp. Before the snow started again. 'Bout froze my fingers, working with those metal chains in the snowpack. But I had a reusable heat pack in my pocket and used it a couple times. Sliding under van is easy with nylon jacket and overpants on snowpack. Brrrr.... Took a while to figure out the new chains. Put the cable-type chains on the front. It's snowing again now so ......we'll see how this works tomorrow.


We'll see if I can even groan my way outta bed tomorrow after all the gymnastics of taking off one set of 'chains' and putting on the heavier ones...... AND I slipped and fell in the process. Ow! Too old for all this....need to retire to a tropical island...... :rolleyes:



MtRider :shopping::frozen::amen:

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Ordered 2 heaters that can be used indoors that go on those bottles of coleman fuel. We have 2 generators but my DH has a habit of blocking the one that's in a wagon so I wouldn't be able to get it out of the shop and I couldn't get the gas fireplace lit cause its a booger so these will be some heat for me if hes not here.

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I've been working on using up some of our food storage as well. I've decided that I'm done with the large buckets. Once those are rotated thru, I'm sticking with quart size jars for dry goods that I store myself, and number #10 cans for things I buy commercially canned. By the way, just made baked beans from some dry red beans I sealed in quart size jars with my pump-n-seal in 2005. They came out great. The pintos I stored that same year in a mylar bag and bucket, didn't hold their air-tight seal. Not to mention the fact that now I have an opened bucket with 50 lbs of pintos to work through! They seemed to cook up okay though, especially since most of them are destined to be refried beans.


Other than that, I'm just working on filling my yard with as many perennial food sources as I can. I finally have the elderberry & current bed filled in and planted with ground nuts. It will be nice to have a permanent spot for the ground nuts. I keep moving them around, so they are not producing and maturing like they should.


I love reading what all of you are doing. Sorry I don't post as much as I should!

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We have been working on getting our stalls finished in time for my Nigerian Dwarf goat to kid the first week of March. I also started my first batch of homemade blackberry wine, it's on its third day of primary fermentation. Woot! Also, we bought a hog that went to butcher on Sunday, so we're gonna stock up the freezer again. I got all my seeds ordered for this years garden, which is going to be huge! Still need to finalize where everything is going to go though.


Last week I made a 5 gallon batch of liquid homemade detergent, although I'm kinda thinking it's making my skin itch...


Oh yeah, and Saturday I stocked up on shampoo. Got $40 worth for $10. Pretty pumped about that. I have enough shampoo to last me like 2 years probably! lol


I have really dwindled on my food preps though. I had cases of veggies I had bought on sale that expired in 2012, so the last couple years I've been having a big bonfire and make a huge pot of soup to use it. I'm focusing more on preserving my own veggies instead of buying them canned. And, I'm still trying to process the 10-15 winter squash hanging around the house. lol

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Knowing this winter storm was coming in, we "loitered" around $Tree and WM etc. Picked up another big supply of T-lights, additional wicks for our lanterns, another 1/2 gallon of lantern fuel (the kerosene is at the homestead garage & headed for Little House before long), lots of fresh bagged veggies for steaming, lots more fish for the freezer and a pizza! As for our long storage pantry items, I just don't touch them...they're at Little House for that reason. We keep about 2 weeks worth here & I just replenish here. Our buckets are gasket sealed except for those with gamma lids that I figure once I open, I'll want to seal it back up. We've not stored anything in any of the buckets that we haven't "sub-divided" into manageable mylar bags or vacuum sealed bags because we don't want to have to eat beans for a month :-) Also, katzcradul has a youtube vid on cooking your beans & then canning them so you have a more manageable amount at any given time and you don't have to use so much of your cooking fuel to get them edible. Also, I've heard some say you can grind those dry beans like you do wheat or corn, and use them in stuff like tortillas etc. Anybody heard of that?

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Philbe, I've ground beans in an electric grinder. I wasn't overly fond of the result because I like to soak and drain beans to reduce the flatulence and the bitterness. If you do grind them, be aware that it takes a LOT of water while cooking because they soak it up and you have to stir constantly for quite a while to get them cooked properly. Most dry beans will cook pretty well if you pressure cook them. If they don't soften enough stick them in the freezer then thaw and cook again and that usually will soften them up enough.


I normally can dry beans to have on hand. They are a nice convenience. Daughter LOVES beans. I hate them.

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Nichole that's strange about your laundry soap making you itch, I've been using it for years but this last batch I think is doing it to me. I know my skin is itchy and I didn't know if it was the new batch of soap or dry sheets from WalMart.

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Homemade laundry soap - I don't know what recipe you're using, but if you're using the one with a bar of soap, try using Ivory instead of the Fels Naptha.


Laundry Sheets - try experimenting without them. You can even use dryer balls or tennis balls instead of dryer sheets to reduce static cling. For years I thought they were a necessity then I stopped using them. Other than one of my daughter's polyester long dresses, no one notices. One less thing I need to buy, one less thing I need to pollute the environment with.


Was looking for this link concerning dryer sheets and just found it:



Many that use washing machine dryers, often add to the laundry dry sheets, artificially provide a nice fragrance, and laundry feels soft. Certainly I have always added dry sheets to my laundry. However, those artificial fragrances have extremely toxic chemicals. Also, can be found in commercial detergents, bleaches, stain removers, and fabric softeners. Clothing we place on our body, may have residue of those toxic chemicals, that contain carcinogens (cancer causing agent), which may come into contact with our skin or inhaled.

Listed are chemicals found in fabric softeners and dry sheets (eMediaWire website - Press release February 21, 2005):

• Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
• Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
• Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
• Alpha-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
• Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list
• Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
• Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic
• Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
• Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled

Additional side effects from any of these chemicals can cause: Nausea, Vomiting, kidney/liver damage, Headaches, Blood pressure reduction, pancreatic cancer and irritation to the skin, mucus membrane and respiratory tract. These side effects may not happen immediately, but over a period of time. Some people may notice constant coughing sensation, while sleeping on dry cleaned bedding sheets, which may be the cause of these chemicals. Skin rashes maybe more likely, on baby's skin, since they are more sensitive to dry sheets, exposed to their clothing. When a person sweats, that moistens the clothes, which may cause the skin to absorb any chemical residue, from the clothing that was treated, with a dry sheet.

There are alternative and safer methods, instead of purchasing these commercially sold fabric softeners and sheets. Purchasing natural fabric softener that uses natural base like soy, which can be bought at health food store. Add to the washing machine cycle, a quarter cup of white vinegar to rinse, that will soften fabric and eliminate cling. Also, add a quarter cup of backing soda to wash, which will soften fabric. Available: Fragrance free chemical reusable dry sheets. These can be purchased online: www.nontoxic.com - Tele: 925 - 472 - 8868 or 'Static Eliminator' - product does not contain any chemicals, fragrances, and hypoallergenic. Also, safe for sensitive skin, eliminates static, softens fabric, and will not hurt clothing flame resistance. This product can be located on the Internet for purchase.

Edited by Andrea
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Tennis balls?


I second that.. How well does that work?


My allergies are extreme when it comes to commercial products. We once got a box of unscented bounce sheets that had been shelved next to the scented products at the store, that box never lost the perfume smell it had absorbed. :yuk:


Andrea, have you tried drying your re-fried beans? Re-fries do not last long enough in our house, lol.

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Tennis balls?

I second that.. How well does that work?


My allergies are extreme when it comes to commercial products. We once got a box of unscented bounce sheets that had been shelved next to the scented products at the store, that box never lost the perfume smell it had absorbed. :yuk:


Andrea, have you tried drying your re-fried beans? Re-fries do not last long enough in our house, lol.



Yep, tennis balls work just fine. I kept "losing" one of my dryer balls (dd would do a load of laundry and regularly cart off at least one of the dryer balls in her basket). I would throw a tennis ball in as a replacement and it worked great. Now? I don't even bother with tennis or dryer balls, unless I'm washing something made mostly from polyester. Cotton jeans and t-shirts don't seem to get as much static.


I've also heard that you can use wadded up pieces of foil, but I've never tried this.


As for drying my refried beans, I haven't bothered. While cleaning out a closet, I found 12 - #10 cans of refried beans. I have NO idea when I ordered them and have no recollection of stashing them there. AUGHHH! I am so unorganized. I'm hoping they'll last a few more years 'til I can work our way through the whole beans I've stored. I'm really trying to get our food storage down to a more manageable level. Yes, we regularly eat 95% (I do have those Coast Guard bars and a small amount of MRE's) of what we store but I went a little overboard on quantities, especially since I've developed a sensitivity to commercially used food additives and preservatives. I'm trying to be better about using at least 2-5 cans of food a week, but we really prefer fresh cooked foods.


My goal is to limit our food storage to no more than a years worth at any time or any one item, and focus more on turning every inch of yard space into perennial food production, using my raised beds for annuals (tomatoes, potatoes, onions, etc.)


Which reminds me, I need to go soak some wheat berries and get them sprouted. Trying to work through some of that as well!

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