Essential Traditions/Real Food Real Frugal

The archives for the old Essential Traditions blog and the old Real Food Real Frugal Blog

Crocheted Bun Cover

Here’s a little bun cover I just crocheted. I’m going to make 4 more just like it for my nieces for Christmas. I will also be making some scrunchies and another style of bun cover. I think they will really like them :0).

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The finished bun cover

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How it looks in my hair…sorry for the dark picture…I couldn’t get any of them to look better!

The pattern is called Alissa’s Ballet Bun Cover. You can find the directions to make it Here.

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Cold Thursday

The temperatures have been dropping steadily all morning. When we got up at 7:30 it was 37° right now at about 9 am it’s nearly 30°. The wind is howling and the sky is spitting at us. It’s beginning to look and feel like winter here in Texas! I’ve got our wood burning stove going and so far we’re staying pretty warm.

Last night I crocheted 4 granny squares for a comfortgan for a friend at Crochet Mania who’s sister died from cancer recently. I’ll be sending them off to the comfortgan coordinator this weekend.

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I thought they turned out kind of pretty. All of the people participating are making 8 inch granny squares that the coordinator will sew together to make an afghan. All the blocks are going to be different and the coordinator will crochet them togeher with black yarn. I think it’s going to be a beautiful afghan!

Annie’s Attic has a really cute free crochet pattern for a rug. It’s called Highland Fling Rug. If you want to get a copy, you better hurry, it’s only available for today.

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Today, I’m going to try and make some more bread (the oven will warm up the house!) and do a little cleaning. Mostly, though, I’m going to sit and crochet and try to stay warm! I’m going to crochet me a bun cover I think and work on some Christmas projects. I’ve also got to work on a new blog for myself and my husband. He wants a blog where he can post all his homesteading and alternative energy projects. The blog will be called “The Godfrey’s Go Green”. I’m hoping to have it up this afternoon. I will post to it occasionally, but it’s mostly for him (although I will still probably be the one typing the posts…LOL!!)

Well, I’m off! Have a good day!!

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If I Go Missing From My Blog

We’re having some internet/email problems (AGAIN!!). So If I go missing for 1-2 weeks don’t worry!! Our email is currently down, and I’m worried that the internet is not far behind. If I don’t post for a while, you’ll know why, you can always email me at my yahoo email address susanscraps414@yahoo.com . If the internet does go down, I’ll check that email address at least 1-2 times a week at the library. I’ll also try to make quick posts from the library to this blog if the internet does go down.

Hugs!
Susan

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Touched Beyond Words

Today, I stopped by to pick up my mail at our post office box and discovered that we had received something really special! This is a beautiful afghan that the ladies at Crochet Mania Forum but together for us in memory of Gabriel. Isn’t is so beautiful! We are so touched beyond words. When I opened the box and read the enclosed card and letter, I was in tears! So to the ladies at Crochet Mania, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. This is something that we will treasure for the rest of our lives and each time we use it, it will bring with it the assurance of God’s love for us, he most definately uses people as His angels on earth.
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One-Rise Whole Wheat Bread

This is a recipe from my new cookbook, Homestead Cooking (slightly modified by me). This is the first time I’ve made it, so I thought I’d take a few pictures of the process along with the recipe. The recipe calls for hand kneading, but I used my dough hook and my KitchenAid.

This recipe makes 2 loaves of bread. You will need:

1 tbsp. honey
1/2 cup warm water
2 tbsp. yeast (I used 2 packets)
2 cupts milk or whey (I used water as I had no milk)
2 large eggs (optional) (I didn’t use)
1 tbsp. salt
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup oil (increase to 3/4 cup if omitting eggs) (I used 3/4 cup)
8 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp. gluten (I added this…it’s not in the original recipe)

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In a small bowl, dissolve the one tbsp. honey in warm water, sprinkle yeast over top and stir. Let stand until frothy (about 7 minutes).

Heat milk to lukewarm (I used warm water from tap). While milk heats, mix eggs (didn’t use), salt, honey an large bowl. Add warm milk and 3 cups of flour. Stir and add yeast. (I just put everything into the bowl of my mixer and mixed.)

With a wire whisk or heavy wooden spoon bean teh dough for 200 strokes. (Again, I just let my mixer do the work).

Add remaining flour one cup at a time. MIx well after each addition. Save the last half cup of flour for kneading into the dough. (This is where I added the gluten) After adding about 6 cups of the four, set aside the utensil and work in the rest of the flour with your hands. (I switched to my bread hook and let the mixer do the work).

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Lightly flour your work surface and turn dough out onto it and knead for 10 minutes (Be sure to gather all the dry flour from the bottom and sides of the bowl into the dough before turning out onto the floured surface.) If dough sticks to surface during kneading, lightly sprinkle some of the remaining half cup of flour on work surface, not on top of dough. Shape dough into a loose ball and cover with the bowl. Let dough rest 15 minutes. (I let my bread hook and mixer do this).

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After the dough has rested, punch it down and knead 10 more minutes. Add more flour only if the dough sticks to the work surface. The more flour you add, the denser and drier the bread will be. (Yep…let the mixer do the work!)

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Butter 2 bread pans, divide dough in half and shape into loaves. Place shaped loaves in pans and press down with hands to fill corners of pans. Cover with a clean muslin towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until bread is one to two inces above the pan. The top of a refrigerator is a good spot. This should take about 40 minutes. (I put mine on the washing machine, next to the water heater, it always stays warm there.)

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While bread is rising, preheat oven to 350°.

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Bake 40-45 minutes. After 20 minutes brush the tops of loaves with milk for a shiny, tender crust (I didn’t do).

Afger 45 minutes, remove one loaf from a pan and tap the bottom of the loaf with your finger. If it sounds hollow, the bread is finished. Remove immediately form pans and place on wire racks to cool.

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I just ate a bit of the bread, and it turned out really well…very yummy! We’ll eat a loaf of it with dinner tonight, which is something I’m just making up, but it’s kind of a Chicken & Dumplings or Chicken and Corn Chowder.

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Tuesday Busy-ness

Today is going to be a bit of a busy one. I need to catch up on the laundry before it gets cold here (suppose to be around freezing on Thursday). I’ve also got to get the wood stove cleaned so it’s in good working order. Marty’s going to be chopping wood the next few days after he gets home from work. I need to do some serious work on the living room. In the last month, I”ve taken nearly 10 walmart bags full of clothes and stuff to the local church thrift store. We’re slowly but surely getting rid of the excess stuff we don’t use or need. Most of it has been clothes, I’m amazed at how many clothes we have socked away in this house! I think we could clothe a small army! There’s such an age difference between my boys, that I’ve decided not to try and keep any of Colt’s clothing for Riley. Riley gets some hand-me-downs from my nephew Elijah (2 years older), those I hang on to. So anything that Colt outgrows need to leave our house :0)

What do you have a hard time getting rid of? For me it’s books! I have a bunch of books that need to go, but I just hate getting rid of them! Who knows when I’ll need that particular book again. I’ve decided to get rid of most of my fiction books, except for those that I’ve read over and over. I’ll keep all farming/homesteading books, because we use them constantly for referrence. I’ll keep my crochet/knitting pattern books. I’m going to be getting rid of a lot of cookbooks, and will only be keeping a handful of them (my favorites). I’ll weed out the homeschooling books and kids books, keeping only the ones we really use or need.

Well, I’m off to get another load in the washer and hang some clothes. Then it will be lunch time, so gotta feed the kiddos!

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Angel Food Ministries

Have y’all ever heard of Angel Food Ministries? Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing grocery relief to communities throughout the United States. They offer monthly packages of food for $25.

From their website:

Angel Food’s groceries are sold in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $25 per unit. Each month’s menu is different than the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $50. Comparison shopping has been done across the country in various communities using a wide range of retail grocery stores and has resulted in the same food items costing from between $42 and $78.

Generally, one unit of food assists in feeding a family of four for about one week or a single senior citizen for almost a month. The food is all the same high quality one would purchase at a grocery store. There are no second-hand items, no damaged or out-dated goods, no dented cans without labels, no day-old breads and no produce that is almost too ripe.

Also offered are specialty boxes such as steaks, chicken and pork. Many participants in this bonus program appreciate the expanded choices. Additionally, there is no limit to the number of units or bonus foods an individual can purchase, and there are no applications to complete or qualifications to which participants must adhere. Angel Food Ministries, like most all other retail grocery stores, also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program, using the Off-Line Food Stamp Voucher system.

This month’s package consists of:

December 2006 Menu
(1) 4 lb. IQF Drums & Thighs
(1) 2 lb. Italian Lasagna Dinner
(10) 4 oz. Beef & Bean Burritos
(1) 2 lb. Chicken Breast Tenders
(1) 12 oz. Philly Steak Portions
(1) 24 oz. Breaded Breast Filets
(1) 16 oz. Ground Turkey
(1) 16 oz. All Meat Hot Dogs
(1) 16 oz. Pinto Beans
(1) 1 lb. White Rice
(1) 7.5 oz. Corn Muffin Mix
(1) 24 oz. Potato Wedges
(1) 16 oz. Carrots
(1) 16 oz. Cut Corn
(1) 3 lbs. Apples
(1) 12 oz. Omelette Starter
(1) Dozen Eggs
(1) Dessert Item

NOt to bad for only $25! And, you can buy as many of the monthly packages you want each month. You pick up your items and participating churches, go to their website to see if there’s a church in your area that hosts the program. I fond one about 30 minutes from my house, I’m going to talk to Marty about doing this each month.

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Homestead Heritage – Saturday – Few More Pictures

Today we met my Mom and Dad at Homestead Heritage. We stayed only about 3 hours, but I think we were all ready to go. We saw most of what we wanted to see yesterday and Mom and Dad, I hope, had a good time. I made another wreath and Colt made a balloon boat and Riley made a sail boat. We at lunch there today, again, I ate some of their yummy Jalapeno Sweet Potato Soup. I bought their cookbook, which I’m really excited about, can’t wait to try some of the goodies in it! BTW, the cookbook had the recipe for the Jalapeno Sweet Potato Soup, which I’ll post in another entry. Now on to the pictures!

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This is a photo of their farm from the overlook. We took their hay ride and they took us to the overlook. Their farm is mostly in the Brazos river bottoms.

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Me making another wreath :0)

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This is the sail boat that Riley built

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Riley floating his sail boat with my Mom looking on.

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Colt’s balloon boat he built

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Colt and Riley taking a break

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Riley petting a lamb.

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Riley petting a sheep

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My finished herbal wreath

This is a VERY short video of Riley in the petting zoo, by this time, the camera’s batteries were really low and the camera died in the middle of the video.

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My Herb Wreath

Someone asked me what herbs I used to make my wreath. I meant to put it in the original post, but forgot :0)

The herbs I used were all fresh. I used Rosemary, Texas Sage, and Yarrow. I started with a grapevine wreath and wove the herbs into it. I used the fresh rosemary as the basic green part of the wreath, then added some of the pretty, silvery Texas sage. You can’t really see the yarrow, but it’s very fern-y like and I used it mostly down at the bottom around the flowers. The dried flowers, I have no idea what type they are, but they had a wide variety of them available for us to use. I can’t tell you how wonderful the rosemary smells! Golly, my bedroom smells like HEAVEN right now! I think that I will make another one of these today, it was a lot of fun and now I have a pretty something to hang in my house, all for the very small cost of $5.00!

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Homestead Heritage – Friday – Lots of Pictures!

We had a really good time at Homestead Heritage today!

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Wool yarn they make from their sheep

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A felted purse I fell in love with but had to leave behind…it was only $90 (LOL!)

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A beautiful quilt

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Handsewn baby dolls that Riley fell in love with.

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I just love this hand made pottery, the colors are fantastic!

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Riley looking at the sheep

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Colt building a paddle boat

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Colt’s paddle boat in action

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Wooden sailboats that they were letting kids build

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Just a picture of Riley

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A replica of an old homestead farm

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My youngest niece G

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Sheep 🙂

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Riley making a soap ball

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Still working on the soap ball

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Look Dad, it’s done!

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Colt making a wooden spatula

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Still working on the spatula

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Here you go Mom, I made this for you!

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Me working on a herb wreath

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Still working on it

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All done!

So this was our day at Homestead Heritage in pictures! We’re going again tomorrow with my parents, so I’m sure there are many more pictures to come!

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