Posted in Beef, Other, Pork, The Hungry Hen, Uncategorized, Veggies w/ Meat

Portabella Mushroom Pizza

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This one, I can never get tired of. I try to stay Gluten Free. I don’t have celiac disease but I do have a sensitivity to Gluten. It bloats me up, makes me where I can’t go to the bathroom OR it makes it where I can’t stay out of a bathroom. Also, it wears me down. I don’t have the energy to push through the day if I am eating Gluten all of the time. Makes me cranky and on edge. It also messes with my sugar. Not sugar as in, I need a shot or a candy bar when it drops. Sugar as in, when it drops, I get really sick to the stomach, weak and a migraine. If I don’t eat protein fast, I’m in trouble. That’s not even mentioning what it does to the bellies of the women in my family. We can go from a size five to a size thirty over night, lol.  Now, I know there are people out there that argue over whether the whole Gluten thing is real– for me, it is real.

Anyone who knows about Gluten, understands what I’m about to say next….

It is pure hell when you are first trying to pull off of it. Not just talking about the symptoms. I’m talking about trying to make a descent meal that doesn’t leave you feeling as though you’re missing out. It’s real hard sitting there while you’re family is gorging out on pizza and you’re trying to choke down yet another salad or baked meat dish that you’ve had a gazillion times.

Standing in the grocery store one night — running late with errands and not feeling like cooking once I got home– my husband suggests grabbing the kids something from the frozen section. After feeling left out one too many times and after he grabbed some frozen pizzas, I finally put my foot down and came up with this. Making my own dang pizza on something I love very, very much– portabella mushrooms. It’s not expensive, and depending on toppings, is very quick. I love Italian Sausage, so that adds a little bit to the time factor, however, this still didn’t take me forever and a day to make. And low and behold when I made it, I didn’t even get a picture of the cooked product — which is why you get the one above– because when I walked out of the room to grab my camera, my husband and kids raised the mushrooms. In fact, the dang frozen pizzas got wasted and tossed in the trash.

Now, the Recipe below is for 8 Mushrooms. And I am crazy for toppings, so I piled them all on. You can adjust the toppings to what you like, though. And you can adjust the amount of mushrooms that you make. You can even adjust the amount of toppings you put on– I like lots of toppings. I don’t have the ounces for the Cans of things I used– like Sliced Olives– but we can all tell the difference between small and large cans. (If you NEED and MUST HAVE ounces, I’ll add them, if you just let me know.) And I don’t buy pre-made Pizza Sauce, either. I make my own. It’s not hard. If you are keen on buying it, go for it, but try my homemade below if you’re ever up for it.

Ready? I’m going to give you the ingredients, some directions and then I’m going to show you how to get the mushrooms ready– with pics. The pictures will be part of the other directions. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 Portabellos (When choosing the mushrooms, make sure they are thick, round and sturdy. If they are crushed in any way or not firm, don’t buy them.)
  • 2 small cans of SLICED black Olives
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 small red pepper, sliced or you can use Roasted Peppers in a Jar — up to you.
  • 1 pack of Italian Style Pepperoni
  • 1 package of Italian Sausage — either ground or links. If you get links, you can squeeze the sausage from the Casing or you can cook it in the Casing and then slice to the thickness you desire.
  • Whatever other toppings you want — Banana Peppers, anchovies, etc.
  • 1 — (8ounce) bag of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (Unless you want more, then grab a bigger bag.)
  • 1/2 stick of butter.

 

SAUCE

  • 2 small Cans of Tomato Sauce
  • 2-4 gloves of Garlic
  • Cayenne (optional)
  • Red Pepper flakes to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 TBSP Basil

 

DIRECTIONS for SAUCE

We are going to go ahead and mix up the sauce and put it on the stove to boil, and then to simmer while we prep the mushrooms and everything else.  So, with that being said, put the Sauce, minced or chopped Garlic, (optional, Cayenne), Salt, Red Pepper Flakes and Basil in a pan. Cover. I actually bring it to a low boil and then let it just sit in it’s own heat until I’m ready for it.

 

TOPPINGS

Now, let’s start frying your Sausage. And working on those Mushrooms…..

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We need to carve out the insides of the mushroom and remove the stem. For this, you are going to use a spoon, whatever size you are comfortable with. Just start by gently flicking out the stem and then scraping out the darker stuff like so….

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Be CAREFUL not to dig your spoon too deep. You do not want to puncture the bottom or the sides. We want to trap the toppings in, not have them running all over. Basically, you are making a bowl with a mushroom or a mushroom bowl, lol.

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This is what you will end up with, (the picture above). I don’t know if you can tell, but that bowl is pretty deep or deep enough for me to stack all my toppings in and for them to stay in.

Now, you most likely have a plate of this left….

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It’s up to you what you do with it but I always save it. I will add it to scrambled eggs or use it to make a Cream of Mushroom soup or I even add it to the Vegetable Soup I make and freeze for my lunches through the week. You can saute it, and add it back to the pizza but to me that’s a waste when we already have mushrooms — as a foundation for my pizzas– So, why not stretch it into another recipe.

Now that you have your foundation spooned out, place them on a Cookie Sheet.Start building your Pizza. I add a few tablespoons of Sauce or more first. Then I lay out the pepperoni — ON THE SAUCE– and BEFORE THE CHEESE. Pepperoni will help flavor your Sauce, so to me, this is the best way. Sprinkle on some Mozzarella Cheese. You decide how much. CUSTOMIZE this to your liking. If you LOVE Pepperoni, add some more on top the cheese. Next, add some Sausage, Black Olives, Red Pepper and Onion. Anchovies, if you use these things, are to be added last. 

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Once all your toppings are on, slice the butter and toss it in between the mushrooms on the pan. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. It doesn’t take mushrooms long to cook at all. And the time will depend on how your oven cooks. You will be able to tell when they are done though. Should be some good juices in the pan and the mushrooms will loose some of their firmness.

Remove from the oven and eat. Let me know what you think because I can’t get enough of these! And if you have any left over, they are even better the next day!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Seafood, The Hungry Hen

Hot Cheesy, Vegetable Seafood Dip

It was right before Super Bowl and I decide, to hell with an actual meal, let’s do some dips and such. Well, if I’m going to do a Dip, I want to make sure it’s something I don’t get too often. That’s when my brain takes a plunge into the ocean. Next bright idea : Let’s do seafood! Yum!

I scan recipe after recipe until I find one that is Gluten Free AND something that has a wow-factor. I rush off to the grocery store, after bragging to others coming that THIS, THIS is WHAT I’m making. Unfortunately, I should have read the recipe better because I still had to make my mortgage payment for this month. What does that mean? It means that the Dip called for two not-s0-common cheeses that are priced pretty high where I’m from. If the Recipe would have called for a 1/2 here or there, I would have went for it, but it called for 5 cups (doubling the recipe) for one and that one was up there in Cost.

Because I had already bragged, already splurged on the not-so-cheap seafood, I had to think of something. What I thought of was what I came up with BELOW. And before you bat an eye, let me tell you that this stuff was AMAZING!!!! We used tortilla chips but you can use other chips, veggie sticks or french bread. And with the left overs, I started doing all types of stuff– stuffing mushrooms and fish. Everyone loved it. LOVED it! And while I still used SOME of the expensive cheese, I only used a small amount — considering what the recipe originally called for.

The pictures are not so great, so forgive me, but enjoy because this was so totally worth it.

img_7573Okay, we are throwing ALL of the Ingredients below (except the Seafood) into a Crockpot.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 16 oz Sour Cream
  • 1 Stick of Butter
  • 10 oz Frozen Chopped Spinach
  • 14 oz Artichoke Hearts, Chopped
  • 8 oz Italian Style Shredded Cheese (Kroger carries this.)
  • 1-2 cloves chopped raw garlic
  • 4 oz REAL Lump Crab Meat (If you can’t find lump, just make sure its real, uncooked and fresh.
  • 1/2 Ib Shrimp (No Shell) Chopped
  • 4 oz Can of Clams. I used the whole ones– not the minced. Drain these, too.
  • 1/2 cup celery chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 TBSP Jalapeno minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Onion
  • 1/4 tsp Parsley
  • 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • Cubed Gouda. I used .53 oz and .44 oz. So target it near those amounts. If you get a little over or less, don’t worry. Shouldn’t make a difference. This was the expensive stuff, but a little, went a long way.
  • 8 oz Shredded Parmesan (Buy the fresh near the other shredded cheeses)

 

As I said before, throw everything but the Seafood into a crock pot. Let it melt and heat up. The amount of time will depend on how fast your Crock cooks. Make sure to go in here and there and stir. Just make sure nothing sticks. Nothing in mine did, but you never know. Add seafood 15 minutes before serving.

 

Let me know what you think. We loved it. And save those left overs. We stuffed mushrooms with them, topped baked potatoes with it, even added some to our scrambled eggs.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Hen Pecked, Hogs, Misc. Nature, Uncategorized

And this Little Piggy Went….

 

16388378_10154099731321993_1950383878762689848_nWe’ve been preparing for hogs for some time now. My husband has experience with hogs, not me. We were doing them with a Family Member but because of the distances between where we live– an entire mtn dividing us– we felt it wasn’t fair to him, who was doing everything, and well, we were missing out ourselves by not being involved. I enjoy interacting with my animals on a daily bases and so does my husband. In a world that is crazy and often spins out of control, being around our little barnyard releases the stress and pressure. Sometimes the work comes at inconvenient times but overall, I can’t complain. We don’t have a lot of land here, though, so I have to be careful what we bring in. That’s why we decided on something that is old and nearly forgotten…

The American Guinea Hog 16388422_10154099731336993_6942342104205795957_n

These hogs are called many things. Just to name a few, Acorn Eaters, Forest Hogs, and Yard Pigs. Over 200 years old, they range in sizes from 150- 300 pounds. Around 6 months of age, they should be around 75 pounds– which makes them a great butcher size if that’s your goal. Meat is perfectly marbled and the lard peels easily.

In general, they are a smaller hog and easier to handle. While they don’t do a lot of the damage the larger hogs are known for, Guinea Hogs, were very helpful back in the day when gettin’ Gardens ready for planting season wasn’t as easy as turnin’ on a tiller.

I have mine in the Garden now – wanting to test them out. They dig just enough, the way a tiller would. Since they are slower growing, I got mine now so they would be ready to butcher come next Fall or Winter. Another reason I got them, I want them fertilizing, churnin’ up the soil, and eating up all the roots (to help me avoid weeds come summer) in my Garden during colder months.

There is a benefit to the cost of keepin’ them too. See, the greatest thing about these hogs is the fact that they are resourceful scavengers. I worry that if something were to happen, if I was unable to get Feed, could these animals make it without store-bought help. When choosing chickens or anything for my small farm, I take that into consideration. These pigs win the prize for that trait.

Guineas can, if given enough space to free-range, fend for themselves. In fact, if you have a Guinea and you aren’t letting them live off grass, grubs and whatever else they can find, you are missing out and putting a dent in your wallet unnecessarily. Let them work and find the majority of their food on their own. This is what makes them perfect for the small homesteader.

And since they are a smaller hog, if no one if here to help come Butcher time, we can handle it on our own. That’s something else people should consider. Are you butchering yourself? If you are, are you capable of handling huge hogs? Do you have a tractor or hoist to hang them? Do you have a space big enough to clean and work up the meat?

Guineas, by being smaller, are easier to handle and work with. They have a red meat, a good marble, and to some, are considered more lean. Lard, of course, will depend on the space they have, if they are being fed and fattened or allowed to free-range some and how long you keep them.

For our piggies, since they were born November, putting them around 4 months old, we are starting them out on a Show-pig Starter. After that, we will move to regular feed for pigs, also allowing them to hunt their own food out the older they get. My property has woods, so this will be a perfect area for them especially once I move them out of my garden area.

If you are interested in raising Hogs but are unaure if you can handle one, then I suggest the American Guinea Hog. Something that maybe easier for you to handle and get adapted to. They are also scarce in numbers, which is a crying shame. Another reason I chose them. I think there are only 200 registered in the US, and 2000 worldwide? I like dealing with breeds that were prized once upon a time but are now seeing critical lists. Makes me feel better doing what I do. As if I am preserving a piece of the past.

Posted in The Hungry Hen, Uncategorized

Historical Menus : How the Politicians Did It Back in the Day & the Recipe of Burgoo

A lot of Political unrest these days. We assumed it would all be over by now, but unlike anything I remember before, it isn’t. A lot of bad people in the world, too. And those people are using this election to justify their unlawful acts, their bad behavior. We should have an issue with that, we should “all” have an issue with that, but strangely, the Mainstream Media would lead us to think we are indeed, divided on that as well.

 

Regardless, I thought it would be fun, in honor of our next President being elected, Donald Trump, that I post a little historical info on how the Politicians used to win votes way back in the day. Interested?

 

So, how “did” the Politicians win votes way back in the day? Through the stomach, that’s how. Through the stomach.

 

Even before 1758, men like George Washington figured out, the best way to catch the faith of a voter, was by giving him a damn good meal. Food and, of course Alcohol, made everything so much better.

Back then, BBQ’s were held and Politicians traveled to each and every one. With them, I really want to emphasize, alcohol. Lots and lots of Spirits. They had such a thing called Voters Run, and if that didn’t do the trick, they’d often carry with them wine, beer cider and well, cake–because everyone loves the guy who brings the alcohol and sweets to the party.

 

It was an all-out affair with big bands, cannons, and, while Candidates would speak of course, things didn’t shut down at dark. No, these shindigs used to roar right into the night.

 

According to the book, The American Heritage Cookbook, pages record one rallie making itself into history in 1840 when William Henry Harrison came to town to score some votes. In Albany, NY, they raised a Cabin, literally, and then partied down inside on corn bread, cheese and Hard Cider.

They had ginger cake, hoecake, and  served bacon with their cider in Columbus, Ohio.

Over in Wheeling, West Virginia, Harrisonites blew the numbers off the charts with 30,000 people. It is said they had 360 hams, 26 sheep & 20 calves, 1500 pounds of beef, 8,000 pounds of bread, more than 1,000 pounds of cheese and a hodgepodge of 4,500 pies.

Not to mention alcohol! I mean, I did say alcohol, right?

 

Now days, illegal voting seems to be one of the big screamers of every government election. Without Legal Identification Cards, Socials and all that, how did they stop illegal voting back in the day?

Back then, Henry Clay was recorded saying this about an election held down South, “I have just witnessed that strange thing, a Kentucky Election…Whisky and Apple Toddy flowed through the cities and villages like Euphrates through Ancient Babylon…drunkenness stalked triumphant…. Runners, each with a whiskey bottle poking its long, jolly neck from his pocket, were employed in bribing voters, and each party kept half-a-dozen bullies…to flog every poor fellow that should attempt to vote illegally; a half-hundredweight of mortar would searee fill up the chinks in the skulls that were broken.”

 

These affairs became so big that huge trenches, recorded being dug like ditches, two and a half feet deep and wide were built. Inside, those trenches burned to blazes with fire until massive beds of fiery coal replaced the flames. Frames made from green wood was used to roast huge amounts of meat. Texas learned this from Mexican Indians and soon, the word Barbecue was coined from the Spanish word, barbacoa, which meant, frame.

 

A historical menu taken from a Texas BBQ,…..

  • Barbecued Spareribs
  • Four-Bean Salad
  • Buttermilk Biscuit
  • Individual Pecan Pies
  • Coffee
  • Hard Cider
  • Mint Juleps
  • Burgoo
  • Corn Sticks
  • Coleslaw
  • Apple Pie pr Deep-Dish Blueberry Pie
  • Hickory Nut Cake or Kentucky Bourban Cake

 

 

 

See the word, Burgoo, above? This was a very popular dish that most menus revolved around, if those menus were meant to feed vast amounts of people. This recipe is so massive, I had to share it. But first, a little history about where this dish originated from….

 

Sometime around the mid-eighteenth century is when Burgoo was born. It’was often seen cooking on Ships. Once you see the recipe below, you’ll be able to see why. Anyway, having been developed in America, and soon a staple of Kentucky, who, in turn, decided to thicken the porridge up even more so by adding every kind of meat imaginable, the dish was made in enormous quantities. So, in short, it’s a monster-batch of porridge made up of everything– chicken, squirrel, pig, beef, lamb and whatever else they had. Not counting the massive amounts of vegetable and seasonings. And for those who don’t know what porridge is, that’s a Soft food made by boiling oatmeal or other meal or legumes in water or milk until thick. (Definition take from WordWeb.)

 

Potatoes may have replaced the oatmeal and legumes once Kentucky got it’s hands on it. Often times, it could include up to 800 pounds of beef, 240 pounds of chicken and a ton of potatoes. This stuff was whipped up and served at every kind of social from Church Gathering, Horse Sale, Derby Day or Picnic.

 

Ingredients have also been added to make them optional in case you cant get, well, for example, vegetable oil has been added in case you do not use Lard. Canned Vegetables have been added in case you aren’t cutting up fresh ones.

 

Now, to the recipe…which serves 20 and not a 1000…which means it has been shrunk down a bit. And you can shrink it more, if need be, by cutting the ingredients in half.

 

  • 5 tablespoons bacon fat, lard or vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds of lean shin bones of beef with meat
  • 1 pound shoulder of veal
  • 2 medium-sized chickens, quartered
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 cups of chopped onions
  • 1 clove chopped clove of garlic
  • 2 cups of diced potatoes
  • 2 cups diced Carrots
  • 1 bunch of celery, with tops, chopped
  • 1 quart skinned, ripe tomatoes or 2 cans (1 pound, 3 ounces) tomatoes
  • 2 large, chopped green peppers
  • 1 pint of fresh butter beans or 1 package of frozen
  • 1 small pod red pepper or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 small onion, stuck with four cloves (This would be a wild onion, no doubt) Substitute: Green Onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups okra, sliced, or 1 package frozen
  • 6 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob, or 2 packs of frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup parsley, chopped

 

Directions

 

  • Heat 3 tablespoons bacon fat, lard or oil in a kettle.
  • Add beef and veal and brown well.
  • Add chickens, water, and salt, and cook over low heat, covered, until very tender.
  • Remove meat and chicken to a tray and, when cool enough to handle, remove and discard all bones and chicken skin. Cut meat into sizable pieces, then return to broth.
  • Cook onions in remaining 2 tablespoons of bacon fat, lard or oil until they are limp. Add to broth, along with garlic, potatoes, celery,tomatoes, carrots, green peppers, butter beans, red pepper, onion stuck (or green onion), cloves, bay leaf, brown sugar and ground pepper. Cook slowly for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Then, add okra and corn and cook 15 minutes longer.
  • Before serving, in a bowl, combine butter and flour, working the mixture together until well blended. Stir into Burgoo and cook, stirring constantly, until Burgoo has thickened.
  • Taste for seasoning.
  • Before serving, sprinkle with parsley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Country Treasures & Landmarks, Uncategorized

Country Treasures & Landmarks: Deerfield, Virginia

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Tucked away in the arms of mothering mountains, there lies a sleepy, little town that hardly a soul may think to venture to. Not because it’s not worth a trip, but because most people now days seek out Water Parks, Zoos, or Beaches with Five-Star Hotels. And when I say sleepy, I don’t mean life no longer lives there. The town I am speaking of is, Deerfield, Virginia, and I know first hand that life does indeed live and breathe in this tiny, untouched town where the world finally slows down.

 

My husband was born and raised there and much of his family, still own homes and land in a place where the progress of our age seems to be more of a stranger than a common visitor.

 

They have the bare essentials: a tiny little store they jokingly call, The Deerfield Mall, a Post Office, a Fire Department, and once upon a time, it’s very own Historic School House, which is now a Community Building and Library.

 

My husband was actually the last to go to that School, which combined it’s classes and grades to very few teachers and might have seemed more like something out of Little House on the Prairie, or ,The Waltons, to those of us now. (That’s how small it was.)

 

Deerfield is made up of folks who are mostly Natives — those who come from long families that were born and raised there, and Hunting Camps — those who visit from time to time during Hunting Season. Population is roughly, 336.

 

There is a cellphone tower — finally— but no cellphones will work out there as there has been nothing else done to it. No Brand has reached out to claim it and the local telephone company, MGW, usually makes people more mad than anything else these days– lacking better and more affordable calling packages to make having a phone easier on the wallet. Pretty much, living in Deerfield, makes everything long distance.

 

They have great internet, since the owner of MGW’s son owns, LINGO, but there seems to always be an issue with folks needing help with Routers not working or lines and the hefty bill of having to have someone come out and fix it.

 

Sadly, Deerfield is becoming one of those places damaged by Taxes and a World that would soon run it over rather than just leave it alone. Sometime after 9/11 when the economy went belly up, Tax Assessors went out and marked the worth of everything far too high. It’s enough to make a person choke. That means, properties don’t sell like they should. Instead of being priced at their actual worth, they are listed for prices that would better reflect a newly built home with granite counter tops, skylights and all the trappings of a newer age. While many homes are nice there — and Id love to still have one– they need updated and some, repaired- certainly not up there with the the price tag that makes them untouchable to locals who would like to, well, re-locate, or stay where they were raised or are familiar with.

 

Don’t get me wrong, there are quite a bit of eye-catching homes stretched far and wide, here or there, in Deerfield. But that brings me to another problem… people from bigger cities and net-worth building million dollar homes in an area of modest people. Perhaps this is the reason Assessment skyrocketed? I’m not an expert, just broken-hearted because I’d give anything to go back where life slows down a bit in a world that seems to be spiraling out of control. Unfortunately, even the Modest Homes have a price way out of reach.

 

Deerfield is a stretch of long roads bordered by mountains on both sides. Land is the key-word here because there is so much of it. Just a trip to the grocery-store or nearest town, Staunton, Virginia, where there are places like Walmart, Food Lion, Krogers, etc, can take you up to 45 minutes one way.

 

The people are still friendly there. Most have never known a stranger, and for those who haven’t a clue as to what that means, it means, they will never treat you like one even if you are.

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The Deerfield Mall has just enough of what a person may need if passing through or in a pinch. Pop, Beer, Smokes, Snacks. A small kitchen in the back will get ya something quick.

 

For gas, folks will have to hit, The Mountain View Store, or as folks also like to call it ,The Forks of the Road, because that’s what the road does up there. One fork takes you to Deerfield and the other, to Highland County.

 

To dine, you can hit the Buckhorn Inn, which is on the way to Deerfield. Check out that post here: The Buckhorn Inn House Dressing

 

And then there is White’s Wayside, famous for it’s Depression Bread since 1929. A picture from then and now….

 

 

While both, The Buckhorn Inn and White’s Wayside, are actually in Churchville, Virginia, it’s as I said, on the way to the hidden gem of Deerfield.

 

The charm of Deerfield is, the privacy and the small, Mayberry feel. While there isn’t an Andy Griffith or Barney roaming the roads, there is a sense of comfort when the world takes a rest. People out there still raise their own food, butcher it in their own buildings, hunt and make things from scratch. Many heat with wood and live frugally with the times. They plant gardens and they keep chickens — and have done so before it became a “thing” on Social Media or Backyard Chicken sites.

 

Their kin is buried out there and while many families have lost their homesteads to greedy relatives selling it off, many can still ride past, point and say, “That’s where my Great Grandpappy shot his first deer or gave my Great Grandma her first kiss.”

 

The tiny burial ground where my husbands people were placed is so old that the hidden cluster of graves are sinking into the ground. What gravestones there are, are so old, the names have completely worn off of rock depressingly eroded. The land this hidden cemetery sits on used to be in his family until relatives sliced it up and sold it off. My husband dreamed of buying it back one day but so far, that has never happened. It weighs against our spirits that one day, no one will know a graveyard is still there or, they will just plow the whole thing over.

 

Money is the seed to preservation and while many of us work instead of plopping on our butts in front of a TV all day, we will never have enough money to preserve anything, especially in lost and overlooked treasures like Deerfield.

 

A place that will also be plowed over, soon enough, as The Pipeline, fights to shove it’s way through there despite the natural springs, history and near extinct, Native Trout.

While I love certain things about progress, Cell Phones– which makes getting a flat tire and not being stranded a real possibility, or the Internet, which makes Blogging, Researching, and keeping up with the world as easy as breathing, some things are just depressing.

 

The only thing that eases my mind just a little bit is that there are still places like Deerfield, Virginia, out there. Places tucked away deep within’ the Appalachian that time may turn it’s back on causing the majority of everyone else to turn a blind eye to, but those of us who are lucky enough to know about them, will never forget. Some of us try to carve out a life there, hoping the world wont change so much that our kids and grandkids will have a chance to stay if they have a mind too. Some of us will be forever haunted by what we had to leave and at some point, will always find ourselves going back….even if just a little while.

 

Posted in Chicken Scratch, Homemade Cleaners & Detergents, The Hen House, The Scoop from the Coop

Homemade Laundry Detergent: My Final Results & Recipe

In case you missed the first post, The Scoop on Homemade Laundry Detergent & Stain Remover, this is my follow up to that. My, What-Work-For-Me-Recipe. Now, don’t disregard the post I just linked you to because there’s a lot of good information in there…The Recipes I started out with, how they ended up and the breakdown of ingredients.

IMG_7323Basically, my issues with the regular recipes that are floating around out there was this…the Dry didn’t dissolve in the Washer unless I used warm to Hot Water. Even then, sometimes it still didn’t dissolve. The Liquid was good for normal clothes as long as I dissolved the Borax on the stove with the soap. The Cleaning was okay, but my whites did seem to go dingy after awhile or clothes not as clean as they should be or I need them. I live with a rough crowd, here, lol. If you don’t understand what I’m talking about, again, just click the link above for the full story.

Now, all that bein’ said, I came up with this Recipe that I have used to months and months and months and I absolutely have no problems with it at all. This is a Liquid soap, too and if you do it the way I explain, there is no letting it sit for 24 hours before use.


 

IMG_7324Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of 21.6 FL OZ of Blue Dawn
  • 2 cup of Borax
  • 1 cup of Washing Soda
  • 5 Gallon Bucket
  • Hot Water

 

 


Directions

The tap Water in my house is super hot and dissolves anything. So, I didn’t have to heat up water or dissolve the Borax in any way. IF YOU DO, just add the Borax to about 4 or 5 cups of water and heat till it dissolves. Fill a 5 gallon bucket half way with hot tap water, gently pour the rest of the ingredients. After adding the dissolved Borax, fill the remaining bucket up with water. Use 1/3-1/2 cup or as needed. I use a whole cup because my husband is a MASON and we are always getting dirty workin’ outside with the farm animals. If you’re kids play sports or you need a recipe for homemade OXY for STAIN removal, please see the link above: The Scoop on Homemade Laundry Detergent & Stain Remover. I will forever stand by that recipe, at the bottom of the post. Just make it as you need it and don’t add it to this recipe because the Hydrogen Peroxide looses it’s power after a few hours of just sitting. Make it fresh and as you go. It’s not that hard to do so it won’t take you forever.




 

Now, while did I go with this recipe? I use Blue Dawn for everything. In fact, sometimes I add more than the bottle above to my Detergent. Ill buy the great big bottle and use half. But again, that’s because I don’t like my clothes dingy and my husband is a Mason, etc., My recipe adds bubbles, too, or Suds and I LIKE SUDS. I swear I miss the old Washers that used a ton of water. I hate these new HE things. And all the Detergents out there, even name brands, would do so much better with more SUDS. If you are against SUDS, play with the amount you use in each WASH or cut back on the DAWN.

I add the 2 cups of Borax above, too, because I don’t want my whites dingy. And I don’t add any kind of scent to my detergent because all those softeners weaken the cleaning power—in my opinion. I add my Softener to the Wash, to each Wash, in the softener compartment.

I can use this detergent with Cold Water, Warm or Hot. I don’t have a problem with it dissolving.


 

 

Posted in The Hammered Hen, The Hen House, The Hungry Hen, The Scoop from the Coop, Things to Crow About

Bitterless Coffee & Sweet Tea

There’s a trick Grandma used to do that no one seems to know anymore. A way she made her coffee that made it taste unlike anything we’ve tasted since. Well, unless you know the trick, which, now days, quite a few are catching on thanks to Pinterest and Social Media.

A pinch of salt– add a pinch of salt, or, about 1/4th teaspoon for those who need exact measurements, to the coffee after you put it in the filter. If you are using the a reusable K-pod, for those with Keurigs, then do the exact same thing, only a smaller amount.

A pinch of salt will kick the bitter right out of your cups.

For those who can’t drink coffee because it causes heartburn, add a pinch or so of baking soda. Use this, instead of salt, which will actually combat the bitterness AND help illuminate the heartburn!

And if you want something that tastes expensively delicious but without the price tag or brand name, and that doesn’t have that nasty chemical aftertaste a lot of flavored coffees have, add cinnamon and or nutmeg to the coffee — not the cup, but let it brew with the coffee itself. Play with the amount– a couple of sprinkles or just a dash. Add one or both. You can even add a splash of extract like Vanilla.

I’ve made my coffee like this for years– with baking sofa, cinnamon and sometimes nutmeg. People always ask where I bought my coffee and those who can’t stand flavors, loved mine. They’re shocked with I tell them the Brand– one of the most common but cheapest on the grocery store shelf. Not to mention, shocked at the flavor.

I’m a cream in the cup kind of girl but for those times when I run out, a cup of coffee made this smooth, I can drink it black, no problem.

For tea, do the same thing. What happens is, the Baking Soda and or Salt attacks the Tannins in the tea, which is what can make Tea a bit bitter. Of course, the Tannins in the Tea is what Herbalists swoon over. They are what makes the healthy properties in Tea and what makes those properties combat so many ugly unwanteds. To read more about Tannins, check out:

The Healing Properties of Black & Green Tea

So give it a try next time you brew up a batch and let us know if you have any tricks you’ve been adding to yours! 😜

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