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Monday, March 2, 2015

Michigan Easter Bonnet

Hello Dear friends!  I thought you might get a laugh out of seeing what passes for an Easter bonnet in Northern Michigan!
My husband uses this picture for his computer screen.  That's one way to guarantee that it won't get stolen!

We used up the last of our apples from the root cellar.  And the potatoes too.  Root cellaring is the lazy man's way of preserving food.  That is how we store all our potatoes, apples,  pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes and onions for the year.  We simply store them in heavy bags that keep the sunlight out, in the garage until we get a heavy (or as we say around here a killing) frost.  Then we move them into our unheated enclosed porch and finally when the weather really gets cold and the temperatures are consistently below zero, we move them to a uninsulated closet in the house.  The only work involved is culling out the bad fruit from time to time.  We mainly eat either fruit cobblers or pies for desserts in our house, using the fruits and berries that we grow on our little plot of land.  Here's a very easy recipe for apple crisp:

Apple Crisp

            6 C. apples, peeled, cored and sliced
            1/2 C. sugar
            1 tbsp. flour
            1 tsp. cinnamon
             1/3 C. water
           Combine apples, sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Put into a greased  9 X 13 dish.  Pour water over.

      3/4 C. oatmeal
      3/4 C. flour
      3/4 C. brown sugar
      1/4 tsp. baking powder
      1/4 tsp. baking soda
       3/4 C. butter

    Combine until crumbly.  Pat over apples.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Been busy canning this weekend.   They had some really good prices on pork loins ($1.49 a pound)  and boneless ham ($1.79 a pound)  so I canned 16 pints of the pork, 18 pints of ham, and 18 pints of broth made from the roasted bones. 
This is about all the meat we use in a year.  We find canning it easier than freezing it because it is already cooked and ready to be added to soups, hashes and pot pies.  Plus up here, we can always count on the electricity going out, and it usually happens right after I've stocked up the freezer.  I like this way much better, as there's no defrosting involved and it lasts a lot longer canned than frozen.  Guess I'm just a prepper at heart!  So what did you do this weekend?


  1. Love that photo of you. You are lovely & adorable!

    I just might make your apple crisp recipe. It looks delicious and easy.

    That's a lot of canning you did. Something I never learned to do. Living down here I heard of anyone doing it. They 'had' when they lived up north, but not once they moved down here.

    Happy upcoming spring dear Jane ~ FlowerLady

  2. Thanks Rainey! I thought I'd post a picture of myself, because I'm sure people are curious to what I look like. I know I always like to have a face to a name.

    Canning would probably be pretty uncomfortable in Florida. You certainly wouldn't want to add any more heat and humidity to the house. Plus you have the advantage of fresh fruits and veggies year round, unlike here, where we have nine months of winter and three of bad sledding!

    Just got back from a walk and there was a house with a snowdrift to the second story. Wonder how long that will take to melt?


  3. Cute picture! The Apple crisp looks yummy! Angela

    1. It is, Angela. And more importantly, really easy!

  4. Hi Jane! I didn't realize you were back to blogging, what a nice surprise! :) I just caught up on all of your recent posts and enjoyed them all, what a bunch of yummy recipes. Apple crisp and fruit crisps is one of my favorite desserts. The Coal House series you are watching sounds really interesting as well, I love finding interesting series to watch online. My you are still so wintery in your neck of the woods! We have had the hottest winter on record so far, and have been having fairly warm weather for this time of year for even us here on the west coast. We only had one tiny little snow day this winter and it didn't last the day, all that snow looks pretty, I would not have minded a bit more snow this year. Looking forward to reading your next post! :)

    1. Hi April! Good to hear from you! Winter started at the end of September here and it's still going strong. We woke up to six inches of snow this morning. I tried to get a picture of myself next to the snow banks to show how high they were, but my eyes were closed in all of them. This was the only picture with my eyes kind of open. I read several blogs from people that live in your neck of the woods and I can't believe the difference in your weather. Be careful what you wish for, I wished for snow for Christmas, and boy did I get it!

  5. dear jane,
    what a beautiful photo looks so cute!!!!
    the apple crisp looks very delicious,thanks for the was very busy in your kitchen.
    the sun is shining but with a cold wind,brrr. but for my washing is this weather perfect.
    have a nice day and stay warm my friend,
    hugs regina

    1. Thanks Regina! Another way to use up all your apples. We are getting snow today, but we have a fire going and it's nice and toasty inside. Enjoy your fresh laundry! Can't wait until we can start hanging our laundry outside again!


  6. You looks so pretty....your healthy eating is showing! And you have been busy canning...I'm sure that feels like an accomplishment to have that on your shelves.

    I was telling my husband, recently, about growing up and how wonderfully -stocked my neighbor's root cellar was! I have a booklet "Build Your Own Underground Root Cellar" (a Storey's guide) that I enjoyed reading...but really I just need to go back to my memories of how they did it!

    I just had an hair appointment and just got a trim; as I am still forging on with growing my hair!

    I will jot down your apple crisp recipe because I never knew to put baking soda and powder in!

    1. Thanks Andrea! I am healthy! Just had my doctor's appointment and tests and I have blood pressure on the low side, excellent tests results for cholesterol and sugar (that one worried me because everyone in my family has diabetes) and I lost two pounds. Not bad for someone closing in on 60. I think I'm probably healthier than when I was in my forties.

      You may never need to know how to make a root cellar or many of the other things the old-timers did, but it is good to have the knowledge. I love to watch prepper videos on YouTube. I've learned how to make oil for lamps from birch bark, make a heater from a tin can and a roll of toilet paper, how to trap and skin rabbits, and how to filter my water. Let the games begins!

      Long hair works for me, but I am a bit of a cedar savage, after all. The fanciest place we go are to the wild game dinner and the harvest dinners at the local churches. Of course, you are more urbane than I, so I hope it works for you. My husband loves it, and that is all that matters to me.

      The baking powder and soda just makes the streusel softer.

    2. I do have a couple pet rabbits we could eat if need-be. ha. but considering all their food costs over the years...they's be expensive meat. I think rabbits were popular in some areas during the depression...a family would raise and sell them to neighbors.

  7. I had to laugh at the picture of you wearing your bonnet...I sometimes don a bonnet just like that one when I walk under one of our pines this time of year!
    We do freeze our venison, but only because we have a good that I got a great deal on many years ago...but we have to keep a can of gas (liquid gold) on hand just in case.
    We have resorted in using the ample snowbanks around here in past power outages too!
    And there was a time when my father in law was alive when he came home with a nice pheasant that he hit with his truck! Our problem is with trying to grow a veggie garden...too many trees and boulder sized rocks all over the place...but I am thankful for many farm fresh stands in the summer months...and Meijer in the winter, although it is a forty mile drive there....which means the necessity of using more of that liquid gold!... Arg!

    1. Yeah Lisa, I think a straw hat with flowers would look a little out of place with the snowbanks.

      We have a generator too, but one year we were without electricity for 5 days and it was just too long to run that noisy machine.

      I remember my mom telling us that they used to use dynamite boxes in the windows for refrigeration during the depression. When in college, we used to hang our lunch meat and stuff outside the window in a mesh bag during the winter. That was the days before they had those little fridges.

      I always tell Ran that if times get hard enough we can always take his old beater truck for a ride and "get" us a deer. Or a turkey. Aren't they the stupidest birds? They always wait for a car to pass to step out in the road.

      Once a month we make the 140 mile round trip to the big city (Bay City) to do our shopping at Meijers and Aldis. Just like the country hicks of days gone by. Ha! I always laugh at other blogs that suggest that you just shop at Costco. Do we even have a Costco in this state? I don't think people realize when we say we live out in the sticks, exactly what that means!

      Well you stay warm and well!


  8. Love the Easter bonnet! :)

    My Nanny always stored her potatoes underneath her back porch.

    We haven't had apple crisp since summer. A hot apple crisp would be really good today with all the ice we are getting.


    1. Hi Vicki! I think one of the most important skills for being thrifty is being resourceful. I bet that storing potatoes underneath a porch would work pretty well in southern states.

  9. Canning your own meat is so impressive! Sounds so practical too. Love that Easter bonnet! Haha! (Yes, I do have Tricia Foley's tea book. Love it too!)

    1. Hello Jaqueline! Actually canning meat is the easiest thing to can. So while it may look impressive, it really isn't. All of the Tricia Foley books are so lovely. I used to have all her titles, but now I just have the linens, tea and Christmas one. Like a fool I gave the other titles away when I was downsizing and now wish I had them back!