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Monday, March 9, 2015


Hello dear friends!  Yay!  We've finally had a day above freezing.  Even Georgie is hopeful, digging in the asparagus patch looking for the first signs of green.   It's been a good week to watch the birds bathe in a puddle, they were really enjoying themselves.  I suppose the winter has been a long one for them, also.  Poor little dears!  The sun porch was warm enough to sit in and soak up a few rays.  Ah! Bliss!  We have been putzing about the house and enjoying our hikes without the bitter wind stinging us.  Life is good!

We find that more and more often, we would rather do for ourselves than pay others.  When it comes to food, it just makes sense.  Have you ever read the labels?   Almost everything has some sort of corn or soy product in it.  Or an artificial flavoring or color.  Really, if you want to enjoy your retirement, you need to take care of yourself and the best place to begin is with what you eat.  Plus it's cheaper too, so it's a win-win situation.  We aim to always buy groceries in their most natural form.  A bag of potatoes is certainly cheaper than potato chips!  I always ask myself why would I pay to have someone package up something like a pancake mix when even the most meager pantry has all the ingredients to make them?  Or cake mixes?  They're just a bit of flour, sugar, baking powder, and a whole lot of stuff you don't need. Did you know that they use silica as an anti-caking agent in those mixes?   Who needs that?  One of the things we do for ourselves is bake our own crackers.  They cost around  fifty cents to make as opposed to the two or three dollars for a box.


 Honey Cornbread Crackers

1 C. flour
1 C. cornmeal
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
4 tbsp. cold butter
1/4  C. honey
1/3 C. milk (we use buttermilk)
some butter to brush on finished crackers

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients.  Cut the butter into the mixture until it looks like fine crumbs.  Stir in the honey and milk to form a dough.

Roll out the dough  very thinly (about  1/8") on a floured surface .  Cut the crackers into squares or desired shapes.  Prick the crackers with a fork.  Sprinkle with coarse salt if desired.

Place crackers on parchment paper  lined baking sheets.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until they are golden brown.  Remove  from pans and brush with melted butter.  Allow to cool. We made ours in chicken shapes just because they're cuter than squares.
This week our local thrift store has their big final winter clearance event.  All the clothes are 85% off, which equals fifty-two cents an item.  So I leave the menfolk at home and head out for the big hunt!  I'm searching for good quality sweaters that I can unravel for the yarn, blouses with interesting buttons to be used on my sewing projects, and anything made of gray wool for an old-fashioned woolen quilt I'm making. I got a garbage bag sized bundle for $12!  I even found a pretty winter white sweater for wearing that I had to buy because it had a Hudson's label on it.  Trips to the big city and the Hudsons department  store bring back many happy childhood memories, but unfortunately Hudsons no longer exist, so I bought the sweater just for the label.  I know, it's silly! I've already unraveled one of the sweaters and started knitting a cardigan for one of my grandsons for Christmas.  It's never to early to start Christmas presents, especially when it involves knitting!

So that has been our week at Sweet Briar Cottage.   Hope you had a pleasant one at your little corner of the world!


  1. Your crackers look so perfect! I am taking a break in my morning housecleaning and thought...could Jane have a new post today...yes! A fun break for me to come here and read!

    Same here..our snow is dripping and melting and the birds are chirping! I turned down my heat and opened a few windows and am hanging some wash on the line.

    My mom used to always write me (she died young so I only got 2 years of letters after I married) about her much per pound for hamburger etc! lol Now that is a subject I enjoy.

  2. I'm trying to post every Monday, Andrea.

    I bet the prices sure have changed since your mother wrote those letters. After a couple of years of not buying meat, I'm still in shock of how expensive it has gotten.

    Can't wait to hang the wash on the line again!

    Don't work to hard

  3. Hurray, your snow is melting and spring is coming to your area.

    I saved your cracker recipe. It sounds good and easy to me. Thanks for sharing.

    Happy Spring ~ FlowerLady

    1. Hi Rainey! You've been on my mind a lot lately with your employment situation. Really lovely here today and I noticed that the irises on the south corner of the house have started coming up. Isn't nature amazing?


  4. I am enjoying watching the snow melt! Sasha (the husky) is spending as much of her time as she can laying in what's left if the dwindling snow banks...She is saying goodbye to her beloved snow, and refuses to come inside this morning. She is elderly, so I keep a close eye on her.
    Your homemade crackers look delicious...and you are so right, with just a few simple ingredients, we can make so many delicious snacks without all those extras that are added to prolong shelf life....My rule of thumb when buying food is, if there is one ingredient on the label...then it is food...example: Raisins. I am okay if it has water added, or another natural ingredient, but only if it is listed..because that is a trick they use when they say "other natural ingredients" but do not specify. (not all natural ingredients are healthy)
    A good snack that I enjoy are raw almonds (nothing added) and Hershey's special dark chocolate chips, which I keep in the freezer...It is better than a candy bar and much healthier. Cost wise, it is cheaper also.
    I hope you are enjoying these first days of spring weather...I sure am!
    God bless~ Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa! Sasha and Georgie must be cut from the same fabric. He's really enjoying walking on the hard crust of the snow. I think he likes being up high because he has a Napoleon complex! Yeah, not all natural ingredients are good. Do you see how they advertise corn syrup as a "healthy" and "natural" ingredient? I do a lot of shopping at the bulk food store just outside of Sandusky. They have a lot of organic flours and grains. Best prices on spices. Maybe when you go for a visit to Port Huron you can make a detour there. They even make grind their own peanut butter there. It's so hard to find peanut butter without the added hydrogenated oils and sugars. My favorite snack is homemade graham crackers with a smear of peanut butter on them. I hear it's going to be even nicer next week. Hope you can get out and enjoy the sun!


  5. dear jane,
    i am so happy for you......that the snow melting. great bargains!!!!
    thanks for the cracker recipe.........they looks very good.
    after a frosty night is it sunny,my washing hung outside snowdrops and crocusses are in is wonderful.
    wish you a wonderful rest week,
    love and bear hugs regina

    1. I bet it's beautiful in your part of the world, Regina! We're hoping that it will be warm enough next week to hang all the woolen blankets on the line and hopefully pack them away for the season. Now I probably jinxed myself!

      Sending a big bear hug in return!

  6. Glad to hear your starting to thaw out a bit, looks like your dog is enjoying the weather. :) Your crackers sound wonderful, I love that you made them in a chicken shape!! I have always wanted to try making my own crackers, I will have to give your recipe a try. :)

    1. It's easy peasy April! Back to winter today. Brrrr! Oh well! We'll get there!


  7. Dear Jane,

    Let's pray that spring really does find its way there soon! I always do feel sorry for the birds, more than anything, during winter. I am going to borrow your cracker recipe, since we are working our way through a 50 pound bag of cornmeal, and are running out of ideas! It was organic, and a great deal, but even for my big family, it's a lot! :) I love finding shrunken sweaters and cutting them up for hats, mittens, and diaper covers. I never thought of unraveling one for knitting purposes, but that's a great idea, too.



    1. I really don't understand how they don't freeze to death, Marqueta. And they are always so cheerful. There's a lot we can learn from the birds! Well, there's always cornmeal mush, tortillas, polenta, and beans and cornbread. I've been trying to find a non GMO cornmeal. We have the food grade buckets for storing grains and always buy in bulk. I'd love to find a good buy on organic cornmeal. You got to use what you have!