Anyway, here's what we ate for our "early" St. Patrick's Day meal:
here if you are interested. Boy have prices gone up since 2011! Anyway, one of the strangest comments I hear often when people learn that I can, is "I used to can , but we don't eat those kinds of foods anymore." What? You don't eat carrots, peas, corn, potatoes, meat, green beans, etc. or make a piece a toast and jam, or drink any fruit juice? I guess I'm old fashioned and when I go to the store I see why people consider me so. Almost every cart I see is filled with frozen or boxed meals, cereal, lots of snacks and lots of soda pop. I rarely see any fresh vegetables in the carts and even rarer to see fresh fruits.
I also am almost finished with my Irish style throw I've been knitting the last three month.
Cast on 233 stitches using 36" size 7 circular needles.
ROW 1: (right side)
Knit 5 place marker
Slip 1, Knit 1, slip slipped stitch over knit 1
slip 1, knit 2, slip slipped stitch over the 2 knit stitches)Repeat twice more
slip 1, knit 1, slip slipped stitch over knit 1
knit 8, place marker.
Repeat lattice and cable section 9 more times, placing a marker between each section.
Repeat lattice section once more, place marker.
ROW 2: (wrong side)
Purl 2 together, yarn over,
(purl 1 purl 2 together, yarn over) repeat twice more
purl 2 together
Purl 8. Slip marker.
Repeat lattice and cable section 9 more times. Repeat lattice section once more. Knit 5.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for 8 rows.
Row 9: (right side)
Is the same as row 1 except at the cable section slip 1st 4 stitches to a cable needle and hold in back. Knit the next 4 stitches, then knit the 4 stitches on the cable needle.
Rows 10- 12:
Repeat rows 2 and 1.
Repeat these 12 rows until your work measures 49 inches. Bind off. Add fringe if desired.
By placing the markers between each section, it makes it easy to keep track of your knitting. It really is an easy mindless sort of pattern.
Speaking of yarn, here's a great site for finding substitutions for yarns: yarnsub. Sometimes companies discontinue yarns or they are just outrageously expensive. I was once smitten with a pattern for a pair of socks, but when I looked into the yarn featured in the pattern, I found out that it would cost over $40! For a pair of socks?! I'd be afraid to wear them. Sometimes I wonder what these knitting designers are thinking of. Probably they get the yarn for free and never take into consideration the costs. So anyway, it's a nice site to explore cheaper options.
One of the questions I get asked the most is how do you learn to be thrifty. I was always fascinated by thrift, even from a young age. When all my friends were dreaming about living in castles, I was studying the pictures of Hansel and Gretel's cottage in my picture books. My favorite book when I was in elementary school was The Moffats by Eleanore Estes, about a poor family that lived on love. Anyway, so how do you learn to be thrifty? By listening to the old-timers talk about the depression, by reading history books and biographies about the days gone-by. By observing thrifty people and seeing what they do. By reading blogs about thrift. By going on YouTube and watching preppers and homesteaders. Then taking that information and applying it to your life. You must want to become thrifty to be successful at it. You have to look at it as a fun challenge and not like it is deprivation. I'm always reminded of this quote:
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.”
― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield
And that pretty much sums it up doesn't it? (Sorry for some reason after I pasted this quote the font changed) We can learn to live within our means or go around hiding from the debt collectors. I know what I'd rather do.
One of the things I read over and over again in stories about the Depression and Appalachia, is that they ate a lot of cornbread. They'd wrap it up and carry it with them. Sometimes it was all they had. Cornmeal is the easiest grain to grow and process, so perhaps that is why it was so popular. Here's one of our favorite recipes for it:
Molasses Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. pumpkin
1/4 C. molasses
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 C. buttermilk
1. Combine dry ingredients.
2. Beat together eggs, butter, molasses and buttermilk. Combine with dry ingredients until just blended
3. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
BTW, did you know that you can substitute buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp, vinegar to a 1 cup measure than adding the milk to make 1 cup. But we use buttermilk all the time, so we always have some on hand. You can also add plain milk to about 1/4 C. of buttermilk and make more buttermilk.
These muffins are good for breakfast too. When we were kids, people use to add cornbread to some warm milk to make a sort of cornmeal mush. Very tasty with a bit of maple syrup or honey on it. An old-fashioned French Canadian dish that people in our area used to eat was called Por-Doo, which was cornbread crumbled up and added to sauteed onions, celery, or whatever you had on hand. Sometimes a bit of leftover sausage or meat. Add some broth or milk to thin it down, heated up, sort of like a very thick pea soup.
MAKE IT, DON'T BUY IT
One of the things we've been doing this winter, while we are eating a lot of citrus fruits is to make our own orange cleaner. You simply stuff as many orange, grapefruit, lemon, and lime peels (any citrus peels will do) into a mason jar and pour enough vinegar over them to cover the peels. Let it set for a few weeks and add more peels as they become available. After about a month strain it and there you have it, your own orange cleaner for sinks and tubs. Works great at getting the soap scum off.
So I leave you with an Irish toast this St. Patrick's Day Eve
May your mornings bring joy
and your evenings bring peace...
May your troubles grow less
as your blessings increase!