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Sunday, January 24, 2016


Hello dear friends!   Are you all getting shoveled out?   You probably have more snow than we do in Michigan.   Strange weather!   Although, after the last two brutal winters, it's nice to catch a break.  I'm already looking forward to spring and hoping that my Concord grapes will have a nice harvest this year.  The last two  years we have had to prune them back severely because the cold winds had killed many of the canes.  Ditto for the blackberries.  Just think!   One more week of January, then February is a short month and although March is still winter in this neck of the woods, it starts to warm up a tad.


This past week was a really great one for sales on meat.  I bought a ten pound sirloin roast for $2.69/lb, hamburger was $2.19/lb  (probably never see that again) and chicken breasts with the bone in was 79 cents/lb.  I cut the sirloin in strips, browned them and the roasted them in their own juice. This made  eight nice pints with about a pound of meat in each.  The gristle and scraps were boiled with some carrots, dried celery and our own tomato bouillon  (dry paste-type tomatoes then grind into a powder with an old coffee grinder).  After this set for a day day to solidify the fat, I scooped off the fat and canned up six nice pints of broth.  The chicken I cubed and cold-packed for another eight one-pounds of meat, The bones and skin were boiled to make a broth.  I didn't flavor this because I wanted the fat for soapmaking.  Once the fat was skimmed off, I seasoned it with garlic, onion, sage, rosemary and thyme for a nice broth.  Again I canned this, making eight pints.  I only bought five pounds of hamburger because I feared it was going to be greasy, but it wasn't.  With one pound  I made a meatloaf for the guys' lunch and the rest was made into Swedish meatballs that I canned.  Oh!   There was also enough meat   culled from making the broths to fill a quart bag of the chicken for the freezer and about a half-quart of the beef.  These will make a nice base for pot pies or some soup.  When I finished all that was left were the bones and skin.  I tossed the bones and threw the skins out for the stray cats.

That took the  better part of Friday and Saturday and I was ready to put the pressure canner away when we stopped by our local grocery store.   They were having a sale on bacon for 10 pounds for $16.90.  Well!  I couldn't pass that up!   I canned up eight one-pound jars of it.   Some of the pieces were quite fatty so I set those aside and later rendered the lard by slowly melting the fat for several hours on low heat.  Once strained, this gave me about 3/4 a quart of lard for soapmaking.  All the little bits of bacon were culled and I ended up with about a half a quart of real bacon bits.

People always ask, why I don't just freeze my meat.  First, I simply don't have a freezer big enough and I don't want to have a  separate freezer because they take too much electricity.  Secondly,  our area is notorious for it's power lines  blowing  down.  Living directly in the path of the wind coming off the Great Lakes means we have some pretty powerful winds.  Being in a less populated area means that sometimes we go for days without electricity, not being a high priority for Detroit Edison.  Too many times have a I lost produce in the freezer due to an outage.  Canned never spoils when the electricity goes out!  And lastly, canned meat is very convenient to use.  You don't have to wait for it to thaw, it doesn't get freezer burn, it lasts a lot longer than frozen and it's already cooked. 

Learning to pressure can is probably the second most important skill you can master in your steps toward becoming self-sufficient, the first being, gardening, of course.  It's really not hard.  I urge you all to learn it, if you don't know already.   There's only so much you can do with hot water bath canning; pickles and jellies and fruits in syrup.  The real meat and potatoes (literally) of food preservation is in pressure canning.  There's oodles of tutorials on YouTube and on various blogs.  And all cannners will come with very detailed instructions.  It's simply not that difficult.  And the nicest thing about canning your own, is that you control the quality.


My stint without a computer has taught me a valuable lesson.  Keep written copies!   Sure it's convenient just to Google whatever you want but what if your computer quits, or we do get that EMP attack they are always talking about?  Or the economy goes so far south that you can't afford the internet? Or even worse yet, they start censoring the internet?  Start today making copies of any information that you think you may need or want in those situations;   basic recipes, notes on foraging, how-tos on staying warm, building shelter, and making mechanical devices, natural health tips, canning instructions, etc.   I call it my survival notebook.  You can keep a copy in a three ring binder or just staple them together.  It doesn't need to be fancy. 


When the stock market looked like it was going to take a nosedive last week, Ran and I sat down and made out a list of groceries to buy in bulk to see us through hard times.   We have the money squirreled away for the purchases just in case.  So many of the things: such as,crackers,   noodles, tortillas, bread, baked goods, etc. that we buy, can be made just as easily at home and perhaps even better.  At least they would be made of wholesome ingredients.  Some things , such as pancake mix, boggles my mind.  Why would anyone pay to have a little flour, baking powder, sugar and  hydrogenated oil mixed together for them, when they can make a far superior  pancake in the same amount of time from basic pantry ingredients? This week we made crackers and bread from common pantry items.  It took probably as much time to bake  them as it would to drive to the store, locate the items, stand in line and drive back home.  When you factor in all that plus how much it costs for these type of things, it just doesn't make sense to buy them.   Here's a list of a bare bones baking pantry:

flour (plain old white)
baking soda and baking powder
vegetable shortening
vegetable oil (we use olive)
spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves
molasses (you can make brown sugar by stirring 1 tablespoon into 1 cup of white sugar)
dry milk (I prefer buttermilk for all my baking needs)

With those ingredients, you can bake just about anything with the addition of eggs and milk and butter, although in a pinch you can substitute the shortening for the butter. Heck!  You can even use the chicken fat, lard and tallow if things really get rough.  I have a couple old, old recipes that call for chicken fat and bacon grease.   Simplify, simplify!   Just get down to the bare basics of groceries, then buy them in bulk.  The less time you spend in the grocery store, the less money you'll spend.


The first thing you need to learn on your way to food independence is how to bake a loaf of plain white bread.  Once you've mastered that, you can go on to other types of breads or make additions of different flours and ingredients,  but this recipe will serve you well if it is the only type of bread that you ever bake.

White Bread

Combine and scald:

1 C. milk
1/4 C. butter
1/4 C. honey
1 tsp. salt
 set aside

1/2 C. warm water
1 pkg. yeast
1 tsp. honey or sugar
combine and set aside until the yeast begins to bubble.  This is called "proofing".

In a large bowl combine the milk mixture and 1 C. of flour.  Mix well and add an additional cup of flour.  Add the yeast mixture.  Add approximately 3 1/2 C. flour.  (This is something you learn start with a little less flour and add more if it is sticky.  There's so many variables on the amount of flour to use, such as the humidity, the type of flour, etc.)
Knead dough until it starts to fight back.  Poke your finger into it and the dough should come back.  The dough should be as smooth  and elastic as a newborn baby's behind.  ;)  Let the dough rise. Punch it down and let rise a second time.  Punch down the dough and shape into two loaves.  Place into well-greased pans.  Let rise until the dough forms a nice loaf.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is golden and when you thump on the loaf it has a nice hollow sound.  (or use one of those probe thermometer and measure the internal temperature to 185 degrees)


We always try to eat some green leafy vegetables every day, but this past week we had to toss our lettuce because of the Listeria recall.  Winter can be hard on us veggie lovers!   Now I understand why the pioneers got so excited about the first spring greens!  Anyway, I started sprouting my own again.   With one batch, I made veggie egg rolls.
Just stir fry the sprouts, some shredded cabbage and carrots until tender but still crisp.  Add about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and half a packet of one of those stir-fry seasonings mixes that can be found in the foreign food aisle.  Place on wonton wrappers and roll up.  Fry in a small amount of oil until all sides are nicely browned.  Drain on paper towels (or in our house, an old tea towel).


Lately I've been concerned about my gums receding.   It's just one of the many "joys" of aging.  So I've starting oil-pulling, which is supposed to clean all the toxins and bacteria out of your mouth and clean and whiten your teeth.   It's simple enough to do.  Just take 1 tablespoon  (I use a little less because I have a major gag reflex) of organic coconut oil and put it in your mouth.  Chew it until it liquefies, then swish the oil around for 20 minutes.   Do not swallow the oil!  Spit it out into a waste basket (don't want it clogging your pipes).  That's it!   It really does make your your teeth feel clean.   That combined with flossing and brushing twice daily and rinsing with good old Listerine keeps the dentist away!


Every winter I get the desire to make a quilt.  The only problem with that is that I'm not a very good quilter and I hate the actual quilting part.  I love picking out the fabrics from the scrapbag and I don't even mind the piecing, but the quilting?  Ugh!   So I made this little doll quilt to satisfy my yearning.
Now all you quilters out there, don't laugh!  This tiny quilt took me an entire week to make!   I did it the old fashioned way, just like my grandmother; making templates and tracing them, hand cutting, hand stitching and hand quilting.  I'm always in awe of you ladies that can make a full sized quilt in a weekend.  I salute you!

Speaking of scraps.  My husband keeps busy  during the winter making these wooden utensils.
Any time he spots and interesting grain pattern in the wood while he splits it, he sets it aside for carving.  Along with some  handknit dishcloths, a handsewn apron or potholders, they make a nice shower present or hostess gift. 

I'm also knitting a Tasha Tudor style shawl.  It's a simple pattern:

Cast on 3 stitches
Knit 1 row
The next row and every row after: Knit 2, yarnover, knit to the end of the row

Continue on in this manner until the shawl is as wide as you like.  Cast off.

The size needles depends upon the yarn you use and your patience.  Eventually you'll need to switch to circular needles, but I always find knitting with them awkward, so I start  out on regular straight needles until the stitches get too crowded. I'm using size 6 and some merino wool that my friend Mary gave me.  It will take several hundred yards of wool I suspect, so  I wouldn't use expensive wool.  I think it would be pretty in a tweedy type. I'll show you a picture next week.  It got too dark too soon for me today.

BTW, a yarnover for you beginning knitters is simply bringing the yarn to the front then over the needle to the back, thus creating an extra stitch.


Wondering when I was going to wind it up, were you?

Made a doll quilt from fabric scraps.
Started knitting a shawl from gifted yarn.
Baked crackers and bread.
Sprouted my own "greens".
Sewed a Christmas present (yeah, I start this early)
"Fixed" my computer.
Mended a vest.
Watched a TV series every evening from a DVD that I bought at the Tractor Supply Company for $3.  (Cheap entertainment)
Canned a boatload of meat.
Bought a few things at the thrift store's 50% of sale. (Waiting for the 95% off sale)
Ran did some plumbing rather than call in Jake the Plumber.
Filled up the gas tank for $1.49/ gallon.  (Can you believe how cheap gas is?)
Hand washed a wool skirt in cold water rather than having it dry cleaned.
And all the usual things like heating with wood, using the wringer, line drying our clothes, etc.

Well I hope you all have a safe a cozy week.  Remember that the easiest way to avoid  most winter accidents is to STAY IN THE HOUSE! 




  1. What an interesting post Jane. I have a question. How do you keep that oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. Doesn't your mouth fill up with saliva also and then your mouth ends up full before the 20 minutes would be up?

    I've wanted to make a Tasha Tudor style shawl for quite sometime now, but I've never used circular knitting needles before.

    Thank you for sharing your thrift ways.

    Love 7 hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. Hi Rainey! If you get too much saliva, just spit it out and put another spoonful in. I don't have a problem with saliva, ( I have a problem with dry mouth) but my mouth does get tired after about 10 minutes. Just do it for as long as you can, the longer the better. It's amazing how something like oil can make your teeth feel cleaner.

    Circular needles work the same as regular needles, but the plastic line that connects them just isn't flexible enough for me to knit comfortably. Some people love them, though.


  3. Hi Jane! I think you made up for missing last week with this newsy post! Your posts are really newsletters! I love your little quilt! I was just looking at a quilt I made years ago for a doll bed...ha...and then I see yours! Much more fun to make than a large size. Your husband's wood work is beautiful. They look nicer than some I spent a lot of money on a few years ago from Tasha Tudor's website. (I oiled them and they still are splitting, and they were never shiny wood.) I would love to see pictures of your future soap-making! When I visit the Hagley Museum here, their soap is from bacon fat. Right-on with your pressure canning! You are right...the water bath canning is mostly for sweet things that aren't really necessary, and are not as useful. And a freezer is expensive to run and too risky with power outages. I love reading how you do not waste anything! You are one smart homemaker. Your husband is lucky to have you! Good idea about sprouting! I used to love sandwiches with sprouts added, but stopped (years ago) due to the bacteria problems with buying it in the grocery store. I will look into that. I think I have everything on your bare bones pantry...I'm thinking of picking up some tapioca for it too. I like olive oil the best...I cannot take the taste of canola...corn oil is fine for me too. But olive oil is the most healthy I think. Keep warm! Andrea

    1. Hi Andrea! I have quite a few blocks that I started for larger quilts, then got bored with. I'm thinking of making them into potholders.

      Ran soaks his spoons in food-grade mineral oil and then rubs them with beeswax. Seems to do the job. My daughter-in-law loves 'em.

      Tapioca is great too. When the boys were little I made a lot of it. It's a nice inexpensive way to use up the milk before it sours. I know a lot of people like to use it for thickening, but I never had much luck with it.

      Loved your post about the lunchroom. I thought I was the only one that liked that hamburger on potatoes! Ha! I miss those big old ice box cookies they always had.

      Do try making your own sprouts. There's nothing to it and they really are healthy. Are you all shoveled out?


    2. hi again! My husband shoveled for 5 hours today, so we are done. The trouble is, that the snow plow gives us the brunt of the snow as we are at the end of the cul de sac so it is easiest for him to just plow it straight up into our frontage.
      This leaves a giant snow pile that I have to look at for weeks to a month, and we have to try to dig out enough for our mailman to give us mail. As if the snow itself was not enough work for us without more work being made. My husband is planning on buying a snow blower this summer for next winter, depending on the house we buy. Ha...yes lunchroom memories. It is getting harder to remember. Andrea

    3. We bought a snowblower when we got that five feet of snow a few years back. We often get a foot or two of snow, but that was one of the few true blizzards I recall. It was a bit scary. You know you're in trouble when you open the door and the snow comes up to your shoulders! Snow blowers are great but they often can't get through that icy pile that the snowplows leave. Seems our side of the street gets the brunt of it too.

      I thought the lunchroom pizza was pretty good too, but everyone else said it was gross. Compared to my mother's cooking anything looked good!

  4. Jane, I think your posts are better than the articles in Countryside magazine and don't cost us an arm & a leg, either. I'm so glad you were able to post again.

    Love the cute quilt! I'm not much for quilting either. The one large quilt I've made took months and I didn't even quilt it myself.

    I love my circular knitting needles. I think that's because I got a really good set with super flexible cables from Knitpicks several years ago. They are a lot better than any I had used before. I took a cue from Goodman, my tool loving husband, and got the best I could afford. Back then I was keeping our granddaughters weekdays and was paid nicely for it so I bought those and some other things I knew I'd need long after my pot o gold disappeared.

    I'm agog over those beautiful wooden utensils. They are gorgeous!

    Love all the thrifty tips and recipes!
    Have a great week!

  5. Hi Toni! Thank you for the lovely compliment and thanks for the tip on the circular needles. I must confess, I chose the size of needles to use upon the size of circular needles I had.

    BTW, what do you think of Countryside's new format? I'm disappointed in it. Getting too trendy and slick for me. Still like my Backwoods Home, though! Don't know why they always have to ruin good things. The Grit sure isn't as great as it was in the good old days with the reader's recipes and the puzzles page. Am I the only one that remembers it when it was in newspaper form and the neighborhood kids sold it?

    Ah the olden days! Wish I had appreciated them more when I was living through them! Did you get any of that snow?

    Have a lovely week!


    1. Jane, I still have a box full of Countryside magazines from the 90s that I love, but I stopped my subscription when the Y2k scare was all they wrote about. I just didn't see how utter chaos was coming upon us from such a measley thing as that. I do still flip through one occasionally when we're at TSC hoping they have returned to what made them great to begin with, but I haven't bought one in years. Ha, I do remember Grit, but my citified parents wouldn't buy it. :(
      These days I get more fun homestead reading done online for free.

      We only got an inch or so of snow, but we sure got some very cold temps. Brrr, lol.

    2. Hi Toni! I used to subscribe to Countryside but they started having less articles that were rel relevant to me. The final straw came when they had an article written by some woman that clearly had never canned before,discussing how much fun it was to have the girls over and can.

      The neighbor boy sold the Grit. I still have a lot of old recipes clipped from back then. When I was really little the puzzle page kept me amused for hours.

      It's true there's more information out there free for the taking. I think magazines are on their way out.

      Cold here too. Around ten, but that's to be expected.

  6. So glad you fixed your computer! I so enjoy your blog.
    The doll quilt is precious. Love the wooden spoons too. My hus band took a pen making class and a bowl making class, but I'm still waiting on him to make me a wooden bowl. Those handy husbands are great, aren't they.
    Thanks for the recipe. I do love homemade bread. I get on kicks where I bake bread often, and then stop. I want to try making some sour dough bread soon. Thanks for the list of pantry essentials too. I stock many of them, and I admit that I have a box of krusteez pancake mix in the pantry. Thought it would be handy since you just have to add water, but it surely doesn't taste as good as homemade.
    I need to learn to can. Pressure canning sort of scares me, but I love how you were able to get such great deals on meats.
    We got about 13 inches of snow this weekend, so not as much as they were predicting. It was a good weekend to stay home.
    Hope you have a great week.

    1. Hi Kathy! Glad to read you are safe and sound.

      My pancake recipe mixes up just as quickly as the mix and since you leave it in the fridge overnight it's probably even more convenient to make up in the morning.

      I've tried making sourdough before but have been disappointed in it. My neighbor used to make the most wonderful sourdough. Boy, that was tasty bread! Wish I had thought to ask for some starter from him. I think it takes time to develop that real sourdough taste. It certainly is economical. No yeast to buy, but you have to be committed to keeping up with it.

      I was afraid of pressure canning too when I started, but modern canners have release valves so you don't have to worry about them exploding. Like anything, educate yourself first, watch lots of YouTube videos and go for it! I suggest the All American canner, it's more pricey but so much better quality. My parents had one and it lasted for 50 years. Probably would still be working but I don't know what happened to it.

      Mind you back while shoveling out!

  7. Hi Jane, glad you were able to have your computer fixed affordably.

    Wow, so much work canning and yet you were able to multiply your stores with the fat and broth. I must confess that I freeze my broth.

    I did can pumpkin bread. It is so easy! Grease your wide mouth jars and fill half full with your favorite quick bread recipe. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes. Have your lids hot (water bathed) and ready to go on your hot jars. Voila! I had lots of pumpkin puree in the freezer as I had lots of pumpkins this year.
    Love the doll quilt! Your husband's spoons are great. I have several that my husband has carved me. Such quality and boy do they last.

  8. Hi Leslie! Yes, it's nice to have a handy husband!

    I recently read on Jackie Clay's blog that we are not "supposed" to can quick breads and cakes any longer. But like all things, the reasoning is pretty foolish. They say it can get moldy. Now, I guess they figure that we aren't smart enough to know not to eat moldy cake! Like all canned goods, you have to look and smell before using. When in doubt, throw it out!

    Have a happy weekend!

  9. Never to long a post from you Jane :) We are having snow today and had some drizzle before so I am hoping the roads aren't bad. My husband went back to work today after his bout with the kidney stone and gastritis so I worry a bit about him driving home. He has a 4 wheel drive truck so he is probably OK. Chicken driver me, may cancel my trip to Omaha tomorrow morning for my monthly haircut if I am not feeling safe. My barber brother understands and even expects it if we've had snow:) I agree with you on the canning although I do freeze my 25 chickens whole that I raise every year. I suppose I should can more of the meat that I buy instead of freezing but we don't keep large stocks of meat on hand but it would be horrible to lose any of it if we had a long prolonged power outage. And in the 28 years we've been out here in the country we've never had more than 24 hours outage.
    But it sure could happen. My husband uses a tractor to move snow off our drive and the neighbors but he did rebuild a snowblower this summer because he loves to do that sort of thing. He'll probably end up selling it to get it out of his shop although he said he wanted it so he could blow a path to the chicken house if it was really bad. Currently I shovel it myself. I consider it functional exercise :)
    I better get off here but sure love talking to you Jane. Nannie

    1. Hi Nannie! If you don't feel safe driving, I wouldn't risk it. Haircuts can wait. We're having a warm spell here, got up to 35 degrees and we finally saw the sun. Felt like spring!

      Sounds like you have a smart and clever husband!

      One winter the wind snapped off all the electrical poles and we were without electricity for a week. Sure put survival skills to use then! I actually thought it was kind of fun. But then, I am a little odd. Ha!

      Once my doctor asked if I was doing any exercise and I said shoveling the snow everyday. He said that's as good as exercise as any. That was the first year I lived here by myself. It snowed every day in January. The next year I bought a snowblower!

      Have a safe week!

  10. Jane,
    I love to can, as well, but have not done much meat before. In fact, I've only just begun to experiment with that. I've canned tuna twice now, and we really like that. Because we live about 2 hours from the ocean, we can get fresh-caught tuna from local fishermen during the summer.

    I often worry about the amount of meat I have in freezers and have considered canning some of it up. My fear is that I wouldn't use it because I am not accustomed to cooking with canned meat. I tend to get in ruts with my cooking. Right now, I am trying very hard to get those freezers brought down to a lower volume. I'd love to turn one clear off. So, maybe I need to re-visit the canning idea.

    I'm not scared of the pressure cooker in the least, either. I have several and use 2 at a time when I'm getting a lot done. One is from when I first got married over 33 years ago. That one is very tall and I can put 2 layers of pints in it, with a rack in-between. Another one was my grandmas. I suppose it is probably 50-60 years old at least--I'm not sure. We do have one from a garage sale, purchased cheaply, but it's inferior to the others. They have been checked out at the Extension office, and there have been some new gauges and other little parts put on them in the last few years, but that small bit of maintenance has been all that was needed. Also, we have purchased extra racks for them over the years. They work like a charm. Those canners have been extraordinary tools for me. I can so many green beans each year, bringing my supply up to at least 100 quarts, plus some pints for times when everyone is not eating here. That is one crop that really grows around here. That amount enables us to eat beans at least twice a week, and we usually do. I do many other things in them as well, such as turkey, beef and chicken broth.

    It's nice to know others still can! I don't know very many people who enjoy it as much as I do. I see it as a very useful hobby.

    1. It's good to read that you love canning to Becky! It seems we are a dying breed. Like you, I find it a good and useful hobby.

      Canning meat is probably the easiest thing. Chicken just needs to be cubed and put into the jars with salt if you desire and that's it. Of course, you start the canner with just very warm water, so that the jars don't crack. Makes the nicest chunks of meat ready for casseroles and soups.

      That's a lot of green beans! I'm guilty of making too much spaghetti sauce, about the same as you do green beans. I figure one jar for a pizza and one for a pasta per week. It's nice to know that it's there no matter what happens, isn't it?
      And it's nice to have it on hand to give to those that need it, too.

      I guess one problem I've always had with the freezer, is that I tend to fill it up then don't use the things in it because it takes too long for things to thaw.

      Now I'm off to read your blog!

    2. Only a fellow canner would understand the thrilling feeling of the jar lids popping on the counter after a long canning session! There's nothing like it. We always joke that I'm easily amused:)

    3. Ha! So true! Or the big controversy over whether to simmer your lids or not. That got the canning community up in a big uproar. I tried the new suggestion of not simmering them and only half of my jars sealed. I'll went back to the old way. Seems they are setting people up for failure.

  11. dear jane,
    a wonderful post again. this year is sirloin very cheap in my country,too. i have a few pounds in my freezer.i have the same items in my baking pantry. i can't understand why people buy this. the wooden things are so beautiful,ran is a great wooden artist. you did wonderful things this week!thanks for the inspiration!
    in my part of the world is it to warm for january. the air smell like spring.
    have a nice week,
    bear hugs regina

    1. Sounds like you are having your January thaw, Regina! Well, that will save on the heating bill! Think of you often and you are in my prayers.

  12. I am so glad you are back. I agree with the above posters, this is a valuable newsletter to me too!
    i have been water bath canning for about 5 years now, and yes, you do need to smell - so easy to do. For my birthday this year I asked my mom to show me how to pressure can (she bought one 3 years ago and keeps adding to her pantry the more confident she gets with it). I was "wish listing" the canner you recommended but there is some feedback that it isn't always compatible with a glass top stove (which is what we have) so I might go with the canner that gaskets would need replaced on.
    Your husbands workmanship is beautiful! Smart on what to do with your large quilt squares. I too, like you enjoy the beauty of quilts until I sit down to make one. The largest I ever get is a lap blanket (those take me a month or more).
    I am looking forward to trying your bread recipe. Making bread from time to time I swear rejuvenates my soul.
    Have a blessed week!

    1. Hi Jen! It's wonderful to read that the younger generation is learning to can too. I tell you, it has saved my family a boatload of money over the years.

      Well, you're way aheadof me on quilting if you have gotten to a lap quilt size! Ha! ONce tried to make one of those Farmer's Wife quilts and made up about 40 squares but when it came to put the sashing around the squares, everything went a little wonky. So now I have enough squares to make potholders for the rest of several lives!

      It sounds like you are a nice resourceful young woman, Jen! Your parents must be proud!


  13. Hi Jane,
    Your quilt looks so pretty! We have my husband's grandmother's quilt on our bed right now. Made out of polyester squares from scraps she gave us a long time ago. Looks knew still and keeps us very toasty. Can't wait for your bread recipe.
    Have a good night

  14. Hello Vickie! Good to hear from you again! Are you still raising chickens? I'll have to check out your blog. I was wondering if you were the same Vickie I see on the Prudent Homemaker's blog. We're getting by with a mild winter aren't we? Must be nice to have a treasure from your husband's grandmother. Family heirlooms are few and far in our family. My mother got rid of everything. (I don't think she liked my grandmother) Ha!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    1. I was so hoping this was you Jane...yes I go to the Prudent Homemakers blog. So glad to catch up to you again..we just can't quit blogging!
      We got rid of the chickens last year after the bad winter we had with the 100 inches of snow here. We decided to buy fresh eggs instead ha ha! I loved them but not in the winter. Of course this winter is easy! I hope we can keep in touch!

  15. I know I already commented, but I wanted to thank you. The veggie rolls were a great idea! I had some sprouts languishing in the back of my fridge and some egg roll wrappers in the freezer. This was a great recipe to use up both. Wow, were they a hit with my family.

    You have so many great ideas!

    1. Glad you liked them Leslie! They're a hit with my son too.


  16. Been the week that was, Jane, so I am behind my time on catching your news this week! Sounds like a lovely week! I adore your quilt! What a nice gift for a little one! My sister and I still have the ones our neighbor made for us in the 1960s... early 1960s... it is backed with flannel and machine quilted!

    As you, I can a lot of meat. I like the convenience factor since I still work. My favorite thing is canned ground beef with onions. Perfect for anything I want to toss together!

    Tonight I am stitching the binding on an afghan quilt for our new granddaughter who is holding out on her arrival... I am nearly halfway through, thank goodness! It seems a mile around!

    Hope you are snug and enjoying your weekend!

  17. You did great! This reminded me to add my husband fixing my computer to my "Thrifty Week at Harvest Lane Cottage" post this week.
    I think I'm going to really enjoy getting to know you and reading your blog.
    Laura in Missouri
    who is still waiting for snow!

    1. Thanks Laura! It looks like spring around here. Very strange for Michigan in February. Maybe winter is going to skip us this year.

  18. Catching up on my blog reading, just had to say how beautiful those wooden spoons are, how wonderful that your husband can make those. I am always intrigued by beautiful handmade wooden items and it is the first thing I look for at craft bazaars. Love the wood grain in those spoons! :)