Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Proverbs 31woman or Martha?

Not Martha Stewart GUYS!  Martha of the Bible!

 "As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.   She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.   But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
  “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,  but few things are needed—or indeed only one.   Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”" (Luke 10 vs 38-42)

While in Church Sunday I received an awesome compliment from a lady at my church whom I admire greatly.  She referred to me as" a real Proverbs 31 woman".   I won't post the whole thing , but you can read the verses by clicking here.  While I am honored to be referred to that way, and it is something I aspire to, I have to ask myself "am I a Proverbs 31 woman or am I Martha?"  There is a fine line between the two.  It is possible to be so busy upholding the Proverbs 31 ideal that we forget to be Mary at Jesus feet.  I fall into this trap often.  I get so caught up in all the things I do, that I forget Who I serve.   God doesn't need me to bake, garden, can, sew, etc.   Those things are fine in and of themselves, but if they take my eyes off God, something is out of balance.  He wants me to love and serve him.  .

It is a hard thing to not get caught up in everything we have to do to raise a family, have a career, or both. Women are made to multi-task.  It is a great thing to be able to do.  Just a thought...Have you ever noticed that we have all these gadgets to save time and yet we are busier and more stressed that ever before.  Huh, go figure....Anyway, multi-tasking sure does come in handly when raising children.  We make time for our spouse, our job, our children, and at the end of the day, there is little left for God.  It is no wonder God made the father to be the spiritual head of the house.  It isn't because he loves us (women)less.  If anything it is (in my opinion) his way of saying "you already have so much on you, this is one thing I can delegate to someone else."   That doesn't negate the need for my own personal relationship with Christ.  That I am responsible for. 

So while honored by the comparison to the Proverbs 31 woman, I think I am going to try to be more like  Mary......soon as I clean the kitchen.....KIDDING!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Practical Kitchen must haves

Hello my friends (and family).  I hope everyone is having a great day.  Grab a cup of coffee and settle in.  This is a long post.  Raining here today and tomorrow so alas no outside fun.  I have completed one raised bed made from cinder blocks, and have started two more.  I say started because I keep getting thwarted by fireants.  Then I have to stop what I am doing and treat for fire ants and wait for it to work.  In between I work between rain showers.  Thankful for the rain, don't get me wrong, but this time of year time is precious.

So on to my topic of the day; Kitchen must haves.  I believe this is a practical list for those of us with limited funds and limited space. 
Cast Iron- And I mean cast iron anything(well except a tea pot.  I have one that used to be a wash pot in the olden days.  It is a murder weapon on its own, but fill it with water and you are in another weight bearing league all together.).  I have three cast iron skillets, a cast iron dutch oven and some cast iron corn stick pans.  Seasoned cast iron not only makes awesome fried chicken and corn bread, but is also beneficial for iron intake.  Cast iron releases small amounts of iron into the food as it cooks which is really helpful in keeping your iron intake up. Just remember not to cook tomato based things in your cast iron.  It will remove the seasoning. Also, only use hot water and elbow grease to wash it.  Soap will not only remove the seasoning, but will also make your food taste"soapy".   I love my cast iron.  They are the only pans that stay on or over my stove because I will use them every chance I get. I inherited my skillets from my mom who inherited them from her mom and so forth back a few generations.  Cast iron will last forever if cared for correctly, and once seasoned will be non-stick without  the worry of weird chemicals.

Canning equipment-A Pressure canner, Waterbath canner,Mason Jars, Jar lifter, Lids, and Rings.  Even if you don't garden, these items can come in handy.  Go to a farmers market, buy up bushes of veggies at a great price(you have to buy large amounts at a farmers market or the venders can't negotiate.  At least here in Ga that is the case. ) and can them up for use during the winter.  I am shocked to see Delmonte Veggies on sale for $1 a can.  Seriously?  Put up your own and save a bundle.  I am fortunate in that I inherited my canner form my grandmother.  It was manufactured in 1941.  I had it tested out when I got it years ago and I use it still every year.  My other canning things I either bought at thrift stores or, in the case of my water bath canner, at Wally World.  Seriously a good size stock pot is great for a water bath canner.  You just need something deep enough to where you can cover the jars by 1-2 inches of water.   Some of my jars were given to me by my mom and grandmother, but many I have purchased at thrift stores or yard sales.  Even with just a water bath canner you can make jams, canned fruits,tomatoes, pickles, etc. 

Manual Kitchen items -  I used to have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but the minute I used the dough attachment to make bread, the worm gear broke.  I keep meaning to get it fixed, but it will cost me, so it gets put on the back burner for now.  It was given to me by my mom, and I will get it fixed.  I just can't right now.  Instead I use, shock of shockers, a whisk, wooden spoons, a good size mixing bowl, and my own hands God gave me.  My daughter "borrowed" my food processor and I keep forgetting to ask for it back so I grate my cheese on a hand held cheese grater,and I chopped veggies with....wait for it.....a sharp knife.  I know, shocking really.  Don't much care for bread machines except to make pizza crust and dinner rolls.  I wasn't happy with the texture of the loaf bread.  Once my bread machine died, I never replaced it.  I just went on making my bread products by hand.  One less thing to store.  I tried a rice cooker once before and it just ended up in a yard sale. It is just easier to cook the rice in a pot on the stove.

Crockpot- I do like my crockpot.  While I don't use it all the time, I do use it when I am cooking roast beef or chalupas.  I use it to cook down tomatoes into sauce in the summer.  I use it to cook more often in the summer because it doesn't heat up the house and when I have been canning all day; it is nice to have something in the crock pot for dinner.

Regal Ice cream maker- I bought this little gem at a thrift store for $10 dollars and it has pulled its weight in ice cream.  It kept us in good preservative free ice cream all summer long.  It uses no ice or salt.  You simply keep the base frozen, mix up milk, sugar, vanilla, and a dash of salt, and easy/cheap you have ice cream.  For pennies and in about 25 min! 

Stir crazy popcorn popper-  if you like popcorn and don't have my parents huge skillet to pop it in, this thing is lovely.  Use it often.  I make sugar popcorn in it and it does great because it is continuously stirring it so it doesn't burn. 

I still like having a coffee maker, though that is more for my hubby than me.  I prefer the percolated coffee maker(camp coffee pot).  I have a yogurt maker, but haven't mastered making a good thick kind yet, but I am always trying.  I figure it isn't the yogurt makers fault.  I do have an electric can opener.  I mean I am not crazy regardless of what people may say.  I also have a grain mill that I love that I got at a thrift store, but I wouldn't call it a must have unless you have to have fresh ground grains all the time.  But there you have it.  My kitchen  items in a nut shell.  Different strokes for different folks.  Everyone has their needs in the lkitchen and these are mine.  So there you have it.  A really really long post. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Today is supposed to have highs in the 70's and my guys and I are going out yard saling.  Where are we going?   I have no idea.  What will I get?  That is the mystery.  I do have things on my list that I want to look for, so I am organized to that extent.  There are two sales I know of, but you can't factor in the un advertized sale.  We catch those on the way.  What works best for us is to just go out and see what's up.  On a pretty day like this the drive is nice.  We only go so far afield though.  This is my first yard saling day in over five years.  I have missed it a lot.  Yard saling is so much fun!  Things I am looking for today:  always mason jars and/or canning stuff, Baby stuff for soon to be here grandson, I need summer clothes and so do the guys, and I also need dishes.  The young guns are looking to find video games on their list or items for their room.  Hmmm, I wouldn't mind finding full size bedding for their new beds.  Ooooo  Fabric and  or king size flat sheets I can use as fabric.  As you can see the list goes on and on. 

This little tid bit is totally off the yard sale subject, but I wanted to share this also.  Yesterday was grocery gettin day.  I by very little junk food; mainly chips to go with lunches.  I noticed yesterday @ Aldi that even their regular chips have gone up.  However, thier "Doritoes, Fritos, and Cheetoes" still remain the same price.  I had been buying a mixture of their brand of baked chips (selection limited) and the "Fritos and Cheetos".  With other prices going up, I started looking at the lable to see how much bang for my buck I was getting by buying the baked(buying these for diet reasons).  Needless to say my eyes were opened.  Here's what I found:  They have two kinds of "Doritoes", the cool ranch and nacho cheese.  The bag is $1.19.  The Baked chips, which only have regular and barbque,are $1.79.  I have been telling myself it was worth the other .60 a bag to save on calories right?  Guess what?  There are only 10 calories difference per serving.  TEN CALORIES!  Uh yea, I bought the Doritoes.  The Fritoes are .99 and there is only a 40 calories difference.  The Cheetoes are also .99a bag and there is only a 20 calorie differnce.  No more baked chips for me.  I can use that .60 a bag some where else.  I usually by about 8 bags so that is a pretty significant savings for me. 

Oh and here is my buyer beware tip.  Yesterday I was at my local Kroger and was looking for meat markdowns amoung the organic free range chicken.  ASIDE:  I live in the poultry capital of the world, so it is a regular occurance to get behind a truck filled withh chickens on their way to the processing plant.  I guess it is my old age, but I can't bring myself to buy regular chicken anymore.  One too many trucks I guess.   You have to see it to understand what I am talking about.  Yea....anyway, I did find some free range chicken marked down(Yay), but as I was looking I noticed the "Simple Truth"(shamless play on the name of their all natural/organic line.) Some packages were marked "Free range"or Organic, and I can understand pricing them higher if the market will bear it.  That being said, mixed in with and still labled "Simple Truth" was chicken only labled "all natural".  Well DUH!  What else would chicken be but natural.  What is it, not chicken?  It was twice the price of the regular type chicken, so buyer beware and read your lables.  My plan for the summer is to hopefully find a local producer of free range chicken in order to save a little (hope).  I will still by the regular type pork,beef,etc, but chicken, it is hard to do so.   I know crazy right?  Hey on my income I have to pick my battles. 
Okay guys I am off to get dressed for my yard saling day.  I hope everyone has a great day as well.  If you can spend some time in the sun.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


WooHoo we finally have a string of dry days and then yesterday a wonderful 64 degrees outside.  Dh, Rubic, Einstien and myself spent the afternoon outside.  The Guys cut the grass.  Dh worked on the brush pile, and I set about putting together a concrete raised bed.  The bed is technically built, but since it isn't totally done yet I haven't posted a pic.  I will post a pic when done.  I am pretty proud of it for a first attempt on unlevel ground.  Keep that in mind when you see the pick.  I have to say a big "THANKYOU "to my neighbor who told me I could take what I wanted of the concrete blocks he had stacked in his back yard.  I still plan on paying him for them, but the sentiment was appreciated.  It was also nice to get the blocks since we don't have a truck right now. While my outside yard is still calling my name, and the weather still tempts me to go outside and play today, I am out of bread and so that will have to take priority.  Once I get the bread done, I should have daylight left to go outside.  I am shooting to getting beets, spinach, and lettuce into the ground before Tuesday(our best chance of rain). 
While Granola bakes in the ovens, I was going to share a recipe with you.  For those of you wanting to eat healthy, but cost is a factor; this recipe is for you.  Should the day come where I am ever a few pounds lighter, it will only be because I ate regular food in proportion.  I can't afford all the latest do dads good for weight loss, and am not convienced they are the healthiest choice regardless of what the lable says.  Anyway, here is what I made last night

Chocolate Pumpkin cake (pay non attention to the name, read on)



I topped this cake with a Tbs of chocolate syrup instead of frosting.  You will not taste the pumpkin, and it is a great way to get that extra veggie, not to mention it allows the cake to be for the most  part fat free.  Try it and see what you think.  I would be happy to know the results.

So that is it for now except the other thing I fianlly can say and that is Diva and her hubby are going to have a baby boy!  That is now two grandsons for me.  Name to be announced.....

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Organizing my pantry/freezer

So yesterday I decided it was time to defrost my freezer.  It always amazes me when I defrost my freezer because I always find something I forgot I had.  That is why you do it often.  I would say I defrost my freezer about every other month.  Usually right before grocery getting day.  I have gone backand forth over the years wondering if I am really being more cost effective having a second freezer. I always wonder if I should do away with it and use the space as another part of pantry(instead of my bedroom closet). After I defrosted the freezer and as I put everything away, I noticed I had 1/2 of the freezer empty.  Plenty of meat, and veggies, but still 1/2 empty.  A freezer is more cost effective if it is full.  It doesn't have to run as much.  Problem was I would get it full on grocery day with milk etc, but as the month progresses, it would get emptier and therefore not run as efficiently.  So I thought; I will make my freezer do double duty.  I will have the best of both worlds!  Things like flour, oats, chocolate chips, grits, baking soda, peanuts, and raisens, which I store in large amounts, and which enjoy the benefits of being kept in a freezer, are now occupying the other half of my freezer.  These items take longer to use and therefore will keep the freezer fuller for longer, and running more efficiently.  They will also protect these dry goods from going stale or (heaven forbid) and critter taking up residence.  As a result of my redo of the freezer/pantry, I was able to then organize my bedroom closet.  While some of my home canned items, as well as my wheat berries are still in my closet; at least it now looks more like a bedroom closet and not a pantry.  Now we can walk in there and easily pick out what to wear for the day.  Yay! 

I still have other things to organize in the house.  I have these fits often enough to where my Dh says he wouldn't know what to do without me; mainly cause he wouldn't be able to find anything.  Lol. 

Today Dh and I are off to search for full size beds for our now too big for twin beds(and have been for a while)sons.  Maybe we will stop at some thrift stores on the way......I need to do some sweet talkin cause I want to go to thrift stores today. 

So how is your day going or what are your plans?