Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Redneck Rocket Stove

Ever had one of those days when you just don't feel like doing ANYTHING?  I was staring at my dishes this morning..... and they kept staring back at me.  So I moved to the other room! 

I found a cool video on YouTube For a Redneck Rocket Stove.  Most everyone has a couple of old cinder blocks laying around. 

Hope everyone has a great day... I'm going to go tackle those dishes.  If they say anything at all I am going to have to wash them out with soapy water!  LOL

OK what has blogger done now?  Looks like they have changed my picture uploads.... WTH?????  This is not setting well with me AT ALL.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blackberry Winter

  I come from Central Texas where once it gets to April the warm weather just keeps on coming.  Imagine my surprise to see temperatures last night drop to the mid 40's!  A friend here in Oklahoma says the old timers call it Blackberry Winter. Interesting weather to say the very least!  I guess I better get used to the cooler climate!  I'm still not sure how I will fare in the winter time but that's a ways off for now.  I know they say it gets hot here but I can't see the heat being as hard for me to deal with either.  I'm no stranger to 100 degree days!

Things are growing around the Pioneer Living Homestead.  The potato's are kicking butt and looking good. There are blooms coming on some of them already.  Pretty  isn't it?

Here is  a picture of one of our friends helping with the garden.  They are everywhere out here! 

One thing that didn't grow much apparently is the egg in this picture!  It's the first of its kind around here.  I thought it was quite unique. So my question to those of you who have chickens....Does this happen often or is it just a fluke of nature?  

I have found an absolutely wonderful bread recipe.  The original recipe is for Sweet Rolls ( which are wonderful) but I decided to make a regular loaf of bread out of it.  I've been looking for the perfect Bread Machine recipe and I have to tell you this just may be the one!  Lot's of bread's made in the bread machine come out pretty dense but this one is light and fluffy with a great texture.

Sweet Dinner Rolls (Sweet Bread)

Original Recipe Yield 16 rolls


 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
 1/2 cup warm milk
 1 egg
 1/3 cup butter, softened
 1/3 cup white sugar
 1 teaspoon salt
 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast  (2 1/2 Teaspoons)
 1/4 cup butter, softened


   1. Place water, milk, egg, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, salt, flour and yeast in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select Dough/Knead and First Rise Cycle; press Start.
   2. When cycle finishes, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12 inch circle, spread 1/4 cup softened butter over entire round. Cut each circle into 8 wedges. Roll wedges starting at wide end; roll gently but tightly. Place point side down on ungreased cookie sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place, let rise 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
   3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden.

(I omit the last 1/4 cup of butter when making loaves)

Mar's has been working on the veggie stand the last couple of days.  He's putting in the shelving platforms.  It is coming right along and looking good! 

Everything's in the ground and growing now. And so this is kind of the wait and see stage.  It won't be very long before we are all going to be busier than a one legged man in a butt whipping contest.  Until then, it's nice to be enjoying a beautiful spring season. 

I think its about time to go wet a hook and see if Oklahoma fish taste any different than they do in Texas.  :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pictures Anyone?

Just a few pictures today.  I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful weekend!

They do things differently here.  There isn't a dump close around here and no trash pick up. There is , however, a place down the road a couple of miles which is set up with several dumpsters.  Just take your trash there and the Trash Fairies take care of the rest!  Pretty cool actually as you don't have to pay dump fees. And the ride over is quite scenic!

I made peanut butter cookies this morning.  Those babies are addictive to be sure. Got Milk?

    I don't know what B.B was smiling about... but she sure LOOKS happy!
Here she is guarding the garden... I guess that's what shes doing anyway... If you were wondering BB is a Catahoula  Cur.  Sometimes they are called Louisiana Leopard Dogs.  They come in all shades and markings and are wonderful hunting dogs.

I don't know what it is about boxes but Miss Kitty seems obsessed with them.  Big ones... Little ones... It doesn't seem to matter to her! She crawls right in and goes straight to sleep.

Bunches and bunches of bunnies!  They are all so cute.  It won't be long till they will look good dressed in flour and dipped in hot oil!  :)

                                                       Got Peas?

Here's the start on the Vegetable stand that Mar's and John are building.  Pioneer Living Homestead Fresh vegetables coming soon to a plate near you! 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spring Thing's

What a beautiful day it is turning out to be. It rained last night and through the early morning, a good soaking rain which is greatly appreciated.  It also means I get to skip a day or two watering. The newest bunnies have their eyes open and a couple are starting to hop out of the nest.  New bunnies are so darn cute!

The little "herb" garden that Mars planted is starting to look like a garden!  The tomato's are blooming and there are two baby tomato's already!  The bell peppers are blooming as well.  I'm still waiting and watching for some of the herbs to come up.  If they don't appear soon I am going to replant something else there.  The sweet basil and the cilantro are up and doing well. The sage and the lavender are just sprouting too.  Just in case though I started a whole second round of herbs in pots yesterday.  Actually what I did was to cut the bottoms out of 2 liter bottles and then drilled holes in the bottoms.  Gotta love DIY!  And heck you can't have to many herbs can you?  They are great and and inexpensive way to make your food storage even more yummy.

We have been looking for property for awhile now and still are!  We would like to find some land in Arkansas (first choice) or southern Missouri or the eastern side of Oklahoma. I ran across an ad yesterday that I had seen months ago and somehow had forgotten.  It's in the northern central area of Arkansas.  Three acres with over 300 foot of year round creek frontage AND electricity already on the property.  Best of all- its affordable and owner financed.  I'm still waiting on a call back so we shall see where we go from there.  Might be a road trip in the near future!  AKA a perfect excuse to go camping for a couple of days....LOL

I am really starting to miss our old smoker.  During most of the year our main cooking area has always been either the BBQ pit or the smoker. It just gets to hot to cook in the trailer much after about May.  Well the poor old smoker didn't make the trip with us as it was on its last rusted out bottom parts!  I have to say though it was an excellent one and lasted us over six years.  Mar's is going to have to build us another one for sure.  And the sooner the better I say!  I've become bored with cooking in the house.  It happens every spring after a winter of indoor cooking.  Only this time.... well... we are just going to have to figure something out!  Especially  since there are two huge racks of pork ribs in the freezer. 

It's almost time for me to wind down the baking for awhile.  It's gonna be getting to hot to bake soon. Until then though I'll keep making baked goodies.  I made a peach cake yesterday. It was ok I suppose.  Mar's likes it so I suppose that's what really matters. I used some of my canned peaches from last year.  Before I share it with you all though I am going to have to "tweak" it some.  A tad more sugar and some more vanilla and probably another jar of peaches just might make this a winner!  I'll let you know.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

We Are Change San Antonio

We are Change San Antonio....     Looks like Freedom of Speech takes another hit.

Pt 1           

Pt 2                  

Pt 3                  


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Just Do It

I know alot of you who read this post are already prepping but for those of you who haven't started yet this is something to consider.
What with the  rising cost of food, gas, utilities and more taxes on the horizon what are you doing to prepare for your future?  I'm not even talking about your long term future but the near future.   If you aren't already preparing isn't it time that you started?  For some, just the thought of trying to prepare for the future can be a bit overwhelming. It doesn't have to be.  You don't have to have a year's worth of  MRE's put back.  You don't have to order # 10 cans of food from a mail order store.You don't have to have all the "really cool" stuff you see on websites proclaiming that you simply HAVE to have this product to survive.  All these things do have a place in prepping but it is absolutely NOT necessary to start with these type supplies.  And it doesn't have to be expensive.

With prices going up in the stores everyday I decided to begin my preps by investing in food.  My reason was and is simple. Food prices are going up and they won't be going down. What you invest in your food storage today will save you money in the future.  For example, last year a can of tuna was around $0.59 a can around here.  Today it is around $0.79 a can. Who knows  what it will be next year. You are already ahead of the game if you start now because it WILL be more expensive next year.
You don't have to break the bank either.  If you are going to have tuna this week just pick up an extra can.  One extra "item" at a time may not seem like much at first but it does add up. When I started working on my food storage I approached it in little steps. 

Make a list of meals your family eat regularly and what ingredients it takes to prepare those meals.  This is a great place to start. You really want to remember the motto " Store What You Eat and Eat What You Store".  For example, if your family doesn't or won't eat Spam why would you want a case of the  stuff when there are other things that they will eat instead?  We happen to like pinto beans and rice.  It's a regular meal for us.  So when I pick up a bag of beans or rice I will pick up an extra one for later. This is just an example but I'm sure you understand how this will build up your food storage.  These days, if something is not on sale or I don't have a coupon for it I will rarely buy it. 

Take an inventory of what you have in your pantry. Could you make it 3 days? 5?   If a natural disaster happened and you couldn't get to the store how many days would your food's last?  This is a good place to start.  Let's say you have 3 days stored.  Set your goal at one weeks worth.  If you are at 2 weeks strive for 4. It always helps to have some sort of goal.

Prepping doesn't have to be expensive and it definitely doesn't have to be overwhelming.  You just have to start..... and what better time than now?
Good News!  The judge made a ruling on the fate of the Mama Bunny.  Which means rabbit stew is going to have to wait a bit.  If you remember, there was a moratorium going on.  She's not been a great mom in the past and so she was on trial with this last bunch-0-bunnies.  She lost three the very first night. The babies looked like they had been nursing when apparently she had to have a break.  I guess they were hanging on to her as she hopped out to do her bunny poo thing or whatever she did.  The next morning when I went out to feed there was another one outside the nest.  So that made four.  I didn't want to go poking around in the nest to see how many were left but I could make out three more in there.

And now fast forward to this evening.  While I was out feeding them "The Judge" snuck up behind me.  I was told a couple of weeks ago sneaking up behind someone while they were busy wasn't cool.  Paybacks are hell I tell ya!  LOL  Anyway, we were chatting bout just "stuff" after I regained my composure. ( and no- sneaking up behind someone while they are distracted is NOT COOL)  Talking bout the mama and the baby bunnies while we were watching the nest.  I told him I thought there were three left... two white ones and a grey one.  He was like... no there's a black one in there. To cut to the chase here -  we were both right.  Five babies! Two white ones, two black ones and a grey one.  So it was the order of the court today that Mama Bunny gets a stay of execution... for now!  Yeah!!!  Rabbit stew will have to wait. 

We were blessed with a gift of some venison a few weeks ago. Yesterday I thawed some out and set it to marinating.  Last night I cooked some chicken fried venison and the fixings. Yummy!  The package had enough meat left for another complete meal and so tonight we feasted on Venison Fajita's ( can't take the Texas out of me that easily) complete with home made tortillas and one killer pot of beans and ham hocks.  I love meals like that.  What I mean is.... one meal grows into another one and then another one from that.  The venison made two full meals plus enough in the morning for fajita meat for either breakfast tacos or lunch taco's (insert tortilla's into at least three of these) The beans will be good for at least two more meals and the tortillas....well we will just have to see.  They will be blended into a few more meals.  Is that what you call food storage layering?  :) 

The world is getting crazier and crazier folks.   I hope everyone is stocking up on essentials  cause we might just need it sooner than any of us want.  And prices are bound to go up even more so as Janis Joplin sang... Get It While You Can.   I don't talk about that stuff here much anymore but it still weighs heavy in my heart and on my mind and is never forgotten.  Be ready... be aware ...and be prepared!

Monday, April 19, 2010


It came to my attention recently that I tend to write about cooking things around here and fail to post the recipe's for them.  So I will try harder to follow through from here on out.  And on that note, I was asked to share my Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe.  And so here it is.

 1 cup shortening
 1 1/2 cups white sugar
 2 eggs
 2 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon baking soda
 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 2 tablespoons white sugar
 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


   1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
   2. In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each. Sift together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; stir into the creamed mixture until well blended.
   3. In a small shallow bowl, stir together the 2 tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and roll the balls in the sugar mixture. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookies should be slightly golden at the edges. Remove to cool on wire racks.

And there ya have it. In my humble opinion some of the best cookies in the whole wide world.

I've been  thinking about different foods from around America.  Things that I just consider an everyday food or meal would to some seem strange.  Or never heard of.  I was talking to a friend from the Pacific North West who calls zucchini squash.  OK, technically  I know it is.  But to me zucchini is just that- zucchini.  When I think of summer squash I think of  yellow crookneck squash. There are bound to be more examples that I'm not thinking of .  My folks never planted things like beets and rutabaga's.  But there was always okra and turnips growing out there. Now I wonder what all do you grow that is more "local" to your area?
I'm looking forward to my first batch of turnip greens cooked with sauteed onions and bacon.  And the first batch of fried okra is always the best one of the year. But by the end of the summer I don't want to look at anymore okra for awhile.  

Did you know you can dehydrate okra?  It makes a tasty snack right out of the jar.  It also rehydrates beautifully.  Right down to the "slime".  It fries as good as the day it was picked!
I am one of those folks  that don't really care for boiled okra.  Maybe I just haven't found the right recipe but unless its in a gumbo of some sort I will usually pass on it.  For me fried is the okra of choice.  So if anyone as an okra recipe you would like to share I would be willing to try once again to find a way to cook it other than frying it.

Right Wing Extremist?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

More This and That

Gotta love the irony of life... water for half a day and watch it rain!

We are still sharing a computer here and it's driving me NUTS!!   Still trying to figure out exactly what the heck it is.  You watch's going to be one unchecked box somewhere.  Something simple that we are both missing.  (Like me and my computer time..hehe) The thing to remember is that out here we don't have TV.  Well we have a TV we just don't have any access to any channels.  So you kind of have to factor that in to the whole sharing thing.  I've not been able to keep up with my regular reading or my blogging for that matter.

OK.  Some of you might remember last year that I found a bread machine at the thrift store.  Brand new with the book.  It was marked down to 4 bucks.  Loving a good bargain I took it home and decided to try my hand at making bread in it.  From that point on I never looked back.  I decided that I wouldn't be buying anymore bread from the store if at all possible.  Now I know there are those of you who would say that using the bread machine isn't "really" making bread.   Here are my thought's on that.  First off, I really can make bread by hand if I need to but I figure as long as I have electricity there's no harm in taking the easy way out. It gives me time to do other things that need getting done around here.  Secondly  I am making bread and not relying  on the store bought "stuff" anymore. The difference in taste cannot be compared.  In the past year or so I have probably bought bread 5-6 times.  Most of those were due to moving and packing and such. I'm not apologizing either!!  As a matter of fact I have even been making my own tortilla's here lately.  I'm getting much better at it which is good since we are both some tortilla eating fools. Breakfast, lunch and dinner alot of times. If you can wrap it in a tortilla its fair game!   I can no longer justify spending a buck fifty for a pack of twenty when I can do the same amount with probably half that.  Of course I haven't figured the math but....the tortilla's are good!
We took a trip to Durant yesterday. Another Little Big Town! They even had a real grocery besides the WallyWorld.  The chick in the convience store didn't find my excitement about that at all funny. Guess shes a "city" girl.   I don't know why I got so excited over a freakin' grocery ad!  LOL
Anyway, I had a doctor's appointment and Mars was worried about me making the trip by myself.  He didn't want me breaking down 70 miles from home with no way to get back. Sweet huh? 
Honestly I have to wonder though if the safety of his tools sitting in that  toolbox ever crossed his mind.  Hey... I'm just sayin....
Anyway, the trip went off without a hitch and we saw some interesting stuff along the way.  There were two or three Show Pig farms along the way and several bee keepers. An onion packing plant and a few produce stands. Several cattle ranches and some interesting homes.  Some cool looking thrift store/garage sale places.  A furniture place which was actually a guy's home where he built log hewn beds and such.  A shop that manufactures dulcimers.  Very interesting.  Now here's where I feel bad about this journey... I didn't take my camera AND we didn't stop anywhere.  Don't ask me why.... I have no clue! We are usually quite the "sightseers" and take the chances we are given to explore.  We talked about it after we got back to the house. And agreed, No more missed opportunities. We only have one life to live and we really ought to be enjoying it.  Who knows in these crazy times if we will ever be granted the opportunity again!  So until next time..

Live, laugh and love like there is no tomorrow.

P.S Mars made Snickerdoodles tonight!  Don't they look yummy?  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Slow Cooker Rabbit Stew and DIY Onion Soup Mix

It is an absolutely beautiful day here!  Not a chem trail in the sky!  Real clouds too!  You know the ones. Remember as a kid laying on your back and watching the clouds.  Seeing all sorts of things in the clouds?  Look.... that one looks like an elephant!  Oh, see the face in that cloud?  I miss those days.  Spring winds gently blowing.  The warmth of the sun on your face.  The whole world around you blooming with new leaves and flowers....
Anyway, I digress (are you surprised yet? )
 First let me start by saying that mama bunny is still here with us. Don't want  to freak anyone out
I've had a couple of people asking about that Slow Cooker Rabbit Stew recipe.  This is one of those really easy ones that come right out of your food storage. I like it because I can use either fresh vegetables in the summer or use my dehydrated veggies in the winter.

Slow Cooker Rabbit Stew
Let me preface this recipe by saying that I have no actual amounts of anything.  Just use as many veggies to fill your crock pot. Does this mean this isn't really a recipe?  LOL I don't know...

Slow Cooker Rabbit Stew

1 Rabbit cut in pieces  (its not gonna fit in there any other way guys)
Potatoes- cubed
Carrots- cut in pieces
(insert  other veggies if you like here)
2 Beef Bouillon cubes 
Dry onion soup mix   (DIY recipe to follow)
Garlic powder to taste
Salt and pepper
Place the rabbit in the crock pot and pour the Onion Soup Mix over it.  A little garlic powder and the salt and pepper next.   Put your veggies in on top.  Dissolve bouillon cubes in warm water and add to the pot. Cover the veggies with water.  Set your crock pot on low and give it several hours.  (I use this for tough rabbits)
Grab a bowl... a spoon and dig in!

DIY Onion Soup Mix

3/4 cup instant minced onion   (I dry my own onions so that's what I use )
1/3 cup beef bouillon powder
4 teaspoons onion powder 
1/4 teaspoon crushed celery seed
 1/4 teaspoon sugar

Store in an airtight container.

About 5 tablespoons of mix are equal to 1 1¼-ounce package
To make onion dip: Mix 5 tablespoons with one pint of sour cream

And there ya have it folks...  I think I'm gonna go look for elephants in the clouds.....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How's your Garden Coming?

I thought I was only going to take the weekend off from blogging.  The best laid intentions and all that though..... we are having computer issues here again.  We had finally got Mar's PC connected to my laptop so we would both have our computers up.  It's been working fine for a month.  Until for some reason we had to reset the wireless router.We are back at square one and can't get it all hooked back up.  Anyway, until we do, it looks like we are sharing a computer again.  ( Sigh )  I lost a dear reader over the weekend.  I hope it wasn't because of my lack of posting.  I hate that!

We have new bunnies on the Pioneer Living Homestead. The jury is still out on the mama though. She had seven bunnies.  Three were found outside the nesting box the very first morning.  They looked like they had been nursing and just held on tight when mama went out for a break.  The next morning one more was found outside.  So now there are only 3.  Mama just may end up Stewed Rabbit.  If so I have a great slow cooker recipe just for her!! :)

 Today I'd like to highlight just a few of my favorite blogs.  If you have the time...stop by and say hello! 
Feliane over at Tales from The Scratching Post always makes me smile.  She also does a Food Friday post and shares some wonderful recipes.  Interested in off-grid living?  Check out Wretha's Adventures Living Off Grid .  Humble wife over at Double Nickel Farm is having a great giveaway... stop by and leave a comment for some cool prizes!   If you are interested in urban homesteading check out Wendy over at Surviving the Suburbs.
Like a bit of humor mixed with your homesteading blogs?  There is Small Farm Girl.  A wonderful writer and a great homesteading blog can be found at A Homesteading Neophyte. Another great one is my friend mmpaints at  Self Sustained Living
If you are interested in the 2nd amendment and all related to it,  Checkout Old Lighting.  He's always got great information and will answer any questions you might have!
And for the not so faint of heart I have two suggestions for you.  Ornery Bastard will keep you up on the events going on around the country with his own take on things.  Another one along the same lines is my buddy Mayberry over at Keep It Simple Survival.  Be forewarned that both of these guys have a "way" with the English language.  Adults only is my suggestion. 
I wish I could name them all here but if you will check out my blog roll there is plenty to keep you busy for quite some time.

The garden is coming up like gangbusters.  Almost everything planted is now peaking out and reaching for the sunlight.  A beautiful sight to be sure. I got a little bit of a sunburn on my face this morning while out watering the "regular" garden.  I really need to find a hat.  I'm still looking for stuff that was packed during the move. It's here.... somewhere....
The only things not coming up are my herbs.  I won't say anything other than.... I am going to try again and this time I will get them started myself.  I think they just got planted in the ground a bit soon.   So how is everyone's garden coming?  I'd love to hear from you guys.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How to Dehydrate Potatoes (Lets Talk Taters!)

This picture from left to right.... Dried Okra, Dried Diced Potato's, Dried Tomato's

I was asked if I could explain the drying and rehydrating process.  This is my attempt to do so. The question was about potato's but most vegetables use the same process.  Blanching times will vary with different vegetables.         

When dehydrating potato's, there are several ways to do them.  You can slice them for uses like scalloped potato's.  You can dice them in small pieces and use them in many different things.  You can cut them into french fries as well. You can shred them and use them for hashbrowns. This part is up to you.  Peeling your potato's is optional- there are lots of vitamins and minerals in the skins . They look nicer peeled but, again, its up to you.
I will explain the sliced potato's here, but they are all done the same way.
Slice your potato's approximately 1/4" thick.  This is where a food processor or a slicer comes in handy.  I do mine by hand but that's because I don't have either of them!   While you are cutting your potato's, put on a big pot of lightly salted water and heat to boiling. 

Put your potato slices in a vegetable basket or a French fry basket and drop them in the boiling water. When they start to boil again, let them blanch for for 5-8 minutes.  Have a large bowl ready with ice water. Plunge them in the ice water and let them sit for 15 minutes or so. Then spread the potato slices out on paper towels and daub dry.
Another method you can use (I would suggest doing this with things like hashbrowns) is to steam blanch them.

Spray your racks with some vegetable spray and place the potato's as close as you can get them without having them touch.  They need air circulation around them.  Dry them until the potato's are translucent and brittle.  You should not be able to "bend" them.  Let the potato's cool down, remove them from the racks and store them in jars or baggies.  Try to keep as much air out as you can.  This is where my FoodSaver Vacuum Sealer comes in handy.  I like to put them in jars and vacuum out the air.  (NOTE- If you are drying for long term storage DO NOT use the spray.  Oil can make anything dehydrated go rancid.)

To rehydrate them,  place the dried potato's in a bowl or pan and cover with boiling water. Cover the bowl and let them sit for about 20 minutes or until re-hydrated completely.  Drain excess water and they are ready to use.

 You can dry just about anything.  Carrots, peas, sweet corn, green beans, cabbage, spinach, swiss chard etc. I also dry tomato's for use in soups and stews.  I like drying  green peppers, hot peppers, and onions for use later in the year when these things are out of season.
I have had problems with rehydrating green beans in the past and asked a true drying guru for some help.  She suggests blanching and then freezing the green beans before drying.  The freezing breaks down the cells so they will rehydrate better  otherwise, they will take a couple of hours to rehydrate.

Here are a few ideas for using some of your dehydrated vegetables. 

I like to do mixed veggies to use as soup starter.  Diced carrots and peas are good together. You can use dried sweet corn (ground up) and add it to flour when making cornbread. 
Scalloped potato's or au gratin ones.
Dried diced potato's make a great hash when mixed with leftover beef and dried onions. 
Cabbage dices  and fried diced bacon and onions or leeks with bow tie noodles is good.Sometimes I add dried tomato's.
 How about cabbage soup with potato slices, carrots, and fried bacon?
 Hmm, lets see.... pickled beet slices, gingered diced carrots, green pea and boiled egg salad.
Make white bread and roll it thin. Add rehydrated hamburger, carrots, peas, onions and line the bread and make a pinwheel. Let the bread rise and bake. Slice and cover with gravy made from  the rehydrating water.

The possibilities are endless.  So what are you waiting for? 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring Has Arrived

I love springtime! All the trees budding out.  The green of the new grass. The sight of little veggies popping up in the garden. Warm days and cool evenings. All sorts of birds doing their spring thing.  There is a family of hawks somewhere close by.  I don't know why hawks fascinate me but birds of prey always have.

There has been alot of planting going on at the Pioneer Living homestead. The actual size of the of the gardening area is close to two acres.  One of the acres is done using plasticulture.   Check out the video for more information.  Very Cool! It already appears to be working out really well.  Most everything has started sprouting already!  Things around here are getting ready to be really really busy.  Mars and I were talking today about what all has been planted so far.  I actually get overwhelmed when I try to wrap my mind around it.   There are several varieties of lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, three types of cucumbers ,zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, green peas, pinto beans, blackeyed peas,  purple hull peas, cauliflower, Tabasco peppers, bell peppers, yellow bells, serrano, jalapeno, banna peppers,two varieties of cantaloupe and watermelon , turnips,  brussel sprouts, okra, egg plant,  four or five varieties of tomato's, radishes, three or four kinds of potato's, carrots, spiniach, several kinds of onions, corn, bush green beans, and beets. I am sure this list is missing information but that's all we could think of this evening!  Peanuts will be planted when it warms up a bit!   This is a HUGE plot of veggies.  I can't wait to see just how everything will do. And I have to admit I am a little intimidated.  I've never been involved with a plot this big!  All of us are going to be busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking fight before you know it.

There will be baby bunnies- probably tomorrow. One of the does is pulling fur and ready to bring on some spring babies.  I hope she does ok this time because John (Pioneer Living) says this is her last chance. She has a "history" and if things don't go well this time she's gonna be Stewed Rabbit.  2 small litters and having 4 baby's born out of the nest this winter has put her on a hit list!  I wish her luck and will let you all know how things work out.

The Red Wasps are out in full force here.  I hate them!  They are getting in the house from somewhere and we haven't  figured out where they are coming from.  The other night one crawled under the covers in the middle of the night and stung Mars TWICE on the thigh.  At least this time his head didn't swell up to the size of a watermelon!  Ticks are starting to run around too. LOL as I am sitting here writing this a stink bug just flew in and landed on my monitor!

Its gonna be a buggy season.

(if you were wondering that's Mrs. Pioneer Living watering the corn)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Obama's Home Country... Michelle's own words

I ran across this video this morning and just wanted to share it with you all.  What do ya think?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Little Big Town

I haven't been to Little Big Town in awhile now.    I have a list started but I am quite happy to say it is a pretty short list.  Anyway, I was out in the big garden, planting some cauliflower, and trying to decide if I wanted to go today or tomorrow.  Wow, I thought, It's a holiday weekend.  Do I REALLY want to go to Little Big Town the day before Easter?  I bet the place will be PACKED!  Then I started laughing.  I mean seriously laughing out loud.  In a town of just over 5,500 people just how packed could it really be??  Now if I were back in Texas it would be something to consider and I would never even entertain the idea but Little Big Town..... I'm still laughing!  So with that out of the way I'll be taking my chances tomorrow.
.....Updated Saturday....

Just as I suspected!  ChinaMart was easily maneuvered today.  Mind you for Little Big Town standards it was pretty busy.  One thing about moving from a  "real"  Big Town though... for me it was like shopping on a Wednesday afternoon!  No sweat.  While I was there I just had to go check out their garden center.  They have a few tomato's and some other veggies but I was really looking for hot peppers. Mars just loves them.  All they had were bell peppers though.  I couldn't believe how much they are getting for 6-packs of tomato's.  $3.25 each!  And trust me, they aren't all that great looking.  Last time I was in Little Big Town I checked out the Local Nursery.  They had some beautiful plants and their 6-packs were only $2.50.  Those are the ones planted in my  herb garden. ( And yes I know... tomato's aren't an herb!) 
Ok, sorry bout the rambling...
Anyway, back to the garden center and the sad little tomato plants held captive there. I suppose I shouldn't have, but I did.  There was an elderly gentleman looking over all the tomato plants with great care.  I know the look...   I have the same determination when I am buying plants.  And then it just came flying out of my mouth  "You know, the nursery down the street has some beautiful plants and they are only $2.50 each!"  What on earth was I thinking?  The old man looked at me over the top of his glasses and nodded "uh huh" took that poor little pack of tomato's and gently placed them in his basket.  Today  6 underloved and unattended babies  found a new home, residing in his garden this year.  By the end of the season, I am willing to bet they will be healthy, happy and productive members of the that old mans "happy place".   And I should have kept my mouth shut!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Illinois Congressman Phil Hare

I could not believe what came out of this Illinois Congressman's mouth.  YOU MUST SEE THIS.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oatmeal Cookies and Stuff

It's hard to believe how quickly the first part of the year went by!  Here it is already Spring.  It has been beautiful here the last few days.  Lots of sunshine and nice breezes.   This is the pear tree we will be enjoying fruit from this season. 

My little herb garden seems to have gained a few more plants.  Mars planted 6 tomato plants, some jalapeno's and some green peppers.  Oh and I think he tossed in some yellow squash while I wasn't looking! Oh well, like I'm going to complain??  LOL  None of the herbs are above ground yet.  I am impatiently waiting to see whats going to pop out of there! 

Last night Mars grilled some chicken on the pit with some of the last of the mesquite wood. Along with the potato salad I made, some beans and some Chili bread it just couldn't be beat!  Oh, and oatmeal cookies and milk for dessert. Yummy!!  I wonder what the rich folks were eating??? 

I think I may have found an almost perfect Oatmeal Cookie Recipe.  I made these yesterday and they came out great for a first attempt.  There is plenty of room in this recipe for "playing".  I love versatile recipes. 

Soft Oatmeal Cookies

Original Recipe Yield 2 dozen


    * 1 cup butter, softened
    * 1 cup white sugar
    * 1 cup packed brown sugar
    * 2 eggs
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    * 2 cups all-purpose flour
    * 1 teaspoon baking soda
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    * 3 cups quick cooking oats


   1. In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in oats. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour.
   2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls, and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Flatten each cookie with a large fork dipped in sugar.
   3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Raisins, chocolate chip, peanut butter, coconut, walnuts..... See what I mean?  Any of these additions would make an excellent variation.
I made some more chili bread as well... If you would like the recipe I posted it here. So yummy!  Mars has been missing his favorite bread.  I'm glad to be back in the breadmaking mode again.  Store bought just doesn't taste right anymore.  And it doesn't feel right to be paying over a dollar a loaf for it either!
It has been awhile since I made a trip to Little Big Town.  It has taken some getting used to not just running around the corner for whatever we might want or need.  So far I have done pretty well. I have a list started but don't actually have a day set to go yet. Although with Easter weekend coming I probably should go tomorrow.  The good thing is that the list is really small which means that I am only restocking what we have used.  I feel pretty good about that. 
Who would have thought that just over a year ago that we would be here?  I certainly never imagined it!  I can't remember the last time I felt so content with just living.