Chocolate Hazelnut, Lemon Verbena, Bayberry and a rebatching of Red Clover Tea this go-round. We always make several batches- all those bars below are just my half of them.
I promised you all (quite a long time ago, I'm afraid) the recipe for homemade soap that doesn't require taking/matching temps. I figure now is as good a time as any- there is still enough time for soap to cure for Christmas presents!
Here it is:
Can't get much Simpler Homemade Soap (Without the Hassle of Temperature Matching)
3 lbs fat (we used a mixture of Lard, Coconut Oil and Tallow)
9 oz. lye
1 1/2 c. water
1 c. lemon juice
1/8 c. borax
Put water in kettle. Add lye. Stir well.
Add fats~ stir until dissolved.
Blend in lemon juice and then the borax.
Stir slowly to trace. (Can set kettle in cold water to speed up this process if needed...)
Pour into mold. Cut into bars after 2 hours.
I canned up some Candy Apple Jelly using homemade cider. I was amazed at how clear and vibrant the color was when I had used such dark, opaque cider as the juice. And the recipe is super simple...using cider, red hots, sugar and pectin. (And it set beautifully!)
We haven't tasted it yet- perhaps it is disgusting. But it sure looks pretty in the light!
I don't think Tiddle likes tomatoes. I can't seem to eat anything tomatoey ever since getting pregnant. I've never had such severe heartburn in pregnancy and never for an entire pregnancy. Weird. So, homemade pizza nights are not quite as thrilling for me these days.
In the summer I ate salads instead. Now that the weather has turned, I don't really feel like salads anymore. Most of the time I make breakfast pizza (with the added bonus that breakfast is already made for Saturday or Sunday!) which I eat. But last week I decided to splurge and make stromboli. It is EASIER to make than breakfast pizza (no sausage to cook, no eggs to scramble, etc.; just plop on the meats/cheese and fold up) but it is MUCH more expensive with all that lunchmeat inside of it. The tomato sauce was kept ON THE SIDE.
Splurges like this deserve documentation....so I took a picture- even in the weird light of a Autumn- darkened kitchen.
We made our cider last weekend. I was so happy to get that done! We've been planning to do it for weeks now.
The cows were ready and waiting for apple nibbles- which they were given in abundance.
One of the cows may or may not have become drunk on the apples fermenting into alcohol in their belly.
The Mister has started his winter beard. Handsome fellow.
We made seven gallons of cider- some of which I froze, some I canned. Having never canned it before, I am interested to see if canning affects the flavor at all. It is nice to have it on the shelves though, instead of filling up the freezers.
Some of the apples were too squishy to grind well so- it looks like I have another day of applesauce making in my future. Not totally out of the apple-woods yet. ;-)
Yesterday I tackled the living room toybox- a spot that I haven't organized in over a year. Possibly two. I discovered two things-
1) It was basically a deathtrap for babies- with marbles, rubber bands, little legos and every other chokeable item lurking in the corners for their next victim.
2) I am pretty particular about toys that make it into this house. I don't like (and won't keep) dumb toys that require nothing of a child. This excludes almost entirely the noisy, flashy toys that are 95% of the toys that line shelves in toy departments. Toys, for them to make the cut into the Newman house, generally have to foster some sort of ingenuity on the part of the child. They have to DO something. And by DO, I don't mean make noise or flash. They have to SPARK imagination and creative play. And those sorts of toys happen to have a million pieces. Blocks, marble run pieces, Legos, Playmobil, railroad tracks, kitchen food. It is insane how many LITTLE pieces we have in this house. That said, I am not sorry about them. They have created many an afternoon of ingenuity and play.
I was glad for the toybox to be done- all the scattered bits put back in their rightful spots and the dangerous things outed completely.
Corynn and Andrew rewarded my efforts afterwards with cinnamon swirl cookies- which were like eating snickerdoodles on speed. Children baking cookies is a dangerous thing for me...
I won't be able to hide my indiscretions for much longer.