Posted in Homesteading, Musing & Stories

Flashback: Foraging Morels -Indiana

TRADITIONS!

morels RenTiff Papa.jpgmorels on table.jpg

Picture: LaPorte County – Circa 1997 My Dad teaching shroom hunting to my daughter, the ginger, and her BFF.  – Now at 85, ‘Papa’ will soon be teaching his great-granddaughter as well.

  • Cut ’em; don’t pull ’em
  • carry a mesh bag
  • toss the paper bag back in the woods
  • soak ’em in salt water

#oldfarmers #shrooms #foraging #traditions #Indiana

Picture 2: Last year- my sister took our Dad. 2018 – Hendricks County, IN.

Northern IN, I think, is much better hunting ground than Central Indiana. – Grandma Auburn #greys #teachtheoldways

Advertisements
Posted in Musing & Stories

Saving Money to Move (with totals) and More Nostalgia

wooden house on a forest
Photo by Mateas Petru on Pexels.com

Moving & Saving: Part 2 – In the 70’s there was a gas shortage in the U.S.  “The line is around the corner.” Mom said to Dad as we three sisters sat quiet, unbelted in the back seat of forest green Dodge Dart. (Back then, if you needed belted, Dad would do it. HA!)

Though the folks both worked, we also stood in line for butter and  cheese in the early 80’s. Mom was creative in many ways, but not so in the kitchen. The staples were boiled potatoes, gravy made from the grease of the meat she fried well every time, and fresh or canned veggies. (depending on the season) As far as spices, we were true Hoosiers; salt, pepper and ketchup. 😉 We camped and fished. Wandered the woods. Dad taught us to till the ground and care for plants. Taught me to drive at 14… an old blue Chevy half ton, with a load of fresh cut firewood in the bed. 

—Some time later, my husband and I taught our daughter to appreciate country life, too. But we’ve missed it for over a decade. Now, after clawing through 5 rough years, we have a sense of direction and a time frame. 

business-money-pink-coins-e1552981107487.jpg
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

-> Finally, a homestead!! 10 months to a year away hopefully.   (and 10ish years until retirement.) As the budget gets tighter, I’m researching economical Prefab home kits under $35K here.

Money Saving Totals:  These are some examples of consistently cutting back, in the past 80 days–

  • $24/mo. Husband found a shorter route to work.
  • $12/mo. I’m making all DIY household cleaners.
  • $78/mo. Groceries/Eating out: Cut our trips in half. Found closer places. Continue to use coupons & sales ads. Used GoodRx app at Kroger.
  • $20/mo. Stock Up: on frozen veggies- which we seem to eat more and waste less than fresh or canned.
  • $40/mo. Fewer Gifts- giving & receiving: With extended family, we are pitching in to give gifts that are longer-lasting, durable and functional. We’ve asked for restaurant gift cards in return. (b/c we don’t need more ‘stuff’)
  • $40/mo. General Purchases: Secondhand store first. (clothes, office chair) Spending freeze on Amazon & home improvement stores.
  • $12/mo. Utility bills: We light & heat the room, not the house. Smaller lamps.  Shorter showers. Unplugged cords not in use. Lightweight laundry dries flat or in front of the heater.
  • TOTAL $226.00/mo. additional savings so far this year. Not too shabby!
  • Mindset & Replacing Old Habits: Enjoying free or cheap activities together-  Crafts, games, books and movies we already bought. Take walks around the neighborhood.  We hold planks together on the living room floor.  We’re also trying new cooking styles & spices. He helps wash dishes and cooks on Sundays.
  • Things we decided NOT to do… to save money: Didn’t pick up gym memberships in January. Didn’t buy state park passes. No bikes, appliances or fancy boots. Decided not to get cable TV or buy a new recliner. No vehicle loans, but maintained the 2 that we own.

It’s encouraging to see that incremental numbers DO add up over time. Saving 3 bucks a week doesn’t seem like much by itself. But get a little momentum going and it becomes $2500+ a year toward debt, retirement, or a replacement transmission sometime down the road.  (HA!)  –Have patience and be thrifty, Friends and Confidantes -Gma Auburn

Posted in Musing & Stories

Oven Roasted Acorn Squash and Variations

Grandma Auburn's Kitchen
If squash is difficult to cut raw; Roast it whole.

PICTURE AND RECIPE: {from my TinyTrailer Kitchen 10/18 jsm}

Whole or Halves- Roasted Acorn Squash

1. Preheat oven to 425-450 degrees F. 

2a. Wash Squash. Cut off stem end.  Cut in half from point to stem (lengthwise)  and gut seeds  – Place on a cookie sheet. The bowls facing up; lightly score the inside with a knife.  then add…

Step 3. Into each half  ** 1 to 2 Tablespoons of almond milk or apple juice.  [water with raisins], **1 tsp. butter, **1/2 tsp. of cinnamon **1/8 tsp. vanilla.  **Optional additions: brown sugar, syrup, pecans or dates . See step 4 to ROAST…

OR  Step 2b.  {Roast Whole} – NO CUT METHOD- Poke 12-15 holes all over the squash-it’s OK if some water seeps out.  See Step 4 to roast.  THEN; Let cool somewhat before cutting and discarding (or roasting) the seeds. FINALLY-> scoop the warm squash into a bowl and mash. See Steps 3 & 5 to incorporate the milk and mix-ins}

Step 4. ROAST at 425-450 F [you know your oven. Mine runs a little hot]: for HALVES place on baking sheet on middle rack in oven for  35 to 45 mins .  –>Whole: -50 minutes to ONE HOUR {Maybe 65 minutes}; depending on the size of squash.  TEST FOR DONE: Skin will wrinkle slightly at the edges, Slide a spoon next to the skin or poke through with a knife in a few spots. Should pierce easily. Orange insides turn a shade darker.

It’s scoopable- like mashed potatoes.

Step 5. SERVE:  in the skin as is – or scooped into bowls and add fruit and yogurt for breakfast.  FOR KIDS: Try acorn squash mashed with banana and honey on toast.

More recipes or tips being added under these tags:  Quick RecipesFrugal/SavingFood Budget – Household Tips – Thanks for stopping by! – Grandma Auburn, workin’ & whiskin’ in the kitchen 😉

Posted in Musing & Stories

Thrifty People, The Holiday Edition

This is just one of the recipes in my upcoming cookbook.
Cheesy! With a ‘kinda’ homemade crust. I experimented with sliced zucchini to make red & green Christmas colors.

Before the winter bills and holiday gatherings start sucking the life out of your wallet, here are 10 tips to plan ahead and save time and headaches in the months ahead… oh, and money for groceries! – part 1

  1. Start an ongoing holiday gift list NOW. Find out who’s selling what- near you.  Try OfferUp or LetGO apps (enter your location, etc.) Find A “Buy, Sell, Trade” Facebook group for your county. Look for items around your house to sell or donate.
  2.  Set a (bi)weekly spending limit and/or sales goal. {Recent scores: 2 non-stick muffin tins, and a Weeble Farm set from the 70’s was a road-side pick-up!}
  3. WATCH & WAIT- for gently used households goods at the local thrift stores.  They may have 1/2 Off Day, discounts in certain departments, or give an extra $5 during your birthday month. Spruce up the holiday table: Glass bakeware, gold-rimmed serving trays. and vintage stemware 😉
  4. One or more of these: search coupon codes or sale flyers. Use a grocery store app.  Compare prices to distance traveled and time spent.  {The goals include: Fewer stores, less trips. Less food waste. Less money spent on take-out. Save money while buying a ‘stash‘ of extra ingredients on sale}
  5. Start a ‘Master’ grocery list NOW for ingredients you use regularly (and holidays) that can be stored for 3-10 months in the pantry or freezer. THIS is the list to work from when comparing flyers, or coupons. It will help with meal ideas, too.
  6. Start small, just a few extra dollars or items. {These are examples of some staples to keep… based on sales (or Aldi and similar stores) in your area! – Week 1. buy an extra pack of chicken quarters. In 2 weeks, pick up a 2nd box of baking mix and crackers plus a few bags of frozen veggies. Week 3. Extra flat of canned goods: chicken & mushroom soups, a variety of beans, fruits, etc. Week 4 Dairy, eggs and bread.}
  7. Create more meals at home. Tomato pie (pictured above). Chicken and dumplings, beef stew. Baked cabbage or breakfast for dinner.  It’s your kitchen. Shoot for having something assembled and in the oven in 20 minutes.
  8. More meal-time oven baking... this winter it will help heat your house at the same time.
  9. Rearrange cupboards. The things you use most should be near and accessible. Purge cookware, plates, pans, etc. with scratches or chips. Countertop appliances and specialty gadgets need sorting. Leave an open shelf or pantry space to store the extra ‘stash’ food accumulated in #4.
  10. Repair or replace outdated, inefficient appliances. Some power companies will pay YOU, AND haul it away. [ours said $50 for an old fridge]

Plan and practice in a few areas. It doesn’t take long to find a kitchen rhythm that works for you.  —Grandma Auburn-–  Part 2 (re: appliances) Is Here: Winter Home maintenance tips;  add ‘life’ to your purchases  

Posted in Musing & Stories

Pouch Potatoes on the Grill – Outdoor Recipe

Outdoor charcoal grill or campfire: pre-fire instructions same as “Corn on the Grill: Here.

***Prep Time: 20 min  ***Cook Time 30-40 min (flip after 15-20 min)

4-5 medium russet potatoes, skin on – washed. Free of eyes.

1/2- 1 medium onion slivered.

1-2 cloves or tsp of garlic.

2 ice cubes or 2-3 Tbls water (or broth)

2 sheets of aluminum foil – roughly 3 ft long – On 1 long side and both short sides Make 3-4 inch wide folds over. Next fold and crease both corners – TADA! Here’s you POUCH! {or use dutch oven type cookware)

3 Tbls. Butter – Salt, pepper – Spices and optional MEAT (pre-cooked) preferred: Italian sausage or chicken, bite sized- BONUS TIP: Veggie pouch: these works great too: Zucchini, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Baby Carrots 1/2 cut – 3 Tbls Veggie Broth can replace the water/ice cubes  above.

***CUT, toss, sprinkle all ingredients – and remember to add: the butter PLUS broth or ice cubes

Fold and seal the pouch tightly!  Place on grate or near hot coals for 15-20 mins (When you here sizzling wait 5 min, then turn over gently using mits  for another 20 minutes. {{Feeding more than 6 people? Make a 2nd pouch. Gigantic pouches take forever to cook and tend to split at the seams}}

Thanks for Stopped by today! Be Safe and Happy this Independence Day! And from one scarred redhead to the rest of the world – Remember the sunblock ;-D – Grandma Auburn  – Please like and follow for more recipes and musings or find Kids’ summer tee shirts here.