27 August 2008
24 August 2008
On this date in 1963, I have a sister! Hurray, it's a girl! In those days, you just didn't know what the gender of a child was going to be before it was born. I remember a "trick" I heard of as a child that would tell you what the sex was of an unborn child. The mom should be lying down. Someone else should hold a piece of thread with a needle attached to it over the mom's tummy. If the needle moves in a circular motion then a girl will be born. If the needle goes up and down or side to side then it will be a boy! Interesting but not too scientific. Has anyone tried this?
20 August 2008
19 August 2008
DID YOU KNOW?
- Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little 'stringy things' off of it. That's how the primates do it.
- Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
- Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil. It will stay fresh much longer and not mold!
- Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating. Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
- Add a teaspoon of water when frying ground beef. It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking. I've done this for years and it really works. I usually do it when I don't defrost the ground beef and I toss it in the skillet to brown.
- To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in and then beat them up.
- For a cool brownie treat, make brownies as directed. Melt Andes mints in double broiler and pour over warm brownies. Let set for a wonderful minty frosting.
- Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic. I have heard that this works the same for all spices.
- Leftover snickers bars from Halloween make a delicious dessert. Simply chop them up with the food chopper. Peel, core and slice a few apples. Place them in a baking dish and sprinkle the chopped candy bars over the apples. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes!!! Serve alone or with vanilla ice cream. Yummm! Let's be honest here, who has left over Snickers???
- Reheat Pizza Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm. This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. I saw this on the cooking channel and it really works.
- Easy Deviled Eggs Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag. Seal, mash till they are all broken up. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, keep mashing it up mixing thoroughly, cut the tip of the baggy, squeeze mixture into egg. Just throw bag away when done easy clean up.
- Expanding Frosting When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.
- Reheating refrigerated bread To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
- Newspaper weeds away Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and for- get about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.
- Broken Glass Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.
- No More Mosquitoes Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.
- Squirrel Away! To keep squirrels from eating your plants, sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.
- Flexible vacuum To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.
- Reducing Static Cling Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and .... ta da! ... static is gone. Fabric softener works good too. Another trick I've used is spraying a little hairspray on the offending garment and it works too.
- Measuring Cups Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.
- Foggy Windshield? Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car . When the windows fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth! I don't know about this one. Seems like it's just another item to cram into a too small glove box.
- Reopening envelope If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.
- Conditioner Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.
- Goodbye Fruit Flies To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2 with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever! Tried this without any luck. Left it out for a couple of days when I saw some fruit flies in the kitchen and this solution did not attract even 1 fruit fly.
- Get Rid of Ants Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it 'home,' can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!
18 August 2008
17 August 2008
On 17 August 1790:
The capital city of the U.S. moves to Philadelphia from New York City. So you always thought the capital of the United States has always been Washington, D.C.--nope, that's not true. Congress had met in numerous cities including New York, Philadelphia, Princeton, Baltimore, Annapolis, Trenton and York before settling in the newly formed Washington, D.C. You can read more about this at http://www.destination360.com/north-america/us/washington-dc/history.php . The picture is of the President's house in Philadelphia where George Washington lived.
Here's an update for you on my food preservation. For the first time, I was able to harvest peaches from our dwarf peach tree! I raced the squirrels for the fruit and I mostly won! I used splenda instead of sugar in the syrup for them. The "syrup" is rather thin and watery though. I was able to bag 4 quarts. I should be able to use the peaches and make a delicious peach cobbler. Warm peach cobbler with sugar-free ice cream on top--YUMMY!
15 August 2008
13 August 2008
12 August 2008
09 August 2008
Check out the picture I have posted here of a concept washing machine that may even clean itself every time you flush it. It is a washing machine-toilet that flushes with the washer water! Go here to this link to read a little bit about it http://www.envirogadget.com/recycling/combined-washing-machine-and-toilet/.
Pickles are all pickled! What a time-consuming job and recipe I used. I was getting really frustrated trying to use my big stockpot to sterile jars and do the hotbath of the canned pickles in. When I splashed myself twice with boiling water because I didn't have the whatchacallit to move the jars in and out of the boiling water with I stopped what I was doing and dashed over to the local discount store to buy a big canning pot with the basket in it and the canning tongs (I guess that's what they're called). I had about a 1/2 dozen tomatoes and a small bowl of cherry tomatoes that we weren't going to use before they went bad so I made tomato sauce and canned it. I only got 2 small jars but hey, at least it didn't get wasted.
07 August 2008
05 August 2008
I was honored to meet and correspond with some of the survivors from the USS Houston back in 2002. I wrote my college thesis on the heroes of this ship wreck. The ones I met were humble men and surprisingly did not hold a grudge against their captors. Back in 2002, the survivors received back pay from the advancements they were eligible for during their captivity. These pay raises were in WWII dollars without interest being paid. I have a cousin (once removed) and her half-brother was killed in the Battle of Makassar Strait the previous month. Anyway, before you watch this video, scan over to the music player and turn the music off so that you can hear this video without interference.
For more information
- visit the USS Houston Organization at http://www.usshouston.org/
- Or a blog http://usshouston.blogspot.com/
- University of Houston special collection http://info.lib.uh.edu/sca/digital/cruiser/cruiserh.htm
- Dive team http://www.usshoustondive.com/Dive%20Team.htm
03 August 2008
Hi, I thought that I would share with you today one of the things I'm doing to conserve on my food bill for this winter. We grew our first garden this year! It's pretty small because we didn't know if we had what it takes to maintain one. Next year it will be bigger! Anyway, we are up to our ears in cucumbers and I've been giving many of them away. My best crop is the green beans. Every Saturday for the past few weeks I go and harvest my little crop then I bring the beans in and process them for freezing. I was able to get one of those whatchacallit machines at Big Lots that vacuum packs food items. So, for the past several weekends I've been able to put 2-7 packs of beans in the freezer. It's just dh and me so that will go a long way. Anyway, I've been scouring the Internet looking for a basic tomato sauce recipe and I found on at a New Mexico State University web page http://cahe.nmsu.edu/pubs/_e/. I only have a few tomato plants because I don't care for tomatos but I do enjoy dishes that have tomato sauce in them. The recipe sounds like a lot of work but it's worth it when you look at how high food prices are now and financial experts predict even higher prices this winter. Here's a few more places to visit for tips on freezing and canning food
I have some onions coming in and I want to chop them up and dehydrate them to use in cooking. I would like to buy a couple bushels of corn to process and freeze but the going price at farmers' markets is $40 a bushel! Between the summer storms, higher transportation costs and the increased use of corn to make ethanol corn prices have soared! Anyway, if anyone has some more hints, recipes or comments please write me.
For more information, go to your favorite search engine and type in "preserving foods," "canning foods" or "freezing foods." Good luck and have fun!