Preparing for Cold and Flu Season – Step #1- Probiotics

Preparing for cold and flu season with probiotics. Learn about a study that showed probiotic consumption lead to fewer fevers, coughs and runny noses.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms similar to the “friendly” bacteria found naturally in the body’s digestive system. Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) of Maryland states that we each house two to five pounds (1.0 to 2.26 kilograms) of live bacteria inside our bodies.

How do probiotics work?

Antibiotics work by killing bacteria, both friendly and unfriendly.  Probiotics add good bacteria to your body.  Adding more good bacteria can crowd out the bad bacteria, at at the very least make it more difficult for them to thrive. [Read more...]

How to Make Elderberry Syrups and Jellies

How to Make Elderberry Syrups and Jellies with Fresh or Dried Elderberries
My friend, Tami, saw my comment on the Common Sense Homesteading Facebook page about wanting to experiment with elderberries, and embraced the challenge with gusto.  She and her family went picking, and came home with the entire car trunk filled with elderberries.  Bless her heart, I didn’t have time to help her process them the next day, so she stuck them in the freezer overnight and tackled them herself.  In this post we’ll share how to process fresh elderberries, plus how to make elderberry syrup and elderberry jelly with those fresh elderberries, and an easy recipe for a small batch of immune boosting elderberry syrup with dried elderberries. [Read more...]

Thieves Vinegar – Immune Booster & Germ Killer

Thieves Vinegar - Herbal remedy historically used to fight the Plague, these recipes use antiviral and antibacterial herbs to boost immunity and fight germs

Thieves Vinegar, Four Thieves Vinegar, Vinegar of the Four Thieves or Forthave’s Vinegar

No matter what you call it, thieves vinegar has a long history of use.  From Scientific American’s 1910 reference to  “medicated vinegar was invented by four thieves of Marseilles who successfully employed it as a prophylactic during a visitation of pestilence” to current references recommending it as an insect repellant and a popular essential oil company creating a product line based off of the blend, antimicrobial herbs have a well earned reputation for their usefulness. [Read more...]

Kevin’s Quality Clothespins -The Best Clothespins You’ve Ever Used

Kevin's Quality Clothespins - Made in America - The Best Clothespins You've Ever Used - Handcrafted from solid maple, these heirloom quality clothespins are super strong and built to last.

I love the smell of laundry fresh off the line – but I don’t love having cheap, flimsy clothespins launch themselves off the line in pieces or finding heavy, wet items dropped on the ground below the line. Since our laundry line is on our elevated deck, when laundry drops, it really drops, falling over ten feet down. I was hanging clothes recently and thinking, “It sure would be nice if someone started making heavy duty clothespins again.”

Ask and ye shall receive, because the next time I checked my inbox, there was a message from Hilary of Kevin’s Quality Clothespins, letting me know about their heavy duty, American made clothespins.  I received a sample set of 10 for review, and will be giving away two more sets to lucky readers. [Read more...]

Old Fashioned Chocolate Pudding Recipe

Old Fashioned Cooked Chocolate Pudding Recipe - like momma used to make, for pudding that tastes the way pudding is supposed to taste.

When I was a little girl, it was a special treat when mom took the time to make cooked chocolate pudding from scratch.  It was so much yummier than the instant boxed pudding.  I loved it straight out of the pan (someone had to make sure it was clean, right?) or chilled with the “skin” set up on top.  (The skin was my favorite part.)

We had some extra milk on hand this week, so I went digging for a chocolate pudding recipe that reminded me of the one mom used to make.  The recipe below is adapted from the Chocolate Yummy recipe in “Favorite Recipes of America:  Desserts“, published in 1968, which was one of my mom’s favorite cookbooks.  A little less sugar, a little more vanilla, and a different thickener, and we have a gluten free dessert that my youngest said he “could eat at least ten times in a row”. [Read more...]