Do you like the taste of chocolate and peppermint together? Then you should enjoy this easy chocolate mint extract recipe. It's made in a similar manner to the vanilla, almond and lemon extracts. (Check out the other homemade extract recipes here.) I use the chocolate mint plant as the basis for my extract, but peppermint will also work in combination with cacao nibs. Homemade extracts are great for holiday gift giving. The flavor gets stronger the longer you allow the extract to steep, so make sure to plan for at least 6 weeks of infusion. I haven't purchased commercial mint extract in years. [Read more…]
Looking for creative, easy ways to use homegrown herbs, or maybe you've tried some herb flavored oils or herbal vinegars and wondered about making your own? In this post we'll cover how to infuse herbs in oils, vinegars, alcohols and honey. With just a few simple steps, you can make your own delicious flavored cooking oils, such as garlic olive oil, quickly and inexpensively. [Read more…]
Several many years ago I was blessed with plantar warts on the heel and toe of my right foot. They were fairly large and uncomfortable (heel about the size of a pencil eraser, toe about half that). This was the B.C. (Before Crunchy) time in my life, so I scheduled a doctor's appointment to have them lasered out. GAH! Never again! The smell of charred flesh was foul, as was the crater in the bottom of my foot, but the worst part was that the darn things came right back! I ended up treating with over the counter wart removers, pecking and poking until the darn things finally disappeared. [Read more…]
Welcome to the Weekly Weeder series. Today's featured weed is chicory, Chicorium intybus. Chicory is also known as Blue Sailor, Ragged Sailor, Coffeeweed, Cornflower, Succory, Wild Succory, Garden Endive, Wild Chicory, Common Chicory and Blue Dandelion. Another European import, it's believed to have originated in Eurasia. It's prized for its long taproot, which is roasted and used as a coffee substitute or coffee additive. [Read more…]
In “The Natural Canning Resource Book: A guide to home canning with locally-grown, sustainably-produced and fair trade goods“, Lisa Rayner answered nearly every canning question I've had since I started canning. Such as: [Read more…]
Low Sugar Peach Jam Recipes With a Twist
Each year we buy a couple of cases of peaches from the local Knight's of Columbus fundraiser. Some are eaten fresh, but quite a few are preserved for later. These low sugar peach jam recipes are an annual tradition. We make up at least one batch of each peach jam – usually two. Peach jam is also a great way to use up peaches that are too soft and ripe to be canned on their own.
Summertime may bring many wonderful things but the extreme heat is not one of them. For many using air conditioning is not affordable nor available. Here are some tips for keeping your house cool in the summer heat, with or without AC. We use these techniques in steamy South Carolina to reduce our air conditioning bill.
These easy to use home remedies for sunburn will help bring relief from sunburn pain and speed healing from your face to your toes. Remember, sunburns are burns – so always be gentle to sunburned skin. If blisters appear, keep them clean and watch for any signs of infection. (See note at bottom of post for when to see a doctor for sunburn.) Most of the time home sunburn treatment will take care of your symptoms, but be careful out there. [Read more…]
The Prairie Pin Pouch is a modern rendition of a classic clothespin bag. I found these handmade laundry helpers in a somewhat unusual fashion. Some friends were visiting from out of town one afternoon when the phone rang. On the line was Julie Pruett, creator of the Prairie Pin Pouch.
As it turns out, Julie read a review I wrote several years ago on Amazon.com about a clothespin bag that didn't stand up well to our high winds. The flimsy thing kept blowing off the clothesline, which dumped my pins 12 feet below. (Our clothesline is on our raised deck.) It was very frustrating.
Julie saved that review, contacted me about her handmade clothespin bags, and sent me a sample. [Read more…]