So many types of produce come in mesh bags – from onion sets to citrus fruits. I hate to just throw them out, and I can only reuse so many for storage, so I decided to upcycle some of the produce bags into easy, no sew kitchen scrubbies. If you have more than you can use yourself, they also make a nice addition to a natural cleaning gift basket. I found that four mesh bags from oranges made a firm scrubbie that fits well in my hand. [Read more…]
Whole grains are affordable, last longer in storage and can provide excellent flavor and quality. That said, you can't use these grains to their full potential without a home grain mill. Manual flour mills tend to be less expensive than their powered cousins, but still get the job done. For light amounts of grain grinding or an off grid situation, a manual grinder is a solid choice.
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.
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…]
Good watermelon or bad watermelon? Growing conditions and storage make a huge difference in watermelon flavor and texture, but these tips will help you choose the best available watermelon. Some of these tips are for when to pick a watermelon from the vine, others apply to both vine watermelons and those at the grocery store or farmers market.
Ripe watermelons are a little trickier than muskmelons. Muskmelons slip right off the vine (i.e. come loose on their own) when ripe. Watermelons don't fall off the vine when ripe. Uncut watermelons are also less fragrant than muskmelons, because they don't have that open end where the vine was formerly attached. You will never find me sniffing watermelons in the grocery store, but you may find me sniffing cantaloupes. (I do my own stunts. 😉 ) [Read more…]