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A dissatisfied customer

You might already know that I cloth diaper my babies. When it comes time to potty train, I stick with cloth as well and don't use Pull-ups or the other disposable pull-ons. For night-time, though, sometimes they are necessary. I have two kinds of kids--the kind that wets at night and the kind that doesn't. Children numbers 1 and 3 are the night-wetting type and children number 2 and 4 have stayed dry at night even when they weren't even toilet-trained yet. The oldest outgrew the night-wetting shortly after he turned 5 but I am still waiting for Frugalgirl2 to outgrow it at 5 1/2.  read more »

How to make your own yogurt

This tutorial was originally published on my old blog but I thought I'd move it over.

While I still buy those outrageously expensive individual cups of yogurt on occasion, I almost always have a quart or two of homemade yogurt in the fridge. I use it mostly in fruit smoothies. Some frozen fruit and some yogurt, blended up, makes a delicious and nutritious breakfast drink. It is super easy to make your own yogurt, for a fraction of the cost of store-bought.

Things you will need:
2 tbsp plain yogurt (with active cultures) per quart of milk
candy or instant-read thermometer
quart jars and lids
small cooler
dish towels  read more »

Still waiting....

I am still pregnant and while I wait for this baby to come I am trying to finish up this year's canning. As I stirred the plum jam this morning I was a little bit glad that the apple trees aren't really mature enough to have born any fruit this year, and that we only got a couple gallons of pears, because between the peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, berries, crabapples, squash, cucumbers, and corn, I had my hands full. It feels good to have almost all of my jars full of food. There are still lots of blackberries and some apricot puree in the freezer that need to be made into jam, but right now the freezer is so jam-packed (not with jam!) with sale-purchased meat that I don't have space for jam.  read more »

Locks of Love

The two older girls recently donated their hair to Locks of Love. I was getting really tired of brushing waist-length hair on the 5 year-old every morning before school, but it had to be her idea for it to be cut. Look how cute they turned out!  read more »

Are you ready?

My parents live in the greater Houston area and were hit by Hurricane Ike almost 2 weeks ago. They didn't need to evacuate and had plenty of supplies and food to get them by. They froze extra water jugs to help keep their freezer cold until the power came back on. A great idea, as long as your power comes back on. They've now been without power for 13 days and are hopeful that it will be on soon. They invited friends and neighbors over and barbecued the rest of the meat in their freezer before it could go bad.  read more »

Would you like a cavity with that?

One of my favorite ways to make rice krispy treats is to use Cocoa Pebbles cereal instead. The other day after making some, Frugaldad suggested "Fruity Pebbles with some of those colored marshmallows mixed in right at the end so they don't melt." I happened to be going to the store the next day and Fruity Pebbles were on sale so a few nights later (when the cocoa version was gone) I made up a batch of what have been affectionately dubbed "Atomic Sugar Bombs."

atomic sugar bomb  read more »

Big Friendly Giants

giant blackberries

This year has been a banner year in the blackberry patch. The picking is pretty easy since the canes are thornless and mostly upright, as well. We regularly get giant berries like these. I put four in the picture just to prove that it's not just one mutant berry, and the quarter is in there for scale.

The taste of a perfectly ripe blackberry just off the vine is nothing you'll ever experience unless your fingers are stained purple, or unless you have someone who loves you enough to pick them for you.

Renovation update

Lest we all forget, we spend our nights and weekends around here building an addition onto the back of our house. Since I got pregnant and broke my ankle, I have been very remiss at updating the renovation blog. Until this morning.

I don't have a good picture of the ceiling all finished so you'll have to take my word for it. Frugaldad started walls after he finished the ceiling. The end is in sight. Just don't ask us when the end will be. There will be no committal to dates around here.

Relish the thought

Relish the thought

Who would have thought that just a few cucumber plants would yield enough for 7 quarts of pickles, 17 half-pints of dill relish, and an upcoming batch of sweet relish? As weary as I am of taking care of the harvest, it makes me just a tiny, tiny bit sad that the vines are starting to wither and turn brown. Fall will be here before we know it!

abundantly blessed

laid to rest

We've been abundantly blessed. On Monday we picked nearly 4 bushel of peaches off our 2 peach trees. That translated to 35 quart jars and 27 quart freezer bags, plus as many as we can eat. Last night we picked a half-bushel of crabapples for jelly and left some for the birds. I also picked another another half-gallon of blackberries and more than a half-gallon of green beans to add to the 1 1/2 gallons in the fridge waiting to be canned. We've eaten corn from the garden, I made pickles this morning and have enough cukes to still make relish (and probably more pickles), and the squash plants are still producing, too. The tomatoes will be ripe before I'm ready as well, I'm sure.  read more »