I can't believe I've been missing for a week already! Time does fly, it seems, and no jet lag! A mulitude of Frugal Fridays have passed and the last of the grocery bags for Lent have gone to the local food pantry. My heart smiles, remembering..the new awareness, the decision, the action, the outcome...a more peaceful heart. As usual, Frugal Friday find me here...in the Valley. We have sunshine, but very chilly temperatures. Here's the view on Good Friday, April 10, 2009. The squarish vehicle is parked, but the black one is passing on the state highway that runs through the Valley, old Hwy 29. The snow is gone, but not forgotten. Spring has been known to surprise us, one more time *VBS*
For this Frugal Friday, I decided to share a bit of an old favorite book. I'm not sure if this one can still be found. Probably used and it would be worth your while to pick it up if you are one who wonders "how to do that". It was published in 1974 the first time. It's from Bantum Press, and my edition is from 1977. Almost anything you would want to do, for yourself, from delivering babies of all sorts to any kind of garden, home, schooling,recipe or old timey skill is covered in this book. It was considered the Homesteaders Bible back in my day...LOL. What I'm going to share today is about BUTTERMILK. A strange topic I know. But....what I didn't know was that you can keep your own buttermilk going at home, much as you would sour dough. Here's what Carla has to say about buttermilk. "Cultured buttermilk is skim milk that has been cultured with bacteria in much the same way yogurt is cultured. It is let stand for 12 to 14 hours after the culture has been introduced. Then it is stirred to break up the mass, that's why it doesn't have a yogurt like consistancy. Then to make it look churned, they take and spray butter fat into the buttermilk. The tiny flecks of butter make you a believer." "The butter fat added is about 1 - 2 %."
For homemade buttermilk, mix 1 quart of skim milk with 1/2 cup or so of commercial buttermilk in a GLASS container. You can keep the culture going until it gets contaminated. The same procedure works for yogurt, she says. Now it never occurred to me I could keep buttermilk going, but what the heck? A person wouldn't be out that much if it didn't work, and the idea of having it in the frig when needed is very tempting indeed.
My second frugal friday tidbit looks a bit strange, I know. Over the years, I've baked thousands of cookies, thousands and thousands. With 5 kids, a DH and my Dad living in the house, cookies went pretty fast *VBS* Sometime early in my baking years, the problem arose, what to put the cookies on when removing them from the hot pan. My Mom had us using wax paper, but of course, it had to be purchased, and sometimes left you wondering if it came off on the cookies. Paper towels stick to the cookies, and the wire racks that are good for muffins or bread, slice into the bottom of cookies. I hit upon the idea of using a brown paper grocery bag. Cut open along the sides and flattened out, it worked well, was cost effective, and easy to dispose of. But that was then, and this is now. Brown paper bags are much harder to come by. I use cloth bags for groceries rather than plastic, and the few plastic ones I get do double and triple duty. A few months back I was baking cooking for grandsons, who were arriving shortly. Nothing says "Grandma" like a nice warm chocolate chip cookie *VBS*. BUT....I had nothing to cool the cookies on...what to do, what to do? Then I spied my small stack of flattened cracker and cereal boxes by the bookcase. In an instant I thought, "why not?". I cut one open, spread it on the countertop, gray side up(advertising down) and in a flash it was holding those hot cookies! And it worked fine. There is no reason to think the inside of the cereal box would be unsanitary, so why not? The cardboard can still be recycled, a little grease can't be any worse than the ink printing on the front...right?
And last but not least, the progress on crocheted rug. The larger one is there for conparison. The new one grows steadily larger. It seems darker and somehow brighter than the previous one. Each one seems to be unique unto itself.
Ideas for next Christmas
3 hours ago