Saturday, January 31, 2015

Baked eggs for sandwiches or "mcmuffins"

preheat oven to 350F
grease the insides of muffin tin (i used butter)
crack egg and pour into muffin tin
(my muffin tin has large spaces, so I used 2 eggs per muffin space)
stir eggs with fork 'til slightly mixed
add in whatever you'd like
(i used grated cheese, chunky salsa, kosher salt, & ground colorful pepper)
bake for 10-15 minutes
(depending on hotness of your own oven & size of muffin tins)
until egg is cooked through - keep checking so's not to overcook.

place it between pieces of toast or english muffins or biscuits
(or just eat it on its own)
and take a big bite

Thursday, January 29, 2015

♥ L O V E ♥

When I was a teenager, I thought, dreamed and talked a lot about being in love.
And I disdained any topics so mundane as housework, household supplies, and so on.
My best friend and I even had this whole mock "housewives conversation" routine
about laundry detergent and dryer sheets, and did we ever find ourselves hilarious!

Now that I'm all grown up, I'm still really excited about falling in love.
And I have an announcement to make:

It's official!

I'm in love with making all my own cloths.
For doing housework.

Crocheted ones are the absolute best in the kitchen, for dishes and just everything.
I make a variation of these as Swiffer covers, too, and nothing works better on my tile floor.

This is exactly the kind of thing my best friend and I would make fun of people for saying.

But nevermind! 
Back to the cl♥th t♥lk!
I like these knitted ones even better for faces and bodies.

I ♥ them so much, and I have so much of this natural cotton yarn,
that i decided to start a bath mitt...

and a soap pocket.

Speaking of soap pockets, wise frugal people have long recommended gathering up 
all your little leftover pieces of soap and tying them up in the mesh bags
that fruit and onions come in. Finally I got it together and made one, 
and I'm here to report that it's now my favorite thing for scrubbing my feet. 
I used to keep a separate bar of soap just for feet, and a foot brush, and a foot pumice stone, 
but now i'm getting rid of all of that stuff. 
This makes sure no little soap bits go to waste, 
and it hangs nicely on the little shower peg to dry.
I'm sure when my teenager sees all these things, she rolls her eyes.

But I hope she finds this laptop sleeve I made her a lot less uncool.

It should help that she picked out the lining fabric from her own stash. 
I've yet to line it and add a zipper (hopefully today).

My big goal in wanting to use up every scrap of leftover yarn was so that 
I could focus on (the apparently mythological) "one project at a time"
 -- I guess as part of my overall quest for peace and simplicity. 
But like all fairy tales, it just doesn't seem to be coming true.
Too many projects on the go again!
Not that I'm really complaining. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

picture this

Today I cleaned out the fridge, and in my craze to use up every scrap and waste nothing, 
I made or am in the process of making: apple muffins, buttermilk biscuits, 
"saltine" crackers from scratch, yellow pea and brown rice soup, 
hard baked eggs put into a jar of left-over pickle and beet juices (to pickle them),
and I juiced the remaining lemons and half a grapefruit. 
But I couldn't take photos of any of these somewhat picturesque activities, 
because "someone"* forgot to recharge the camera batteries. 
So instead, here is a picture of uncooked steel-cut oats 
in a very vintage Tupperware measuring cup, 
which I took a while back and liked, but didn't know what to do with.

*("Someone" here is actually "no one at all," as the children themselves are apparently 
incapable of answering any question beginning with "Who...?" 
in the affirmative, unless it's along the lines of 
"Who wants ice cream?" or "Who wants to be a millionaire?" )

It also snowed most beautifully yesterday and now the sun is shining all over 
the wonderful bright white blanketing the world, and the sky is a deep eternal blue, 
and we'll soon bundle ourselves up in hats and mittens and go tromp around in in it, 
and darn I wish I could get pictures...
but instead, here's a picture of my girl wearing a hat 
that might make a lot of people look like some kind of troll or bad wolf, 
but ends up not capable of making her look bad.
(Unfair, I say.)

Now my arm and shoulder have not only healed up totally, 
but (maybe I'm just imagining this) they seem better than ever!
So I've also been knitting and crocheting up a medium-sized storm.
But of course, I can't show you pictures of any of it 
until "someone" makes sure to charge the camera batteries.
So instead, in the meantime, I must ask you to 
please feast your eyes with me on this glorious
doily-storm of a dress by the amazing VMSomⒶ KOPPA,

Thursday, January 22, 2015

reducing & refusing paper waste

One of the hardest things for me to do in my quest for zero waste
will probably be kicking the paper towel habit.
I use way too many of them for cleaning and drying washed hands.
Since I realized this, I decided to make absorbent hand towels
just for drying clean hands in the kitchen. 

I make lots of crocheted cotton dishcloths, but these I knitted in garter stitch. 
They came out surprisingly thick, heavy, and inviting.
Fortunately I was given a large amount of cotton yarn as a Christmas gift,
so I made two. They fit just right side-by-side on the handle of the oven.

My handmade towels are special and not to be confused 
with any of the other dishtowels,
which always get used for so many things
and sometimes end up too yucky for wiping hands on.
These vintage dishtowels were supposed to be special once, too...
in fact, I'd hoped to use them to make tote bags and/or aprons,
but I waited too long,  monkeys got ahold of them, and now they're stained,
so they'll probably remain dishtowels.

Meanwhile I'm off to make more cloths of various kinds 
to arm myself in the fight against using wasteful paper.

But first, just take a look at how this green onion has 
magically regrown itself in just ten days!
This just might put a wee chink in my "black thumb" armor!
It's so pretty and tender, it would almost seem a shame to eat it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Do ~ Undo ~ Redo

Post Number One on this here blog was about how I was going to use up 
every yarn scrap in my possession, and I did it, 
all except for the rippled afghan that was slated to be finished 
by the time my daughter went off to college far off in the future  TODAY (!) (?) (!) 
That's right, she up and went off to college a year and a half early.
Here she is, waiting for the bus to take her to her first day of college. 

Therefore, I really cannot be expected to do the impossible, 
such as adjust to this way-too-soon development 
or deliver the goods on that afghan, right this minute. 

For another thing, there hasn't been enough yarn on hand with which to finish it. 
But wouldn't you know it, my coupon-happy sister kindly gave me
 an enormous amount of black yarn last weekend, 
and in popped the idea to undo and redo the afghan 
in a pattern that would make the most of the black yarn, 
while offering some hope of having enough to make it blanket sized.

So I began to unravel it. But my daughter stopped me, 
saying she LOOOVED that afghan SOOO much. 
Also, she wasn't too crazy about the new plan:
But I do like it and am going to finish it. 

Which leaves me with the need for more yarn to finish the first ripple-ghan, 
as well as a whole new batch of scraps to use up.

Has my blog come full circle?
And will this circle ever come to an end?

Faced with such unanswerable questions 
and another batch of scraps galore, 
I did what any crazed sensible person would do:

Whipped up a pair of scrappy mary jane slippers, 
so I can walk forward into this new frontier 
with one foot in childhood and the other in little old ladyhood. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

troubles melt like lemon drops

Many mornings a glass or two of fresh-squeezed lemon water gets poured down ye' ol' gullet.
and then I'm not sure what to do with the lemon rinds.
Yesterday was a heavy cooking day, so since I was tethered to  in the kitchen anyway,
I decided to try my hand at something I've always wanted to do,
all the while taking another small step toward waste-free-ness:

Make candied lemon peels.

*p.s. those onions are going to magically regrow themselves.

Surprisingly, it wasn't difficult at all, 
& they taste like something way better than I could ever actually make.
Like something you'd get at a lovely English shoppe full of chutneys and curds and suchlike.
Since I knew next to nothing about candying lemon peels, 
I simply used the first recipe google was kind enough to put at the top of their list.

On trapped-in-kitchen cooking days I take stock of what's what, 
and yesterday I found some carrots threatening to grow old and die in my fridge,
so in my waste-not zeal, I shredded them up for a nice loaf of carrot cake.
And then it occurred to my faulty noggin, 
just as I was wondering what to do with all those luscious candied lemon peels, 
that at that precise moment 
a combo potential extraordinaire was brewing, if ever there was one:
Fanny Farmer Rabbit's Carrot Cake, minus nuts and raisins, plus candied lemon peel.
I'd love to share some with you all, but the rascally rabbits ate it ALL.
*green onion regrowing success so far -- shoots a'shooting, 3 days in! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

moving toward zero waste

This year I'm moving toward (if not all the way to) Zero Waste.
It will mean making even more things from scratch than I usually do,
such as this natural chocolate syrup.
As the label says, it *has* to be used by February 2nd, so I got started immediately.

Zero (or close to it) waste requires putting bottles and jars, instead of packages, to use.
This very old set I once picked up for the correct price (zero) has been waiting around 
for a job to do for so long that I almost said "so long" to them.

But wait! Scraps, meet job-seeking jar.

Composting, growing, and re-growing: All very zero waste.

Pickle, peanut butter, & sauce jars, and wine jug at their first day on their new jobs.

(The ones with red caps are waiting to be made into custom close-able drink containers
for company that will be coming our way soon.)

Since I finally found a place to put my chestnuts 
(not that I was really looking,
and not that I've ever had homeless chestnuts, 
or chestnuts of any particular living situation, 
before finding these in the Christmas clearance bin for 75% off )
I thought I'd take the opportunity to roast some, not on an open fire, 
but in the oven, as the directions on the tag said to.

And they were delicious! 
I don't understand why the regular chestnut eaters of the world weren't snapping them right up?
 Maybe they're so good that everyone else has long since had their fill.
I don't know how else to explain it.

Nor perhaps how to explain that I am now a big chestnut fan, 
so I hope it never becomes necessary.
Meanwhile, I must keep working very hard to make sure
 all the chocolate sauce gets used up before it's too late!