Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dehydrated Corn

So, instead of doing freezer corn this time, I decided to try something a little different. I dehydrated it! I think it will be perfect to throw in soups or stews, but we probably won't reconstitute it and eat it just as a side dish.

First, I shucked it, of course. :) Then boiled it for three minutes.

And then I put it into a bowl of ice water.

Next, I cut it off the cob and spread it out on my dehydrating trays.

I filled my dehydrator last night and this morning the corn was all dried and looked great!

The last thing I did was put the corn in jars (it filled a 1/2 gallon jar and a pint jar) and vacuum sealed them! Ta da! I am so excited about this! I can open them up whenever I make soup or stew this winter and sprinkle some corn right into my pot and then vacuum seal the lid right back on! Nice!

Oh, the things that make me happy. . . :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Buttermilk Cornbread

So, I tried out a new cornbread recipe and LOVE it! Plus, I broke out the solar oven that I got for my anniversary/birthday/Christmas present last year (I was very unmotivated while pregnant). I love that, too! So, I put both together and this is what I got:

Buttermilk Cornbread
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs (or 2 T powdered eggs 1/4 c water)
1 cup buttermilk (I do my own with 1 T lemon juice to one cup milk)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup cornmeal (if you have a grinder--grind up yellow popcorn for the most delicious
1 cup flour
1/2 t salt
Melt butter. Stir in sugar. Add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture. Stir in cornmeal, flour, salt until well blended. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
I put my solar oven outside to preheat (it heats up to 300 degrees in 20 minutes and I've had mine get as hot as 375 so far)
Then I put it in and let it cook! It does take a little more time to cook, but not much.

I just took mine out when it looked done. It was delicious!!

Even two days later, it was still moist! Cornbread--moist? Yep!!

Homemade Laundry Soap

If you do not do this yet--then you must begin now!!! I have been making my own laundry soap for two or three years now (I can't remember) and I love it! It works great and it saves you TONS of money.

There are a bunch of recipes out there for laundry soap, you can try out different ones, if you like. Here is the one that I use and love:

1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap, grated

1/2 c Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not to be confused with Baking Soda!)

1/2 c 20 Mule Team Borax

I get all of my ingredients at WinCo. This probably costs around $7 for these three items, and just think of how many batches you can make out of each box! Fels Naptha runs about $1 and I use a 1/3 of the bar for each batch. I grate up the entire bar and then put it in three separate ziplock bags, so I don't have to grate it up each time I make some.

-First, in a large pot on the stove, heat up 6 cups of water and pour in your 1/3 bar of grated Fels Naptha soap. Stir until dissolved (just on medium heat. . . don't bring to a boil).

-Then add in the washing soda and borax and stir until dissolved.

-Add 4 more cups of water.

Now what you do next will depend on how you are going to store your soap. This recipe makes 2 gallons. I have one of the old Costco laundry soap containers that this fits perfectly into. But, if I didn't, this is what I would do:

-Put 1 gallon, plus 6 cups of cold water into a two gallon bucket, or container. (I put this right into my laundry soap container using a funnel)

-Pour your soap mixture from you pot into the bucket or container. (Again, I put it right into my container)

-Stir or shake until it is all mixed up. (At this point, if you are not using a laundry soap container, pour your mixture into whatever containers you will be using to dispense the soap. You can pour it into two different containers if you don't have one big enough).

-Let it sit for 24 hours before using it.

You must SHAKE the container before you use the soap EACH TIME. It gets really gloopy.

Use 1/2 cup per load.

The price to make a two gallon batch of soap is less than $1. I'd say that's a pretty big savings compared to the price you pay in the store!!