Easy Bulletin Board

30 09 2012

School started again for Prince D.  This is a very exciting thing for me.  I love all three of my boys but when all three are home I’m ready to be locked in a padded room.

The thing I don’t like about school starting is the exuberant amounts of paperwork coming in.  Its not too bad right now, but its only been two weeks now.  I’ve already had to come up with something to tack all of the school papers I need to keep on so I made a bulletin board in 5 minutes.

Its not the pretties of fellows, but for $0 and 5 minutes of my time, it certainly suits my budget and needs!

You will need:
2 pieces of cardboard, or a large on folded in half
a stapler
an old pillow case

Step 1.
Cut the cardboard down to fit into the pillow case and have straight edges.

Step 2.
Put the cardboard inside the pillow cases. Fold the loose edges over the the pillow case is snug on the cardboard, and staple the loose edges on the backside.

Step 4.
Hang the bulletin board on your wall. You can do this in much lovlier ways, but this is good for us for now.





Plum Perserves

23 09 2012

First of all, please excuse any typos or formatting difference. Our good friend returned home from Afghanistan recently and has taken over my work room. I’m happy to help a friend but not to lose my space. Anyways, because of the lack of privacy I have taken to using my iPad for Internet related work.

I’m kicking myself right now because dad and I made plum preserves from our harvest and I didn’t photograph the process to share! I did grab a few photos of the finished product so I hope that’s good enough…..

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Isn’t that a lovely picture? I am aware that it resembles jars of hearts. My favorite part of this process was actually the cooking, which filled my house with the smell of candied fruit. It’s smells like that which make me wish for the ability to upload smells to my blog.

Last year we jarred tomatoes, so I had some jars leftt over. The plums were gathered from our garden, and we never have a shortage of sugar around here so this project was completely free to me. However, the jars can cost $15-30, plums prices vary by season, and sugar is relatively cheap.

So here’s what you will need:
2.5 lbs plums, small purple ones are best
4 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 large pots, one must be large enough to completely submerge jar under water
1 skillet

How to make plum preserves:
First, fill the skillet and one large pot with water. Submerge the jars in the large pot, and the lids and seals in the skillet. When the water reaches a full boil set a timer for 15 minutes. Remove everything from the water and set aside. Turn the water off.

Next you need to place the plums, sugar, and water inside the second large pot. Slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring continuously to prevent scorching. After the mixture reaches a full boil, continue cooking and stirring until it begins to thicken; about 15 minutes. Remove the pot from heat and ladle mixture into jars leaving 1/4 headspace at the top. Wipe down tops of jars to encourage a proper seal.

Finally, place the lids and seals onto the jars and tighten. Add the jars back to the water and turn the heat to high. Bring the plum mixture to a full boil and let cook for another 15 minutes. Remove the jars from water and allow them to fully cool.

While they are cooling you should hear a popping noise. This is the lids fully sealing. Check the jars and check to see I’d the center of the lid has been “sucked” down into the jar. If any of them haven’t, place into the fridge and use immediately.





My Kitchen… It’s Awful!

16 09 2012

THIS is my embarrassment of a kitchen. Yes, I know. I know. Not only is it just ugly, something I can’t do much about, but it’s also disorganized and inefficient! How uncharacteristic of me!!

Okay, okay. All sarcasm aside, my kitchen really is a thorn in my side. I dread showing it to people because of how it looks, and I just don’t really cook in it because of its inefficiency. Believe it or not, I actually prefer the small workspace. Everything is just closer this way, but without master organization its awful.

I’ve just shared the room I’m most ashamed of. I guess this is my motivation to get started organizing this sucker. Stay tuned!

What room in your home are you embarrassed to share?

Do you have any suggestions for my kitchen?





Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

9 09 2012

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup unsalted butter
    1 cup  peanut butter
    1 cup white sugar
    1 cup packed brown sugar
    2 eggs
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    jelly for topping.
     
    Directions:
    Cream together butter, peanut butter, white sugar, and brown sugar.
    Beat in the eggs.
    Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
    Mix powder into the egg mixture.
    Refrigerate for 45 minutes.
    Roll 1” balls and place onto a baking sheet. 
    Flatten with a fork in a criss cross pattern.
    Bake in 375* for 7 minutes. 
    Put dots of jelly into the center of each cookie.  Try to flatten it a little bit.
    Bake again for 5-8 minutes, until cookies are done.
    THe jelly should be soft enough to spread a little better, so do that.
    Refrigerate for another 10-20 minutes to harden the jelly!
     
    Enjoy!
     
    *I used this recipe for the cookie portion.




Composting

1 09 2012

Hello there! We are starting a new project in the House of DLC.

Composting!

We love gardening a lot. It’s always nice to enjoy the fruits of our labor, but lets face it, our harvest isn’t exactly bountiful. I wouldn’t say it’s too bad considering we are beginners, but it definitely isn’t producing enough to jar and freeze enough to last through out our entirely too long and drabby winter. Which is our main goal. Self sufficiency.

We decided to compost as an alternative to pumping our gardens full of poisonous fertilizers.  They didn’t seem to help much anyway.

As with all new projects that have a bit of science to them I started out with research. I was amazed at how particular composting is. My belief was that you just throw all table scraps into a pile outside, keep it moist, and watch it rot away into “dirt-y goodness”.

WRONG!!

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