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Since being laid off from my work, I have been thinking a lot about ways to spend as little as possible.

One thing I've decided to do is to reduce our grocery purchases by buying ingredients rather than prepared foods.

My goal is to reduce the cost and number of food items that we buy without sacrificing the variety of foods that we eat. I've decided that the way to do this is to buy ingredients rather than meals.

The same set of basic ingredients can be made into many different things that would normally be purchased separately, take up more space, and would probably not be as good as home-made.

For example, I buy milk anyway, so I have started to make my own yogurt.

Then I strain the yogurt to make tzatziki sauce and a sort of cream cheese substitute. I save the whey to use along with the water from cooking home-grown potatoes to make bread.

Then spread the strained yogurt sweetened with some home-made jam on the bread!

Fine Art!

Jan. 16th, 2012 08:55 am
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I'm starting to sell some print on demand photographs through Fine Art America, thanks to some advice from a friend. Here is the link to my profile there:


I take a lot of photos will fit into this category.
calm water photos

And no, my blog is not going to be all self-promotion!
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There isn't really enough time before Christmas, but I think I'll give it a try! I combed the web and my cookbook collection, and this is what I've come up with. It's a hybrid of many but based mostly on allrecipes.com/recipe/christmas-fruitcake-2/detail.aspx

Combine and allow to blend for 24 hours:
1/2 cup chopped, dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped, dried mango
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup mixed peel
1/2 cup chopped, dried sultana raisins

(Total: 3 and 1/2 cups of fruit)
1 cup dark rum

Next morning:

Butter two 9 by 3 round pans (or equivalent) and line with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Cream together:
1 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar

Beat in:
4 eggs.

Whisk together:
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice

Stir together:
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses (or honey)
1/4 cup milk

Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture in three additions, alternating with liquid ingredients.

Stir in prepared fruit and rum along with:
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans, or almonds)

Scrape batter into prepared pans.

Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of rum.

Storing instructions, from the link above:

"Cut out one piece parchment paper and one piece cheesecloth, each large enough to wrap around the cake. Moisten cheesecloth with 1 tablespoon rum. Arrange cheesecloth on top of parchment paper, and unmold cake onto it. Sprinkle top and sides of cake with remaining rum. Wrap the cheesecloth closely to the surface of the cake, then wrap with paper. Place in an airtight tin, and age for at least 10 weeks. If
storing longer, douse with additional rum for every 10 weeks of storage."

Since I don't have time to mellow it for ten weeks, I think I'll poke the cake with a skewer after taking it out of the pans, and pour some rum into the holes,

Any experienced bakers with any warnings, or sage advice?

teresafloyd: (Default)
You can learn a lot about someone by the music they listen to. Hit shuffle on your iPod or mp3 player and write down the first 20 songs. No cheating or skipping songs that are shameful. That is the fun!

Halford III: Winter Songs - O Holy Night
Van Halen - Jamie's Cryin'
Slippery When Wet - You Give Love a Bad Name
20 Greatest Christmas Songs - Joy to the World
Revelations, Disc 1 - What it Takes to Win
In the Christmas Mood - Yuletide Medley
Take the Lead Soundtrack - Feel It
Realize - One Step Beyond
Shakin' Like a Human Being - City Girl
Reload - The Unforgiven II

A Christmas Together - Christmas is Coming
Yeah! - Four Letter Word
Vault: Def Leppard's Greatest Hits - Two Steps Behind
Halford III: Winter Songs - What Child is This?
Ozzy Osbourne: Randy Rhodes Tribute - Suicide Solution
Nine Inch Nails - Down In It
Take The Lead Soundtrack - These Days
In the Christmas Mood - Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
Very Best of Cat Stevens - Another Saturday Night
The 20 Greatest Christmas Songs - Zions' Daughter
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I take it all back!

Glenn is allowed to survive. I don't remember where he's been the last few eps, but he's got a chance to be smart enough to make it.
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An article about gaslighting. Mom was a champion (Thanks to Czarina). http://www.polyamorousmisanthrope.com/2011/11/02/on-gasslighting/
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Parking this link here as I learn a bit about current DSLRs. My nearly antique now Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F717 5 MP is dying. The battery doesn't hold a charge as it used to, and the flash seems to have stopped working entirely - possibly fixable, but it's THAT old.

This looks like it may be of interest: http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos7d/
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Elf's analysis of what is wrong:

I don't really need to add anything to this - just want to spread the link a little.
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Via Andrew Ducker. I'll just park this here to peruse more thoroughly when I have more time:

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We put our satellite reception ‘on vacation’ at the beginning of the summer, in an effort to pay down our car loan more quickly. In December, we have to turn it on again to receive a basic package for one month - something about avoiding cancellation fees or some other crap.

I knew that I would feel a loss for some dramas, and suspected that we would miss news. Turns out that I may not have been as addicted as I thought I was.

In December we will evaluate whether we need broadcast TV or not. It may not be coming back.

There have been a few drama series that I may have missed and may end up buying on DVD; but really it doesn’t seem like much of a loss. This way I get to get a sense from others of how much I will enjoy them before I make any major commitment.

I have had a gut feeling that the important stuff is happening online and reported immediately through social media. I have always had a distrust of mainstream news coverage. The documentary, "Orwell rolls in his grave," now nearly a dozen years old, helps to solidify that feeling for me:

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0410407/

Watch: http://freedocumentaries.org/int.php?filmID=87

Warning: Michael Moore content. He serves a purpose, but he’s not perfect.
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Lentils – Hot and Cold

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Sort, rinse and drain:

1 cup dry red lentils
Add to boiling water, reduce heat and simmer until tender. Old lentils take longer, so check them.

While the lentils cook, get out a large bowl for salad, and a medium bowl of any sort for a hot dish. Clean and chop:

1 large onion - divide equally between bowls.
1 large green pepper – divide equally between bowls.
1 large red pepper – divide equally between bowls.
3 or so stalks of celery, including tops – Put a little in the bowl for salad, and most in the other bowl.

Garlic, at least 4 or 5 peeled and chopped cloves – Most goes in the bowl for hot things, the rest in a salad dressing mixing thing.

Take out a bowl or shaker for salad dressing. Put the garlic into it, and then add:

Vinegar (red wine, white wine, plain – lemon juice would work)
Olive oil
Shake or whisk together very well.

By now, the lentils are likely cooked.

Drain most of the hot water off and fill the pot back up with cold water.

Roughly measure out about two cups of cooked lentils and add to the salad vegetables, then pour the dressing over.

Taste and adjust seasonings then put that mixture in the fridge for a later meal or lunch.


Now put your favourite large frying pan or wide saucepan on the stove with some olive oil.

When it’s hot, put in the rest of the chopped veggies. Allow them to sauté briefly while you drain the rest of the lentils. Add the lentils and then throw in a large can of peeled and chopped tomatoes.


Let that mixture simmer away while you wash up the mess you’ve made. Okay, maybe that’s more of a good idea than what I did which was write this out and eat a bowl of lentils with tomatoes.


teresafloyd: (Default)
Re: http://flemco.dreamwidth.org/3950489.html

We already have the land.

We will inherit 5 acres (that we can occupy whenever we want), and will have access to a second parcel of 5 acres of riverfront farm. The second five acres contains a veritable compound of structures where my in-laws live every summer. They currently own the whole ten acres and produce enough produce to feed two households for most of the winter, and still lease out six acres to a local commercial farmer for hay. We use a part of the land for preparing and seasoning our firewood which we currently buy as tree-length logs. Father-in-law is also talking about chickens, a pig, and goats.

The lot faces south by southwest and slopes down to the river. It already contains three good wells and two septic systems. It has an apple orchard, raspberry canes, wild strawberries, cherries, and wild blueberries.

Over time I hope to buy some of the mature forest nearby and on the other side of the river for woodlot. It's seriously PRIME salmon and trout fishing with forests loaded with deer, moose, bear, partridge, rabbits, etc.

Our house will be three bedrooms with one and a half or two baths. The master bedroom will be on the upper, main floor (as I have mobility issues). Most of our in-door time will be spent in a great-room with a large kitchen at one end, an entertainment area on the other, and a wood stove in between.

Of course there will be covered verandahs on at least three sides of the house. Some areas will be screened too, because the mosquitoes and black flies over there are vicious.

The lower level with be a walk-out basement with two cold rooms nestled against the north wall, and another larger space for workshop and tool and firewood storage. One cold room for canned and bottled goods, and the other for long-term storage of vegetables. There will also be a large freezer. This level will probably also have a space to hang out in hot weather.

Outside the lower door there will be a sort of working patio, sheltered by a balcony above - a place for initial cleaning of vegetable harvests, splitting firewood, maintaining tractors, etc.

Heat is the biggest issue. Our temperatures range between -40c and 40c during the year, but it's the cold that lasts longest and kills the most.

I'd like to heat the house almost exclusively with passive solar and wood, but we may end up with a heat pump as well. I really want to do solar and wind generation, but my spouse feels it's not cost-effective yet. There is already a solar powered electric fence around the garden so there is movement in that direction.

There will continue to be a rough compost pile, but not a composter because bears tear them apart.

We're looking at house plans now, and taking the financial steps to be ready to start construction within ten years, and will probably be living there full time within 15 years.
teresafloyd: (Default)
Bulgur and Chickpea Salad
1 cup uncooked bulgur
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or about 1 cup cooked)
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup crumbed feta cheese
1 teaspoon dried dill (or about 4 teaspoons fresh)
1/4 cup olive oil
Black pepper, to taste
Pour boiling water over bulgur in a large heat-proof bowl. Allow to sit about 15 minutes. Add other ingredients and stir to combine.
Chill for at least an hour or so.

Tastes almost too good to be as healthy as this has got to be. Also good with a big spoonful of bean salad, or on a bed of chopped lettuce. Would likely go very well with some tuna or chicken.
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This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz
teresafloyd: (Default)
If smart people write stuff, then other smart people should read it. In this case, especially those smart people who enjoy books like Conan the Barbian and the like:

Watch for it, buy it, and enjoy. Having no e-reading thingie just yet, I shall probably wait for hard copy.

For more information, subscribe to flemco: http://flemco.dreamwidth.org/3896269.html. Also see the Really big image
teresafloyd: (Default)
These things make the best pot scrubbers, and are super fast and easy to knit.


Using a worsted weight cotton yarn and a pair of size 7 (4 mm) needles, or something in that ballpark:

Cast on 4 stitches.
Knit first row.
Increase Row: Slip 1 stitch. Pass yarn over. Knit to end of row.
Repeat increase row to 40 stitches.
Decrease Row: Slip 1 stitch. Knit two together. Pass yarn over. Knit two together. Knit to end of row.
Repeat decrease row to 4 stitches.
Cast off.

Darn ends in and then knit another six so that you can have one for each day.

Then knit a few more to give them to people you like. Maybe knit a few more after that to give to people you hate because that can make you feel like a better person.

Invite code

Apr. 6th, 2011 08:49 pm
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I seem to have my first Dreamwidth code, and I'm happy to share.
teresafloyd: (Default)
New account at Dreamwidth, and a three day weekend. I should be able to put off spring cleaning enough to take time and have a good look 'round.
teresafloyd: (Default)
I found this at fayanora.livejournal.com/855750.html and I approve of this message!  I will be going back to her post to read her story after it is posted. and will make a comment in my own journal.

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] ladyqkat at Dear GOP - the collective you are an Idiot
(Post originally seen in this post by [livejournal.com profile] ramblin_phyl. I have been notified that it was originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] suricattus in her journal post. The story and words are hers, but I do believe that it needs to go viral and that as many people as possible need to get their stories out there. Only by making a noise about this can we make a change in our society.)

There is a move afoot in the nation -driven by the GOP - to repeal the new health care laws, to protect corporate interests, to defend against fear-mongering (and stupid) cries of "socialism!", and to ensure that people are forced to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or getting necessary health care.

This movement is killing people.

Think I'm overstating the fact?

Ask the friends and family of writer/reviewer Melissa Mia Hall, who died of a heart attack last week because she was so terrified of medical bills, she didn't go see a doctor who could have saved her life.

From another writer friend: One person. Not the only one. That could have been me. Yeah, I have access to insurance -- I live in New York City, which is freelancer-friendly, and have access to freelancer advocacy groups. Through them, I can pay over $400/month ($5,760/year) as a single, healthy woman, so that if I go to the hospital I'm not driven to bankruptcy. But a doctor's appointment - a routine physical - can still cost me several hundred dollars each visit. So unless something's terribly wrong? I won't go.

My husband worked for the government for 30 years. We have government employee (retired) insurance. It is the only thing of value he took away from that job. His pension is pitiful. He still works part time. My writing income has diminished drastically. Our combined income is now less than what it was before T retired fifteen years ago. Inflation has diminished it further. In the last 30 days I have racked up over $8000 in medical bills for tests and the beginning of treatment. Our co-pay is 20% after the deductible. And there is more to come. Our savings are already gone. I have the gold standard of insurance and I still can't pay all the medical bills.

Another friend lost her insurance when her husband lost his job. She couldn't afford medication and ended up bed ridden for three months at the end of over a year of no job and therefore no insurance until he found work again.

It's our responsibility. All of us, together. As a nation.

EtA: Nobody is trying to put insurance companies out of business. They will always be able to offer a better plan for a premium. We simply want to ensure that every citizen - from infant to senior citizen - doesn't have to choose between medical care, and keeping a roof over their heads, or having enough to eat.

We're trying to get this to go viral. Pass it along.


Jan. 24th, 2011 03:59 pm
teresafloyd: (Default)

I made this from the recipe in the previous post (though I reduced the cream of tartar by 1/4).  It tastes as good as it looks!  Thanks Peppermint for the tips.


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