how to tell if canned food is bad

Home Canning – Signs of Spoiled Food

Read this and others like it on this week’s Homestead Blog Hop  at SimpleLifeMom.com

Home canning has really made a comeback and if you do a lot of it, chances are you’ll run into the situation at least once, where you question the edibility of something you’ve just pulled out of the pantry.  Whether it’s because it didn’t seal correctly to begin with, or that it came unsealed while in storage, if you know what to look (and smell) for it makes decision making easier.  I tend to err on the side of caution if I find myself questioning a jar of something that I’ve canned, but most of the time the signs your canned food has gone bad are pretty obvious.  The one exception Read More

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how to can homemade tea

Canning Iced Tea – An Old Fashioned Trick For Making Homemade Tea “Instant”

Browse similar articles on this week’s Homestead Blog Hop hosted by Simplelifemom.com!

Recently someone from a canning group I’m in shared their “Instant” Iced Tea method.  It’s basically making a concentrate that is canned in pint portions so that it keeps in your pantry like a jar of the instant granules do.   Then, when you need to make a pitcher of tea in a hurry, you just add water.  For me, there are plenty of times a pitcher of tea winds up being a picnic afterthought for one reason or another and this is a fantastic way to make it easy to grab a jar of concentrate, add water, and instantly have good, homemade sweet tea.  The recipe below will produce enough concentrate to Read More

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Learn to sew

Sewing 101 – Handy Sewing Tricks

Both my Mother and two Grandmothers were extraordinary seamstresses.  They sewed new clothes with or without patterns, reconstructed all varieties of used clothing to fit like it was tailor made and mended holes and seams on favorite stuffed toys and hand-me-down clothes.  Sadly, all three of them are gone now and with them went a wealth of knowledge.  It happens for not just this, but in so many other areas of life.  I was lucky enough to be Read More

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how to make a vinegar mother

Make Your Own Vinegar “Mother”

As our website name eludes to, we work hard toward putting ourselves in a position where we are completely self sufficient. For regular readers of this site, I know you all have heard me say that a billion times already.  I’m sorry about that! 🙂 Anyway, of our self sufficiency efforts, fruit trees are a valuable (and enjoyable) piece because they provide food, medicine (peach tree leaves can be used as mild histamine blocker) and a source for making cider and vinegar that have a whole other separate list of uses.

Making vinegar is not very hard, as a jar of raw apple cider will eventually turn on its own, but it takes considerable time.  A “Mother” makes it much more expedient and once you have one in your possession, so to speak, you step into a new level of self sufficiency.  Several years ago we made Read More

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9 Forgotten Hacks That Grandma Used

One of the things I’ve learned from starting this site is that there are way more people out there than I expected that still appreciate and practice the old way of living.  It’s been wonderful finding like minds and seeing the comradery among readers with similar interests.   Collectively, we’ve got all kinds of old timey life hacks that were handed down through our families.  Below is a list of 9 from my family that I think are worthy of sharing, some are probably common and some maybe are not.  There’s no way to know until they’re shared with others.  What are some of your old family hacks?  We’d love to know! Read More

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Survival tools, Homestead kitchen tools

11 “Out-Dated” Kitchen Tools For Your Survival Ready Homestead

 

Have you ever thought about what life would be like if all of a sudden our modern conveniences were taken away from us?  Would you have the ability to open the can of Wal-Mart beans in the pantry?  Do you have pots and pans that would survive more than one use cooking supper over an open fire or on a woodstove?  Your scenario might be a week long power outage or simply your own choice to “pull the plug” long term.  Either way, there are some throw backs that still function perfectly and make living simple easier.  This is by no stretch an all-inclusive list, but might help get you started.  Some of these you may still use, we certainly do, but then again, we’re out-dated kind of people and like it that way.  🙂 Read More

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How Can You Tell If An Egg Is Fresh?

How to tell if an egg is fresh

Are my eggs fresh?  Although, at age 46, this sounds like something I might be asking my doctor, I’m actually talking about eggs that you find laid somewhere other than the chicken’s laying box.  With free-ranged chickens, this is bound to happen sooner or later, and will probably happen often.  The other day, we went to retrieve something from the gardening shed and found a clutch of eggs.  We had no idea how old they were, so we do what we always do instead of just throwing them out; we floated them.  These eggs were of varying freshness, so I snapped a couple of pics to show you how this is done. Read More

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How to Make Popcorn in a Skillet

Popcorn logo

Recently, we did away with our microwave as described in the post, Goodbye Microwave!  We found it remarkably easy to adapt and now take joy in that all the things we did with the microwave are much better when done “the old way”.  My husband often jokes that even though I was born in 1969, I actually grew up in the early 50’s because my parents were older and stuck in that time period.  The only way I knew Read More

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Canning & Pickling Beets

Canning & Pickling Beets

At the request of one of my readers, here is a quick run down on Beets, starting with ones fresh from the garden or farmer’s market.  It just so happens that I took pictures a few weeks ago as I canned some of ours, but like so many other things I put off writing about it.  🙂   You can also use store bought canned beets for pickling and I’ll give proportions and a recipe for that method along with the fresh, toward the bottom of this post.  Beets are high in potassium and are a natural source of Iron, Magnesium and Vitamin C.   Generally, people who like beets really, really like them and the ones that don’t, hate them with a passion.  There never seems to be any in between.  To me, they have a wonderful earthy flavor and I could eat them with every meal.  They’re super for aiding digestion and stimulating the liver’s detoxification process.  That said, … let’s see, how do I put this tactfully?  If you eat a plateful every day for several days in a row, don’t be surprised if Read More

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