starproms on Roses in Winter Valentine… Sharon L. Clemens on Cottage Chic Boot Socks starproms on Cottage Chic Boot Socks Sharon L. Clemens on Confronting January Mae Robinson on Confronting January
Hot and hearty simple meals were a staple in country living and extremely satisfying. In challenging economic times, my advice to young women would be to learn how to cook from scratch, learn how to garden, and have your spiritual house in order so that when tough times come, you know how to live by faith. My grandmother survived and thrived in the Great Depression using those simple principles.
A good cook is one who can make rice and beans taste delicious. A good cook can create a lovely meal from basic ingredients from the freezer or pantry. A good cook can whip up fresh bread from simple ingredients like flour, salt, water, yeast, and a little olive oil. A small bag of Great Northern White Beans, frozen left-over ham from Christmas plus seasonings from the pantry result in a pot of Country Ham and Beans that will warm us up all week.
COUNTRY HAM & BEANS
Soak a 1 lb. bag of Great Northern dried beans overnight in cold water in the refrigerator. Drain and rinse. Place soaked beans in a large stock pot and cover two to three times level of beans with fresh water. Add one large chopped onion, 2 large cloves chopped garlic, 2 tsp. ginger, 2 tsp. dry mustard, 1 large bay leaf, 1/2 tsp. black pepper or 6-8 peppercorns, 2 dashes dried thyme, and 1/2 to 1 pound ham or 1 package country style pork ribs, cut into chunks. Add 2 tb. concentrated paste chicken base or to taste. I find an excellent chicken base at GFS or specialty food stores. Check the label to make sure “chicken” is first on the ingredient list rather than salt.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer or low boil and cook until beans are tender. For a creamier dish, break up beans. Taste to adjust seasonings. At this stage, I sometimes add more chicken stock or onion/garlic powder to taste.
STOCK UP FOR GOOD EATING
I like to keep jars of good quality beef and chicken stock in my pantry. Even if I am low on fresh meat, these concentrated paste stocks add rich meat flavor to rice, beans, gravy, casseroles, pasta…everything. It is also an economical way to cook as the stocks go a long way and make inexpensive basics taste great. Just add the herbs and spices for your dish of choice. Here are a few seasonings I use for dishes:
Italian: oregano or marjoram, basil, bay, onion and garlic
Mexican: Chilies, cumin, chili powder, onion and garlic, herbs as preferred, cinnamon
Mediterranean: Greek Seasoning [one of my favorites for so many things], oregano, thyme, olive oil/olives, lemon
Indian: Curry Powder–1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. coriander, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. clove, 1 tsp. cardamom, 1 tsp. onion pwd., cayenne as preferred
Thai: coconut milk, fish sauce, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, red curry paste
Japanese: soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, lemon grass, sesame oil
For more cottage basics, visit my Board at Pinterest called “The Frugal Cottage Life.” The recipe for Boule’ is also on this site.
A wire wreath form
Fillers such as Baby’s Breath and Cockscomb Celosia
Dried Rose Hips and Crab Apples
Wrap the wreath form with the Spanish moss and tack in place with hot glue.
Glue dried roses onto form and fill in with celosia and berries. Top dress with Baby’s Breath. Insert a wire hook in the back for hanging.
The roses were the last autumn blooms on my husband’s Daybreak rose bush. They have been hanging in our country kitchen drying, just waiting for me to use them in a variety of projects. This year it is a romantic dried rose wreath for Valentine’s Day–Roses in Winter!
Hot soup is delicious on a winter day and a good way to use some of the garden vegetables in my freezer. In the summer, I cut up fresh vegetables and freeze them when I do not have time to can. I also freeze celery and other ingredients left-over from recipes. A variety makes a rich vegetable soup. After sorting through my two freezers, I gleaned this for a large kettle of soup:
I added frozen potatoes left-over from a hash brown casserole, a can of whole-kernel corn and a can of lima beans.
Cover the vegetables with enough water and/or tomato juice to cover. Add a bay leaf, sweet basil, garlic, lemon pepper or Greek Seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Add concentrated beef or chicken base if desired. Bring to a boil; then simmer until vegetables are tender. Add more liquid if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add brown sugar to taste if desired.
We had a hearty soup supper and I saved another quart for another day. The remaining soup I canned for pantry dinners:
Wash, rinse and sterilize canning jars and lids, keeping everything hot and ready. Place new lids in simmering water and keep hot. Fill quart jars, leaving a one inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles and adjust headspace as needed by adding additional liquid from the soup. Wipe jar rims with a damp cloth then tighten hot lids and bands to fingertip tightness.
Process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure for 85 minutes. Let cool on towel. Listen for “ping” to indicate jars have sealed. Tighten bands and label jars before storing.
Maria sang of “rain drops on roses and warm woolen mittens…” but keeping my toes warm this winter is high on my priority list. Why not combine soft and warm with a bit of vintage crocheted lace trim for cottage chic boot socks?
1. Obtain men’s long work socks at sporting goods stores or places such as Farm & Fleet or Tractor Supply. I found these black and gray socks 2/$6 at Dunham’s Sports marked down half price as a manager’s special.
2. Find vintage crocheted lace at auctions, antique stores or grandmother’s notions. If vintage is not available, some very nice retro lace trims are available in sewing stores or buy vintage on-line.
3. Sew a ruffled collar of lace for each sock that is at least twice the diameter to account for the stretch. I used elastic thread.
4. Sew the top of the collar about 1/4 to 1/2 inch down from the top of the sock. Socks can be warn with lace collar or flip lace up to peek over the top of the boot for a cottage charming look.
Try these as warm slipper socks or use them as retro Christmas stockings. A warm January project keeps our hands busy and our hearts toasty.