Saturday, February 28, 2009

The time has come

It's almost garden season again! (at least down here in the south it is!)

A few weekends ago we began work on the garden boxes. I got three of them ready, and hope to get the rest done next weekend. It rained here this weekend, so no garden work today!

The garden will be a wee bit different this year then last, as I will more the likely be going to work (outside the home! EEK!) so we are going to key in on what we 'like to put up' for winter. Mainly..TOMATOES! There will be lots of them so I can can them for the year.
I wanted to get brocolli out, but I'm afraid it may already be too late, not sure I have to do some checkin' on that still yet.

So are you working on your garden?? Tell me all about it!

I got a little creative today

I spent all day in my craft room, doing this and that, and this and that...I dipped a good many candles today. (long process!)

Then, in between dippings I wanted to do something else, but nothing was hitting me. First it I make a doll? Do I make some kitchen towels with little embroideries on the bottom, do a paint a picture. Various things ran through my mind and I just couldn't decide!
So here I have all this stuff laying out in front of me..and well I decided to do something I had never done before. I'm sure some other artist out there has done it, but well, it was new to me!

I wanted to paint an embroidery picture on wet canvas like material with acrylics for my bathroom and see what it would come out like. If it came out awful, I could toss it, if it was cute, I could keep it.
Here's what inspired me to do this:

I bought this little 'ships wheel' frame many many moons ago (at a yardsale for 25 cents no less!)and had the embroidery for the 'sea sprites' for quite a while as well. I had my bathroom in mind when I purchased both of these, since it's all about 'the sea' and seaside docks. So began the adventure. I cut out the design I wanted, made sure the pic would fit inside the frame..

Then began ironing on.... and putting in a hoop.

I got the material wet in a few places and began adding the paint. I made the paint even more 'spreadable' by adding a little water to it here and there.
I didn't take pictures of that process, because I wasn't' sure this was going to work, but in the end, it turned out pretty nice. I got it all painted, dried it with a hair dryer and then took a very very fine point permanent marker and put in some black details.

Then started on the frame. I painted the frame, not sure what color I was going to end up with, but opted for an aged/sea weathered look in medium dark tones. Put the picture in it, added the back and WHOOP..there it is!

I like the way the material grabbed the watered down paint and spread it out in areas..specially the 'wing's of the sprite. It's different and something I think I will do again and play with, maybe even get good at! (well..I'd try anyway!)

See ya next time......down on the farm!

Sage's what I did today

Dipped candles ...ALL DAY!! Yep..I do it the old fashioned way, two candles at a time. I enjoy it.

I store my wax in THIS: Looks like a big cauldron don't it?

It takes a while to heat up, but in the meantime, I spend working on other things and getting my wicks ready. I use old fashioned cotton twine for the wicks. I get them soaked in wax and straightened and hardened before I begin dipping.
Then, I drape one wick, which will be two candles, over a ruler or paint stick and begin dipping, one dip at a time.

Here we go, all lined up, after about 10 dippings.

A little bigger now, 30 or better dippings into the process.
Wow, now they are starting to look a little more like candles..50+ dippings

And finally, the last two or three dipping sessions.

100's of dippings later...............


And what do you know, candles!

These will now have to 'cure' for 24 hours, then tomorrow, I'll take a very sharp knife and trim the bottoms.
Sometimes I roll them in herbs during that last few dippings, it gives them an even more 'prim' look. These, I decided not to roll.
I leave them connected and they are GREAT for hanging on pegs!
These do burn well..but like I said, they are done in the old fashioned way, you have to trim the wicks on these or the flames will get too high.
I try to live green in many ways, and the candles are one way. I use wax from all the candles that I have around the house ones that don't burn up all the way, or even friends bringing me over their 'leftovers' from candles that don't burn down all the way.
Especially when you buy a candle that will not burn no matter what you do, usually due to an incorrect sized wick..that goes into the pot too. Never waste wax around here! The cauldron waits for it!
I'm hoping to start selling these soon. Not sure about pricing yet, but I'll do some searching and see what I can come up with. you dip your candles??
Maybe tomorrow I'll post about "Candlemas"...Feb 2 (a little late I know, but it's interesting nonetheless).

Friday, February 27, 2009

We had some visitors the other day

The Po Po knocked on my door again....LOL..of course, it was just Tony. He'd come over to see the girl child and grandbaby Brayden.

It just so happens, while Tony was here, he sat Brayden down and had a good talkin' to him about the 'birds and bee's of 'crime'. LOL. At least that's what it looks like! Take a look..enjoy!

WOWOWOWOW!! You sure are TALL aren't you Uncle Tony??

"Ok now Brayden..there's a few things we need to talk about!"
"See this cup, NOTHING ever goes in it but, juice, milk, water, tea and the occasional Soda...NO DRINKIN' and DRIVIN"

"I think I get it Uncle Tony...."
"Good!..I knew you would, now can we be friends?"

SURE WE CAN!! This is a truly 'unbelievable' thing here!
See ya next time......down on the farm!


Is ironing a bad thing??

Ok ok ok, now I know some of you readers are going to think..'this women is nuts'..but there are TIMES (grant you..not many, but some) that I enjoy ironing! Sometimes I really want to get out the old ironing board, heat up the . SICK?

Here's some memories..and maybe once you read this, you'll understand where it comes from.
Mama..I can always blame Mama!

I remember when I was ohh maybe somewhere between 4 and 5 (maybe younger, who knows..I've slept since then, just suffice it to say it's a memory)
Anyway..I remember my mother, standing by her ironing board, ironing EVERYTHING. Did you hear that? I'll repeat..EVERYTHING!
ESPECIALLY..get aren't going to believe it..but, my mother ironed the sheets!!!
Yep..sheets, pillow cases, shirts, skirts, pants ....did I say "EVERYTHING?" ..and to boot all that..she used starch! Now mind you, I don't remember if she used starch on the sheets and such, but she used it on everything else. Thank goodness I don't have a memory of her ironing the underwear! (OUCH!)

I posted a while back about the old original 'chores for the days of the week'
Wash on Monday
IRON on Tuesday
Mend on Wednesdady...etc.
Wow..I'm behind. I'm still washing and it's FRIDAY!
Goodgracious help me!

Anyway, for the insanely's some links about ironing, ironing boards and irons. Have fun!

The Hedgewife

PS: There is one thing I can say about my mama's ironed sheets. When it came to 'making a bed'...she could surely make a pretty one!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dressing trick...

I know this post may be coming late in the season ..or you might say I'm way way early in the season..but here we go anyway.
If you make homemade stuffing for your turkey at Thanksgiving or Christmas..and you make it like I do..or maybe some other Hedgewives out there, then this is the best little trick for that leftover dressing.

Now, I'm like my mama when I make my dressing (or stuffing..whatever you want to call it..)
I make a lot, I always make too much and I do it truly by hand. I mean..REALLY by hand. I have to put it on the table to mix it up cuz I don't have a bowl big enough to mix it in. (that's bad isn't it?)
Hey..what can I say, I grew up helping my mom cook for a large family of about 23 or more for every holiday dinner. To me..Holidays mean: Multitudes of people, so we must cook enough. (mom's motto) "If you leave hungry, it's your own fault."
Ok, so in my Mom's dressing went, celery & onions, sauteed in a very very large cast iron skillet. The trick was, before she sauteed the onions and celery, she'd cook about 2lbs of sausage. You know..the kind you use for breakfast that you make patties with..cept she didn't make patties with it, she fried it up like you would hamburger. The veggies were then sauteed in the leftover grease in the pan.
My mama's dressing was the best dressing I've ever had. NO lie. I've tried many, from many cooks and even some of those from the box..but none compare. Some will DO mind you, but none compare.
While all the cookin' and the choppin' and the pinching up of the bread was going on, all the "extras'' from the turkey were cooking on the stove top in some water and turkey drippin's from the turkey pan. (she'd get up at 3am and put her turkey in the oven, then, at about 8am, she'd drain a good bit of the juice that had cooked off the turkey into a pot and THAT was what she used to boil the 'turkey extras' in.)
Anyway, back to the dressing. We used bread..real bread. Many loafs of real bread. ALOT!
And always the night before or for a few weeks before, mom would bake cornbread for dinner. (she'd put cornbread pieces in the freezer for weeks before Thanksgiving) and all the cornbread she had saved and what she had made the night before that didn't get eat, was pinched up in the dressing mix too.
So here we have on the table a huge pile of bread, with 1-2lbs of sausage now poured on top, the onions & celery and now she'd add the 'giblets'..cut up, pinched up or in some way made small to mix into the dressing. She'd take several scoops of the liquid she had collected from the turkey (yep..the same liquid she'd cooked the 'extra's in) and pour it over all that bread and 'stuff'.
Then, she'd use her spices. Special spices. Salt of course..pepper sure, but not too much. Then she'd pull out a jar of seasonings that she got from 'down home'. You couldn't get them where we lived. (not can now, but not then). It was a 'dressing or stuffing seasonings' by a company called "Leggs". That's the biggest secret my mama had. She'd sprinkle just so much..nothing was ever measure by cups or spoonfulls, it was always measure by her hand. She'd add the seasonings, mix and taste and do this over and over again, till she had it just the way she liked it.

There may be two or three of us girls with our hands in that dressing..stirring and turning it over.
We weren't allowed to 'squish' it..mama always said she didn't want no 'mushy dressin'. We had to gently turn it, and mix it without squishin' it.
She'd add water or broth as we needed it.
Talk about HOT! Wow..if you weren't ready for some 'heated mixin' then you better not stick your hands in that table full of dressing, cuz it was hot!

Once we had it all mixed and it stuck together good enough, but not mushy, she'd stuff the bird and then put a bunch around the bird (she used a big bird me!)
Any extra went into a casserole dish (a large one). The bird went back in the oven about an hour or so before we were ready to eat and that was our dressing.
The best stuff I've ever had. ya go.
Finally I'll get to the point of this post.
What to do with the leftover dressing. Freeze it. First and foremost, freeze it. Use plastic type freezer bags and freeze what you might eat at a meal in seperate bags.
Now, thaw it out and squish it. Just a little, not much but squish it and form it into 'patties' like sausage.
Fry it. Just like you would sausage. Put a little grease in the pan..oil, lard, butter..doesnt' matter. Your choice and fry those little dressing patties.

You can use this for a sausage substitute at breakfast, as a side dish for dinner, or heck for a midnight snack. Serve with mustard as a dip and YUM YUM YUM!

Don't believe me?? give it a try some day. Make the dressing like mama did..fry you up a patty or two and see how you like it.
I promise, you won't regret it!

Here it is..coming near the end

I mean the week of course!
So what has everyone been up to??

I've been 'itching' to start a new 'project' and just can't decide on which to start. I've looked through all my books for the last two days, and so much caught my attention, but nothing caught it hard enough for me to run to the craft room and get going on it.
So tell me ladies, what do you do when you're in the 'what to do next' slump?

Did you ever just take a good look around your house and think..'Hmm..what can I change to make it seem 'new' to me, exciting and more pleasurable'? I do, all the time.

My big problem right now is the ultimate 'evil'...the 'how do you hide it box'..otherwise known as the TV.
I'm so wanting a 'TV' armoire' to put it in and hide it, but I can't afford to do that right now. I have two black shelves that are totally open and they house all our dvd's (of which there are many) as well as the 'stereo' equipment and such. I HATE that you can 'see' really takes away from the 'theme' I'm trying to accomplish. Which by the way is a comfortable cross between prim and country. I don't like a lot of 'stuff' just sitting about like many prim decorators, nor do I like the 'frills and ruffles' that many country decorators use.
I like plain.. a more 'Amish' look. Almost sparse, but not exactly. (confusing ain't I?)
So tell me..WHAT would you do?!
And..don't even ask the hubby to 'build' anything. He works long hard hours as it is, and is not big into 'wood' work. So that's out of the question.
Maybe I should just learn to live with it huh?
I feel like Pooh bear "Think..think..think"..but my thinkers getting tired!!

Till next time..happy hedging!
Sage...The Hedgewife

Monday, February 23, 2009

Don't forget!


Pick an area, or section of your house, and begin. MOVE IT OUT if you don't use it, like it or need it any longer. Barter it with a friend or online!
GOOD LUCK and happy Bartering!

I'll be in my craft room doing some 'moving out' again today. That room has been neglected a lot lately so it's time.
I've finished all my normal Monday items, except for laundry of course and that will go on most of the day between the washing, drying and folding. I hate the putting away part!

Good luck on your "moving it out' and bartering week!
See ya next time!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Leftovers from Sunday!

So..for Sunday dinner we had guests. Just a few. Our menu was 'grilled steak', mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli (steamed), corn on the cob & rolls. I love big family dinners.
And I sure did have some leftovers. (mashed potatoes, broccoli and gravy & rolls)

So here it was Monday and I already had something planned for dinner. But Tuesday rolled around and I had no plans. I love revamping leftovers so that's where I the fridge.
The day had turned cold and blustery, it was what I call a 'soup' day.

Wow..I had all the makings for some fabulous potato soup. I pulled out the leftover mashed potatoes and some 1/2 and 1/2 (or milk, either works)
I cut a pound of bacon into 4 even sections and cooked one section, put the other sections back in the fridge for later use. Cut up one onion into a medium size chop and added those to the bacon drippings and fried em up. Drained all that and crumbled the bacon into the onions.
I peeled 3 more potatoes, cubed them and boiled them till firm tender (not too squishy). Drained off the water and added the mashed potatoes and enough milk or 1/2 and 1/2 to make a VERY thick creamy soup base. Then I tossed in the bacon and onions along with about a cup of chicken broth. Salt and pepper to taste.
WALLA! Done..dinner is served. Heat up the leftover rolls and you've got a comfort food dinner for such a blustery cold day.

Here's a tip. Want to 'pep up the potato soup'? the last minute before serving add the leftover broccoli. No need to cook it, it will heat up from the soup. Top each bowl off with some shredded cheese and you've created the ultimate leftover potato/broccoli/bacon/cheese soup. YUM!!

Give it a wont be disappointed!

So what did you pull out for "MOVE IT OUT MONDAY?" Don't forget to post by Saturday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

It's been a while

But really..I've been busy! Our newest family member, Baxter, is getting along just fine. As you saw in the last pictures he was shaved and had his vet visit. His fur is growing back quick so I thought I'd update you with some pics. Baxter is taking to the house and our little family, he loves everyone. The fence was begun yesterday. (let me tell you..fencing an acre is not fun, easy or cheap!)

So here ya go, some updated pics! These first ones show just how big Baxter is!

Then Baxter learned about taking turns. Maya and Cami love popcorn, so we figured we'd see if Baxter loved it too. He here we turn.

One piece for Maya

One piece for Cami

One piece for Baxter

So there ya go...learning to share and take turns! GO BAXTER!!

Till next time!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How did it go?

So tell me all you blogging'd your Move it out Monday go??
Did you get something accomplished? Find something you forgot you had? Want to finish it up today! Well go for reason you can't do more today if you'd like!

We'll top it off here on Tuesday!!

Send me comments, let me know what you've MOVED OUT!

Good luck, till later!

The Hedgewife

Monday, February 9, 2009


Today is the day!!

So..join the challenge, get your friends invovled..and barter barter barter.
The challenge for today is the 'craft' area of your house. WORK FOR ONE HALF HOUR and 'MOVE IT OUT!'....While you're moving out, find your bartering items..check below to see what and how many!

Today..pick 5 items or more that you no longer use, want or need. (that can be used for crafts)
Post your items (pictures included if you can) with good and fair descriptons, to your favorite forum/blog/etc and trade them off with others who are doing the Move it out Monday Challenge! You may find something you need from someone else, and you may have exactly what they were looking for!!

All the ladies of Prim Sisters who do not have a blog or special place to post their trades are invited to send me photo's of their trades and I will post them here on The Hedgewife blogspot. (on saturdays)
All pictures, descriptions, etc must be in to me by Friday, for our virtual 'Yard Sale' on Saturdays. Please keep the descriptions short and precise to save space.

If you have a blog or special place that you can post your trades, put the internet address of where to find your 'yard' and a short description in the 'comments section of the Saturday's post.
If you do not belong to Prim Sisters, but would still like to get in on the virtual yard sale, please add your name and address to the comments section on Saturday's post, so others can shop at YOUR yard sale!

Saturday's will be our virtual yardsale days! For those at Prim Sisters who need to send in photos and descriptions to the Hedgewife blogspot, I will post them on Saturday's for others to go 'shopping'! Make sure you get them to me by Friday!

Rules of the trade:
You can choose one or all of the items someone has to trade.
You must have something to 'barter' with or opt to 'buy' it from the trader.
All communication is done between the traders, not Sagewood or the Hedgewife.
The cost of shipping will be left up to the traders to decide.

HAPPY BARTERING! So..le'ts get started! It's MOVE IT OUT MONDAY! Pick your 5 items today, and get them posted for the Yard sale on Saturday!!

The Hedgewife

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Guess what tomorrow is?


Yep...Move it out Monday!
It's time..spring is almost here, it's in the air..can't you smell it??
((sniff, sniff)) I's so close!
So with spring and the 'newness' of the new year still at hand, it's time to start a 'new theme' and a new 'life' in your craft and home areas! So..this is how we come to 'Move it out Mondays!"

What's the challenge??
To take one small section, one small closet, one small small anything that you can work on in ONE HALF HOUR and move out what you no longer need, use or have two or three of. Lay it out, take pictures and share it with someone and 'trade off'. Use the barter system. If there is someone else who is participating in Move it out Monday and they have something YOU would like..see if you have something they can use!
If not..sell it, toss it..give it away, just MOVE IT OUT! Make room for the newness and the freshness of a new year!

So..get ready, it's MOVE IT OUT MONDAY!! Starting tomorrow and every Monday there after! (heck..we may even extend it to Tuesday and Wednesday ..LOL) We'll see how it goes!

The Hedgewife

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How about Saturday Dinner?

I bet...bottom dollar if you go look in your fridge, you'll find at least two leftover veggies (maybe more), a little bit of leftover sausage from Thursday. Some leftover chicken soup and bread. Some leftover rice from the chicken bake on Monday..and possibly..very possibly a wee bit of leftover pot pie.

I always always had one day of the week as a 'smorgasbord' dinner.
I would revamp a few of the leftovers, and reheat the rest.
So first things first. Let's revamp some of the leftovers.
Take out the leftover sausage, rice and veggies. Get two eggs to go with it.

Turn your oven on medium heat and get the leftover bread and pot pie ready. Put the pot pie in an oven safe dish and wrap the leftover bread in a damp towel and then in heavy aluminum foil. (leave no towel exposed) (Told you, I very rarely use a microwave)
Put these things in the warming oven.

Grab your skillet and let's begin the revamping.
Cut the leftover sausage into bite sized pieces, and place in a large bowl. (if you don't have any leftover sausage, make this meatless or hey..use a hot dog or two!..ROLL WITH IT!)
Drain any and all water from the leftover veggies and dump those in the bowl with the sausage. Add 2-3 Teaspoons of soy sauce (or to taste) and mix.
In a separate bowl, small, whisk up both eggs and add about 2 T. water.
Put a small amount of oil in the skillet, and heat to a medium high heat. Toss in your leftover rice and cook away. Once the rice is hot and 'separate'..not in clumps..push it all to the outside edge of your pan and dump the eggs in the middle. Stir and cook, adding in the rice as you go.
Just about when everything is done, add the veggies and meat and mix very well..turn off the heat, put on a lid and lit it sit for about 5 minutes.

Fix a quick salad and set the table!

Get the leftovers from the oven..put your bread in a basket and don't forget the butter!
Plate up the quick 'fried faux Chinese rice and sausage' dish and serve!

Wow..dinner again..smorgasbord style! A plethora to choose from and no heavy duty cooking!
LOOK..the fridge is empty again too!

Save any leftover chicken noodle soup for Sunday brunch! Add a cold veggie such as cucumbers, tomatoes or a salad.

Now, you only have to worry about Sunday night dinner!

How bout tacos?? LOL...join me tomorrow, maybe we'll discuss a different week. Learning leftovers!

It's FRIDAY's dinner day!

Remember that handful of chicken that you put into that cup (or a little more then a cup) of broth that you sat aside earlier this week?? How about those noodles from last night??

Guess what? We're making chicken noodle soup! Start this about an hour or two before dinner time!

Get out an can of broth, or 2 or 3 bouillon cubes (chicken) and let's get started.
Get the chicken and broth from the fridge, along with the noodles.
Start that big pot again, and toss in that chicken and broth. Add the bouillon cubes and 3 Cups of water. (or 1 can of broth and 2 bullion cubes and 2 C. of water)
Let that start heating up and come to a boil.
While that's heating, cut up 2 stalks of celery and grate one carrot. Toss it in the pot.
Taste the broth, adding salt and pepper if needed.
Does it need something?? Onions? Garlic? Remember..not too much of these, they are strong spices for chicken soup, but adding a bit of each of the powdered will be fine.
Taste again. Does it taste right? Does it taste good. GREAT if it does..if it doesn't..add more spice and salt till you get it right!
Once it comes to a boil, boil for about 8-10 minutes to let the veggies begin to cook.
Turn it off.
Toss in the noodles, give it a big stir and put the lid on and take it off the heat.
That's it..that's all there is to it! DONE!

I usually make some type of bread to go with this of course, either cornbread, biscuits or I start some homemade bread earlier in the day and bake that when I start my soup.

Here's a recipe for some quick yeast bread that is delish! You'll need to start this about 4 hours before your soup is done.
2 Cups of liquid (I use 1/2 milk, 1/2 water)
1/4 C of sugar
Mix these together and heat to warm. I don't use a thermometer, I heat warm to my finger. Once warm, sprinkle
2 Teaspoons or one packet of yeast on the top and whisk in. Let sit for a few minutes.
Melt 5 Tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon of salt and add to the milk/yeast mixture

Now start adding the flour. You'll need about 5-6 Cups. You can use all white or a mix of white and wheat.
Use a big bowl and scoop about 3 Cups of flour into the bowl. Add your liquid and mix well, beating it a bit.
Continue to add flour and mixing until you can't use a spoon anymore and it forms a ball. Put dough on lightly floured counter and begin kneading. Knead for about 10 minutes.
Place dough back into a lightly oiled bowl, turning dough to cover with oil. Cover with a towel and sit in a warm place to rise for about an hour and 1/2. (I use a slightly..very slightly warmed oven if it's too chilly in the house)
Once the dough has risen (doubled in size) punch it down and knead it for about 5 minutes or so. Divide into two balls and shape each into a loaf or a round. Place in greased loaf pans or on a greased baking sheet and again, cover with a towel and let rise for about an hour.
Once the dough has risen, bake in 350 degree oven, 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

What a dinner huh?? Who could ask for anything better..homemade chicken noodle soup and hot yeast bread!

Let's get back to that weekly dinner

Here it is Thursday.
Time for something different.

This is a real simple dinner, quick (20 mins or less)
Here's what you'll need.
One package of Kielbasa sausage or any 'sausage' that you prefer.
One large bag, medium egg noodles (Of course, you can always make your own..we'll discuss that at another time)
Your choice of veggies
and butter.
Spices you'll need. Salt and pepper.
That's easy huh?

Cut the sausage into 2-3 inch pieces, then cut each piece in half lengthwise. This seems to make it appear as 'more' then it is.
Get out a skillet that will hold it all and put a small amount of veggie oil in the bottom of the pan. Place meat cut side down and cook on medium heat till done. Turning as you go.
(I like to get mine a little 'crispy' sort of)

While the sausage is cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cut about 1/2 stick of butter or margarine into 'pats'.
Choose your veggie and start that cooking as well.
When the water starts to boil, put the whole bag of noodles in. Stir for several minutes till the water comes back to a boil, then shut off and set the timer for 5-7 minutes.

Get out your strainer and set the table..dinner is almost done! BUZZZ..there's your time, time to check the noodles.
Test the noodles and make sure they are done 'firm'..or al dente', drain for a few minutes then transfer to a big big bowl. Add the patted butter and salt, and mix till the butter is melted. I usually end up 'tossing' the noodles with my hands.'s hot, so be careful!

Drain your veggies, plate them along with the meat and serve dinner!
You will have plenty of noodles left over..put them in a container cuz they are tomorrow's dinner! YUM!
Of course, store any other leftovers as well.
That's good. YUM!! join me later..we'll do Friday's dinner!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Beans and Bread!

Wanna see how those beans I made yesterday turned out?? Well here ya go!

They were excellent..and with the bread to go with, was outstanding!

Enjoy and I'll post the recipes for these later!

Beans Recipe's what I did!

Ok here's what I did to make my soup.

Since I did not soak my beans overnight, cuz this was a 'flash' idea. I covered the dry beans with water, added a large tablespoon of baking soda..and boiled them for about an hour. (adding water if I need to)

Black beans first..then the pintos (a mix of light and dark pintos). I used..about 4 Cups of beans total.

*Adding the baking soda makes them soften faster and gives them a salty flavor without adding the salt, which can make beans if you need salt, add it before serving!

Once the beans were boiled, I drained them and dumped them into my crock pot.

To that I added

3 chicken boullion cubes

1 cut up bell pepper

3 or 4 cut up Jalapenos

2 stalks of celery, cut (leafy part and all)

1 onion chopped

And one piece of was the end piece of a boston butt that we had cut into steaks at the butchers. Wasn't big, but it was enough.

Then..the spices

2 T. Cumin

1t. red peppers (or more to taste)

2t. chili powder (or more to taste)

1t. black course ground pepper (or taste)

3 bay leaves (cuz they were small)

Then..the liquid

I put 1 large can of whole stewed tomatoes, juice and all. (and I squished the tomatoes as I was putting them in..just give em a squish with your hand)and 1 medium/regular can of cut up stewed tomatoes

Then, used the large can to measure the water, putting in three can of water. (this is something you may want to might want to make just beans..less water, or more adjust to your liking) I think I ended up adding an extra can of water, cuz I wanted more soup. Just go with whatever you like!I cooked this on high in the crock pot for about 2 hours, then turned it to low till the beans were soft and getting squishy. (about 2 hours) After that, I just kept it warm till dinner and baked my bread! YUM!

You can add salt at the end if you need it..but these didn't need any.

Serve with cheese on top if you like, or sour cream on the side if you like. These were not TOO spicey, but did have a SLIGHT tang to them..they were great

Sage, the Hedgewife

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ready for the bouncing chicken?

It's Wednesday dinner! Bouncing chicken!
It's pot pie time!

Remember I told you I always keep 'cream of' soups on hand. Well I hope you took that too heart!

Get out that chicken carcass (start this early!) Put it all in a big pot and cover with water, now boil away. Boil it till it falls apart! Add water if you need to, but keep it going.
When it's had enough and yells 'uncle' turn off the heat and start scooping out the chicken and the bones..put them in a bowl. Let them sit there to cool.
To the water left in the pot, add a bouillon cube and ohh about two cups of water. You're looking for a total of 4 cups of broth or better. If you have chicken broth in the can, you can use that instead, but still add an extra cup of water.
Get another pot and scoop out about 3 Cups of broth and transfer to the second pot. Now, start adding things to that salt, pepper..a cut up celery stalk and even some basil (wee bit) if you've got it.
Get out a bag of frozen mixed veggies or a large can, drained, or mix your own. Corn, peas, carrots. Use all fresh ones if you'd like. Add to the water and cook 10 mins if they are fresh, just warm them if they are frozen or canned. While that's's chicken pickin time!

Pick every bit of chicken off those bones and put on a plate or in another bowl or just pile it on a clean counter, doesn't matter. ALL Of it..yep. Get every bit off.

Shred the chicken just a bit as you go. You don't' want large chunks. Taste your veggie broth. Does it need anything? Onion powder? Salt? Add it now and bring the broth to a slow simmer..reduce it down to about 2 cups.

Take ONE handfull of that chicken you just shredded (if you have enough..this is where you can get three meals) and put it in that first broth you made, the one you took the chicken out of. Put it away, in the fridge. Don't think about it anymore today. If you didn't have enough, that's still got two meals out of one bouncing chicken!
Put the rest of the chicken into the veggie/broth. Let it come to a slow simmer for about 10 minutes while you mix up some 'drop biscuits'. (or cut outs if you'd like)

Open a can of either 'cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup' and add it to the simmering chicken veggie pot. This should thicken things up a good bit. If it doesn't thicken it enough..and it should be like a heavy potato soup...take about a tablespoon of cornstarch and mix it with 1/4 c of cold water and pour into the chicken broth/veggie mix. Stir. That will thicken it. Heat your oven..350
Now, pour your thickened veggie chicken broth into a casserole dish and top it off with your biscuits. Use small spoonfulls to plop those little drop biscuits right on there ..cover the entire top.
Transfer to the oven and bake 20-30 minutes till biscuits are golden toasty!

No other 'sides' need to go with this. If you prefer to have one, a cold plate of cucumbers or tomatoes is good or a salad if you'd like.

Wow..we've taken care of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday already! How about that?!

Tomorrow we'll cover the rest of the week! Till then..happy Hedging!

Sage...the Hedgewife


Let's talk about 'dinner'.
If your a working'll need to think about dinner the night before and get out what you planned to fix. Thaw it out in the fridge. If your a stay at home mom, take a look at your menu and lay out what you need that morning.

I'm an advocate of the KISS method. Keep it simple stupid. (no disrespect intended..that's just what they call it!)So..keep it simple.
Whole chickens are easy to can get them on good sales and are extremely easy to fix.Buy a few.
*One whole chicken will provide you TWO meals for 4. YES IT WILL! I promise! (if you're good, you might even be able to squeeze three out of it! how frugal is that?!)

On's 'whole baked chicken day'. It'll take one hour or less to bake in your oven (unstuffed). So rinse that bird, and let's get to cookin!
Rinse your chicken inside and out and let it drain. Get out a casserole dish..a big one..9x12 I think it is. Heck..I don't keep a ruler in the kitchen!
For rice, it's always 2 to 1..that's two cups of liquid to 1 cup of rice. When it's done you'll have 2 cups of rice. If you're cooking for 4, make sure you use a big casserole dish and double that. (2 Cups of rice, 4 Cups of water).
Ok..mix your water and your rice in the bottom of that casserole dish now let's add some spices.

I'm not going to tell you how'll learn as you go about how much you'll need. The best way to cook to taste.
Use these spices: Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and about a teaspoon of soy sauce. Stir all that into the rice/water mix. Get get your chicken!
Set that whole chicken right on top of that rice/water. Now, rub that chicken with either softened butter (my preference) or margarine. Sprinkle it with garlic, onion powder and salt.
*Here's a hint! If you have fresh onions, celery and bell peppers..cut some of those up and put them in the rice instead of the powdered form! (bout 1/2 an onion, 1/2 a bell pepper and one stalk of celery)
Cover this whole thing up with some foil. Bake 350..45 mins to one hour.
While that's baking..mix up some biscuits or some cornbread (take your pick) and choose a veggie. Don't forget...cornbread takes about 20 minutes, so make room in the oven..biscuits take about 15 can do them both while your chicken is cooking.
If I'm cooking rice I don't do a 'small' veggie, like peas. I'd choose broccoli or green beans. set them to cooking about 1/2 hour (or less) before the chicken and rice comes out.
About 1/2 hour to 15 mins before the chicken is done, take off the foil. This is when I put in my 'bread'. Rub the chicken with butter/margarine one more time. This will help to brown it all up nice.

Now look there, you have dinner. Cornbread or biscuits, broccoli, baked chicken and rice. In one hour or less. What more could you ask for! Leftovers that's what!

After your family has praised your wonderful dinner, take that chicken rip it into pieces (BONES AND ALL! The WHOLE carcass!) and put it into a container or a plastic bag and put it in the fridge. Do the same with any left over rice..into a container it goes. (as with all the rest of the leftovers..make hubby's lunch if you need to! we are on Tuesday. You had chicken last night, so you don't want it tonight, but homemade hamburger helper sounds pretty good.
So brown up a pound of ground beef or turkey or a mix of both in a LARGE skillet. While it's cooking add one chopped onion (or the 1/2 left from the day before) some bell pepper (again..the 1/2 that was left from yesterday). Cook till done. Drain off any grease.
Now, add 1 C or better macaroni noodles. (how much depends on how many your cooking for) a couple tablespoons soy sauce, pepper, garlic and salt and one bullion cube. Mix it all up. Now, it's time for the water. Pour enough water in the skillet to cover everything. Bring it to a simmer and stir. Keep stirring or the noodles will stick. Cook till the noodles are done. Here's where I add mushrooms so, if you've got em..chop em up and toss em in! Taste and add whatever spices you need to.
Got leftover bread from yesterday. Heat it up in the oven/toaster over or however. (I'm not big on a microwave). Serve with Salad and call it a night!
Fix the hubbies lunch put away all the leftovers. Tomorrow you wont have to worry about taking 'something' out for dinner. We are gonna work with that 'chicken' again!

Sage..the Hedgewife!

Speaking of Dinner..

When I was a 'new' wife..I struggled with dinner ideas, and with saving money. Over the years (and boy have there been plenty of those!) I have learned some tricks of the trade. I didn't always learn these on my own. I did a lot of reading, search and talking to the 'older wiser' wife.

But here are a few tricks I learned. In no particular order.

*Always keep 'cream of' soups on hand. I very rarely use them for general 'eating' ..but instead use them in the cooking and making of meals. I'll tell you some of those later.

*Always make from scratch if you can. If you can't..learn. It is cheaper and always always tastes better. If they can make it and put it in a can or a box for you to buy at the store, you can make it at home!

*Make most of your own cleaners. Three of the most wonderful things to keep for your cleaning supplies are vinegar, bleach and ammonia. And NO I don't mean mixed together, just keep them on your shelf. I'll give you recipes for that too!

*Crock pots are great things and if you don't have a crock pot, get you a good heavy pot (I love a cast iron one) for the top of the stove. You can treat it just like a crock pot!

*Think more then one day or one week ahead when it comes to dinners. Check the sale papers, make out a menu according to what you can buy on sale and THEN go shopping. Buy extras of anything you can when it runs on sale.

*Get a freezer. Even a small freezer will save you tons in the long run! (Remember those sales?)

*For the most nutritious foods always shop the 'outer edges' of the store as much as possible. The 'worst for you food' is on the inner isles.

*Always keep these spices on hand (in powdered form if nothing else) Onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, Cumin, Oregano & Basil. sauce, Worcestershire sauce and chicken and beef bullion cubes or powder.
Let's talk some dinner..check the next post!

What's on the table tonight?

It's a cold day out there today! Our temps last night fell between 11 and 19 WOWSA!
So, it looked like a bean or soup day!
Pondering what to make for dinner............I take a look at what I've got in my fridge and freezer. Pork bits..ham..pork bone..and the thoughts are starting to come to me..hmm soup or beans?
In the fridge I had some sour cream, some avocados, shredded cheeese....well it's looking like a mexican bean night! BLACK BEANS! that's it!
I looked up some 'black beans' recipes..and after scanning several of them, I'm 'combining' a few for a black bean dinner! (I do this all the time!) I'll probably add other beans to this too, cuz the pot I make will be HUGE!

So into the kitchen I've gone and since I did not soak my beans overnight like your supposed to, here's a trick to 'cook beans the same day'.

Add the beans to water..I put the beans in the bottom of the pot and put in LOTS of water. Add one large spoon of baking soda and put them on to boil. Once they begin to boil, let them roll for about 2 hours. KEEP A WATCH ON THEM! They will boil a mess! Drain and start your recipe from this point. (or you can always cook them in a pressure cooker!)

In the meantime, get out the rest of the ingredients.
Remeber..these will be mexican style!
So, I've got cumin, some of the jalapenos that we grew this summer, onions, celery, tomotoes we canned this year, bell peppers we put in the feezer this summer, salt, pepper, garlic and of course, a good size chunk of pork.
Sounds like the makings of beans mexican style to me! Maybe with rice..maybe not!
Things on the side, are the things I listed above, sour cream, avocado's (not sure if I'll make guacamole yet) plus I'll make some cornbread to go along with and dinner will be a breeze! Will check back in later to let ya know how they are going and how I make them!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Valentines anyone??

Valentines is just around the corner, and over at Prim Sisters we've done a Valentines exchange. The wonderful exchange partner that got my name is "Yorkie". She has a blog that you can see here ...recently..she's been playing in the snow!!

Here's a pic of my recent 'trade'..I just love it and will probably keep it up all year!!

Thanks again Yorkie!!


Wanna see what I got

We have had a "Valentines Swap' over at Prim Sisters. One of our members.."Yorkie" got me..and here is what she sent me! Take a gander at this will ya??

I just may keep this out all's SOOO Nice!!

THANKS TONS YORKIE!!! You can visit with Yorkie at her 'HERE' to visit!


The Hedgewife


It's Valentines month, THINK RED!

I have to tell you, you know from previous posts that the hubby has been working a lot of over time..12 hour days, 7 days a week. It's been crazy, he's exhausted.
Anyway, that schedule doesn't' allow him time to do anything that needs to be done at home.
We needed to change a belt..a simple belt on the truck as it had started squeaking.
When was he going to get that time? It's dark when he leaves and dark when he comes home, there was no time. So we arranged with the local mechanic to drop the truck off late on Monday night and pick it up late on Tuesday night.
This gave us cause to stop and grab something to eat after picking up the truck last night. Something quick, that we both liked cuz hubby was still slightly dirty from work as we drove straight to the mechanics after he got off without a 'shower' time in between.
So we decided on Captain D's. Now, I love Captain D's, but last night..I realized just how much the economy and the 'love of money' was starting to dictate in every aspect of life.

When you go to Captain D's you usually get a good sized piece of fish..big sometimes. Last night I ordered my fish dinner and what came out was not a 'piece of fish' as was a 'fish finger'.
They have started cutting their pieces in half! Can you believe that?? I was appalled. Did I complain? No, wouldn't have done any good, they just work for the company, they have no say.

But I did decide that I would not pay that price again for 'fish fingers' thank you.
Captain D's has lost my business..and I guess since I'm posting about it on the blog, maybe some others will read and be prepared..
TRULY ..I kid you not, each piece of fish was 'cut in half' so that it was about the size of a 'chicken finger'..They didn't lower the price though..I'm really disappointed in the they seek to line their pockets even deeper with less food, same price. Not my style of 'business'. I think I'll pass.

Have you had any experiences with this type of 'business' lately?? Sound off about it! Time to speak up! We work hard for the money that is made around here, and to enjoy a night out every once in a while, even if it's just Captain D's ..but what we don't expect is to be 'jipped' like we were last night.
The economy is bad enough..why do that to the people who ARE frequenting your eatery? Makes no sense to me!

The Hedgewife