Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Thrift finds

Only one trip out this week. My daughter went on her lunch hour and found three items. One to add to the store and the others she gave to me.

The vintage brown plastic basket will be listed on the store, but the vintage cork hot pads she gave to me to add to my "canning jar" life. They are plastic coated on the front but the label on the back said that they are good for temperatures up to 500 degrees. I was not trusting that, but on Memorial day I used them and sure enough they worked. I just love them because they are so bright and everything in our rented kitchen is brown. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Saltine Crackers

The real reason saltine crackers are a staple in my pantry is not because they are wanted with ginger ale in the recovery of some major bugs going around, but because of stuffing. Yes stuffing. I hear so much about recipes and how people ate during the depression and during the recovery. I have been making this recipe for dressing (fancier word) for many years and never wrote it down. This year I finally wrote it down and placed it in my recipe box for friends and family to have. Here it is and don't feel like you have to make it. This is just something I grew up with and the reason I buy saltine crackers.

1 pound saltine crackers crushed in a large bowl
1.5 Tbs. poultry seasoning
1 large onion chopped
4 large celery stalks chopped
1 stick salted butter
2 eggs
2 Cups water

1) Saute butter, onions, celery and poultry seasoning together in a skillet until onions and celery are cooked through. 
2) Crush crackers in a large bowl, add sauteed onions and celery and mix well with the crackers. It will be dry but the crackers will cool the butter, onions and celery so you can use your hands if needed.
3) Mix in the eggs and water until quite wet, put in an 8x8 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 

This was served with gravy and it was called our meatless depression meal. I make this about four times a year. It is my Thanksgiving staple, but is great with roasted chicken or pork. It also freezes well for a couple of months. I use vacuum seal bags to keep it fresh.

For the holiday yesterday I made strawberry shortcake in my daughters new to her lime green Pyrex round baking dish. I also used the square one for my stuffing. 

I have been saving egg shells and coffee grounds in a half gallon jar this week. They are going to be added to my tomato plants that I'm going to transplant this week. I have a place to grow them since I can't here at the townhouse. Whatever happens, happens, but succeed or fail I'll have given it a try. 

This is how far the tomatoes have come and I'm excited that they have done this well. These are container tomatoes so I'll post the progress over the summer. Wish me luck. 

That's what's going on at the townhouse as far as cooking and growing. I know someday I'll be doing more, but for now I have a place to garden thanks to a friend of my younger daughter. Thank you for stopping by to read my blog and have a great week. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thrift Finds

Life has been a bit busy growing the store and sewing and doing those things that we want to do. At this point there is never enough time to do what we "want" to do, but we did get out for a donation run because we are always purging and then took a quick jog through the thrift store. 

We found a vintage daisy floral sheet, a Vera scarf, a Vera napkin with the lady bug insignia, a hand embroidered linen for a future sewing project and for $1.99 we got six sets of double pointed knitting needles. Best bargain ever!

We got one canning jar, but the price was right, a bundle of mini embroidery hoops, a pair of Tiki vases, a doily, a white bowl that is not vintage or anything. It was used by florists and it fit in with a few other white pieces my daughter has collected and the final item was a vintage Pyrex baking loaf pan. Not bad for the few minutes we hunted.

Visit her at

There is a sale going on at my daughter's on line store. Pleases feel free to stop by and check it out. There are many vintage items, fabric and hand made items. Hope you feel like looking. Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. I wish everyone a wonderful week.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thursdays Threads

There's been some breaks in the kitchen activities lately and it honestly feels great. There are so many things that my daughters and I want to do and we are taking the time to do it. This past weekend I continued working on my memory tee shirt quilt. It is coming along well, but I ended up with enough shirts to make two quilts or a front and back. I needed one more shirt from my son's college he graduated from last May and it has been ordered and should arrive by this Saturday. I am excited to have one more item on the road to being finished. 

My eldest daughter finished an apron made from a vintage sheet. This is one of the many, many projects that she has underway and it felt good to her to have it finished. 

I continue on my new adventure knitting socks. I know some of you wonder when I find time, but we live in a rented townhouse. I have some not so nice neighbors who will keep me up late nights with the noise. They can start being noisy at 5:30 a.m. and go to well after 11 p.m. and no matter what we do it doesn't stop. We are close to our goal of finding a new residence, but it may be up to 16 months from now. Money isn't growing on the tree fast enough so in the mean time I reduce my stress with my knitting and am rewarded each time with a new pair of socks or other clothing item. I think I will probably have a few dozen pairs of socks by the time we can move.

The most challenging part of my life right now is growing my green thumb. It is a test, but I have one window that is small and can't be blocked (according to the complex rules) so I have a small table with my Christmas Cactus plants on it. My white Christmas cactus is growing leaps and bounds and it is actually blooming "one" bloom and it's May. I guess it likes that window. I'm calling it my prime gardening space.

Life in the townhouse has it's challenges. Too small but workable, bad neighbors but the reward is socks, and taking the time to look and grow into the new life we so need and desire. Counting our blessing every day and taking advantage wherever we can to move forward. Thank you for stopping by and have a great weekend. 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

We are enjoying the sunshine and the rain here. I would love to put my herbs out but it's going to get colder again later this week and they have to wait. I think it will happen over the holiday weekend. In the mean time we're doing the things we can and not pushing outdoors yet.

I put some of that chicken we found on sale up as a soup base along with some of the vegetables I got at the farmer's market. I thought it would make four quarts, but I ended up with five and a quart of chicken broth. I like bonuses in the canning department. It also made using the caner in hot weather worth the effort.

I made up a large bowl of barbecue pulled chicken. Then I tried my skills at making a Stromboli. Most of this week has been trying new recipes out on my daughter. Some came out okay others didn't, but it's all an attempt to build a meal plan with a good rotation so that we are not eating the same thing all the time. I've sent her meatless recipes to read that I've found on Pinterest and she sends back recipes that include meat. We had a great chuckle about it and as yet we have not settled on any. That's what happened in the townhouse kitchen this week. There's been so many other things to do and the kitchen has not been top priority with this heat. 

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Thrift finds

With all the wonderful weather we had this past weekend it was very hard not to get out and enjoy it. Sunday morning at 6:45 we were up and out the door to run errands, have some breakfast and head to a couple of flea markets. 

It was a wonderful trip and the Pyrex treasures were awesome. The four red pieces were only $10. The large Cinderella bowl is in the worst shape, but the square bowl and refrigerator dish are decent and usable. The set of three green casseroles with covers we got for a steal at $16. She is going to keep these and I don't blame her. They are in pristine condition.

There were many great finds and the prices on these ranged from $.50 to $1 including the Pyrex white opal casserole bowls. The fruit print clear relish dishes are Georges Briard. We couldn't believe the deals we found.

I dickered for the box of Christmas ornaments. The box had a few missing and odd colors so I got them for $1. The vintage towels were $.50 each. They had all the dust included from 1968 and 1975 to now, but the prints were still amazing.

My daughter also found a Wilhold sewing box, a Vera scarf, a vintage flower maker dickered down to $.50 and a few Tupperware items for her lunch box and straws for a travel cup.

My younger daughter walked for a few hours through a very large neighborhood sale that went on and on and on and brought me a few treasures this past weekend. Poly-fil is always welcome and I had been looking for a first aid book to have on hand. The new old stock canning jar rims and lids will be put to use this week when I put up my chicken soup.

Monday was a day out too. After an appointment we went to a Goodwill store just because it was on the way home. The finds were awesome. There is a set of Strawberry Shortcake sheets that will be used for cutter fabric, a Pyrex oval cover, an angel figurine that was made in France and matches a statue of Mary we already had, made by the same artist and I got very excited to find a new Tupperware strainer that I knew I could resell at a decent profit. Then the find of all finds was the Catherine Holm enamel bowl. I turned my head and said to myself I know that pattern and with a good football toss I took it off the shelf and passed it to my daughter the great teacher. It was priced at $1.99 and it was going home with us. After checking out and getting to the car she immediately researched to find that this enamel bowl was rare and one was listed on Etsy for $245 dollars and they were selling on eBay for no less that $87 auction price. However, this is a keeper for her. I'm glad because it washed up nicely and matches her green Pyrex collection. So, that's what our weekend thrift finds yielded and all I can say is WOW! It was a great.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Townhouse Homestead Tuesday

Well it has finally arrived. Warm weather in the northeast. We had one of the most wonderful weekends and I made good use of it. On Saturday my younger daughter and I went to the Rochester Public Market. I filled a large bag of fresh vegetables that of course was too much for two people, but I had my motive to start a shelf of dehydrated vegetables for my pantry. I've done a bit in the past few months, but the deals at the market were incredible. 

It started with mushrooms. I got three quarts of vegetables for $5, any variety of my choice. I chose two quarts (over flowing quarts) of mushrooms and one fresh green beans. The green beans we are eating with meals and as snacks, but the two quarts of mushrooms filled the dehydrator and condensed down to fill a one quart canning jar. They are all vacuum sealed and on the pantry shelf.

Next were sweet red peppers. They were two for $1 and very large so I got four and dehydrated them. Not quite a full pint, but there will be time to do more and they are now on the shelf. 

I got a five pound bag of carrots for $2 and four pounds of them are in the dehydrator as I am writing this post. It will yield one quart of dry carrots for the pantry shelf. I purchased a four ounce container of basil pesto for $1, zucchini squash and  yellow squash. I'm working these into my meal plan which is not going very well, but I am trying. 

I'm drying my orange peels because I have discovered that they are useful in everything from cleaners, to soups, to candy and even as a match because orange oil is flammable. It has become a matter of use everything to it's fullest before you dispose of it around here. Some people think I'm taking it to far, but if I can't compost I will make use of what I can. 

Chicken leg quarters are on sale for the next two weeks for $.59 a pound so we gathered up what we could afford and immediately put some in the oven to have available for quick meals and another few went into a pot to boil. In the refrigerator now are two large Pyrex measuring cups with my broth that I will be caning tomorrow along with barbecue pulled chicken. Eight leg quarters were put in the freezer. We aren't doing all that we can, but we are working on it. It's proving to be so economical but the work is constant and you have to be willing. That's what's happening with the kitchen and I hope soon to get ready to plant my herbs. Thank you for stopping by to read my post and I hope you all have a great week.