I wanted to make a very sentimental gift for my mother. Y’all know I always prefer to make my gifts homemade. But I’m not really the creative type. So I struggle mightily with being able to figure out the perfect gift.
But this time I think my gift was perfect. I took arrowheads that my brother had flint-knapped years ago and arranged them into a cross for her. Come see how I was able to fashion this gift using only supplies I had at home.
Many have been thrown into a strange world of doing their best to stay out of the stores and away from crowds. They’re trying to figure out how to provide things for themselves that they used to be able to buy. Sometimes such a drastic change can be frightening.
But take a deep breath. Today I’ll share with you the simplest self-sufficiency steps you can take now to begin providing for your own home and family. These were the easiest steps for me when I first started on the path to Voluntary Simplicity. And if you’re just starting out I think they can help you too.
Aaaaah, spring! The trees are turning green & the daffodils are blooming. And there’s all those fresh greens in the garden for a healthy salad.
I LOVEsalads! The freshness, the crispness and the healthy aspect of it. To me, it’s like welcoming spring after the long winter season of eating more comfort-foody types of meals.
But ya know, although a healthy food may start out healthy, the health aspect can be changed drastically based on what you add to it.
I mean, heck – an apple is about as healthy as it gets. But add flour, sugar, seasonings, butter and a thick buttery crust and it’s an apple pie dessert instead!
So I really (really) wanted to make my own healthier yet creamy salad dressing. After doinking around a bit I made a delightful, creamy, healthy and tasty salad dressing that I can just mix together in a minute.
And you can’t get a more worthy topping for those fresh greens than that, #amiright??
I typically have an ‘indoor greenhouse‘ that I use when I plant heirloom seeds in the late winter months. This means I’ll be able to actually put seedlings in my garden come spring instead of planting the seeds directly into the soil later in the season.
But this year I wondered if I should attempt to set up a cold frame to take my plants from tiny seedling to ready to plant. So to experiment I started looking around for a good southern-exposure location & items I could use to build a temporary cold frame. Why not use hay bales?
We were recently invited to a family gathering. Now in my family invitations to a shared meal happen often.
Since it’s so common & also so that the burden doesn’t fall on the hosting family, each family in attendance brings something to contribute to the meal. There’s always lots of good food at our family gatherings!
This time I wanted to bring something snacky. So I offered to bring some homemade hummus. (If you haven’t seen my Stupid-Easy Hummus Recipe, you should totally check it out!)
Of course I’ll need something for dipping. But I hate how expensive that little bag of pita chips is! Hummm, I wonder…
I decided to make my own pita-type chips. Let’s see how it goes.
It took me a long time to jump into the Instant Pot scene. I mean, I already had slow cookers, and I had a high-end stainless steel stove-top pressure cooker too. Why would I spend more money to buy something else I had to store? Wanna know what the breaking point was for me to decide to jump in?
Well I’d borrowed my sisters IP to see if I’d *really* use it enough to justify the cost. One of the first things I tried was bone broth. I was hooked!
Y’all, making your own healthy broth has really never been this easy!
RancherMan & I love our coffee. We enjoy that hot cup-o-joe each morning. Although I hate plastic, our favorite coffee comes in a plastic canister. Of course when they’re empty I offer those handy containers to others around me who I feel could use them.
But when I could no longer give them away I started looking for ways to repurpose them myself. If you’re looking for inspiration too, come see what I’ve been able to make with them. Links to details are in the titles.
Back in ‘the day’ I had lots of scented candles and I burned them often. I loved the gentle flicker of the flame and the scent of the candle itself. But then I heard of the nasties that can be released by burning traditional paraffin wax candles. So as time went on I burned them less & less. When they were gone I just did without.
But now we have our own apiary and I have access to that precious all-natural beeswax. So today I think I’ll make beeswax candles with it!
My aunt always shares bushels of apples from her tree. Oh how I love them! I’m not sure what variety they are, but they’re flavorful, crisp and sweet. I’ll tote all those apples home and get to processing Apple Pie Filling, dried apple slices, Fruit rollups, and much more.
Many times I’ll take the less-than-perfect apples and immediately peel and core them for applesauce. Heck it’s so easy, chunk it all in a slow cooker and just let it do its thing.
When they’re soft I take a stick blender to make it smooth. There’s no need to add sugar, these apples are already sweet. Sometimes I’ll add a tiny amount of vanilla. But what to do with this applesauce?