Sunday, January 30, 2011

Needles into Pins

I have a lot of hair and I keep it in a bun all day.  I think I have tried every hair pin known to man and still was not happy.  I like my bun to be firmly attached to my head, I can not stand a wiggly bun.  So this is what I came up with, well actually I saw this somewhere, Oh Ileigh just told me where, Rapunzel's Resource. Knitting Needles bent into Hair Pins!  Brilliant!!!
 These are size 3 double pointed needles, I have tried this with a larger size, but the pins were too "fat".
Then you ask your 14 year old son to help you bend the needles.  Just bend them in half!
 Squeeze the ends in as much as you would like, then ta-da............
These are not perfect, the ends don't match up exactly, but I am trying to let that go, because it simply doesn't matter!
I use only 3 pins to put up all my hair!

And there you have it, all done! 
Have a great day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

In Which I Wax Poetic About My Cast Iron

I love me cast iron skillet
I can hardly wait to fill it,
With bacon and eggs or blueberry buckles,
Clean-up's a breeze you won't scrape your knuckles
So black and shiny, heavy and stout
My Cast Iron I will not be without!!

I LOVE my cast iron, to me it its the epitome of country self-sufficient living.  In the movies or in books every pioneer woman has cast iron.  It's strong and heavy, you can drop it, leave it out in the weather and generally abuse it and it will still work really hard for you!!  Food just tastes better in cast iron.  Although there are a few things that don't, like shrimp and anything with tomatoes, they tend to taste like metal.  When you cook in cast iron you even get a bit of iron in you which is good for your blood!
So I thought I would give you a bit of a tutorial about caring for and resurrecting cast iron. 
The big skillet I got at a yard sale for $2, it is really rusty, it was a shape and size I didn't have so I picked it up.  The other pieces are ones that didn't get dried properly, so they rusted, but not to worry cast iron is very forgiving.  That is Ferrans little soldier standing guard over the process!

When you have a rusty pan you need to scour all the rust and grungies out of it, I use salt and a bit of dish soap, you could use sand or sugar.  Scrub until nothing seems to be coming loose.  Rinse with hot water and take a good look, any flakes of old food or rust need to be gone. 
This is how you properly dry cast iron, on the stove top with a flame, you heat it until all the water is evaporated, that way you don't miss a drop of water, it will rust! The pans will stay very hot for a loonngg time, do not grab them, I speak from experience!!  I just let them sit all night.  But since we were seasoning these I let them cool abit then rubbed them down with oil.  I prefer to use lard or vegetable shortening, but I was out of both, so I used olive oil.

Wipe them down all over inside and out with oil, sop up any extra until there is a nice film of oil over the whole pan, I don't worry about the handle.

Then you put them in your oven, yes my oven is dirty, I don't think my mother would be very proud!  "Cook" them for a couple of hours at 250. Then turn off the oven and let them set until morning or until they are totally cool.
Ta Da!!!  All better, no more rust!  The yard sale skillet is on the left, it was a mess but it came back to life rather well.  If you get an old rusty relic, after you season it, be sure to use it to cook your greasiest food, bacon, sausage ect. it will get a nicer finish on it faster that way.  Alot of folks don't "wash" their cast iron just wipe it down, I wash mine in hot soapy water, then dry on the stove. If they look "dry" I put a bit of shortening on them and stick them on the stack with the rest!!

Not bad for $2!!  So go ahead and get out your cast iron pans, if you don't have any start looking at yard sales and antique shops!
Oh I forgot to tell you, cast iron, when properly seasoned is very non-stick, just use  abit of oil or butter and your food will slip out nicely!  Besides teflon is really bad for you! 
Have a great day, if you have any questions let me know I'll  do my best to answer them!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Thoughts and Plans

Ok, I'm back and it's only been a week!!  yeah me!!  I have  a great post on cast iron pans and how to care for them, but the pictures are on the camera and the camera is at home and I am not!  So, let me tell you some of our plans for our farm.
Our main goal is to make a living, such that Dane can be home with us, working with and training the boys, and the girls too!  We feel that their is no substitute for time spent with your Dad, and with 6 sons Dane has a lot of boys who need his time.  We don't want to raise run of the mill young men.  You know this isn't a dress rehearsal, you only get one chance to raise your children and we want to make sure we do the best job possible.  Of course every parent does, but we have prayed and prayed about it and this is undoubtedly the way God is leading us.  It seems crazy I know, especially to people who know us and know that Dane has an excellent job with amazing benefits, but this "normal" life isn't what we feel we're supposed to do. 
We plan to raise beef cattle, and broiler chickens and eggs and vegetables, we plan on selling these items at farmers markets and to restaurants and specialty grocers.  We also want to have a small farm store were we can sell milk and butter and handmade items as well as jellies and jams and breads.  We know that there is HUGE amount of work involved, we know that keeping our heads above water will be difficult.  But we also know that when your in Gods will it's the best place to be! 
We have become disenchanted with what the world has to offer.  We have grown tired of movies and games and computer entertainment.  There is nothing lasting in those things.  If you play on the wii for an hour what have you gained?  If you ride your pony in the woods for an hour, you have gained an appreciation of the landscape, maybe you saw a new kind of bird, you worked with another living creature to get where you wanted to go, and maybe you gained a new insight on Gods beautiful creation.  There just seems to be so much more available to the children on a farm.  I'm not saying you can't have that in town or on a couple of acres, but it is harder.  We have gradually widened our horizons, we started in a small house with a small backyard, the we moved to Main street with a bigger backyard, that's where we thought we could have chickens, but we couldn't.  Soon we realized the children needed even more space to roam.  Then we moved to where we are now, 2.5 acres of dry land, although with all the mud it doesn't seem "dry" right now!!  This place gave us a taste to the farm life, we've raised chickens for eggs and meat, we've milked goats, we've planted gardens.  But we soon came to realize a taste was simply not enough, we wanted the whole smorgasbord!! 
We are getting close, almost time to start getting boxes and packing a few things, time to start painting and fixing up the house.  We are so excited it's hard to wait!! 
"Soon," I tell the kids, " Soon we will be on our farm!!"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Years Resolution?!?!

Wow, do I even have any more followers?  Does anyone even look at our little blog anymore?  I know how peeved I get when blogs I read don't update often........I will apologize one more time; soorrryyy. 
I have a New Years Resolution, although I really don't make them because I always break them but, I will really really try to keep this one..........I Misty Anderson Will Update Our Family Blog, Inherit the Earth at Least Once a Week!!  Ok there it is, if I don't, go ahead and send me nasty comments and let know how upset you are ect. ect.!
In reality I have had very little computer time lately and that that I do have I need to spend researching things like woodburing cookstoves and non-electric washers and milk cows and the like.  Things are speeding along very quickly, we are starting paint and muck out our house, getting ready to put it on the market. 
We have been corresponding with the Amish family in Missouri they are getting things ready on their end too.  We are at just over 100 day til possesion!!  yeah!!!  And yes I am a counter I love to know how many days are left and how many have passed. I am also a list person, and a 'love to fill notebooks' person.  So I have lists for moving and lists of things I need to read and lists of clothes we need to get and......well the list goes on and on!
It is starting to sink in how many things we don't know and how many things will be new to us.  It make s the adventure that much more exciting!  I will do a better job keeping you all posted and you can join us on theis crazy ride!
                                                     Thanks for waiting on us and being patient!