Monthly Archives: November 2015

Making Date Pudding for Thanksgiving – Memories of My Pop

When I was a little girl my dad and I made this pudding for the holidays.  It holds such wonderful memories for me.
Daddy making this one for you.  All my love.

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Mix all together and steam covered in a loaf pan for 1 hour or in cups for 1/2 hour

3 tablespoons melted butter
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 pound chopped dates
1/2 pound chopped nuts


Mix all together and steam covered in a loaf pan for 1 hour or in cups for 1/2 hour


Serve with Cream sauce

Cream Sauce
Mix then heat to a boil
1/4 t salt
1 3/4 C milk
3/4 C. Sugar

1 rounded tablespoon flour
a little water
2 beaten egg yolks
Strain if not smooth

Remove from fire – cool
1 teaspoon vanilla
beat in 2 egg whitesIMG_6442

Decided to Make My Own Soap and Was Surprised when My Psoriasis Got Better

Over the years, as I have said, I have tried to get back to the basics with the grooming products I use because I am so sensitive to smells.  So this year I decided to make my own soap instead of using the Lemon Verbena soap I was buying from Whole foods.  I looked on-line and found many many different recipes and they all called for a lot of scent.  So I went to a soap calculator and altered a few recipes I saw, adding Shea Butter and less scent.

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This is the recipe I came up with.  It has been a wonderful bath bar.  My husband surprised me when said he was going to use it as his shampoo because it made his hair feel soft.  I thought he was just being nice as that is the way he is, but his hair really does feel good.

Water 13.68 oz
Lye 5.10 oz
Coconut oil 32 oz
Shea Butter 4 oz
Orange oil .25 oz

I will make a batch this week and post how to on making this soap.

This is the link to the soap calculator
It is easier than I imagined.

It has been a true surprise and joy that my psoriasis has cleared up. I don’t know if it is related but it is the only change I made in my life.


Sprouting Seeds for the Chickens and for Salads

I decided to try sprouting seeds for both the chickens and others and for myself.  For the chickens I am sprouting corn (from my garden), wheat and barley.  I also got a mixed groups of seeds to sprout for my own salads.


Johnny’s seeds came with instructions for sprouting.  I think I went overboard with the number of seeds I added to the ball jars.  Rereading the instructions it says 1 Tablespoon.   IMG_6354

So add your tablespoon of seed to a ball jar and fill the jar 1/2 full with luke warm water and let it soak overnight.  I put cheesecloth over the jar opening and screwed on with the ring part of the lid.  That lets it breath and allows you to add and pour off water.  IMG_6359

In the morning drain off the water.  Rinse the seeds with lukewarm water and let drain.

Put in a dark location that is about 70 degrees with the jars on their sides.  At least twice a day rinse with lukewarm water and drain. IMG_6374 Continue rinsing until seeds have been harvesting.  After they seeds sprout and are about 1 1/2 long and have tiny leaves put them in the light to green up.   These are going back into the cupboard for another day or so.

Gave some to the Hens today.  IMG_6382 IMG_6384

They just loved the sprouts.  I may need to get a grow light to grow these in the winter  But they taste great.

The Chickens Winter Playroom (Aviary)

As we near winter in Maine, we had to think about what to do to keep our chickens warm, dry and happy during the very long cold winters.  So my husband, Brian, built a little enclosed area next to the room they roost in.


The Dutch door on the right goes to the play room the door on the left goes into where they roost.


They are not yet using the playroom much yet as they prefer to be outdoors but my friend Betty the Brave always follows me where I go.   You can see the little door cut in between the roosting area and the winter playroom.   The roost is well insulated and so far the play room is not.  But I have noticed now on much colder windy days they stay in the playroom instead of outdoors.  I am sure when the snow piles up they will stay inside more.  What you can not see in these pictures is that we have two chairs outside the pen so we don’t miss our Chicken TV.

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We have a heater under the water container to hopefully keep the water defrosted.  But I imagine we will be carting buckets of warm water out to the shed on days when it is 20 to -20.  I may need a new pair of warm boots.


Simple Safe Deodorant Recipe

Originally when I tried cutting scents out of my life, I only switched to an unscented deodorant.  I would have to buy it many months before I would use it so that the smells absorbed in the market could dissipate.

Then I switched to a health food type of deodorant.  But recently I realized they still had many  ingredients that I did not want to use in them.  I got a simple recipe from my sister in law.  Thanks Jane

2-1/2 Tbsp beeswax beads or beswax
4 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp Shea butter
7 tsp clay (bentonite or other)
15 drops essential oil (Sweet Orange, Lemon I like a very light scent)
I used small ball jar and an old deodorant container (clean of course)


Melt the beeswax and coconut oil on very low heat stirring constantly. Once melted, add in the Shea butter and whisk a few times, then remove from the heat and continue stirring. After the Shea butter is melted and you have a liquid, sprinkle in the clay and continue to whisk until everything is combined. Drop in the essential oil, whisking still. Place the pan into a cold water bath until it just begins to set up. Spoon the mixture into container and place it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.

Each time I have removed a strongly scented or potentially toxic product from my life I am so happy.  And they really don’t take that long to make once you have the ingredients.  For this one the only thing I needed to purchase was the Bentonite Clay which I bought from Amazon and it came in two days.  i use orange oil in soaps and put it in this Deodorant as orange oil as it inhibits microbial growth.

I finished this just now, Its not very pretty but that’s not what I need.  I will let you know how it works in a few days.

Update on the deodorant.  Yesterday I used it straight from the fridge and the deodorant slid on wonderfully.  But this morning I used it at room temperature and it is about 74 and my arm pit is of course warmer.  And when I went to put it on I got way to much as it melted on contact

So I removed the deodorant from the deodorant container and put it with the extra in the ball jar.  I warmed it back up until liquid then added another tablespoon of both Shea Butter and Beeswax beads.  Both of these melt at higher temperature then the coconut oil so hopefully the deodorant will go on better from a tube.    I also added another Tablespoon of the Bentonite clay.  I did not add any more scent as for me it was still a bit strong.

This may not firm it up enough to use from a deodorant container.  If it does not work I will just use a pea size ball spread on my underarm with my fingers.

The good news is per my husband Brian it worked well.  More updates to come.   Recipe above altered to reflect changes.


Next I am in search for a hair conditioner recipe.

Mom’s Spicy Pumpkin Bread

I decided today was a good day to make this as I wanted the smell of something wonderful baking.  It stores well in the freezer and will be good until Thanksgiving.

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This was one of my mothers favorite holiday pumpkin recipes. My Sister eats it as dessert with whipped cream on top.  Some of my friends think it is a spice bread not a pumpkin bread but it is clearly pumpkin.  I love it because it is very spiced.

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Before you make this make sure you start with a very large bowl.
I use my Mom’s large dutch oven.
Makes 5 loaves in large throwaway pans 3-4 in regular bread pans..

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3 sticks melted butter or Oleo (margarine)

Sift Together
5 1/4 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon mace
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ginger

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Combine In very big container
3 cups pumpkins (Fresh or Canned)  See my notes on preparing fresh pumpkin
6 eggs or egg beaters
1 cup water
4 1/2 cups sugar

Add Oleo, Sifted Ingredients and 1 1/2 tsp Vanilla


Add Ins (optional)  I like mine plain
Chopped Dates 16 oz for 2 loaves
Chopped Walnuts 1 cup per loaf

Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes at 350°  A bit longer is using normal bread pans