Posts Tagged ‘Frugal’

Frugal Yoga

About three months ago I started practicing yoga on a regular basis.  Naturaly I didn’t want to spend any extra money on classes, nore do I have the time to take a class out of the home, but a friend pointed out to me that on the PBS2 channel there are several yoga programs that come on early in the morning. I’ve been looking to start some kind of regular physical practice so I thought I’d try it, and I’ve become a big fan of “Priscilla’s Yoga Stretches”.  Her programs are easy to follow and she’s very keen on not hurting yourself and not being intimidated. Her  Yoga program is like the “Slow Foods” movement’s version of exercise! I’ve also found on Netflix Instant Play several yoga programs for specific topics, like relaxation, aches and pains, strength and flexability.  You can also find yoga DVDs at the library. I really enjoy it because it feels good, physicaly and spiritualy. If you have alot of muscular aches and pains, you can also use yoga to reduce your dependency on pain medicine.  Why reach for the advill when you can use a few positions to loosen up your muscles all by your self? After all, reducing health care costs begins at home, right?   I look forward to yoga  every morning and I hope to can keep with it. When I’m as old as Pricilla, I want to look as good and feel as good as she does!

Home Made Fruit Leather

Greetings! I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in such a long time. The summer got away from me,  and so did my garden.  It’s a shameful mess right now.  I am so looking forward to cooler weather this fall. That said, I have been making apple butter and fruit leather from my apples and I did harvest about 9 lbs of green grapes, dispite the dry weather. The chickens are growing up, I sold 4 pullets at $10 a piece to a friend at church.  We are getting ready to butcher our extra roosters, several of which were donated to us, as we live in the county and are alowed to raise them.  So without further delay, here is my fruit leather recipe, which is way better than “fruit” roll ups:

1)Fill your biggest stock pot half way with apples. (Peal and core them if you don’t have a foley food mill.) Fill the stock pot the rest of the way up with any other fruit you like. If you use all apples, you will have to add apple juice to it so that it doesn’t burn, apples just don’t have enough moisture. Give it a good stir and keep an eye on the temperature. It should only take 20 minutes or so to get soft. Mash it with a potato masher a little. 

2) If you didn’t peal the apples or if there are any other large seeds you want to remove, set up your foley food mill over the crockpot. Mill all the fruit, set your crock pot on low with the lid off. Cook for 8-12 hours. Feed all the peals and seeds to the chickens, or compost pile.

3)Taste your fuit/apple butter. Add sweetner to taste. Add cinnimon to taste. Honey is excellent in this recipe! I also like “Apple Pie Spice Mix” and “Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix”.

 4) Set your oven to warm/120 degrees. Wrap your cookie sheets with plastic wrap. Wax paper will not work!! Spoon some fuit butter on the plastic wrap, and spread out so it’s no more than 1/4 in thick. Place it in the oven with the door open a little, so moisture will excape. Every few hours rotate the trays, if you have more than one. Cook about 8-12 hours, until the fuit is dry and leathery.

 5) Peal the fruit from the plastic and set it on a cookie rack to dry on the counter. When it’s fully dry, powder it with corn starch. Roll it up or slice it into bite sized pieces and store in a zip lock bag in a dry cool place. 

 You can “cheat” by starting with store bought apple sause and start directly in the crockpot with any other fruit you want. You might want to run the whole fruits through a blender if you want a smooth consistency.  And please, if you do buy store applesause, get no sugar added! The whole point is to avoid high fructose corn syrup.

 If you want to cut costs, plant your own apple tree and berry bushes. Or buy fruit “seconds” at a farmer’s market. “Seconds” are the fruits that are over ripe, or just blemished. Sometimes you can get the seconds for free! I made my first batch with free second plums that I dropped in a bag and froze to make the fruit butter/leather several weeks later.

Fourteen Free Things I Could Use

There are some normally recycled or tossed out items that I could use. Here’s a list of them, I would deeply appreciate it if you could remember to save them for me, if you are local to me.  If the item is small, and you are one of my partners at http://www.swap-bot.com  feel free to include this in a package!

1. Old Candle Wax: I recycle it into new candles!

2. Large plastic Ice Cream Containers:  Great for organizing stuff! I use smaller ones for storing household batteries for recycling. I used another for my compost bucket. Another is a toy for my son Julian!

3. Buckets with Lids:  Like the kind cat food or litter come in. Also useful for storing things in the garage that you don’t want mice to get into.  I use one for my diaper bucket in my bathroom.

4. Plastic Bags in  gray,  tan, or blue:  I make these into plarn (plastic yarn) to make bags and other non-clothing items. I shop at Food Lion, so anything not white and blue I would love to have! Swappers, feel free to send me a blue one!

5. Mason Jars: For canning or candles!

6. Paper Bags: I use them to wrap stuff for shipping, and for covering school books.

7. Plastic Vinegar Bottle:  or anything food grade (no bleach bottles). I cut them into scoops for chicken or pet feed.

8. Grolsch bottles: the beer bottles with the buckle top, for making home made soda!

9. Egg Cartons:  For both eggs and fire starters!

10. Plastic Milk Rings: You can crochet around them to make ornaments! Another good one for swappers!

11. Chinese Take Out Containers:  esp the rectangle shaped plastic containers and the pints and quart sized liquid containers. Paul uses them for his lunch, and I freeze food in them sometimes too.

12.Ice packs and Styrofoam coolers:  for transporting eggs.

13. Box Tops for Vincent’s School:  I usually skip the fundraisers, but I work extra hard at collecting the box tops from anyone who isn’t already turning them into a school! If your a swapper who isn’t saving your box tops for your kids, please, send me some!! Honestly I don’t buy allot of the foods that have the Box Tops, so I can use all the help I can get!

14. Big Pretzel Jars: I usually see them at Sam’s Club, or smaller ones at Wall-mart. Also good for storing flour, pet food, yarn or plarn!  You can also cut the top off and stick them over plants in the early spring to create a mini green house.