Keeping Food Hot


Was talking with another cook last night about getting meals to the fields hot. A big cooler works well! I wrap towels around the hot food to keep the pans from damaging the interior.


Stuck this thermometer down into the pan after more than 3 hours last night. It wasn’t in the food, just in the air around it. Even after sitting out while the guys were eating for at least 45 minutes, the air in the cooler wasn’t too far into that 45-135 degree danger zone. It hadn’t been there long. She suggested a baking stone. That would keep my cooler even warmer 🙂 Do you have any ideas?

Home Made Laundry Soap

This summer, I stocked up on ingredients for my home made laundry soap. Today I desperately needed some, so I hauled out the ingredients and started chopping my Zote Soap in my food processor. I always like to let my food processor rest a bit between grindings so I waited  to put the dry ingredients in my big bucket, but when I went to pour, I found my boxes of borax and washing soda were caked.

So, I thought, “Well, I’ll just have to put chunks of it in the food processor with the Zote soap. You know they say some of the most amazing discoveries were accidents. Eureka! You get a much finer grind on the bar soap if you put it in with the dry ingredients! That’s important if you use cold water to wash with 🙂 Don’t know why I didn’t think of it before!


By the way, I use a dry soap recipe by Being Creative to Keep My Sanity if you are interested!

God Bless You All!

~Grama Sue

Garage Sale

It’s official! I’ve lost 20 pounds since Grampa Tom started seeing the good doctors at the Rexroth Clinic. People ask me what diet I’m on. I tell them I’m on the “Keeping Up With Tom” diet. For the past several years he’s slept so much. Now he gets up at 5 or 6 and goes all day. He’s down 50 pounds. Neither of us are trying, it’s just all the activity!


Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a several donations. The garage is overflowing. If you come early tomorrow, expect a mess! I’m trying to get it all organized, but everything won’t fit. Gonna have to put some of it outside. Among the treasures: homeschool books, a complete set of 1949 encyclopedias, a large Child Craft collection, lots of Magic School Bus books, flash cards, games, girl’s and women’s clothing, some very pretty formals, a coffee peculator, an ab exerciser, tons of new toys, a cute little rocking chair, I could go on and on! Come check them out!


Farmer’s markets have been picking up a little. Nauvoo is the one that is going the best for us right now. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to sell my noodles for the price I needed, but I can’t keep up. I need more food dryers! If you want to catch us we’ll be at:
Carthage Mondays 2:30-5:30, on the Square
Burlington Thursdays normally 5-8pm at Crapo Park
Nauvoo Fridays 3:30-5:30 at the Winery
Keokuk Saturdays 6:30 am – 11am at the mall (if we have anything left)


We are currently harvesting onions, green beans, carrots, basil, oregano, chives, sage, cilantro, lemon balm and lettus. Is there anyone out there who knows a lot about the different types of basil? I planted a variety that I think is either Thai or Holy Basil, but I lost the package and I’m not sure what it was. It’s got a reddish stem with red flowers.


We’ll have tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes and cucumbers soon. We got a ripe tomato off a plant in our new beds the other day. I honestly have never tasted a tomato with so much flavor! Can’t wait for more.


Getting close to done on the rug. I’ve learned so much!
1. Braid and sew as you go. I cut the strips and sewed them into big fabric balls and then made one long braid which I made into a ball. It was very unruly. Now I’m just adding strips and braiding as I go. It works better.
2. Fold the edges in as you braid. I’ve got a lot of rough edges that will probably fray because I didn’t think of this.
3. Strips look better if you cut the fabric diagonally and sew the diagonal edges together.
4. You can actually lace a rug together instead of sewing. I tried it, but I had already been sewing so I decided to wait until the next rug before I start this.

A couple of weeks ago I was given a bunch of old goose eggs. I plan to demonstrate how to blow them out this weekend if anyone is interested.

(tips, recipes and ideas for saving money)

Put egg noodles in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before rolling them out. It makes them less sticky and they roll out much easier.

God Bless You All! ~Grama Sue

Farmer’s Markets, Golden Eggs and Low Maintenance Gardens

THINGS ARE POPPING UP ALL OVER!Things are really growing around here! We’ve got onions, potatoes, spinach, green beans, lima beans and radishes up. Today we finally got some corn and lettuce planted along with more green beans and onions. Hopefully, I’ll have baby chicks next week. Oh! And you’ve just got to see this little cutie!


Our first farmer’s market went ok. We had about 30 dozen eggs and ended up selling quite a few of them for $1.25 a dozen. That doesn’t come anywhere near covering our production costs, but we didn’t want to take them home. Because of the flooding, the market is being held at the train depot in Burlington. I thought there were a lot of people there, but the veteran vendor’s said it was really slow so we expect things to get much better. BTW, if you want to come, it is held from 5-8 pm every Thursday. We’ll be going to Keokuk in a couple of weeks and probably to Carthage too.


Take a look! Grampa Tom had a fantastic idea for reusable shopping bags!


Cool huh? And to think we’ve been burning our feed bags for years! He’s asking $10 a piece. If you’d like to buy one, stop by or e-mail me.

We’ve also got “golden goose eggs” and smaller “golden nest eggs”

We’re asking $2.50 for the goose eggs and $1.50 for the nest eggs. Pretty cheap way to make someone a little richer! I also pray over each one that God would enrich the lives of those who receive them.

Our gazebo blew down in a wind storm last week. Not a bad thing – we were planning to take it down and use the metal for tomato plant supports anyway. Last year, I wove a top for it out of pink and yellow material. I took the top off and plan to try braiding a rug out of it. That’s what I’ll be working on this weekend.


We’ve got 2 new projects we are adding to my 30/$30 list.

1. We’ve decided we will offer to build the low maintenance gardens for other people. These gardens take a lot to build, but once they are up, they are a breeze to take care of and they produce a ton of food. A 4 x16 foot garden can produce enough vegetables to feed 2 people for a year. We went to a seminar back in January to learn about them and are very excited. If you’d like to read more about these gardens, go to:

We are also talking about offering classes for those who want to do it themselves.

2. The other is affiliate marketing. If you click on the ads on my blog, I’ll get a commission on anything you buy!


(tips, recipes and ideas for saving money)

How to Boil a Fresh Egg

This secret actually comes from one of the greatest sources of wisdom around … my CCU yahoo group … specifically from one of the group “moms” Deanna. Thanks Deanna!

Set eggs out for a couple of hours to bring to room temperature. Bring water to a boil before adding eggs. Slip eggs into boiling water with a slotted spoon and bring back to a boil. Then turn to simmer for 20 minutes. Chill eggs quickly in ice water.

One of the biggest problems with fresh eggs is that they don’t peel well. This method makes them easy to peel and they don’t get that yucky green around the yolk thing either.

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