Thursday, August 6, 2015

Crock Pot Bacon Baked Beans

Crock Pot Bacon Baked Beans 
Soak the beans  (1 kilo) overnight
In the morning rinse the beans and put them into the crockpot.
1 large can of tomatoes (800 grams I think)
1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 cups of water
2 tsp of dry mustard
1/2 cup of sugar free BBQ sauce
2 cups of onions

Cook on high for 2-3 hours then turn to low and let simmer most of the day
When it is closer to serving up (say 2-3 hours to go) add the following ingredients.
The lady who gave me the original recipe, which I have addapted, told me that once you add the salt and sugar that the beans don't get any softer. So for a softer bean add it later.
6 tablespoons of sweeter (I used Xyliyol)
2 teaspoons salt
6 Tablespoons of molasses (this I feel is optional and can be reduced or left out altogether)
1 kilo of shortcut bacon diced up
Stir through out the day.
However it is very forgiving. I left mine unattended for 7 hours while out today and it was fine.

You can add a little more water as needed if you think it is too thick.
Eat with a slice of Rye and Oat Bread that you made earlier and enjoy!!

Blessings to you and your homes,
Linked to- The Art of Home making Mondays

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Home Made Games - Horse Shoes

Outdoor play is a big part of our children's lives.
I encourage lots of outdoor time as I believe it helps the children both physically, mentally and emotionally.

Just the other day the children found a heap of horse shoes and one of the games they started to play was of course that old game of Horse Shoes.
This was suggested by Autumn as she was outside with the little ones and they were looking for something to play, something different to what they had been playing
A simple stick found laying around and shoved into the damp earth provided the required catching part of the game.
 Trahaearn  was the first to have a turn........
followed by Arwen of course.
Well technically they played together for a while.
 The game was such a great success that the older children wanted to play as well.
The dividing up of the horse shoes was a bit of a trick as there seemed to be some better choices than others ☺
 Yep one of the advantages of lots of family around is that we can have a good competition.
Someone prefers to try things by her self and so waited till the others had moved on to other pursuits.

And that is a typical type of day in our home with the improvisation of whatever can be found just lying around!!

Blessings to you and your homes,
Linked to - Wise Woman Linkup
Linked to - The Art of Home Making Mondays

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Beatrix Potter Day

We had a most enjoyable day the other day  as we celebrated the life of Beatrix Potter on what would have been her birthday Monday 27th July.
As per usual we wrote up a plan of what we wanted to  achieve on this day and then proceeded on with those plans.
Our plans usually start with any books we have and setting up any displays to be visually stimulating
As Beatrix Potter was a brilliant artist we got out our some of our Art books and had planned on doing some watercolour painting and drawing outside but the weather was really horrible.
Did I say we love books?????
Arwen loves her little  Hunca Munca music box and has had it since she was a baby. One of our little Peter Rabbit's lost his jacket and I had to make him a little felt one.
Then we sat down at the table to work on the printed sheets I photo copied out of our activity books.
As we work some of us at least need to have a nice cup of tea.
I'm sure Miss Potter would approve!
I had mine in one of the few remaining Beatrix Potter mugs we have left while I read aloud.
Table decorations are very important to us and freshly picked wattle to draw and admire was brought in by a sweet little bunny
These will become the little display in the first picture
These are the worksheets I had already in my books which is just as well, as the Internet was down and we would not have been able to print anything out.
Did I mention the children wore their Easter Bunny ears for at least some of the day as they coloured in and played Peter Rabbit.
Naturally the children had to get out ALL the bunnies we own and Trahaearn sat himself up with a few of them as he watched the DVDs we own.
Our collection we have loved over the years. We had these on video originally 18 years ago.
Naturally we went outside to handle our bunnies and other animals before the day was over.
Eden made currant buns for tea for everyone, just like Mrs Rabbit went to buy when Peter was so naughty.
I hope you enjoyed seeing how we  celebrate one of our favourite author illustrators.

Blessings to you and your homes,
Linked to - Wise Woman Link up
Linked to - The Art of Home Making Mondays

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Making Apple Cider Vinegar for Your Home Use

We use a lot of Apple Cider Vinegar in our home on a daily basis.
I use it for additives to drinks during the day, for anyone who is feeling a bit sick with a cold or sore throat and in cooking or making dressings.

I like to use Braggs Raw Apple cider Vinegar and at $12 a 750 ml bottle it can add up very quickly.

So I have been making my own for the cost of 2 cups of sugar and apple scraps. My last batch which is pictured for this post produced about 6 1/2 Liters.
The most expensive part of this process is TIME! As it takes about 3 months give or take a couple of weeks.

I have not managed to keep us supplied continuously yet, but that will come I am sure as I commit to the process more steadily.

Now onto the process!!
I use a 3 liter honey container and collect all my apple scraps in this until it is filled up. As the children finish eating an apple or peel it I get the container out of the freezer and put the scraps in and then place back in the freezer. 
I usually fill 2 of these containers before I am ready to start.
Then I tip the contents into a  plastic bucket I bought from Masters (above)
Then I add 30 cups of water and 2 cups of white sugar ( this and for my Kombucha are the only times I use white sugar)
 and stir it in to dissolve the sugar.
You want to make sure there is enough water to submerge the apple scraps and more water is more vinegar. Do not exceed 2 parts water to 1 part scraps which will leave you with a diluted, low acidity vinegar.
Then I cover the bucket and leave it under our baking bench in the kitchen for about three weeks.
In the first few days I  give it a stir and then periodically over the three weeks, checking on it daily.
Here it is just before I am about to decant it into bottles. This is  three weeks later.
Notice the bubbles! They have been there through out the process and is part of the fermenting process You will notice the sharp smell. Using a wooden spoon to push down the scraps into the liquid, gently mixing the scraps that rise to the top.
Now it is time to strain the apple scraps out.
I use a large colander with a piece of light cloth in side the colander placed over a very large bowl.
Pour the mixture into the colander and strain.
Make sure you don't overflow your container and waste all that goodness..
I then squeeze the scraps with a spoon until I cannot get any more more out of them.
Next use a funnel and pour your apple liquid into sterilized bottles. Use small pieces of muslin and secure it on top with a rubber band.
Now place your apple ferment in a warm, dark place for the next 4 to 6 weeks.

Check by tasting after about 4 weeks  and see if it is to your liking.
If your ferment still has a little alcoholic smell or flavor or if the potency of the acid just doesn't quite pack the punch of vinegar you may simply cover and return it to a warm, dark place for another 2 weeks or so. Just check it every week you continue to ferment it, tasting to see if you have reached the proper acidity.
If ready put a lid on your bottle  and start to use.

And now you have  your very own, homemade RAW apple cider vinegar with all of the flavor and natural health benefits. 

Important measures-
2 frozen buckets of apple scraps  equals approximately 7 1/2 cups
30 cups of water 
2 cups of sugar
not more than double water to apples 

Sorry about the line spacing my template just kept changing on me 
Blessings to you and your homes,
Linked to - Wise Woman Linkup


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