Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Reprint - HEARTH AND HOME - August 4, 2004



What a blessing it was to re-read this past issue of HEARTH AND HOME...cool rainy days, fun, fellowship, home-grown watermelon, cantaloupe, and oh! My beautiful grapes being ready to turn into jelly! How I've missed all of these this summer! And, my how I've grown and changed in some areas, and how I wish I had a garden full of zucchini just about now! LOL! Anyway...I thought that I would do a reprint and share it with all of you. I've even posed a question for those who are willing to answer it. Enjoy!

All My Love,
~Rebecca

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Welcome to the August 2004 edition of HEARTH AND HOME! How good it is to be with you all again!

Are you enjoying the summer? We've had a nice summer so far...some really hot, steamy days, some really cool, rainy days...lots of fun and fellowship...good times with old friends and new.

I've been busy canning, freezing, and drying. We picked our first ripe watermelon last week, our first cantaloupe this morning, and I just noticed that our grapes are ripe and ready to be made into jelly. How I love the summer bounty!!!

Well, dear friends, I hope that you enjoy this issue of HEARTH AND HOME. And I pray that you and yours are having a very happy, healthy summer season. God bless you...one and all!


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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
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*Recently, on one of the Yahoo groups that I own I asked:

"...with the skyrocketing prices of food and gasoline what, if anything, are you doing differently to make ends meet in your household? What money saving measures do you and your family practice on a regular basis in order to combat high utility bills?"

Below is one of the responses that I received. I asked Evon's permission to pass it on in hopes that some of Evon's ideas might be of use to you. Here's what she had to say:

"...in answer to your question... it is really tough to make ends meet. I am sure most of you do a lot to help make up the difference like I saw canning discussed here. I am in the process of really purging the food
in my cabinets before buying new. This is because money is really tight at present and it is the only thing I can do! It seems that for two in my household, we can sometimes eat cheaper by eating off Wendy's 99 cent menu too. For instance, to make a plain meat loaf I need hamburger, crackers, eggs, catsup, spices, and mustard. Then I would need a couple vegetables to go with it and desert for my husband who thinks he can't do dinner without sweets. So even a modest meal begins to cost $8 and up to put together. We can eat 3 items each
off the 99 cent menu for $6.00. Isn't it sad? I also make sure that if we are not happy with a product we have spent good money on, I call the manufacturer or take it back for a refund or exchange. I also learned while we were traveling for a week at a time I can feed my fish once or twice weekly (I was feeding twice a day!) and they do just fine. The lady who cares for fish at Pet Smart told me we did not need to worry about them eating while we were gone for a week. Shocked me! But they did just fine each week we went out. I am probably
not eating as cheaply as we can and would also like ideas. I use bleach and water to clean most things instead of buying other cleaning products. I do have a few products however that I can't do without such as a spray foam for the bathroom. I use baking soda with bay leaves and cloves to freshen carpet. I have made my own laundry detergent but find generic brands really are cheap too. I prefer Tide though and buy it whenever I can. As sad as it may sound I also dumpster dive occasionally. Just yesterday I saw a lidded wicker basket in a box
on top where my neighbor had just moved out. It has a liner and is heart shaped and the size of a good hat box. A good soak in the tub with bleach-water cleaned the basket right up and the liner went in the wash. As for keeping utility bills down, I turn the air off as much as I can when my husband is gone because he runs it all the time when he's home and keeps it very cool. We also don't buy cable anymore but rather bought an antenna box at Wal-Mart for $14.00 and get 5 stations. It's a sacrifice, but it makes us feel better about our cell phone bill which we splurge on."


NOTE - I would like to pose this same question to you here that I did to those readers that were reading back in August of 2004...because now it seems even more important that it did back then!

"With the skyrocketing prices of food and gasoline what, if anything, are you doing differently 
to make ends meet in your household? What money saving measures do you and your 
family practice on a regular basis in order to combat high utility bills?"

If you don't mind me sharing your answer in a future issue of HEARTH AND HOME, please, send your answers in an e-mail to: proverbs31heart@yahoo.com and put HEARTH AND HOME QUESTION on the subject line. Thanks so much!


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HOUSEHOLD TIPS
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*As you already know, I've been learning how to use baking soda as my main cleaning agent lately and I've even been making my own fabric softner with it. I was very skeptical, at first, but it really works! The clothes come out very soft and fresh...very clean-smelling...and it costs just pennies to make. I told my youngest daughter...you know when I was a kid I can remember all of the ads saying some new cleaning product made everything "baking-soda clean" or "baking-soda fresh!" Now, I know why! LOL! Baking soda DOES make everything clean and fresh...without high costs, without fancy packaging, and without CHEMICALS! I'm sold on it! Here are some ways that baking soda can be used around the house:

*Add baking soda to the toe of old pantyhose or nylon knee-highs, tie, and cut off excess stocking. Hang around pipes under the sink for ongoing odor control.

*Adding baking soda to bathwater will reduce ring-around-the-tub and soften your skin. Use 2 tablespoons for an average tubful of water.

*To remove rust stains and mineral deposits from teapots, fill the pot with water, and add 2 tablespoons baking soda and the juice of half a lemon. Boil gently for 15 minutes, and rinse.

*Basic Wall Cleaner

Keep this mixture on hand for cleaning walls or other painted surfaces.

1 cup ammonia
1 cup baking soda
1 gallon water

Mix thoroughly, then apply with sponge. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the ammonia. Scrub marks gently. Rinsing is unnecessary.

*SHOWERHEAD TREATMENT

Remove mineral buildup and improver performance of your showerhead with this remedy.

1/2 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar

Mix in a sturdy plastic bag, then secure the bag around the showerhead with a rubberband so that the showerhead is submerged in solution. Keep on, and soak for one hour. Remove, and run very hot water through the showerhead for several minutes.

*Add a perpetual air freshener to the toilet area by keeping baking soda in a pretty dish on the back of the tank. Add your favorite scented bath salts to the mix, as well. Change every three months.

(By the way, I posted the recipe for fabric softener in the July 2004 issue of HEARTH AND HOME.)

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RECIPES
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Here are a few ways of using up zucchini that my family REALLY likes:

STUFFED ZUCCHINI


Make a box of Stove-top Chicken Stuffing according to the package directions. After it's done, cut however many zucchinis you will need (one zucchini makes two servings) in half lengthwise...so that they look like canoes. Using a teaspoon, hollow out the middle of each half, reserving the scooped out part. Grate the zucchini that you scooped out using the large-hole side of a grater. Add the grated zucchini to the pan of already made stuffing and mix thoroughly. Spoon stuffing mixture back into hollowed-out zucchini boats, heaping it up, nice and full on top. Bake on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until zucchini is tender.

LAYERED CHEESEY ZUCCHINI


Wash and peel zucchini. Slice into 1/4 inches slices, roll in flour, and fry in skillet of hot oil. Salt and pepper, turn when browned on one side. Let cook until browned on the other, remove from skillet, and layer in a warm casserole dish. Cover zucchini slices with slices of American cheese. Continue to fry zucchini, adding oil as needed, then layer zucchini, cheese, zucchini, cheese, until you have as much as desired. Make the final layer cheese. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

SUMMER SPAGHETTI SALAD


1 package (16-oz.) thin spaghetti, halved
3 medium tomatoes, diced
3 small zucchini, diced
1 large cucumber, halved, seeded and diced
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium sweet pepper, diced
1 bottle (8 oz.) Italian salad dressing
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. Place in a large bowl; add tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber and peppers. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Yield: 16 servings.

ZESTY ZUCCHINI BAKE

4 eggs, beaten
6 cups zucchini, unpeeled, grated
1 medium onion, chipped
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese (I use the Kraft 2 % kind.)

Mix everything together, then bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.


ZUCCHINI MUFFINS


Blend together thoroughly with wire whisk in large mixing bowl:

2 eggs
2/3 cup honey
2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini


Blend dry ingredients together in separate bowl:

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
scant 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used 1/4 teaspoon black walnut extract.)

Blend dry and wet ingredients just until mixed. Fill muffin cups almost full. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes before removing muffins from pan. DELICIOUS!!!

SUMMER SQUASH PIZZA CRUST

Enjoy this frittata-type crust made with summer squash. Smother this crust with your favorite pizza toppings: tomato sauce or pesto and vegetables galore! Enjoy and be creative! Try sprinkling feta cheese or adding artichoke hearts for a Mediterranean flair. Servings: 4

Ingredients:
4 cups finely shredded zucchini or yellow summer squash
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
salt to taste


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Once zucchini or summer squash has been shredded (I recommend a food processor) lightly salt the squash and transfer it to a strainer. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes and press all remaining liquid out of squash.
3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine squash, flour, Parmesan cheese mozzarella cheese, eggs, pepper and salt. Mix well.
4. Spread the mixture into a greased and floured jelly roll pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
5. Remove the crust from the oven and change the oven's temperature to broil. Brush the top of the crust with oil, and then broil the crust for 3 to 5 minutes until the top is lightly browned.
6. Allow the crust to cool slightly and slide spatula underneath all edges and under the middle. Place a large baking sheet over the top of the crust and gently flip the crust over so that the bottom of the crust is now facing
upwards. Because it can be difficult to flip the crust smoothly, it may be necessary to cut the crust in half to facilitate the flipping of the crust.
7. Brush the top of the crust with oil and broil for another 3 to 5 minutes until the top is browned. Cover with toppings as desired.

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Well, dear friends, that's it for this time! May the rest of your summer be full of every good thing. Until next time...

All My Love,
~Rebecca

2 comments:

  1. What a great post! There was so much in it. We have definitely had to economise and I've learnt loads from other bloggers about various ways of doing this.

    Love the zuccini (we call them courgettes!) recipes. Gonna have a proper look at them, because I make soup with all our zucchini and freeze it for the autumn/winter (and spring!). We have soup often, and one of my daughter's favourites is the zuccini one.... hence tub after tub after tub of frozen zucchini soup in a freezer!
    Anne x

    ReplyDelete
  2. A male reader writes...

    Just read your Hearth and Home and boy did I learn a lot. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

    Thanks
    The only man ( I'll bet) that receives Hearth and Home
    M.

    ReplyDelete

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