Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Vinegars & Oils {Budget, Health & Storage} ~ Pantry Talk & Printable


Solomon once wrote that with much knowledge comes much sorrow. I have found this to be particularly true when it comes to health. Every day we learn of something new that is bad for us and something new that our bodies just can't live without! This is all fine and good when your budget is massive, but what to do when you are trying to feed your family nutritiously on little money and lots of love? As oils and vinegars are a big part of our budget (and health), I thought to share my take on this pantry subject. I am by no means saying this is the way to go, I am merely sharing how we balance it. 



Going back to the Bible, we see the use of olive oil in many ways. I still believe this to be the most healthiest of oils! First of all, there is no such thing (yet) as a GMO olive and secondly, it is rich in the healthy fats the body needs. The most beneficial is the extra-virgin, cold-pressed oil.  However, this is a very pricey oil and we use this only for raw purposes such as salad dressings, coleslaws, pasta salads, drizzling, etc. Extra-Virgin olive oil is not meant for frying and you are actually damaging the oil when you heat it.  Using this oil only on our raw foods helps to stretch it while still allowing us to nourish our family with its numerous health benefits.

Unfortunately, olive oil goes rancid rather quickly (at 6 - 12 months depending on the harvest date on bottle) so we maintain a smaller inventory of it in our pantry. Store away from direct sunlight, in a cool area and immediately replace the cap each time you use it to ensure freshness.



Extra-virgin, cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil is the latest and the greatest oil on the market right now. It boasts so many benefits and a simple Google search can give you all the scientific wonders. However, this oil too is very costly! While we do purchase a fair amount of coconut oil, we restrict its use for making healthier dessert options like cup of golds, peppermint patties, dark chocolate peanut butter cups, raw snack bars, etc. There are many delicious things you can make exclusively with this oil because of its hardening properties and flavor and we attempt to utilize it specifically in these areas. Unfortunately, we can not afford to cook our daily meals with coconut oil though it is excellent for this purpose should your budget allow it.

The shelf life of unrefined coconut oil is about 2 years (some claim even longer) if properly stored away from direct sunlight in a cool location.



Now, what to do for all that daily cooking and baking when you are on a budget? This is a tough one ladies. When butter is an option, we use it. Regarding oils, I choose the more affordable ones such as grapeseed, light olive, and high oleic sunflower oils.  These we use in making breads, pizzas, muffins, etc and for frying up tacos, stir fries and such. Though these may not be the "perfect" choice, sometimes we homemakers must be practical with our limited pocketbook resources.

These oils should keep for 1-2 years (unopened) in a cool, dark place.

Note: We purposely stay clear of the basic "vegetable oil", canola oil, soybean oils and margarine.



When it comes to vinegar, please know you can stock up to your heart's content! It does not expire. It is an excellent preparedness food since you can always clean with it, pickle with it, can with it, make medicinal tinctures and oxymels with it, and so much more if times got tough! This is one ingredient I make sure we are always well stocked in and it is so affordable that there is no reason not to.



We typically use the balsamic vinegar for salads and the red wine vinegar for vegetable marinades. Raw apple cider vinegar is excellent for your health and can be used in medicinal tinctures and oxymels (as mentioned earlier).  Along with housecleaning, the basic white vinegar can be used to make frugal salad dressing and is always a back up for any of the aforementioned items.

Shelf life of vinegar: Indefinite.


To make it more affordable for our pantry, we purchase large containers of these items and decant them into smaller, recycled glass bottles. For convenience, I like to add bottle pourers (see pantry photos below) to each bottle and print up labels to identify them. This also makes them more attractive for setting upon the table as condiments. And if I might add, it simply makes me smile when I peak into my pantry and find them there!

We are sharing the labels we prepared in case you are interested (just press the download button HERE and "save" and "print"). These are courtesy of World Label and created by Cathe Holden. You will find printable sticker paper on their website as well should you like (though I just used a glue stick to apply ours). Note: I am not affiliated with World Label but am passing on the credit due.

A peak inside our pantry.

With this system, our family can afford to have the health benefits of the extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive and coconut oils without breaking the bank. To use these quality items in recipes which are actually being cooked, you are killing a lot of the beneficial properties which you are paying for in the first place (defeating the purpose and the price in my way of thinking). This is how we attempt to balance frugality with health. I do understand that you can invest in your health by paying a bit extra on food, however, some of us simply are not able to make that kind of investment no matter how prudent it may be (especially if one is attempting to live debt free, you either have the cash to make a purchase or you do not).


With that being said, what are your thoughts on all of this? Are you surprised someone would take the time to talk on this subject? For some reason, I was highly interested in this topic.  I know there are a lot of knowledgeable health experts and I would to hear your opinion on this. Also, I know there are a lot of frugal minded women and I would love to hear your thoughts. And if you are both, please do share as well!
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up #72


“Some people grumble that roses have thorns;
I am grateful that thorns have roses.” 
~ Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden
There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc).~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!

* Featured from the last Link Up ~
Please visit a few of these hand-picked posts and leave a kind comment :) *


1. Autumn Apple Pie Cookies by The Enchanting Rose ~ What can I say... It was "yum" at first sight.

2. 10 Reasons I Enjoy Doing Laundry by Apron Strings and Other Things ~ Linda shares a lovely list on the positive attributes of laundry day.

3. The Gift of Rose Hips by Mountain Top Spice ~ I have some rose hips projects in the making (to be shared soon) and appreciated all the information that she offers us on this excellent fruit/herb!

4. Chalkboard Message Tray by Faith Filled Food For Moms ~ What a simple, pretty and useful craft!

5. Thou Shall Not Whine by Sharon Sharing God ~ I think we have all been there and Sharon does an excellent job of sharing some encouragement (or rather, some whining discouragement)!


Thank you to everyone who joined our book giveaway (and for the helpful and encouraging comments!)! The random winner chosen through Rafflecopter was * Gwen * (you will be receiving an email from me this week). Congratulations! :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


Thursday, September 24, 2015

10+ Herbal Cold & Flu Remedies to Make for Your Fall/Winter Pantry


"Bless your heart, child, it's to keep you well. You don't want to be sick, do you?"... Change of air and care will keep you well, I dare say, or if it does not entirely, you will have the fever more lightly..."
~ Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Time to stock your fall/winter pantry with herbal remedies and preventative foods! Including your children will not only ensure that you share quality and productive time together, but it will also encourage interest in the arts of natural healing. Some of these recipes should be started now as they require time to "infuse". I will put a note next to those items. The remaining projects can be prepared with you and your junior herbalists in as little as 30 minutes! What a blessing it will be to have a nice array of herbal goods come cold and flu season! 






Elderberry Infused Herbal Honey

{requires 2 weeks to infuse}



Elderberry Oxymel

{needs 2-4 weeks to infuse}






Elderberry Throat Spray

{requires tincture recipe below}



Elderberry Tincture

{needs 1 month to macerate}






Elderberry Scrap Syrup

{make this thrifty syrup with your leftover, recycled elderberries from the other recipes}



And remember, when it comes to herbal remedies, more frequent doses are necessary. Unlike over-the-counter medicine which seems to give relief in one pill (though it is only a "bandaid" of the symptoms), the natural route requires constant nurturing to gently heal and strengthen the immune system. I often implement many of these remedies at one time for good results. I will take the tinctures and/or oxymel every few hours, apply the rub liberally around the neck and chest, drink lots of herbal tea with herbal honey and spray down the rooms to sanitize the air, doorknobs and faucets. We also run our diffuser with appropriate essential oils, administer the colloidal silver spray when necessary, take lots of vitamin C and rest, rest, rest. Do you have any tips to share?
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The ScoopTitus 2 TuesdaysTuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersThe Homesteader HopWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link UpFive Star Frou Frou Friday, and Shabbilicious Friday. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up #71



"To be a mother is the grandest vocation in the world. 
No one being has a position of such power and influence. 
She holds in her hands the destiny of nations; 
for to her is necessarily committed the making of a nation's citizens." 
~ Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911)

There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc).~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!

* Presenting our features from the last Link Up ~
Please visit a few of these hand-picked posts and leave a kind comment :) *


1. Why the Little Things Matter by Living From Glory to Glory ~ I love the perspective that Roxy put on the little things! It was very sweet and lovely and inspirational....

2. Fall Favorites with Stringtown Home Harvest Tour by My Thrift Store Addiction ~ Cecelia put together some darling fall vignettes that you are sure to enjoy!

3. Why Use Notebooks by Healthy Simplicity ~ Notebooks are the backbone of our homeschool and I love that Jennifer shares their many benefits! 

4. Calico Rompers by Lilacs and Springtime ~ Sarah sewed up the most adorable rompers for her daughter. Though I am not a big sewer, I am tempted to pick up that pattern for baby gift giving!

5. Rosemary Thyme Salt Sprinkle by Living Awareness Institute ~ Kami shares a simple herbal recipe that you can use in place of salt to add more flavor to your food and help your immune system. According to her, these herbs have strong anti-bacterial activity and help to fend off colds. Perfect for stocking your pantry with in the fall and winter!

6. Meanwhile, In the Outhouse by Making Our Sustainable Life ~ Perhaps it is because we have an outhouse that I was just glued to this post? Hers came out so nice that I am inspired to rethink the love (or lack of) I have put into ours!



I also want to remind everyone about our current book giveaway! You have 1 day left to enter and it is open to everyone around the world! Visit here for more details!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Country Crafts Book ~ Kitchen Pantry Decoration Style


“I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” 

Sometimes, we homemakers need some inspiration... Books can be such a blessing in this area! This particular title, Country Crafts by Stepahnie Donaldson, has inspired me to see the seasons like our foremothers would. To create pantry inventory, medicinal recipes, bath and body products and home decoration projects based on what is available and growing in the spring, summer, autumn and winter months.


The author shares a bit of homemaking history and encourages a simpler way of life. The photography is absolutely beautiful and inspiring in itself! This edition is hardcover and is printed on quality paper.

"A treasury of recipes and ideas with timeless appeal, inspired by seasonal food and flowers: over 70 delectable recipes for stocking the pantry and 40 crafty projects for home-made decorations and gifts with a seasonal feel, all shown in glorious step-by-step pictures by award-winning photographer Michelle Garrett."
~ Excerpt from Amazon

The Table of Contents include the following chapters:

Introduction
The Pantry
The Bathroom
The Still Room
Seasonal Celebrations
and
Seasonal Checklists


If you are anything like me, you can see what a delightful read this is! I will say, however, that I do not condone every single "thought" in the book. Certain holidays don't comply to biblical thinking nor do a few of the recipes for certain beverages (in my way of thinking). However, the overall book will excite you to love your home and enjoy daily aspects of homemaking. The author also has a lovely way with words.

I am excited to give one copy away to one of you! I would like to open this giveaway to any one of our readers from around the globe. I have lived out of the country and know what a blessing it is to have a package mailed to you from a far away land! Giveaway closed.


Simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the easy instructions. The questions (you will find them if you click on the "leave a blog post comment" section in the widget) are designed to give me an idea of what interests you, dear reader :) You have an opportunity for seven entries per person and one week to enter.  Happy homemaking!


Monday, September 14, 2015

The Art of Home-Making Mondays ~ Please Join Us ~ Link Up #70


“The career of motherhood and homemaking is
beyond value and needs no justification.
Its importance is incalculable.”
~ Katherine Short

There are so many wonderful features in the making of a home. This is a place where I would love for you to share your love for anything home-related. Homemakinghomeschooling and homesteading are all a part of the lovely art of home-making!

~~Please link up posts in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 (such as recipes, godly encouragement, DIY's, frugal living, child-raising, medicine making, preparedness, gardening, home decoration, school lessons, sewing, crafts, etc).~~ You are welcome to share as many posts as you like!

* Today we are sharing a double feature from the last two weeks

Please visit a few of these hand-picked posts and leave a kind comment :) *


1. Raspberry Muffins by Thel's Kitchen ~ Homemade moist muffin recipe... Need I say more?

2. The Change of Seasons by The Bluebirds are Nesting ~ Annabel shares an inspirational post on embracing the seasons as a homemaker. A very enjoyable read!

3. Heavenly Pillow Sprays by A Tray of Bliss ~ I love these kinds of pleasant homemaking projects!

4. The Secret to a Clean House by The Legacy of Home ~ Sometimes we want the easy answer to a clean house but Mrs. White gently points us to the truth. 

5. How to Sew a Fabric Bookmark by Sew Travel Inspired ~ I would love to sew up stacks of these and keep them on hand for gift giving.


6. Finding Inspiration in Caroline Ingalls by This Beautiful Frugal Life ~ I love Ma Ingalls (she is a role model to me) and really appreciated this article about her.

7. Grow a Lemon Tree from Seed in Your Own Home by Deep Roots at Home ~ This sounds like a fun and happy way to grow fruit for free! 

8. Living in Reduced Circumstances by Harvest Lane Cottage ~ For those of us going through financial challenges, you will find this article very encouraging.

9. Ten Favorite Free Homeschool Resources by An Island Family By Grace ~ I think all the homeschooling mothers can appreciate some free resources. Thank you Gwen for this list!

10. Making Dosage Balls for Goats by Oak Hill Homestead ~ I have found our goats are more pickier eaters than one might think! Here is a great way to help the medicine go down!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On to this week! For the sake of our readers, please link up appropriate and wholesome home-related articles and leave out any giveaways, advertisements, etc. Thank you for understanding! I can't wait to see what you all have to share! 

Please copy the button below (html code is in box below it) and share on your blog post or side-bar so others can come and join in the link up as well!


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


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