Friday, October 29, 2021

Cast Iron Saturdays Halloween

   With Halloween coming up I thought I would share Halloween foods made in cast iron this week.

   Cast Iron Mummy Pie

From Lodge Halloween Evil Screamers

    I have one of these pans  but a vintage one, and love the little donuts they make

Goblin Skillet Cookie

Ghost Pizza Bagels  I thought these were really cute for a party-bake in your cast iron pans

Mummy Meatballs
  these can be baked in your cast iron instead of a sheet pan

Graveyard Chicken Enchilada Dip

This is a slideshow of over 40 recipes of mostly Halloween cupcakes that can be baked up in cast iron muffin pans

Happy Halloween and weekend!

Black Walnuts For a Healing Salve or Ink and Dye

   Those of you that have black walnuts nearby, do you use them?

Growing up we had a huge huge black walnut tree that produced an abundance of nuts every two years. My Mom had us take the skins off (with gloves), we dried the nuts and then we cracked them in the basement. Dad had a big log stump and little table that we sat at down in the basement and we all took turns cracking the nuts. These are allot of work because the shells have so many cavities that you don't get a half a nut whole like in many other nuts.  I always loved the different taste these nuts have too, very earthy and excellent in quick breads like pumpkin or banana breads.

  I still have not made the ink or the dye from my harvest two years ago-sigh Just not really set up for this kind of mess-really needs to be done outdoors. This year we have double the crop and the nuts are much larger too. These may contain some nice nuts inside I am thinking. My last harvest have very little nuts inside.

   I follow and have a couple of books from Jan the Nerdy Farm Wife, and every recipe I have made from her has always turned out so well. She sent us a recipe for Black Walnut Salve here is her photo

and depending on what oil you choose-you will get different colors of salve-the salve on the far left is from black walnut powder which one can purchase.

  This salve is used for rashes and she answered my question-"Will black walnut salve stain your skin?

No, once the hull has been infused into oil, it won’t stain your skin. (However, fresh black walnut hulls that have not been infused into oil will certainly stain!) "

  I have all of the ingredients in my "stash"  so I am wanting to make this recipe.

  It needs to warm up a bit outdoors though for me, or when the sun comes out and the wind dies down I can then go outdoors and work a bit.   I would like to separate the hulls from the nuts to see if there are nuts inside this year too.


Happy Friday everyone

Update: after Valerie's comment that she uses black walnut powder to make her ink-easier-I looked up how to make it

  I  found this site for information making ink or dye from scratch  One needs to dry the hulls and then blend in a craft blender (not a blender you use for food) to a powder. 


   Just found a good tutorial-making the black walnut powder-and boiling down to make ink  here  I need to dig out my notes from two years ago when I wanted to make ink-those if I remember right were not making the powder first before boiling down into ink or dye. This article says the more surface area the better for getting a deep color-which sounds right to me

  Valerie's sounded more instant- just mix. I did find on Amazon  

Tsukineko WIINK001 Walnut Ink Crystal where you just mix with water on how dark you want the ink. 

Anyone else buy the powder to make into ink?  What I found was pretty expensive and would still need to be boiled down for the ink


   Ok anyone interested in making some black walnut ink?   I am pretty sure this needs to be boiled outdoors do to the strong odor though This may be a good spring project

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Rain Rain and More Rain & Stocking Up, Wolves in Books

 Good morning Thursday-a rainy Thursday

(photo found online)

   Tuesday night we had quite the storm-electric went out in the middle of the night and came back on around 7 am or so. However, a couple hours later all the fiber went out-phone-internet-tv, and didn't come back on til early evening. These fiber services are something new for us, they come from our electric co op and the price is much less for all of these services-but when they go down-not good. We do keep a cheapy cell phone around just in case for times like these.
   It rained all last night and it is still raining-we can use a good rain for sure, but of course we can not work outdoors now-sigh  Can't really complain too much as the normal frost date is mid October and we still have not had a frost. and we must get to the woods house soon to turn the heat on there.

    I made us a big pot of chili yesterday that I think is one of my best chilis-the flavors are perfect. This time I added in a small can of diced green chilis and tomatoes which gave it so much depth in flavors.

   Last week when I went grocery shopping the shelves were pretty bare. Even the dairy case was half bare, and even the t paper-again really???-shelves were bare-they only had about 10 packages.  I have been stocking up on canned goods when ever I have gone shopping these past couple of months-canned chicken, tuna, beef, even found a big can of turkey, and chicken and beef stock and bone broths-to make soups. We don't eat canned vegetables except for tomatoes-and I still have my own canned tomatoes from last year. I had learned from my Grandma to can an item for a 2 year supply. This would have been a good year to can for sure.  I have also been stocking up on a few things from Sam's club online-like trash bags etc as they are much cheaper there anyways. I can't find many gluten free items like pastas etc locally so I have been buying online for those things too-I always look for good prices and free shipping. When I run out of canned black, pinto, kidney beans etc-I will be getting out my big canner and canning those-I have a pretty good stash of dried beans on hand.

      Is your pantry stocked to make it through winter and beyond?  My main concern is being able to get fresh items-like yogurt and fresh veggies and fruits.

I have been reading allot lately. Mostly re reading Peggy Henderson's time travel-romance novels based in Yellowstone. She has several series going but the characters interact with each other. She posted these books in order of the time period opposed to the series list. I have been re reading according to the time period the last couple of months-and wow what a difference in understanding the total picture of the story. I am now towards the end of the list with the three most revealing stories and I have enjoyed these books so much more-and grasped the plots better too.

Amazon from time to time will offer a $5.00 credit off a book that they think we might like.  This time I took them up on it-and I soooo loved this book. About the introduction of the wolves in Yellowstone-I loved this book so much. I was crying by the end though.

I have also learned about a 3 book series from another author about the Yellowstone wolves where each book is about a particular wolf-I just ordered the first two. The series is called the Alpha males of Yellowstone by Rick Mcintyre 

   Happy Thursday and weekend everyone

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

It's All About Time at Try it on Tuesday

   When I saw Bleubeard and Elizabeth was the hostess at Try it on Tuesday and her theme was time-I decided I really must make a page.

   I grabbed my German cookbook journal, a piece of construction paper, stamps, tea bags, colored pencils and wasabi tape   I am pleased with my journal page and it was quite fun  

    My take on the theme is Time for Tea  (there is always time for a cup of tea)

I cut a light orange piece of construction paper to the size of my journal page. Covered it with tea bags that had been opened up-with tea removed. Then stamped, added a little wasabi tape for interest, added a little color to the tea cup and saucer, and added the tea tag.

I added a little color on the cup and saucer with watercolor pencils

Thank you for stopping by

Monday, October 25, 2021

T Stands for Tuesday & Another Birthday & Weaving

   Hello everyone,

      This morning (Monday) we have the autumn feel for sure. The air is crisp and with the fast storm that came through late yesterday everything is wet and damp.

  This is also my T post where we gather over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's with a drink related photo. Link in my sidebar.

     Yesterday was my birthday (72 now yikes), so I made us homemade Belgium waffles-they are one of Larry's favorites that I don't make too often as it is a heavy carb and sugar meal. I don't really have a favorite food except for snack foods like potato chips. haha In my 20's I lived on potato chips because I liked snacking more than sitting down and having a meal. Back then I was the head cook for a year long camp outside of Chicago where me and an assistant made all homemade meals from scratch-I was full just tasting and smelling the foods so by the end of the day I just grabbed a big bag of chips (smiles)  So that's where my love for snack foods began, as growing up as a kid at home my Mom never bought snacks. We did make popcorn though.

I forgot to take photos of my Belgium waffle iron. I divide the recipe in half and make a bowl of gluten free and one of wheat flour.

  I served these with pure maple syrup, sliced peaches, and blueberry preserves. Also sliced up Jimmy Dean's sausage into patties. We will have left overs today.

   For my birthday morning instead of working outdoors I worked on my loom. I spent the morning getting it all tied up in the back, then started winding on the warp. Well of course this did not go smoothly-haha it's this project for sure.  Some of the threads were getting crossed which was a surprise to me. Looking at the knots somehow a few of the knots had twisted the threads-strange another first for my weaving. Well a learning process, and it had to be redone. I am thinking getting older now and getting back to my weaving from about 15 years ago I have forgotten about some of the finer details that was just second nature to me when I was weaving allot. So I redid it this morning and going well so far Oh and someone had asked me on last week's T what yarn I was using. This is 8/2 un mercerized cotton and is also very soft.

This shows the back of the loom where these threads will get wound on 

This is what the front looks like.

As I wind on a few inches from the back-this area scoots up to the front reed, so this is a slow process-untangling threads and advancing the threads to the back

This is the back getting wound on-there will be 8 yards being put on

Mother Nature offered up a lovely morning for my birthday-I took two videos For better viewing expand to full screen and have your sound on-the ducks were vocal in these videos.


For my drink share this week, I am still brewing up a cup of mullein tea for my asthma in the mornings. I have been waking up very congested this month. I just ordered more of the herb mullein leaves and also the herb marshmallow root which is to work well with the mullein.

Happy T and new week 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

A Journal Page for AJJ-My Favorite Color is October

   Hi everyone,  today has been a gloomy rainy cold October day. Can not complain too much though, as October has been really nice here in  SW Missouri

  I decided I wanted to make another page for this month's theme over at Art Journal Journey.  Tracey is the hostess this month and her theme is My Favorite Color is October.

  I am not as artistic as most of the paper artists there, but I do have fun trying to make a page to share-and use allot of saved cut out papers in a collage type page.

  My materials were construction paper, saved papers from mail advertisements, shiny stickers, stamps and ink.

  I just started with the construction papers and then began layering things. October is a great time to be out in the woods, so one might hear and see owls, perhaps a bear. (at our Missouri woods home we had the small black bears in our woods) Spiders and their webs are beautiful this month too-especially with the dew on the webs early mornings. October is also fall colors, Halloween colors-orange and black and we celebrate here in the states Halloween and trick or treaters

  I had this package of stickers in my stash for a very long time-Figured good time to open this up and use them. They were really different stickers for me. On thick paper and these were a very thin shiny foil.  I think I took at least a dozen photos but couldn't get one without the flash showing.

I am using a very old German cookbook for these AJJ challenges now

The three owls came from a StJude's advertisement in the mail-and there is actually that thin film under the pumpkin-kitty stamp that was used over the mailing address 

The bear cut out was from a Ranger Rick's mail advertisement, I stamped the autumn leaf, and added stickers-owl on the left, ghost, spider and web, and pumpkins

Looking at my page from these photos-I can see now that a better composition would have been to move the right corner of black construction paper, pumpkins and spider over a bit to the left.
    If that empty space bugs me enough I will go back and add a little something-maybe more pumpkins-smiles.

Below photo you can see the reflection of the film over the pumpkin-kitty stamp

I thought I would add the left over torn construction paper and the cat sticker to recipe page above the main page.

 Yes much better now-I need to remember to take a photo and then check the composition-a photo always points out things to me

The harvest moon I was able to capture this week

Thanks for stopping by-Happy October

Friday, October 22, 2021

Cast Iron Saturday-Pumpkin

 Welcome to my weekly recipe share using cast iron pieces. I search online for tasty looking recipes-this week I am looking for more pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin Skillet Cake with Frosting

 If you want to make this gluten free use a gluten free flour blend, to make less sugar I like to bake with keto sweeteners and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar-a little less sugar

Skillet Pumpkin Custard Pie (this is similiar to pumpkin pie with a few different ingredients, also a recipe for pepita brittle

Pumpkin Skillet Swirl Bread 

  this is also easy to change to gluten free as well-use a gluten free flour blend-I like Bob's Red Mill 1-1 flour blend.  and can change to keto sweeteners as well

Pumpkin Cornbread

  This sounds delicious-can change to gluten free flour and for me I would use coconut sugar

You are most welcome to share your pumpkin recipes made in cast iron pieces in comments.

    Happy Friday and Weekend

Sunday, October 17, 2021

T Stands for Tuesday-Back to the Loom

    Hello Friends,

        Welcome also to the T gang where we share a drink related photo in our post and link up over at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's to gather with friends.

     Over the weekend we were quite chilly, and I needed to switch over to heat. The house was in the low 60's and this is a bit too cold for us now. Wishing the woodstove here worked (last owner had a major chimney fire) as it's perfect weather to burn some wood to take the chill off.

   Saturday was my husband's birthday so I made his favorite food-bbq baby back ribs. I had planned to go outdoors and grill these on the weber grill but it was just damp and cold all day so I made them in the slow cooker instead. They turned out really well, but I like the results better in the oven. I didn't think to take photos-a simple meal with sliced avocado, cucumber, sweet peppers, and french fries that I cooked up in a cast iron skillet.

  We had gotten quite allot of rain last week, and then turning cold it wasn't ideal for me to work outdoors-so I finished threading my loom. In the end I was only over 8 threads in the count.

  In the first two photos the threads over the reed are the extras that will come off-now my towel project is centered again in the reed-haha I knew it didn't look centered before.

My back was aching so I waited til Sunday morning to start tying on to the back-this is a slow process as well After all tied on, then I will carefully wind on all the yardage-I think there is at least 8 yards here.

There is always allot of shrinkage with the first wash with handwovens, but these are still going to be large towels-reminded me of my farm girl Grandma's towels. She always had large towels for hand drying the dishes.

For my drink share I dug out a gluten free vodka-made with usa corn and made myself a mule-a shot of vodka, a squirt of lime juice, and ginger beer-I love this brand the best for the strong ginger flavor and this one is sugar free.  They call it ginger beer but there is No alcohol in it. I grabbed this glass that I bought at the brewery and pizza pub when our friends came down for a visit this summer-and filled it half full with ice first. I popped in one of my stainless straws.

First week of October I dug out my pottery Halloween "sacks' and the cast iron piece and added the little battery tea lights. It was dark when I took this photo-was hoping to capture the dark with the candles-but you can see that the candles are on.

Happy T everyone

Friday, October 15, 2021

Cast iron Saturdays-More Fall Recipe Ideas

   Welcome to my weekly Cast Iron Saturdays post where I search the web for recipes to share using our cast iron pieces.

Dutch Oven Lasagna

  this recipe can be gluten free by using gf pasta, or even layering with thin sliced potatoes or other veggie options 

Skillet Shepherd's Pie

  Change all purpose flour to a gluten free flour blend

Southern Mac and Cheese

  to make gluten free use gf pasta

Loaded Ground Beef and Potatoes

Cast Iron Keto and Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Happy Friday and Weekend