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The photo is my son and myself. Now days you can get a photo made to look old like this one. This photo was taken when this was the new look.

Harry S Truman was president when I was born and world war II had ended. I grew up in a time when lunch was put in a brown paper bag and a sandwich was wrapped with wax paper. There was no such thing as pantyhose, we wore stockings that attached to the rubbery clippy things that attached to the girdle. Convenience stores were not common and when we took a trip we packed a picnic basket because many places did not have fast food. Highways had places to pull over and stop, some with picnic tables. Read more ....
 

A time for Soup

March 9, 2020

It was curiosity that we decided to study the past. To learn how our generations before us lived. The more we learned the more we wanted to know.  

We found ourselves living one foot in history and one foot today.  We started experimenting and trying the old way, to learn their skills.

Never did I know when living like the past that this knowledge might be needed again.

My blog is full of posts on all of these studies we did and how we changed our life, our house changed constantly as we removed the new and replaced things with the old.  We wanted more purposeful tools instead of items just for decorations. 

We found the quality in the old discarded pieces of the past that people threw out.

I told Charles it is most likely the time to really resemble the past and to put in place those things we learned so we can cut our normal living expenses because we might be in for tough go. 

We can all make this work if we remember our generations before us and how they got through and weathered serious times of sickness and financial struggles.

It is foolish to ignore what is happening but not time to panic because that does not help anything.

This is a time for discretionary spending, if it is not the roof over our head, food or medicine then we need to really consider what we spend our money on. 

We are watching our electric meter and water use and fuel usage so our bills are minimal.  

Easy and modern most always cost money. So we think about how our generations before us did this without cost?

In the past people knew how to take scraps and make quilts to stay warm.

They also knew to take what they had to make soup when there was very little food in the house.

Our Government health departments are advising to avoid crowds or to stay home as much as we can. It is the time to have our larder full then a good time to learn a new skill or do those things that have been put off such as decluttering the closet or cupboard, go through drawers and storage rooms. 

I planted these cauliflowers in the fall and now they are making little cauliflowers. If you garden then it would be a good time to work on the garden or if not to learn about gardening because gardening is a good thing even if it is a patio garden or balcony garden.

Get your family involved if you are a young family. Have your children tend their own plants even if it is flowers. We need flowers to attract bees and butterflies.

Work on your first aid cabinet.  Remember many things expire and marking items can be helpful so we know when something needs to be discarded if not used before it expires.

This brings me to bleach.  When cleaning supplies that disinfect expire they lose their potency. Some things we buy will be best by such date. But disinfectants need to remain the strength to kill a virus or bacteria.

Bleach should be used within 6 months from manufacture date.  In hospitals they should discarded after 6 months.  For household use they say after 6 months you can use it, but add more than the normal amount and at one year it should be discarded.

So after much research, we learned their code.  As best we can figure we did. They use the Gregorian calendar and this is their manufacture date.  

The first letter and number is location I believe, not quite sure.  The 20 on this bottle means 2020, the 022 is the 22 day of 2020 and thus this was manufactured on January 22, 2020.

So six months will be July 22 and we should discard it on January 22 of next year.  However if we are disinfecting for something serious we need to use before 6 months.  Lets do another one..

We see the year is 2019 and the day is 179 so this is June 28th. So this was manufactured  June 28th 2019 and six months would be December 28th 2019 so this bottle now is weak..  I do not need to use it for disinfecting but could use it for whitening and I could add extra but I do not have any way to determine the strength.

In the past people used many different chemicals than we use today. Some that I would be afraid to use and I am glad that we have safer products.

I have tried to find out about the wipes and what I have found so far is it "Appears" that it is good for one year but possibly 2 but I do not know for sure but I will stick with one year to have a better outcome for disinfecting.

Just to share what I have been doing around the house. 

I have been experiment with keeping potatoes longer.  I am using straw and a tote and placing them on the straw apart from each other and then placing more straw and then another layer of potatoes keeping all the potatoes from touching each other.  One side has baking potatoes and the other smaller potatoes.  So far this is going well.  I am storing them on the floor of our kitchen pantry where it is cooler with a cloth over the top instead of the lid so air can get into the straw.

We keep a check on them and so far so good.  We have stopped the potato waste.  Also if it does try to bud out just pick them off to basically reset their clock. 

I also wrote which end the Baking potatoes are located. 

The carrot experiment was a bust. I put store bought carrots in potting soil and they rotted. Just so you will know...  I will stick to dehydrating them.

We consider ourselves storm ready. There are all kinds of storms.

We already cut back but I am going to do my best starting now to do so even more. I will let the daylight light the house during the day and make sure to turn off things that pull electricity so the electric bills that come in will be lower.

We want to eat as much fresh as we can but we also need to use our shelf stable food too. We need this type of food during emergencies but we need to keep it within a reasonable time of expiration.  So we rotate and eat some and replace some to keep it from going bad. 

I took potatoes and peeled them, then cubed them. Sauteed them in skillet to partially cook them and then onto a pan and baked them in the oven on 385 until slightly crispy, in our oven it took about 20 minutes. Then I heated a can of cream of chicken soup and added that over the potatoes and topped with some green onions. Charles really liked it I named it Crispy chunky potato cream soup.  It was a simple low cost meal and I only cooked just enough so there was no leftovers. By the way green onions are easy to grow and can be grown in garden soil or containers. 

I have mentioned before I like to make broth because it is nourishing.

Whole chickens make wonderful nourishing broth and a whole chicken normally costs less than packages of breasts or thighs. 

We can boil or bake the chicken to make the nourishing broth.I do this often and freeze broth because it can be used in so many meals and the broth is good for us. 

Either one requires a large stock pot. To boil, place the chicken in the pot and pour 4 "quarts" of water in the pot, add two whole carrots, one whole onion that has been halved or quartered, 2 celery stalks or leave out the celery if you do not have it. One tablespoon salt or if you are on a special diet adjust that accordingly. 10 peppercorns or pepper if you do not have peppercorns. 

Bring to a boil, skim off the top if needed and turn down heat to low boil for 2 hours. After done remove the chicken and pieces when it is safe to handle. Save the chicken for a meal or two or three.  Once cool enough strain the broth into containers to freeze or it can be canned as directed to the canning books. I always cool the broth down and skim the fat off the top before I freeze or can it.  I like to use the bpa free plastic freezer boxes. I try to use as little plastic as I can but this plastic is helpful for freezing.

To bake for making broth

Place the chicken in a pan and bake in the oven until done as you would baked chicken.  Then separate the chicken  for your meal or depending on how many there are in your family. If it is for one person or two people, freeze the rest of the chicken meat into serving sizes.  

Some people say the baking adds extra flavor to the broth.

Take the carcass and leftover pieces and drippings and place in the pot and do the same as above with the carrots, onion, celery etc and low boil for 2 hours to make broth and 8 to 12 hours for bone broth. 

In the past people would make soup with what they had. Bean soup, potato soup, squash soup, pea soup, vegetable soup etc.  Often they ate bread with their soup.  I will post a easy homemade bread next post so there will be no need to run to the store to buy bread. 

I hope something in this post is helpful.  This is the time to embrace our home, and bring calm to the family by showing them there is something we can do with the situation we are in.

Grandma Donna

 
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