Archive for the ‘something out of nothing’ Category

“Sort sock drawer” has been on my to-do-list for MONTHS. It was so full, that there was a risk of socks jumping out, every time I opened the drawer. Today, I finally took on the task =0}

I’m trying, my hardest, to reduce-reuse-recycle-repurpose those things I normally just toss. This was no exception. I had an idea in my head…

You see, a few weeks back, my elbow was so dry, that it would crack and bleed, when I bent my arm.  I had the salve, needed to heal it, but no way to protect my clothes, from the oil-based salve. Band-Aids were too small, and we won’t even discuss the glitch with the adhesive =0}, and Ace bandages were simply over the top.

I happened to have a sock, with its toe cut off (I had been using it for sock bun curls, but had since, cut my hair). I cut the sock at the heel, and had two perfect tubes to slip over my elbow. It worked wonders. I could slather on the healing salve, slip on the sock band, and go on with my day. I wanted to make more… here was my chance!

Since using the sock bands, with the salve, I realized that they could also be used to hold ice-packs and poultices.

fold over longer socks, to make a pocket for the ice-pack

when done, toss in the wash, to be used again

my basket of new healing bands : 0}

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I started the year with Andrea’s 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge. I thought it would be a great way to jumpstart my year. I wanted to change the way I live… the way I spend… the way I consume. I wanted to be a “prosumer” (have you watched Radically Simple – it’s on Netflix-Instant).

So the adventure begins. I was looking for ways to cut my expenses and to use what I already have. I looked to my food scraps.

Stock:

I’ve made vegetable stock for years now… on those days, where I had more veggies than I knew what to do with, from my CSA. But I hadn’t been saving scraps and peels from the veggies I used in my day-to-day cooking. They had been going to my compost pile. I started saving them in a zip-lock bag in the freezer.

This time, the bag was filled with onion butts and peels, leek ends, and carrot butts and peels. I added peppercorns, 5 garlic cloves and some dried mushrooms. I fill my crock pot pretty full (ignoring the direction to only fill it 3/4 – I figure it cooks down). I added 16 cups of water to the crock pot. I leave it on HI for a few hours and then drop it to LOW overnight.

Half way trough, the following day, I add half a bunch of parsley, and let it cook a couple more hours. I want the flavor to be concentrated, so I put the lid on crooked, allowing for evaporation. At this point, it has been cooking for close to 24 hours. I have been known to let it go longer… I let my taste buds tell me when time is up ;0} When it tastes, the way I like it, I remove the veggies (now they can go to the compost pile) and start filling sterile quart jars.

This time, I filled two quart jars and two ice cube trays… remember I added 16 cups of water, so nicely concentrated flavor. I don’t have a pressure canner yet, so I store the jars in the freezer… leaving room for the stock to expand, as it freezes. The ice cubes I add to the cooking water for rice and pasta… adds a little something. I pop them out of the trays and keep them in a baggie. Keep in mind, you may want to have a dedicated ice cube tray, for savory things. You don’t want your lemon ice cubes tasting like vegetable stock ;0}

Enzyme Cleaner:

We have a lot of orange peels around our house. My husband loves to eat oranges… the chickens do not like the peels… and they stink up the compost pile. So imagine my delight, when I learned that I could make a cleaner out of the stinky waste =0} I found Happyhomemaker88’s Enzyme Cleaner Recipe (be sure to read all the way through her recipe – she made some adjustments, based on the experience of others). It only requires 3 ingredients: orange peels, brown sugar, and water… oh, and THREE MONTHS! Apparently I am also getting a lesson in patience ;0}

So far it has been brewing for a week. I plan to start another batch in a few more weeks… it has so many uses, that I think I will go trough one bottle, in a month. You can add it to laundry, as well as, use it to clean the bathroom… including the drains. I’ll post again, after I have actually used it.

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