Homemade Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

It seems like everything we make ourselves just seems better. This one took a few tries, but we nailed it. Great on a salad, better on a grilled chicken sandwich.

Buttermilk Ranch

1 Cup “real” Mayonnaise

2/3 cup Butter Milk

1/2 cup sour cream

3 green onions (whole plant minus last inch of blades and roots)

2 cloves garlic crushed

2 tsp dried dill salt and pepper

Mince garlic and onion in food processor. Add buttermilk, mayo, dill, and sour cream. Blend until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. We like a lot of pepper (1 tbsp), and a little salt (1/2 tsp). The longer it sits in the fridge the better the flavors blend. Minimum of 2 hours.


Simple Fried Apples

So last night as me and my wife were about to go to bed, I ask her to set out a jar of our home canned apples from last fall. I woke up this morning and dumped the apples into a frying pan and topped them with cinnamon. This is a common site in farm houses and country homes every morning all across the country, but not here. This saddens me, but nevertheless, it was an enjoyable experience.

As I sit listening to the apples fry and smelling the cinnamon rolling through the air, I drifted for a moment. Last October, Tracy and I had decided we wanted to try home canning. We enjoy fresh produce and love preserving skills used by our ancestors, as well as our parents. A few dollars and a few hours of picking at a local farm and we had a bushel of apples. Some supplies from a local hardware store (Die Wal-mart) and we were ready. It was a great night, with laughing and playing and joking. But something happened in that kitchen that night, we took control. Control and responsibility. Unlike most, we were doing something, to make sure we had food later. In this instance, it was not as simple as running to a grocery store and buying something wrapped in plastic. Short of growing the apples, we were in complete control of this food. Finished and ready for storage the jars were loaded onto a shelf and waiting to be used at a later date. Now, seven months later I stand in my kitchen, drowning these poor apples in cinnamon and butter.

This may to some seem like nothing more that a babbling article, that says nothing about anything. But if you have ever evaluated where you food actually comes from, if you have ever thought about what happened to make that meal on your plate appear, and even more, if you have ever taken control of any part of your food, then you’ll know what this experience meant to me. Don’t walk through life as a sheep, being led by a shepherd simply because that is what everyone else is doing, look up, and find out who you really are, and get connected to the things that make you who you are.

How to fry apples:

1 pint jar of canned apples in syrup

2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons of butter

Preferably using a cast iron skillet, heat butter until well melted. Drain apples and add to pan. Top with cinnamon. Fry until apples begin to deteriorate and thicken. Color will turn dark brown. Brown sugar can be added during the last few minutes of cooking if you wish.

Fresh apples can be used but need to increase butter to 3 tablespoons and extend cooking times. Some sugar will need to be used if using fresh apples.

Homemade Laundry Soap

So me and the wife were sitting around talking about modern things. We decided to grab the laundry detergent and read the label. After a little research we discovered that the chemicals are made from petroleum. What the hell? I wash my clothes in gasoline? I know its not that simple but still.

After some more research, we found a recipe to make homemade laundry soap. Now there is a difference between soap and detergent, but you would have to do that research on your own. The recipe came from the Duggar family of the popular TV show “19 kids and counting”. I will post the recipe at the end of this post.

It took about 25 minutes all together and was actually a pretty fun process. We spent about $8 gathering all the supplies including the bucket and lid. We got the ingredients from Meijers and the bucket and lid from Lowes. Lowes even threw in some stirring sticks for the bucket for free.

We washed the first load today after letting it sit overnight and stirring it back up. It does thicken while it sets and it takes a while to get it mixed back up. It came out great! Smells fantastic, and it only has 3 ingredients! This is a great project, and I would recommend any give it a try.

From http://www.duggarfamily.com/recipes

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value

4  Cups – hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda*
½ Cup Borax

– Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.

-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.

-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)

-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.

-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.

-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)

-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

*Arm & Hammer “Super Washing Soda” – in some stores or may be purchased at Meijer.com. Baking Soda will not work, nor will Arm & Hammer Detergent – It must be sodium carbonate!!