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This is Why! part 3

  Parts 1 and 2 can be found here . Beginning with this entry and for the remainder of the series I’m going to be sharing with you so...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pantry Challenge #3... 2015

I’ve been enjoying a visit from my sweet little granddaughter and her mama this weekend.  Oh how much we enjoyed having them visit!  I dearly love being a grandmommie!

Since it takes me longer than it used to get ready for visitors and since I needed to prepare to teach a ladies Bible class on Saturday, I didn’t get a whole lot done pantry wise this week, but I did do a few things ….

My to-do list from last time:  

Continue canning pinto beans.  Done!  I canned 7 more quarts and there’s still more beans in that 25 lb. bag!  Thus far I’ve gotten 32 quarts.

Can collard greens.  Didn’t get done!

In addition:
I earned enough Swagbucks for a $5 Amazon card before my visitors got here.  My focus was on my daughter and granddaughter so I didn’t get on the computer much while they were here … by choice.  I’ll start trying to earn another gift card this coming up week.

We emptied up a gallon size jar of Mt. Olive whole pickles that we’ve been making pickle and cheese wrap sandwiches with using Joseph’s bread.  I have another jar in my pantry that will go in the refrigerator once it’s opened.  I like to keep at least one extra of everything on hand and now that we’re down to the last jar of Mr. Olive pickles  I’ll add it to the grocery list.
I've picked this for my quilt project of the year … maybe lap quilt size and/or maybe baby quilt size … we’ll see!  In addition to working on ‘works in progress’ I like to start a new quilt for the new year and this year I’ve chosen to do a string quilt.  I already have everything to complete this quilt without having to purchase anything … which is important this year. 
Thanks to a reader’s comment I’ve started making fire starters out of toilet paper rolls and dryer lint. I learn so much from the comments that you leave ... not to mention encouragement … thanks to everyone who has ever left a comment. It means so much to me!

I made several Christmas fabric gift bags using Christmas fabric I had on hand … some of it is several years old!  These make really cute packaging when you add ribbon and best of all they're reusable! 


I got started on the practice handkerchiefs I cut out a couple of weeks ago.  The scalloping is done and I’m currently working on the initial.

Pantry Challenge #1 … 2015 was featured on the Waste Not, Want Not Blog Hop over at Poor and Gluten Free.  I am deeply honored when others think the things I share are worthy to be shared with others.

I started reading another book this week … yes, I’m one of those that have several books going at the same time … Keeper’s Book: Penny Wise.  It’s a collection of writings by several Amish and/or Mennonite women on frugal living published by Carlisle Press.


I stitched up this little apron for my sweet little granddaughter.  She loves Doc McStuffin!  I purchased the fabric back in the fall to make it but just this week got around to it.  What fun I had and she looked so cute in it when her mama put it on her! 


I was informed by my daughter that my granddaughter needed clothes for her new baby doll.  Here’s a tiny little dress I stitched up. 
My daughter brought me a 'quiet book' she had started cutting our for my little granddaughter ... she asked if I would be interested in finishing it for her ...  I said 'of course!'  I like the idea of my granddaughter having a quiet book that both her mother and grandmommie made for her!  She had enough materials to make 2 quiet books so she said I could have one to keep here if I wanted.  I thought that was a GREAT idea! Stay tuned for updates on this project!
I have several ‘works in progress’ meaning projects started but that aren’t finished … can anyone else relate?  I want to start clearing some of those out and get them finished so I’m going to start setting goals to do just that.  My first ‘finish it up’ goal is a baby quilt I’m making for a little girl that is now 3 years old … I started it when she was 1 … some of my works in progress have been in the works for a while … I’m using some of her baby clothes to make it with and as you can see I need to get it done.  This will be my ‘finish it up’ goal for the first quarter of 2015 which means by March 30th I need to have it finished and delivered. 

Can you believe that daffodils are coming up in our yard, our elderberry bushes are putting on tiny new leaves and the buds on our forsythia bushes are beginning to swell. I'd better hurry and get my sewing projects completed before gardening season gets here! Does anyone else see any signs of spring yet?

I’ve saved the best for last … the workings of God never cease to amaze me  … God is so good … I’ve shared a little about the financial challenge we’re currently having and told you that we are praying and working to find ways to balance things out.   I shared with you that with our decrease in income and increase in monthly outgoing expenses we've found ourselves in the position of having enough income coming in to pay our bills but that it left no money to budget for food.  We have been eating well from our well-stocked pantry for about a month now without adding anything substantial back in to it.   Well ….this week we received a substantial to us check in the mail for our personal use that we intend to use to build up and pad our pantry a bit more.   We didn’t know it was coming… it was a God thing.  Thank you to all who have been praying for our situation!
Here are some questions I received 
Question:  Can you freeze yogurt and if so for how long?

Answer:  Yes, you can freeze yogurt.  I’ve had success freezing it up to 3 months. 

Question: What do you store in popcorn tins?
Answer: Here are a few things I store in popcorn tins ... pasta, dry herbs, seeds, bags of flour, sugar, cornmeal (after they've been in the freezer for 10 days), dry beans, dry peas, dehydrated vegetables - vacuum sealed, etc. 

I had a request for my 16 layer chocolate cake recipe.  It’s good but it’s labor intensive… meaning it takes me 2 hours from start to finish to bake one and put it together.  I’ve baked and sold numerous ones of these in the past.

16 Layer Chocolate Cake
1 box butter recipe cake mix (I use Duncan Hines)
1 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
2 cups milk at room temperature
8 ozs sour cream
2 sticks butter at room temperature
6 eggs at room temperature
 

Mix all together
Spray cake pans with cooking spray
Put 3/4 cup batter in each pan and cook at 375 degrees for 10 minutes 
Spread frosting between each layer as you stack them.
 

Frosting
2/3 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter
3 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups evaporated milk

Mix all together and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until applesauce like consistency. Spread between layers, on sides and top of cake.

Here’s my pantry to-d0 list for next week:
Continue canning pinto beans

Can collards
Bargain shop to restock my pantry

Now it’s your turn, what have you done to build up your pantry or live frugally?
A Working Pantry

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