Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saving On Lunches: Soups

The average lunch menu for many people probably includes sandwiches, chips and other such food. One reason for this is sandwiches taste great and can be made in a wide range of varieties. Also they are quick and easy. But sandwiches have their down falls; they are not always nutritious and/or strain the budget (i.e. bologna is cheap but not exactly healthy). So my solution to solving both the nutrition and budget problems is soups.

Soups are packed with nutrients, and can be made with all kinds of inexpensive ingredients. Think about what can go into soups: leftovers, carrots, chicken bones, celery, beans , noodles, canned and frozen vegetables, potatoes, garden vegetables, squash, and the list goes on- all inexpensive good food.

To start making soups you need a good stock. I usually make double or triple batches of chicken stock to save time later, this lasts me a month or two. Chicken is my favorite stock because we can get chicken leg quarters from our Wal-Mart for $0.49/lb. Mom divides them into backs, legs and thighs to freeze and I use the backs for stock. There are lots of great stock recipes out there, I use the chicken stock recipe from
Nourishing Traditions. Be sure to add a couple tablespoons of vinegar to extract the calcium from the bones and parsley to impart additional mineral ions to the broth.1 Other basic stocks include beef (or venison), fish, and vegetable.

Now you are ready to try all those great soup recipes hiding away in your recipe collection. You by no means need a recipe though. Some just like to keep a "soup bucket" in the freezer to collect leftover vegetables and meat, then they simmer it all in some stock or stock/water mix and add whatever spices sound good. When you make soup and have a lot of ingredients on hand, make double or triple batches to freeze for those days when you don't feel like cooking (make sure you like the recipe first).

If you haven't made many soups before you may want to stick to recipes until you get the feel for what taste good and goes together. I have posted two recipes here Bean Soup (my own creation), and Cream of Vegetable Soup (N.T. recipe) 1. Also look for recipes at Recipe Zaar. I like this recipe site because you can search by ingredient and also can adjust servings number then calculates the measurements for you. I have really enjoyed soups from Nourishing Traditions, if you have the book by all means take a look at them. You can find great recipes every where once you are looking for them. So dig in and serve your family something yummy and warm for lunch for a change.

God Bless

1. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon was my inspiration to explore soups. If you don't own the book yet, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bean Soup

2 c. white or pinto beans ( or 1c. each)
8 c. water
2 T. lemon juice
1 ham hock
1 med. onion
2 T. olive oil (opt.)
4 cloves garlic minced
2 to 4 T. seasoning salt (to taste)
water to cover (can be part stock)
3/4 c. chopped carrots
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 c. -1 c. frozen or fresh spinach
chopped ham meat (opt.)

Combine beans, 8c. water and lemon juice and soak overnight. Drain and rinse beans. In large pot combine beans, ham hock, sliced onion, olive oil, garlic, and seasoning salt. Cover with water and bring to boil. Reduce to low and simmer covered 4-6 hrs ( adding more water as necessary). Add carrots, celery, spinach,and ham meat; let simmer 20 minutes more or until beans and vegetables are tender. Serve with whole grain wheat bread. A wonderful fall soup.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Heaven Opened: A Book Review

Heaven Opened, the letters of Mary Winslow, is an uplifting encouragement from a godly woman of a bygone age. Through these letters she reveals to us her complete dependence on God, her heavenly vision, and a deep experiential relationship with her Savior. She gives her reader a deep desire to know Christ as she so joyfully does.

These letters are not just friendly notes but every one of them includes some spiritual truth and edification as befitting to our age as they were in the 19th century. In them we read of how the Lord so graciously worked with her through many trials, and her wonderful understanding of the scripture. She writes people from many different backgrounds and circumstances but her theme is always the same - seek Christ. And her attitude is contiually one of love and concern to the recipient and joy in the Lord. Truly this is "a rich treasury of experiential and practical divinity."

I was richly blessed by reading this book. It led me to more fully lean on my savior trusting His perfect sovereignty and grace. I was also reminded that a life of perfect circumstances does not produce such a relationship with God as Mrs. Winslow had but rather many trials of faith that are more precious them silver and gold. I hope you will take the time to read this book slowly and carefully, soaking up all the blessed truths and looking more to Jesus every day.

Heaven Opened can be purchased at Reformation Heritage Books for $12.50. Also check out the used price on Bookfinder .

God Bless

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Free Ebooks

Here is a link to 37 free ebooks from Living on a Dime. There are books about organizing, frugality, homeschooling, and cooking.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Young Women and Higher Education

Living On a Dime, an e-newsletter about frugal living, had a very good article by Jill Cooper today about blindly following the crowd. I thought she made a good point here about college.
"They" say you have to pay to send your children to college so they can become a success and make a lot of money. When did "they" come up with the idea that going to college makes a person successful? How many parents have accrued $40,000 in debt for their son or daughter's degree, only to find the student working in a field that has nothing to do with his degree? Certainly, a college education can be a useful tool, but it is one that is wasted if the student doesn't need it or fails to use it.
I really puzzle over girls who desire to be full time wives and mother in the future that spend all their money and time gaining a college education that they only use for a few years, if even that. Then they get married and have children and don't know how to successfully run their households. Shouldn't we gain the knowledge of homemaking and child care in our single years if our desired "career" is motherhood?

Just because you stay home and focus on learning to be a homemaker doesn't mean we can't pursue higher education. There is so much education out there that can be gained outside of college and cost a lot less. I am amazed at how much I can learn simple by reading.If you can build good study skill there is an unlimited range of subjects you can study and learn. For instance: the subjects I am studying this year are writing (using my brother's old college books), fashion design, social studies (politics, economics, education, ect.), natural healing, nutrition, art and music. These subjects do not take up all my time though, but are incorporated into my daily routine of cleaning, cooking and helping my family in various ways. I am also taking time in morning to read books on spiritual subjects and in the evening to read books concerning my place as a woman.

Don't think inside of the box, but explore the things that interest you and will aid you in the future. Ask the Lord what He would have learn in the years after high school and pursue those things.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Our group of friends at camp.
I'm second from the right on the back row.

I am back from vacation and almost recovered. I don't have much time to post but I thought I would share some pictures from camp for some dear friends who didn't make it.=( God Bless you all.

P.S. I guess that is the only picture for now. Blogger is having a problem, urrr.