A great Christmas present, and the combination of herbs is good for the heart. So not only does it taste good, but it’s a wish for good health.
1 part rose hips
1 part raspberries (frozen is fine)
1 part hawthorn berries (Wild Oats and Whole Foods have them)
Cover herbs with three times as much brandy in a wide mouthed jar, and cap tightly. Shake daily for two to three weeks. Strain, sweeten a little bit with honey, and put in a pretty jar. Take 1-2 tablespoons per day. From the book, Herbal Teas, by Kathleen Brown
Plaster Relief Footprint
Powdered Plaster of Paris
Murphy’s Oil Soap
Cardboard box large enough to hold your mold
Nail or pencil to make holes
Ribbon or Wire to hang
Start with play dough and have your child put their hand (or foot) on the play dough to make the impression. Once your satisfied, brush the play dough lightly with Murphy’s Oil Soap, and place in your cardboard box. Then mix plaster of paris according to manufacturers directions – once water is added, work quickly and pour the plaster of paris onto your play dough “mold”. Don’t worry about making it perfectly square or round – let it be uneven to give it a nice effect. After about 3 minutes, check the plaster for firmness. As soon as it’s hard enough – but not too hard, start to use a nail to make holes for the wire or ribbon you will use to hang your masterpiece. (One hole on each side.) Let harden completely, and then pull the play dough off the plaster.
Follow recipe above for “Plaster Relief Footprints”, except with this change. After your child removes his foot, turn the foot upside down – (see it’s a ghost!) make three holes in the mold at the heel. You’ll have two eyes and a mouth – make the mouth a circle like a ghost. Cut the mold around the foot so there will be no “frame” – you’ll have the footprint only. Then proceed as usual above.
There is a lot of stuff here, in all kinds of categories. Feel free to browse, and more ideas are added every week.
Turn home movie tapes into DVD
Ulead is the software that allows you to convert your stack of home movies whether, they are on 8mm videotapes or videocassettes. The tapes do start to deteriorate and eventually become unplayable — so converting them to DVD is not just a convenience – it’s a necessity if you want to preserve your memories. I completed my entire 10 year-collection using Ulead Software. (Which took 1 year). Ulead provides the software and the hardware – the analog converter that you screw into the ports of your computer so that you can play your tapes through the computer – just like when you plug your camera into the TV and play them on the TV. Now you will be plugging your camera into the computer and “capture” them on your hard drive through the Ulead software. Once there, you can edit, add music and burn into DVD that you can finally watch on your computer. When I researched software, users and software reviewers consistently favored Ulead, as it was the only one on the market that perfectly synchronized the voice and video — consistently. When you’re converting ten years of tape – you want the least amount of hassle as possible. Ulead was up to the job. However, my hard drive was not. This stuff takes a lot of memory – and my computer had only 60 MB of hard drive space. I ended up buying a Seagate hard drive for 350 MB. This helped the process immensely.
This is from my favorite cookbook author, Sally Schneider.
Foolproof Roast Turkey
2 gallons water
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt
¾ cup sugar
2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot peeled and coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely c hopped
1 leek, white and light green parts only, coarsely chopped and washed
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 imported bay leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1-tablespoon coriander seeds
½-teaspoon fennel seeds
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 star anise (optional)
1 12-14 pound organic free-range turkey, giblets, liver and neck reserved for another use
1-tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 large rosemary branches, tied together to make a brush for basting
To make the brine, in a large stockpot, bring 1 gallon of the water to a boil. Stir in the salt and sugar until completely dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the onions, carrot, celery, leek, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander and fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, and star anise, if using. Stir in the remaining 1-gallon cold water. Let the brine cool completely, then refrigerate until cold.
Rise the turkey inside and out with cold water. Carefully place the turkey in the brine. To keep the turkey submerged in the brine, place a weight such as a heavy plate or pot lid on top of the bird. Refrigerate for 72 hours.
Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry (discard the brine). Place the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan and rub all over with olive oil. Let sit for 1 hour to come to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees f.
Roast until the turkey starts to brown, about 25 minutes. Turn down the oven to 350 and roast about 10 minutes per pound, for a total of 2-21/2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 160 degrees F. As the turkey roasts, baste frequently with the pan juices, with the rosemary brush. If the bird begins to darken too much, cover loosely with foil.
Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer to a serving platter, and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.
From Sally Schneider’s “A New Way To Cook” page 303.
For roasts that have a tendency to dry out in the oven, such as chicken, turkey, game hens, pheasant, and pork loin and tenderloin. The brine draws out blood and seasons the flesh at the same time, giving it a fuller, cleaner flavor and moist, succulent flesh. Basic brine (enough to brine a 4-½ pound roast or bird. In a large saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil, add a 6 tablespoons kosher salt and 5 tablespoons sugar, and stir until dissolved. Pour into a deep bowl or plastic tub just large enough to hold the meat or poultry snugly and stir in 1 ½ quarts cold water. Cool to room temperature.
Add the meat or poultry and place a ceramic dish on top to keep it submerged. You can leave it at room temperature for up to 1 hour; for any longer than that, up to 24 hours, refrigerate.
Remove the meat or poultry from the brine, rinse under cold water and pat dry. Discard the brine. Tie the roast or truss the bird as necessary and rub lightly with oil. Season with fresh herbs or dry rub as desired. Place on a rack in a roasting pan and roast as directed in your recipe.
From Sally Schneider’s “A New Way To Cook” page 303.
A baking rack
From the book Flavours by Donna Hay
“Use leeks as a roasting rack for chicken, fish or meats. Place the leeks in the bottom of a baking dish with a little stock or water. Top with the meat or fish and roast until the meat is tender. Serve the leak-flavored meat with the leeks.”
Fresh Ginger On-hand all the time
Purchase a large fresh ginger from the produce department, and peel it. Place in a freezer bag and put in the freezer. Every time a recipe calls for fresh ginger, just pull it out, grate it and put the rest back in the freezer.
Kids Banning Vegetables?
It has been said that the leaves of herbs can pack more vitamins than a serving of broccoli. If kids shun the vegetables, brew some Raspberry-flavored tea for the kids and serve it over ice.
Keep Herbs Fresh for up to a month
The next time your buy fresh herbs at the grocery store, store them in a small vase with water – just like fresh flowers. Put a plastic bag on top, secure with a rubber band and put them in the refrigerator.
No-fail rice – without a rice cooker
Yummy, Vitamin Rich Soup
From “French Women Don’t Get Fat”
Fancy Cream of Carrot Soup
2 bay leaves
5 cups peeled and sliced carrots
4 medium-size onions, peeled and sliced
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Bring 10 cups of water to a boil. Add the bay leaves and all the vegetables. Simmer for 45 minutes.
2. Remove the bay leaves, and then purÃ©e the carrots in a food mill. Add the sugar and heavy cream and heat over low flame until piping hot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Grate a pinch of nutmeg as garnish.
Self-Esteem Memory Book
Every time a teacher, a coach or a mentor sends your child a note (even little post-its that say “good job”), save it for them. Use archival glue, like PVA glue, and glue the notes into an acid-free notebook. When your child leaves home, give him/her the book as a gift.
Best Way to Clean a Baked-On Pan
Make a paste with baking soda and water, and rub it all over the pan. Let it still a few hours, and the baking soda and grime will peel right off.
Make a paste with baking soda and water, and scrub. Works on walls, upholstery, and shinny finishes without hurting the finish.
Alcoholic household tips from www.asthebarturns.com
Now they tell us!! If we only had known before…………Well, who knew!!!!
To remove a bandage painlessly, saturate the bandage with vodka. The solvent dissolves adhesive.
To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set five minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew.
To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs.
Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting
Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, and then blot dry
Using a cotton ball, apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores
Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo. The alcohol cleanses the scalp, removes toxins from hair, and stimulates the growth of healthy hair.
Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle and spray bees or wasps to kill them.
Pour 1/2 cup vodka and 1/2 cup water in a Ziploc freezer bag. Freeze for a slushy, refreshing ice pack for aches, pain or black eyes
Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed lavender flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly and set in the sun for three days. Strain liquid through a coffee filter, then apply the tincture to aches and pains
To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your chest and back as a liniment.
To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.
Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.
Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove the urushiol oil from your skin.
Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.