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Growing Microgreens Indoors – Your Survival Might Depend On It

Growing microgreens indoors is a pretty simple task once you get all the items lined up. Some microgreens you can grow are actually sprouts. These are how you grow microgreens without dirt. In these times of uncertain food supply, having the tools to grow microgreens indoors might actually save your life and that of your families. I’m going to share with you a way to get lots of sprouting seeds for cheap. And there is an added benefit you can actually grow this plant to maturity and get more seeds for the next year.

Introducing – Sunflower Sprouts

Buy sunflower seeds in bulk – cleverly disguised as bird seed. I get the black sunflower seeds in 25lb bags. Yes they say not for human consumption. You know, seriously, I would not eat these right out of the bag. Because, yeah, gross things get mixed in with these from the way the seeds get processed. Rodents and insects come to mind. Send shivers down your spine? Yeah, mine too.

But anyway, we are going to wash and soak our seeds first so no more coodies on our microgreens. After all our plan is to eat the sprout not the seed right?

Don’t forget to pin this to your indoor gardening board for future reference.

The Steps To Growing Sunflower Seeds Indoors

You can get all fancy (and I’ll leave you affiliate links below in case you want to BE fancy) but I’m a simple kinda gals so I use old salad containers. I do have grow lights (I’ll get you a link for those too) they aren’t expensive and you don’t need more than may one or two unless you plan to make a business of this or have a huge family.

First we take about a half a cup of seed and wash them well. Why? Remember what we talked about above, please don’t make me go there again. Soak them in water, make sure to cover the seeds entirely, constitutes the next step. The next day sprinkle them on a thin layer of potting soil. I go for about an inch or two of dirt, cause we all know I’m not an exact type person.

(Have you seen my soap making recipe?) Put a thinner layer of dirt over the top of the seeds. It’s okay to see the shells poking out. Next water it well and cover your plastic container with plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band. Once you see the little seedlings popping up uncover the container and put them under the lights. Make sure they are still moist. In a couple days, maybe a week, you should have edible greens.

What Do They Taste Like?

They taste like sunflower seeds. Seriously they are nutritious and delicious. I like to add them to salads and ramine noodle soup. No, I don’t make ramine with the little package, I have my own special recipe. I’ll share that in a different article one of these days. They make a great addition to sandwiches too. Avocado, mayo and sunflower sprouts, served up between two slices of my artisan bread – so good. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. (reaches over to put avocado on the grocery list)

Buy in bulk that way Amazon delivers.

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Stupid Simple Artisan Bread Recipe That Will WOW Your Family

artisan bread recipe easy n delicious

This artisan bread recipe requires only a few ingredients that go together quickly, yet produce the most amazing and delicious bread. The crust is crisp n chewy, while the crumb is soft, creamy and a bit sweet.

If you start this the night before and put it in the fridge to proof slowly, you can have warm bread for dinner. When I had lots of kids around I would make this in large batches that I kept in the fridge then baked as needed. But now we do single batches that last us most of the week.

Artisan Bread Recipe

The ingredients

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 tbs instant yeast (this is the kind you don’t have to proof)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups very warm filtered water (I usually put the kettle on to boil, pour off 1 cup and make up the difference with room temperature water)

Putting it together

Mix the yeast and salt into the flour. I like to use this handy dandy Danish dough whisk for this part of the process. Then add the honey and olive oil to the hot water and give it a stir to get the honey to incorporate. Mix that into the flour. Stir the flour as you pour and don’t dump it all in at one time. You want a moist, shaggy dough. By shaggy I mean it is all the flour particles are wet and the dough has started to stick together.

At this point you can either stick it in the fridge till the next day or you can prepare it for baking.

Preparing for baking

Once the dough is back to room temperature if you have left it in the fridge, or after letting it rest for thirty minutes, you can start the stretching and folding process. This is how that is done:

Do this every 15 minutes for an hour. Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking.

During this hour of stretching and folding you should be heating up your dutch oven in your oven to about 500 degrees (or as high as your oven will go if it won’t reach 500).

After the stretching and folding process, shape your loaf.

This video shows how to shape your dough. When I make this artisan bread recipe, I shape it, let it rest, then shape again and put it on parchment paper not in the basket. Though I have baskets, and do sometimes make sourdough artisan bread in them, with this every day bread recipe, I stick with easy, no fuss methods.

I let the bread rise for about 10 minutes after the second shaping, then I score the dough and put it in the dutch oven. The parchment paper serves as a carrying device too. When I bake the parchment paper comes out the sides of the dutch oven when the lid is on. That’s okay.

Once the dough is in the oven I turn the temperature down to 425 degrees F and wait 15 minutes. After 15 minutes I take the lid off and let it bake another 30 minutes. Start checking at the 25 minute mark to make sure you don’t burn the bread. It should sound hollow when you tap on it.

Take the bread out of the oven and put it on a wire rack to cool. Let it rest for a couple hours. If you cut it too soon it will make the crumb mushy. And no likes mushy crumb right? Don’t forget to take pictures and post them on Pinterest!

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Canning Center Revealed – Simple Money Saving Tips DIY Canning

Canning Center Tips For Saving Money

Today was canning center day! I was so excited I woke up at 4am to be sure not to miss our 6am appointment even though the canning center is literally around the corner from where I live.

I have know about local canning centers for years, but for some reason always thought they only did number 10 cans and you had to be part of the local LDS Church to use them. So when my neighbor asked me if I would help her process her chicken and beans I was all over it.

Processing Beans at the Canning Center

The method for processing beans starts with buying your beans at the best price. We are having a case lot sale right now here locally. Case lot sales happen in the spring and fall around here. You can buy lots of canned items and staples in bulk. Generally it makes me laugh when I visit people who buy flour in 5lb bags. That’s like one loaf of bread! My neighbor bought a couple bags of red beans which she took over to the canning center last night to soak. The people who run the center turned on the heat early this morning. So by the time we got there to can them they were tender.

Preparing The Chicken For Canning

She bought her chicken for $50 ($1.38 a pound). These chicken breasts she then cut up into smaller chunks and put them in a couple plastic garbage bags. Then put the garbage bags in a cooler with ice over night. The cooler makes it easier to transport and keeps chicken juice from getting all over the place.

The Canning Center Step by Step

Once we arrived we checked in and got our number. Then we tried to guess how many of the two types of cans we were going to need. We used the smaller cans (#300 15oz) for the chicken and larger cans for the beans (401 28oz). We then collected some cafeteria trays and went and collected our cans off the pallet.

The next step was to write on the bottom of the can, the item, the date and our number. You need a sharpie pen for this step.

Then we got a basin of hot water and rinsed each can, putting them open end up on the trays.

Once that is completed we then filled the #300 cans with our chicken. Plastic gloves are a must. We filled the cans to 1/4 inch from the top and then took them over to the cooker. At this point they get commingle with other cans of chicken being canned. Water is added to cover the meat. Once the chicken is done cooking in the cans they get lids added.

On To The Beans Again

The beans once they are tender (she taste tested them) we drained a bit so that we could fish them out of the caldron. We used a small sauce pan for this effort and put the beans in the 401 cans, then added juice to get to the 1/4 inch fro the top mark.

We then moved them over to the lid application table and lids were applied.

Cleaning Up

We then needed to clean out the caldron and utensils we used. Supplies were provided to make this an easy process, but a spare kitchen rag or two should be part of your canning center kit. We used a five gallon bucket which included an apron – I wear overalls most of the time so didn’t need one – plastic gloves, sharpie pens, paper towels & nail polish remover.

You need the nail polish remover and paper towels to clean off the sharpie pen labeling of the cans you didn’t end up using. Once you get them cleaned off you return them to the pallet.

What Can You Can?

As far as I can tell you can can just about anything! From chili and soups to all kinds of meat, beans, potatoes & any veggies. The canning center people are a wealth of knowledge and can help guide you on what steps to take to prepare your food for canning. They also have a juicer! So bring those apples & tomatoes!

Tips For Cost Saving

Canning at the canning center isn’t cheap but there are a few things you can do to make it most cost effective. Buy your products on sale. We are in Idaho – potato country! We can get huge bags of potatoes for cheap this time of year. Potatoes can exceptionally well in my opinion. I’ve often canned them in jars, however, I did see lots of people canning them at the center.

Canning your harvest is another cost effective way to use the canning center. Grow a boat load of corn? Can it!

Things I learned For Next Time

Wear water resistant shoes and pants that don’t drag on the ground. The floor is wet almost everywhere. If you are canning beans try not to let too much of the water drain off before putting the beans in the can. We had to add more water and let it get up to temperature again.

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Dehydrating Potatoes – Get Stunning Results With One Simple Trick

dehydrating potatoes - get great results using this one simple trick

Why should we talk about dehydrating potatoes? Well for one thing I’m from Idaho. We are potato people. Which reminds me of a short story involving my family and, well, potatoes.

There we were sitting in a local diner in Idaho that specialized in burgers & fries. We are placing our order for, yes, burgers & fries, when the waiter informs us . . .

THEY HAVE NO POTATOES!

What? I thought we were in Idaho! My daughter leans in and suggests they might run across the road and grab some out of the field. Sigh that didn’t go over well.

Back to Why Dehydrating Potatoes

One can store potatoes in straw or sand or even wood shavings in a cool, dry, dark place. However, eventually, those potatoes are going to start growing. That tends to end up a big mess. To avoid the big mess, I like to dehydrate potatoes for long lasting yummy goodness. They do rehydrate quickly so you can do a lot with them. Of course one can can potatoes too, but that is a story for a different day.

The One Big Secret For Dehydrating Potatoes

The MUST BE PAR BOILED FIRST. The whole process goes like this. First you need to peel your potatoes (unless you want skins, in that case just wash them good) then thinly prepare them in the manner you wish them to be. I like slices, but shredding works too. Keep them in lightly salted water while you work.

Next you need to submerge the potatoes into boiling water for 30 seconds or so. If you miss this step you will end up with little black hockey pucks that work better out on the street than in anything you might want to eat. Just saying, cause we all know, I’ve done that.

Let The Drying Begin

Now that your potatoes are all nice and par boiled lay them out on the dehydrator trays. Let them hang out until they are dry and there is no mushiness about them at all. Read your dehydrator instructions to get the best results. As for me, my dehydrator is old, it has only one setting and I have to roll the trays around to get even heating.

Here are some good dehydrators for dehydrating potatoes.

Cooking With Dehydrated Potatoes

You can soak them in boiling water for a few minutes and they will then reconstitute. After that you can fry them or make scalloped potatoes (we call them funeral potatoes around here) or even add them to soups (don’t re hydrate them in this case). They are very handy if you over salt something too. Throw a couple chips in and as they re hydrate they will soak up the salt.

Go forth and dry your harvest.

If you don't do this one thing your dehydrated potatoes will be black hockey pucks that no one wants to eat. Just saying...
#hartnana #foodpreserving #homesteadhacks
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Goat Milk Soap Recipe – Stunningly Easy To Make It Yourself

goat milk soap recipe

Goat Milk Soap Recipe – Stunningly Easy To Make It Yourself. Make this goat milk soap recipe using ingredients that are easy to find.  Sodium hydroxide (lye) can be found over at Amazon by clicking on this purchase lye link. You can also use canned goat’s milk, powdered goats milk or fresh, in the fridge section of your grocery store. Important information if you don’t have access to raw goat’s milk from your own goats or a friend willing to share. (find the supplies you need to make soap here)

Goat Milk Soap Recipe

  • 18 oz slushy raw goat milk
  • 6 oz water
  • 6 oz lye (sodium hydroxide)
  • 9 oz olive oil
  • 10 oz coconut oil
  • 24 oz vegetable shortening or lard

Directions

Heat the solid oils until they are almost melted. Take the pot off the heat source. Swirl the oil until they melt the rest of the way. Add in the olive oil. Set aside to cool down to 100 degrees.

Mix the lye and water. Mix the lye into the water (Important note for controlling how fast the reaction happens). It will heat up so I like to use a tall container. A plastic pitcher works great even though there isn’t a whole lot of liquid in the bottom. I also like to put the pitcher in a basin of ice water while I am mixing the lye into the water. This get the mixture to cool down to 100 degrees faster.  Because I’m not a patient person myself, to speed up the cooling of the lye/water mixture you can slip a few ice cubes down the side of the pitcher.  When everything is 100 degrees mix the lye/water into the oils, give it a quick stir with a wooden or plastic long handled spoon then add in the raw goat milk.

easy homemade goats milk soap recipe

Mixing to Trace

Mix with your stick blender until trace. Your soap mixture should look like thick vanilla pudding. At this point add in a few drops of what ever flavor essential oil you wish and what ever extra pieces of stuff. Give it another swirl or two. Now you pour your mixture into soap molds or card board soup trays (even ramine boxes work) lined with wax paper. Cover with towels and let sit overnight. After about 24 hours dump out your soap, cut (here is a funny crinkle cut knife article I wrote), then let stand on end for several weeks to dry out. Enjoy!

How to tell if your goat milk soap recipe has reached trace

When using a stick blender to get to the point of trace it is a good idea to start and stop the blender, not run it continuously.  I just use my stick blender as a spoon and turn it on intermittently as I’m waiting for the soap to trace.

If you happen to pour your soap into the mold before it has really traced and it separates you can always pour it back into your pot do this. Heat it up slowly and blend it some more until it reaches a real trace.

The other problem is going past the trace mark right into seized. Again you can recover from this. Grate the soap up then reheat (slowly) and add more goat’s milk (a little at a time) until it is no longer seized. Then just put it in the mold and let it set up.

Your Goat Milk Soap Recipe Has Seized What can you do?

You can prevent it by paying attention to the temperature and water amount. Soap cool and don’t discount your water. When you are using a new fragrance or essential oil and don’t know how it will effect your soap, make a one pound test batch first. If it is happening, don’t panic!

With a light seize, where just where you are stick blending on the bottom of the pot is seizing, stop stick blending and stir to trace by hand.

goat milk soap recipe

With a heavy seize that you can’t save, you’ve got three options!

Hot Process it – Dump it into a crock pot and hot process it. If it goes beyond the point of being able to stir it smooth and pour into a mold, you can hot process it. Simply put it into a crock pot and cook it until the whole mass has gelled (turned translucent) and then glop it into a mold.

Rebatch it – If you managed to get it into a mold but it is UGLY, you can rebatch it. Here are rebatching instructions. If you do it the day after, you usually won’t have to add additional water to it. If you rebatch it weeks later, you can add a bit of water to the shreds before cooking.

Chunk it – You can let your soap sit until solid. Cut it up into little chunks. Make a new batch of soap and add the chunks into the new batch. I’ve come up with some really nice

Why I love Goats Milk Soap

Of course if  you want to use goat milk soap much faster, you can always order it at HartNana’s store.

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Homemade Soap Recipes Beginners And Kid Friendly

soap jellies Homemade soap recipes beginners can try their hand at without fear of having to mess with lye. Cause we all know that lye can kill…
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Stupid Simple Sourdough Starter Recipe Bake Amazing Bread

Make this beautiful sourdough bread with this fast sourdough starter recipe. #fastsourdoughstarterrecipe #hartnana #sourdoughbread

Once you get this fast sourdough starter recipe making bread, pancakes and biscuits will be a daily thing!

Making Your Fast Sourdough Starter Recipe

Making a sourdough starter can be as easy as adding equal parts of flour and water to a mason jar. Cover the mason jar with a coffee filter then put the ring on. For the first week every day add 2 tablespoons of flour and water. Mix well. Using a variety of flours, like flax or rye can speed up the process.

There are sourdough starters you can purchase on Amazon which include the fast sourdough starter recipe to get it started.

Keeping Your Sourdough Starter Going

Once you get a sourdough starter going, you can freeze a bit in case of disaster or if you are going on vacation and don’t want to take your pet starter with you.

Naming Your Sourdough Starter

I make a ginger bug with my sourdough. Fred (my sourdough starter’s name) and Ginger sit on my counter behind my coffee pot. It makes remembering to feed my yeasty pets easier.

Now that you have your sourdough starter going you need a few easy bread recipes.

Over the years of making sourdough bread I have found a few tips that make consistently good sourdough bread using a sourdough starter.

Crusty Sourdough Bread Recipe

Make this beautiful sourdough bread with this fast sourdough starter recipe. #fastsourdoughstarterrecipe #hartnana #sourdoughbread

For One Crusty Loaf.

  • 3 cups flour – bread flour works best
  • 2 tablespoons starter
  • 2 1/2 cups of water

Add the water last you are going for a wet looking dough but not soupy. Let this sit on the counter for a couple hours then put in the fridge overnight. The next day start folding your dough.

Folding dough in the process of wetting your hand, then lifting the dough up and folding it on itself. Do this 4 times. Once in each cardinal direction. Do this every hour or so for the next six hours.

See how moist this bread is? That is what you are going for

After 6 or so turns you will need to shape your dough. This is the method I use.

Getting Ready to Bake

At this point I put my dutch oven in the oven and crank the heat up to 425. Leave the lid in the oven next to the dutch oven, not on it. Let this heat up for a good 30 to 45 minutes.

If you have left your dough sitting on the counter covered with a bowl you are going to need to tuck it under again. I do this all the time. Make sure you have flour under the loaf and just invert a glass or plastic bowl over the dough. When you get ready to put the dough in the oven you will want a piece of parchment paper.

Baking Tip For Beautiful Loaf

Put the dough on the parchment paper seem side down. Make sure it is tucked in good with a nice tight top of the dough. Dust the top lightly with flour. Put in a couple of slashes about a 1/2 in is good. Then put the whole thing including the parchment paper in the over. Cover with the lid and let cook for a good 20 minutes. No peaking!

After 20 minutes take the lid off. Slide the parchment paper out from under your bread and turn the over down to 375. Let the bread finish cooking for another 30 minutes or so. It will sound hollow and be golden brown when it is finished.

Let the bread sit on a rack for an hour or so to cool before cutting. I know, but resist the urge to cut it right away!

Can’t Wait For Your Starter?

To make a mock sourdough flavor to your bread while you are waiting for your fast sourdough starter recipe to develop, do this. Use 1/2 cup of butter milk combined with a half of a packet (for just one loaf) of INSTANT (also called rapid rise) yeast in the above recipe. Don’t use any starter and only go with 1 3/4 cup to 2 cups of water.

Fast sourdough starter recipe makes amazing sourdough bread. #fastsourdoughbreadrecipe #sourdoughbread #hartnana
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Beginners Guide To Raising Chickens – Everything You Need To Know

In this beginners guide to raising chickens we are going to cover everything you need to know to raise chickens successfully for eggs. We will…

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Easy Goats Milk Soap Gift Baskets – Thrill Your Family & Friends

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What says I’m thinking of you more than a homemade gift?

This year make homemade goats milk soap gift baskets. Use HartNana’s Goat’s Milk Soap Recipe – so easy and so forgiving that even a novice can have terrific results. Of course HartNana will be there with you to help you out if you have problems or questions.

You can make goats milk soap gift baskets. Here is one gift basket I made a while back for the holiday and/or a baby shower gift. All you need to find is a basket, some “extra” goodies, some homemade soap, and a little creativity.

If you are wanting to give homemade soap as a Christmas gift now is the time to be making it. This recipe only needs about three weeks to cure.

We also have a super simple recipe for Goat’s Milk Lotion – Make it the same day you plan to ship it, as there is no lead time necessary (that’s a plus for last minute gifts right?)

Make Goats Milk Soap For Gifts – Putting It All Together

You can always make the lotion and put it in a cute container and don’t forget to use your imagination for wrapping your soap! Gift baskets are popular and easy to put together too.

All it takes is a basket, some cellophane wrap (you can get at the dollar store), some tissue paper, your soap, a container of lotion, and maybe a loofah sponge, a candle and a relaxing CD. Put it all in your basket after arranging the tissue paper, then wrap the whole thing in cellophane wrap and add a big bow.


Here is a video to give  you an idea about how to put it all together.



There you go super simple, super personal and quite frankly – lots of fun!!

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Goat Milk Soap Gift Baskets For Extra Holiday Cash

The gift basket featured above I made for a craft fair. In fact I made a bunch of them. You can do it too! Find interesting baskets (or dig through your stores), add your homemade soap – because truly that is the gift – then add a few odds n ends. Coffee, wine, candles, chocolate, tea, cookies all make great additions. And don’t forget the huge bow.

Here are Some From Amazon to Give You Ideas:

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Secrets To Making Artisan Bread Better Than Store Bought

The secrets to making artisan bread Discover the secrets to making artisan bread better than store bought. These will allow you to make amazing homemade bread.