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Fire Starters

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My partner suggested I write  a post about his fire starters as anyone we tell about them seem to not believe us on how simple they are.  All you need to make them is some old candles (thrift stores,yard sales,etc) wood pellets (like for pellet stoves) and cardboard egg cartons.

This is our bucket of wood pellets,  we go through about 1 bag of them every 2 years.  Which we have noticed is pushing it a bit as they start crumbling after a year.

When my chickens aren’t producing sometimes in the winter I buy eggs in the larger flats.  This gives me many fire starters once the process is done.  I wind up storing these up in the winter time.

You fill each “cup” in the egg cartons till they are level with the line of the carton.  We had tried pine shavings, but learned they do not burn as long as they do with pellets.  You could also use dryer lint.  Or even hair from your hair brush.

You melt the wax down in a sauce pan on the stove. (we have a dedicated pot for this as we come across cheap and inexpensive cook ware all the time)  Then you slowly pour the wax into the “cup” part coating the pellets.  Sometimes after they dry you have to go back over them again.

This is what they look like when dried.  You then cut each “cup” out and when lit they -can- burn for 5 mins, sometimes less if your pellets are starting to crumble.  These cost us about $0.25 USD per starter to make.  We tend to have a good many by winter start, which have taken us into spring camp fire-y usage.  These really do work, they are simple to make and don’t cost much over all.

Another post coming today!

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

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Flour-less Chocolate Cake

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Yes you read the title… flour-less, no flour.  It’s a protein shot, granted it is a little on the rich side and some people probably would have fits over what the ingredients are.

Here is the cake unfrosted:

Here are the ingredients:

6 whole eggs

20 oz of chocolate chips(bitter-sweet)

1T of vanilla extract

1/2 lb of butter

Yes!  That is all there is in this cake.  What you do is you first get your eggs to room temperature, fresh eggs are the best of course.  Whip them to stiff peaks, and yes it’s possible; it just takes time.  While that is whipping melt the chocolate chips and butter together, I have to say this is probably the only thing we use a microwave for.  Add the vanilla to the chip/butter mixture and mix it all till that is smooth.  Fold the chocolate mixture into the eggs carefully.  Then pour into a spring-form pan and bake at 350 degrees (pre-heated) until the surface cracks.  Cool thoughly before eating or frosting, it does tend to be crumbly and a tad rich.

This is the cake frosted with real butter creme:

Yes, there is only frosting on the top as we are running out of butter.  Silver who is a trained chef and once worked at a resort that served this cake un-frosted at $8 a small slice.  You know those kinds of slices, you see them in TV shows when someone goes to a fancy restaurant and their plate for dessert is at least three times the size of the cake.

Please also note there is no ADDED  sugar to this either, so it’s fairly safe for a diabetic who is eating properly.  But please, do not take my word for it other than the fact that Silver is a diabetic, and he eats this cake.

 

 

 

I hope you all try this cake out it’s heavanly!

Record Keeping

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 I was filling out my record keeping info this morning when I thought that I should make some kind of statement on it. First I will say I am the worlds WORST record keeper. I have a tendency to forget to write things down, however I know with how I am living I can’t be forgetting to do it.

 

I have a couple odd notebooks hear there and everywhere, I also have an accounting journal. I have one notebook just for my “daily” info, i.e. weather, eggs (when produces/size/how many), seedlings sprouted, food harvested (non-egg). I read in a book once that it’s important to write down the weather or anything “out of the ordinary” so if anything seems “odd” in your accounting you can figure out why.

 

I have also made sure that our bills and receipts are stored in one location that we cannot lose. We have a lovely binder that stores each bill in it’s own place (aside from the non- “regular bills) I keep the feed receipt and receipts from my seed purchases in one. The idea behind this is at the end of each month (we have money once a month) I add up our “harvested food (eggs included) and then keeping current store prices in mind I subtract my cost in. Then I let myself know how much we “made” by not buying the finished product.

 

Last month we made around $30 in our egg production, by not having to buy any eggs. All I did was add up the eggs I gathers over the month, broke them down into dozens and then multiplied by “going” store price for basic eggs (I wasn’t even going with “organic”, or “free range”) and then subtract any feed I have bought for them. I am hoping this year we might be able to start making our own feed if things go well, then our “made” money will be higher.

 

just in case you didn’t understand the way I stated it… no I don’t sell my eggs. I am basing this on money I didn’t spend buying eggs

 

… just wanted to clarify on that one. I hope that if you are homesteading (no matter how) you remember to keep the “books” in order, you might be surprised.

 

Be Well, Be Safe, and Blessed Be…

We Have our First Egg!

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Yes I would first like to point out that our internet is momentarily on, but as the phone company said 8th at end of business day; we are guessing it will go at any time.

Now on to today’s BIG news:

This is our very first egg!  I found it this morning when I decided on a whim to go check out the yard, thinking that the girls aren’t looking very closely and found it in the yard not the coop.  Under the outdoor roost.  It is a medium sized egg so we are figuring it came from the Polish Crested hen or maybe the Barred rock hens we have.  So I am setting up a schedule with the kiddo’s on a “chicken check” a couple times a day just to ensure that we will get all the eggs that the hens produce.  …also because I don’t want them eating them, they didn’t seem to notice this one when I went in to get it.

As for the root cellar… it looks like we will be waiting a bit to dig in it as it is 1/4 full of water from the rain we got and we are due more rain today… Yep, we need it… but this morning on the way to the hen house I commented to Silver that with the fog and light it looked like early spring outside.  Being that it is still the “dog days” of summer that’s an odd occurrance to me.

That’s it for now as I want to get this in before our net does go down.

Be Well, Be Safe and Blessed Be…

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