Yes, You Can Can Nuts!

Yes, You Can Can Nuts!

When you think of canning, what comes to mind? Fruits and vegetables, right? And then, maybe some meat. Were you thinking about nuts?  Yes, You Can Can Nuts. If you are surprised to hear this, you’re not alone. Recently, I received a copy of  The Organic Canner, a new book by author, Daisy Luther. The Organic Canner is a how-to can book that includes more than 65 recipes.  I was cruising through it, getting excited about all the new canning possibilities when I came to a screeching halt on page 133. There is a chapter titled, [Read More...]

How to Hand Pollinate a Lemon Tree

How to Hand Pollinate a Lemon Tree

If you live in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, consider yourself lucky. You don't need to bring your lemon trees indoors for the winter. But for the rest of us who have to move our citrus trees inside before it gets too cold, we need to know how to hand pollinate a lemon tree. Last year, around this time, my new-to-me Meyer lemon tree was in full bloom with beautiful white flowers.  I shared a photo on Facebook and you were kind enough to remind me that because it was indoors where bees and other natural [Read More...]

The Best Gluten Free Bread

A recipe for The Best Gluten Free Bread

Last year, my husband decided to go gluten-free. It wasn't really a problem for me or the rest of the gluten-eating gang in our house. I prepared the family meals as normal and he ate what he could—which was pretty much everything except for bread products. The only thing I had to do differently was pick up a loaf of Udi's gluten free bread at the store. If you're familiar with Udi's, then you'll know that their loaves are not that big. They're also very pricey. So, after a few months of buying their bread, I knew I needed an alternative. The search was on for a homemade gluten free [Read More...]

How to Build an Emergency Fund The Easy Way

How to Build an Emergency Fund The Easy Way

Recent studies show that more than half of Americans do not have an emergency fund set aside.   Yes, we could get into all the reasons why many of us haven't been able to save, but for today, let's focus on what we can do to make a dent in that statistic. If you've been unsuccessful at saving money, I'm going to show you a way to get your emergency fund started. What is an Emergency Fund? An emergency fund is money you set aside in an easily accessible savings account to be used only in an emergency. It's not your "Let's go on a cruise!" fund or "Now, I [Read More...]

Top 10 Posts of 2014

Home Ready Home's Top 10 Posts of 2014

Another year is coming to a close. Can you believe it? Traditionally, the new year is a time to reflect back on the passing year. So in the spirit of reflection, let's look back at 2014's blog posts and see which ones y'all liked the most. And if you missed one of these the first time around, I have good news. This is your chance to catch up.  :) Here are the top 10 posts of 2014 starting with... #10 → How to Store Food in Buckets "Oh boy, are you one of those people with buckets full of wheat, beans and rice?" That was my friend's [Read More...]

Wheat Grinding For Beginners

Wheat Grinding For Beginners

How do you make flour out of wheat? A few years ago, I wouldn't have had an answer for you as I'd never heard of anyone outside of the history books making their own flour. It wasn't until after I made the decision to live a more self-reliant life that I learned about grain mills. But still, not having a mill of my own, I didn't have much knowledge to share. So, recently, when a wonderful opportunity arose to try my hand at making flour, I jumped at the chance. As part of the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge, I was given a WonderMill Grain Mill and [Read More...]

6 Types of Mulch to Use in Your Garden

6 Types of Mulch to Use in Your Garden

In the last post on Home Ready Home, Mike the Gardener shared with us the 3 steps to take now for next year's garden.  I followed Mike's advice and reviewed the notes I made regarding my last garden.  If you remember, this summer I had a garden at the mountain house. My neighbor had a neglected garden plot and we decided to work it together. He would provide the plot, tools and knowledge and I'd do the planting and weeding.  It worked out well. We successfully grew potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and squash.  But we also grew a ton of [Read More...]

3 Steps To Take Now for Next Year’s Vegetable Garden

3 Steps to Take Now for Next Year's Vegetable Garden

Good planning can make a big difference between a prosperous and productive home vegetable garden, and one that sputters throughout the season.  Even though we are on the cusp of winter time, and gardening may be the furthest thing from your mind, now is the perfect time to start planning a few things. 1. Review Last Year's Plan Before you even start thinking about your 2015 garden, the first step in every plan should be to review your 2014 garden.  Did you write a plan down for 2014?  If not, how do you know what worked?  When did you feed your plants, water them and [Read More...]

“Better than Mott’s” Homemade Applesauce

"Better Than Mott's" Homemade Applesauce

Growing up, the only applesauce I ate came in a jar with a label on it that said Mott’s. I liked it fine as a kid but as I got older I stopped eating applesauce all together. It just wasn’t that great. As a newbie canner, I was told several times to try canning applesauce because it’s easy to can. However, if I’m putting in the effort, I want to can something I like. Applesauce didn't make the cut. So, instead, I canned strawberry and blueberry jam. Then, I canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, traditional salsa and peach salsa. I even tried pressure canning. The result? Darn good [Read More...]

Is Expired Food Safe to Eat?

Is Expired Food Safe to Eat?

Last week, I went through my pantry, trying to get an idea of how much food storage I have. By the time the organizing session was complete, a dozen or so “expired” items sat on my kitchen counter. In the past, I didn’t hesitate to throw a can in the trash if it was expired. And according to an article on Urban Survival Site, I’m not the only one tossing the goods. More than 75% (and some studies claim it's as high as 90%) of us believe that food is unsafe to eat after the expiration date. This time, though, I’ve decided to change my ways and put the expired items back on the [Read More...]

10 Ways to Use and Store Fresh Herbs

10 Ways to Use and Store Fresh Herbs

Let's talk herbs! Cooking from scratch often requires that you use fresh herbs and spices. Ask any really good chef, and they’ll tell you that there is a distinct taste difference in dishes made with store bought dried herbs and dishes made from herbs fresh from the garden. There is just no comparison, and once you start using fresh and recognize that distinct difference, you won’t want to go back to the commercial stuff!  Herbs like basil, mint, and cilantro are some of the easiest plants to grow. They require very little space, and they don’t need a ton of attention so [Read More...]

5 Book Recommendations for Your Preparedness Library

5 Book Recommendations for Your Preparedness Library (Home Ready Home)

Last December, I shared my list of 101 Best Resources for the Beginner Prepper with you. And even though it's a pretty complete list, I'm constantly coming across new books that should be added to it. In addition, to one of my recent favorites, Angela Paskett's Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival, there are 5 books that belong on the best resources list. Here are the 5 book recommendations:  1. Countdown to Preparedness: The Prepper’s 52-Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness by Jim Cobb Jim Cobb writes some good books. This is the third one [Read More...]

How to Use a Cold Frame in Your Fall Vegetable Garden

How to Use a Cold Frame in Your Fall Vegetable Garden (Home Ready Home)

The winding down of the summer home vegetable garden season does dampen the spirits of many who have spent the last few months working hard to produce fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs at home.  Do not stay down for long, fall gardening season is here.  With the help of a cold frame, you can extend your gardening season into winter, growing fresh salad greens, carrots, radish and a lot more. What is a cold frame? A cold frame is a structure that has a clear top to allow in light and, when closed, keeps the temperature constant around the plants that you grow in it.  Good [Read More...]

Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan?

Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan? (Home Ready Home)

Note: This post is part of the Prepared Blogger's 30 Days of Preparedness series to celebrate National Preparedness Month.  Day 4: Does Your Family Have a Fire Escape Plan? According to the National Fire Prevention Association, you have a one in four chance of experiencing a house fire large enough to need to call for firefighters' assistance.  Does that statistic surprise you? It sure surprised me. I didn't get serious about being ready for home fires until a house in my neighborhood burnt to the ground. When that happened, I realized a home fire really could happen to my [Read More...]

DIY: Solar Battery (+Weekly Roundup)

DIY: Solar Battery (+Weekly Roundup)

Isn't solar power fascinating? There's just something about charging electronics with sunlight that gets me excited. I've amassed quite the collection of solar flashlights, solar lanterns and solar cell phone chargers and I dream of the day when our house is powered by the sun. I even picked up a book on how to build your own solar panels the last time I was in Lowe's Home Improvement store. Unfortunately, though, the book was a little too technical for me. I wouldn't call myself handy by any stretch (yet!) but luckily for you, Jennifer of Are We Crazy or [Read More...]

15+ School Supplies to Stock For Emergencies

15+ School Supplies to Stock for Emergencies (+Weekly Roundup)

My girls went back to school on Thursday. Earlier in the week, we took a trip to Target to get the items on their school supply lists.  Because of back to school sale prices,  I've gotten into the habit of purchasing more than the listed items.  I fill a cabinet in the laundry room with extra supplies. Not only is this great for the "Mom, I need another notebook" emergencies, these supplies may come in handy if we ever face a larger crisis.   If you are thinking "What? How?",  Jane at Mom with a Prep will show you. She's created a list [Read More...]