Thursday, March 31, 2011

Crackers and More

This week I've made a few more steps to reduce the amount of waste coming into (and going out of) our home.  First, we made crackers.  A few weeks ago I stopped buying crackers because they are not only expensive, but overly packaged.  And it turns out they are a waste of money because they are basically made of flour and water.  Admittedly we have not yet found a recipe we love--but we've eaten almost all of the three batches so far.

We've tried one batch of whole wheat with cheddar--good but cooked a little too long, one gluten free savory cracker that would have been great except for the baking soda--I'll try them again without it.  And one gluten free graham cracker like crackers with vanilla and cinnamon.  I'll post some recipes when we find some we really love.
gluten free granola,     basic granola,       homemade crackers   

I also modified our usual granola recipe (I use the recipe from "Horn of the Moon Cookbook" by Ginny Callan) and used puffed rice in place of the oats.  It was great, and gluten free.

I finally got around to sewing a few bags for bulk and produce, and put them to good use right away.

 I tried making a few other handi-snacks such as the tiny cinnamon rolls (above) made with honey, almonds, and flax.  They were super yummy (according to the kids) the first day, but got too hard afterwards.  I just made these with some extra bread dough--but now that I know crackers are way easy I'll stick with those.

I had to dump my first batch of Kombucha, but the second one worked.  I bottled and drank the first today!  I love the G.T.;s brand from the store, but after seeing the "scoby" from my home brew I was more than a little bit scared to taste the stuff (it really looks terrible).  But it was good--and way cheaper than the nearly $4.00 a bottle I was splurging on once a week.  I got almost 4 bottles from my half gallon jug, which is enough for me right now.  Rob has so far not been willing to even try it--but maybe I'll wear him down.  I bottled some of it in beer bottles from Rob's home brew beer supply and was mid-bottle when I realized we had to leave for Wylie's dulcimer lesson (more on this later).  I was half way to the car, bottle in hand when I realized I shouldn't drive with a beer bottle in my cup holder--even if it didn't contain beer.  Maybe next time I'll just use Ball jars.

Not related:

The chicks are getting big fast and have begun jumping out of their enclosure (this leads to an alarming amount of peeping from all chicks--sufficient for us to rush to the mud room to find the escapee).  We've been trying to contain them by balancing a jacket on a tall boot draped over the top--despite how it sounds this was not a bad solution.  But this afternoon I found an old piece of netting and was able to replace the jacket with this (still held aloft by the boot) and hold it in place with bungee cords.   I realize they will need something else to live in soon.  We've been planning on building them a separate chick enclosure in part of the chicken run as soon as they can move outside.  But with the forecast of snow (arrhhg!) this weekend it sounds like it may be a while.

Also Rob was away for a couple of days for work (bummer) --but came home with an 8 foot steel gate for our garden  (yay!).  This may not be every girl's idea of a great gift, but I am psyched.  It is silver and backed with fencing (to keep out said chickens) and I love it.  Unfortunately it is 2 feet too short--but the fence is not up yet, so we'll just move one of the posts a bit.  I use the term we loosely here, and in most matters of hard physical labor. (ie.  we cut all our own firewood, we cleared the land ourselves, we'll be putting up the fencing any day now...)  My friend Jenny reminded me recently that good management is crucial to any job well done.  I couldn't agree more.


  1. I love the looks of the jars housing everything in the cabinets. Do you use the bags you made to get stuff from the bulk section at the store? I need to work on cutting our waste as well. Have you read up at all on Traditional Foods sights? I think they have lots of info on making kombucha, which I will need to try out as well.

  2. We make kombucha. I'm not drinking it very much right now because its a detox when you first start. I didn't think that was a good idea for me as I'm nursing. My husband drinks it every day. He no longer falls asleep on the couch in the evening. I think its great.

    I agree with your cracker concerns, but I haven't found a good recipe yet either.

    ps. I found you on SouleMama


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