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History of Ruff WA

I have been doing research on the town of Ruff, Washington. My family’s farm was just northeast of this once thriving little town that is located in Grant County, Washington. My father’s birth certificate actually lists Ruff as his birthplace and I wanted to research what I could find about the community.

Many of the early settlers including my grandparents were Bessarabia Germans as they came to America from Bessarabia, Russia which is known as Moldova today. My great grandparents on my father’s side came to American in 1891 when my grandfather was 5 years old. It was interesting to find that my grandmother was also from Bessarabia and came to America later and married my grandfather in Washington state. They eventually homesteaded near Ruff Washington and were dry land wheat farmers.

I believe the town of Ruff was established around 1900 and had several businesses and at least one church the Ruff Evangelical Church. Here are a few photos that I found in my father’s old photo album.

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Peeling Hard Boiled Eggs Easier

We love eating hard boiled eggs and struggle at times with peeling them. I set out to experiment on a way to make the eggs peel easier. I am happy to share this handy and simple method to help make your hard boiled eggs peel easier.

Hard Boiled Eggs

I have been using this method for several weeks now and excited to report that it really does work. Your eggs will peel easier and the shells will be softer after boiling. Here are the simple steps to follow for fast and easy egg peeling.

Place eggs in a sauce pan and cover with water. Continue Reading →

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My Homemade Ketchup Recipe

After making a few different batches of homemade ketchup. I think I’ve gotten a decent flavor that we all like at my house. I had to tweak the recipe a few times as I just didn’t like the strong taste of the apple cider vinegar. I finally just had to use very little and may next time try white vinegar in the quest for the perfect homemade ketchup recipe.

Overall I do love homemade ketchup. It’s much cheaper than store bought and it doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup. Remember you can always tweak the recipe adding or subtracting ingredients to perfect the taste for that just right flavor of your own homemade ketchup.

Ketchup Recipe

Ingredients:
12 ozs of tomato paste (2- 6 oz cans)
1/4 cup of cider vinegar (use white vinegar for less cider taste or even 1/8 cup of cider vinegar but add 1/8 more of water)
3/4 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
Pinch or two of cayenne pepper
Pinch of all spice
Dash of onion powder

Combine all ingredients in saucepan and simmer over low heat. Continue Reading →

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Making Kefir Water

We have been enjoying homemade kefir water for some time now. Kefir water contains probiotics and has been found to help digestive issues and is a natural alternative to store-bought probotic products. I will share one of my recipes for the process here on My Useful Ideas. My recipe is very simple and it is easy to follow.

First you need a yeast stater to make your kefir water. I obtained my starter from my DIL who has been making kefir water and had extra starter grains. Once you make kefir water you will find that your starters grow and you share them with other people. You can also purchase your starter grains from many different on-line sources.

Make sure you use non-chlorinated water to make your kefir water. I am on a private water well which is not chlorinated and I just use the water from my tap and it works just fine.

Here is a photo of my kefir water after one day of being covered and as you can see a few of the little kefir grains are floating which is a good sign. There are also little bubbles that confirm the grains are active and the process is working. I usually leave the glass jar covered with a paper towel for 2-3 days on my counter. I use a rubberband to keep the jar covered with the paper towel as shown.

I check the kefir grains and if after 2 days they are floating and there are bubbles I then remove the grains. I added a small amount of apple juice to this batch to make apple kefir water.

If your grains are not active and there is little bubbling going on, you may want to “feed” the grains more sugar. Continue Reading →

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Super Large Size Chicken Egg

I buy my eggs at a local feed store that sells local farmer’s eggs. This week I was shown this incredibly large egg in a box of chicken eggs for sale. Check out this amazing egg in this dozen.

I was told this egg was laid by a Barred Rocks chicken which is also known as a Plymouth Rock chicken. According the Wikipedia Barred Rocks chickens do lay large eggs but this one takes the blue ribbon in my opinion. I have never seen a chicken egg this big in my life. I am told it should be at least a double yoke egg and maybe even 3 yolks.

Hope you enjoyed seeing this amazingly large chicken egg. I will update the post Continue Reading →

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Elk Roast in a Dutch Oven

I had a 3 pound Elk shoulder roast given to me and set out to roast it in my cast iron Dutch Oven. I had never done a Elk roast before so I did a little research and got some advice from a few people who had experience in cooking Elk roasts. Because Elk is very lean, it is a good method to slow cook a roast to get tender and moist meat.

I love cooking in cast iron and thought baking my Elk roast in a Dutch Oven would be a good choice. Here are the following ingredients I used. Continue Reading →

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