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Leftover Turkey Soup

I had some leftover turkey from last Christmas in the freezer. I cut it all up which resulted in over a cup of nice meat to add to my soup mix.

Auguson Soup MixI used about 2 cups of Auguson hearty vegetable chicken soup mix along with 7 cups of water for my soup base. I then added salt, pepper and a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce all into my Crockpot.

If you haven’t used Auguson storage foods before, let me just say they are good product at a value price. I have made this soup mix before and it is very tasty.

Here is a picture after everything was in the Crockpot. Continue Reading →

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Feeding the Deer Naturally

Just a fun photo to share on how we are feeding the deer on our property naturally. We recently had to cut down a tree that was hanging dangerous over the house. After limbing the tree there were all these branches on the ground with tons of witch’s hair on them.

Well it didn’t take long for all of these does to come munch on the treats. The dried material often misrepresented as moss is really Lichens. The formal name is Alectoria sarmentosa or witch’s hair and is sometimes classified as a fungus.

Anyway the deer love witch’s hair from the limbs which provides an outstanding food source for deer and other animals. I should also mention that witch’s hair is a good firestarter. Just find some dried stuff under branches if you are in the woods and in need of some tinder for a fire. It works great and is usually easy to find hanging from tree limbs.

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Cooking on the Woodstove

I love cooking on the woodstove. It is a wonderful stove top and saves on running the conventional range-top burner. I have a step-top woodstove and after some testing, I have found the heat levels for cooking on it. If I have a gentle fire going as shown in the photo, the lower level is medium to high heat temperature. This is a good location for starting a pot of soup or stew to get it boiling. Check your pot often as the heat can be very hot and you don’t want to burn your food or boil over the pot.

Once I have my pot of soup hot, I move it up on top for low heat cooking. I can leave my pot of soup simming here for hours. Do check the heat if you build up your fire as it can still get pretty hot on this top shelf of a woodstove.

I find if my soup pot gets too cold, I can always move the pot to the lower level to get the pot hot again and I do this also before serving the soup.

All woodstoves vary and cooking on them takes some time and testing to perfect your skills. My main advice is to Continue Reading →

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Split Pea Ham Soup

After a recent potluck at work, there was a leftover ham bone with lots of meat on it. I asked and no one seemed to want it so I cut off the leftover ham from the bone. The result was about 2 cups of cut up ham perfect for making split pea ham soup. Here is just half of the ham I saved from the potluck

My homemade split pea ham soup recipe is very basic and easy. Here is my recipe.

One large pot filled with 8 cups of water
Add 1 cup or more of cut up ham leftovers
Add 1/2 lb of split peas which have been washed and sorted
Add 1 small diced onion
Add 1 carrot diced (about 1/2 cup)
Add one peeled potato
Add salt and pepper as desired and more as it cooks as needed

Bring to light boil and then cook for 2-3+ hours on low-medium heat. I actually put the covered pot on top of my woodstove to let it sim for hours before I served it. My recipe makes about 4+ large bowls of finished soup.

Soup just starting with all the ingredients added.

Soup cooking and you can see my potato got so tender that it split in half. Continue Reading →

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Recycled Christmas Decorations

Here are some useful ways to recycle and reuse old Christmas cards. One idea to reuse Christmas cards is to craft them into new Christmas ornaments. I love to take the old cards and crochet around the edges with yarn. Here are a few examples of recycled Christmas ornaments.

Here is the tutorial with step by step instructions how to make your own recycled ornaments from old Christmas cards.

If you don’t want to crochet around the edges, you can always just stitch around the edges with a needle and thread such as this ornament.

Another idea is to make gift tags from the old cards. You can either use a template to cut out the tags using scissors or use a store-bought tag maker to punch out the tags. Here are some gift tags I punched out using a tag maker.

Here are more examples of recycled Christmas ornaments made from old cards. Continue Reading →

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Halloween with less Trick-or-Treat Trash

Halloween is a fun time for the kids and adults too. It is also a holiday filled with lots of trash. Leftover trash includes everything from plastic candy bags, pumpkins, paper banners, candy wrappers, other decorations and costume castoffs. So as another Halloween approaches, here are a few useful ideas for making Halloween a bit greener.


Use a reusable bag for Halloween candy. Kids can choose to use a recycled or reusable candy bag such as one made from recycled plastic bag like this one from MyRecycledBags. Here is the link to the pattern and details for crocheting this cool orange candy basket.

Party favors can be made by recycling things like yogurt cups into little candy holders. Let the kids decorate the items and have fun with the crafting project.

How about all those plastic bags that candy comes in? Well that plastic can be recycled so don’t throw it in the trash. Save it and either drop it into your curbside recycle bin or a nearby store’s plastic recycle container.

Same goes for those paper decorations and banners that you either can’t or won’t be reusing next year. Recycle them in your paper or plastic recycle bins so they don’t end up in the landfill.

What about those leftover pumpkins? If you are lucky enough to live in an area that has a Zoo, Continue Reading →

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