Friday, September 28, 2012

Homemade Corn Tortillas

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A stack of freshly made tortillas.

Made with this.

No, it is not a torture device, but a tortilla press. You have probably seen one of these sometime in your life at a yard sale, thrift store, etc.
(Because I have used it once this year, it has survived the yearly clean-out drill)

My husband has Mexican heritage and I'm sure that his grandmothers, hey even his mother would have love to have one of these. I can picture them kneeling by their fire (not his mother) and patting out the corn masa with their hands and then cooking it on the hot stones. And this was after they ground the corn into flour. 

And, all before lunch !

I, however, bought my corn masa straight from the grocery store.
I am so spoiled.
All you do is add water! and a little salt.

I mixed it up and used a cookie scoop to make it into little balls. (Note to self, they came out pretty small, so next time, use a larger scoop)
The directions told me to use plastic wrap to keep it from sticking .
( I just had to try one without the wrap - and sure enough, it sticks)

Put the top down and smash the handle down too,
and you have a perfectly shaped tortilla.

It comes out so round, even when the balls are not shaped so round.

See how thin? Maybe 1/16th of an inch?
Cook it up on a hot skillet/griddle

turn it over to cook both sides.

Stack them up and cover to keep them from drying out.

Tonight, at our Friday evening gathering, I am taking these little gems,
some black beans, salsa and cheese.
They will be transformed (I hope) into Quesedillas.

One of these times I want to take the makings and let the kids make/smash
their own. After all, the grandkids have Latin blood in them too.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Taking the Plunge Into Soap

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A few months back I purchased what was needed to make my own laundry soap. Fels Napha bar soap, Borax, and Washing Soda (which I understand I am not to confuse with regular soda).

I was all ready and had a few empty containers to put the finished product in when I discovered that they were not all empty. So, being a good house wife, I proceeded to "use up" what I already had. That being the case, it took until now to really have it empty.

I am not really into "back to Eden" stuff when it comes to laundry soap - and how many loads of laundry did Eve do before she and Adam were put out of the garden anyway? Not many. So, here I had these supplies ready and then I went to the internet and can't remember where I found the ingredients in the first place.

There are tons of recipes out there people! Everyone has a take on what should go into the pot, so to speak

Well, I found one that used the stuff I have on hand and proceed to start.

Grate 1/3 bar of soap, that part is pretty easy. Mix it with 4 cups of water and heat it up until it melts. OK.

Mix in 1/2 cup of Borax and 1/2 cup of Washing Soda. (it seems that I have enough supplies to last until the rapture!) The boxes of borax and soda seem rather large when you look at what is used here, and, I still have 2/3 of the bar of soap left.  OK, lots more water, a change of pots because it it getting ready to overflow the top, and now it is sitting its 24 hours to do whatever it is that it will do before it is ready to use. I think I can even add a scent if I like.

I will keep anyone posted on the outcome in the coming days. It smells pretty good from here. We will see how it does with the hard water situation around here though.

I may try the dry recipe and see how I like it. Wish me luck. It looks like I am going to be up to my eyeballs in soap.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What a Giveaway over at the Olde Farmhouse

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I really, really like this giveaway and one of the requirements was to spread the word...

So, here goes

444 x 100

The lovely Rachel over at The Olde Farmhouse On Windmill Hill is giving away an awesome window sign that she made and also a gift card for $25!  You can't beat that.

So, head on over there and see what going on.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vintage Country Flea Market in Willows, CA

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This will be the third time we have done

In Willows, California

Check out the facebook link above for photos of previous shows.

It will be in October on the 20th
a lovely time of the year for an outdoor show.

It is a smallish show with about 20 - 25 vendors,
lots of relaxed shopping in a beautiful setting.

There are even beautiful people here
and stuff
and things
and general good finds.

Be sure to check it out.
And, perhaps come by and say hello

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Little of This and A Little of That

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Life is so busy

or is that just an excuse I use?

I am finally getting to see a wall in my living room.
The living room is always a treasure trove of items that have been finished and cannot
take either the heat in the summer or the cold in the winter.

We - well I use that term lightly, because it is Mr that does
all the heavy lifting around here.
Ahem, we..., are using up some of the items we have had
stored in the living room. 
For instance - I don't have a Farm Table in the center...
yes, that is where they go when they are finished.
Sometimes, there are two...

I do have a stack about two feet high of
old bound volumes of a local newspaper that went out of business.
Read about them here.
I am trying to figure out how to make some money on these
very large books that were donated to us.
I see that the University Library has the same ones in a Special Collection Section
of the Campus Library. They are not allowed out of the room.
Here they are, sitting in my living room, right next to a few oil lamps,
a wine bottle opener that we will sell, a bookcase, some back issues of some magazines
and so forth.

They are rather interesting to look at, but other than that...
Dating back to 1868 to 1944 - now that was a long time ago -
you can see the improvements to the city,
the cost of goods - incredible in these high inflation days.
Pictures of women's fashions, grocery ads,
news from the war front.

We went to a show yesterday, almost in our backyard.
It was called Mes Amis
(no, I can't say it either)

Here are a few pictures taken by Mr with my cell phone.

We were based on a little patio area and because of our E-Z up canopies, had shade the whole day.
Some others were based on the street under natural canopies of trees.
It is still in the 90's here in September. And, yesterday was no exception.

Notice the wonderful Farm Table and I see "me" in the background.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, likes the island in the background.
Here is a closer picture.
You can kinda tell when someone likes something, they come up to it and "pet" it.

We sold things that we really, really liked. But, we have plenty for our next show in about 3 weeks.

Does this remind anyone else of that children's book "Hats for Sale"?

A corner of a table was devoted to a "Wedding" Theme.

Well, that is all I have for now.

When we "do" a show, it is like moving twice in one day.
You get where you are going, unload, set everything up like in a house,
then, a few hours later, you pack it all up again and load it up.

We had a helper, in the form of a friend, "Frank" who wanted to help us
load up at the end of the day. He really put away some "gold, silver and precious stones"
with all his hard labor.
Thanks again, Frank.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vintage Newspapers - What to Do... Give Me Some Ideas

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In today's world, a newspaper seems like a waste of good trees, doesn't it? Except for the facts that you can hold it in your hands, come back to it when you please, and see a little of history, what is an old newspaper worth? These days we have instant knowledge, I can't tell you how many times I go and 'google' something for information, prices, general knowledge and such. A vintage newspaper captures the day it was written, so what to do with it?

A while back we were gifted with some newspapers. A couple wanted a table, we had to modify one we had and they came from about 50 miles away to pick it up. In the phone conversations before they actually arrived, they said they had some old things and they were looking for a home for them. Among those items were some newspapers. Well, I thought, sure, bring them on.

The newspapers turned out to be bound volumes that were from 70 years old to well over 100...!
They are large, very large, the whole page is bound.

The oldest of the volumes is from 1869. I wasn't even a thought in my parents head then...

I love the old ads, imagine using an upper set of dentures to advertise!

Hats and caps. "New styles received every steamer". Those came by steamer boat from San Francisco, up the Sacramento River.

Gentlemen's Clothing

How about a lost horse? Reward offered if you see him. I think $20 was quite a bit then.

Then, we move into the 20th century and the war year of 1944.

Shoes - non-rationed for only $2.79!


News from the war front.

And political cartoons.
Well, any ideas of how to sell these?
I have 10 different years with one duplicate.

A local University Library has copies of these in their Special Collection Section.
I have emailed them and have not received a reply. Maybe because I said I wanted to sell them...

I am looking for ideas (beyond donating them ;-)
Put your thinking caps on and give me your best.