Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Blogger is being stupid today

I wanted to post with a bunch of pictures of our Thanksgiving holidays but blogger is not letting me upload my pictures so I will just say "howdy" everyone and hope you are having a peaceful week.  

I see I have two new readers.  Thank you Maggie Haren 
and Rob's Bunker  for hitting the follow button.   Run over to their sites and tell them hello from Mamma Bear!

I'll give everyone an update from the homestead as soon as blogger lets me do the picture thing!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


May you all have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving .  God is so good to us and we have so much in which to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving 
Mamma Bear & Family

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Free Music to Download

You can download an entire Christmas album for free!  Just scroll down and hit download.  I don't have itunes so I downloaded as a zip file. I'll burn it to a CD later.

Amazon has a few free Christmas songs as well.  Scroll down and find the ones with the price 0.00     Can't beat free and the music is pretty decent!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Don't Rain on My Parade

Macy's Parade is a tradition at our home on Thanksgiving day.  I am usually busy in the kitchen but run back and forth from the kitchen to the livingroom to catch the highlights.

Stephen over at Standing Outside Looking In 
posted a video on some potty mouth with OWS talking about interrupting the parade by tossing Molotov cocktails and also about burning Wall Street down on the 17th.......Check it out.

Guess we need to look for a whole heap of trouble in the coming week.  Stay safe everyone.  We are hunkered down today.  Under tornado watches until 8 PM.  I want the rain but no tornado!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Welcome New Readers

Thank you Trish Deneen and DaddyBear for hitting that follow button.  I hope to give you something entertaining or informative from time to time.

Have a great week!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

I am not a fan of war but I am proud of the men and women who choose to serve this country in uniform.  Especially my two sons.

God bless you all......


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Utilizing space for food storage in tight areas

As I have stated in several post; grandson lives with us during the week while daughter attends nursing school in the next county over.   My only spare room to make him a bedroom was my storage room which at one time used to be a bedroom when we first built the house.  Some people have closets bigger than this room which is 11 x 10.  I had boxes and buckets stacked haphazardly all over this room so I had my work cut out for me.  

I started by pushing everything to one side of the room so I could put up shelves.  To begin with I purchased 3 shelving units from Walmart.  Once I started loading them I knew I was going to need more shelves.  I went on line to order shelves for the units and with shipping, just a few more shelves were going to cost me more that what an entire unit from Walmart did so I ended up buying 2 more units just to get the shelves.  I think each unit was around $30.00 but it put up almost 10 feet of wall to wall shelves.  I didn't want grandson to feel like he was in a pantry so I went to Lowes and bought 3 sets of accordion like doors that you are supposed to mount in a doorway but I used anchor bolts and put them in the ceiling.

Now you see the food....

Now you don't!

Since I mounted these from the ceiling instead of a doorway they do not reach the floor.  I have been trying to come up with something to extend these panels to the floor but no ideas yet.  If you have an idea I would love to hear from you.

Yep...the carpet is a mauve color and is worn out.  I hope to put wooden floors in here next summer when the grandson is out of school.

I used 10 gallon storage boxes for rice, dehydrated vegetables and fruits.  They are stacked by grandson's bed which is one of the old hospital beds that belong to our son.  Since the hospital bed will rise higher than regular beds I use the space underneath to store part of my son's 6 month supply of Jevity which is for his tube feedings. 

the 10 gallon containers are bright greens to go along with the camouflage curtains I found on a sale table for $4.00.  I am going to add Velcro to the fronts of the storage containers for grandson to attach his collection of mask, Spider man, Iron-man, Hulk,etc 

I bought a solid wood chest of drawers off of Craigs List for $60.00, A TV from the Flea Market for $10.00 and an Xbox with 10 games from Ebay for $30.00  There is 5 cases of wheat stacked beside each side of the chest that equals 330 pounds of wheat.  The next time I am at the Dollar Tree I am going to get some type of kids wrapping paper and cover these boxes.  I have also thought about maybe the shiny white paper and see if dry erase markers could be used on it.  Grandson would then have an art area for drawing and writing.

I bought this plastic roll around tool box for grandson to keep some of his favorite toys in.  I think it was around $20.00.  He can roll it into the family room or even out on the porch to play.

A basket sits in the corner to hold a few more treasures and a little camp stool I picked up for $2.00 at Dollar General completes the room.  Grandson has not complained at all for the space he has to share with our food storage.

We do have a closet in this room which I am not going to show you inside yet...on one side it has buckets from floor to ceiling which hold more powdered milk, rice, sugar, flour and beans.  There are shelves along the backside and top I stick items on that I have not inventoried into the storage.

This bedroom/storage room is ever changing as I am constantly trying to improve the food storage situation.

Share the joy!

With so much bad news going on I have some good news....My baby boy is coming home from Afghanistan and will be in the states in 3 more days!   He, my lovely DIL and my 3 beautiful grandchildren will be here at the end of November.  What a belated Thanksgiving we will have!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

President Obama and the Children of the Corn

Papa Bear just sent me this link President Obama and the Children of the Corn and boy will it pi$$ you off.  Monsanto has to be one of the most evil organizations in history.  I can't help but wonder if the people who work for Monsanto eat or feed the products to their family knowing what could possibly happen. Make sure you read page 2 and follow the link to sign the petition if you are lead to do so.

It's getting almost impossible to avoid the genetic modified foods. Save your heirloom seed and grow as much of your own food as you can.

Amish White Bread

Amish White Bread is an easy bread recipe to mix in your bread machine and finish by forming the loaves and baking in the oven.  It is the best bread for sandwiches and toast. 

My yeast has expired but I keep it in my freezer so it will be good for a long time but just in case I "proof" it first before I mix all the ingredients.  I start by putting 2 cups of warm water (110 degrees) in the bread machine pan, add 2/3 cups of sugar and stir until sugar is just about dissolved.  I then sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of my active dry yeast on top of the mixture.  After 5 or so minutes the yeast will begin bubbling and will be creamy looking if it is alive.  I am good to go.

 I then added  1/4 cup of oil and 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 cups of flour and started my machines dough cycle to begin mixing.

I then added 4 more cups of flour one at a time.  If you like you can give your machine a little assist with a rubber spatula  to scrape the flour from the sides but it is not necessary  The moving dough ball will eventually grab it all.

When the dough begins to pull away from the sides sometimes I will begin timing (according to how long the recipe says to knead) sometimes I just wait for the machine to stop.  

Today I let the machine knead the dough for about 7 minutes.  It looks smooth and round at this point.

Turn out the dough on a floured surface.  This dough is a little softer than some recipes so make sure you have a good dusting of flour.  I didn't have enough here and had to peel the dough off the table to add more.

Shape your dough back into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning your dough ball so it gets a light coating of the oil all over.

Cover with a damp cloth and place in a draft free area.  Sometimes I use saran wrap or wax paper sprayed with a cooking spray but today I used a warm damp dish towel.

Let the dough rise until double in bulk.  My kitchen is a little cool today so it took about an hour.

Punch the dough down.  This is the fun part!

Turn out on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes and shape into a ball. I have no assistant today to so I had to use one of my hands to take this picture.

Cut the dough in half.  I don't have a fancy dough cutter so I just use whatever knife I grab from the kitchen drawer.

Since one side of the dough looks much bigger than the other I got out my kitchen scale to weigh them to get them as even as possible.  One side was about 5 ounces more than the other so I fixed that by pinching off dough from the larger and kneading it into the smaller.

Shape both pieces back into a ball and let them rest for 5 minutes or so.  This allows the dough to relax a bit to make them easier to shape.  If my kitchen were real warm I would cover them with a damp towel.

While the dough is resting, I greased 2 loaf pans.  I believe they are 5 x 9 inches.

After the dough has rested; I shaped the loaves by pressing the dough out with my hands using a pan for a guide.  You want it about the length of the pan and a little bit wider.

Beginning with the long side roll the dough up tightly.  Use both hands.  I had to use one hand to take a picture.  Where's grandson when you need him?

Pinch the dough to form a seam and tuck the ends under.

Place seam side down in pan.

Repeat shaping for remaining dough, place both pans in a draft free area and cover with a clean damp cloth. Again you can use wax paper or plastic saran wrap sprayed with a cooking spray.

Let the dough in the pans rise until they are about one inch over the edge of the pans.  Normally this takes about 30 to 40 minutes for this second rising but again I'm dealing with a cold kitchen so it took a little over an hour.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown.  You can check for doneness by removing a loaf from the pan and thumping the bottom.  If it sounds hollow it is done.  If it doesn't sound hollow, place the loaf back in the pan and bake for another 5 minutes.   When done remove from pans and place on cooling racks.

If you want a soft top bread for sandwiches; brush the top with melted butter 

and cover with a clean dry cloth. Let cool completely before slicing.

 You can use a bread knife with a serrated edge for slicing.  I happen to have a bread slicing guide that I like to use with my electric knife. 

From a 5 x 9 loaf I get 17 perfect slices for sandwiches or toast.

To store in the freezer.  Make sure bread has completely cooled and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.

and again with aluminum foil. 

Frozen bread should be used within 4 months.

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