Everyday Luxury; Cold Brewed Coffee Recipe

There are many different ways to make yourself a cup of coffee; some ways are more primitive, such as the way my father used to make it when hiking in the Norwegian mountains; he’d fill a pot with water from one of the many clear, clean streams, then pour in coarse coffee until it looked about right. He’d put a long stick through the handle and hold it over the fire. The grounds would stay on top of the water until hot, and would then sink to the bottom of the pot. The coffee was ready. There was a certain charm to it, most definitely. (Just not the time when he used snow for water, only to find sheep “pebbles” in the pot afterwards…… If you know what I mean by “pepples”…….) But, I regressssss! More traditional ways include the good-‘ol drip coffee maker (this is the one I own, and I love it!), then you can get more fancy and use a Keurig (I love this one as well, but it’s more expensive to use), French press or espresso maker. There are many ways, and real coffee lovers often feel strongly about their preferred method. My father is OK with his electric drip maker these days. Personally, I love cold brewed coffee when I want an extra treat. It’s comforting, smooth, flavorful, and gives me the feel of luxury without the cost. After this discovery, I can get myself a cup […] Read more »

List writer? Save it to help you in future planning

Lists. I love them, I need them, I write them. For everything. Whether it be for errands, to-do at home, list of questions for the doctor, things to bring when going to the beach; you name it. Often times I write out a list right then and there before a given task, just like many other people do as well. Other times I simply print out a list that I have saved from a previous time. These print-outs have been such a great help, a real stress reducer as I just follow the directions and don’t have to do so much planning and thinking. I will touch on two of these types of lists in this post. List 1 Vacation time Before you go on vacation, there’s lots to do, lots to remember. While busily packing and preparing for one of our trips, trying desperately not to forget anything, I simply decided that this amount of work and stress was not worth repeating over and over every time we go on vacation. Why re-invent the wheel? I had already written down everything I believed we needed for our trip, and in addition I also had a list going of things we needed to do before we left, such as: empty the trash, clean out refrigerator to get rid of perishable foods, make arrangements for mail and our cat etc. For packing, there’s the usual; clothing and toiletries,  in addition to […] Read more »

Prevent Washer Build-Up; Alternatives to Softeners

There were times in the past when I felt tempted to stop strangers on the street to ask them what type of fabric softener they used. They’d walk past me, and their clothing smelled so fresh and clean! I would have loved to know what the scent was so I could go get a bottle of it for myself. That’s until I found out that a lot of people experience gunk and buildup in their washing machines due to fabric softeners, which over time can cause problems such as mold and smell. I have had a smelly machine in the past, and there was nothing I could do to get rid of it; the smell could sometimes go away for a couple of weeks if I used products to eliminate smell, but it would always return. Instead of my laundry room smelling nicely of clean clothing, detergents and softeners, it smelled dirty. And the smell came from the machine, there was no doubt about it. When I got my new machine, there was no smell, and as I found out about the possibility of softeners being a culprit, I decided I wouldn’t chance it. I had to find an alternative method to softening my clothes. Downy! Oh, how much I loved the scent on my clothing when using Downy laundry softener!  Before I knew anything about buildup and smell, I used it regularly, until we had a repair-man over for […] Read more »

Caring for Your Wooden Carving Board

  I had an old, wooden cutting board. Just a cheap one. It had a deep crack running through it. I figured it was because it was a cheap board. Front: Back:   I decided I wanted to get a new one, a nice, large, beautiful cutting board. Still wooden, though. Went on-line to check what was available; prices, sizes etc. That’s when I read about oiling, which I had never heard of before. Apparently, if you oil your wooden carving board, you can help prevent the growth of bacteria or other microbes, such as mold. In addition, oiling helps prevent stains and odors, plus it protects it from drying out from the use of detergents, which in return can cause cracks. When looking more into it, I also found out that vegetable oils, such as olive oil, is not recommended since most of these oils will turn rancid eventually. Food grade mineral oil, I read, is very cheap and works well, and it won’t go rancid. Another oil that is very resistant to rancidity is food grade coconut oil, which is what I happened to have on hand. The only thing about coconut oil is that it is much more expensive than simple mineral oil, and now that I found out just how much a board can absorb (close to a full cup!), I will definitely purchase some mineral oil to use for my next applications. Below are pictures […] Read more »

Trial & Error in Garlic Planting; Dos and Don’ts

The early spring og 2011, I was busily caring for my little indoor tomato seedlings when I was given a few sprouted garlic cloves by a dear friend. She told me she had found them sprouting in her refrigerator, decided to plant some of them inside, and they grew and seemed happy enough. So she gave some to me to try as well. Like my friend, I really hadn’t planned on planting garlic, but why not give it a shot? I didn’t know the first thing about planting garlic, and being preoccupied with other things, I didn’t look much into how to care for them. I just figured it would be a fun side-project. (Not researching much beforehand ended up being Mistake no. 1.) So I planted the ones she gave me plus quite a few of my own non-sprouting supermarket cooking-garlic cloves that I had in my refrigerator; I ended up with 22, total. “You never know,” I though to myself. Sure enough, after a few days, they all sprouted! What a thrill!! Since garlic cloves are so large compared to the seeds of most vegetables (many are the size of sugar granules), I had planted them in disposable plastic drinking cups to make sure they had plenty of room. Learning that garlic prefers cool weather and are hardy to frost, I decided to put them outside during the day, and bring them inside overnight. I placed them on […] Read more »