For the Family: October 2008 Archives

"What's up with that?" Wednesday (II)

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by Mama-Lu

What's up with Curtis Orchard? My sons love our local orchard and pumpkin patch. We spent a lovely afternoon there this week. The boys had fun feeding the goats (with food they had picked up off the ground,) driving the play train, and walking in the maze. After our friends left, we walked out and visited the pumpkin patch.

Back inside we looked around at all the nifty stuff to buy and watched the electric train. Finally we went to check out. I was not buying apples or pumpkins because I knew those were understandably expensive. It is harder to make a buck with a small family than a mega farm. All we wanted were donuts. However, I was a little shocked when I discovered that the price I expected for a dozen was actually the price for just six.

So I wonder, are they really charging a fair mark-up, or are they taking unsuspecting city slickers to the cleaners? Not that I begrudge anyone the right to make a buck -- and they do deliver a good time. I just wonder. I also wonder if they would be interested in carrying my pumpkin hat next year. :)

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The Musical Fruit

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by Mama-Lu

In these tight times, I recommend eating beans. They are nutritious and cheap, and can be delicious. They do have some side effects, but when you are with your family (which you have to be because you cannot afford to go out,) that is not so bad.

The trick to great beans is to start with dry beans. After attempting to cook dry beans many times, I had given up. They always came out tough! Then I read an article in Cook's Illustrated which gave me the secret ingredient -- salt. If you add a generous amount of salt to your soaking liquid, the bean skins will melt in your mouth. The other trick is to keep out acids (tomatoes) until the end.

To prepare my family's favorite black beans, simply boil 1 cup of cleaned beans in 6 cups of salted water (or broth) for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let them sit for about and hour. Return to medium heat, add a diced onion and cook for about 45 minutes. Add 2 cans of diced tomatoes and cook for another 10 minutes. These beans, served over a simple rice pilaf, make a fabulous comfort food and a very cheap meal.

Happy Eating!

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Makeover Friday

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(by Mama-Lu)

This summer I hope to take For the Family on the road to some craft fairs. For these events, I want to put together an Etsy wardrobe, 2 or 3 days worth of eye catching wear purchased from Etsy. I know it is a little early to start planning, but here is what I am eyeing right now:

While I'm at it, this is the "mini" for my Etsy shop:

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November 2008: Monthly Archives

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Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the For the Family category from October 2008.

For the Family: September 2008 is the previous archive.

For the Family: November 2008 is the next archive.

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