Wednesday, April 26, 2017

FYI: McKee Family Topical First-Aid Kit

The McKee Family's Topical First-Aid Kit

Our go-to external first aid kit is made up of these 3 Boiron remedies: Arnica Gel, Calendula Gel, Calendula Ointment. Tincture of Iodine (not the colorless kind), Lavender EO, and Cayenne Pepper.

Arnica Gel (Boiron)
Bumps, bruises, overdoing it/muscle aches. If used soon enough and repeated as needed it can prevent bruising. Our first experience was when our son's hand was closed in the hinge side of the car door. It took away the pain and it never bruised.  Use on unbroken skin only, but can be applied near the open area. 

Tincture of Iodine
This is the first thing we do. (not the colorless kind or can be difficult to find in local drug stores. We found it on Amazon. )
Good for any insect bite or scratch. Especially animal scratch/bite, tree/thorn/fence scratches. We've treated Brown Recluse bites with only Iodine.  Iodine is a long time standard anti-infective treatment.

Calendula Gel (Boiron)
Skin irritations, infections, razor cuts, burns, skinned skin (you know like knees/arms, etc...).

Calendula Ointment (Boiron)
For longer lasting staying power under a band-aid.

Lavender EO 
It's good for any kind of burns- sun or heat.

Cayenne Pepper (ground)
Cayenne stops bleeding FAST.  The sooner you use it the better.  Like while the area is still in shock it won't feel the heat!   It coats a cut & speeds healing. Just make sure that you leave it on a while before you clean it off, or it will start bleeding again.  You can bandage over the cayenne and it can stay on until you need to change the band-aid. 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Homemade Apple Wine

 We prefer our wine with added sparkling water.  It's just too strong to drink without it! 

  The organic apples (juice quality sweet apples from Azure Standard)  were grated and soaked...
....then Adrienne squeezed out every last bit of goodness! 

 Pouring the remaining juice through a nut milk bag.

Bottling:  The bottom of the bucket with 2 pounds of organic raisins left from the wine making.  Because we didn't bottle after 2 weeks as planned, the raisins sat in the apple wine for 5 months.  It could only have improved the final results, right?  =) 

 (click the picture to view it larger)
Recipe from H. E. Bravery's book "Home Wine-Making Without Failures"

See how the color is so similar to the color of Kombucha Tea? You really can't tell which is which- good thing we labeled it!!!

Friday, October 14, 2016

How does your Garden grow?

Veggies coming up in our fall garden: two kinds of lettuce, radishes, two kinds of rutabagas, beets, two kinds of pak choi, two kinds of spinach, two kinds of mustard greens....I think that's all. =)
 So far the grasshoppers have pretty much left them alone! Yea!!! And just take a look at the Chili Pequin/Bird's Beak pepper plant! We bought it about 5 years ago at Northaven Gardens and it's come back each year. It's huge and covered with peppers! 

Anybody want to come get some?!?!?!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Homemade Kettle Chips

We pulled the wrinkley and sprouting russets from the fridge. The last of 2015 harvest...we planned to make fries or chips and it finally happened. Yum!

The mandoline came in handy, but they aren't as thin as we'd like....they take a while to cook.

The oil is grassfed beef tallow and rice bran oil.

 Homegrown organic potatoes + tallow = yummy!!

 Sea salt freshly ground on top.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Arepas....from Columbia

We watched a Diners, Drive-ins and Dives episode that featured
 this little bread/fried cake:  Arepas from Columbia
You know us, we just had to try them ourselves.  =)
We bought the pre-cooked white cornmeal at Fiesta (grocery store).

Get the recipe here:

~ The Arepas are ready to cook. (it was not too messy to mix up & shape)

~ Frying Arepas in rice bran oil...they take 10-12 minutes to cook.....a bit longer than the recipe calls for. We weren't sure what to look for in the finished product...gooey and cakey? How much is too much? 

~ Split and stuffed with scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese....yummy! 

(the last leftover arepa was chilled, saved for another day, chopped small & scrambled in eggs.  It was kind of like hominy.)

Arepas....from Columbia.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Homemade Pfeffernusse cookies

We just made these and used 2 teaspoons of cloves...they are wonderful! Of course they are even better after several days (not so strong and we worried the 2 t. was a mistake at first!). 
My mother keeps insisting that they should have black pepper. Is that really a traditional ingredient? 
I think they would be good with the bottoms dipped into dark chocolate- something like the chocolate covered, soft gingerbread cookies that Aldi's sells. Ours had a nice cross between soft and chewy texture. 
We cooked them a little longer, they were just too soft at 10 minutes. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My First Slab Apple Pie

This was also my first all butter crust.  I usually make mine (here) with a food processor, but I mixed this one by hand, with a pastry blender. You can SEE the lumps of butter in the raw dough, and the crust really LOOKS flaky!  =)

We used our own recipe for the filling...we like the spice ratio we've used for years:
1 & 1/4 t.  Cinnamon
1 & 1/4 t. Nutmeg
(no allspice)

You'll find the recipe here:
 Notice that it calls for 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Sugar and 1 1/2 TEASPOONS of salt.  
Happy Thanksgiving!

 You can see the lumps of butter!

 Cream brushed on top and then sprinkled with Demerara sugar.

Four pounds of organic Honeycrisp apples!  Yum! 

The 2015 Soap is ready!

All our soaps are homemade, from scratch (NOT "melt & pour").
 $4 each or buy 12 and get one free! They make great gifts!

 We have:
E.M. (effective microorganisms)
Goat Milk (with honey!)
Colloidal Silver
Plain Jane (sold out)
Refreshing Mint
Scrubby Soap (great for the kitchen or for gardeners)
Orange Spice
Orange Cream
Garden Breeze
Barbershop Quartet....A Bay Rum type. Our own secret blend.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cream Biscuits

Cream Biscuits
Using rich whipping cream eliminates the need for measuring and mixing butter or shortening in these easy-mix, extra tender biscuits.  You can freeze these biscuits and cook them straight from the freezer if you like. =) 


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (we used unbleached organic from Costco)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
About 1 1/4 cups whipping (heavy) cream


  • 1 Heat oven to 450ºF.
  • 2 In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in just enough whipping cream so dough leaves side of bowl and forms a ball. (If dough is too dry, mix in 1 to 2 teaspoons more whipping cream.)
  • 3 Place dough on lightly floured surface; gently roll in flour to coat. Knead lightly 10 times, sprinkling with flour if dough is too sticky. Roll or pat 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • 4 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Serve hot.
For Cheddar Bay type we doubled the recipe and added:
4 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon or so of dry parsley
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
12 oz grated cheddar cheese (sharp would be best for flavor)
We added the cheese to the dry ingredients, then added the cream.

You can freeze these biscuits and cook them straight from the freezer if you like. =)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Honeyed Jalapeno Rings

Adrienne prepped 2+ pounds of our organically grown jalapeno peppers, so we could make...
..."Honeyed Jalapeno Rings" found in  The Joy of Pickling(We really like this book.)

Some garlic slices and 3 peppercorns for each jar.
Eight half-pints!