Ginny Markee

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since Jan 12, 2020
Ginny likes ...
homeschooling fiber arts homestead
Wife, Mother, turning our acreage into a homestead, schooling my little ones and keeping my eyes on Christ.
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Recent posts by Ginny Markee

Jay Angler wrote:Dan Boone wrote:

I also use my 8-qt instapot for stupid-easy small-batch canning (it fits three quarts and pint) even though it's not technically supposed to be used for that.

That would be 3 x 500ml jars and a 250ml jar for the rest of us.  Surprisingly, I could actually fit those in my 6-qt Instapot - I just tested - which would be safer than just a boiling water bath for edge case things. My big pressure canner can't be used on my stove, but only outside which is a nuisance. My old kitchen pressure cooker which is now honourably retired at 30 years old due to handle issues, was not tall enough to hold 500ml jars.

Okay, I understand the IP isn't "supposed" to be for canning, but like you, I see the sense in it, instead of using a water bath canner.
Aren't you worried at all about the jars exploding though?
Thats my big stress with using the IP as a canner.
4 months ago
We recently moved to our acreage this past summer; the previous owners were snowbirds (don't blame 'em, lots of snow and cold here in Ontario) anyway, they weren't able to give us an accurate idea of what heating costs via propane would be.
Turns out, it's a LOT.
We have a 20 year old furnace on it's last legs and through the winter we're looking at propane costs between $400-425 every three weeks.
Needless to say, we're saving for a new furnace (about 3500ish and looking into putting into a pellet or wood stove)
BUT all this being said because we've had to budget like never before and watch every single penny.
We live off one modest income and I homeschool the little ones.

Right now we're using the Every Dollar app to keep track of everything and I'm scouring different resources on how to save money.
But as husband says: "Well Ginny, at least rice and beans are cheap." -_- .....great.

So what budget do you find works and what are your best tips for saving those pennies??
4 months ago
aw, I fondly remember when I had the time and energy to put into wearing makeup.
I prefer a natural face, and am a much firmer believer in good skin-care over good makeup. ((The better you take care of your skin, the less makeup you'll need in my thinking))
That being said, I'm a mum to three and my littlest hasn't slept through the night in over a year.
...I look like I've been punched in the eye with how purple the bags can get, and when I need to go into town, I'm very thankful for a bit of concealer that can fade those baggies for just a little bit.

I personally find doing a full-face of makeup a waste of time ((who's going to see me? the baby?)) but I don't judge those women who enjoy adding a bit of colour, or mascara or (for those poor sleep deprived mothers like myself) who are trying to look just slightly more human than they feel.
4 months ago
Yup. I gotta say I knit and crochet mine too.
When they get stinky I throw them in the wash and when they get too worn or holey they get thrown into the rag-bag.
It's very easy to learn and make for great little gifties too. <3
4 months ago
Cub has been growing out of his sleepers so quickly (and crawling so much) that he's literally wearing holes in the toes and knees of his cotton sleepers. I can't really repair them, and it's so sad to have to toss an entire sleeper when the rest of the fabric still has lots of life left!
So I came up with a way to fashion them into bibs, using the back and button.
I then backed it using an old towel that was destined for the rag bag anyway and voila! A new bib with a button closure in a cute cotton fabric.
Also - - I can't sew.
Like barely at all, and even my straight lines are crooked.
So if I can do with with 0 skill, I'm sure everyone else could do a MUCH better job! LOL!
4 months ago

Jay Angler wrote:Stacy Witscher wrote:

Like all the bones from a whole hog, or 6-8 chickens.

I hear you. Before the gubment changed the chicken processing rules, we used to be able to get about 75 chicken's worth of feet at once and I'd use my large pressure canner to process them into the most awesome broth. It was gelatinous enough that it would almost bounce, and I'd cut it into cube shapes, wrap and freeze. Feet have lots of joints which means lots of cartilage which is where lots of gelatin comes from.

That said, Instant Pots come in different sizes and we got one of the larger, but not largest, ones, so for quickly processing bones from a dinner or two, it does the job.

I have never used chicken feet before, but I know I can get them easily in chinatown in our nearest city - they've always sort of given me the heebie-jeebies, but I should probably just get over that! LOL
I might even be able to get them from the local butcher now that I think about it.
Do I need a certain "type" of chicken feet? Or could I keep the feet from the butchered meat birds?
4 months ago

T.J. Stewart wrote:If I were on a stranded island that some kind of way had electricity and I could only take one thing, it would be my Instant Pots.  Just teasing, lol, but they really are some of my favorite things that I own.  My only complaint is that they have not really lasted very long for me.  I have had 2 quit on me, both just a little after the warranty.  I have had all 3 sizes, now I'm down to the 3 qt and 6 qt.  I'm really bummed that my 8 qt quit on me a couple of months ago.  There's almost never a day that goes by that I don't use one, or both of them.  

The other kitchen appliance that I wouldn't want to live without is my SS rice cooker.  I had wanted a Miracle SS Rice cooker for years, but it was never in my budget.  Finally, I came across the Aroma brand about 4.5 years ago.  Amazon had some returned ones selling for like 23.00 (with free returns), so I decided to go for it and it has been one of my best buys (appliance wise) ever!  This is used daily in our home (sometime two times a day) and it's still humming along.  

Ginny, I also home educate my children (seven of them right now) and we have a family of 13 all together, so you can imagine how much time the IP saves me (and why I have more than one lol)! :)

That is really good to know! I'm sure our old rice cooker is about to bite the dust and I love it - so I'll definitely look into your recommendation!
Oh wow! We're only a family of 5, (hopefully soon 6) and I'm really only homeschooling my 8 and 4 year old. (my youngest just turned 1 last week :) )
Can I just sit at your knees and learn for a bit?
I feel like my life is constantly divided between either cleaning/cooking/teaching and rarely can I get all three done the same day.
I'd love to see how you organize your days!
Right now we're using mixed curriculum but mostly Christian Light Units and All About Reading, my second eldest is working through her kindergarten books, but loves sitting and doing "school" with her big sis! Lol ;)
4 months ago

Jay Angler wrote:I've had my IP for about 1 month. We bought it specifically for bone broth, as my old system was to pressure cook the bones and the handle on my 25 year old cooker is dead. Since the old cooker is aluminum and I'm not sure the verdict is out on how safe cooking in aluminum is, I decided I wanted to try an alternative.

Today is the first day I've been gusty enough to try the "slow cook" function. Supposedly, I should be able to shift the setting from "medium" to "high", but I couldn't get mine to do so. I've made the recipe before in an actual slow-cooker, so I've got my fingers crossed!  I'll report back in 5 hours!

How'd it go??
TBH I've never been a fan of the IP's "slow cooker" function.
I use my crockpot regularly, and I just found that my IP didn't do that particularly well...which is odd...
But! I love it for all my quick cooking! I just leave my slow cooking to my crock pot. ;)
4 months ago
I use my instant pot all the time, I have 3 young children and homeschool, so anything to get healthy food on the table quickly holds a special place in my heart.
One of the things I was extremely surprised at was how well the Instantpot made bone broth.
After roasting, I would throw the bones into a stock pot to simmer for a few hours, and the scent wasn't the best - in fact my family would complain about the "stinky soup".
But using the IP meant it kept all the steam (and smell!) locked up!
I was very impressed!
Anyone else in love with their IP??

4 months ago
I don't have the link but I've been seeing how to make paper using dryer lint of all things.
I'd assume you'd have to have very clean lint? Lol!