Feeling Frugal…Starch your $$$$

Ha! Gotcha’ didn’t I? I could call it STRETCH your dollars, but this was more fun!

Well, if you are a quilter…or love to iron things to a nice crisp finish…I am blogging about something I have been wanting to try for a long time.

Everyone…I mean EVERYONE knows how nice Mary Ellen’s Best Press is! I love it too!

best press

We all also know there is a plethora of info on Pinterest. Some time ago I saved this post about “Quilter’s Moonshine”  and finally tried it this morning. Maybe because I used my last spritz of Best Press and didn’t have a backup!! Woe is me!

The recipe calls for starting with a gallon of distilled water, but I wanted to test it out first so cut the recipe down, using only 1/4 of the ingredients.

Quilters Moonshine Ingreds The very expensive ingredients…NOT…use the cheapest vodka you can find.

Quilters Moonshine recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used 4 cups distilled water (I actually used filtered water), 1/8 cup (2T) starch, and 1/4 cup vodka.

 

 

The result is a little on the cloudy looking side…

 

 

So, I put it to the test. No sticky residue on fabric or iron. The finish is a bit softer than Best Press, but that would only mean adding a bit more starch to your recipe for your personal preference.

Quilters Moonshine 2

Just look how much it makes. If you are frugal and want to give this a try, I am thinking you will not be unhappy with the result. I pay $9.95 (if not on sale) for one bottle of the great Best Press. I am NOT knocking it AT ALL! This concoction, which I do not plan to drink, by the way, was just a few cents for this batch!

Happy Quilting…Happy Pressing!

I will post if I have any further results to share.

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An Extra Day

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We get an extra day today…

what are you doing with yours?

Just in case you are curious, the infamous Wikipedia tells us this about leap year…

Leap year

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Leap year (disambiguation).

A leap year (also known as an intercalary year or a bissextile year) is a year containing one additional day (or, in the case of lunisolar calendars, a month) added to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year.[1] Because seasons and astronomical events do not repeat in a whole number of days, calendars that have the same number of days in each year drift over time with respect to the event that the year is supposed to track. By inserting (also called intercalating) an additional day or month into the year, the drift can be corrected. A year that is not a leap year is called a common year.

For example, in the Gregorian calendar, each leap year has 366 days instead of the usual 365, by extending February to 29 days rather than the common 28. Similarly, in the lunisolar Hebrew calendar, Adar Aleph, a 13th lunar month, is added seven times every 19 years to the twelve lunar months in its common years to keep its calendar year from drifting through the seasons. In the Baha’i Calendar, a leap day is added when needed to ensure that the following year begins on the vernal equinox.

The name “leap year” comes from the fact that while a fixed date in the Gregorian calendar normally advances one day of the week from one year to the next, the day of the week in the 12 months following the leap day (from March 1 through February 28 of the following year) will advance two days due to the extra day (thus “leaping over” one of the days in the week). For example, Christmas fell on Tuesday in 2001, Wednesday in 2002, and Thursday in 2003 but then “leapt” over Friday to fall on a Saturday in 2004.[2] 

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I will admit that I never have really looked at the reason why we have this extra day, so the explanation above makes some sense. Good stuff to know, right? We probably learned something about this in school, but I won’t confess how many leap years have passed since then!

Some people seem to think that it would be no big deal to be born on this day…just celebrate things on the day before or after. Some might think great…I only get a birthday every four years. Well, that is great if you are getting old, but not when you are young and want a party or to get older. What do you think?

Today, my day will be much like most days. At this “almost retired” stage, and since I work from my home, I have lots of flexibility. I generally do most of my work first thing…already done that…so I will play with my crafts and do some work around the house. It is granola-making day along with some laundry. Normal is good!

Oh, and since it is the last day of February, I had better go post one more February Happy Thought for the month!

Make it a great day!

(image from the Internet)

A Recent Favorite Recipe for Granola

Have you looked at the ingredients and calories in the granola you find in the grocery store? Even the selections in the healthy section are full of sugar. We are trying to limit gluten, sugar and fat, so I began looking for a low-sugar, low-fat, gluten-free granola recipe. Funny! The calories were still pretty much sky-high! I persisted and found Joy the Baker and decided to try her recipe (you will want to look…her pictures are so pretty!)  I made half a recipe first, just to try it…by now we have made the full recipe twice. My husband even made it once!

image  The ingredients

image The dry ingredients

I forgot to take a picture of the liquid ingredients, but it is basically oil (calls for coconut), honey and a nut butter.

image Mixing it up

Remember your mom making meatloaf…using her hands? Maybe you still make it this way. I really don’t like to get my hands in there, but it really works great for this mixture!

image Ready to bake

I linked to the recipe above, but here is a picture of my copy….showing some notes to our taste.

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Baking the granola requires a few times stirring for even browning. I notice a variation depending on the pan used and how deep the cereal is in that pan. This time I did a taste test to see if it is better a bit more brown. My husband preferred the lighter color.

image I think I like the darker one.

There are so many variables you can use for this recipe:
Different oils – coconut is more sweet; less is more, if you like it without clumps
Different nut butters – what does your family like? Peanut? Almond? Cashew?
More or less sweetener – Honey? Maple syrup? Brown sugar? How about some coconut?
Nuts about nuts? Try walnuts or pecans.
Want a little spice? How about some cinnamon?

Have fun with this one. Try it a different way each batch! It is filling, nutritious and better than all those you find on the shelf in the market…well, we think so! And another good thing….no preservatives!  It doesn’t last that long anyway!

Oh, why not try it for some dessert ideas too? On top of baked fruits? Or just a handful for a quick bite of energy?

Let us know how you made it and any tweaks or ideas you can share!