A friend posted on Facebook how she loves the plastic bags her groceries are packed in each time she shops. She listed the various ways she reuses them and ended with the statement that she does not feel guilty about using plastic bags. Most replies were in agreement with the post. A few souls posted their love of reusable grocery sacks and the ways they’ve reduced their plastic bag usage at home.
The Harvest Festival at Hawks Landing Farm is a much anticipated fall tradition with families coming all the way from Portland and Beaverton to attend. Crafts people and vendors, most from the local area, enjoy sharing their wares with the public. One of the most visited booths is the Woodville Garden Club’s Cider Stand. Kids and adults have a blast working the hand cranked apple press and enjoying a fresh, frothy glass of chilled cider. As the day wanes and the air takes on a decided fall crispness the spiced hot cider is much in demand. I asked Tina, the garden club’s reining Cider Queen, to share with us what makes their treat so tempting.
Sophia, thank you so much for asking me to share the Garden Club’s, not so secret, hot cider recipe.
It’s really quite simple and so much better for you than the artificial flavor sugar laden packets of “cider” mix.
Gather a few ingredients:
A jug of cider (fresh pressed is best but any kind you like will work)
With the peal ON cut a few slices from the orange.
Insert whole cloves into the orange slice (this is a great thing for little ones to help with)
Place the allspice in a loose tea holder.
Cut a few slices from the apple, cross-ways so the little star shows.
Pour the cider into a pot, add the clove studded orange slices, apple slices, allspice, and cinnamon sticks.
Let simmer on low until warm.
The longer it simmers the more intense the flavors will become.
If you are serving a large crowd or want to keep the cider warm for hours use a crock-pot set to warm. If you have leftovers remove the spices and apple and orange slices. When cool pour into a container with a lid and keep in the refrigerator. It’s easy to warm up a cup when wanted.
Do you have a variation on a hot cider recipe? Feel free to share it.
By this time of year the Harvest Festival is well over and the boys and I find ourselves in the familiar rhythm of home school lessons, sports, and getting the place buckled down for winter.
Being that we live in the Pacific Northwest, our summers are mild and the windows are open pretty much day and night. Between that and all the going in and out [especially since some people – Aaron and David –don’t always remove their shoes] by fall the house has collected a layer of dust and grime that only a deep cleaning will take care of.
I’ll spare you the details of our cleaning route, but the nitty-gritty day-to-day happenings of farm life is far from glamorous. Stella keeps trying to get me to hire her cleaning lady, who is wonderful, but there are some things I feel I need to do myself. Besides, there have been too many sleepless nights over the past three years and vigorously scrubbing at that grout line around the tub at 2 a.m. may have been one of the things that helped me keep my sanity.
What I will share with you are my all natural, super cheap, cleaning recipes. Be warned, the disinfecting spray contains vodka and if your liquor store is on the main street of a small town and your pastor sees you coming out of it one day with a brown paper sack, and he knows you don’t drink, you might get some raised eyebrows and concern that your new Hollywood beau is a bad influence on you. Just saying – you might want to go to the next town over to get the least expensive vodka you can find. For goodness sake don’t waste money on the higher priced brands, you’ll be spraying this stuff around your toilet after all.
A note about essential oils:
-they are optional
-I like to use orange oil (reminds me of a special someone)
-use the scent you like
-many have antiseptic and antibacterial properties among them: cinnamon, clove, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, orange, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and tea tree
(spray on grime free surface and let dry)
Mix in a spray bottle:
1/4 cup vodka
1/3 cup hydrogen peroxide
1 cup water
20 drops of essential oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon Citra-solv
1/2 teaspoon Castile Soap
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon essential oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Castile Soap
1 3/4 cups water
8 drops essential oil
When I need scrubbing power I use baking soda or Bon-Ami cleaner
What are your favorite natural cleaning products?
What tunes to listen to when tending to household chores?
Put on your favorite play list, round-up your helpers, and make it a cleaning party.