Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cobblers and French Bread

To some cobbler means fruit with a cake-type batter drizzled on top and baked...not me!
Cobbler is made with a top and bottom regular pie crust with lots of fruit in between, no thickener and is served hot in dishes with melted butter or thick cream on top. I make mine in a casserole dish. It is interesting how we are influenced by how our Mothers cooked. I do some things different but basically I cook like Mom.

Yesterday I made my favorite blackberry cobbler.

I still have a few bags left in the freezer from my blackberry patch. The last two years, I have given them up to the hated Japanese Beetles. I keep wracking my brain thinking of how I can cover them to keep the beetles away. Nothing short of a large cage of screen wire comes to mind. I am not above doing that if I keep losing the crop to them. This is another Oriental fruit pest we did not need!

Yesterday was our first day of warmer temperatures. I milked and will milk again today to take advantage and maybe get Willow more relaxed with me. It will be a test………….let you know how that works. DH thinks when I go so long between milking, it becomes new all over again for her.

I made French bread yesterday. The recipe makes three large loaves which I freeze. I like having it on hand for certain foods… soups, Italian pasta things, steaks, etc. I also just like it toasted. It makes a crusty loaf without having to do anything special like using water during cooking. It is shiny because I always brush it with butter so the crust won't be too hard for DH. He doesn't like it that way.

Frugal Living

I keep reading blogs about this subject and it has me thinking which is a good thing!
I feel like I could do a much better job where food is concerned....I need to start using out of the freezers daily....shouldn't have to buy anything except coffee, flour, sugars, and shortening. I buy pastas but could make them. I buy dry beans (tried the flaying of beans for dried seeds once.........lots of serious work to get many beans). The only meat we buy is bacon and sausage and chicken. I hope to grow some fryers this spring....for the freezer but we will have to get very organized with the chicken house to do can be done though.

We stopped Directv some time ago. We still both have cell phones and I recently added the texting feature for the grands. We aren't using it like I thought we would so I think I will discontinue it. We don't take the newspaper and I quit subscribing to all gardening magazines years ago.

I do still have the internet and it costs $40 a month. We can't get DSL out here and probably never will unless Obama's plan for everyone to have it via rural electric organizations comes to fruition....I am not holding my breath! I would really, really miss the computer and don't want to go to the library as one blogger is now doing.

We quit trash service for almost a year and then our local town got so persnickety about the recyclying that I didn't know what to do with some would mean a trip to the big city periodically to get rid of those things. We started up trash pickup service again. It is grossly overpriced and they tack a fuel fee on each month that gets progressively higher. I am still pondering that issue.

We do try to save on trips to town but could do much better with that if I would make DH pay more attention to cat and dog food.......and bananas! You wouldn't believe how many bananas he eats.

So the goal will be to really watch my food bills. It is hard when everything but the kitchen sink is on one bill.

I make our own soap (for fun mostly) but have not liked any of the laundry soaps I have tried. Either we get our clothes dirtier than others or I haven't tried the correct formula. DH is my laundry man and he is sold 100% on Tide powder with bleach....and he likes his rinses too. I haven't tried the cup of vinegar yet....will have to buy vinegar first. I am betting he won't like it!

Sorry for rambling on....these are just thoughts about all this I have been reading.

The one thing that really annoys me is the phones: $70 for two cells plus almost $30 for a landline. $100 a month for what we used to get by with for $10 a month.
Once we get used to these luxuries, they become our necessities.

Things to ponder in the wee hours of the morning.


  1. I make cobbler the way you do. It's the way my mom taught all of us girls to make it.

    I've been doing serious reading about frugal living and know that there are ways we can cut back. We do have Direct TV. Living here in the city, there's little for my husband to do without it.

    I would think milking every day would be better for the cow. I know they don't like changes to their routines.

  2. I make cobbler both ways! Hubs' mom always made it with pie crust, mine sometimes with batter and sometimes with pie crust.

    I don't know anything about cows, but when the folks had cows, they milked every day. I never knew you could skip a day till I started reading your blog.

    Yeah, we have satellite tv. Hubs could not live without it. OR his daily newspaper. If it wasn't for him, I'd have neither. There's an antenna in the attic I'd just hook up for Tulsa channels. My internet is $40 but the alternative is dial-up and I don't think I could blog then. I wouldn't want to try to do it at the library because it's a drive into town, they limit computer usage to 2 hours, and you can't upload pictures. We have one little cellphone that Jesse carries for emergencies. He is pretty good about not using it for contact with his friends since he found out I can see everybody's number and he got chewed out seriously for using it that way. I have it on the plan where it's $10 a month plus 25 cents a minute for any calls or texts that are made. That can really rack up if somebody texts for a few hours -- Jesse found that out! We have a land line that runs around $25, we don't do much long-distance calling and we were getting charged for long-distance setup anyway. So I called and they said they could take that monthly charge off and then just charge us thirty cents a minute when we did use long distance. If we get to where we need to make regular long distance calls, I think I'll get one of those cheap calling cards. You call the 800 number on the card and the call gets placed through them and comes off your card instead of going on your phone bill. I had to have a talk with Jesse about 411 and how it adds $1.95 to your bill every time you use it.

    I'm trying to use cloth, where possible, instead of disposable paper products.

    My grocery bill goes down when I start watching my portion sizes. I think that's how Grainlady gets by so cheaply on her groceries. They just don't eat that much. It's the way to go, really, if one can stick to it, which is a challenge for me.... Eat to live, not live to eat. Heh!

    I don't take magazine subscriptions, they're mostly ads anyway, and I can find anything I want to read about online. I buy books sometimes, if they're cookbooks or reference-type books on gardening or herbs. But I need to quit that. I don't need any more cookbooks, that's for sure!

    It's a shame there isn't a way to can bananas! I'll buy a big quantity of them on sale now and then and freeze them, but Hubs won't eat them frozen and so those are only for me and Jesse to eat, or for use in recipes.

    We don't have a trash service. They're $20 a month and that's just outlandish. We burn or compost paper. Other stuff goes to the recycling bin. What little that doesn't fit in that category, we save up, and then one of our friends in town lets us drop our little bag of stuff into their garbage can.

    I try to get Hubs to batch his trips to town, since he goes to his workout center three times a week. But if the way he does the route when we go garagin' is any indication, I'm thinking he's not as organized as he could be. He'll go someplace that's halfway home and then turn around and practically retrace his route to go somewhere else. I swear, I will never understand men.

  3. One. You need to bring that cobbler to Tucson and I'll make the coffee! Two. Get rid of all that stuff and simplify. I will not ever own a cell phone. You don't need them and they are a waste of money. My other half has one for an emergency on the road as the job is 45 minutes away in unpopulated desert. Cell phones distract...if they want to talk, they can leave a message and I'll get back to them:)

  4. I only have local land line phone. My 'long distance' carrier is a Tracfone. Once a year I load up on minutes then I only use them for emergencies or the rare long distance call. $100/yr is the best buy and I always have minutes to roll over to the next.

    As for distraction - I'd say that cobbler of yours is a real culprit! *drool*

  5. I know....a lot of us are going through the anger phase now here....and it's amazing how many people this tragedy has affected without the national attention put on it. There's just a lot of anger that led to finger pointing at gun laws, Sarah Palin, and a bunch of other, it's just hurt and sadness...especially for the 9 year old which has really gotten people angry. The discussion is now about why this guy should be wasting tax payer money and it's pretty explosive stuff.

    On money things, cable is another one of those things that people can do without...if you have a computer, you can get rid of all those silly zumba ads and save yourself another hundred and some bucks...or maybe sixty bucks at the cheapest?

    Well life is difficult enough so time to do some outside work:)

  6. Thanks for sharing what you do and what you think about certain services and products. It's good to hear what others think.

    We've considered ditching the trash too. Ours runs $5 a week and I get annoyed that I'm paying them for recyclables and fuel surcharges.

    DTV is here to stay (for now). We don't go see movies or rent. ($72 a month)

    I don't want/own a cell but hubby does for work (business deduction)

    Landline with internet is $70 a month too. (hate that)

    Glad to hear your thoughts on soap and laundry soap. Seems to be a popular thing to do but I'm not inspired. I did read an article from a appliance repair guy that said that we all use TOO MUCH soap in our washers, so I've cut back.

    I thought I'd grow dried beans but you've got me reconsidering it. I grew sunflowers for the seeds and that was a huge PIA so I tossed that.

    Heard the price of coffe is going up (along with everything else) Would love to know the best way to store (whole beans) long term. Have seen differing opinions on freezing. Vacumn pack perhaps?

  7. We love cobbler too, it doesn't matter how it's made. I do make it both ways though. Yours looks wonderful.

    I just made my first batch of home made laundry detergent. I'm not sure I have the right consistency. We are venturing toward a greener and more frugal life style with small steps.

    We raise a garden and last summer I managed to do some canning and freezing. Canning in itself was a major learning experience for me. I plan on doing more of it this year.