Sunday, April 19, 2015

Another Hobby ~ photography

Here is a slightly random post for you.  Usually I post about recipes, which happens to be one of my favorite hobbies..  Here is another, Photography.  It travels well and takes little space which is great for our traveling style.  I am by no means a professional, but I love capturing those moments in time.  Candid moments with kids or just the beauty of nature. I miss it when I can't get out and grab some snaps.  I am not a huge fan of highly edited photos, I prefer to keep it natural.  There are many really neat features you can do with editing, layers, colors, etc... I just like to keep it as natural as possible.  I almost always have my camera with me, not just my phone camera but a Canon 12.1 pixel.  Nothing special but works great for me.  It only cost $350 (a few years back) so that helps to. 

Here are a few (because I literally have thousands of photos saved) of my favorites.  These are my easy assess ones (I have thumb drives full as well).

I LOVE water photos, the reflections of the water are just so beautiful. 


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Homemade butter... well sorta

In an effort to save money and do things from as scratch as possible... I thought it would be fun to at least try some homemade butter..  I say sorta because the cream was not fresh from a cow but from the store.  I can't get fresh cream here.  I did a few searches and found some great recipes for it.  None really gave exact measurements of how much it actually cost or saved them.  Most use fresh cream as well.  Here is what we did and, even though it's not necessarily cheaper, it was fun.

I used an empty 18oz PB container to mix it in.  I tried putting it in our blender and it didn't work.
Our blender is to wimpy.  I was going to try my manual PC food processor but was surprised it was clumping up by that time.

I poured the whipping cream into the plastic PB jar, put the lid on tight and the kids passed it around to shake.
It actually wasn't that hard but my 7yr old wasn't quite as vigorous as the older kids.  Once it started clumping
I poured the liquid (buttermilk) into a different container and shook it some more.  Once it got to a creamy butter consistency we stopped.  You can whip it more to make it more firm and many suggest rinsing it with water to make it last longer.  I didn't rinse it because we had cornbread to go with it for dinner.  I figured it will get used up pretty quick and the softer consistency would work great for spreading.

At this point you can add salt, honey or even herbs and mix it in.  We left it plain but I see many options to play with in the future..

So here is how the cost play out. 

~We have one small grocery store in town that carries whipping cream, so it's not the cheapest place to buy it. You can make it cheaper if you find the cream cheaper
~We use buttermilk in pancakes and waffles alot so this is something that gets used.  I buy powder buttermilk since it has a longer shelf life. Fresh is of course better.  If you don't use it up, you can always freeze it for later 
~It really isn't THAT much cheaper unless you can find the cream cheap..  BUT it's fresher, taste better and fun!  

Cost to make: 
          Whipping Cream 1/2 pt..   $1.89

yields:  1/2 c buttermilk
             1/3 c butter

Store bought:
           Butter:  price varies from $2.50 to $5 depending on brand and sale price per pound.
           Buttermilk: $2.19 qt.(4 c)

Breakdown:   1/2 c buttermilk                  ~ $0.55
                       1/3 c butter (using $4 lb.)  ~ $1.33
                                               TOTAL:     ~ $1.83
I love one of the comments on this one.  Next time David can stand still while shopping I will give him a pint of cream to shake in the store.  By the time we get home it will be butter lol.

A few links I found helpful and informative in my searches.