Monday, August 22, 2011

We love woodworking

Special update (3/1/2014): We opened the Etsy Shop! You can see our latest creations that are for sale at  and follow the shop on facebook: Thrifty Innovations.
Well, I've only sanded so far, but I love the results and love helping draw the outline before Joel cuts it. Joel asked if I would feel comfortable using a scroll saw because he thought it would be neat to do it together if we ever find a second one. I love this idea and Joel is keeping his eyes open. So far, we have made some teethers, a toy car, and a stacking toy. Our pediatrician said we should bring an extra teether with us next time because she might want to buy one. After this and a few other comments from friends, I think we'll be opening up the Etsy shop soon. We just need to finish some more toys. Joel is the one that suggested I post about these and share the link for the finish we just made the other night. If you can't tell - we love woodworking and toymaking.

We made a really simple wood polish that is completely non-toxic and natural. I had searched around a little and found Amber Dusick's blog post on how to make Beeswax Wood Polish. She makes really cute little toys but has put her Etsy shop on vacation for the time being.

We had been letting Noah play with the toys we made for him anyway, but the polish made them feel like they were really done! Here are some cool before and after pictures of the stacking toy and the little car Joel made for his birthday. (Joel took the before pictures of the stacker at night and I took the after pictures just a few minutes ago in the middle of the day. So the lighting isn't perfect to show off the difference, but you'll get the idea.)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

So much squash!

We didn't plant much in our gardens this year, but we still have so much! We planted three yellow squash plants, a cucumber plant, six tomato plants, hot banana peppers, cayene peppers and green beans and snap peas. Oh my! I wanted to can 12 quarts of diced tomatoes and Joel said he counted 90 green tomatoes so far. I think I'll have enough! I'm not sure how to keep all the peppers we are getting, but we'll figure that out soon hopefully. We have been freezing the squash like crazy.

We decided not to freeze anymore squash because we have plenty so we are eating it fresh and using it for everything. I put it in a Frittata the other night and we really liked it. I'm going to make another one for breakfasts. We even tried to give some away but were turned down because they already had too many to use! It seems like the whole of Berkshire County is overrun with yellow squash. If you have yellow squash to burn (or eat) here's the Frittata recipe:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Better Granola

I haven't written a post in a while but I wanted to quickly share our new granola recipe. We hadn't made granola in a couple years, but wanted something for breakfast that would be better for us than cereal and didn't want to spend money on good granola at the store. I'm not sure how much this costs to make, but I know it isn't that much. I tried one recipe I found on a blog but found it too crunchy actually. I adapted it after using another recipe as the other extreme and came up with this totally different one. We like it a lot!

Whey for the oatmeal
I mentioned before that we started soaking our grains because they are easier to digest and we can get more nutrients out of them, so this recipe calls for soaking the oatmeal. If you don't want to do that, just skip the step and put all the ingredients together at once. We substitute honey in almost all our baking (including ice cream) and have been reading a lot about how some saturated fats like coconut oil and real butter are actually good for you. So this is not low fat and it is not sugar free, but it is nutritious and yummy!



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