Life without Plastic

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Chili beans and Rooster wings

Continued my diastasis recovery workout over the past week and a half. I'm on Week 4 now and started to see some improvement during Week 3. I've always hated to exercise, but I've been loving seeing the progression of what I can accomplish, how I'm already healing, how much better I feel, and taking the time to do something for me. I'm liking exercising!

Signed a petition to Organic Standards groups to eliminate all plastic packaging and metal bits. You can sign it too!

Butchered our rooster finally and enjoyed both a nice crock pot roasted chicken and some chicken curry over brown rice. Quieter mornings, happier neighbors, gorgeous feathers for projects and bedding, and two meals. Gotta love the homesteading life!

Our red clover cover crop is starting to sprout and we'll look forward to healthy garden beds next year.

Best of all? I canned some less gassy chili and plain beans. Here's the method adapted from here. Total process will take about 2 days, so plan accordingly.

1.Mix up a batch of seasoning mix- 1/3 cup of mix for every 5 pints/ 1/2 L of beans.

2 TB crushed dried Adobo peppers, seeds removed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 TB paprika
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 TB dill seeds
1 tsp Tajin© with Lime mix
1 TB garlic powder
1 TB dried rosemary

Mix all together and store in an airtight glass container until use.

2. Place 1 lb of dry beans (for every 4 pints/ 1/2 L of chili beans desired) in a large glass, stainless or ceramic container. I used my crock pots.
3. Cover with water, at least half again as deep as the level of the beans.
4. Add a raw potato or a TB of baking soda to reduce gas.
5. Allow to soak for a few hours, rinse and drain at earliest convenience.
6. Cover with water as before and add another TB of baking soda.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6, you should be on your third soak.
8. After a total of 24 hours of soaking, rinse well and place in a crock pot for each 2 lbs of beans.
9. Cover with water, and put on crockpot warm setting for a few hours until you have time to can.
10. Set up your canning station with jar lifter, lids/seals, bands/clips, jars, pressure canner with 3 inches of water, start boiling water in a pot for lids/seals to soften, tongs to grab lids/seals, towels to set processed hot jars on, and seasoning mix.
11. Drain and rinse beans for the final time. Cover with clean water and bring to a boil. Boil gently for 30 minutes, skimming off any foam that floats to the top.
12. Fill jars 3/4 full, and add 3 tsp of seasoning mix to each jar and a 1/2 tsp of non-iodized salt. Top off with cooking liquid, leaving an 1 inch headspace.
13. Place lids, bands, etc and process for 75 minutes at 11 psi (adjust for altitude).

Here's to happy, less-gassy, plastic-free beans!- Little Urban Greenie

Friday, September 9, 2016

We're canning, can-in'

The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Made it through the weekend and all went well. We got our car fixed and our emergency fund refilled to the top.

The bedbugs are still alive, and we've seen seen a few here and there as they die. Our next round of spraying is on Monday. We're still camping out in the living room and probably won't go back into our bedrooms until after the third treatment. We're still having some bites, but overall feeling better.

The mouse is still alive as well, and I'm trying a new killing method where you combine equal parts of baking soda, sugar, and flour and let the mouse eat it. Supposedly, mice can't handle having any gas and this basically blows up their insides. The old-fashioned traps haven't done anything yet.

The Green Urban Lunchbox harvested our grapes and gave us our third, as well as our large tax deduction. I've canned three jars of grape juice and three 1/2 liters of bread and butter pickles with two unwieldy cucumbers. I'll have to buy more lids and can the rest of the picked grapes this weekend.

Our chickens are laying super well, anywhere from 2-5 eggs a day. We have yet to execute the rooster, but his time will come. Our yogurt making goes well again, using a yogurt we got at Food Not Bombs. I stopped for awhile when we weren't eating it. This time, I froze part of the batch for starting the next batch without it going sour.
Got my ovulation microscope in the mail and I'm going to see how it works. I'm on week two of my free mommy tummy reducing workout. So far, so good.
Happy homesteading,
Little Urban Greenie

Friday, September 2, 2016

Bedbugs, Mice, and Cars, Oh My!

The links in the post below may be affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Been a crazy week trying to clean for company visit this weekend. To make things incredibly more interesting, we have been trying to kill a mouse that knows how to eat off traps.

Then, we found bedbugs last weekend. I threw out all of my natural, ecofriendly, zero-waste, plastic-free ways out of the window and called the exterminator. Why? Well, they weren't just biting my poor husband and I. They took up residence in UG3's cosleeper as well as UG1's bed. This means war, nuclear war. So, they sprayed for the first of four treatments. My husband and I have been camping out in the living room on the air mattress with UG3 and UG1 took the couch. I have been wading in extra laundry to double wash and dry on high heat. Not a great way to keep me on task to get prepared for company.

Final excitement to frustrate our preparations? Our car broke down and needs the radiator replaced. So, we're sleeping on the floor and couch all in the same room and can't go to Food Not Bombs to prepare for said company.

Blessings of our situation? We have the emergency fund for the extermination process and car repairs that aren't covered by our repairs and maintenance savings. So, nothing is going on the credit cards and we can keep paying off debt. We are still on the debt elimination plan and will pay off our 3rd debt in 2 months!

Dave Ramsey

I have also been researching how to heal my diastasis recti (mommy tummy). My abs are still weak from my first pregnancy (UG1) and I want to take better care of myself and look/feel better too. I've started a free workout program and feel much better already! Here is the link for Week 1. 

Here's to a bug-free and debt-free journey,
Little Urban Greenie

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