Tag Archives: homefront

I’m sure you know that there is no need to fill your cupboards with all sorts of commercial cleaners. With just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard you can make many all-purpose cleaners.cleaners, all natural

When you compare the prices of cleaning products in the stores with the cost of making them at home you’d be surprised at how much you can really save! If you were to add up the toilet cleaner, kitchen cleaner, window cleaner etc. it seems the average clean household requires close to $150 worth of chemical supplies at all times. You can switch to the healthier alternatives sold in the stores but they are also expensive. The best choice for your budget and your health is to make them yourself.

With just several basic products you probably already have in your home you can make a window cleaner that really does get your windows clean! In researching various homemade window cleaners I found there are two main recipes; one uses vinegar and the other ammonia. I’ve been using the one with ammonia, I’ll have to make both and compare!ammonium, vinegar, cleaners

Window Cleaner #1: This can be made right in your spray bottle. Mix ½ tsp dish detergent, 3 Tbsp vinegar and 2 cups of water. Shake it up and use like any commercial variety.

Window Cleaner #2: This can also be made in your spray bottle. Combine 3 Tbsp ammonia, 1 Tbsp vinegar and fill the rest of the way up with water.Window washing solution

A great all purpose cleaner uses Borax, vinegar and a little dish soap. This does a great job on your counters.

A good all purpose cleaner:

16oz spray bottle
2 Tbsp distilled vinegar
1 tsp borax
water (if you have hard water this needs to be distilled or purified water, otherwise use tap water)
2 Tbsp mild liquid dish soap

Mix the vinegar and borax with 1 cup of hot water until dissolved. Let the mixture cool and then pour into your spray bottle. Add enough water to the bottle leaving just enough room for your dishwashing detergent. Then add the liquid soap.All Purpose Cleaner

Perhaps you need a heavy-duty kitchen scrub. This can be used on kitchen sinks, pots and pans, cooktops, tile, tubes and bathroom sinks.

¼ cup natural dish soap
¼ cup baking soda
6 drops clove essential oil
About 3 drops of water.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Apply to the surface using the gritty side of a double sided kitchen sponge; scrub. Wipe up with a wet cloth.

Why does this work? The dish soap cuts the grease and lifts dirt. The baking soda is mildly abrasive so it digs out tough stains and scum. Clove oil is antibacterial plus it smells good!

Do you have a favorite homemade cleaner that you use?

    Welcome to

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #36!

Life continues to be very crazy here On The Home Front! I am currently in Seattle, WA for our youngest son’s wedding this weekend! Home again on Monday and hopefully we will be staying in one place for a while! I’ll share some photos of the wedding next week! In the meantime scroll down and enjoy the blog hop!

Be sure to join the giveaway for the Gooseberry Patch cookbook Tastes Like Home, one of my recipes is featured in the book!Tastes Like Home

Please join us this week for Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop! Thank you for sharing your homesteading, homemaking, and homeschooling posts with us each week! It’s so much fun to read your hints, tips, and happenings! Each week I will feature our most visited post from the week before, which also linked back to the hop, and my weekly favorite. I hope you have fun exploring all the great ideas everyone has shared with us! Here are the co-hosts of Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

Tracy Tracy at Our Simple Homestead

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Sandra Sandra at Clearwater FarmFacebookPinterest InstagramGoogle+

Nancy Nancy at On The Home Front

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Kathi Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead

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LeeAnn & Alex LeeAnn & Alex at One Ash Homestead

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(Remember – If you would like to be featured, be sure to link back to the hop otherwise you will not be featured!)

Most Clicked On Post From Last Week was my post on Making Your Own Neosporin:Homemade NeosporinMy Favorite Post:
DIY Super Easy Raised Bed For Under $30Raised Beds

Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week! If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog!

The rules are simple: Family friendly posts only. No linke to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products. Keep the Hop fresh, please share only posts you have to shared before. Visit other bloggers and let them know you fund them here! If you wish to be featured you must link back to the Hop. By linking to this Hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo is you are featured. Only share content and photos you have created or have permission to share!
  If you were featured be sure to pick up your, “Our Simple Homestead” button.
 If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop.  Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week. If you were featured, grab a button to display proudly on your blog.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop


Let’s start hopping!

Yesterday was a cold rainy day here. I had plans to get out and photograph what things look like around here but it was pretty wet. Instead I’m going to re-post one of my original posts from three years ago! I imagine most of you have not read it!

Our growing season in Vermont is a short one. The ground is really too cold to plant until the end of May and we’ve been known to have a frost as early as Labor Day weekend! My dream is to have a greenhouse to help extend the season. We have friends that have a beautiful greenhouse and they have the most wonderful peppers and tomatoes long before we ever see ripe vegetables in our garden. Until my dream comes true I find ways to extend the season in other ways. In the spring I use a cold frame to serve as a halfway house for my tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. When it’s time to move them out of the house but it’s still too cold to move them into the garden I use the cold frame. In the fall I usually use row covers.

plant isolation, seed saving

Using row covers.

I’ve planted lettuce in mid August and when the nights started getting colder I covered my lettuce crop with row covers.

row covers, lettuce, garden, prudent living

Row covers extend the season.

This helps extend our growing season often by several weeks or more. It’s nice to be able to harvest fresh lettuce when the rest of the garden is no longer producing!

garden, prudent living, lettuce,

Enjoying fresh lettuce in October!

This winter I plan to read Eliott Coleman’s book: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables From Your Home Garden All Year Long. Maybe I too can become a four-season gardener here in Vermont.

Linked To: TuesdayGardenParty, GardenTuesday, OutdoorWednesday, WildcraftingWednesday

Peaches do not seem to grow well in Vermont; at least I have not found any place nearby to pick your own peaches. However where I grew up in Connecticut there is a wonderful orchard, Bishops Orchards, where you can go and pick the most wonderful peaches. Their peaches are ripe from mid August until mid September. I usually plan a trip to my old hometown to visit my mother and pick peaches.

orchards, pick your own


Canned peaches are so pretty to look at out on your pantry shelf and they taste wonderful in the middle of winter when it is cold and snowy outside.

Peaches in the Pantry.

Peaches in the Pantry.

Usually I just can the peaches in light syrup to be enjoyed at a later date. Often I will also can some peach pie filling.

peaches, pies, prudent living

Peach Pie Filling

Peaches are very easy to can and can be processed in your water bath canner. You will need:

2-3 pounds of peaches per quart

Have your jars, lids and canner prepared and ready to go.

First make your light syrup by combining 2 ¼ cups sugar with 5 ¼ cups of water. You can also use honey by combining 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of honey and 4 cups of of water to yield 5 cups of syrup. I mix this ahead of time and have it warming on the stove while I prepare the peaches.

Prepare your peaches by washing them and dipping them in boiling water for 30-60 seconds.

peaches, canning, prudent pantry

Peaches in boiling water

Immediately dip the peaches in cold water. Slip off the peel. Cut in half; pit and scrape the cavity to remove any red fibers. (The fibers often turn brown during storage) You then want to treat the peaches to prevent darkening.

Drain the peaches and pack them into your hot jars, packing cavity side down, layers overlapping. Ladle hot syrup over the peaches. Leave ½ inch of headspace. Remove any air bubbles. Adjust your two-piece caps and process pints for 25 minutes and quarts for 30 minutes in a boiling water canner. Store in a cool dark place.

Peaches for now and later!

Peaches for now and later!

This is an excellent year for blueberries and we have an abundance from our bushes. We’ve been enjoying them on our granola each morning but this week I decided to make this wonderful blueberry crisp. Making the toping with mayonnaise is different but really delicious! Not sure where the recipe originated as it is all over the internet!

We have an abundance of blueberries this year!

We have an abundance of blueberries this year!

Blueberry Crisp 4 cups fresh blueberries 1 cup flour ¾ cup sugar ½ tsp cinnamon ½ cup mayonnaise Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the blueberries into an 8-inch square baking dish. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon.

Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl.

Combine your dry ingredients in a bowl.

Stir in the mayonnaise until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the blueberries.

Crumb mixture ready to put on blueberries.

Crumb mixture ready to put on blueberries.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in your preheated oven, until the top is lightly browned.

Blueberry Crisp

Blueberry Crisp

Delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Blueberry Crisp with ice cream!

Blueberry Crisp with ice cream!

Linked to: FreedomFridays, TheBestBlogRecipes, NotYourOrdianaryRecipes, RattlebridgeFarm, SimplySweetHome, AnnKroeker, FoodieFriday, WeekendPotluck, JustWingingIT, WeekendWonders, FoodieFriendsFriday, AnyonitaNibbles, DessertNowDinnerLater, CheeriosAndLatte, MyMixingSpoon, WhoNeedsACape, WillCookForSmiles, CurchSupper, MakeAheadMealsForBusyMoms, MySweetAndSavory, FlourMeWithLove, MandysREcipeBox, FeedingBig, TumbleweedContessa, InsideBruCrew, LoveInTheKitchen. AnyonitaNibbles, LoveBakesGoodCakes, HungryLittleGirl, RivertonHousewives, AllSheCooks, FrugalFollies, LambertsLately, MizHelensContryCottage, EasyLife, Saving4Six, TheInspirationNetwork, AGlimpseInside, MrAndMrsWinslet

This is one of those recipes that has been passed around between my mother and my mother-in-law and enjoyed by all. I think it is one of those perfect spring or summer salads. Easy to make and delicious! I’ve even made it without the grapes as we didn’t have any in the house and instead I added a bit of leftover corn! Not only was it colorful but it was still delicious!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Chicken Orzo Salad

3 Tbsp oil
4 tsp orange juice
2 tsp salt (I only used 1 tsp)
¾ cup mayonnaise
4 tsp red wine vinegar

12 oz orzo pasta
1 cup cashews
1 cup celery, chopped
3 small cans mandarin oranges
1 cup grapes, sliced in half
4 cups of cooked chicken, diced

Combine the oil, orange juice, salt, mayonnaise and vinegar. Mix well.

Combine dressing and orzo.

Combine dressing and orzo.

Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Toss with the dressing. Add the remaining ingredients, refrigerate until chilled. Serve on lettuce.

Chicken Orzo Salad

Chicken Orzo Salad


Linked to: SimplySweetHome, RattlebridgeFarm , SimpleLivingAndEating, AnnKroeker, WeekendPotluck, JustWinginIt, TheThriftinessMiss, FreedomFridays, TheBestBlogRecipes, DessertNowDinnerLater, TheT2Women, CallMePMC, SixSistersStuff, FoodieFriendsFriday, EverydayMomsMeals, AddictedToRecipes, WillCookForSmiles, MyMixingSpoon, TumbleweedContessa, FlourMeWithLove, HomemakerOnADime, OurDelightfulHome, NourishingJoy, MandysRecipeBox, NaptimeCreations, RealFoodForager, LoveBakesGoodCakes, AllSheCooks, RivertonHousewives, FrugalFollies, RaisingArrows, MyMixingSpoon

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