Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gone Huntin'

I will be gone for the next week hunting and camping with my family. I'll be back October 3rd.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sew It Yourself - Shoe Organizer

With four kids we have a ton of shoes.  This was my shoe organization system before. 

Just a basket that the shoes were supposed to be thrown in. The problem was that every time the kids looked for their shoes they would end up throwing them all out as they looked. And we have too many shoes to fit in the basket.  One day when I couldn't shut the closet door, because there were too many shoes in the way, I decided to try something new.  I made an over the door shoe organizer.

Want to make one?  Here's how:

Materials needed: (I made this specifically for children's shoes, my oldest two kids wear size 2)
1 piece fabric 3/4 yard for back
4 pieces fabric 1/4 yard each.
adhesive backed hooks ($2 at walmart)
dowel (optional) - I used 7/16 cuz that's what I had
sewing machine and supplies

Cut out your fabric to these sizes:
Back - 27" x 36"
4 strips for pockets - 9" x 36"
4 strips for hooks - 3" x 9"

Hem under three sides of your back (leaving one 27" side open for now)
The best way to hem it is to fold it over 1/4 inch and then iron flat.

Then fold again 1/4 inch and iron flat again.

Stitch. Repeat on three sides.

For the top side, you'll want to make a pocket for your dowel. So you will fold over 1/4 inch and iron, but then you will fold it over at least an inch. Stitch, leaving the ends open for the dowel to slide in.

For the hook straps, fold in half lengthwise with right sides together and stitch (left).
Then turn it right side out and iron flat (middle). Then top stitch close to edges. (right). Repeat for all strips.

Sew the hook straps to the top, along the existing stitching.  I attached the end two straps 1" from each end and then eyeballed the middle two straps.

 Hem under the long sides of your pocket fabric and fold over and iron 1/4 inch on one end.

Now it's time to add the pockets. I attached them two different ways.  I used pleats and I gathered the bottom.  I think the gathering was the easiest, so that's what I'll show you. (I'll be glad to share the pleating method if anyone is interested)

Using the longest stitch on your machine, sew along the bottom hem line.  Then pull on one of the threads to gather the material.  Place it on your backing and pin in place.  This will require some adjusting to get it to gather evenly. 

Fold under the edge and pin.

Stitch in place along both sides and bottom.

Then I measured every six inches and marked it with a pin along the top and bottom.  I stitched a vertical seam to form the pockets. 

Repeat with other pocket strips.  I measured two inches down for the placement of the top pocket. I did the bottom pocket just along the bottom. I just eyeballed the middle two pieces.

Insert your dowel and mark it. Then cut. Mine was 24".  I thought that I would need the dowel to help keep it flat on the door, but I found that with the four hooks it really isn't necessary.  I left mine in for now, but I may remove it if I need it for another project:)

Attach your hooks to the inside of door using your shoe organizer as a guide for correct spacing. Hang your organizer and fill with shoes. Measure from the top. Mine ended up a little bit off - but who cares! It's inside the door.

I was able to fit 16 pairs of shoes into the 12 pockets.  Each of my son's tennis shoes needed their own pocket, but most of the shoes I could fit one pair to a pocket or more. It was easy to stick two pairs of my little one's flip flops into one pocket.

Hope this helps you get a little more organized.  It sure helped me.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Raspberry Pie

Today I'm going to show you how I make pie crust.

I'll be using my grandma's pie crust recipe (found at the bottom of the post) 

First cut shortening into flour and salt with pastry blender.


 Until it looks like this:

Add egg, water and vinegar.

Mix together.

Sprinkle some flour on your clean counter and knead about 10 times.

Divide dough into three portions.  This recipe will make a double crust and a single crust.
Roll out the dough. It should be at least 2-3 inches bigger around than your pie plate.

 Fold dough into fourths.

Place in pie plate and unfold.

For a single pie crust you would flute your edges at this point.  If for example you were doing banana cream pie you would bake your crust first (425 for 8-10 min).  Take a fork and poke some holes in the crust before baking, so that it doesn't bubble up. 

For a double pie crust just leave the edges at this point.  Add your filling. I used this recipe from my Betty Crocker cookbook.  I substituted raspberries for the blueberries and increased sugar to 1 cup.

Place pie crust on top.

Take the top crust and fold it underneath the bottom crust.

Do that all the way around.

Then pinch your edges. This is how I do it.

Cut some slits in top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (this is a must at our house).

Then bake at 425 for 35-45 min. Place foil around edges until the last 15 min. I always place it on a cookie sheet so that when this happens, it doesn't get all over my oven.

Pie Crust
2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. shortening
1/2 t. salt
1 egg, beaten
1/3 c. ice water
1 T. vinegar

Cut shortening into sifted flour and salt. Add egg, water and vinegar to flour mixture. Knead about 10 times and roll out.

Here are some other recipes from my Grandma:
Effie's Sugar Cookies
Ginger Snaps
O' Henry Bars 
Lemon Freeze
Grandma's Rolls
Chicken Noodle Soup
Monkey Bread
Hot Fudge Sauce
Cinnamon Rolls
Best Ever Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cheesy Corn Chowder

Monday, September 19, 2011

Raspberry Syrup

We have raspberry plants in our yard.  Every other day I go out and pick a big cup full.

What do I do with that many raspberries?  Well mostly I freeze them. It's the easiest thing to do, just wash and stick in a freezer bag.  We use them for smoothies or muffins.

But last year I decided to make some Raspberry Syrup and it was soooo good that I had to make it again this year.

I used this recipe from my Ball Blue Book of Preserving - except I substituted raspberries for the strawberries. (I have made it with strawberries too and it's delicious)

 First wash your berries.  

 Then place them in your pot with half of the water.

Bring to a boil for five minutes. This is what it should look like.

Then strain through cheese cloth or jelly bag.

 You will end up with just the juice.

 Bring the rest of your water and sugar to a boil and bring to 260.  Then add the juice and corn syrup. Boil 5 min.

Skim off any foam and ladle into jars.

 Place lids on top and place in boiling water canner. Bring to a boil and process 10 minutes. (Adjust for altitude - See Altitude Chart)

 When ready to eat pour a pint into a pan and add 2 Tbsp. cornstarch. Bring to a boil.  (This step is not necessary but it makes it thicker.  DO NOT add the cornstarch before canning.)

Pour over your favorite waffles or pancakes. Delicious!!