If you read my last post you know that I love pancakes. Biscuits are another favorite of mine. My Mom used to make what she called “yam cakes” which was basically a biscuit that had yams or sweet potatoes in it. A few years back I got a hankering for those yam cakes and called Mom to ask for the recipe. Long story short, she hadn’t made them in years and didn’t know where the recipe was. Sooooo, I started experimenting until I came up with a recipe that worked and don’t tell Mom but it is better than the one she made.
If you try to eat healthy you will be pleased to know these biscuits have less fat, less flour, and milk than the typical biscuit recipe and the sweet potatoes add fiber. If you love fall foods you will love this one. It is loaded with cinnamon, all spice, and pumpkin pie spice. These biscuits are good with jelly or honey. My favorite topping on them is homemade cinnamon spiced pear honey.
Sweet Potato Biscuits
1 1/4 C flour
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
1 t cinnamon
½ t allspice
½ t pumpkin pie spice
Cut in 3 T butter until mixture is crumbly. Then cut in 1 ¼ C mashed sweet potatoes. You can use canned or home grown.
Add ¼ c milk all at once and stir until mixture comes together. Place on lightly floured board and knead 10 times. Roll out or just pat it flat on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with biscuit cutter or the opening of a pint sized jar and place on cookie sheet. (I like to stack 2 together for a thicker biscuit) Bake @ 450 for 12 minutes or until golden and puffed.
I love pancakes. Actually, I love pancakes with my syrup. As much as I love pancakes, I used to avoid making them because I use so much syrup. Then being the experimenter that I am, I came up with a solution to make the syrup and pancakes healthier but still tasty.
Easy Peasy Healthier Pancakes
1/2 C white flour (or 1/4 C white flour and 1/4 C whole wheat flour)
1/2 C quick oats
1 egg beaten
2 T baking powder
1 C milk
¼ t salt
2 T oil
For a special Fall treat add 1/2 t cinnamon and 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
In a medium bowl mix egg, milk, and oil. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour dough onto hot, oiled griddle. Turn when bubbles appear and batter is set. Makes 4-5 8” pancakes.
Easy Peasy Healthier Syrup (Don’t worry. Your kids will love it)
In a small sauce pan mix 1/2 C syrup with 1/2 C juice and warm it up. That’s all there is too it. You can use just about any juice (except orange and grapefruit) but personally I like grape, apple, blackberry, and strawberry.
I have to treat all of my husband’s work clothes every time I wash them. I didn’t give a thought to how much soap I was adding to each load in doing so until I noticed the clothes were getting dingy and a little gummy. Now I fill the bottle as instructed below, spray the clothes and add whatever is left in the bottle to the wash load (don’t add any additional soap). That is it. Almost free effective stain remover.
Fill a 16 oz spray bottle 3/4 full with water. Measure out the amount of soap you would normally place in a load of clothes and add it to the spray bottle. Spray stains and add the rest of the spray to the washer. For heavy stains allow clothes to set an hour or two before placing in the washer. Since you are using the soap you would have placed in the washer anyway the only added cost is your time and a little bit of water.
Due to the high clay content of our soil all of our garden is planted in tires with soil that has been composted from the barnyard. Yes, I have heard chemicals might leach into the soil from the tires. No, I don’t know if it really does but that is not the point of the post. All winter long the hubby saves the empty feed sacks for me. To keep weeds from growing up between rows I put down the feed sacks as pictured above. Then I scrape the top layer off of the barnyard with a snow shovel as seen below. The goat’s hooves have already broken down the nanny berries and left over straw so it is ready to use.
Then I pile it thick on top of the feed sacks to weigh them down. The feed sacks create a breathable barrier to keep out weeds and grass. The compost makes it easier to walk on. Over time the sacks break down and a few weeds and grasses may make their way through but for the most part the area stays clear and it is one less area I have to weed. As an added bonus it looks nice and it was free. I love free.
I have been reading a lot about the wide spread drought lately. Oklahoma has been hit hard as have many other states, most notably, California. Experts are predicting that California will be out of water in 12-24 months unless something is done. California is the number one food and agricultural producer in the United States. If there is limited or no water our food costs will skyrocket.
I am no expert in what large scale system changes might be needed to fix the problem but I do know that if just one fourth of American citizens would save one gallon of water a day it would equate to approximately 75 million gallons of water a day. There are approximately 38 million people in the state of California. If just half would save one gallon of water a day that would equate to 19 million gallons of water a day. That would definitely make an impact.
For those of us in drought stricken areas, one of the easiest ways to conserve water is to collect the water that is going down the drain while waiting for bath water or dishwater to get hot. In our house it takes about 2 gallons of water before the shower has hot water. I collect it in a jug or bucket and use it to water the garden. It could also be used for flushing the toilet, mopping floors, rinsing the tub after it has been washed, or watering pets/livestock.
I realize my 2 gallons of water I save a day isn’t much but if everyone in a drought stricken region would do the same it would make a difference. It doesn’t take much effort or time. You are just standing there waiting on the water to get hot anyway.
Anyone out there want to give this a try? What other ways do you conserve water?