Insect Repellent

6 drops of each or a total of 18 drops of any of the following essential oils. For mosquitoes citronella proabably works best.

tea tree

1 cup purified water
1 teaspoon alcohol

Pour ingredients into a spray bottle and shake very well before each use. I like to store mine in the fridge where I know it will stay fresh, but I think it would keep well on the shelf for some time too.

Pioneer Mom's Note: No more chemical insect repellents for us! I have been making this for a while. I bought one bottle of repellent from Dr. Mercola and liked it so much that I decided I would try making it at home. It costs so little as those bottles of essential oils go a very long way. Plus, the spray smells wonderful!

Cream of Mushroom Soup

4 Tablespoons butter, divided use
8 ounces mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
3 cups chicken broth
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup heavy cream
Chopped parsley for garnish

Clean mushrooms with a mushroom brush or damp paper towel. Cut half of the mushrooms into slices. Chop the remainder.

Melt half of the butter in a large saucepan and sauté sliced mushrooms until golden. Remove and reserve sliced mushrooms. Add remaining butter to the same pan, along with the chopped mushrooms and sweet onions. Sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft.

Return sliced mushrooms to the pan. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly about 2 minutes, until smooth. Slowly add chicken broth while stirring. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened. Add nutmeg and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if need be.

Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. (Do not boil.) Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.

Craft Cheese

3  cups dry cottage cheese
1 tsp soda
½ cup butter
1 cup hot cream
2 ½ tsp salt

Work the soda into the cheese. Melt the butter on low heat, and add cottage cheese, stirring till melted and smooth. Pour in the hot cream slowly, mixing constantly. Add salt last and remove from heat.

This will give slicing cheese. If spreadable cheese if preferred, add ½ cup of hot milk.  

Pioneer Mom's Note: This cheese is great! I have made it and when the extra milk is added it is a very soft spreadable cheese.

Garlic Ear Oil

Chop 1 bulb of fresh garlic. Place the garlic in a double boiler, and cover with 1/4 inch of coconut or olive oil. Cover the pot, and warm the oil gently over low heat for one hour.
Strain the oil through a piece of cheesecloth, and store it in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator. To use the garlic oil, place a small amount in a metal spoon and heat it gently over a flame until warm.
Suction the oil up into an ear dropper, place a couple of drops into each ear canal, and plug the canal with a soft cotton ball. Repeat this every hour or as needed. (Do not use garlic oil to treat an external ear infection or if you suspect a punctured eardrum.)

Pioneer Mom's Note: This is one recipe I appreciate a lot. I have used it several times effectively on our children. After dropping a few drops in one ear, I often blow some warm air slowly into the ear, before I plug it with a cotton. They love it!

Steak Sauce

1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/2 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup White Vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon grated Orange Peel
2 tablespoons Ketchup
2 tablespoons Chili Sauce

Bring to a boil for 2 minutes stirring.

Remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm.

Teriyaki Sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 cup water

In a small saucepan, stir together cornstarch, soy sauce, sugar, garlic and ginger. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Rice Cereal

Wash thoroughly and dry one cup of brown rice. Next fry the rice in a clean and dry iron skillet over medium heat. Stir often to prevent burning. Fry for about 10 minutes or until the rice is puffed up a little. When done, put in blender and whip till fine powder. Cook 3 tablespoons in a cup of water and add milk and sugar if desired. 

(This is a great baby cereal, but start with white rice for a few months so it won’t be too strong for baby)

Pioneer Mom's Note: If you would pre-soak the rice for at least 7 hours first in warm water mixed with a little buttermilk, it would be more digestible.