Take college courses online – for free!

For the past few years, I’ve been regretting not taking more science courses in college. I’m fascinated by plants, animals, and earth science, but somehow managed to take two physics courses and leave my scientific higher education at that. After I graduated, I ended up teaching myself bits of biology by reading books and attending public lectures here and there. But I’ve been … Read more

Recipe: Whole Grain Apple-Millet Muffins (Low Sugar, Vegan Option)

These muffins are packed with fiber and phytonutrients, but are still moist and sweet. They are a great way to use the applesauce I can each fall. When I make my own sauce, I leave the skins on, which provides more pectin and fiber. The skins break down in the cooking and further in the blender, so they aren’t noticeable … Read more

Recipe: How to Make Turkey Soup Stock in a Slow Cooker

We had turkey for Christmas and of course there were leftovers, so it’s time for the post-celebration ritual of making turkey stock in the slow cooker. Stock is made by slow simmering of bones and a small amount of trimmings in water. It’s a great way to use parts that would otherwise go unused. Stock tends to have more body than broth, … Read more

Sewing a chairpad cover and matching chair back

I had an ugly ergonomic chairpad in my office that had seen much better days. When I got a new desk for my office, I figured it was time to spruce up the chair, too. So I decided to sew a cover for the seat and the back. First, I traced the outline of the top/bottom and edges of the chairpad … Read more

Happy Festivus! Have some free books!

Am I ruining the anti-commercial, anti-gift spirit of the Festivus holiday if I tell you my second favorite way to read e-books for free? (My first is going to the library.) I go to this search page on Amazon and click on the “Sort By” menu at the right, selecting “Price: High to Low.” The page will list various books … Read more

Recipe: Old-fashioned gingerbread muffins (vegan)

Gingerbread cookies are fun to make, but I was never too fond of eating them. Fresh, moist gingerbread, on the other hand — with it’s cake-like texture, pungent ginger tones and earthy molasses flavor, it’s hard to get enough of it. As with gingerbread cookies, you can add raisins or dried black currants by pressing them into the tops or mixing … Read more

Recipe: Groundnut (peanut) stew

Groundut stew is one of my all-time favorite comfort foods. Groundnuts are a family of legumes that include the peanut, and most have a similar flavor. They originate in Western Africa, but are also grown in Eastern Africa and other parts of the world as a staple food. Groundnut stew is widely enjoyed throughout sub-Saharan Africa, and with so many … Read more

The simplest way to make vinegar (or hard cider) from scratch

In many parts of the U.S., it’s still possible to get fresh apple cider at your local farmer’s market – but it won’t last long. There are two traditional ways to make cider last longer: making hard cider and making vinegar. Making these things can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Here is my simplest apple cider vinegar method, … Read more

Free Cascade dish detergent

Thanks to WildforWags for the heads up on a $5 rebate when you buy a small bag of Cascade Platinum. The detergent is on sale for $3.99 at Walgreens this week, and there are probably also other places where you can get it for less than $5. At that price, you even make a little money after postage. The rebate … Read more