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Paige's Highlights

Ok, so I keep missing a weekend here and there... Hopefully, this one will make up for lost weekends.

1. Sweet Potatoes.  As a kid, read up on starting sweet potatoes from slips and decided to try it one year.  To be honest, I'm not 100% sure how I did it exactly, though I think I washed a grocery-store sweet potato off to remove the anti-sprouting stuff, then planted it in a pot indoors. When it sprouted, I think I chopped it up in a few pieces and planted it in the garden.  Man!  Were those ever HUGE potatoes.  We had one that rivaled a professional-sized football in size--we never did eat it as we were so impressed by it's massiveness and it eventually went bad.  I'd definitely give this a try, especially if you live further south than Ohio, as you'll likely get even better results.  The vines are beautiful and have some simple, understated flowers on them. 

2. PBS--Create.  As cable is extremely expensive in Maine and Dan and I aren't huge TV-watchers, we missed out on the whole swapping to digital thing with the TVs.  Was I ever missing out on some good shows!  Our local PBS station has a "sub-station" that is completely devoted to creative shows--This Old House, The New Yankee Workshop, P. Allen Smith Gardening, and more cooking shows than you could shake a stick at.  I've LOVED (re)discovering this channel in the time I've been at my parents.  We're going to see if they have one of those converter-box coupons still lying around.  Here's the link to the website--they have links to the shows, recipes, and projects.  Browse and have fun!

3. Thrift Stores.   Our most recent trip to the thrift store proved most fruitful.  First of all, we found an amazing piece of granite (I believe, correct me if I'm wrong, Dan) that is well-suited as a bread board, for under $5.  Next, we found a few Pfzaltgraff bowls to match the set we currently have.  We've managed to break a few in the moving and whatnot; thrift store shopping with ThreeFoldCord a while back, reminded me to keep an eye out for my set.   A few Ball canning jars for cheap also made it in the basket.  Finally, I found a couple of cookbooks.  One was an old vintage one from the 70s with Julia Child as a contributor for French Cooking.  It's an interesting book with as much cooking history as recipes in there...though I do feel like I need a French-English dictionary with me at times, haha. The next is an Oriental Cookbook--Dan spent a good chunk of time drooling over the recipes.  And the last is an Italian cookbook--probably Dan and my favorite cuisine.   Be on the lookout for more recipes once I get back to my own kitchen!

4. Bread Making.  I've always rather avoided bread-making as it's time consuming and labor intensive; however, after finding this article on GRIT, I've become inspired to try it again.  There are a half-dozen or so easy recipes for a variety of loaves--few require much in the way of kneading, just some planning and patience.

5. Home-made Cough Drops**.  As I've stated before, I have a soft-spot for herbal/folk remedies for viral illnesses.  Being a traditionally educated health care provider in a Western medicine perspective, I have a hard time with some remedies.  However, viral illnesses are something that I am 100% pro-home remedies.  They are excessively common and I find that people run to their providers, pressuring them for antibiotics that do nothing more than increase resistance--or will run to their local ER for a sniffle when their doc won't cave.  We just don't have many drugs to choose from, we try to "save" them for the nasty bugs (like H1N1), and there's a very specific window of opportunity to start them.  An overwhelming majority of coughs, colds, and sinus infections are viral--just because it's green and nasty doesn't help distinguish either. If it lingers longer than about 5-7 days, best bet is it's bacterial (or started as viral and ended up as a secondary bacterial infection).  That being said, there's a ton of misery that goes on those first few days.  I'm one prone to getting sore throats as my "warning shot" of getting sick, so keeping my throat soothed goes a LONG way towards making me feel better until my own immune systems gets geared up.  Candy can get a bit old, gum tends to leave me bloated, and cough drops give me the shudders after about 30 seconds of sucking down on that nasty menthol.  When I saw this article about making homemade cough drops, I was intrigued--no corn syrup, and you can tailor it for the person and/or taste.

** Soap box warning  :-D and I make a medical disclaimer here.  This is an expression of my personal experience, not my medical advice (which is still that of a student at this time).  Please utilize common sense and consult your doctor with any questions/concerns.


  1. Yay! Highlights! And H-burg has the best goodwill around as far as thrift shops go. I love some secondhand shopping! --Aimee

  2. I think it is granite, although it is an interesting color of granite. It almost has a light pinkish color if I'm not mistaken.

  3. Yay, I made the correct guess!

    I love thrift store shopping, too. My next goal is a true dutch oven and more canning jars! :)


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