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Lower Your Grocery Bill with This Money Saving Secret

Lower Your Grocery Bill with This Money Saving Secret

lower your grocery bill with this money saving secret

Lower your grocery bill with this money saving secret. It was handed down to me by my mother. She learned it from her mother during the Great Depression. I passed it along to my daughter and son, and now I am sharing this family secret with you.

Save your bacon grease.

When I saw these tubs of bacon grease on the grocery store shelf next to the lard, I burst out laughing. Then I saw the store was charging $7.99 (which according to an accompanying sign was a price cut) for 14 ounces of bacon grease. That’s when I knew it was time quit guarding our family secret and speak up.

Save your bacon grease.

Whether you fry your bacon in a pan or bake it in the oven, simply let the pan and the grease cool. Then pour it into a container and store it in the fridge. It will harden up and look like this:

As the BaconUp label says, bacon grease can be used to fry, cook, and bake. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • My mom always used it instead of butter when frying eggs.
  • She also used it instead of oil in pancake batter.
  • It is the secret ingredient in her fabulous Franklin Chex Mix.
  • I use it when frying hash browns.
  • My daughter has even used it instead of lard in pie crusts in savory recipes like quiche.

For those of us with dairy allergies, bacon grease can be a life saver and a flavor enhancer. No matter what your dietary needs may be, saving bacon grease really can lower your grocery bill. So can other recipes found on this blog, most notably bone broth. It’s another example of old-fashioned suddenly going vogue.

I am so in vogue!

Four Facts for Friday

Four Facts for Friday

Four facts for Friday

I promised to make chocolate chip oatmeal cookies for the grandkids this afternoon. Therefore, this post is short and to the point.

  1. The bonus for those who pre-order See Jane Run! are almost ready to go. There will be a post about how to claim the bonus in the near future. Thanks to those who have already pre-ordered. You are the best!
  2. Hiram and I spent the first full week of March in and around Norfolk, Virginia. I spent much of the second full week of the month keeping my mom company in the hospital. I spent this week recovering from the previous two weeks.
  3. Every cloud has a silver lining. In the case of sitting with Mom during her hospital stay, she slept a lot. So the silver lining was unexpected time to write. Enough time to finish 3 chapters of See Jane Dance!, the third book in the West River Mystery Series.
  4. The publisher is finalizing the cover for See Jane Sing!, the second book in the series. I can hardly wait to show it off in an upcoming post.

May these four facts for Friday hold you over until I have time to write a longer post regarding the viability of using homemade cookies instead of graham crackers when making s’mores.

The See Jane Run! Launch Party: Books, Chocolate, Coffee, and More

The See Jane Run! Launch Party: Books, Chocolate, Coffee, and More

The See Jane Run! launch party (not to be confused with the See Jane Sing! party at the Harding County Fair) is now on the calendar for June 18. Just thinking about it makes me feel like a kid in a candy store for a very good reason.

The See Jane Run! launch party is being held in a candy store.

Not just any candy store, but at Chocolaterie Stam which hand crafts delicious European-style chocolates. They also have other yummy treats. More about those later. First, a few essential details.

Date: June 18, 2022
Time: 10:30 AM–noon
Place: Chocolaterie Stam
Address: 230 Main St, Ames, IA

Now, on to the fun stuff.

The launch party will feature:

  • The author (that would be me) reading from See Jane Run!
  • Books to purchase and have signed. (You can also bring copies purchased elsewhere and have them signed.)
  • Live music.
  • A raffle for 3 mystery-themed gift baskets. (The raffle proceeds will be donated to 3 different school libraries. One in Polk City where I live now, one in Boone where I taught for 18 years, and one in Ames where the launch party is being held.)
  • Photos with friends.

And now for the delicious stuff.

Chocolates, coffee, tea, and gelato available for purchase from the store. The Ames Farmers Market is held on Main Street every Saturday morning in June. So those who feel guilty about eating chocolate and gelato before noon can wander outside for healthier fare.

You are cordially invited to attend the See Jane Run! book party. As the date draws nearer, there will be Facebook invitations and even some old-fashioned post cards going out. In case you, like me, tend to forget things. Even fun things. And this book launch party is going to be fun.

Also delicious.

Welcome to the Harding County Fair!

Welcome to the Harding County Fair!

This float appeared in the Harding County Fair Parade in the early 1980s. The little guy in the white cowboy hat was one of my students. I don’t recognize the boy on the barrel horse.

Welcome to the Harding County Fair!

That’s what we’ll be saying come August 19-21, 2022 when Hiram and I go to the fair for the first time in almost 40 years. We’ve wanted to do it for years. Make that decades. But the timing never worked out. This summer is a different story now that Hiram is retired.

A few weeks ago, I sent a Facebook message to Darwin Latham. We got to know one another when we were cast members in the Harding County Players production of Bye Bye Birdie, and we are now Facebook friends. Darwin’s wife Kay is on the Harding County Fair Board, a fact I gleaned from the county’s newspaper, The Nation’s Center News, to which I subscribe. I sent Darwin a message asking him to please ask Kay about the possibility of promoting The West River Mystery Series during the fair.*

Keep in mind that Darwin and I haven’t seen each other since the early 1980s, and we didn’t know one another all that well. Even so, he passed the message onto his wife. She presented the request at the next Fair Board meeting, at which it was immediately approved. Since then Kay, whom I’ve never met in person, has sent a schedule and a list of best places for a book table for maximum visibility throughout the fair.

This kind of hospitality and cooperation was typical of Harding County when we lived there decades ago. It warms my heart that it remains so today. It is also why we are eager to join in the fun next August and greet fairgoers by saying, “Welcome to the Harding County Fair!”

The Harding County Fair Building as it looked during a visit in September of 2013.

*Much of the action in See Jane Run!, the first book in the West River Mystery Series, unfolds during the Tipperary County Fair. The county and the fair building bear a striking resemblance to Harding County and its fairs during the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Super Bowl Shortbread

Super Bowl Shortbread

My husband is spending the weekend at our son and daughter’s-in-law farm. I was invited too, but am staying home in hopes of shaking the cough that is the last vestige of a virus that likes me much more than I like it.

The guys will watch the Super Bowl on Sunday, so I’m sending a batch of shortbread for them to enjoy. This is our son’s favorite cookie, and I can’t believe the recipe hasn’t been featured here before. (I’m also sending crumb top apple pie for my daughter-in-law.) Both recipes are from the Betty Crocker Cookbook that was a wedding present in 1977. Shortbread been a cookie staple at our house for over 40 years.

With only 3 ingredients, it’s easy to make. It tastes best after a few days stored in an airtight container at room temperature…if it lasts that long.

Super Bowl Shortbread

1 1/2 cups softened butter (preferably made with butter made from Snippy’s cream)
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups all purpose flour

Heat oven to 350°. Cream butter and sugar. Work in the flour. If the dough is crumbly, mix in 1 to 1 tablespoons softened butter.

Roll dough 1/3 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Use a small water glass to cut into rounds. Place 1/2 inch apart on a hot, ungreased baking stone. Bake for about 20 minutes or until set. Remove from stone to cool.