Monthly Archives: February 2016

Happy Anniversary

A few weeks ago an advertisement from one of our local jewelry stores, apparently one where we have shopped in the past, came in the mail. They had personalized the ad with our names on it. While I don’t wear jewelry a lot, I loved the advertisement, so I cut it out and hung it on the refrigerator.

Today I am sharing it, as I wish a very Happy Anniversary to Dominic, my husband, my best friend, my partner in crime and the love of my life.


It’s been a great nine years and I am looking forward to many more.

I Love You Sweetie!

Can You Guess What We Are Doing?

It seems our life has become a series of experiments. If I’m not experimenting with new soap recipes or food recipes, I may be making and testing herbal oil or tinctures. Although we have been bee keeping for three years we are still in the experimental stages and even with gardening and raising chicken it seems as if we are often trying something new.

So here is a clue to the project that we will begin this week. It is something that has been done for centuries, but this will be our fist time trying it. Do you recognize the object in the photo below? Can you guess what we are up to?

IMG_0668I do plan on taking lots of pictures an writing about it as we go so check back later this week to see how things are going.

Don’t Try This

I decided to make my husband a special dessert today for Valentines Day. Well to be honest, I would have made it for him any day, just because I love him and he loves desserts. I was inspired by the Foxfire Book   that I was reading last night. When I read about fried pies, I got to thinking that they would probably be similar to Hostess Fruit Pies. My husband likes those little pies a lot, so I was pretty excited thinking that I could make him some.

Since the directions in the book were very vague, I did a internet search this morning and found this recipe   I don’t really know why I bothered, because I already knew what I was going to do.

I took a bag of frozen mixed berries out of the freezer along with half a bag of frozen blueberries. I like to say these were all homegrown, but our berry crops did not do quite that well last year. I also took two store bought pie crusts out of the freezer. I put the berries in a pan, added about 2/3 cup of sugar and a couple tablespoons of cornstarch, and put them over low heat to cook.

Mixed Berries for Pie Filling

I cooked the berries until they thickened up.

Mixed Berries for Pie Filling

While the berries were cooking I took the pie crusts out of their pans and rolled them out.

Pie Crusts

I decide that I was going to fry these in lard, so I started heating the lard in to pan.

Melting the Lard

Once I got the pie crust rolled out so it was pretty flat and somewhat rectangle shaped, I cut it into wide strips and spooned some pie filling on it. I folded it over and pressed the edges to seal them.

Pie Filling on the Pastry

Once the lard got to 350 degrees I dropping my pastry in with great anticipation. Instead of watching my pie turn a lovely shade of brown, this is what I saw.

Doesn’t Look Much Like Pie

The pastry just disintegrated, and I was left with small particles of pastry and pieces of fruit frying in hot grease. While I wanted to cry, I am not that easily defeated. I got out a baking stone and preheated the oven. I filled the rest of the pastries and put them on the stone.

Ready To Go Into The Oven

I baked them for about a half hour at  350.

Out Of The Oven

I then put on a light glaze made out of powdered sugar and water. The end product was more like toaster pastry. My husband, who also like toaster pastries, said these were really good. When I saw him eating a second one I was convinced.

While the pastries were baking I did a little detective to find out why frying these was such a failure. I knew it must be something with the ingredients, so I read the ingredients on the package for the pie crust. It was basically made of flour, water and lard. I realized that there was nothing to hold the combination together. No egg. Sure enough when I went back to the recipe that I had viewed this morning, on The Pioneer Woman website, it included egg.

Well one would hope that I would learn a lesson from this, and that I would start following actual recipes  instead of just doing what I think will work. I wish I could say that is true. Maybe I will, sometimes, but I do so enjoy experimenting.

I think the real lessons for me is to have a back-up plan. It also shows me how much my husband loves me (not that I had any doubt about that), he not only tolerates my weird, quirky ways of doing things, he encourages them. He is my biggest fan.

Oh, and if case you are wondering, I’m sure the chickens will enjoy the fried pastry crumbles and fruit, so they will not go to waste.


















February 26, 2016


Don’t Eat It! Soap and Skin Care Products

Please Join Us

February 26th, 6:30 P.M.

Essential Health

80850 Main Street, Memphis, MI

Meet (me) Ruth Ciani, creator and crafter of Don’t Eat It! Soap and Skin Care products.

Learn about the benefits of buying and using handcrafted products, the ingredients used in Don’t Eat It! products, and in case your wondering, why it’s called “Don’t Eat It!” This is also a great opportunity to purchase these products at (Ruth’s) direct prices.

Don’t Eat It! Soap and Skin Care Products

are now being sold at Essential Health store in Memphis, MI

Under The Weather

It’s been over two weeks since I’ve posted and for good reason. Although I find it a strange term for being sick, I guess you could say that for nearly that past week I was “under the weather”. I think a more accurate description might be to say the an infinitesimal invader infested my intestines. For a couple of days this minute, maniacal monster quickly  disposed of my attempts to ingest any nourishing substance, thus weakening my systems. When I realized after two days that regular defenses of clear liquids, coke and ginger tea were not properly equipped to deal with this tiny tyrant, it was time to bring in the special forces of colloidal silver, electrolyte enhanced drinks, and pepto bismol, which was quickly replaced by the much superior choice of marshmallow root tea . While the special forces were quick to evict the vile villain, it has required additional efforts from electrolyte drinks, aided by probiotics, to repair the damage that was done.

All that is to say that I was sick for about 5 days but am feeling much better now and will now be catching up on writing along with other things that need to be done.