Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Learning the art of Homemaking...

"Housekeeping is an art; Such knowledge is drawn from practical experience, family traditions, the natural and social sciences, and many other stores of understanding and information."
A quote from "Home Comforts: The art & science of keeping house" by Cheryl Mendelson

What I love about being a Stay-at-home daughter is that it's continual learning. I have this opportunity to learn from my Mother the art of Homemaking. She imparts to me tips on housework...how to go the extra step to make the job excellent--not just do the minimum or what's required.

I was recently talking to a young mother who has 3 children, and asked her advice on preparation as I wait on the Lord. She encouraged me to make the most of my time now, and serve my family/sacrifice & yeild my wants for the wants of others-- as this will be very helpful when (if it's the Lords will) I'm a wife/mother someday. I really appreciate talks like this, because if this is what I aspire to be, I want to learn all that I can now. (While I still have "free time" to grow in the Lord in my fathers household)

A part of this training is Meal Planning. My Mother has been an excellent guide in this, as she directs me in getting the most Nutritional value out of meals as well.

Today my Mother and I sat outside with our cups of tea (Apple spice!), Notebooks, cookbooks and ideas to discuss our upcoming weekly menu's for the season. The goal is to plan our meals ahead, to avoid impulse meal planning (walk into the kitchen wondering what's for dinner). To do this frugally while eating fruits/vegetables that are Seasonal.

I put together an Inventory of Vegetables/Dairy/Meat/Fruit/Pasta/Dry Goods so we could see on paper what we have!
As we purchased food, we bought in "bulk" so that we could divide ingredients into different meals. For example, I shopped the sales and bought an 8lb roast for $8.00. I cooked it slow for 6 hours, then divided it up into 4 pieces. I used it in 4 different meals, and so it ended up costing only $2 per meal for my family!

A few Cookbooks we use:

"The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook" by Cathe Olson & "More with Less Cookbook": (suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources) by Doris Longacre


No matter how elaborate or frugal, challenging or easy--Meals are one of the most necessary parts of "Everyday". Lately I've been making desserts (pound cake, cookies, brownies) in the morning--I individually wrap each piece, and put it away. We recently had un-expected guests visit at the cottage, and it was a delight to offer a meal and have dessert and coffee available at a moments notice. I'm hoping to also do extra freezer meals for this reason as well!


As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Galations 6:10


Zimmersgirl said...

How awesome that you are following God's design and learning the wonderful art of homemaking. You're getting a head start on things it's taken a lot of other women (myself included) a long time to get to. I pray God continues to give you the knowledge and the wonderful heart for family that you seek and that He moves through you to bless many others! Thanks so much for sharing. It's giving me hope that even though I'm still learning this "domestic" thing that I can teach my own daughter for her turn.

God bless you!

Jenna said...

That's exactly what I feel "led" to do...stay at home during my single years; preparing to be a wife and mother...learning all the homemaking skills that I'll need to run a house hold efficiently and beautifully:)


p.s. We use the More With Less Cookbook alot too;) They have THE BEST cornbread recipe in there - ever!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mia,
Would you please let us know what freezer meals you put up?? I love your dessert idea. I usually try to have a pound cake or pie in the freezer for the unexpected (which bring blessing and excitement!!). It seems right to have a few things *put by*, wheather for the sick or tired (sometimes me :-)!) or the unexpected. Thanks for sharin these precious sweet things to encourage us all.

Paulina said...

Lovely post! My mom has never done meal planning so neither have I. But I've always wanted to start, so why not start now?

Thanks for sharing!

~ Judy ~ said...

This post is so beautiful Mia.
I am so happy that you and your dear mother shared such a special time outside together making your plans.
I know SHE will treasure that forever...and I have a feeling that YOU will too...and God-willing, you have have a similar afternoon one day with your OWN daughter!
I would like to pass along this link.
I think you would enjoy reading Mr. Miller's works very much.
God blessings to you and your beautiful family!

You'll have to copy and paste that into your browser.

Kelsey Anne Hoppman said...

I love planning menus with my mom as well! :)
The great thing about being a homemaker is, you will get to express your creativeness in your own home. Your home is apart of you and should show your personality.
Thank-you for the tips on menu planning.

God Bless,


Shelley said...

Very good advice to the young and old...you have such a wise mother and I am sure you are a very huge blessing to her in so many,many ways.

Much blessings

Rebecca said...

We are More-with-Less fans, too. I never buy mayonnaise but use the Blender Mayonnaise recipe in M-with-L. Should you decide to try this, make sure you use a neutrally flavored oil instead of something like olive oil which turns bitter in the emulsification process.

Have you seen the newest Mennonite Central Committee cookbook, Simply in Season? I highly recommend it. The chapters are arranged by seasons and feature seasonal produce.

Emily said...

I think it's inspiring to see you learn so many wonderful things that will not only bless your own life - but your future life as a mother and wife. I did not have a mother who taught me basic life skills, but I am so thrilled that I can teach my girls these things so when they are grown up - they will be ready and serve and run a household. Wonderful post!! :)

daydreamer81 said...

I love meal planning! My mom has always told me about how my grandmother to try to save money, always had the same thing, like Monday was roast beef, and Sundays was always chicken, and by doing that she knew what she needed and she could stock up and buy things on sale.

Kendra Logan said...

I just love your blog.


Miss Jen said...

Hmmm.... this was such an
inspiring post, Mia!! Homemaking
is such a delight indeed.

"The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. "
— C.S. Lewis

With Much Love~ Jen

Anonymous said...

Hi Mia ~ another wonderful post...how blessed you are with such an inspiring mother...could you post some sample menus?

The White Way of Delight said...

LOVE your blog! I'm a new follower! PTL, I am finding such like-minded young ladies on here. Thanks for encuragement. I do Civil War reenactments, looks similar to what you enjoy..? :) I also really enjoyed GA when we visited it last spring. I told my Mum I'd love to move there someday.
Have a GREAT day! Each day is a blessing from the Lord.
-Emily Anne

Anonymous said...

You have wonderful tips for young ladies to use! I am going to have to remember these! Thanks for your amazing post!

brightlight08 said...

My Mom is a wonderful meal planner-we just don't always follow through with the menu... :-)
A good way to do freezer meals is to make double to amount of the meal that you are serving. Half you will eat, the other half can be put away for later. Twice as much food with half as much work. Good deal!

So far, I love your blog. Wonderful pictures, tips, and everything else.
Good stuff!


Trish said...

the advise the young mother gave is very good, it was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn as a young wife/mother-that willingness to put away selfish desier to give up time and many freedoms for the sake of children can be a hard transistion :)

As the years progress and my children grow, I seek to do even more to the benefit of my family. I no longer mind long nights with little sleep or, cooking a full meal for a hungry husband. I do my best to delight myself in these tasks knowing that the work is not the point but the heart's attitude!

God bless you.

lady m said...


What a blessing you are to your mother! To have a daughter that awaits patiently upon the Lord's will and enjoys the makings of a home is sucha joy to behold!

I also learned quite a bit from my mother, but it was my grandmother that was the greatest teacher. She was the one that inspired me to sew and grow a garden and take care of animals at a very young age.

I am glad that you have a willing heart for this new phase in your life Mia. It is not easy to "be still and allow the Lord to do HIS work"!


lady m

Stephanie Ann said...

I love your blog. It is great that you are able to do this to get the most out of the Earth's resources and save money. Just think of all of the extra packaging trash you would have if you didn't buy in bulk and plan ahead? You are truly gifted to be able to plan like this. I would love to learn how to do this.

Linda said...

Hi there!

Just stopping by to say that I absolutely LOVE your blog.. I've been reading all the way back to 2008.... *lol* ;)

Greetings from the netherlands!

p.s. Looking at your pictures made me realise your mother looks sooo much like my mother in law it's just scary! hehe....

Mia said...

Thank you for the comments--you've blessed me so much!

Ms. Judy,
Thank you for the link!!
Ms. Rebecca,
I mentioned the new book to my Mother, and we appreciate the reccommendation! Thank you for the tip on oils, as I have made that exact mistake before :)
Hopefully in the future I'll post sample menu's!
Thanks for the tip on doubling the quantity..we do that often at our house!!
Ms. Linda,
Thanks for stopping by!!


Heather said...


Thanks for visiting my blog. What a lovely blog you have. I will visit often.

Love, Heather

Anonymous said...

Thanks for mentioning the part about learning not to be selfish... anyone can learn to cook, but it is very hard indeed to 'unlearn' selfishness. In building character, time is of essence! That is what much of our focus should be on while we are 'homemakers in training.'

Thanks! I love your graphics, as well.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

I'd like to recommend to you the Nourishing Traditions Cookbook. It is a wonderful book full of nutritional meals that tell you how to get the most nutritional value from your foods. It has changed my life! Also, buying meat farm-direct is another way to save a lot of money (or grow it yourself if you can).

God Bless,