Monday, February 14, 2011

'Tis the simple things in life...

Kneading dough for Buttermilk Dinner rolls
"And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts..."
Genesis 18:5

Throughout this winter, we've really been enjoying our home canned-goods! However, many of the vegetables are gone now (heh) and so we have plenty of different jellies and peaches left.
It's been nice to just get a jar off the shelf for a quick peach cobbler when when unexpected guests stop by! I'm looking forward to canning again this year :)
Oatmeal-Cranberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients: 2/3 cup butter, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2 cups oats, 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup dried cranberries, 2/3 cup white chocolate chips.

Mix first 3 ingredients well, then add the dry ingredients in a little at a time. Finish off by adding the cranberries and chocolate chips...bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 mins or until golden.

A few days ago, we drove out to a neighboring town to purchase chickens!
We decided on 4 game hens (they're laying now) & 2 roosters-- a Dominique & Rhode Island Red.


As I came in (to check for eggs & bring food scraps)
I enjoyed watching the new additions as they got used to their surroundings.

Hmm, there's definitely a "pecking order".

A few of our hens are being cordial, but I'm not sure they realize that their house guests are permanent...

Gathering a few eggs to make a pound cake for my Dads birthday

Mustard Greens
Some readers had asked what we have growing out in the garden right now...most of the beds are covered in oak leaf mulch, but we do have a few plants (other than onions!)

Garlic sprouts

In the fall I planted store-bought garlic cloves as an experiment, and they seem to be doing well. Of course the bulbs wont be of the highest quality, but we had the extra space (I had the extra time..heh) and so I gave it a go. We'll see how they look in a few months...
It's a great salad green, but is extremely spicy, reminiscent of pepper. Believe me, I've tried having a pure arugula salad, and I ended up having to toss it in the compost :/ So we always mix it in with sweeter lettuces, like buttercrunch etc.

It was a fair day, so my sister and I took a walk through the woods...

It amazes me how the woods naturally clear out through fallen trees and storms..It was much more dense last year! Our original paths still remain and lead to an open area, where dappled sunlight dances through the sparse canopy of branches.
This beautiful cedar tree is well over a century old...
I wonder how many others it inspired through the ages?
"...A Cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of a high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs." Ezekiel 31:3

Today we uprooted some of our turnips, and I'm pleased that they ended up growing to a fair size! At my last re-enactment all the cooks were given fresh, seasonal/local produce, and the turnips were fantastic! Now that we've grown our own, I look forward to adding it to a warm, hearty soup!


I don't think I'm going to try to save the leafy green tops-- it's been a loonnngg winter so these aren't in the best condition...I'll let the chickens enjoy ;)

As the first flowers begin to burst forth, I can't help but be filled with hope for the upcoming season.

Curiously, this jump starts a frantic search for the best heirloom seeds and better gardening methods.... why do I do this to myself? hehe :)


dlogan said...

What a beautiful post! We will have our first garden this year and I am looking forward to this. Would you share your buttermilk bread recipe? I use the Artisan Bread Book and love it. God Bless,

Heather said...

what a lovely winter you all seem to be having! This summer I'm looking forward to learning how to can my own fruits and veggies so that I can enjoy them in the winter time. I'm excited about it! And those cookies look so yummy! I may have to try that recipe for myself!~

Grace said...

How lovely! Your posts are so inspiring, encouraging, refreshing, and a joy to read, Mia! I always enjoy the snippets into your life!


Stellar said...

Wow, those look amazing!!! I'm looking forward to starting a garden soon :)

I wish I could grow asparagus, but I know I don't live in a proper climate for them. Oh well.

Becky said...

As always, your posts are beautiful and inspiring.

Simply Be... said...

New chickens and garden ideas..Spring must closeby for you Mia.
I am about to go into an Australian Autumn and our garden will quieten down now.
Our neighbours chooks are still enjoying our yard - they escape and visit us to scratch about under our bushes. My husband happily found a freshly laid egg for his breakfast yesterday :-)
Enjoy your new friends!
As always..another perfectly lovely post - thank you!
God's grace to you..Trish

GailinVirginia said... always inspire me and give me hope, dear Mia:) and I thank you. Can't wait to make your bread from an earlier post...must go to bed, I know you're in dreamland.

Thanks for another lovely post,

Anonymous said...

How lovely to see pictures of your garden. I'm going to try growing some vegetables (just on our small balcony) for the first time later this year. Both you and your sister's dresses are beautiful!

Beth said...

Seeing your hyacinths coming up makes me miss Virginia springs, a long pageant which starts in February. Spring is beautiful everywhere, but in Virginia you get to savor the arrival of every new flower. In New England, it all happens at once, like a firework show! love, Beth

Turtleheart said...

Ah, this is my first time visiting your blog, it's so lovely~

Your clothing is gorgeous, your photos divine. The pictures in the sidebar are beautiful. Those cookies look like they'd be terrible for my waistline but you KNOW I'm going to make them anyways!

And I envy your garden. Umm, yep. kind of alot :)

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, dear friend. I'll have tea and one of your home baked coockies, thank you.
Lieve groeten
Godeliva van Ariadone

Stephanie Ann said...

I love your sister's dress and the food all looks delicious!

SinginginHisName said...

As usual a beautiful and simple post! I love coming by your blog because I know I will be refreshed and encouraged to go about my task of learning to be a homemaker! :) I want to try you cookie recipe! I know the moms and daughters of our mother daughter Bible study will love them tomorrow!

In Christ,

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Even here in the Northwest, the bulbs are starting to come up. I am so excited that spring is almost here! It looks like you get to be a bit head of the rest of us down there in the South.

Beautiful and inspiring post as usual.

Leslie said...

Mia, these are the most beautiful pictures. They have the most glorious light. Your turnips are awesome . . . and your sister looks like some sort of princess in a fairytale, walking in those beautiful woods. Thanks for posting. I think your blog is just delightful!

Pen Pen said...

I love your posts.. I love your life. :o)

Kelsey Anne Hoppman said...

Beautiful photo's Mia! Thank-you so much for sharing them. :)

Shelley said...

Enjoyed your post as always....blessings to you dear Mia...

AJ said...

Another wonderfully, beautiful post.

Your dresses are so pretty.
Did you make the one you were wearing in the chicken house?

I'm getting spring fever too. :)

We are so blessed with all God has given us.

Take Care*

Kate said...

I just read an article that chickens LOVE chard and mangels. Mangels are easy to grow, nutritious and help keep chickens from being bored during long winters as they have to peck at the mangels to eat them. The Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, NY grows mangels for their livestock.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely blog! Thank you!

Holly said...

Hi Mia!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and inviting me to visit yours! It's lovely!! What a beautiful girl you are and such a lovely heart! I really enjoy your photos and can't wait to read more!!
Have a wonderful day, I'll be back!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mia...what a treasure you are to your dear family.

It is such a joy to see Spring visiting your part of the country. Here in the North...we are still waiting for its glorious arrival :)

Thank you for the recipes and for sharing a day in your life.

It inspires me and helps me stay focus in this road that Our Lord is guiding us through.

Thank you Mia.

Blessings Dear One,

Mrs. Maria.

Anonymous said...

Well said Mia. I've come to realize that these past few weeks as I've stayed home to bond with our new foster children. Instead of homesteading only part time. Sadly, I return to work after next week but as soon as we adopt I hope to quit the rat race for ever and enjoy the simple things in life from then on.

It is so great to see someone so young realize this - your parents have done a good job and I only hope I can teach my daughter the same way.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy your posts and photos.

A caution about roosters and their aggressiveness: I once read of a four-year-old whose eye was blinded when the family rooster spurred her in the eye.

Melissa M. said...

Those are beautiful pictures! And I love your feminine, dainty clothes! (Even while gathering eggs.) :)

Gabby said...

I get so excited when I've seen you've posted... It is such a treat to read! Every post is inspiring. Thank you.

Jessica said... I don't garden (it doesn't work so well in an apartment with no patio...all my veggies wilted) but I have this company saved in my Etsy favorites. They have heirloom veggies that look pretty good.

Kathie Truitt said...

Turnips! I love turnips.

Anonymous said...

I thouroughly enjoyed your post today, beautiful photos and well thought words and even a recipe. Thank you. Your blog post are like a little gift of peace and calm as I follow your photos and words throughout your day.

Amy said...

I am getting ready to start my second growing season here in south Texas. I can't say that my first season was great. I am living with family, so I am using containers. With the heat, humidity, and sometimes heavy downpours, it is going to be a challenge. Looking forward to when we can move out to a place of our own.

I would love to have chickens, goats, and a huge garden.

God Bless and have a wonderful day!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mia,

That cookie recipe looks wonderful. Can't wait to get my girls in the kitchen and give it a try.
I love all the beautiful clothing you and your sisters wear. We are busy cooking and baking here getting ready for the Mother/Daughter conference. I hope your family will be attending again this year. I enjoyed chatting with your precious mom last year. What a kind lady.



Anonymous said...

Hello Mia,
I've enjoyed your lovely BLOG in the past, then our computer crashed and I lost all our favorties, including the linkto your BLOG. Thankfully, I happened upon it again today. If you're looking for heirloom seeds, my daughter and her husband carry a nice selection at
The music playing on your page is very soothing and lovely! Thank you for sharing so many blessings from your beautiful family!

Penny said...

Hello Mia,
Greetings from England. I truly enjoyed reading your post today. I can't wait to try the oatmeal cookie recipe. I bake scones using your Hearwarming Scones recipe and my family loves them! I've even shared them with several of my English neighbors and they love them as well. Your turnips look great. I have a simple French recipe for Caramelized Turnips. Peel turnips and chop into cubes (of desired size). Boil unto softened to desired softness/firmness. I boil until they just do slide off a fork. Then saute in a mixture of butter and brown sugar until golden brown. I don't have exact measurements - I just eye ball and guesstimate the butter and sugar. I don't want them too sweet - just enough to slightly sweeten and take away any bitterness. Sometimes I can't fin turnips here, so I use swede instead and it works beautifully.

Looking forward to your next post,

Anonymous said...

Hon, every time I come to your blog, I am simply in awe of your beautiful pictures. They certainly should be put in frames and displayed. Beautiful work!

Rosie said...

Thanks Mia for another lovely post...
I love the pics of your new chicken, your walk, and all your canned goods, what fun!
We are *so* ready for Winter to end here, and spring to come. I've been going through all my seeds and planning my garden!
Hello to everyone from The Clan here in Wesleytown :)
You friend, Rosie

little homestead in the mountains said...

Did you make that divine dress you are wearing in the chicken coop picture? I just love it!!

Plain and Joyful Living said...

So much goodness. Thank you for sharing. Do you sew your dresses? The one in this post is beautiful.
Warm wishes, Tonya

Trish said...

What a lovely post - the words, the photos - well done! I also adore the photos on your sidebar; and those cookies look amazing. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

Jennifer said...

Hello, Mia! I have so missed your more regular posts over the winter! Even when I was too busy to read anything else, I always checked to see if you had a new post. Your writing and photography bring me so much joy and encouragement! You are such a gifted young lady, and if I was with you, I would give you a big hug. I would also love for some of my girls to meet and talk with you. You have such a sweet spirit, and I know they would enjoy listening to you and learning from you. We aren't able to do some of the things you do, since we live in a big city. So what fun it would be to learn from you. Your time with the lady with the new baby must have been exhausting, but what a blessing to her you were. And you will certainly be prepared when it's your turn! :-) Looking forward to your next post. I love to hear about your family and home, thrift store treasures, cooking, sewing, gardening, and homemaking. I guess I like it all!
God bless you, Mia!

Sarah Belle said...

Howdy Mia,
Love the cookies, they were fabulous!!! Love the dress you had on in the picture gathering eggs, please tell us more about it. You and your family are beautiful inside and out, we love you and are so thankful the Lord Jesus brought us together! Your pictures bring a beauty and show a way of life that is SO encouraging. Thank you, tp.

Heather said...

I loved seeing your new chickens and your dress is so pretty!!! I enjoyed seeing your garden and can't wait to make the cookie recipe. Your blog is such a blessing to me!!

Quaker Cottage said...

Hello Mia,
I just wanted to pop in and tell you again how much I enjoy your blog. It' just lovely.
God bless,

Anonymous said...

wow. ah, you are obviously a famous blogger. Those pics of Macy are so neat...the sun was perfect.

Kennesa said...

Thank you for another wonderful post Mia!
I really enjoy following your blog. It is very inspiring.

I am planning on getting a flock of Dominiques hens and taking the flock I have to the sale. They are mixed breed, very pretty and good layers, but I would really like Dominiques.
I am working on 3 small garden beds right now, I have one already planted with swiss chard, onions and my Mom has spinach in there too. My Dad is going to plow the big garden down at the bottom of the driveway, (yes it is down the hill, a ways away, and not even on our property, but it is the only flat place on this hill!) and I am planting quite a few things down there.
I am planting a bed of herbs also.
I am planning on doing some canning this year too, I will be asking for advice!
God Bless!

Hillary said...

Hi! I'm Hillary and I'm a new follower. What an amazing blog and life you have. I can't wait to continue following your journey! Many Blessing!

Autumn said...

The pictures in this post are lovely, as usual!

Rhonda said...

Another wonderful blog Mia! I so enjoy reading it!
I love the dress you are wearing in the chicken coop. Did you make it? If so what is the pattern number? Or was it a find somewhere else?
You are so blessed to be able to garden already! We still have 4 feet of snow on the ground. Have you read anything about Ruth Stout and her method of gardening? I am switching over to her method. I blogged a little about it. Now I can't wait to really give it a go!
Blessings to you and your lovely family!

Ginny said...

dear Mia, Thank you for writing again. I have missed your blog. It has given me great comfort in sad times. The garden is in our minds but the renewed snow here puts it several weeks away. Your loveliness gives me such great Joy. God has blessed you so much. You are a blessing to so many.
Love Ginny

Mammka said...

Today I found your blog, wonderful! A gift from God! Webfordítóval I can read.
Monika from Hungary, from Europa

Designs on 47th Street said...

What a LOVELY blog you have! I enjoyed my time here very much. Chickens...a dream I've always had to raise them. We garden also. I have looked for arugula seeds but did not find them in the Burpees catalog. I will look further.

Beautiful pictures.

dicienan said...

Again, a wonderful post. I feel like I've stepped back in time for a few minutes. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I often leave your page on for the pictures and the music. Lovely!

Kimberly said...

Pure loveliness, as always! Arugula tip--the baby leaves are nutty, not hot. :)

Lilac Bud Gal said...

I am glad I found your blog again!! I used to be a frequent reader until somehow I lost your link! AH! But I found it again, as you see.

It looks like you are keeping busy! :) I was wondering if you could maybe share a few pictures of the dress you are wearing while gathering eggs? It is beautiful! Did you make it? I was trying to figure it out... I would love to see more detailed pictures of it, though!

In Christ's Service,

Anonymous said...

hi mia live yhour blog as is but could recommend more info on the dresses/clothing better photos (just dresses if you don't ant to be in them) patterns if know and suppliers if possible may of us could poss. draft a pattern from a few multi view photos thanks alot

Ceallach said...

Absolutely inspiring! Your picture-taking lovingly reinforced my desire to be a stay-at-home daughter through this perilous time. Encore!

Miss Jen said...

What a lovely post, Mia!
It's always a JOY to visit you!!

Love~ Jen

Miss Jen said...

What a lovely post, Mia!
It's always a JOY to visit you!!

Love~ Jen

Rubies Like Ruth said...

It is encouraging to see other stay-at-home daughter serving her family!

I would enjoy your visit at!

Remember When Farm 1889 said...

Oh how I enjoyed this post, I have just copied down the cookie recipe & will make them for my twin girl's second birthday at the end of the month. The woods look so encanting, all the photo's are so special. Oh well must check the stove I have a sultana almond loaf baking, mind that won't last long with my children & husband ~ Michelle

Ember said...

I only just found thy blog. How beautiful and how interesting it is! God bless thee!

Ember said...

Mia, I've linked to thy blog on mine, and shared a picture there from thy blog here. I hope that's OK with thee.
God bless thee.

Carey said...

Mia, I love the life that you and your family have chosen and was so blessed by your beautiful photos and the simplicity that is so evident in them. It stirs a longing in my heart...especially the beautiful chickens!

I'm now 52, but for years have dreamed of moving back to the country (I spent my teens on a working farm) where I could tend a large garden and have chickens in the yard once again.

For now, I'm an "urban" farmer - growing flowers, fruit and vegetables on our little 60x100 foot city lot. I find peace in knowing that as I delight myself in the Lord, He will give me the desires of my heart. I just hope that He places the same desire in the heart of my husband as well!

God bless you

P.S. I'm heading to the kitchen right now, to make the yummy cookie recipe that you posted!

Far Above Rubies said...


Thistle Cove Farm said...

Lovely post and hope all is well with you and yours. The cookie recipe may be baked at Thistle Cove Farm later today; it looks delicious!
God's blessings on you, yours and the work of your hands and heart.

Andrea said...

Beautiful place here. Laura sent me over. So peaceful. I have joined to follow. I am thankful GOD drew me here.
Blessings and prayers,

Krafty Girl said...

Mia, what a beautiful post. That food looks great. I just joined your blog and I am excited to come again.

Kim said...

I happened by your blog by accident. I love your beautiful pictures, recipes, and reading about your day to day life. I will definitely be returning to read more!

Thank you so much for sharing with us!

Anonymous said...

Hello Mia,
Thank you for the wonderful blogging. It's beautiful and inspiring. So many more young people should learn to enjoy - or even recognize - the beauty in the simple things!
May Jesus bless you in a special way!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I sure wish that I could meet you. We have so much in common that it amazes me. I love a lot of the same things that you like-- exactly. I am very oldfashioned, I love to wear long, modest dresses and skirts, and I love the country and nature to the zillionth degree. I also love to cook from scratch, and I love the whole concept of homeschooling. I homeschooled my daughter, when she was in ninth grade, and she went to a Christian school in 10th and 11th grades. I also love Victorian art, the Victorian era and Edwardian era, oldfashioned cars, oldfashioned stores, etc. I also love your music that I've listened to on here.

Jackie said...

Hello Mia,
Love your blog !!!
Would like to do seed exchange? I will have some bluebonnets and brazilian verbenas seeds soon, I would love some seeds of your perenial petunians and of the pink flower by your black-eye-susan.