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...
~
Arugula
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 :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Back Home

{A short update}
For the past 3 weeks, I've stayed with a dear family (from our church) to help out, as the Mother just had a newborn! So having the opportunity to run a home, take care of their 4 little ones, plus attend to the Mother and her baby, has been quite an experience! I've had so much fun & I've learned alot :)
~

These past few weeks have been excellent in sharpening my homemaking skills, and I so enjoyed the children. Getting tasks done & making sure there was always a meal on the stove for the family was a large part of my day's routine :) Friends were always stopping by to see the baby, and so we had some amazing fellowship--a blend of laughter & stories-- and some of my favorite moments were when we all gathered around & listened to radio shows or audio books at the end of the day :)

~

The children were eager to 'help' with many of the tasks I did, especially when it came to meals. So I let them make Granola Bars, and they were fascinated! I explained the different ingredients, but let them do alot themselves. It ended up turning out great, and they had a fun time as well :)

~

It's good to be Home, and the slower pace of everyday is quite welcome. However, I greatly desired to move forward in my homemaking endeavors this year, and what an opportunity this has been! Being able to take what I've learned at home and use it as a ministry has been a wonderful experience, indeed.

~

So much has happened in the past month alone, & I find myself dreadfully behind on blogging, emails, letters...yet you've faithfully stopped by during these quiet weeks & encouraged me w/ your comments! Thank you for your patience. I do hope to catch up soon!

I'd love for you to leave a comment on what you'd like to see more of in future posts...Is there a specific subject etc. I haven't posted about in a while, or even a question you have? let me know, as I enjoy hearing from you ;)

*.*.*