Friday, December 2, 2011

Inspired.

I'm so grateful for our cottage; tucked away in the country. A small piece of the world where all we have is all that we need. I believe that a home is a lovely reflection of what inspires you.
~A life filled with gratitude often has so many quiet, beautiful moments.
~Recently, we traveled up the back roads to visit friends for the weekend. Surrounded by the beauty of the season, we all walked from their home up to the town.
~What a delight to walk through the historic neighborhoods.The homes had so much character, and I enjoyed hearing some town history from some of the locals. After going through the outdoor market, we took our time as we walked back to the house.

~Inside, we talked together as supper was being prepared.

~At a local estate sale, I ended up taking home a quilt from the 1860's-1870's. Originally the local museum was going to buy it, but they didn't come back so I was able to talk the price waaay down! I'm looking forward to mending it by hand this winter.

~A tree leaning against our old shed. Rustic textures of the season.
~ We each try to gather a basket of pecans daily...My sister was coming down to the house after checking on the chickens and bringing in a few eggs.

~The wall I'm standing in front of is an enclosed porch my dad recently built onto the back of the cottage..it's made entirely of wood from our own trees that we chopped down last winter. //Second-Hand Treasures: Crocheted shawl $0.50--Vintage dress from an estate sale $3.00
~Preparing for dinner, fresh green beans are washed and sorted.
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We harvested quite a bit of peanuts..So far we've made boiled peanuts, but I look forward to roasting and grinding them for homemade peanut butter..
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With these extra green tomatoes, I'll be using them to make a relish. Secondhand Treasure: Vintage 1940's apron (found at an antique mall) $3.50
~In the garden, this is the perfect time for dividing up the flowers.
~My brother made homemade Reese's Cups! I thought it was pretty creative... All he did was layer melted chocolate & peanut butter in a cupcake liner, then pop in the freezer!
~The English peas in the cottage garden are doing well! Since our recent rainstorms, they've actually grown quite a bit and are ready for trellising.
~My dad went and picked up a free load of farm-yard manure, and my sister helped unload it into the wooden compost crates he built.
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As our meal cooks over an open fire, the wood smoke rises into the air, revealing the sun rays.
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Several baskets filled with pecans. It's a little overwheming thinking about us shelling all those, but its worth it in the end....right? haha! So much for a pecan shortage this year ;)
~My dad sketches our homestead as we discuss ideas for producing more home-grown foods.
~

A Countryside Thanksgiving


This holiday, we decided to have a countryside thanksgiving, attempting to eat as organic/home-grown/local as we can. So I went onto LocalHarvest to find nearby farms to support. It was a pleasant surprise to have an opportunity to tour a couple farms and meet our neighbors! In the end, we ended up purchasing some organic produce, and pasture raised fresh ham & sausage.
~Acorn squash filled with Apple Pecan stuffing--delicious!
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In the background, soft music plays as we all cook and prepare the baked goods together...
~Outside under the shade of an old tree, we began to fill our picnic table with the various dishes-- and after spending all morning in the kitchen...we were ready to EAT! hehe
~ Menu (From far right to left)
*Fresh Ham w/ a sweet apple glaze, *Old fashioned creamed corn
*Homemade cranberry sauce w/ fresh apples and pears

*Macaroni and cheese
*Sweet potato and Apple casserole
*Fresh collard greens, *Acorn Squash with Apple Pecan stuffing, *Buttermilk biscuits, *Cornbread dressing,
*Apple cider, *
Homemade Apple Pie w/ Vanilla Ice-cream
~~My parents taking a walk together after dinner~

After enjoying a wonderful meal & dessert, my brother declared it was "The BEST thanksgiving ever." That was so rewarding to hear, and I'm thankful that we were able to have the celebration we wanted--simple, with foods that are seasonal & local to our area...And the time spent together was memorable, indeed.
~

My brother gathered up acorns from up under the oak tree, to make Acorn flour he had read about in one of his survival books :)


~After rinsing, boiling and drying the acorns, he ground them up into a coarse meal..not quite flour..but close! He added it into a pancake recipe, and we were surprised at how "earthy" it tasted! heh. I believe its called survival food for a reason...
~ My sister was recently inspired to crochet new projects...
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And I'm inspired to dig new areas for the onions!


Yesterday I dug four garden beds that are 4 ft x 12 ft each...only a few more to go. The ground is extremely soft because of all the rain lately, but the days are chilly and overcast.
~


We bought Georgia sweet onions from a farmer, for only $5 per bundle...We ended up buying 9 bundles...Gracious, that's 700 onions! Almost done planting though..I look forward to giving away many of the onions next year. It's so important to share with others the fruits of the harvest. Food is just too expensive these days-- we need to help each other out! ;)




~Mia