Showing posts with label Homeschooling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Homeschooling. Show all posts

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Keeping busy at home

The past few weeks have passed by quietly indeed. Similar to last year, we've continued to keep things simple and homespun. We recently traveled up to Ohio a couple weeks ago, and had a memorable time spent with dear friends. However, it's so nice to be home and fall back into our normal routine.

~Gathering collard greens for a quick stew for lunch.


(A stew of Potatoes, ham, cabbage & collard greens)

"The home: Where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.” -J. Ortlund

~ A friend recently gave me this heirloom pumpkin--it's a type that dates back to the 1860's. Of course I couldn't keep it as decoration for long ;) I'm eager to save the seeds for planting this year.

~After carving the pumpkin in half, I removed the seeds and set them aside in a small bowl.
~On a greased cookie sheet, I laid the halves down and covered with foil. Placing it in a 350 degree oven, I baked the pumpkin until it was soft (about an hour). Then you simply scoop out the inside and cut into chunks.

~In "The Young Housekeepers Friend" published by Mrs. Cornelius in 1859, I looked up a recipe for the pumpkin. It's the original book, so I have to be ever so careful with the pages!

Although I collect antique & vintage books, I definitely believe in putting them to good use! I'd rather my cookbooks be used often with care, rather than just sit on the shelf. Studying old recipes has been such a benefit to helping me develop my own recipes.

For a smoother puree, I blended up the chunks. All together it was about 10 cups of fresh pumpkin. So far we've used it for pie, and even muffins. Also, it freezes extremely well. The flavor of the puree is fantastic, but I had to be honest...
This is just glorified baby food! heh ;)
That reminds me..
When I was a little one, my parents would buy organic produce, blend it up, then freeze little portions as 'baby food'. I think it's a great idea..Much more economical than buying pre-packaged.
~After rinsing the seeds a few times, I dried them on a cotton cloth overnight. Then I stored them in a basic paper envelope. There's about 300 seeds--I look forward to seeing how they do this summer!
~ Simple decor--vintage jars and baskets.


As I went into the garden to harvest some lettuce, my cat accompanied me of course...
So far, the garden beds are doing well. It's been so very rainy lately.

Recently at a second-hand shop, I came across these treasures: 2-3 yards of brown wool, a piece of burlap and 3 vintage books. When I brought it to the counter, the saleswoman asked me if I had a dollar bill. Puzzled, I said yes, and handed her one. Then she asked someone to wrap up my items and told me, "Have a nice day." I was shocked..all these for $1.00!? That's the way I like to shop! heh.
~{The school-room}
As I walk down the hallway, I often hear the voices of my Mother and brother in the parlour--writing fractions on the chalkboard, the table filled with books and maps. Sometimes I drop in to explain a math equation...insisting I'm the substitute teacher! ;)
Between school lessons, my brother has been working on many various projects--building birdhouses, science experiments, making fruit leather, baking bread, building water filters and so on. Everyday is different :) it's fun to see what he will come up with next!


Here are a few school-books my brother is using (there are many more!)
*Encyclopedia of the Bible by John Drane

*Family Math by Jean Kerr Stenmark

*Adam to Abraham unit study by Robin Sampson

*Mastering essential math skills by Richard W. Fisher

My sister brings in fresh picked salad leaves...
~As you can probably tell by now, collard/turnip/mustard greens are our winter crop! lol

They grow extremely well here, so like many cottagers before us, we just eat what's in season. I find that lettuce and collard greens seem to make their way to the supper table daily...


Out in the back field, the garlic is doing well. I wonder if it's too late to plant more...?

~Boots n' baskets are used daily at our home. I didn't realize their value until we moved out to the country! I've found that there's no use trying to walk across the property without either one. Trust me...
~January is such a quiet month.
So far we've had a mild winter, but Georgia has a peculiar way of dropping temperatures just when we start to get comfy. Pleasant evenings are spent shelling pecans and talking together in the parlour--now that our sewing machine is fixed, new projects are beginning as well.

~{Fresh bread dough rising, and ready to be baked!}

A remedy for stale bread: If you're like us and enjoy baking several loaves of bread at a time, sometimes the situation arises where a loaf gets old or stale if not eaten soon enough. What we do is freeze our stale loaves, then take them out to use only for french toast. Oh dear, its delicious!
Please excuse my cat. Apparently she enjoys attacking the laundry.
~Nestled between its large leaves, the broccoli has grown twice its size due to this rainy season we've had lately. They're certainly ready to be harvested-- Homegrown broccoli has so much flavor, and even the stalks are tender.
~Oh, and I can't forget the spinach ;)
I had bought a pack of organic seeds and just sowed them right on top of the ground, not sure how they'd manage. Spinach is a slow grower..In fact, it took 'em so long to come up that I almost planted something else in their place! So now we're enjoying adding the young leaves to our salads.

What I've been sewing today... A Wool Petticoat

Today I finally finished sewing my wool petticoat, using the brown wool I purchased second-hand, and cut up an old skirt as a yoke. So it didn't cost me anything, really. I didn't use a pattern--Here's what I did: I cut the wool into 2 pieces, then gathered it at the top to fit my lower waist. Then I cut the top of my cotton skirt, and attached the gathered material to the skirt hem. Sewed up the side seam and That's it!

So for my winter living history events, I'll stay much warmer in wool! Because my role/portrayal is rural lower class, this rugged petticoat is appropriate for the 19th century era. If you're interested, in a future post I can show what my dress looks like with all three petticoats, and other attire. I have lots of sewing ideas, but not enough time!
Y'all are so patient, I know it's taken me a while to update :)

I'll talk to you soon,


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Patchwork of Days

~Taking time to mend a favourite dress~

How delightful to wake up to cooler mornings...indeed even the sun has begun to set sooner, all signs of a new season that I welcome wholeheartedly!
~ Throughout our cottage schooling years, I'm certainly grateful that my Mother took delight in the wonder and beauty of books...encouraging us to explore our various interests. We visited the town library *quite* often..ah, the memories!!
~In the kitchen baking Sticky Caramel Rolls: *1 cup milk (warm) *1 pkg. of yeast * 1/4 cup sugar * 1/4 cup melted butter *1 tsp. salt *1.5 cups of flour.

In a large mixing bowl, combine dough ingredients. Add 2 eggs & 2 cups of flour...mix by hand and begin to knead until smooth. In an oiled bowl, insert the dough and let rise until doubled (about 1 hr). Punch down the risen dough, divide in half and let it rest a few minutes.
~Mix 2/3 cup sugar with 3 tsp ground cinnamon--set aside. In a small bowl, have 1/4 cup softened butter set aside as well. Take half the dough, shape into a rough rectangle, about 9x13 in. Brush with half of the butter, and sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar. Roll and cut into 12 pieces, then repeat the process with the second half of the dough ;)
~Caramel sauce: 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 2TBsp table syrup. Instead of corn syrup, I used Log Cabin table syrup--a great alternative and adds a lovely maple taste as well.
In my cast-iron pan, I poured half the brown sugar mixture in the bottom of the skillet...Place the rolls, side down into the caramel. Space them evenly, eight on the outside, four in the middle.
Repeat with the second part of the dough in a seperate cast iron pan (or cake pan). Cover both with a damp towel and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 mins or until golden brown...
~Cool ten minutes and then turn upside down onto a plate so that the glaze is on top ;) These sticky caramel rolls turned out great, I'll be making them again soon. Enjoy!!
On the side porch, I found my brother practicing weaving together vines he'd found in the woods.
Since then, he's woven quite a few wreaths-- It's a creative project to try :)
Early one morning, we traveled down to the coast to have breakfast on the beach. As we left our home, the dark sky was still illuminated by the stars. Hours later, we arrived--just in time to watch the sun rise.
As the seagulls soared above us, we began to set up our picnic--I had prepared homemade pancakes and syrup, and we brought an assortment of fruit. It was a lovely breakfast. The morning dawn was a beautiful sight across the sea...In the distance we watched as the ships came into port and as the pelicans flew gracefully above the waves.
~ It's nice to be able to take such a spontanious trip down to the coast, just to experience the morning hours. My parents have always shared with us the delights of appreciating the simple things in life-- so even when we go on road trips, our destinations usually involve some aspect of nature, state parks or museums! And we so enjoy it.
~ My mother and sister walking along the shore...
~As we prepared to leave, my brother convinced me to take one last trip out into deeper waters--and I'm glad I did! We collected a nice amount of sea shells :) Soon enough, tourists began to arrive as we were packing up our picnic. The sun was now high in the sky, and we took one last look before we headed home.
~It's fun to go through old catalogs, cutting out images that inspire and spark new ideas!
~ "Next year, I'm going to build a proper cold frame, mark my words, just like the one I saw in The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. Now that was a fine piece of craftmanship, with stout brick sides." --Tasha Tudor
~ As I was weeding the Peanut patch, I must admit I had to laugh--why is it that in the garden we're always accompanied by our curious pets...this one in particular having quite the crooked tail, I must say!
~ My father and brother working on the front its finished!
~I take delight in the simplicity of cottage living. The fewness of its objects keep us focused on the beauty of everyday, down to earth things--I do believe there's a satisfaction that comes with leading a quiet life.
~On a sunny afternoon, my mother begins to tidy our old storage shed..
~ This summer, my dear sister graduated from cottage-schooling! One evening, we celebrated together by candle-light on the front porch. My mother presented the certificate, as we all shared stories, thoughts and marveled at how quickly the years have flown by!
~ As I walked through the yard, I turned around to find out I was being followed ;)
~Here's a simple recipe I revised last week..I thought y'all may enjoy it.

~Fried Salmon Cakes~
*14.75 oz can of wild Alaska Salmon, drained *
1/2 cup minced onion
*2 tsp ea. of spicy brown mustard & lemon juice *1
TBsp relish *1/2 tsp ea. of garlic powder & Old bay spice *1/4 cup ea. of cornmeal and flour *1.5 Tbsp parmesan cheese *1 egg
Gently mix all the ingredients together, and form into small patties, I made 14. Arrange the patties on a cookie sheet thats been lightly covered in cornmeal. Refrigerate for atleast 15 mins. In a well oiled pan, cook the cakes until nicely browned on both sides. Serves 4-6. Ah, These turned out so so flavorful!!
~ As September slips into October, the days are getting shorter... Nevertheless, 'tis more of an excuse to bring out the candles and enjoy quiet evenings in the parlour.

Autumn has arrived, indeed.